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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...

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Old December 13th, 2010, 12:13 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Indianapolis, IN
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Stage Events - Equip upgrade?

I am a part-timer who started out specializing in weddings back in 2002 but have evolved into the specialized world of "stage events" (show choir and dance recitals). I'm still in the standard-def world and I'm trying to decide if it's time to move to HD - or at least 16x9. At certain events, I actually produce the DVD's onsite so customers walk out with product in hand. I don't really think High Def would play into this selling model but I am concerned that maybe my 4:3 format is starting to make my stuff look dated.

Giving up on SD won't be easy - my DataVideo switcher is not 16x9 compatible and both my pro shoulder cams would have to go.

I've prided myself in having the best product out there - I use all an all digital firewire DV switcher, super smooth Schneider tripods with focus and zoom controls, JVC DV5000 cameras. I even produce my DVD's with a robotic DVD burner from a digital file on my computer rather than making copies of a DVD "original." I mix sound board sound with my Sennheiser shotgun mic so the audio is pretty darn decent.

As a part-timer, the cost of upgrading all this gear would nearly equal my gross sales for one year. As I think about it logically, it seems like a big expense only to have less pro-like cameras without proper focus control, or a real f/stop control, just to net me a 16 x 9 image. I suppose there would be a way to market Blue Ray to a small segment, and it might be nice to show HD video sample on my website, but will any of this increase my business or keep me from losing business?

One more twist to all this is my wedding business has all but dried up. I didn't realize how out-dated my online samples were until I started looking at stuff posted on this forum. When I started in the video business 8 years ago, my stuff was cutting edge and my online samples would sell themselves. So, I'm thinking if I want to get back in the wedding business, I definately need to get into some new gear.

Do I get a couple DSLR's and test the waters with that style wedding videography - and hang onto my Standard Def stuff and dedicate it for stage event work?


Do I get a couple of Sony NX5's and a new switcher setup and use them for both stage events and weddings?

I thank you all for any thoughts and/or experience you can pass along!

Wedding Videography Indianapolis Indiana Video
Geoffrey Chandler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 13th, 2010, 01:45 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Green Bay Wisconsin
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Geoffrey I don't think any of us had an "easy" time choking down the switch over. It basically means anything that runs on "power" needs to be replaced with current standards gear. I held off because my computer was not capable, and upgraded that first for my day job. Then came the software and finally the cams. For me this transition happened over the course of several months making it a little easier to choke down.

From my experiences selling off my old gear, what you have now is depreciating by the day. My DVXs I got decent money for, and today could replace the pair for $500 less. I initially switched to GH1s and then decided the GH2 was what would be best for me. The GH1s I also resold, and today could replace all those for much less than they were sold for.

My concern for you though, would be losing out on these gigs you have had because a competitor comes in and taut their latest HD gear. You have to admit, your SD 4:3 compared to HD16:9 is going to get blown away in a head to head competition. If your clients switch their vendor, it is often real hard to get back in.

I vote for "begin the transition" but of course YMMV.
Chip Thome is offline   Reply

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