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Old July 15th, 2011, 10:51 PM   #1
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What do you do when you take ill

Just have a question for you. Last saturday I had this wedding booked for months... three days before the day on the wednesday I went down like a bag of hammers with the flu . Hit down with some nasty strain of flu that just doesn't want to go. I couldn't get out of bed let alone film someones wedding and finally made arrangements through the local video club to have it done for me.

My closest competition that I know about is 150 klms away so couldn't get anyone there. One Wollongong company was prepared to send someone for $1500 to just film the wedding for me.

So what contingency plans do you have for such occasion.
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Old July 15th, 2011, 11:10 PM   #2
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re: What do you do when you take ill

Ray, I don't imagine any UK respondents will be so remote so yours is an interesting problem. Since there isn't a satisfactory video solution, I also imagine the clients are used to such isolation and would at least understand your situation. If so I think I might invest in two or three amateur cameras of decent quality and ask the most able and willing guests to let them run, and hope you can get something to show for the day.

I might also offer the couple watching and remembering the day solution I offered in another recent thread.

I'd also add a suitable caution to my terms.

Finally I'd risk a very large overdose of Vitamin C. I know a number of people in the banking and commercial world rely on that to give them enough short term recovery to get by. However, I'm not a doctor, I'm sure there are risks and so add the biggest caveats imaginable to this comment - and that's what it is, not advice.
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Old July 16th, 2011, 02:05 AM   #3
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re: What do you do when you take ill

Hi Ray

Sorry to hear about that...regardless of the shoot, it's not very pleasant being ill anyway...I dunno about others but if I get flu (thankfully very seldom) the first thing that happens is that I lose any desire to do anything and my enthusiasm level plummets to zero. A huge dose of Vitamin C wouldn't help!!!

Regarding the solution, it's normally true to say that all us good guys are booked way in advance (I already have paid bookings for November 2012) so the chances of finding a decent videographer a week before the wedding is slender!!! I do have a mate who is a photographer and last year he expressed an interest in video and bought one of my HMC70's so that's a sort of backup.

The big decision will be whether to keep the charges the same (based on the fact that the end product may not be as good as yours) or cancel, do a full refund and then refer the client to my mate so there is no nasty comebacks IF he screws up big time!!!!

I have actually just had an enquiry for a few months time and the client said "our videographer had to cancel" ...In 2009 I did a shoot where the videog had been on a hospital waiting list for a knee replacement and they phoned him a week before saying "come to hospital on Saturday"

My only "sick and listless" shoot was last December but it was a daytime charity Christmas Show but I got thru it and even had to turn down my free Christmas dinner!!!

I trust you are fit and spritely by now????

Chris
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Old July 19th, 2011, 01:07 PM   #4
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re: What do you do when you take ill

We have done weddings in high fever. It's not pleasant but can be done. You do whatever it takes. Vitamins, spirulina, coke, crack, whatever can make you stand on your feet. If you break a leg, now that's a real problem, haven't really thought about it. But a flu or fever, can be controlled, even in their worst forms.
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Old July 19th, 2011, 03:28 PM   #5
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re: What do you do when you take ill

I suck it up and do everything I possibly can to keep my agreement. I've worked with colds, the flu, hangovers, you name it . . . the shoot usually keeps my mind off the sickness. Sure, I crash hard at the end of the day, and have probably extended my sickness a few more days, but I've done my job. The footage usually doesn't suffer, which is always a miracle.
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Old July 19th, 2011, 04:46 PM   #6
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re: What do you do when you take ill

Same as everyone else. As I get older it get's harder but you do what you have to do.
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Old July 19th, 2011, 06:43 PM   #7
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re: What do you do when you take ill

Being apart of a video organization has given me a wonderful group of people I could rely on in a short notice.

Turn your "competition" into friends.
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Old July 19th, 2011, 07:06 PM   #8
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re: What do you do when you take ill

That's not a fun situation to be in for sure. I've worked 2 weddings this year already while sick .. and one of them was on a day that was very hot and humid. I just posted the highlight from it actually:

JJ + Estee | Wedding Highlights | Serendipity Studios

In nearly 9 years now of doing this I've never missed a wedding for illness. Like others have said, I just suck it up and get it done. The hardest part is maintaining your awareness and your quality control.

Have lots of Gatorade and water on hand, and stay hydrated. Also, someone else mentioned vitamin C. At the first sign of illness I start taking ColdEaze or ColdRescue or something like that, which is basically a vitamin C and zinc combo to help you recover faster and not get the worst symptoms. Seems to work alright usually .. it helps.

If I was ever literally too sick to shoot then I would reach out to other professionals in my network. If they were booked I would reach out to anyone else I felt I could trust. If no one was available then I simply would have to tell the bride I can't make it and refund her money. But honestly, I've been pretty sick and shot before so I would pretty much have to be dying to ever back out on a bride.
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Old July 20th, 2011, 09:08 AM   #9
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re: What do you do when you take ill

Same here, I would have done the shoot myself. I remember shooting a wedding with a full blown gout, I was limping throughout the day. I wasnt as active as I would normally would but I pulled it off.
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Old July 22nd, 2011, 11:51 AM   #10
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re: What do you do when you take ill

It's funny how we all complain about the competition ("there are videographers everywhere!"), but when we fall sick, the picture suddenly changes ("there aren't any videographers around!").

This is where is pays to pay attention to the little guys, to take on an intern, to train a friend, and to collaborate with industry peers. Don't expect to make these connections in a day.

These connections are important not just when you take ill, but when you need an extra hand, have a double booking, or want to bounce ideas off someone. I'm sure it's not as effortless in a rural area, but it is definitely possible.

Good luck!
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Old July 23rd, 2011, 05:30 PM   #11
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re: What do you do when you take ill

I had a wedding booked for St Patricks Day. Day before I was in he ER with a torn ACL & MCL. I hobbled around in the worst pain ever but still managed to shoot the wedding. Since then, I always have a backup plan, even if it means paying someone else to shoot, I edit, but make no money.
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Old July 24th, 2011, 07:38 AM   #12
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re: What do you do when you take ill

There have been 2 times when i had been immobilized completely, one time with a back problem and couldn't walk for a week, luckily I had no wedding planned during that week but a week after that I had to film, I just asked my father with me as i could still barely walk. Second time I have been in the hospital for a week with a nasty infection, again I was lucky it was beginning of the year so no weddings planned. Fever on the other hand has not hold me back, if I can stand i will go and take a few days to rest after that wedding day.

I intend to spend more time on networking with other videographers, there will come a time where you have no options left and need to rely on your "competitor", even if it will mean you will not make any money out of it.
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Old July 24th, 2011, 07:14 PM   #13
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re: What do you do when you take ill

I think the main problem is that if you know someone who has the skill/creativity/personality to cover for you when you are too sick, then that person is probably already booked in a last-minute situatuion. So would you really want to use someone who isn't booked? We just work even if we are sick.
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Old July 25th, 2011, 03:02 AM   #14
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re: What do you do when you take ill

yes, but what do you do if you break your leg? if you are a 2-3 person organisation then you can have it covered but if you work alone, like me, you don't have many options left.
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Old July 25th, 2011, 07:07 AM   #15
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re: What do you do when you take ill

Hi Noa

I assume you have a liability clause in your contract. Mine is limited to refund of all funds already paid so at the very worst I don't lose anything. However put yourself in the bride's shoes when the videographer breaks his leg 2 days before the wedding and I think you do need some sort of backup but as already said at that stage most of the decent videographers are already booked!!

I wonder what the best option would be in that case??? Hire the only guy left in town because his work is so bad or refund her money and let her have a wedding without video!!

The real answer if you work alone is to either marry a female videographer and train her to be as good as you and then you have a backup you can actually trust!!! or convince your wife to be a videographer!!

Luckily it has never happened to me but I have had a bride who's video guy cancelled 3 months before and I did the job for her...he obviously washed his hands of the whole thing and relied on her to find a replacement.

I certainly hope it never happens to any of us!!!

Chris
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