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Old March 18th, 2013, 05:53 PM   #46
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Re: Are we becoming obsessed with quality?

Too bad fellas. I feel like you're letting tradition determine the direction of your business. No one is more traditional than the american south. Yet somehow here we are. It wasn't easy but its continuing to grow.
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Old March 18th, 2013, 06:18 PM   #47
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Re: Are we becoming obsessed with quality?

You have to be realistic Bill, you can't change a few decades worth of tradition on your own by making pretty videos.
There is either a videoculture or there isn't and there is either an audience with deep pockets or there isn't, you happen to live in a part of the world where you seem to have both.
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Old March 18th, 2013, 06:26 PM   #48
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Re: Are we becoming obsessed with quality?

Not true. Neither deep pockets nor value for video. I wish you guys luck though .
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Old March 18th, 2013, 06:45 PM   #49
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Re: Are we becoming obsessed with quality?

Okay, admittedly, I ve only done 4 wedding videos in my life. And admittedly they were all for family. So I probably don't have a right to say anything/, but here goes anyway...

But in those films, I shot what I though was important-- ie, the family relationships. So i wonder when I see one of those real nicely filmed wedding videos that has this slider shots across pallets of make up and the attendant snap focusing on a bride an/or her maid of honor brushing on make up, lipstick or eye liner--- I wonder if the clients ever really treasure that kind of shot... It looks professional and all that, but in 10 years when the video gets viewed again by the couple with their kids, will mommy be saying "Why did they think that had to show me getting all painted up. Why did'nt they show the fun me and my girls were having, instead of these dramatic makeup applications shallow focus shots.

Just wondering....
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Old March 18th, 2013, 07:14 PM   #50
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Re: Are we becoming obsessed with quality?

Hi Chris

Ten out of ten for that comment....I don't do slider shots and I don't do pans across the make up palletts either..I capture the emotion and the fun of the day so I film people ... content is still king but you also have to remember to supply content that makes the bride look good rather than making you look good!!

I keep saying that it's not about how clever you are as a videographer but rather about the couple and their day!! Luckily I don't even own a slider ...the only semi-creative bit I do is during the photoshoot on stedicam otherwise the rest of the shoot is entirely about memories on the day.

Bill? We all do different things different ways and I'm glad you are making big money doing it your way!

As long as the bride is happy with the result then it doesn't really matter on the method. Weddings done in Belgium by Noa will even have a totally different format to USA weddings to capture the specific mood and will be approached differently ...One size sadly doesn't fit all!!

Chris
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Old March 18th, 2013, 07:38 PM   #51
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Re: Are we becoming obsessed with quality?

Chris,
certainly not making big money at all. But we've discussed this ad nauseum. So, no big.
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Old March 18th, 2013, 08:55 PM   #52
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Re: Are we becoming obsessed with quality?

A lot of interesting discussion here. For what it's worth, I do weddings, but I certainly don't
make my total living doing them. I do corporate video, interviews, freelance news, pick up editing,
pretty much whatever someone will pay me for. And one of the reasons, is what some here have
alluded to. At pretty much every wedding around here, there is a professional photographer. Maybe
20% even THINK about hiring a videographer. When I get a call, the ONLY thing they want to know
is how much it will cost, often they don't even care about watching my demo. OK, so you may
think that the brides around here don't care about quality. But it's not so simple as that. Even
though I try to show my demos and the reasons for choosing a more expensive package, the
cheapest one is almost always chosen. But then later.....let me give a quick example.

Bride gets three choices. She predictably choses the cheap, one camera full ceremony option.
I make sure I explain to her, that with this option, there is no editing as there is no other cameras
to cut to and that if it gets blocked for some reason, I have no backup. She says that's fine, they
just want a cheap 'video documenting the event'. So I finish the shoot, put titles in, author
the DVD and give her a call. I am told that the photographer basically was a total bust and claimed
that he had his laptop stolen from the venue, so there were NO pictures for the couple. (I wonder why
he didn't still have the pictures on the original cards, but not my problem I guess.) Because of this
bad experience with the photographer, the bride and groom wanted to 'take a look' at the DVD and
'see if we need to change any shots' before paying me the rest of what I was owed. I reminded
them that they had chosen a one camera wedding, and were specifically told that there would NOT
even be an OPTION to cut to another shot! Then of course they were mad at themselves for not
choosing the more expensive option. Almost every time I do a wedding they do this, and I get to
hear about how they wish they had chosen a better package. Seems that the couple is so busy
dealing with everything else around the wedding, that the value of a good video is only a thought
AFTER the wedding is over.

Anyways, there is no way in the world I'd do a $299 wedding. I don't care if I just aimed the camera
and hit record. I have to pack gear, drive to the location, unpack, set up, do the shoot, pack up
drive home, dump to computer, add titles and slate screens, author the DVD or blue ray, burn and
deliver the thing. There is no way that $299 would cover that. I guess we all have different
standards, but I have no idea why I'd want to do volume business and do 'more, cheap' weddings.
The cheaper my prices are, the more work is thrown at me, until clients want me to work all the
time for no money. That's kind of a joke, but if I need money, I could always tape a dance recital
or basketball game or something and sell DVD's to the participants and their parents at $25 a pop.
I make more doing that than a $299 wedding, and they don't expect nearly the quality that
the couple will.
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Old March 19th, 2013, 01:03 AM   #53
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Re: Are we becoming obsessed with quality?

Hi Gabe

The $299 came from me actually cos I found some videographer offering weddings for $299 (yep the ceremony and part of the reception!!) It was obviously a "example ultra low cost"

I wouldn't lift my behind for $299 even for a short civil ceremony as you say you have to get there and back and lug gear etc etc....I in fact reluctantly have done a few civil ceremonies (about 30 mins plus travel) for $600 but anything less than that just isn't worth the effort and you would surely lose money on the deal!!

Most brides want at least from the ceremony to the speeches as an absolute minimum!! Don't think I have done a "ceremony only" for many years!

Chris
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Old March 19th, 2013, 03:40 AM   #54
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Re: Are we becoming obsessed with quality?

I see the poor humble slider is getting another pop. I confess to owning one but being a single shooter, it gets infrequent use, but if I have the time I don't mind whipping it out and getting a few beauty shots. I've seen a few negative comments about depth of field and slow motion here too, which I find surprising. I appreciate that some Videographers use them as their raison d'etre, but then I've seen some videos over-baked with Looks too. Doesn't mean I should stop using this software to colour grade my footage.
Sliders, stabilisers, low aperture lens, lights, slow motion etc - they're all tools to be used wisely. I see nothing wrong with throwing a busy background out of focus when videoing the Bride and Groom, or to have a slow and smooth camera move in towards the Bride via the slider. These shots mixed with footage of for example the Bride having a laugh with the Bridesmaids add variety and a little spice to my video, without being the main course. I'm not knocking those who don't use sliders or prefer videos to have a deep depth of field - we all have our style, choice of tools we use in our videos. It's apart of our style as Videographers. Do the Brides appreciate all these shots - I don't know. Then again do they really notice such techniques like shallow depth of field in all those big budget movies they see at the cinema??
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Old March 19th, 2013, 03:43 AM   #55
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Re: Are we becoming obsessed with quality?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabe Strong View Post
Maybe
20% even THINK about hiring a videographer.
There is a well known very busy Belgian wedding forum and I checked just now how many new posts posted by brides in the photo section compared to the video section the past 20 days.

The photo forum: 16 new posts (the last post was posted yesterday)
The video forum: 1 new post (that 1 post was posted 20 days ago)

Need to say more?
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Old March 19th, 2013, 05:04 AM   #56
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Re: Are we becoming obsessed with quality?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Burkett View Post
Do the Brides appreciate all these shots - I don't know. Then again do they really notice such techniques like shallow depth of field in all those big budget movies they see at the cinema??
I can honestly say, they don't appreciate it.

They concentrate on who's wearing what, who looks moody, who looks happy basically the whole emotion of the film.
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Old March 19th, 2013, 05:19 AM   #57
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Re: Are we becoming obsessed with quality?

Which also explains why people prefer photographs.

You always take a photo of people smiling most of the time.
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Old March 19th, 2013, 06:33 AM   #58
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Re: Are we becoming obsessed with quality?

When I started this thread, it was because I had noticed the level of detail and amount of equipment that some wedding videographers introduced into their work. What has become increasingly clear is that there seem to be two fairly distinctive groups, I call them the Realists and the Idealists for convenience.

Realists tend to use good quality fairly minimalistic equipment, usually filming with one person and one camera, sometimes with a second locked down camera if space and situation requires it. They normally capture the action as it unfolds, looking from the outside in, allowing the day to take it's own course, editing for visual flow and shot consistency. Output to the client tends to be full length video with sometimes a short form as well.

The idealists take a much more artistic approach, frequently using multi cameras, gliders, steadycams, sound recording systems etc. they tend to require more movement, use of shallow DOF for effect, full use of artistic editing and processing and music to emphasise romance and drama according to the videographers style and preference. Output to client is usually short form but sometimes with unedited long form.

Pretty general overview and many mix both styles, but there is a definite difference, with seemingly a preponderance of the artistic short form in the US.

I think that Chris's comment on the $299 video has been taken out of context by others and used as some sort of cheap video guideline price, which is not the case at all and should be forgotten in the context of the thread. But there is a big difference between high end big time and cost video and lower priced less time hungry offerings.

Many in the higher end of the market are passionate about their artistry and equipment, with the feeling that if brides are properly educated in video, that they will gladly pay for a masterpiece. Others, which include myself, perhaps feel that the high end is not something they want to concentrate on, and that the remaining 80% of the 'no video' market could be educated to appreciate the worth of a video at a price that they would feel acceptable.

The other side of the coin of course is why are you offering weddings at all? Do you want to make stylised and artistic films and find that weddings give a vehicle to achieve that? It is much simpler than getting a sponsor for a cinema production and gives the opportunity to apply skill, artistry and interpretation to an intimate and romantic subject. In my case, I love observing the whole wedding feel, with family and friends witnessing two people in love pledging their lives to each other. For me, the drama and romance is already there in the whole atmosphere of the day, with no requirement for me to shape it or add dramatic effect. I capture close up moments and general scene overviews, but allow shots to dictate themselves.

I work to live, rather than living to work and I can't see spending weeks editing one video, even at a very rewarding price, when I have a life to enjoy and places to see. I love my work, but it is a means to earn a living while making my clients happy and giving me time for myself and family. I am very good at knowing what I want as I film, and can edit a video in a day if I get my head down. I normally allow a couple of days, but it gives me time to fit my work round my life. That is the whole reason I have worked for myself in audio and video for the last 45 years.

Roger
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Old March 19th, 2013, 07:06 AM   #59
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Re: Are we becoming obsessed with quality?

Hi Roger

Perfectly put!! I'm a bit of a realist too as I don't want to have my entire week or weeks taken up with just one wedding and then you have the equally horrifying situation with 4 weedings in a row (or more) and with weeks of editing you develop a serious backlog and irate brides as well.

I shoot weddings for a living too but they don't take over my life ...I try to limit them to one per weekend and log footage on maybe Sunday afternoon, edit the whole show on Monday and it's wrapped up on Tuesday morning and that gives me time for myself or commercial week day shoots.

It's an excellent point that weddings are actually not the ideal vehicle for the creative shooter..dunno about in the UK but here the bride always seems to run out of "photo time" between ceremony and reception (that you are sharing with the photog too) Not exactly the best time to carefully set up sliders and shots without rushing. BTW: I do have a DIY slider and it works very well too BUT time restraints at weddings tend to convince me to leave it at home most weekends!

Maybe the title of your thread should have been "Are we becoming obsessed with shooting weddings" ?

I have been shooting my way (very similar to your way too) for 23 years now and I have never had a bride complain so I will continue on this route so I also have time for myself too!

Chris
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Old March 19th, 2013, 07:22 AM   #60
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Re: Are we becoming obsessed with quality?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Hi Roger

and then you have the equally horrifying situation with 4 weedings in a row

Chris
I totally agree, a gardening backlog is not a good place to be when you spend too much time on weddings :-0

Seriously though, are those who spend so much on very sophisticated equipment, then spend sometimes weeks editing a masterpiece, genuinely earning a living from predominantly wedding video work? If so I would be interested to now how it is possible to take so long finishing a wedding, but be able to take on enough to earn a decent living and pay for equipment.

Perhaps some high end videographers already have other lucrative video work or other employment which enables them to spend the time and have the financial security to only pick well paid wedding work.

Roger
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