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Old October 29th, 2012, 11:03 AM   #31
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Re: Editing Hour for 15min Wedding Film

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Originally Posted by Adrian Tan View Post
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.
Hey Adrian,

One thing you will sometimes hear from documentary style videographers who have been around for many years is that the cinema style videographers are desperate artists who have no sense of business. Their reasoning is very understandable if you think about their background. The traditional wedding documentary business has been around since the beginning of time. It is clear by now that people have already figured out how to run this type of business properly.

On the opposite side, the cinema style wedding business is still fairly young in many areas in the world. A lot of companies are still in their trials and error stage. Therefore, it wouldn't be uncommon to find companies who are undercharging for their service or still trying to figure out how to market themselves while only a few ones are making good money. From an outsider's point of view, it's easy to think that many of us don't know what we're doing and are not good business people.

Speaking from personal experience, I won't lie to you and say that you have to be ready to make sacrifices and invest time and money before you can start getting an interesting income if you want to get into the cinema style. I think it's the case for most new business concepts, not just weddings. However, the potential is definitely huge. Just look at the biggest names all around the world and how much they charge. You will know that the dominant style is evident. What's even more interesting at this day and age is that you don't need to only limit yourself to your local area anymore. If you are good enough, you can easily find contracts everywhere.

Obviously enough, it's far from being easy to make it that big. Because if it was, everyone would be rich by now. But I think it all boils down to what your personal goals are and how you plan on reaching them. As long as it makes sense for you, there's no right or wrong ways of doing things. Just look at the differences between Chris and I and I think we can agree that there's more than one approach to the business.

Long
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Old October 29th, 2012, 11:28 AM   #32
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Re: Editing Hour for 15min Wedding Film

I'm going to echo Long's post. I used to use the "in my market" argument a lot. I just wasn't thinking, shooting, editing, or marketing right. It wasn't my market that was the problem. It was me. Also, I think any business owner that spends more than a few hours with an edit is not using his or her time as efficiently as they could. Editors are relatively easy to find in any size market and they can be very cost effective. Then, you as a business owner get to become a director. Guide the edit, be strict in your standards, and you build a business that is also creative. Not to mention you can get interns from any local college to make DVDs and handle shipping, logging, backup. And you direct the workflow. It works. I did it, in a lot smaller market than Perth... :) Interesting conversation.
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Old October 29th, 2012, 05:17 PM   #33
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Re: Editing Hour for 15min Wedding Film

Adrian....

Going through this exercise only gives you the knowledge of where you stand when you are done creating a video. You either generated a profit doing so, or you could have created more wealth for yourself by investing your time elsewhere. It's a very cut and dried analysis, cold and heartless also.

We have all heard or even have said "well, its just my time" as if the person saying that considers their "time" as something of no value. Time is a commodity and that commodity is finite. Because it is a finite commodity that can not be created out of thin air, people will purchase more of it from others, to accomplish what they desire and cannot accomplish in the amount of time they currently have.

When you engage in creating a video, you are selling your time and a portion of your other costs to someone. If you are doing your creation and creating a profit, that time was completely purchased by your customer. IF this calculation shows you are not creating a profit and creating your videos is costing YOU, then you are selling a portion of your time to your customer and the rest of your time that the customer isn't paying for, you are selling your time to yourself.

By doing this exercise, when completed, you should see that if you could make changes to some of the various factors affecting your costs, the final calculation changes too. So as in this thread where they are discussing improving editing efficiency, they not only will reduce time spent, but that efficiency will also reduce the cost to create that video. If quality is maintained during efficiency so the sales price remains the same, the final calculation becomes a more positive amount than before applying the efficiency.

But you bring up a good point, personal enjoyment. This exercise makes no conclusions to right way or wrong way, having fun or not. It just gives you a positive or negative number. Maybe you will see you could make more money working as a ditch digger instead of creating the videos you enjoy doing. Maybe you will find out that, even though you may HATE doing weddings, you can't make the same kind of money elsewhere. This is where only you can factor in your own personal preferences, but now doing it knowing where you stand.
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Old October 29th, 2012, 06:52 PM   #34
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Re: Editing Hour for 15min Wedding Film

It's very interesting to see how different everybody works and this shows me that often I'm very slow.

I don't do weddings, but for me it's never about how much money I get for a project. I try always my very best and therefor often I can't do the cheaper jobs. If I find out later that I'm way slower than I expected, it's my own problem and not my customers.

However, my editing time mostly depends on how much footage I have to select. Often my longest projects are JUST my private vacation videos.

For example: I did spent about 50 hours for a private 5 minute video which I just did for my best friend and myself. OK, later I decided to upload it on Youtube, but I'll never earn money with it. The reason why it took me so long was the fact that I had more than 30 hours on each of the 2 GoPro cameras. So to find the best sequences is work. Again I don't do weddings, but I'm sure you also create tons of footage, so the selection is what is taking most of the time. Not the editing itself.
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Old October 29th, 2012, 07:12 PM   #35
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Re: Editing Hour for 15min Wedding Film

Hi Swen

Personal videos are a completely different story..you do them in your own free time so if they take you 5 hours or 50 hours it doesn't really matter...you are not being paid for them and you are getting enjoyment from them...editing vacation/own time videos are half the fun anyway as you are not under any delivery date pressure..if it takes you a month to finish you haven't lost any money cos it's your time.

Just enjoy them!!

Chris
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Old October 29th, 2012, 07:20 PM   #36
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Re: Editing Hour for 15min Wedding Film

Hi Long

Sorry, but whether you shoot DSLR, video camera, documentary or cinematic all business rules apply if you want to make a decent profit.

You can't say because you used a DSLR and did a creative shoot for a certain wedding that you should make a loss on it. In fact, you should be making a bigger profit because you expended more effort and you should be able to add a little "value-plus" for your outstanding creativity too.

It's your own choice if you want to use tools that make the shoot and edit a lot longer but based on the creativeness and beauty of the finished product you are entitled to charge that much more...never undersell your services! You are still worth XXX per hour regardless if if do a quickie shoot with a handycam and an upload to YouTube or a multicam wedding with C300's so charge accordingly for your time.

Chris
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Old October 29th, 2012, 11:27 PM   #37
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Re: Editing Hour for 15min Wedding Film

Chris,
I think the point that Long was trying to make is that the potential for money making is greater with creative projects than with straight doc and it's a process to work up to... Also, I have to agree about enjoying your work. I make about the same as when I had a jobby job but I am so much more happy being creative than working a 9 to 5 putting money in someone else's pocket.
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Old October 30th, 2012, 12:09 AM   #38
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Re: Editing Hour for 15min Wedding Film

Hi Chris,

As Bill stated, one important thing many people seem to overlook is the potential growth in production value.

I think it's no secret that a wedding documentary service can normally be found between $1-2K while a creative wedding film can be found anywhere between $1-20K.

Depending on where you are currently standing, you can either be at loss or making very good profits.

Another thing many people don't always think about is the investment part. For documentary style videographers, I can understand that this can easily be forgotten. Because once you have reached the max possible income for a wedding project, it is hard to imagine that one can invest any more time or money back into the business as opposed to many wedding filmmakers who still have a long way to go until they reach their limit.

Long
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Old October 30th, 2012, 12:22 AM   #39
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Re: Editing Hour for 15min Wedding Film

Hi Bill

Yep I do understand his point and see where he is going...I guess it's really up to him except if you put 60 hours into a job that's costed at 30 hours purely to "enhance" your reputation until you think you are worth 60 hours pay then it's tough to say "Ok guys, I was a crappy videographer five years ago but now I'm awesome so my prices are going up double cos I deserve it"

I'm sure Long is already worth a lot more than he is charging already BUT my simple point that I was trying to get across was regardless of how brilliant you are, unless the infrastructure you are targeting can actually support your eventual top prices then you will have to continue to work for a lot less than you should be getting.

I'm sure Long has already researched his market carefully and even if he is charging $1000 (just abribary figures of course) but as soon as he "gets really good" he can charge $4000 then there actually WILL be a market in his area. (which I'm sure he knows)

Chris
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Old October 30th, 2012, 12:33 AM   #40
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Re: Editing Hour for 15min Wedding Film

I'm just not sure the market part is valid. There are guys in NY that would tell you nobody in big cities values video. I know that if I had researched my market first, I would've stayed with Doc style. Make efficient money and move on. Because I chose to push into a more creative, emotional style, I have been able to surge forward in less than a year. I have stopped worrying about my market and started focusing on creating something that brides want. All of this analysis means nothing if you aren't doing what you want. HOWEVER. if you are doing what you want in making simple docs, then that is perfect. That's what perspective's are for.
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Old October 30th, 2012, 04:36 PM   #41
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Re: Editing Hour for 15min Wedding Film

I just find it funny that people can quickly jump to conclusions and say that an edit is non-profitable and unworthy without even gathering half of the information...

1) What is the desired result that the editor is trying to achieve?
2) How much is he getting paid for the edit?
3) How much content is there?
4) What kind of content is it?
5) What tools is he using?

Without knowing these elements, there is no way you can tell if an editor is fast or slow, and if he's getting overpaid or underpaid.
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Old October 30th, 2012, 05:25 PM   #42
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Re: Editing Hour for 15min Wedding Film

Well, OP gave a good breakdown which rang alarm bells for me. "Color Grading: 8hrs" for a 15min film is out of the ballpark. I've colorgraded for years, mainly in simple Premiere filters, but lately more custom work with Colorista II and Looks so I know how long it should take a competent editor. Not a fast one, nor a ultra-experienced one. Just a competent one.

1 hour maximum is all it should take.

Stephen Hawkins, blindfolded, high on crack, and editing with his nose would only take 2hrs.
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Old October 30th, 2012, 05:37 PM   #43
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Re: Editing Hour for 15min Wedding Film

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Originally Posted by John H. Lee View Post
Frank, That is quite impressive. It takes more than 4 hours for me to just screening the footages. ... I would appreciate if you share your edit process. Thanks!
I'm not able to remember my own phone number, or my girlfriend's birthday - but I never forget a picture - I seem to have (after all those years of editing) a very good brain for visual stuff.

So while shooting, it almost does an automatic rough edit (I nŽknow it sounds strange).
I try to edit as soon as possible after the shooting, while it is still fresh.
I dump all my cards to my Raid, and scrub through the clips. As soon as I see the part I want (i.e. remember it from shooting) I "in-out" it and throw it at the timeline. Rough cut done.
Than I look for music and pace my cut accordingly - some rearranging and fine tuning and that's picture lock.
Slap some titles on it and do the grading - done.
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Old October 30th, 2012, 05:47 PM   #44
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Re: Editing Hour for 15min Wedding Film

I think I have said enough that is obviously falling on deaf ears so here is some even better advice.

Take as long as you like to get your edit absolutely perfect ... if guys want to spend 60 hours on an edit then shucks it's your time!! Thr OP was simply asking if his times were normal or not ...obviously normal for some is not normal for others.

Like Frank I also 'edit in my head' mainly because like people such as Don Bloom and that era we are used to shooting-to-edit so we actually have very efficient and compact raw footage then is almost ready to edit and doesn't have any bad, wobbly or out of focus shots in it. In the days on linear editing you just had to shoot that way.

Chris
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Old October 31st, 2012, 10:06 AM   #45
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Re: Editing Hour for 15min Wedding Film

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Originally Posted by John Knight View Post
Well, OP gave a good breakdown which rang alarm bells for me. "Color Grading: 8hrs" for a 15min film is out of the ballpark. I've colorgraded for years, mainly in simple Premiere filters, but lately more custom work with Colorista II and Looks so I know how long it should take a competent editor. Not a fast one, nor a ultra-experienced one. Just a competent one.

1 hour maximum is all it should take.

Stephen Hawkins, blindfolded, high on crack, and editing with his nose would only take 2hrs.
Color grading for this one took way more than it usually takes since it was 6:30 wedding ceremony and has no proper lighting. had to do a lot of second grading with mask tracking and keying. I also gave it a shot to Resolve 9 this time and try to grade with it for the half of the footages. Since node based grading is the new thing for me that cost me lots of trial and error. I'm not sure RAW shooting will be get popular in wedding industry but I think it's another area that you can separate from the peers to get ahead.
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