What if guests show up with better gear at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 30th, 2013, 01:37 AM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: California
Posts: 206
What if guests show up with better gear

Hi all,

I've not yet delved into wedding videography, for many reasons, primary one around here there is lots of competition and the costs are staggeringly low (like $1K to $2K for entire project). At any rate, one fear I have in trying to get into this business, even as a side business, is today many people have DSLRs and also know how to shoot video to some degree. Granted most of them don't show up with external HDMI recorder, external audio, 2 mics, rig, etc, but they still can come ready to shoot as good video as I could.

So what happens if a client comes to you after the shoot and asks you to use another persons video? What if they look at what you did and think their friend/relative shot better video (and what if they actually did too?)? How do you handle those situations?
Kevin Duffey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 30th, 2013, 01:54 AM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: London, UK
Posts: 1,380
Re: What if guests show up with better gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Duffey View Post
Hi all,

I've not yet delved into wedding videography, for many reasons, primary one around here there is lots of competition and the costs are staggeringly low (like $1K to $2K for entire project). At any rate, one fear I have in trying to get into this business, even as a side business, is today many people have DSLRs and also know how to shoot video to some degree. Granted most of them don't show up with external HDMI recorder, external audio, 2 mics, rig, etc, but they still can come ready to shoot as good video as I could.

So what happens if a client comes to you after the shoot and asks you to use another persons video? What if they look at what you did and think their friend/relative shot better video (and what if they actually did too?)? How do you handle those situations?
First and foremost, they have hired you based on what they've seen.

I would take the footage given to me and use any good angles/shots but not all of it. Fact is, they are not just paying for your shooting time but also the editing.

That guest / relative who's shooting will no doubt get distracted several times during the wedding and miss certain shots / aspects. And I sincerely doubt he is bothered to go home and start editing the footage for free.
James Manford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 30th, 2013, 01:55 AM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,068
Re: What if guests show up with better gear

Quote:
What if they look at what you did and think their friend/relative shot better video (and what if they actually did too?)? How do you handle those situations?
Then I guess it's time to find another job :D

A few weddings ago I had the uncle of the bride approach me if he could film during the ceremony with me, he was a producer at a large Beglian tv company and did this type of thing as a hobby. He told me he would be filming from the side without interrupting and I could use his material if needed. I use small sensor camera's in a church so told him not to use a dslr as that would not blend in well.

He showed up more heavily packed then me, he had a pana hvx200 and a 5d2 with a set of expensive lenses, 2 heavy professional tripods, 2 microphone stands and 2 shotguns (He connected the shotguns to his hvx200 which was used to record audio only). I was there with 2 sony cx730 handicams...

It appeared afterwards his hvx200 could not cope with the dark church (while my cx730 excel in such conditions) and he had filmed with his 5dII and a 70-200 f2.8 lens all the time, so I know by now I can't use any of his material. I do know his footage, as it was shot from a tripod, will have a nice typical "5d" look but I don't worry or care what the couple might think of his footage vs mine, I know my work as completed film will look much better then his random shots of guests from one angle only.

This was an exception as he was shooting on a tripod which normally guests never bring along but I actually never fear other guests own creations throughout the day, my work will always be better, more controlled and wil be presented as a finished piece where the sum of the parts determine the quality of the end result, there is no competition to a few random shots taken by a guest.
Noa Put is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 30th, 2013, 02:01 AM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: London, UK
Posts: 1,380
Re: What if guests show up with better gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Then I guess it's time to find another job :D

A few weddings ago I had the uncle of the bride approach me if he could film during the ceremony with me, he was a producer at a large Beglian tv company and did this type of thing as a hobby. He told me he would be filming from the side without interrupting and I could use his material if needed. I use small sensor camera's in a church so told him not to use a dslr as that would not blend in well.

He showed up more heavily packed then me, he had a pana hvx200 and a 5d2 with a set of expensive lenses, 2 heavy professional tripods, 2 microphone stands and 2 shotguns (He connected the shotguns to his hvx200 which was used to record audio only). I was there with 2 sony cx730 handicams...

It appeared afterwards his hvx200 could not cope with the dark church (while my cx730 excel in such conditions) and he had filmed with his 5dII and a 70-200 f2.8 lens all the time, so I know by now I can't use any of his material. I do know his footage, as it was shot from a tripod, will have a nice typical "5d" look but I don't worry or care what the couple might think of his footage vs mine, I know my work as completed film will look much better then his random shots of guests from one angle only.

This was an exception as he was shooting on a tripod which normally guests never bring along but I actually never fear other guests own creations throughout the day, my work will always be better, more controlled and wil be presented as a finished piece where the sum of the parts determine the quality of the end result, there is no competition to a few random shots taken by a guest.
Exactly. Doesn't matter how enthusiastic the guest is ... unlike yourself. He hasn't been paid. Which means he will be reluctant with his creativity / finishing.
James Manford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 30th, 2013, 02:23 AM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,068
Re: What if guests show up with better gear

Well, even if he will spend hours on editing, he still will have one angle as he can't move around like I do, he also still will have the audio as recorded by his expensive 5d which will sound like crap. In my case they will hear what's been said, in his case they wil see lips move :) I"m not talking about that uncle with his pro gear because that's the first time I encounter something like this in 8 years but it's about that general, "i"ll bring along my 5d to a wedding" type of person and one who enjoys shooting some video with it, I wouldn't know why I have to worry about them.

If I where a photog that might be a different story as in that case I can imagine that some photos might look better then yours if you are not "that" good but video is a whole other world with dslr's and that's something guests just don't master that well, unless it's a very serious hobby or paid job to them.
Noa Put is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 30th, 2013, 04:23 AM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Reading Berkshire UK
Posts: 827
Re: What if guests show up with better gear

Tempting fate here perhaps, but surely anyone who has shot video with a dSLR knows that any clips of more than a few seconds will be completely unwatchable unless the body was supported with a rig a monopod or a tripod; or maybe rested on furniture such as the back of the pew in front (but the composition then compromised or blocked completely). And what are the chances of a guest bringing a means of stabilisation let alone being allowed to use it by the couple.

I'm sure this will remain a hypothetical scenario as said guests will already have found out for themselves how demanding it is to shoot reasonably stable footage with dSLRs.

But small handicams that have built in stabilisation and good low light performance are already available - I have some :- ) Its very common for some guests here to use these to try and capture ceremonies and speeches. But at this moment in time the results will only emphasise the gulf between amateur and "proper" unless the guest can get into a very good position for composition and in easy ambient shooting conditions and close enough for half decent audio.

However we should not lose sight of the fact that the point at which footage is of acceptable quality to the couple is usually very low. Witness the smartphones with continuous onboard lights during the first dance :- (

I shoot a high volume of weddings as a photographer. Its of course very common for guests to have high end equipment and to fancy their chances - how difficult can it be they think. I also allow guest photos in the albums I design and supply. Many guest photos are shockingly poor both in technical quality and in composition. Its unusual to get one that is even average. So I reckon we are some way off this becoming an issue with video.

Pete
Peter Riding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 30th, 2013, 04:31 AM   #7
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 1,148
Re: What if guests show up with better gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Duffey View Post
...today many people have DSLRs and also know how to shoot video to some degree. Granted most of them don't show up with external HDMI recorder, external audio, 2 mics, rig, etc, but they still can come ready to shoot as good video as I could.
Well, I've very seldom seen guests packing anything near what I'm packing. What's a cheap $3,000 camera to you is a car or an overseas holiday to a civilian, and probably not something they'll own in their lifetime -- other things will always rate as higher priority.

Secondly, it's not how big it is, it's how you use it. It's composition, focus, exposure, even camera settings and colour (though mine's usually on auto, I have to confess). Photographers seem to be conscious of "it's you, not the gear" more than videographers; I'm not sure why.

Enthusiasts might know the theory (a big maybe), but do they have the skill? You're the guy who's using the gear week after week; you're the guy who's constantly thinking about how best to shoot videos and how to improve your game.

You're also better placed than anyone else to know what's happening. You've talked through things with the couple in advance. You know what shots you want to get. You've brought multiple cameras and know how the coverage cuts together. You're there with the bride in the morning while guests are still asleep. You have one of the best seats in the house at the ceremony (and guests will have to defer to you). You have no relatives and friends to distract you through the day. And you have the energy to keep going through reception, when guests are getting drunk and falling asleep.

Don't worry about enthusiasts outshining you -- it doesn't happen. In fact, that worry will interfere with your creativity.

Quote:
So what happens if a client comes to you after the shoot and asks you to use another persons video? What if they look at what you did and think their friend/relative shot better video (and what if they actually did too?)? How do you handle those situations?
For what it's worth, I'm skeptical any of us has ever really faced these situations you mention that worry you! It just doesn't happen. Don't know if that will alleviate your concerns...
Adrian Tan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 30th, 2013, 04:56 AM   #8
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: London, UK
Posts: 1,380
Re: What if guests show up with better gear

So true.

They might get lucky with a couple of shots, but that's it. Hardly enough to slate your WHOLE project.
James Manford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 30th, 2013, 05:05 AM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: LIncolnshire, UK
Posts: 2,051
Re: What if guests show up with better gear

I really don't care how much equipment any guest brings to a wedding, providing they don't get in my way with it or walk through my shot. The reason I am not worried is because wedding videography is about knowing what to shoot, when to shoot, where to shoot from and what clients will want to see. If someone has no experience of wedding shooting, then they just will not get the flow and the little moments that the professional gets, no matter how expensive their equipment.

Roger
Roger Gunkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 30th, 2013, 06:40 AM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Re: What if guests show up with better gear

I have often seen guests with way better still cameras than the official photog BUT can they produce the results???

Give an idiot $50K worth of broadcast camera gear and see what happens but give a pro a camcorder and then you see results.

I wouldn't worry about what guests have but if the client insists on using his mates wobbly footage then I would certainly do so but either put it in a different segment or one could sub title it the same way as the TV stations do and say "Amateur Footage from Guest"

Whether good or bad you need prospective clients to see only your own footage so what they see is what you will give them.

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 30th, 2013, 07:16 AM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: KLD, South Africa
Posts: 983
Re: What if guests show up with better gear

It's not about gear, it's about your experience & style. We filmed a full wedding on iPhones the other day for fun & the results are top. Experience is what sells you. If someone else managed to shoot some great footage at the wedding & gave it to me I'd definitely use it, I get a better result & didn't have to pay another camera operator.
Nicholas de Kock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 30th, 2013, 08:40 AM   #12
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 1,148
Re: What if guests show up with better gear

Wait... what?
Adrian Tan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 30th, 2013, 09:35 AM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
Re: What if guests show up with better gear

The original question is flawed because it assumes customers occasionally ask for videographers to use guests footage. They do not, at least not in my experience. The question of "What if" this or that happens when it rarely if ever happens in real life is pointless.

The question you should have asked, Kevin, is "Do customers ever ask wedding videographers to use guest footage?" . My answer would be "No" they do not. If this were to happen, I will handle it when it arises, I will not fret about it in advance.

I suggest the best thing to do is to jump in with someone local and learn the ropes of wedding video as a second shooter, to learn the flow and rythym of wedding video. It's the best way to find out how it works.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 30th, 2013, 09:39 AM   #14
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
Re: What if guests show up with better gear

Adrian, I have heard of one attempted feature film shot entirely on cell phones. Shooting a wedding using iPhones is certainly doable, it would take some skill to do it right. Would love to see the results, Nick.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 30th, 2013, 10:59 AM   #15
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: California
Posts: 206
Re: What if guests show up with better gear

Thanks all. I definitely need to sit in with some wedding shooters before I venture out on my own. I have a rough idea of what to shoot, there are certainly plenty of blogs/posts from you experts that talk about what shots you must get. But actually doing it no doubt takes some time and skill to learn to shoot it right. I'd typically want to shoot on a tripod (at least one camera) from the back of the church, maybe a 2nd facing the crowd, and have one in a steadicam or something to walk around with.

I have to say I am surprised about using "cheap" cams that some of you are using. I say that only becuase of my inexperience with how well they shoot video, and also because I am a quality hog and I'd want to shoot prores or hdnxd or better if possible. Now that the Canon 5d3 can shoot 14-bit raw 1080p to a CF card, I am thinking either that or a BM pocket cinema camera for shooting videos would be better due to the RAW and high dynamic range and lo-light capabilities. A couple years ago I was looking at the $1000 canon cameras, thinking they would work well for wedding stuff, but was told they would look too unprofessional. Now it seems a lot of people shoot video with them.

My post was intended to see what you pros do if others bring better gear, or if the client asks to use their footage. My personal opinion is that I'd have to charge more to spend hours going through other peoples footage and work it in to my creative flow, which right now is nil since I've not done this yet.

I also can't stand wearing tux or suits. How bad is it to wear dockers, a nice sweater or collared shirt as a professional? I'm a big guy and suits and such make me very uncomfortable, especially having to wear it all day.
Kevin Duffey is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:25 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network