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Old September 27th, 2011, 12:28 PM   #1
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Did anyone in UK watch Dragons Den last night?

If so what are your thoughts about the 'Shoot It Yourself' approach to wedding DVD?
I seems that at least one of the investors thinks it has potential.
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Old September 27th, 2011, 06:43 PM   #2
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Re: Did anyone in UK watch Dragons Den last night?

Just watched it on BBC iplayer.

The company is Shoot It Yourself:
Wedding Videos / Wedding Videographer / Wedding DVDs / Wedding Videos London / Wedding Videos Essex / Shoot It Yourself/ Film Your Own Wedding

I recall seeing this company when they charged considerably less than the starter of 749 and thinking what a bad idea it was then. Now they are charging much more they are putting themselves under considerably more pressure to produce quality from garbage footage because of increased client expectations.

They seem to be hoping that filming will always take place in the most benign and forgiving of circumstances and that clients will be happy to receive just a voxpop succession of very short scenes of guests goofing around. Woe on them the moment anything such as backlit subjects presents itself, and we can only imagine how bad the audio is always going to be.

Not to mention that for that sort of money clients would be able to find at least some experienced videographers prepared to shoot "proper" footage.

The Dragon who invested said that she has lots of ideas. Perhaps she has identified areas outside of the wedding market. Lets hope so for her sake!

Pete
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Old September 28th, 2011, 09:45 AM   #3
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Re: Did anyone in UK watch Dragons Den last night?

But they are very successful, and there is obviously a market for this kind of service.
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Old September 28th, 2011, 10:02 AM   #4
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Re: Did anyone in UK watch Dragons Den last night?

I watched the Anna & Ade sample on their site.

Just as you might suspect its crammed with incorrectly exposed, missed focus, and poorly composed shots. Just take a look at the ceremony coverage such as it is. Most of the time the right half of the screen is blocked by the guests standing in front of the camera operator; and it is of course shot from the back so forget about capturing the couples expressions.

I think they are setting themselves up for a bad fall. Its not a huge fee but its not pocket money either. People are not going to readily write it off. And claiming that the equipment is broadcast quality strongly implies that the clients will receive clear crisp footage. If they want to resort to blaming the clients for not following their tutorials or not trying hard enough ..... well good luck to them with that!

I'd put it in the same league as throwaway stills cameras left on the guests tables for the reception. But hugely more expensive. Or those aweful evening stills shoots with guests wearing funny hats and tashes. Appealing only up to a point.

As for their success so far. They claimed to have completed 80 cases but that did not tally with their claim of 10-15 bookings per month. Also they used to charge more like 300 and some assignments included a proper videographer so those counterbalance the gross figures.

The dragon must have something up her sleeve as I can't believe she regards it as a goer in its current form.

Pete
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Old September 29th, 2011, 03:07 AM   #5
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Re: Did anyone in UK watch Dragons Den last night?

I have read on other forums about this madness, and personally I think they won't last long. Quality is really poor, for this money...Plus, what kind of image they showing to all future brides and grooms about wedding videos overall....or might be this will be a good comparison between real professional video and them.
I would give them a name: "How not to shoot it your self" ;)
Anyway good luck to them!
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Old September 29th, 2011, 11:58 AM   #6
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Re: Did anyone in UK watch Dragons Den last night?

Don't knock it. They are offering a type of wedding video that their customers want. It's that faux amateur wobbly cam reality TV look with garish captions. The two ladies apparently worked at MTV & BBC3 (the Beeb's yoof oriented channel) so it's hardly surprising what sort of video they are producing. The actual process of filming is also an entertainment for the wedding guests just like having disposable cameras on every table.

Different couples want different things from their wedding video. Shoot It Yourself are offering another option besides short form cinematic or traditional documentary style.

One very good thing is that their prices are realistic. Many wedding film makers woefully underprice their offerings so if SIY set a benchmark of 750-1000 for their edit-only product then it can only be good for all of us. Incidentally their prices include many extras e.g. 25 for an extra DVD, 20 for a personalised DVD cover & even 175 to jump the queue & have your video ready within a week.
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Old September 29th, 2011, 02:37 PM   #7
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Re: Did anyone in UK watch Dragons Den last night?

That was my thought... from across the pond.

Very much in the "reality show"/MTV edit style, which no doubt is entertaining for the moment - probably like zooming hearts and stars transitions and perhaps shallow depth of (out of) focus shots (running, ducking and covering!). I even caught someone discovering the IR/nightshot function on the Sony cams! WHOO HOO, "Ghost Bride Hunters"...


Looked to me like they relied upon having a boatload of footage, so they must rely on the shooter to be "trigger happy". Condensing 6-7 hours of footage must definitely require a certain mindset (something akin to enjoying being poked in the eye with a fork over and over and over), but then again I can see where it in theory could be profitable...at least until one loses one's mind... those plucky lasses seemed to have already gone over the edge, and were enjoying it, so there you go... my sort of people actually, at least when I was younger and crazier!

On a small Island like the UK where logistics of delivery shouldn't be an issue, it's actually an interesting business model. if my mental calculations were correct, the break even on the equipment rentals was 2-3 rentals, so that's pretty good, and after that, it's just editing time... hmmm...
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Old September 29th, 2011, 04:39 PM   #8
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Re: Did anyone in UK watch Dragons Den last night?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
and after that, it's just editing time... hmmm...
How much editing time would be needed to produce something half decent out of that rubbishy footage is anyones guess. It just seems scary when one thinks about how many unhappy customers there could be.
And while they would only have themselves to blame for the footage, as we all know there is no end to how much editing can be done.
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Old September 29th, 2011, 11:32 PM   #9
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Re: Did anyone in UK watch Dragons Den last night?

That's a definite downside - 6-7 hours of badly shot footage could leave one bald... but then again, this is the generation that sits and browses YouTube for hours, this would seem right up their alley...
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Old September 30th, 2011, 05:50 PM   #10
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Re: Did anyone in UK watch Dragons Den last night?

True. Im not against this so strongly. I agree with previous comments.
If anything it will help to illustrate the value of hiring a pro over DIY
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Old October 3rd, 2011, 05:13 PM   #11
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Re: Did anyone in UK watch Dragons Den last night?

I thought it was quite a neat idea, especially if people are willing to pay the price. It also taps into the Youtube/MTV generation with wobbly cam and shakes for effect - at least the couple cannot blame the videographer for poor lighting or missing scenes. I do think they are hire company 1st rather than wedding video producers. You could go about the same business model for just about anything....could be DJ's and photographers next. Imagine hiring out DSLR's for selected wedding guests to take photos which are then sent back to be included in an Italian style photo album. Or the DJ hires out their rig and the guests get behind the 'decks' to play whatever songs they care to listen/dance to.


Just a thought........
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Old October 3rd, 2011, 10:57 PM   #12
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Re: Did anyone in UK watch Dragons Den last night?

I'm guessing Dragon's Den is the equivalent of the US show "Shark Tank"... and apparently the investors (or at least one) felt good enough about the business to invest for expansion.

I'm sure the resulting footage is "interesting" - I've seen some guys whip out the "Flips" and shoot a wedding - I guess it's better than "nothing", but it's not the most watchable footage. As a practical matter, give a few monkeys a primer on camera operation, and you won't get Still Motion, but you might get as good as some ex-wrestler/videographer from the UK who was the topic of another thread here (prolly better, really, as you'd actually GET the footage)!

I've also heard of people with stage/industry connections who go "DIY" - there are probably some advantages to being in front of a camera op who isnt' a stranger, but is someone you've known forever, and you can "let your hair down"...

Increasingly, with the improvements in cameras (I'm presuming part of their financing/backing was to upgrade the aging A1U's and get all MC50's), it doesn't take a LOT of talent to get usable footage - knowing the CX550 (consumer MC50) and what it can achieve, I could see the quality of the productions rising substantially... if you can get the basics of framing down, the camera can pull off quite a bit of the rest, complete with optimization via facial recognition, and very well refined auto performance. And when one considers how "HD" a smart phone or P&S is now, it gets a bit scary...

Not everyone wants a "professional", refined production - and a breezy, casual shoot with MTV editing style may be more popular with the masses than sliders, glidecams, shallow DoF, cranes and all that fancy stuff we spend so much time on... something to ponder anyway!
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Old October 4th, 2011, 03:31 AM   #13
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Re: Did anyone in UK watch Dragons Den last night?

They certainly have found a market niche, how large that will become we can only wait and see. They are reporting that they took 28 bookings at a wedding exhibition at the weekend. The backing of the 'Dragon' has certainly upped their game.

Already here in UK there are clones of the idea, one on a website only registered the day after the programmed aired is offering a much cheaper option using Flips, and many established videographers have started offering guests cams as an extra, or an alternative option.

Those who've been in the business a long time will have seen trends come and go. Only time will tell if this will be a stayer, but with big financial backing, a media personality determined to capitalise her investment, and a generation with a disregard for the 'grammar' of film making values in preference to exciting content, I don't think that they can be lightly dismissed.
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Old October 4th, 2011, 06:59 AM   #14
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Re: Did anyone in UK watch Dragons Den last night?

Hi George

On the button actually!! Yes, they is a niche market there and for a bride wanting a "fun" video it actually does deliver the goods. Then again hopefully the camera operator won't point the camera into any bright light so even on auto it horribily under-exposes the rest of the image. With full auto camcorders you can probably get fair enough footage 90% of the time ..Ok the ceremony audio isn't going to be great, nor that from the speeches but it will be good enough for a LOT of brides.

We do tend to look at things way too technically as wedding videographers and spend a huge amount of time getting things the best we can. Most brides don't even see this and the fact that the bridal vows reverberated around the Church from the poor PA system won't even worry them!!!

I don't think it will replace us professionals but it will certainly have a market with some brides...the price is still a little hefty ???? From 745.00 ???? That's around $1000 and a lot of semi-pros could do a basic wedding for much the same price. I would have expected the price (which consists of the hire of gear and then editing) to be a little cheaper??? If you edited the footage in say, 10 hours you are turning a pretty fair profit of around 75 quid an hour without actually having to attend the wedding!!!

BTW : Is the JVC camera behaving itself now?? Still shooting back in interlaced like me????

Chris
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Old October 4th, 2011, 07:22 AM   #15
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Re: Did anyone in UK watch Dragons Den last night?

Wouldn't most ask friends and family for their opinions before doing this. Most wouldn't chance it and say no, in case it does go belly up.

Anyway the brides mother would probably drop the hammer if she thought her baby wasn't going to appear in the best light.

In time, enough really terrible and cheap looking product around will kill it.

Cheers.
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Last edited by Allan Black; October 4th, 2011 at 09:13 AM. Reason: added last line.
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