1st wedding video - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 28th, 2012, 03:09 AM   #16
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Re: 1st wedding video

Thanks for that insight Dave

I can honestly see that if you provide a bigger and better service then the cost to the bride (provided it doesn't go thru the ceiling) is justified.. eg : You will get two videographers all day and all night plus we will cover not only all the events on the day, but also do a pre wedding shoot of you and your fiancee and then intimate interviews before the wedding with the parents too. Then we will film you leaving and follow your limo to the honeymoon hotel and finally finish up at 2am before you close the doors.

The scenario above is, of course, ficticious and not one I offer, but I could see how something like that could command a $5K price tag since you are shooting over maybe 3 days ...sorta like the BBC documentaries that show not only the day but all the planning from start to finish.

I KNOW I'm a skeptic but I fail to still see how a ceremony and reception shot with pro cameras over a 12 hour period can command prices from as little as the median $1.5-$2K right up to $10K???? Nigel has already said "It's art!!" but I would still feel a bit guilty jacking up my prices by as much as 5 times the norm for coverage of the same choreographed event (let's face it most of your footage IS choreographed unless it's a TV re-enactment) I shoot the speeches on two cameras with lot's of audience cutaways and I still fail to see how that can be transposed into a work of art....the only event I can truly see given extreme artistic flair would be the photoshoot and I'm not sure about Long, but here the photographer is already jumping up and down cos the bride has only allowed an hour for photos and I have already taken a chunk out of that and to create a masterpiece with the couple you would probably need a good 2 hours of creative shooting, which we never get!!

Maybe as videographers we need to say "Damn I'm good!! I'm going to charge $1000 an hour for my creativity from now on" ??

I must admit I'm still lost as to how to turn a 2K wedding into a $10K one with the same amount of work!

I really do appreciated your down to earth reply..now that makes sense to me!!

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 28th, 2012, 10:03 AM   #17
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Toronto & Montreal
Posts: 188
Re: 1st wedding video

Hi Chris & Dave,

Like almost every industry out there, there is no doubt that the low-end, mid-range market is where most people belong. Not everyone drives a luxurious car, not everyone eats out at fancy restaurants, not everyone wears designer's clothes all the time, and finally, not every bride will have the budget to hire a high-end filmmaker for their wedding.

The truth is, if you're currently catering to the budget-conscious crowd, it is in fact very hard and scary to abandon that market and suddenly become a high-end company. Just like it would be to own a burger joint and suddenly wanting to turn it into a 5-star restaurant. You simply don't change that overnight. It takes time, planning, investment and hardwork to reach a certain skill level, to build a reputation, to reach a different market.

My initial post in this thread was not a magical formula suggestion to turn your business into a high-end company that charges 5 times more within 2 days. It was really only to address the behavior that one can have when it comes to the amount of time and effort they should put into their work. You can't just sit there and wonder why your business isn't successful if you don't even want to make some sacrifice and invest time & money to find ways to improve it.

There are so many ways one can improve their work and add production value to it. It all starts by being the critic of our own work and ask ourselves questions to find out what we can do to become better.

To give a few examples of elements that can add production value to our film (in no particular order)...

- Storytelling:
Do your films tell compelling stories that move people? If not, how can you improve that? Is it the way you capture it? Is it the way you edit it?

- Quality of your images:
Do every frame of your videos show outstanding images? If not, what can do you about it?

- Colors:
Are you a master of color grading? Are your wedding films colored as nicely as a holliwood movies?

- Composition:
Do you nail the visual composition in every shot you capture? Do you film from the best angles all the time? Do you cover enough angles to make your film look more creative and interesting?

- Audio:
Do you capture the best audio? Do you edit the audio properly?

- Soundtrack:
Does your soundtrack blend perfectly with your visuals? Does it help support or increase the emotion, flow and energy of your film?

- Camera movement:
Do you have any interesting camera movement in your films that can make your piece more interesting visually?

I could go on and on and I think there are infinite ways to improve ourselves and add production value to our work. We don't have to change everything at once and start increasing our rates by 5-10 times, but we can definitely start looking at one area that we can improve and start working towards getting better and slowly raise our price as the quality of our work starts improving and become more noticeable.

For example, if you currently charge $2000 for your work and most other videographers in your area are around the same price. And when you compare your work with them, it all looks about the same. Obviously, you will be all on the same level. Brides who shop around and compare your work will see no difference but the price.

Now if you started adding a bit more interesting camera movements to your films, let's say you start using a steadicam and do an amazing job with it and none of the other guys do. Obviously, your piece will have a slightly higher production value than everyone else around you. Brides will probably notice that there is something that makes your film more interesting to watch. If you start increasing your price by a little, your clients will understand that it's worth the little extra because they already start liking your work a bit better.

Imagine if you start improving every little aspect of your work and start increasing your rate as you get better and better, how far you can eventually go?
Long Truong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 28th, 2012, 11:29 AM   #18
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,064
Re: 1st wedding video

I just had a Déjà vu, something tells me we already had this discussion before ;) but since we are at it, there is one thing I like to add in regard to storytelling, as that is often also used as a selling point. As I see it, you need a voice telling a story to back that up, I have seen several American trailers where the bride and groom write some kind of short letter to each other explaining their feelings and they get to read it in the morning? Often they read it out loud and than ofcourse it's bingo, you have got material to create your story, or when they have personal written vows, bingo again, and what about speeches, where the father of the bride tells personal stuff, or the brides sister starts crying during her speech.

I can tell you that I have done some weddings that are pretty boring with very little to no visual emotion, in church the vows are often standard church text and the groom gives a very short speech at the reception just to welcome everybody and that's it. How on earth are you going to create a story out of this, not even the best videographer in the world can work with 'air' only. For me this is just a series of events and you try to capture it as good as possible and ad some creative shots, just like a business event I often cover as well, you just show what happens and that's it.

As a videographer I think you should always be careful with what you promise, you can create visual art of someone's wedding but you can't create a story if you don't have the right material.
Noa Put is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 28th, 2012, 01:06 PM   #19
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Toronto & Montreal
Posts: 188
Re: 1st wedding video

It's definitely not a myth that using voice overs will help make the story become much more interesting. However, I've seen people done it without voice over and still delivered high quality work. You just have to be more creative and work harder at finding ways to tell stories with visuals and sequence your clips in a nice way... which is obviously easier said than done :P

But I think this really confirms how there is always room for improvement. Something I personally highly recommend is to invest in education. There are people out there who inspire us and are able to help us improve and become better filmmakers. Sometimes, we just can't quickly figure everything out on our own.
Long Truong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 28th, 2012, 11:32 PM   #20
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Re: 1st wedding video

Hi Noa

Yeah, I do apologise for turning this thread into another that was already thrashed to death!!!

When I was still shooting weddings on VHS tape (yep that was a LONG time back) I yearned to do weddings differently but never actually go around to it....a real story of the couple and their feelings their friends and family (on both sides) Most of the "documentary" would be much like the current BBC series of programs that we get here where the crew start with the wedding planning and the hassles of finding a venue plus of course their time together...that has a professional presenter who tells the story and it is really a interesting way to preserve memories of your wedding day rather than just do the day itself. Obviously this entails a lot more work than just turning up on the day and filming the wedding as the crew start filming probably a good month before the actual day.

I think it works mainly because the story line is traditional and the climax as in most stories is at the end..you get a slow but interesting build up and the last bit of the film is the actual wedding itself. I found the link but this series is one where only the groom organises everything BUT it does show how a really fascinating documentary could be made with a couple and very viewable too!! http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01glzjk

This could quite easily be a totally new market for weddings and the storyline content is far more compelling that just documenting the events on the day. I wonder if anyone does this for brides already??

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2012, 01:20 AM   #21
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,064
Re: 1st wedding video

That's exactly what I mean with real story telling, we have this kind of program in Belgium as well with the main focus on all the preparation of the wedding as they follow the couples around for days, even though the wedding itself is "the climax" it's the shortest part of it, and that weddingpart, which is the main focus for us all, takes up maybe 5% of the complete programm.

We weddingvideographers try to tell a story but we just have to work with what we get the day itself and honestly, it's not real storytelling, we just make or clients believe we do. We just cover a day and some have the art of doing it very creatively and if they are lucky they get a couple and family/friends that is very open about their feelings and only then you have something you can use to edit in a way that make it look like a story, but it's not a "real" story, and if you get a "closed" family that shows very little emotion, it just becomes a fancy looking documentary, no matter who films it.
Noa Put is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2012, 03:02 AM   #22
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Re: 1st wedding video

Thanks Noa

I like your parallel thinking!! You have to bear in mind that on the day everything is rushed as they seldom leave any time for serious storytelling. Here it's all rush rush, the bride is already late, you have to be at the Church in time to setup and the ceremony itself is totally scripted so it does tend to be more of a record of an already carefully planned day all run to a schedule with times for this and times for that.

I think I am going to do some market research and response enthusiasm on brides to see how they feel about having a a real story so it would be more of "Our Wedding Story" and less of "Our Wedding Day"

I'm not a bride of course, but if I was, I would like to look back and see how the planning went, trying on bridal gowns, the guys deciding on suits and discussing the flowers. An intimate interview with the couple when they are relaxed and comfortable and all their thoughts and feelings would make something like this a story worth watching...definately also involve the parents from both sides too.

From a shooting point of view it's a lot more work with certainly more than one shoot if you include the couple themselves, the parents, the fittings and the rehearsal and more before you even get to the day but I still think it would work very well.

Have you or any other of your competition done anything like this???

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2012, 03:30 AM   #23
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,064
Re: 1st wedding video

Quote:
Have you or any other of your competition done anything like this???
No, there is no paying market for this type of documentary here, what we see on tv doesn't cost the couple anything, for the tv makers it's ofcourse big bucks because you do have a big tv audience that loves to have a look behind the scenes and I can only imagine the couple really likes to be in the centre of attention knowing thousands of people will be watching them very closely and sharing some very personal stuff. I've seen a cameracrew at work at such a wedding documentary and they really get up VERY close with their camera's, not like we try to do, to keep some distance, those guys breath in your neck all day long. They just care about getting the shot, no matter who's view they block. They also have a sound guy and one doing the interviews, he asks questions of which he knows the bride might start crying because that sells.

I gave up trying to do something new, adding something more to their day, it's just not rewarding enough and everything you add doesn't get paid for anyway. I do try to get my images and audio as perfect as I can because that's still my main goal everytime I do a wedding, I"m very happy when I see my footage and see that everything worked out really well but that's not all the time :) But at least I gave my very best but it frustrates me if I make mistakes.
Noa Put is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2012, 06:18 AM   #24
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Re: 1st wedding video

Hi Noa

Bear in mind what Long said a couple of posts back :

"And I don't really believe in not having a market in your area. It's more about being able to reach the desired market than not having one. Even in the poorest areas in the world, you will always find people who can afford eating out at nice restaurants and driving nice cars. Why wouldn't there be people who will be willing to pay more for better wedding videos as well? If you haven't found them yet, it could be because you haven't found a way to get to them yet, but it doesnt' mean they don't exist"

Brides here cry about spending $1.5K on a traditional wedding video but will happily spend $4K or $5K on a bunch of images on paper .... Doing a storyline wedding in a unique style might just attract brides that ARE prepared to pay a little more ... we are talking here about basically more stories and less wedding time itself so you would probably not need to stay to the end but allocate those 3 odd hours back into a pre-wedding shoot so the overall shoot time isn't going to be massively different BUT the concept would be totally different and most brides might just find the extra money if they were smitten with the concept...besides we are not talking huge amounts of money either.

Tell me seriously, IF you doubled your current price (to cover your extra shoot/edit time) AND brides were fighting to book you because of your uniquely different shoot concept and no-one else did anything like you wouldn't they find the extra cost ??? ... remember if you offer something unique it's value can be any figure you choose as brides have nothing to compare it with... brides pay $3000 for a dress they wear just once and never again...it's all value and desire and if you can create a scenario where she says "I have got to have that" then, like the wedding dress, cost doesn't even come into it.

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2012, 06:43 AM   #25
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,064
Re: 1st wedding video

I like discussions like this :) Anyways, some time ago I thought, "lets do a save the date, that should be fun" Its a concept that has not been established that well here. (you hardly see any STD or prewedding or whatever they are called videos on wedding videographer sites)

So I offered one completely free, was about 2 months on my site, total applicants: 2, I ended up with one great couple and they wanted a short film about the way they met, I spend a lot of time writing out every scene and every shot to get it all shot on 1,5 day, I thought, better spend more on it so I have a great demo. According to my standards it turned out pretty good, they were over the moon, showed it on a wedding forum and it has been viewed about 400 times now, so for me that should mean 400 potential clients as it was a private youtube link only accessible on that forum. the remarks the couple got on that forum was all like "oooh", and "aaah". If I compare what my direct competitors are offering, the few that do this, I'd say one can show the same quality, the rest looks quite amateurish and I can also say that this video is quite unique in a way that no competitor has done this type of effort in producing a "scripted" video. The video has been live for 2 months and my starting price for a video like this is about 620 dollar and going up from there depending on the hours I have to spend on preparing and/or editing. The numbers of new requests I have had so far: 0.
Would doubling or tripling my price make any difference :)
Noa Put is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2012, 07:21 AM   #26
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Re: 1st wedding video

Hi Noa

I was thinking more on this guys lines..he tells the story very well and it's a joy to watch..no fancy camera work just clever story-telling!!

Wedding Documentary = 'Wedumentary' - YouTube

Admittedly you would have to intercut interviews done maybe the week leading up to the wedding for bridal prep but I do love his story telling technique!!

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2012, 10:14 AM   #27
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Toronto & Montreal
Posts: 188
Re: 1st wedding video

Hi Chris,

I'm glad that you are looking at other people's work to get inspiration and identify the things you like and evaluate the possibility to incorporate them in your own work. It's always a good thing to look for ways to get better.

What you said you like from Dan Perez's storytelling is one of the many things that will contribute to improving a piece and adding production value to it.

Admittedly, his camera work is not the most fancy and visually stunning around, but this only means that even if his storytelling is enjoyable, he still has other areas he could work on to make his work even better and again, add even more production value.

We just need to keep looking at what we do and what others do and try to find ways to improve all the time.

Obviously, like Noa's example, there will be times when we feel like we've worked so hard and invested so much to try new things but the return isn't as great as we would have wished; but I think that we shouldn't let things like that stop us from trying to get better.

The worst thing that can happen to me is to either think that I've already tried my best and accept that there is nothing else that can be done, or to think that I'm already too good and that there's no more way I can improve.
Long Truong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2012, 10:50 AM   #28
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,064
Re: 1st wedding video

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
I was thinking more on this guys lines..he tells the story very well and it's a joy to watch..no fancy camera work just clever story-telling!!
Yes, I see what you mean now, that however is a speciality of its own, you see the guy doesn't have that good video skills but I bet he knows what questions to ask and when. I do however think that something like this would be more possible to sell as a unique pre-wedding package as long as you can find people that are willing to talk that open in front of a camera. Maybe I"ll trow in another freebee at the end of the year to try this formula :D
Noa Put is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2012, 02:02 PM   #29
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Toronto & Montreal
Posts: 188
Re: 1st wedding video

If you are interested in the pre-wedding interview concept, maybe this can give you some inspiration:

Luxmi + Rishi | Fresh Wedding Intro on Vimeo
Long Truong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2012, 02:31 PM   #30
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK
Posts: 3,445
Re: 1st wedding video

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
I KNOW I'm a skeptic but I fail to still see how a ceremony and reception shot with pro cameras over a 12 hour period can command prices from as little as the median $1.5-$2K right up to $10K???? Nigel has already said "It's art!!"
The prices here in the UK start from around £400($500) & I would estimate that the median price is probably well under £1000($1250). These prices are from full time video professionals never mind the prices of the weekend warriors making some beer money from their hobby & not declaring their income to the revenue. The quality at those prices is often pretty shoddy & the style is often incredibly boring with just a single static camera that zooms in & out to relieve the monotony. So it's not so difficult to stand out from the crowd with a more 'artistic' product but we are pleased to get £2000-3000 for a big wedding in London whereas we would charge half that for a local one here in rural Norfolk. We would love to be able to charge the equivalent of $10K but haven't yet met the right couple. It does bug me that the average price for hiring a wedding photographer is higher than that of the average wedding video. The price differential is even more drastic when you consider the scope for all that extra income from selling fancy albums to the couple & prints to the guests.
Nigel Barker is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:00 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network