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


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Old January 22nd, 2014, 02:38 AM   #1
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Event/wedding feedback

Hi Everyone

I'm just wondering what is 'normal' for customers feedback on weddings and event videography?

I've only been doing it on my own for a year and am quickly realising there is no such thing as creative license. One concert want a huge amount of close ups and the next want a more broad shot most of the time. I am feeling pretty uninspired at the moment, as I work on a project and get it to a nice point only to get feedback requesting changes for nearly every job I've done.

Would you say this is a pretty big part of the job? Or do you all get away with doing one edit and the customers are normally happy with it?

I feel because I put so much of my time and energy into an edit that it becomes almost an extension of me to a certain extent and then take a request for a change or some slightly negative feedback to heart. Not sure is I need to chill out or if I'm in the wrong job?

Cheers
Diana
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 03:45 AM   #2
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Re: Event/wedding feedback

It can be very difficult to change the style of an edit completely without having to start again, and even then you probably had a pretty good idea what you wanted it to look like before it was filmed, and planned your shots accordingly.

It's better to sit down with the client before the event and find out what their expectations are. If you bring along previous finished examples of your work on the same type of event to show them, it can help to sway their opinions a bit. If you summarise the requirements and what has been agreed then email it to them (response required), it is easier to tell the client that a change of mind will cost them more. Taking control early on will save you hassle later.

On a practical note, a visit to the venue before the event is very helpful but doesn't always stop nasty surprises on the day/night eg a PA mixer station appearing right where you were going to put the camera for the wide shots or crazy lighting effects that do not translate to actually seeing what is happening on stage. Rooms for weddings can be just too small for what the client visualises being on the film and live sound can be a nightmare to record without proper sound checks and rehearsals.

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Old January 22nd, 2014, 04:05 AM   #3
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Re: Event/wedding feedback

I think most people who offer a creative service straddle the line of total control and pleasing the client. You must decide if you are going to be the driver or the driven.

Having retreated from this type of work after more that twenty years of weddings and events my thoughts are: If you are confident in your style and execution then make it clear from the outset with your clients that your interpretation of the event is what you'll present and you'll only be responsible for re-editing technical faults.

If you are working as a service for hire then establish at the outset just what your client is expecting, talk through the technical aspects of achieving that and mention any limitations that you think that their idea will result in. then get on with it, give them what they ask for, bank the money and look forward to your next job not back at the last.

If you are an artist and don't want to compromise your creativity then make what you believe in then seek out the clients who'll buy into you.
If you want to treat your work as a commercial business provide what your clients want.
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 05:08 AM   #4
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Re: Event/wedding feedback

It depends, if it's a wedding client they get to see demo's before they hire me and they can give me any input on what they find important and I take that into account during filming and editing but once the product is finished they have to take it as it comes. I do get a occasional request for editing changes but I always tell them when we first meet that changes are charged per hour, they can see the film on a vimeo site with a password and tell me what they want changed and then I"ll provide them with a new quote. Once they hear what it costs to make the changes I never have to re-edit anything :)

If it's a corporate client that hires me to cover an event they always get to see the edit first online and can request for changes 2 times but in those cases that is allready calculated in my prizes.
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 05:46 AM   #5
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Re: Event/wedding feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
It depends, if it's a wedding client they get to see demo's before they hire me and they can give me any input on what they find important and I take that into account during filming and editing but once the product is finished they have to take it as it comes. I do get a occasional request for editing changes but I always tell them when we first meet that changes are charged per hour, they can see the film on a vimeo site with a password and tell me what they want changed and then I"ll provide them with a new quote. Once they hear what it costs to make the changes I never have to re-edit anything :)

If it's a corporate client that hires me to cover an event they always get to see the edit first online and can request for changes 2 times but in those cases that is allready calculated in my prizes.
I pretty much have an identical way of operating as Noa, except I don't post on vimeo before sending out the finished weddings.

All corporate work is shown on vimeo where possible (passworded with timecode burn-in) and they can tell me what they like / don't like. Two changes max, and they have time limits to give feedback too - so they aren't dragging things out. Once they request a version without timecode then its a done deal and they owe me the balance.

Change requests happen, especially on corporate/event shoots. Get used to it and don't take it personally. You are working for them and they are paying you to make the film they want. Allow for some changes in the budget (don't low ball the quote and not allow for extra work) and find out what they want ahead of time. Get your understanding of their requirements down in writing and submit it to them prior to the shoot so you have something to reference if they come back and say they wanted something different.

It seems lots of people (not referring to the OP here) come to this business with the mindset of "this is my art, I am right all of the time and if you don't agree I'll take it really personally". Video production is a skill set and part of that skill set is producing great artistic work and the other part is satisfying the customer's requirements. Sometimes they're not quite the same thing. Remember, he who pays the piper calls the tune. If you don't like the tunes they want, don't play pipe for them :)
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 06:12 AM   #6
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Re: Event/wedding feedback

Weddings are always filmed and edited according to my style, and the client has seen various examples before they book and know exactly what they will get. I make sure that I am aware of any particular requirements that they have so that there are no surprises on the day or after.

Live concerts would also be shot to a standard format, but I would always visit an unfamiliar venue and establish what and where things are going on. I also make it quite clear the space that I require and discuss the best place to set this up.

Corporate production is totally different and requires careful discussion with the client regarding their expectations for the end product and usually with a storyboard, script and shooting script and risk assessment agreed before the shoot starts. Initial edits are presented to the client for approval and compliance with the original brief, before final editing is carried out. All of the planning is incorporated in the pricing structure and any requested deviations from the agreed scripting at the time of filming or editing, are charged on an hourly and/or cost basis.

Roger
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 07:48 AM   #7
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Re: Event/wedding feedback

Hi Diana

Like Roger I find it's essential not to just provide your "very best ever" video as a sample. I give brides a huge and varied selection, some brilliant and some quite mediocre !! That way they get an overview of your work and there are no nasty surprises after delivery. I'd hate to only have a sample that just happened to be way better than average on my site and then have the bride say "but my video is nothing like your sample"

Also remember that no feedback isn't bad at all. If you go and buy a new outfit do you rush back to the store a week later and tell them how great it was?? Few people even bother to give feedback so take no feedback as a happy client and positive feedback as a bonus. They are paying you for the job so they are no obliged to also thank you later .... if you hear nothing then assume they are happy and move on.

Chris
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 11:18 AM   #8
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Re: Event/wedding feedback

It's part of it but you either need to price for it to happen, or charge for the changes. Numerous times I've responded to Craigslist ads for a variety of event gigs, and stated a fee that is probably on the "too high" end of their spectrum. I'm fine with that, because when people are asking for shooting, editing, and especially incorporating graphic design & motion graphics, they're asking for someone to get in over their head for a cheap gig that they expect to be the quality of a Verizon or State Farm commercial. I can work in graphics, but admittedly am not a graphic designer in the least. Therefore it takes me a long time to spend on the work only to have them say to me "Redesign it" or "Tweak this part here".
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Old January 26th, 2014, 06:44 PM   #9
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Re: Event/wedding feedback

Do you know what it is ...

I would personally never have a problem with doing re-edits if it meant I didn't have to re-print, re-burn discs and post them out.

And the thing is, if I upload the film on to vimeo or youtube for the client to view prior to posting. Every single client I have will want SOMETHING changed for the sake of it!

It's just a daunting process, re rendering and such ...

I can't wait until PC's become lightning fast where it can render with no crashes and very very quickly.
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Old January 26th, 2014, 08:38 PM   #10
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Re: Event/wedding feedback

Hi James

That is so true so the best policy is NOT to offer to change anything!! As you say the couple will actually feel obliged to give you at least one or two chances BUT if you don't ask them for "approval" they are happy with the end result.

The worst thing one can ever do is send/give the bride a "proof copy" either on disk or online and then ask for changes (which you will do for free too)

I stopped doing this many years ago and "hey presto" brides don't ask for changes any more!!

Chris
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Old January 27th, 2014, 03:26 AM   #11
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Re: Event/wedding feedback

I post samples on my blog of very recent weddings for prospective couples to see. These are very representative of my work so they know pretty much what they are going to get. I dispatch a final copy when it is ready and never send a 'proof'. If the client wants editorial changes (it happens very rarely) I politely say 'OK but it will be £XX/hour' and then they suddenly decide they are happy with it as it is!

Pete
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Old January 27th, 2014, 05:20 AM   #12
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Re: Event/wedding feedback

Like a portrait painter, if you have a style stick to it. No portrait painter would present their work, then suggest that the subject could have changes if they wished. You just need to be sure that they know exactly what they will be getting before it is contracted.

You should be booked because of the way you present your work, not inspite of it. If the work is not forthcoming of course, perhaps then is the time to think about changing style.

Roger
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Old January 27th, 2014, 06:36 AM   #13
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Re: Event/wedding feedback

I did changes many many years ago and that stopped after I realized what a mistake it was.
I decided that if people saw my samples they knew what they were getting before they signed up so NO Changes EVER for over 25 years and about 2200 weddings.
If I made a mistake spelling a name or something stupid like that sure I'd change it at no charge but the B&G had no say in the edit. Period. That to me is quite dangerous and can lead to many hours of frustration and many unfinished jobs. The B&G hired you as a professional to do your job, my feeling...Do it. If they knew enough to tell me how to edit then why did they hire me? Nope, they hired me, I do the job. they knew what they were getting before they signed up. End of story.
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Old January 27th, 2014, 06:49 AM   #14
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Re: Event/wedding feedback

Don

Sometimes I think you played a big part in being my mentor and guiding light! I did much the same until a bride arrived at my office with 8 pages of changes and sat with me 3 straight days in a row (for up to 8 hours each day) saying "I don't like my hair . cut that out" or "hubby is touching his cheek..it looks like he is picking his nose..cut that out" That taught me the important lesson that you also learnt!!!

Since that day, I don't do ANY changes nor do I get any change requests! Easy as that! It would be much the same as handing a drunk buddy a 2x4 and telling him to hit you!! Is he going to hit you? You betcha!!

I cannot believe that video people still offer changes ...no-one at all is EVER going to tell you it's fine ..they have to tell you to change something just to keep you happy. To me if you DO offer changes then that simply means that "I'm not happy with your video, it's way below par and I need you to help me get it right"

Sheesh people ...have a decent amount of samples on your web site, put the video onto DVD and deliver it! End of Story from my side too. Really if you have to ask your client for help (which you are effectively doing) then you need a lot more confidence in your product. It will never be perfect in your eyes so you have to get to the stage where you say "That's good enough" ... you are running a business and time is money. Remember what's not absolutely perfect to you looks a million dollars to the bride.

There is no reason WHATSOEVER to have to change stuff on a wedding video... unless you have made a silly mistake like spelling errors !

Chris
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Old January 27th, 2014, 07:11 PM   #15
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Re: Event/wedding feedback

Thanks for the replies.

I think you are probably right Chris, perhaps I am almost asking for help or approval because it's all new for me. I need to be confident in my delivery and not reliant on the client to offer feedback.

It's all a big learning curve that's for sure!!
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