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Old January 27th, 2014, 02:49 AM   #16
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Re: What would you do if your car broke down?

.. and above all, make sure this type of thing is covered in your contract.
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Old January 27th, 2014, 05:34 AM   #17
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Re: What would you do if your car broke down?

As has been said, 'Failure is not an option!' I have filmed over 2000 weddings and so far have never failed to get to one. If I did fail, then the other 2000+ successes are of no interest to the couple at all. Their day is all that matters to them and no excuse is acceptable.

You have to cover every possible option bar death, with a backup person, breakdown recovery, alternative transport and time in hand. The fear of failure is one of the things that stops many competent videographers/photographers from taking on weddings.

Roger
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Old January 27th, 2014, 06:30 AM   #18
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Re: What would you do if your car broke down?

30 years in video. 12 years before that in stills. Somewhere around a total of 2500 weddings still and video, plus countless corporate gigs. NEVER missed one. Been late to crew call once by about 15 minutes because of a massive accident on the highway in front of me.
Always found a way AND gotta admit, I was more than pretty lucky.

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Old January 27th, 2014, 06:47 AM   #19
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Re: What would you do if your car broke down?

New German car every 3 years ;) Serviced annualy, always keep the tank topped up :D

It's always a thought and something we just try and avoid with new, reliable cars. We get any niggles fixed straight away rather than leaving them to just keep going until they finally cause something to break like i did in my day job.

We've had to give photographers a lift a few times because their car broke down. Funnily enough I think all of them drove a Fiat.
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Old January 27th, 2014, 06:50 AM   #20
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Re: What would you do if your car broke down?

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Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post

You have to cover every possible option bar death, with a backup person, breakdown recovery, alternative transport and time in hand. The fear of failure is one of the things that stops many competent videographers/photographers from taking on weddings.

Roger
I agree and have never missed a wedding yet but how can you have a backup for every eventuality? If I was in a car crash on the way to the wedding and broke both my legs I have 2 companies who might step in at the last minute but chances are they would be already booked. I could not afford the luxury of paying someone a retainer for every wedding 'just in case'. In the case of a vehicle breakdown I do have a list of taxi numbers for all the large towns in the areas in which I work and would not hesitate to call them and sort my own car out the day after.
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Old January 27th, 2014, 06:55 AM   #21
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Re: What would you do if your car broke down?

Hey Pete

The answer as you lay trapped in your car with both legs broken is your contract! Limited liability to refund of monies paid and then have a 6 week break at home in your plaster casts! Good time to catch up on your editing and re-build your website.

There are situations where you have to realise that you just are not going to be able to do this wedding. Hopefully both of us (and everyone here) will never have to face that situation!

Chris
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Old January 27th, 2014, 07:16 AM   #22
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Re: What would you do if your car broke down?

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Originally Posted by Peter Rush View Post
In the case of a vehicle breakdown I do have a list of taxi numbers for all the large towns in the areas in which I work and would not hesitate to call them and sort my own car out the day after.
Quite right Peter, I really cant imagine having the time to have a contingency plan to cover some of the things mentioned above. Taxi every time

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Hey Pete

The answer as you lay trapped in your car with both legs broken is your contract! Limited liability to refund of monies paid and then have a 6 week break at home in your plaster casts! Good time to catch up on your editing and re-build your website.

There are situations where you have to realise that you just are not going to be able to do this wedding. Hopefully both of us (and everyone here) will never have to face that situation!

Chris
Right on Chris. Guess I have been lucky, never missed a wedding in 32 years, and in the early days I drove around in some sheds of vehicles. As you say, its all in the T & C
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Old January 27th, 2014, 07:33 AM   #23
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Re: What would you do if your car broke down?

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Hey Pete

The answer as you lay trapped in your car with both legs broken is your contract! Limited liability to refund of monies paid and then have a 6 week break at home in your plaster casts! Good time to catch up on your editing and re-build your website.

There are situations where you have to realise that you just are not going to be able to do this wedding. Hopefully both of us (and everyone here) will never have to face that situation!

Chris
Quite agree Chris - My girlfriend comes out on some weddings as a 'fetcher and carrier' and occasionally I'll give her my CX730 to get the bride leaving the house as I'll already be at the church getting the guests arriving, but I cannot imagine letting her film the entire wedding day. Even if I trained her up I do lots of Thursday/Friday weddings and in the event of a catastrophe she'd be at work!

The Ideal scenario is a two person crew travelling in 2 cars - not going to happen for me unless my prices go up dramatically - I'm covered in my terms and conditions and that will have to do.

I had a wedding last summer where I had really bad D&V - A few Immodium and travel sickness tablets helped and I managed to film their big day (turned out to be a good video as well) but I had to leave my camera in the church twice to go to the toilet before the tablets kicked in - hopefully that's as bad as it will get! I also had a crisis last winter when it snowed really heavy, as it was a Saturday there was no traffic to clear the roads so myself and my girlfriend were up a 5am digging the length of the street - I set off at 8am and had to stop 2 or 3 times to dig myself out - I actually got to the wedding early but that is something that could have gone really wrong and you cannot have a contingency for - on that day even the emergency services were failing to get to places - maybe I should invest in a helipad :)
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Old January 27th, 2014, 08:38 AM   #24
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Re: What would you do if your car broke down?

Anyone who says to have never missed a wedding has been lucky, most obvious reasons to miss a wedding is getting involved in a severe accident, I get a few phonecalls from brides EVERY year that their videographer can't come often very close or even a few days before the wedding. This means the videographer has failed to provide a solution and the client is in panic trying to find a replacement themselves. If there is an accident and you arrive much to late or not at all then, unless you have a paid backup standing by, it's too late to find someone else as they most probably are working as well.

I have been a few hours late last year on a wedding due to a massive traffic jam, it was one of those rare weddings where I was accompanied by a second videographer and since he was in my car he was late as well. You do what you can but your contract that you have with your client is your best friend in such a case.
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Old January 27th, 2014, 11:39 AM   #25
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Re: What would you do if your car broke down?

A couple of years ago I was doing a wedding and I knew the photogs (2). They drove seperately. Going from the ceremony to the reception one of them was following the other...a bit too close and, yep, you guessed it. BAM! A very nice rear ender! I was behind them both and far enough back so I could witness but not partake although I was laughing so hard I almost did. Luckily no major damage to either car more to the ego of both but it made me think about driving a little more attentively!
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Old January 27th, 2014, 12:45 PM   #26
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Re: What would you do if your car broke down?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Rush View Post
In the case of a vehicle breakdown I do have a list of taxi numbers for all the large towns in the areas in which I work and would not hesitate to call them and sort my own car out the day after.
Smart idea.

That would be my ONLY option to be honest. If it broke down on the motorway, get it recovered to the nearest garage, phone up a taxi and get a lift to the wedding.

The whole wedding would turn out to be a loss in terms of profit, but at the end of the day the bride would appreciate you even more! especially because my contract clearly states emergencies out of my control will result in a full refund.
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Old January 27th, 2014, 05:00 PM   #27
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Re: What would you do if your car broke down?

Its worthwhile having a couple of hire company tel numbers to hand as well.

Hiring a car is dirt cheap and often you can get it delivered to you and picked up afterwards. Much cheaper and more convenient than taxis if its possible.

On two occasions I have hired cars at short notice when my local garage was unable to get the parts needed it time to repair my own car. Obviously this is much less likely to work if you are about to leave or enroute.

On one other occasion I got what turned out to be a flat battery. Wouldn't you just know it but that gig was a getting ready in a posh hotel, a ceremony in Kensington and reception in Horse Guards Parade all in central London about 45 miles from me :- ( Fortunately a neighbour noticed me and drove me to the hotel. Then it was all taxisand train - very expensive and a PITA yomping the gear around.

Now I always check my car the morning of, several hours before departure because if anything is going to do for you in the winter its a knackered battery. I give myself time for a fast recharge.

I did get tailended in central London once. I rushed around to the back and the other driver legged it. He probably thought I was going to attack him but really I was just anxious to get it sorted out super quick. Car still was drivable.

I've always had jump leads in my car and several times I've used them to get guests started.

You do need to cover your bases in your contract - as others have stated. No-one can give 100% guarantees that they can perform every contract in every circumstance.

Pete
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Old January 27th, 2014, 05:30 PM   #28
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Re: What would you do if your car broke down?

The nearest I got to not making it so far, was a few years ago when I had to have a small Surgical procedure on my rear end at 8.00 on a Saturday morning. Against advice and barely able to walk, I discharged myself and managed to get to the wedding accompanied by one of my sons who was not a videographer. I instructed him on where to point the camera and what to record, doing some of the filming when I was able. We got through the day and the couple were very pleased with the results.

My contract does include a clause which covers unforeseen medical circumstances and outside interference, events and circumstances over which I have no control.

Roger
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Old January 27th, 2014, 05:32 PM   #29
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Re: What would you do if your car broke down?

Roger - Couldn't agree more!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
As has been said, 'Failure is not an option!' I have filmed over 2000 weddings and so far have never failed to get to one. If I did fail, then the other 2000+ successes are of no interest to the couple at all. Their day is all that matters to them and no excuse is acceptable.
.... and, "Their day is all that matters to them..."

Any excuse for non performance better be a really good.

The other part you said about "The fear of failure is one of the things that stops many competent videographers/photographers from taking on weddings." Like the saying goes, you can get 1,000 Atta-Boys but just one Aw-S**t wipes the slate clean.

Just found the picture where I got rear-ended. The vehicle damage was much worse than the plastic bumper would indicate because the plastic is pretty springy and bounced back to it's original shape.

The good part was that my wife had her still camera in her bag so I was able to get a lot of pictures, and that, by the way, helped with "being made whole". Their insurance company really stonewalled paying up for the damage and, also like they say, pictures are worth a thousand words.

The tripods were on the floor in the back seat but now I travel with things reversed.


Danny O'Neill - I liked your car comments.
By the way, you wrote: "We get any niggles fixed straight away"
What, Sir, is a "niggle"? I'm thinking that sounds like something your girlfriend did on your neck.


Chris Harding: And, a question for you: " in the early days I drove around in some sheds of vehicles."
What is (are?) sheds?
Where I'm from a "shed" (noun) is a small outbuilding one puts all the garden tools, lawn mower, etc. in.


Peter Riding: That must have spiked the ol' blood pressure!
Question: "... a knackered battery" - that is probably a dead battery?
" .... the other driver legged it." That is a funny one, haven't heard it before. In the big city you have to be on the defensive and he probably was. Or, maybe no license or passport?

Picture:
Blue bag: Glidecam, Rycote Windjammer, small parts, cables
Little black bag: B-cam
Big black bag: various cables, adapters, lavalier mics, white-balance card,
Pelican case: A-cam, JuicedLink pre, mics, more little stuff

Back seat: Tripods, lights, computer

Note license plate imprint on bumper
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What would you do if your car broke down?-p1000628-medium.jpg  

Last edited by John Nantz; January 27th, 2014 at 05:49 PM. Reason: what is in the picture
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Old January 27th, 2014, 06:34 PM   #30
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Re: What would you do if your car broke down?

Chris Harding: And, a question for you: " in the early days I drove around in some sheds of vehicles."
What is (are?) sheds?
Where I'm from a "shed" (noun) is a small outbuilding one puts all the garden tools, lawn mower, etc. in.

John, it was me.
In the UK, to drive around in a shed is to drive around in a barely legal, wreck of a car. I know, crazy isnt it !!!!!!!!
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