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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old January 28th, 2014, 06:00 PM   #31
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Re: First time shooting a concert (questions)

Hey man! Can't thank you enough for the quick response. As this was my first project, I was really worried about over-charging them. I honestly thought $10 was high, so hearing that other professionals charge so much, kinda started me. I wanted to charge closer to $20 a piece, but was afraid it would be completely unreasonable. I will have to give this a bit more thought, and do a bit more math.
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Old January 28th, 2014, 06:45 PM   #32
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Re: First time shooting a concert (questions)

You have to think of it in terms of what a "new release" movie costs, not in terms of what the "bargain DVD bin" does.

Not that there's anything wrong with DVD's for a couple bucks, but in terms of a one of a kind "feature" with a limited distribution... a "one of a kind" thing if you will... it in theory becomes "priceless" (name your price)to the person who wants a copy (keep in mind 99.999% of the rest of the potential viewers may not be interested at all, and to them, the DVD is a coaster).

This is the tricky part of "event" videos - how do you place a value on a child's performance, on a brides' "special day", etc. etc.? It's not about the DVD, it's the CONTENT, and that can be worth a LOT to friends, family and loved ones! THIS is where the "value" of event video is, not in cameras, sliders. steadicams, editing bays, or even deliverables... it's the CONTENT, the artful (and quality) "capture of the moment". This is also why I think some people don't seem to mind really BAD video (technically speaking), so long as they can sort of see and hear the content...

Once people see QUALITY, they should understand it takes work and investment in equipment beyond an iPhone to achieve, and hopefully be willing to pay "reasonable" amounts for it... but that is the battle in making videography a "business"! And of course we still have to "compete" with shaky handheld vertical format phone-cam footage too, so you can't go too crazy on prices either!
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Old January 29th, 2014, 03:05 PM   #33
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Re: First time shooting a concert (questions)

I have never thought about it like that before. I really should have. It is an entirely unique product, designed/created for them. Thanks for all the input! Here is a link to the one of the Highlight videos I produced for the event. I'd love to get some feedback on it.

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Old January 29th, 2014, 11:09 PM   #34
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Re: First time shooting a concert (questions)

The problem with starting too low on pricing is that it becomes VERY hard to raise them the following year ... especially if you're starting with $10 and you know you should be making $20 or higher.

There's nothing wrong on giving them a little bit of a break the first year so you can get your product in front of them, but you need to be MUCH closer to what you think you want to charge the following year. Otherwise, they're going to think you're gouging them.
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Old January 30th, 2014, 06:15 AM   #35
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Re: First time shooting a concert (questions)

I thought the video image looked good, but was let down by not hearing anything from the concert? I do lots of music stuff, and what I saw looked interesting, but I felt let down that a rather dull and out of place (as in Christmas concert with no christmas music) had been used rather than something from the concert. We saw some interesting bass playing and some pretentious guitar stuff, plus people who might be speaking or singing?

I like the images a lot - but what's the concert sound like?
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Old January 30th, 2014, 12:44 PM   #36
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Re: First time shooting a concert (questions)

+1 for Paul

That montage does nothing for me. It is a concert. IMHO you can not discard the audio completely.

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Old January 30th, 2014, 02:54 PM   #37
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Re: First time shooting a concert (questions)

How would you guys do it? Honestly, when it comes to the "highlight" videos, I didn't really know what to do. I ended up with what I did because that is all I've ever known. I'm completely new to concert video. I have done some summer camps, music videos, and one wedding (years ago) but have never done a highlight video for a concert. What is the best way to go about keeping the music? How long should the clips be? Does anyone have any good exmaples of what a highlight video should look like?

Last edited by Matthias Claflin; January 30th, 2014 at 03:30 PM.
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Old January 30th, 2014, 04:03 PM   #38
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Re: First time shooting a concert (questions)

I hope you donít think I was being hard on you, just my opinion. There is no hard right or wrong answers to the questions you just asked. Editing is as creative (maybe more so) as shooting. If 50 of us edited your footage into highlights you would get back 50 different looks.

I always start by thinking about how the brain of the viewer is going to interpret what they see and hear. For example, the entire video could be audio from just one of the songs from the concert. So you start, with video and audio from that song. Once the viewer knows that is what they are looking at you start cutting other highlight shots in and out of that song and finish for sure with video of that song. Every clip does not have to have its audio used. Here is the tricky part, when you start cutting in the other clips you want it to be obvious that is what you are doing. So the brain does not get confused. Creative use of transitions is one way to do this. But be careful not to get too cheesy with them. Fortunately, music video and highlight reels are one place it is OK to get out your box of cheesy tools. For example, one way to achieve what I am talking about would be with picture in picture. The song being performed would get reduced to a small PIP every time you cut to something else, then expand back to full frame, then back to PIP etc, etc. PIP is not always pretty (some guys just moaned when they read that). But I am trying to make the point that the viewer will never wonder how the images they are viewing is linked to what they are hearing.

Also, avoid awkward cuts like showing a guitar riff while a drum solo is playing on your audio. Tricky I know, I am telling you they should know they are not listening to that exact riff, but donít go as far overboard as just drums. As video editors we struggle with continuity, flow, and perception all the time. That is what it is about. And the problems are almost always solved creatively, not from a rule book.

You are the only one that can do it because you will be looking at it and listening to it as you put the pieces of the puzzle back together. All the while, trying to think like a viewer that does not have all the information that is in your brain.

Have fun with it. Welcome to professional video. This is why we sayÖ.If it was easy, Uncle Bob could it!

Hope this helps.

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Old January 30th, 2014, 04:37 PM   #39
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Re: First time shooting a concert (questions)

Well thank you. I know it isn't easy ;) I was the "uncle bob" but more like "cousin matt" and it was no fun. I knew I wanted to do better, and years later, here I am, trying to do better. I have looked at some stuff online, but it seems highlight videos from concerts are few and far between. Most of the ones I found seem to be some form of K-pop band.

I think what you mentioned may be a viable option and I'll play around with it tonight. However, I don't have a lot of time (and I despise PIP most of the time). I was asked to have DVDs ready by tomorrow, so I'll be looking to see if I can get an edit done tonight, if not, then I'll be forced to stick with what I have. As this particular doesn't really know they are getting a highlight video, it was more just for me to get some experience editing and hopefully add a fun surprise to the DVD. If I'm not happy with it by the time I need to create the DVD master, I'll just give up and leave it out. Possibly putting one up online later.
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Old January 30th, 2014, 05:22 PM   #40
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Re: First time shooting a concert (questions)

PIP was just an example to illustrate my point. I don't use it, unless the scenario makes it a requirement.

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Old January 30th, 2014, 05:23 PM   #41
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Re: First time shooting a concert (questions)

It's quite possible to edit different songs together, but you have to match the musical keys and the tempo, and that's a bit tricky, but can be done.
This is an edit of quite a few weeks worth of show, into something that works musically - If you listen to Proud Mary, there's a bit of a verse, a chorus and and end - so just enough to make the song work. The singer was just given the clips with her in them - so no separate audio tracks - just the 'as broadcast stuff'.

I'd see if you can do something similar with your clips from the show.
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Old January 30th, 2014, 07:09 PM   #42
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Re: First time shooting a concert (questions)

Steven hit the one thing that stood out a bit to me - the expectation is that the audio and the video "match" in some way... once I got over that, the video itself looked good, you improved over the last guy!

The problem with a "highlight" is always trying to stitch together a bunch of different "outfits" to make an ensemble that doesn't look funky or tacky (nod to those US Olympic duds - ouch, my eyes...).

I just took it as a highlight video with a generic "soundtrack", and figured the actual deliverable DVD would be the actual performances, i.e. a "documentary" of the event.

Most of the time mixing a successful "trailer" or "highlight" is harder than straight "docu" mixing! Much like a movie trailer, you have 30-60 seconds to "hook" the viewer to watch the whole thing, so you have to connect them to the "whole" - perhaps a "Christmas Concert" with Christmas music might be one place to start?
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Old January 30th, 2014, 07:52 PM   #43
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Re: First time shooting a concert (questions)

The reason I didn't use Christmas music for the highlight video was simply because the place I went to license music (premiumbeat.com, due to affordablility) had very little that I liked as far as Christmas went, so I decided to throw some generic "rock" track on there to suit my needs. At this point, I'm trying to put together a simple highlight with actual video/audio from the event as opposed to the generic track. I'm having a bit more luck with it already than I had anticipated. The DVD itself has a full length edit of the video, and really the intention of delivering the DVD was to give out a copy of the full performance. That is what I spent most of my time on. The highlight, for me, was a bit of an after thought. Something else I could put on the DVD to give it more depth. I intend to work closely with the director of the concert to create a promo for next year, however I deemed that an unnecessary part of the DVD as it is still January.

At the end of the day, I don't have to deliver a highlight video. They are not paying me for anything other than a DVD with the full video on it. That is what I will deliver if I can't put a better highlight video together by tomorrow night. I appreciate all the feedback.
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Old January 30th, 2014, 10:23 PM   #44
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Re: First time shooting a concert (questions)

Matthias,

You have had a great project to cut your teeth on. And a lot of DVINFO guys really stepped up to give you good advice. There is a lot of good advice on this thread. That does not always happen for new boots. It happened for you because you hung in there with us. Don't get me wrong, this is a community based on people helping each other, regardless of experience level. I have done this for a few years and I learn something new on this site almost every day. The reason some guys ( at least me) are hesitant to spend a lot of time helping a new guy is this: some guy logs in and says "I have a new project on my hands, PLEASE help me! We spend our time helping out, and the guy never returns to the site again.

If you continue to hold your interest in video this site is an amazing resource. And much of what you will want to learn is already here. Check out the whole site, you might be surprised what you find.

I am glad this project went well for you. I have seen guys with far more experience than you put a gig like that straight in the toilet!

Paul, did you work on that edit? I could have made some jokes about her choice of hair style but I am sensitive to the fact it could be chemo induced, so I refrained?

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Old January 31st, 2014, 12:53 AM   #45
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Re: First time shooting a concert (questions)

Matthias, first, you did a very good job shooting and editing the images for the highlight video. But, a lot of the viewers experience will be how well you were able to capture the sound. If it is good you've got a very worthwhile product.

or event videos, as has been pointed out, you can't go by what a mass produced DVD would cost. I do a lot of dance, theatrical, and live performance video productions. I keep the costs of the finished DVD's as low as I can while still making a reasonable rate. My normal day rate for a day of shooting if I bring my own camea is $850. So, if I'm doing a live event video where I'll also edit there has to be a reasonable return. I'm still less expensive than a lot of others around me in my market. I usually charge $25 per DVD and $30 for a BR. Other companies around me are charging $30 or $35 per DVD. Having the ability to purchase a quality produced video is usually very worth it for the people who want it because it allows them to enjoy the live performance without having to worry about videoing it. I always have people come up to me after these shows and thank me for doing it.

I would recommend that you don't scrap working on the highlight video. You've got the footage and it could be a good learning experience as well as possibly a good marketing tool. To be able to cut between different performances you should learn a little about editing narratives and documentaries. Using a lot of those techniques and theories will help to put a highlight video together that won't feel choppy or have a strange rhythm to it. Cross fades can help but don't over use them. You could cut midway through a song to the beginning of another song to eliminate strange tempo or pitch changes. If you are knowledgeable about music, you could even go as far as making cuts between pleasing chord progressions. Think of it as doing a jazz solo, sometimes changes in keys or tempos are abrupt, and sometimes they are smooth and almost seamless. Editing is definitely an art. There is a definite rhythm that every project has both visually and sonically. Good luck and have fun with it.
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