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Old January 3rd, 2013, 02:40 AM   #31
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Re: CreativeLive Wedding Cinematography Course

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Originally Posted by Bill Grant View Post
I imagine whether you are in Belgium or Sydney or Perth, a market for what you do and what you want to make can be created. It's about distinguishing yourself from the pack and clearly articulating your value. Sounds easy when you say it like that... :-) but Rob could do what he does with video camera or a much more modest kit.
Sorry, but if you would live here and proved otherwise I"d believe you but you don't so you have no idea what the market or general attitude towards wedding video is. You almost make it sound like we don't know what we are doing. Believe me when I say that withing the boundaries of this very small country you can distinguish yourself but no-one will accept your real value.

I see Robs "average" investments are around 7500 dollar, if Rob would live here and only work in this country and plan to ask those prizes he would be doing video for a hobby...The "average" investments here are around 1000 to max 2000 dollar and at 2000 you are really stretching it.

Last edited by Noa Put; January 3rd, 2013 at 03:30 AM.
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 03:52 AM   #32
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Re: CreativeLive Wedding Cinematography Course

Hey Noa

Me too sadly. I'd love to shoot $7500 weddings every weekend but it isn't going to happen. Long from Canada actually has the same sort of approach as Bill so I'm very surprised he hasn't chirped in by now.

Our market for a full wedding is much the same as yours is ..I once tried a price increase and sales just dropped ...I was obviously out of the "sweet spot"

I did offer a fancy wedumentary package that went around the $3K mark where apart from the wedding I did interviews both pre and post wedding so it was much like a reality show...A guy in Miami does them and it really impressed me ...however brides here were simply not interested at all!!

Chris
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 04:18 AM   #33
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Re: CreativeLive Wedding Cinematography Course

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I think it's very market dependant.

He's obviously a creative genius with bundles of energy - who, after starting in the wedding video industry, very quickly discovered that most weddings are actually quite tedious and mundane. Leveraging the fact that most Americans (and this is a HUGE generalisation) tend to be a little more extroverted, he’s targeted really high-end clientele who are happy to spend time on their wedding day ‘re-creating’ (read FAKING) a lot of scenes to produce very cinematic films with a brilliantly strong story.

This simply wouldn’t work in my market in New Zealand for a lot of reasons. The average bride here is a little more chilled out and less willing to ‘reveal her soul to the world’ to create something on this level. Many would not have the budget for anything like a US$9500 video – that would be the average budget of an entire wedding here! If you attempted to ask a groom to remove and button up his waist-coast 3 times just so you could have 3 different angles he would tell you to **** off. We’re just not that into ourselves. (There is no New Zealand equivalent to Jerry Springer on TV)

I can imagine most weddings in the UK being similar. Not great weather, brides who are a little more reserved with their emotions, tighter budgets etc.

Don’t get me wrong – he’s got some fantastic ideas and I’m still loving his work and picking up some great tips, but I’m watching the mock ‘first-look’ lessons he’s going through now with my jaw wide open thinking... “Are you freaking kidding me? Go shoot a movie or something and let these people just get married already!”
What John said pretty much sums it up what I feel about it as well, every country will has different traditions and different budgets and thinking that you can implement Robs business plan anywhere and be successful if you set your mind to it and work hard you are not realistic.

It's not even easy for me to get a clients wedding on my website in a trailer because most value their privacy and don't want to share with the whole world.
I even occasionally get brides who ask after a year or so to remove their trailer from my site or I am not allowed to show the ceremony because it's too private or I am not allowed to use their vows.

When I look at Robs trailers on his Vimeo site I see he heavily leans on speeches to create a story but if your client don't want you to use that online? That only leaves you with just pretty images.
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 05:57 AM   #34
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Re: CreativeLive Wedding Cinematography Course

I think what we are all saying here is that the USA has some specific ways of doing things that are different from the rest of the world. Perhaps Bill is in the lucky position of being within that market and sees the potential to increase revenue more easily that many of us. I don't see any other USA videographers in this thread saying Bill is wrong (sorry if I missed you!).

The market within the 48 states (and beyond) is a "single market" with a single official language covering the "majority" of the population. While there are some variations (traditions and languages), it's nothing like the variations within Europe given the same geographical distances. Often companies will travel state to state for work. That's not usually the case in many other parts of the world.

I don't for one minute think Rob does all his weddings 'locally' (i.e. within 100 miles of home) and I got the felling that like most of the top charging photo pros, he travels to where the weddings are that will pay what he is asking. If that means travelling 1,000+ miles, so be it. 1,000 miles from me is a totally different country, different language, different culture, different traditions and it's very unlikely I would even get a sniff at those jobs.

In this respect the USA is a unique market. There is a huge population (many multiples of any European country, or Australia or New Zealand etc), with a large number of reasonably wealthy people spread across a large area that you can tap in to. That's not the case anywhere else that I can think of. Just like Canon can make a single marketing campaign for the USA, it takes different campaigns in each of the european countries (not forgetting Aus and NZ) to make things work (which is another reason we pay more!). They can't address everyone with a single message.

Unless your country is totally up for video (perhaps the Philippines?) then it's always going to be an add-on that only 'some' brides have, and it's not the priority for the vast majority (until they regret not having it after the day when it's too late). Yes, we know they are misguided, but that's how it is. And, it doesn't help when national bridal magazines are showing wedding budgets that allow only £800 to cover BOTH photo and video! Where do they get this stuff from? But that's what brides who read the magazines now have in their minds as the market rates and if you are charging more you must be ripping them off!

I don't think Rob is doing 30 x $10,000 weddings a year either. I really don't. So if people are thinking they can take Rob's recipe and translate that in to 30 weddings @ $10,000 even within the USA, I don't think you're being realistic. And if you try to apply the recipe outside of the USA then you're certainly going to be struggling for 30 a year!

Is there are market for higher price weddings everywhere and in every country? Yes, I think there is. But I don't think you'll find 30 a year 'locally' unless you are in a large population area with lots of wealthy people with sons and daughters getting married. Even if that's the case, there will also be 1001 other videographers trying to tap the same market, which inevitably causes price pressure.

You also won't find high value brides by only having a web site, or visiting local wedding fairs (bridal fairs, call them what you will) etc. The people spending that kind of money rarely go to these events. They are found 'other ways'.

So, the question is, how do you find the brides who want the high quality service and end product that also see the value and are willing (and able) to pay for it? There are ways, which include Wedding Planners etc. But then again, wedding planners aren't as big here as they are in the USA because, guess what? The majority of people won't pay for them!

The next question is, how many of those brides actually exist within the geographical area you "can" serve? Don't forget insurance and work permits etc. You can't just fly anywhere and 'work at will', it has to be legal!

Once you've figured out how many opportunities there are, next take a stab at what % of those brides will pick 'you' and 'why'?

Now we're getting close ;)

Within every geographical area there is a sweet spot. There will always be weddings at higher values within (almost) every area, but you have to be able to create a reputation within those communities that builds over time. I don't think there is ever a magic bullet that will take you from low/mid weddings to all $5,000 - $10,000 'this-year'. It's just not going to happen.

Rob has taken YEARS to get where he is. If it was easy (from a business and marketing side), everyone would be doing it and then of course the competition would be driving down the price all over again.

I wish Rob luck as he goes forward. But I got the feeling, reading between the lines that he wasn't happy. Maybe he isn't getting enough work, maybe he's bored. But he was definitely looking around at other things. And of course, he didn't do the Creative Live thing for free either.

Many of the guys saying they are earning lots of money actually make more from teaching others how to do it, rather than doing it themselves. They don't get many "real jobs" but they have lots of people willing to pay them to teach it, hoping they can some how get the magic ingredient that will propel them to stardom. Of course, there isn't the market for 'everyone' to be successful @ $10,000, so automatically many people will be disappointed.
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 06:19 AM   #35
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Re: CreativeLive Wedding Cinematography Course

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Hey Noa

Me too sadly. I'd love to shoot $7500 weddings every weekend but it isn't going to happen.

Chris
Frankly, one a month would do me fine. Less work ;)
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 06:27 AM   #36
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Re: CreativeLive Wedding Cinematography Course

Well said Dave.

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1,000 miles from me is a totally different country, different language, different culture, different traditions and it's very unlikely I would even get a sniff at those jobs.
For me that's max 100 Miles to bring me into another country, tradition and language in 3 directions, I"m live very close to the Netherlands, they have a different tradition in weddings as we do but I hardly get a job there, asking prizes are about the same as in Belgium. Germany is also nearby but eventhough I understand the language it's more difficult to speak so that's a barrier and never done a wedding there and I"m not that far from the French speaking part in Belgium (Belgium is half Dutch, half French speaking) and since I don't speak French at all I only did a very few weddings through a wedding planner that translated for me (You hardly have wedding planners in my country)
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 07:17 AM   #37
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Re: CreativeLive Wedding Cinematography Course

Dave,
If you had asked me 18 months ago if brides here would ever pay 3-4k for a video, I would've said resoundingly no. After studying Natalie Bradley's stuff, I changed the language on my website, I changed the work I was showing, but most importantly, I changed my internal approach. I had to clear out all of the head trash. To give an example of how bad it is here... There are 2 videographers that I know of in my area that do short forms. The other one is excellent, and I used to think he took all of the business. Well, he and I are still working about as much as we like. I used to think that southern brides (you can substitute European or Australian or whatever there) were too traditional to accept a short form. The average otherwise is about $1000. In our whole state there are under 10 videographers. The reason is because no one thinks there's a market here. Our city is very small (like 150k metro)considerably smaller than Perth or Sydney for sure. I had to create a market. It took about a year of booking basic coverage and delivering short forms before it started to take off. I got extremely active in the local wedding community, doing videos for vendors, I started a wedding related segment on the local news starring a high end wedding planner. Very little of which cost any money. You guys go research My area, I promise it's not special in that brides value video in general here, they don't but instead of accept that I'm working on helping to change it. Not there yet, but I've almost doubled my rates in 18months. Granted I had a long way to go but I'm hopeful about the future and I hope you guys could do the same where you are. I'm no genius and certainly not disciplined. But, I have stopped blaming my market like I did for so many years. I heard Ray Roman say at Infocus last year that if you think you can't charge what you want in your market, that's better for him because brides are flying him in to your town to shoot their weddings. I think that includes countries like Greece and Australia certainly. Noa, I don't mean to be condescending, just to say that I know you can do it. You just have to find a way...
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 07:31 AM   #38
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Re: CreativeLive Wedding Cinematography Course

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just to say that I know you can do it. You just have to find a way...
Ofcourse I can but the only way would be to move to Colombia sc :)
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 07:53 AM   #39
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Re: CreativeLive Wedding Cinematography Course

Bring it! I could use the company :)
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 07:57 AM   #40
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Re: CreativeLive Wedding Cinematography Course

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I did offer a fancy wedumentary package that went around the $3K mark where apart from the wedding I did interviews both pre and post wedding so it was much like a reality show...A guy in Miami does them and it really impressed me ...however brides here were simply not interested at all!!

Chris
This sound interesting. Do you have a link or know who this was, I would like to see one. A quick google search didn't find anything for me.

Thanks.
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 08:13 AM   #41
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Re: CreativeLive Wedding Cinematography Course

Hi Daniel

Do a google search for : "wedding documentary jessica & ryan" ...The guy that shot the 8 part series is called Dan Perez ...his camera work is not outstanding but I was sorta smitten by the style..It's real story telling and a behind the scenes probe into how each person felt during the wedding and what they were thinking.

This is part 1 :

I really thought that brides would have fought to book something like thris approach but alas I was wrong OR my marketing sucks!!!

Watch all 8 clips (even if you watch just a bit of each) so you get an idea of how it's all put together.

I would value your opinion actually!!

Chris
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 08:21 AM   #42
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Re: CreativeLive Wedding Cinematography Course

So much work though. You'd have to get $10k to make that worth it, wouldn't you?
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 09:00 AM   #43
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Re: CreativeLive Wedding Cinematography Course

Best way to make money in the wedding game is to run courses to show others how to do it and set up a marketing style website with the secrets hidden behind a $1,000 dollar button; then discount it to $500 to show how inclusive you are.

Just looking at this and other websites there seems to be almost as many people trying to find the magic dust that will take them to the $5000+ market as there are brides looking for a video.
I'm not being facetious, I have been one of those for over 20 years. (A videographer, not a bride).

I think I know what Bill means; the secrets if there are any are all there to be found in these forums and elsewhere, it's not the market, or the skills as a videomaker that count as much as having a positive attitude, a driven market approach and a dogged sales attitude. Many of us, me included, can be so frozen by our insecurity as a 'creative', easily side-swiped by just one negative comment about our work or paralysed by a customer's complaint, that when we reach a plateau where we feel comfortable we don't want to break the mould we've created for ourself. The difficulty that I always encountered was during that transition time when by upping your game (and prices) you loose the market you've built but haven't claimed enough new clients to see you through the year. The feeling that it could take a couple of seasons to climb back up, and even then there's no guarantee you'll gain the new market makes it more difficult to carry on and easier to re-claim the familiar market.

I've tried at various time and in various ways to make such a change, each time convincing myself that my market wouldn't stand it, which I know it wouldn't, but knowing in reality that like a butcher in a vegetarian community I'd have to convince them that meat is nice, or start selling somewhere else, or something else.

Whether £5000 weddings will ever be possible in UK I don't know but I do know that if they do exist they won't come knocking on my door I'd have to go out there and find them.

I'm not trying to be clever, I've been happy making a modest living from sub £1000 weddings for the last 20 years; supported by casual and ad-hoc work, some related to my video work and some not, but my main income source has been wedding/event video. If I were starting my business now I'd pay great heed to Bill's words and cultivate my market approach and mental attitude as much as my video skills.
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 09:21 AM   #44
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Re: CreativeLive Wedding Cinematography Course

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Hi Daniel

Do a google search for : "wedding documentary jessica & ryan" ...The guy that shot the 8 part series is called Dan Perez ...his camera work is not outstanding but I was sorta smitten by the style..It's real story telling and a behind the scenes probe into how each person felt during the wedding and what they were thinking.

This is part 1 : Wedding Documentary: Jessica & Ryan (Part I) - YouTube

I really thought that brides would have fought to book something like thris approach but alas I was wrong OR my marketing sucks!!!

Watch all 8 clips (even if you watch just a bit of each) so you get an idea of how it's all put together.

I would value your opinion actually!!

Chris
Thanks Chris,

I'll just derail this thread for a moment and I guess we can start a new thread if this is a full conversation we want to partake in.

I didn't have time to watch all of it now, but got an idea of the work. It's interesting for sure and I agree with Bill that this would be a lot more work. It looks like they were there a couple times before and once after.

I wonder if there's a way to make something like this more marketable. Perhaps instead of an 80 minute documentary you (or whoever) could incorporate this into more of a short video or highlights. Perhaps something closer to 20 minutes would make this easier for the bride to watch over an over again. It would also be more internet friendly.

The material in that video (from what I saw) could be shortened and still the same basic story told.
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 10:11 AM   #45
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Re: CreativeLive Wedding Cinematography Course

Daniel,
I'm not sure this has been on the rail since it started :) Here's an example I'm working on right now. Trying to incorporate interviews into the final film and trailer. That gives me their story and a direct view into their personality. I'm excited about the possibilities.
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