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Old October 28th, 2012, 07:24 AM   #16
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Re: Editing Hour for 15min Wedding Film

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I'm doing a budget wedding edit today ..bridal prep shoot, outdoor ceremony, photoshoot on stedicam and reception up to the end of the first dance ....so about 70 -90 minutes of DVD and edit time is estimated at around 10 hours ... that's what I cost at so that the time I have to edit. Seriously what would one actually be doing on a 15 minute video with the 15 hours of "edit time' ...Do you have maybe 60 hours of footage to go thru???
Just by looking at some random wedding demo's on Vimeo I can pretty easy say which one was done in a few hours time and which took 4 times longer, one of those two I stop watching after 30 seconds and the other one I put in my favourites just for inspiration.

I could edit a full wedding in a day as well but it will be very straightforward cutting and adding music, quick money for me and a boring registration for the couple. In that sense I would be a smart businessman but I"m not. I do undercharge because it's almost impossible to charge a normal hour rate for weddings here, if I would I hardly would get a job. But I refuse to cut corners just to save time because for me it would just be a job and once I get that feeling I will quit with filming, it still feels like a passion now and I want that to reflect in my work.
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Old October 28th, 2012, 08:51 AM   #17
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Re: Editing Hour for 15min Wedding Film

Hi Noa

It not the time at all but what you make out of the wedding..If you can charge $7000 for a wedding then you can allocate 10 hours for shooting and 60 hours for editing and you make $100 an hour and the couple get a really stunning product that DID take a week to get perfect.

Now, if your market can only support say $2000 for a full wedding then you still have 10 hours to shoot it but to achieve what you are worth you only have 10 hours to edit it..If that's your market then you obviously need to shoot documentary style but you still make $100 an hour and the bride gets a product that's worth $2000 not $7000 ...It's simple arithmetic ..my market doesn't support $7000 weddings so I shoot documentary style!!

If, of course, you wish to do stunning, cinematic weddings that take you 60 hours to edit and still only charge $2000 then that is entirely up to you...you might have another income source or are just doing weddings cos you love them ...If that's what you want to achieve then I raise my hat to you sir, BUT you ain't gonna make a decent living out of it.

Chris
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Old October 28th, 2012, 03:20 PM   #18
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Re: Editing Hour for 15min Wedding Film

If you want people to pay you more for your work, you have to prove them that you're worth more. Not just once or twice, but time and time again, until everyone is convinced that you are really worth it.

The market doesn't change in just a day or two. It takes time for people to see and understand the value of high quality products. It can take years to perfect your craft, and even longer for people to see the real value of your work.

So it all comes down to what your short-term and long-term goals are. And most importantly, what really makes you happy. If you just want to run a smooth business that is profitable right now, then it is absolutely understandable that you don't see the point of doing more than what you're being paid for.

Otherwise, there are some obvious sacrifices that need to be made. You sometimes just have to bite the bullet, be patient, work harder and try to become better everyday. Success doesn't come easy to everyone.
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Old October 28th, 2012, 05:52 PM   #19
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Re: Editing Hour for 15min Wedding Film

I usually don't do weddings. Just for very close friends and family.
Last 14min film I done took me about 4 hours of editing, including titles, grading and music.

But I was senior editor for years, so I'm used to working extremely efficient.

It also helps, that I don't need to trancode my footage, don't have to render anything (except for final mastering) and know (since I shot it) my material inside out. So there is no need to go through every single clip. I sort them by timecode, start on top and edit along.

Frank
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Old October 28th, 2012, 07:07 PM   #20
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Re: Editing Hour for 15min Wedding Film

Frank, That is quite impressive. It takes more than 4 hours for me to just screening the footages. I use premiere pro cs6 so I don't have to transcode, but still i will never edit in 4 hours for 14min films. Do you set up the story line and music before the edit , much like same day edit, so when you shoot you only take what you need for the edit? Even in that case, it's quite impressive work process. I would appreciate if you share your edit process. Thanks!
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Old October 28th, 2012, 07:45 PM   #21
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Re: Editing Hour for 15min Wedding Film

Hi Long

That's a very admirable attitude but sadly not a good business one... By all means charge maybe a little less when you start but once you can produce a reasonable product then you should be paid for your time.

I really cannot see any reason to take years to prove to "people" that you are worth more? You are worth what you are worth and spending huge amounts of edit time as a dismal hourly rate isn't going to make people think you are worth more. Simply charge what you are worth, end of story and cost your videos according to your maket (it's no good being the best in the world and charging $20K per wedding if the village you live in are all poor) and edit your footage according to your costing.

Chris
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Old October 28th, 2012, 08:07 PM   #22
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Re: Editing Hour for 15min Wedding Film

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Originally Posted by John H. Lee View Post
Footage Screening and Loggin : 6
Multicam Sync and Logging : 2
John, are you shooting the footage, in addition to editing it? If you are shooting, then all the shots should be in your head. At the end of the night, you should be able to visualize how the big puzzle pieces will fit together, eliminating the steps above. If you didn't shoot, then fast forward through the entire day. You'll still be able to visualize how to put everything together once you run it through quickly.
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Old October 28th, 2012, 09:02 PM   #23
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Re: Editing Hour for 15min Wedding Film

Hi John

The earlier you log it the easier it is...if I shoot a wedding on Saturday I log it on Sunday as the shoot, as Warren says, is still fresh in your mind and you remember what you shot...Logging and skipping thru footage shouldn't take you much more than realtime at the most ..normally a lot less!! 6 hours to log seems to indicate you have 10 hours of footage to wade thru..in that case it will take you an awfully long time! Then again logging other peoples footage at a venue where you were not present is very tiresome..I certainly wouldn't want to do that!!!

I'm shooting in AVCHD so my camera creates a clip at every start band stop..logging is simply identifying the clips from the thumbnails and saying OK, clips 23 to 45 is the bridal prep and then as Warren says zip thru the footage with your shuttle control to give a fast forward scan and you are done.

During editing it's useful to remember that you have just the shot you need during the vows for your highlight and your log sheet will tell you which clip to grab and use.

Maybe if you tell us roughly how much you shoot, how many cameras/operators and when you log then we can throw some hints your way to speed up your process.

Chris
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Old October 28th, 2012, 09:21 PM   #24
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Re: Editing Hour for 15min Wedding Film

This is going to be a hint off topic, but goes along with the discussion about value of time spent here.

What too many people don't understand, is how to "cost out" their business. We all have heard a wedding video done doc sxtyle should cost the customer $XXXX and a cinematic style should cost the customer $XXXX more, but few have an idea what it costs THEM to actually produce this for sale. Until you know and understand what your REAL cost is, you have no idea if you are making or losing money on your business, until maybe its too late. Everything associated with creating a wedding video has a cost to you. Everything from the cameras down to the power to run your computer, you have to pay for, in order to create your videos.

Let's start with cameras. You pay $XXXX for them and you will use them for X years. At the end of X years you will be able to sell them for $XXX. The difference between those two amounts is your depreciation and you divide that number by the amount of time, in this case, years. That gives you your annual cost to just own the cameras.

On to your computer. Do the same as with your cameras, calculate your annual cost to just own your computer.

Software or upgrades, same as cameras and computer, you need to calculate your annual cost of owning it.

Audio gear, same as everything else, you need to find your annual cost in this as well.

Tripods and heads, steadicams, sliders, cranes etc. you need this annual cost calculated.

Will you print DVD covers or DVDs ??? Need to calculate the annual cost of that printer and possibly the DVD burner/duplicator if it's separate from the computer.

If you notice, you have not yet shot even one frame of footage or even turned the computer on and already are spending lots of money, to be able to create wedding videos. You say "but Chip, you are a moron, I already OWN all that stuff." I look at you and say "GREAT....now tell me..... where's the money going to come from when you wear it all out???"

SD cards, extra batteries, ink for the printer, DVD blanks and covers, maintenance/repairs on the gear, you need to estimate a total here and make that as an annual cost.

Internet access for the computer, data and cell service for your phone, electricity to run that computer and insanely huge monitor, portions of these bills are associated with your business so you need to calculate a percentage and add these costs to come up with an annual expense.

Website, business cards, pamphlets, flyers, any other forms of advertizing, add them up for an annual cost.

Business use of vehicle or cost of public transportation to get around to conduct business. In the US the government uses approximately $.50 per mile driven, as it's estimate of your cost to drive your own car for business purposes. If you know your use last year, use that. If not, make an estimate of how many miles you will drive for everything and anything related to your business and calculate your mileage expense. If you use public transportation, make an annual estimate of what that will cost you.

I am sure there are others to be added to this list, depending on your situation, your business model etc. Things like health insurance, wages for a second shooter, sublet work for editing or audio, anything you will need to pay for. If you know you already need/use those, add it in as an annual cost.

Now you add all that up and come up with your total annual estimated cost of being in business to be able to create wedding videos for customers. You take that annual total and divide it by the number of weddings you will shoot in a year and you have that portion of your cost per wedding figured out.

What is missing from this list this list so far, is what others are talking about, you haven't paid yourself yet.But if your wedding video costs the customer $3000 and your cost per wedding for expenses is $300, gross to you is down to $2700. You notice those costs don't scale much with the price point the customer pays, they are set regardless of what you charge. So if you only charge $2000, your gross is now $1700.

If you are doing this as a hobby or its your passion and are doing it more for the enjoyment or art of it all, you probably could care less how much money you make. Your personal satisfaction is your goal. If you are looking at this as a business, then you need to cost out your time as well.

To cost out your time for this, you need to consider what job you could have and be doing, during the hours of the day and for the amount of time you are spending creating videos. If you spend just nights and weekends creating videos, that job you could have during those hours would most likely be a low paying job. If you have skills and are doing this during the normal business day, that job you could have could be a more career centered job that pays substantially better. Whichever type job is what you could realistically get to be working and earning a paycheck during the hours you spend now, that is the one you select for this. You need to investigate and determine what an hourly rate of pay and hourly value of BENEFITS would be associated working for someone else instead of creating videos.

In case you don't get it so far, costing you out is about assessing a VALUE to your TIME. Time is a finite commodity and someone will buy it from you, to accomplish something for them. When someone is willing to buy something from you, that's when you determine value. Just like your videos. You may think they are worth $50K but if no one will buy them from you for that price, that is not their true value. But I am digressing here.

So we have your costs per wedding for your gear and expenses and now we should have your cost per hour of what your time could be sold for on the open job market. Take your average number of hours spent shooting and creating your videos and multiply times the hourly rate you could be earning elsewhere to give you your total time value. Take that time value, add it to your expenses total and you come up with a fairly complete costing of what it takes you to create a wedding video for your customer.

You have your total cost now and you already know what you charge. Subtract your cost total from your sales price and that is the amount of profit (if it's a positive number) your company made doing business. If that subtracted amount is a negative number, that is how much it COST YOU to create wedding videos for other people, instead of just working for someone else.
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Old October 28th, 2012, 10:17 PM   #25
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Re: Editing Hour for 15min Wedding Film

Hey Chip

Its far from being off topic as edit time is money time and the longer you edit (unless you are a hobbist) the less money you are making.
It;s a compromise between being a business person and an artist. Just note that wherever you go in the world true artists are usually the poorest of the poor as they dedicate so much time to a work of art that might sell for a fraction of what the artist's time is worth. That's why I still give poor Long a hard time as he tends to look towards the artistic side to generate a reputation and then can charge more for his work.
Musicians tend to be in the same category too (I know, my daughter is one!!)

I did read on another forum once that if you calculate your actually costs plus your time based on what you would be paid in a normal job, a wedding video needs to be above the $3K mark at least to make it worth your while!! Sometimes, of course, brides in your area just won't pay that much!!

It is still very important to look at all your costs...going out to see a couple to sign them up might take a 2 hour chunk out of your day and some mileage and wear and tear on your car too...attending a rehearsal also can do the same thing. You have to keep these costs in check and then it's important to be practical about editing...sitting at the computer fussing over details for 3 hours that the bride won't even see needs to be addressed. We tend to be over critical of our work and way, way to technical as well!! Just remember (unless you have a weird desire to just impress forum viewers with your technical skills) that the bride is really only interested in the content. She isn't going to get out a magnifier to check resolution and technical perfection ...if the shots are in focus and the dresses are the correct colour and the audio is clean..that is all she wants. A perfect example is a bride who showed me a sample from another videographer (shot on a large format sensor) with really stunning focus pulls and a tiny DOF. She wanted to know from me why the people behind her were "fuzzy" and told me she wanted everything "clear" like she saw on my sample DVD.

Take a serious look at your costs, it might be that you could make more money flipping burgers at the weekend with current time usage so it's a very important (though not so interesting) part of being a wedding videographer.

Chris
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Old October 28th, 2012, 11:10 PM   #26
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Re: Editing Hour for 15min Wedding Film

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That's why I still give poor Long a hard time as he tends to look towards the artistic side to generate a reputation and then can charge more for his work.
Hi Chris,

You don't need to worry about giving "poor Long" a hard time for doing things the way I do them. I'm doing just fine with my filmmaking career and I'm confident that the future is looking promising :) I'm simply here to share some thoughts based on my own experience hoping it could help others who are still stuck in the sub $2000 wedding video market and want get out of it.

By no means am I saying that what worked for me would work for everyone else. But I know for sure that it helped me get through darker days when I used to struggle and think that I'll never make enough money to survive in this industry.

Maybe I'm just the luckiest guy in the world and circumstances have lead me to a better path than I ever thought possible. In fact, I do know that I'm one very lucky person for being able to learn from who I believe are the best people in the industry and I'll forever be grateful for that. But nevertheless, I know I've been working very hard for it and will keep on doing so.

If my opinion doesn't reflect yours, please accept my apologies in advance.

Cheers!

Long
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Old October 28th, 2012, 11:41 PM   #27
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Re: Editing Hour for 15min Wedding Film

Hi Long

Not at all..in fact you have my undying admiration for making such a great effort!! As you say it works for you but it might not work for others.

I do weddings strictly as a business not to enhance my creative talent simply because the market doesn't cater for brides who are prepared to spend a decent amount of money...Over here wedding videos are way down the list of priorities whether they are good or not so good so it's considered a bit of an extra..You find here most brides are happy to spend $3K (by niece actually spend $5K!!) on a photographer for 6 hours and then they might get a video IF they have a few pennies left so you know that you are not going to sell a $3K wedding video to them at all. The main reason they get video is if either Mum or Dad pay for it or they have a lot of overseas family who ask for a DVD.

You are doing well so keep doing what you are doing!!

Chris
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Old October 29th, 2012, 02:14 AM   #28
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Re: Editing Hour for 15min Wedding Film

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Originally Posted by Frank Glencairn View Post
Last 14min film I done took me about 4 hours of editing, including titles, grading and music.
Much also depends on how much raw footage you have, if there is one camera used and no external audio recorders and you only have 1 hour of raw material on the timeline, you could do a 14 minute edit in 2 hour or less. I also don't check every single clip, just trow it on the timeline and give a quick scrub over it to maybe check some specific shots to see if I got it right :).

Transcoding is also not necessery in my case in Edius 6.5 so the time between importing and starting to edit is just a matter of 1 minute. I just put all footage on the timeline and start to do my rough clean up there, once that is done I copy it to a second sequence and start to finetune each part of the day as a separate sequence.

If I have some interesting b roll footage that's spread throughout the timeline and what I want to use together I just put it in a bin when I see it for later use. Color correcting is also very basic, the color of my camera allready looks good so I just boost the color a bit so it pops more and that's done with a preset, with my dslr I often film now with the technicolor cinestyle preset when it gets real dark and for that I also have a yuv preset that is adapted to get the colors back. Otherwise maybe just correcting some mistakes I made with whitebalancing but other then that I don't spend time on this part.
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Old October 29th, 2012, 05:31 AM   #29
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Re: Editing Hour for 15min Wedding Film

I'm awful, truly awful, at business, and really appreciate Chip and Chris' thoughts in this thread.

One unbusinesslike thought I wanted to add -- I wouldn't be surprised if, on at least some level, many (most?) people who film weddings like filming weddings, and don't charge what their time could be worth in an open market. Instead, they're making an economic compromise in exchange for job satisfaction or lifestyle.

Ditto with many jobs, I suppose. Not everyone who can pull down a lawyer's or a banker's salary wants to sell their soul for it. Not everyone who could be earning a miner's salary wants to put their neck on the line for it.
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Old October 29th, 2012, 06:41 AM   #30
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Re: Editing Hour for 15min Wedding Film

Hi Adrian

Very good point...At least you are getting paid for something you enjoy doing and it a social occasion plus you normally get a meal and soft drinks too...Taking the mistress/wife/girlfriend out for the night is going to set you back a fair wack so it's fair to say that is worth something!! Plus you forgot the fact that as a wedding videographer you don't have to crawl out of bed at 5am on Monday morning and face the freeway gridlock for an hour to get to a job you probably don't even like.

All that is worth a bit of a discount to your rate of course, but it's still important to cost out correctly first ..you can always give the couple an entertainment/social discount later on your true price!!

Chris
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