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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old August 4th, 2011, 04:34 PM   #31
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Re: Your actions when bride cut filming in half?

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Originally Posted by Corey Graham View Post
I guess I'm a special case among most of the forum members here. Wedding videography isn't my full-time business; it's done on the side from my regular 50-hour-a-week career. I don't incur any debt from doing it, and I love being paid for something I really enjoy doing.

I also believe that people are indeed out of money at this point, in general. The majority of what people spend on weddings is on credit -- money they don't have. Being that the economy is in the state it's in right now, I'd much rather people not hire a videographer, thus not spend money they don't have, than to go deeper into debt.

I am indeed a professional, and not a "slave." I make good money doing this, but also love to serve others with what I'm able to do.
Corey, I'm your neighbor here in NJ and the economy has not hurt the wedding business at all. My #'s have grown steadily the past few years. No one is paying me with credit cards..always a personal check.
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Old August 4th, 2011, 04:50 PM   #32
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Re: Your actions when bride cut filming in half?

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Originally Posted by Michael Simons View Post
Corey, I'm your neighbor here in NJ and the economy has not hurt the wedding business at all. My #'s have grown steadily the past few years. No one is paying me with credit cards..always a personal check.
Hi Michael,

I was talking in general terms, not just the wedding business. This is my first year back into weddings in about 10 years, so I really have no comparison at this point. So far this year, I've had about half credit cards and half checks as payment . . . back in the 90's, I saw a ton of credit cards.
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Old August 4th, 2011, 04:53 PM   #33
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Re: Your actions when bride cut filming in half?

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George,
We have had 3 cancelations and 1 postponed. But I was referring to bride calling and saying now I need you for four hours last minute. That's just trying to pull out after her budget which went up and I am sure video wasn't the only service she contacted and the fact it ended up 9 hours someone must have given her discount.
It seems that some are fortunate to work in a market where the economy is not driving customers to look for discounts or smaller productions. In every area there will be those who are not really effected by the larger economy. My take is still that I'd rather have half a cake than non at all, I know others value their time so much that they rather stay at home and earn nothing than feel cheated by a customer.

If I was getting 110 full paying clients a year as some on here are, I wouldn't be offering discounts.
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Old August 4th, 2011, 06:07 PM   #34
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Re: Your actions when bride cut filming in half?

Frankly speaking Economy hasn't hit us at all. There is always talk and people tend to spend more on anything than video. That has been reality but slowly many others here, somewhere else, us are all trying to change that.

From what I have been told by couples is that most of them hold video last because they have this perception of big huge cameras with lights and crappy product but now that's changing. And it's not about rather sitting home and doing nothing than getting discounts. I do understand in the beginning you have to offer discounts to get your name out, believe me, we all do, I did as well but if you continue to offer that than you are undermining your work and if you don't value your time, no one in the industry will or your clients. It's not an argument but sheer reality.

I bet you there are 80% of those on this forum who charge half of what they should be charging. Not because they like giving discounts but they are afraid that couple will say NO. And honestly there is nothing wrong with that. NO doesn't mean end of the world. People will come to you if your work is good and like I said there are a lot of people on this forum who's work is good.
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Old August 4th, 2011, 07:22 PM   #35
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Re: Your actions when bride cut filming in half?

No offense but based solely on posts 22 and 23, George and Corey don't appear to know much about the REALITIES of commercial video production. The ASSUMPTION that every commercial video is for a deep pockets corporation with willingness to spend money to increase production value is ludicrous.

I work mostly alone and have for 12 years, bringing in freelancers as necessary and we have EXACTLY the same sorts of discussions with our clients as you do. Especially around conventions and conferences: "we overspent on catering so we need you to do more for less now".

As discussed previously, a negotiation takes place about what is proposed to be cut and/or where the additional resources need to come from.

I understand that a wedding is more PERSONAL than a best practices, training or promo video or convention multicam coverage but to suggest that we are free of financial constraints, often last minute, is untrue. In fact, I often deal with event planners (not unlike folks planning a wedding...) who are MAJORLY stressed that they have overspent and have "run out" of money and that THEY are worried about THEIR reputation if they can't deliver what they promised. Often these folks see the "pie in the sky" world of video production as the area where they can save. Sometimes I'm able to help, sometimes they NEED to find more cash. Which is why I TRY to engage clients in discussion as EARLY in the process as I can... Which almost never happens! <laughs>

The only thing I can EXPECT from a lot of my clients (who are often sole proprietors or small entrepreneurial businesses) in the way of ongoing business is a referral.

There are far more similarities than differences.
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Old August 4th, 2011, 07:32 PM   #36
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Re: Your actions when bride cut filming in half?

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Originally Posted by Shaun Roemich View Post
No offense but based solely on posts 22 and 23, George and Corey don't appear to know much about the REALITIES of commercial video production.
Hi Shaun,

No offense taken. However, I've been in the commercial video production field for over 15 years now. I've been a part of about every imaginable form of commercial video production -- events, legal, corporate, TV, movies, web, documentary, etc. -- and I quite understand the realities of the field.

When you're working solely in the wedding video market, you've got to use a much different business model than most other kinds of video. Most likely, you're dealing directly with Joe off the street. He's much different in his expectations and willingness to spend money than, say, a corporate or legal client.

Wedding video production is unlike any other.
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Old August 4th, 2011, 07:59 PM   #37
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Re: Your actions when bride cut filming in half?

To add to that I do think weddings and corporate are different in many ways but not much depending on your skills. I have been in production for 10 years...both wedding, corporate and whatever else you can imagine. I find that in the beginning, I was a slow shooter and always took forever to set up a shot and believe me people who do that are awesome and there is nothing wrong with that but after doing 100 odd weddings, I always know exactly what I want, whether it's a music video, concept, corporate, short film. Yes planning is always there but you have to make quick decisions in weddings and I find that has helped me become a better director, filmmaker, editor etc.

As far as discount is concerned, it depends on your target market not industry. As a starter I used to be asked by small companies and not so high budget wedding clients for discount. Now that both our businesses are established, there are handful who ask for discount and that's because they are oddly from the wrong market that we target.

Bottom line in my opinion, who you targetting. Is it 20 Big fishes a year or 50 small fishes a year?
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Old August 4th, 2011, 08:59 PM   #38
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Re: Your actions when bride cut filming in half?

Edgar,

That's why I require the balance 10 days prior to the wedding. I have then sign a contract stating the amount at the time of the deposit and if that is not the amount paid, I reserve the right to cancel and keep the deposit. I've actually done it twice where they wanted to do to me what they did to you.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 12:10 AM   #39
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Re: Your actions when bride cut filming in half?

Edgar, you kindly responded that you were going to put my suggestion (which would have left you with the same original price/contract but with production and payment spread over a longer period) to your clients. In the end you compromised and worked longer for slightly less.

I'm not questioning your decision but I would like to know what your clients objected to in my option.

Finally with 30 years of commercial and corporate production experience I think Shaun is dead wrong; there are fundamental differences. Weddings are one-off and retail. Commercial/corporate is (hopefully) repeat business (I had one blue chip client for almost the entire 30 years) and funded on a business basis. Those two characteristics alone make a huge difference.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 03:14 AM   #40
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Re: Your actions when bride cut filming in half?

It's clear there are big differences in the business models. In one, we do the work and they invoice and sometimes they pay within the 30 day terms, but frequently 60 days is too common. The wedding people seem to get their money up front, before they've even done any work. This is great for them, and I wish I could do the same - but it does seem to be a cause of the bollshiness we often read about. They pay a fair sum up front, and wait a fair while for the product, which they may like, or not. This does sort of give them permission to make changes. It causes bad feeling, and tension. However, with the business model of money in the bank before work, I guess you can live with it. It's better than my business model where I work for free for two months and then hopefully get paid!
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Old August 5th, 2011, 04:21 AM   #41
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Re: Your actions when bride cut filming in half?

Once again I find that the responses are making this a lively debate with some passionately held views. The way that some of the arguments become polarised goes to show that the diverse community that contributes to DVinfo cannot provide a panacea for a sound business model.

Different goals, resources, markets, skills and even personality makes defining the correct way to conduct business impossible. It all too quickly turns into 'camps' who delight in gainsaying others' experiences or business ethic, I recognise my own compliance in this.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 04:42 AM   #42
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Re: Your actions when bride cut filming in half?

Hi Guys

I do both and my wedding business model demands 2/3rd's up front and the balance on delivery..maybe this is because it's a one off job and if they never get to pay you there is no "I'll never do any more jobs for you cos you didn't pay for the last one" Hence the upfront terms.

I do regular Realty shoots for two Realtors and I'm lucky as they usually pay me within 7 days but then again this is all repeat business and I'm virtually doing weekly shoots for them (I think I was close to 160 shoots in the last tax year which equalled my wedding income and it's still ongoing so even if I had to wait 30 days I'd be pretty happy.

My feelings on wedding payments are much like Philip...they must show a decent amount of faith by paying a substantial amount upfront and I do the same and shoot their wedding, but as it's a one-off with no chance of repeat business (from them) I do need them to pay the balance on delivery!!
I haven't ever been let down yet!!

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Old August 5th, 2011, 07:15 AM   #43
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Re: Your actions when bride cut filming in half?

George, don't beat yourself up about your principles or the way you express them; I know we're friends but I don't think anyone reading them would consider your postings "gainsaying others".

What I would be prepared to add to my other comments on this thread is that very few if any commercial/corporate programme makers are amateurs - they simply wouldn't be able to service or supply the market.

The fact that there seem to be so many amateurs or hobbyists in the wedding business is what gets it its bad reputation. For example, that guy swearing when the camera fell over simply wouldn't get paid if he was working for a corporate client. It's hardly surprising the wedding clients think of video as a low priority and that they can press us on price.

And that's where this business of getting paid comes in. I'll go so far as to say it's unconscionable greed to demand full payment before doing a stroke of work. Half plus a deposit is more than enough security before the date. To say that it's standard practice is no excuse and doesn't make it any better.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 08:22 AM   #44
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Re: Your actions when bride cut filming in half?

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Originally Posted by Philip Howells View Post
George, don't beat yourself up about your principles or the way you express them; I know we're friends but I don't think anyone reading them would consider your postings "gainsaying others".

What I would be prepared to add to my other comments on this thread is that very few if any commercial/corporate programme makers are amateurs - they simply wouldn't be able to service or supply the market.

The fact that there seem to be so many amateurs or hobbyists in the wedding business is what gets it its bad reputation. For example, that guy swearing when the camera fell over simply wouldn't get paid if he was working for a corporate client. It's hardly surprising the wedding clients think of video as a low priority and that they can press us on price.

And that's where this business of getting paid comes in. I'll go so far as to say it's unconscionable greed to demand full payment before doing a stroke of work. Half plus a deposit is more than enough security before the date. To say that it's standard practice is no excuse and doesn't make it any better.
I agree. I wouldn't pay any service in full until the work was completed.
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