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Old March 15th, 2013, 11:00 AM   #31
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Re: Are we becoming obsessed with quality?

Let's face it.

The main point of ANY wedding is the brides dress. How it looks and how she looks in it, is all she cares about. That's the main reason why girls want to marry so badly, to wear THAT dress.

That is not chauvinistic, just years of experience of listening to my wives friends, when they talk about weddings. None of them ever mentioned the groom or what he is wearing. All is centered about the dress, the shoes (the second most important thing), maybe hair & makeup and what the bridesmaids wearing. Than comes the rant about, what every other women was wearing (and how she had the nerves to wear that) and that's about it.

And yeah all that will be sugar coated later with other wedding reasons, but come on...

If you get that dress (and shoes) right, you are golden. No mater what resolution, color grading, DOF (unless the dress is in focus all the time), and overall quality you have.

Frank
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Old March 15th, 2013, 12:41 PM   #32
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Re: Are we becoming obsessed with quality?

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Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
In my opinion we are craftsmen in a quick fix youtube world.....
13 years ago today I started a stint at a dot com in my day job's industry. Every single long time business owner I knew in the industry back home, told me this idea would never work.

The dot com gig ended 54 weeks later. It didn't end because it didn't work as was told to me. It ended because of poor fiscal management and infra-structure overbuilding.

TODAY, of those long time business owners who have not gone out of business, EVERY SINGLE ONE of them uses some forms of doing business EXACTLY how the dot com had set itself up to do.

Something to think about.......
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Old March 15th, 2013, 07:15 PM   #33
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Re: Are we becoming obsessed with quality?

We have also drifted off Roger's main topic here (pretty usual for us guys so no complaints) but the bottom line is that as long as we are not lowering our profits by spending huge amounts of time getting obsessive about quality perfection and colour grading and such, then produce a good video and the bride will be happy.

However keep your obsessive thoughts in hand so we still have forum items to discuss.

Chris
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Old March 18th, 2013, 12:20 AM   #34
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Re: Are we becoming obsessed with quality?

You know. All of this talk about market restrictions and who's buying video and who's not is very depressing. I think it's important for all of us to decide what we really want to do and stop listening to those that are telling us that we're wasting our time, or that we shouldn't chase some significance. I think all of our goal should be do be able to do what we really want to and be paid well for it. If you want a business that does basics, then do basics. If you want to try and craft a story, and make something more, you should do that. Just make sure you have your goals set and way to get to your goals. If you continue to do what you're doing, you're going to continue to get what you're getting. The bar is being raised whether you like it or not. Specialize in staying under it, or attempt to leap it. There are no real restrictions on you beyond the work you put into it. There. I said it. No offense intended, but I respectfully disagree with the notion that our time invested in improving and learning is wasted.
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Old March 18th, 2013, 02:52 AM   #35
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Re: Are we becoming obsessed with quality?

Quite a refreshing post actually.

I can imagine people feeling as if they aren't offering enough because the 'other' company is doing something way more creative.

But as you rightly said. If you specialise in basics. Just do basics and charge accordingly. But if you want to specialise in creativity / story then by all means go for that market.
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Old March 18th, 2013, 07:22 AM   #36
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Re: Are we becoming obsessed with quality?

I don't disagree with Bill, as I don't think there is anything wrong at all with striving to get the the best possible quality and charging a higher rate for it. Neither should anyone feel that it is a mistake to continue to learn and improve.

The issue here is not really about improving and learning, but rather that whilst we are concentrating on that, are we perhaps missing the fact that the wedding market particularly is changing. There will always be a market for high quality well paid work, but if that is the only thing that we offer, there is a huge untapped market that could also be available at the quicker simpler end.

To use an analogy (I use them a lot ;-)) there will always be a market for top end performance cars, but if that is all that manufacturers produce, there will be a lot with no sales and people will find other forms of transport they can afford.

I spent all day yesterday exhibiting at a wedding show and the most common comment I got was that we would like a video but can't afford it, so my friend/brother/uncle is filming it! This has become very noticeable at shows over the last 12 months and sadly, brides do not see the need for a professional video as for most of them it is a bit of fun to show their friends or put on Youtube. The photographs are still the most important part by far as they see the romantic bridal magazine pics and it fulfils a fairytale dream to wear a gorgeous dress and show their friends and family. Unfortunately, most brides don't see the professional video the same way while they are booking for the wedding and frequently see it as an expensive luxury.

Roger
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Old March 18th, 2013, 07:57 AM   #37
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Re: Are we becoming obsessed with quality?

Hi Roger

If you can get $5K for a wedding and the market is there then shucks you would be silly not to tap into it.

I find the same issue with you in my market here.. I can book as many weddings as I need as long as I stick to a $1500 limit ...sure I have tried a dual market approach and the second site generated a lot of lookers but no takers and sometimes we simply have to accept that the market bulk has a limited price range..We can, of course, choose not to tap into it and rather do just a select few at a much higher rate and maybe not make as much money ..that's a personal choice.

I enjoy doing budget weddings (as I call them) which are run-of-the-mill brides in my area and I know there is more than enough work out there (In fact I'm constantly on-referring brides to others) It's my choice and I do it well and most importantly I make a decent profit for my time... Do I want to do a wedding for twice the price with 4 times the work? Nope ...my costing is the way I like it and it also gives me time for myself during the week and also time to get some variety doing commercial work.... I really and truly don't want to labour for 3 weeks on one wedding video when I can do my budget wedding edits in a day. I also like to be able to have a client's DVD's done and dusted within the week so I'm clear of any editing when the next wedding pops up .... If I had to "upgrade" to high end, it would mean essentially that I could only shoot one wedding a month if I kept to my "finish the last one before shooting the next one" and that would be no fun because I enjoy shooting new weddings.

I guess we all work differently and none of us are doing anything wrong at all ... Variety is the spice of life!

Chris
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Old March 18th, 2013, 08:01 AM   #38
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Re: Are we becoming obsessed with quality?

Roger,
This is what I find interesting about our industry. If 80% do not hire a videographer, then that is an empowering number to target. We know it's important and we know that once they have it, it will be worth the money. You have to temper your results from a bridal show by understanding what goes on at bridal shows. I imagine very few well paid videographers do well at them. I offer the car analogy back to you. I won't even use extreme examples like Ferrari or Bentley. Look at Infiniti. There is not a budget option at infiniti. If you want a versa, you have to step back to Nissan. There is certainly nothing wrong with representing two brands that focus on different levels, but what we are saying here is that nissan should not worry so much about making an upscale product because the Sentra outsells the G37. My goal is to be ferrari. I want to make a very few, very specialized vehicles and sell them for a premium price. Ferrari is about passion, and focus, and artistry, and it is what I aim for. 99% of the population won't buy a ferrari. Their market share is much worse than ours, but they sell enough of them to make it worth it. Believe me, I'm selling Chevrolets in a used Hyundai town. If your market says $1500 then mine is under $1k. The reason a bride doesn't want a video is because she hasn't seen the right video yet. You make that right video, she will pay whatever it takes.
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Old March 18th, 2013, 10:41 AM   #39
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Re: Are we becoming obsessed with quality?

To those concerned that 80% of Brides don't book Videographers, we should consider that good quality Wedding videos are still a very new concept when compared to Photography. I edited recently some Wedding Video footage shot in the late 80's and the picture quality was terrible. Colours were off, detail was non existent, really terrible sound. A photo of my Parents getting married in the 60's on the other hand could have been shot yesterday - obviously done by a Professional, it still stands up today. Before the Internet, photos were far easier to show than video, with every couple likely to have seen someone's Wedding photos before getting married, but far less likely to have seen a Wedding video.
I would say that it's only been in the past decade where non linear editing via computer and HD cameras that there has been a quality that can compete with what can be seen on the television and which via the internet can reach a wider audience than the immediate family. I know this idea of quality reverses the original posters idea that Brides don't notice this only the content, but when you read forums where Brides talk about researching us and watching one cheesy badly made video after another before selecting one they liked, it's clear they do have some criteria when it comes to picking which Videographer they want for their Wedding.
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Old March 18th, 2013, 10:53 AM   #40
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Re: Are we becoming obsessed with quality?

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Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
I genuinely believe that if I went into a discount electrical store and bought a pair of the cheapest consumer camcorders that I could find, that I could film and edit a wedding video that would more than satisfy 90% of couples.
In my country, yes, you could do that, my clients just want to have all the important parts captured and they don't care with what you shoot, she just wants to see the emotion, how beautiful she looks in her dress, they want to hear the vows, the speeches and people having fun. They simply want you to capture everything they paid for that day.

If I would shoot with a Canon c500 or a sony handicam, they won't notice, if I would shoot with the onboard camera mike or with external recorders in every corner and on every speaker, they won't notice. They do notice if you charge 50 dollar for the mileage you have to drive and that can become a point of discussion.

I simply believe that the videographers that can do high end clients all the time are for a part lucky they live in a area where 1. money is no issue and 2. video is a part of the culture and people expect that. I always said that if you placed those same videograhers in my country at the prices they currently charge they would have to take on a second job.

Now not taking the budget into consideration, I think that the way a trailer is edited makes more difference to a client, not with what you did shoot it, a well edited trailer of a wedding where you have all the ingredients like sufficient meaningful speeches and lots of emotion is pure gold if you edit it well and that will attract the client attention but what they are eventually willing to pay you depends on the videoculture of your country.

I have an older trailer on my site from a American couple that got married in Belgium where the groom had some very impressive vows, from a technical point of view (image and sound) I think that all my newer trailers are better yet most of the brides I meet rave about that video because of his vows, they are simply swept away with that. For me that's proof that emotion sells, not hardware.

I also had a American bride contact me as they had family in Belgium and wanted to get married here, I was already booked on her date but we got into a conversation, she said; "I would happily pay double the amount of what you charge to get a nice video", she also said that she found it necessary that there would be 2 videographers present. I have been trying to sell a 2 videographer package a long time but each time they see my work they ask, "did you do that alone?" and when I say 'yes' they say: "1 videoguy is ok" to save on costs. This also shows me the difference in videoculture. Here f.i. they easily pay the photog the double amount of what I can get, if you want to survive doing video or photo here you need to become a photog, no way you can survive on weddings only doing video.
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Old March 18th, 2013, 11:49 AM   #41
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Re: Are we becoming obsessed with quality?

Noa,
I don't know you nor have I ever been to your country, but if they have money to spend on photo then they have it to spend on video. You just have to find a way to motivate them. The fact that most people don't do it is a marketing advantage. Is it so different in Russia where Oleg Koleyn is killing it? I think the difference is motivation and not geography. If your country doesn't appreciate it, that becomes your mission. Make them appreciate it.
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Old March 18th, 2013, 01:51 PM   #42
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Re: Are we becoming obsessed with quality?

Quote:
Is it so different in Russia where Oleg Koleyn is killing it? I think the difference is motivation and not geography.
Europe is not like the States Bill, each time you cross a border here you will hear a total different language and have total different traditions, so yes, it can be very different.
If I would have to make this my mission I might as well try to solve crime or do something against traffic aggression in the big cities, that should be about the same :)

Quote:
but if they have money to spend on photo then they have it to spend on video
Yes, if they have a 100% budget for photo/video 70% goes to photo and 30% to video, in one city where I did a wedding last year (at the city hall where they get legally wedded first) they told me that out of 100 weddings they had almost every wedding had a photog and about 20% only video, that's says a lot. I don't know any videographer that can survive on weddings only and the ones that can do photography as well, there is where the money is at.
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Old March 18th, 2013, 02:20 PM   #43
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Re: Are we becoming obsessed with quality?

Sorry that you feel like this is so locked down and no way to change it. It's just hard to believe. I used to feel the same way about my town until I stopped telling myself and everyone else it's not possible. My goal now is to be paid more than the photographer. I have more work, and I get more impact after the wedding. This has nothing to do with percentages or what "they" find important or what most people see. This is about you changing the game. I believe you can, and I've never seen any of your work. It starts with you believing you can.
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Old March 18th, 2013, 03:28 PM   #44
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Re: Are we becoming obsessed with quality?

@Noa - I find myself in total agreement with everything that you say, my experience in the UK is virtually identical to yours. I do make a living from wedding video, but I exhibit at a lot of wedding shows and have acustomer base of 27 years for recommendations.

@Bill, I totally understand where you are coming from, but I feel that many of your motivational points are not relevant to many of the non US wedding markets. There is a very different cultural background in the UK and I'm afraid that no matter how fabulous and desireable a wedding demo was, it would not swing a greatly increased video budget from the bride. I am quite happy to concede that there are unlimited budget weddings available here, but only in certain areas of the social strata. There is also less gloss and glamour evident in the average UK wedding compared with the US one, and this is quite evident from the endless clips that we see on reality tv clip shows.

My weddings, like Chris in Australia, fall in the mid price range, but I think I would find it far easier to pick up many budget quick weddings rather than occasional high paying high workload ones.

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Old March 18th, 2013, 04:08 PM   #45
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Re: Are we becoming obsessed with quality?

Coming late to this, but wanted to add my 2 cents.

The majority of our clients remark on how their wedding film "looks like a movie".

Of course content is king, but if you have content AND great aesthetic, then you trump all.

I also personally don't give a hoot what x% of couples would probably be happy with. I want to raise the game with every single wedding I shoot. No exceptions. Even if the couples wouldn't notice in a million years.
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