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Old January 29th, 2014, 10:24 AM   #1
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New wedding vid delivery order?

Looking for any thoughts or opinions any of you may have on this: I think I'm going to try something different this year for how I get couples their wedding videos.

We produce two videos: the longer, straight-forward video that includes the full ceremony, speeches, 1st dance, et al; and a 'wedding film' that is usually 15-20 minutes and, yes, is more cinematic, featuring only the best moments.

My work flow is that I make the full wedding video first, then, in Vegas, trim away and reorganize to make the shorter wedding film. That means I actually have the longer video done and rendered first, but clients see the highlight/wedding film first, since I post it online; and don't see the full wedding video until I deliver the DVDs, usually 1-3 weeks later.

I'm thinking of a digital delivery (Dropbox link?) of the full wedding video (usually 60-90 minutes, 8gb) when I finish it, so they can see it right away if they want; then usually another 1-2 weeks for the better wedding film they'll actually share online.

I'm hoping this will mean I deliver *something* quicker, since it's often a few months after the wedding until I deliver (or at least by end of wedding season it is). The more cinematic wedding film is more difficult to finish than the straight forward full length. Also thought the more emotionally impactful wedding film might do better if they had already seen the less excited (though not less important) full length wedding video.
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Old January 29th, 2014, 01:36 PM   #2
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Re: New wedding vid delivery order?

I'm not a fan of using Dropbox or other online storage for large HD files such as weddings. I can take a long time for uploads and clients in poor connection areas may not be able to download files of that size.

I must say though that what bothers me more is your comment about your clients not getting their video until months after the wedding! I would have thought that providing a better delivery time scale to your clients would be of far greater benefit to your business than online delivery. I guarantee delivery within 4 weeks providing they have supplied me with names for credits, music choice etc. Brides always want to see the finished product when they come back from honeymoon, and I think that longer delays would reflect badly on my business and be passed around to their friends.

Roger
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Old January 29th, 2014, 02:37 PM   #3
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Re: New wedding vid delivery order?

To answer your question specifically, Dropbox to me gives a less glamorous feel. You could look into a video hosting service, such as Smugmug which will allow them to download it as well as see it. IF you get a smugmug account which I love, make sure you tell them I referred. you. As for delivering a wedding within a certain time frame, I don't have one. I'd rather spend the time getting it right. Art can't be rushed.
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Old January 29th, 2014, 05:00 PM   #4
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Re: New wedding vid delivery order?

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Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
I must say though that what bothers me more is your comment about your clients not getting their video until months after the wedding! I would have thought that providing a better delivery time scale to your clients would be of far greater benefit to your business than online delivery
Not to derail the thread too far, but I think as long as you are setting appropriate expectations before hand then this isn't an issue.

Back to the real question. I like to provide the cinematic wedding first. It's the first thing the bride sees, so she'll be the most excited by this video It's also the video that she's most likely to share with her friends on facebook, etc since it's the first thing she saw (obviously she can't with the doc.).

I also would love to go to a fully digital delivery, but I think Roger has a point about those in rural areas or people who aren't tech savy enough.
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Old January 29th, 2014, 05:18 PM   #5
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Re: New wedding vid delivery order?

I've gone to digital delivery as a way of discounting the products instead of increasing prices.

Everyone wants to feel they got a discount and this is a way of allowing a discount AND improving the quality of the end product (HD vs DVD) while at the same time making less work for me (no compression / authoring / case / label / printing / postage).

What that means is the price for your wedding video package is 'x' but if you're looking to save money then the price could be x-y if you want all your video delivered faster, electronically AND in full HD instead of getting it delivered on DVD by mail in standard definition only. Oh, BTW - once you have your HD files you can make your own DVDs if you want ;)

Hmmmm...... that's not such a hard sell for some people, especially if they are doing most of their watching on iPads, computers and other media players. Blu-ray never really took off for me but people do like HD over SD if they can play it.

OTOH, some people like the touchy feely stuff of a nice case design, photo quality printed disc labels, and a physical disc they can put in a player, including round at grandparent's houses. If that's the case, it's just costs more for what I consider to be an inferior product.

In the end, I'll give them which ever they want. All they have to do is pay for it.

BTW - I use my web server to deliver the product via a passworded link rather than dropbox etc. By using the passworded link I also get email notification when they download it. I give them a time limit of 2 weeks to download it after which time it's removed. If they want it back up again there's a fee for doing it. This stops my server provider getting too worked up about using them for storage rather than web serving. If I could get a decent upload speed at home I'd host it here instead but right now I'm stuck at 3mbps upload and it's not ideal.

In the end it's business. I deliver all my corporate stuff this way, so it just make sense for weddings too, provided the couple have a good internet connection etc. If they don't I'm happy to supply it on USB stick for a fee. HD vs SD with all the work it takes to make an SD product, along with the reduction in quality. I can't believe how much time I've spent messing around with compression settings because a particular scene isn't compressing well to MPEG2 and the artefacts are driving me nuts! The sooner DVDs die the better! Alas it's going to take years!

Oh, and to come back t the OP, we deliver everything at the same time now unless they paid for the short trailer. Everything means the 20 minute highlights plus full ceremony and full speeches. Done.
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Old January 29th, 2014, 06:06 PM   #6
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Re: New wedding vid delivery order?

Hi Dave

Sadly most brides want to get something tangible in their hands and a digital delivery or a tiny USB drive doesn't appear to the bride as suitable product for the amount of money paid!!

Give them three double DVD cases with printed covers all packaged into a big box and you have a "value for money" product. It's all about marketing! By all means offer digital delivery as an option BUT the client still likes to see something for their money.

Roger? I too could never understand the "months" delivery ...maybe the longer you wait the better the product is perceived to be??? Our clients get a delivery within 7 days of the wedding and for me, anything more than 14 days is poor customer service and doesn't make sense business wise unless you are charging $6K to $10K for a wedding which physically needs more edit time to justify the price.

Chris
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Old January 29th, 2014, 06:12 PM   #7
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Re: New wedding vid delivery order?

Gah, I can't believe I didn't even consider using our web server, Dave, thank you.

I think I'll stick with what I have then. I am doing a better job of being efficient. This past year, two different weddings really derailed my editing schedule, taking a month each instead of two weeks. I can't devote full time to editing since I stay home with our 3 and 4 year old.
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Old January 30th, 2014, 06:12 AM   #8
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Re: New wedding vid delivery order?

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Hi Dave
Sadly most brides want to get something tangible in their hands and a digital delivery or a tiny USB drive doesn't appear to the bride as suitable product for the amount of money paid!!
Chris
I would agree with you, but when someone is pushing for a lower price, not because they are negotiating, but they simply don't have the budget, -and- their photographer is delivering everything on USB stick why would this be any different?

I'm not saying it's for every bride, far from it, but also not every bride wants a DVD that they have to rip to play on their iPad. Swings and roundabouts. And since most people don't have a Blu-ray player, this is one way for them to get an 'upgrade' to full HD yet at a lower cost. It's win-win for 'some' people, but like you said, not everyone wants it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Benda View Post
This past year, two different weddings really derailed my editing schedule, taking a month each instead of two weeks. I can't devote full time to editing since I stay home with our 3 and 4 year old.
Robert, you need to get that editing under control ;)

Around three years ago we had a really busy time and we got about 6 weddings behind. I swore I'd never let that happen again. Those triple wedding weekends (fri/sat/sun) just about killed me. We used to take a couple of weeks over an edit back in the old days, and rendering the final video could take hours and hours. Thankfully recent advances in software mean we can now turn around a highlights video, full ceremony and speeches in as little as a couple of days and four at most.

While our contract says 4-8 weeks, we typically deliver in 7-10 days, subject to their honeymoon schedule.
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Old January 30th, 2014, 06:44 AM   #9
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Re: New wedding vid delivery order?

I've been uploading to space on my website for several months now in addition to delivering physical product. However my webstats show a very low usage for the download method. And I do live in a very tech savvy region. People are just waiting for the physical product even though they could have the download straight away.

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Old January 30th, 2014, 06:58 PM   #10
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Re: New wedding vid delivery order?

Robert, I agree with Dave that you need to get your editing under control! but I thought the video side of your business was mainly down to your wife? My wife is an equal in our business, capable of meeting clients, taking on solo video/photography shoots and editing the results. This means that we can take on two weddings on one day, or reduce the workload on a single wedding by both being there.

We have two weekends in the coming Summer when we have two Saturday weddings and a Friday one on consecutive weeks, followed by four more double weekends. That gives 14 weddings over 6 weeks with 12 of them being joint photo and video packages. They will all be delivered within 4 weeks of filming and that delivery time gives us very positive feedback from our clients. 8 of those 14 weddings are also recommendations from previous clients.

As regards HD delivery, the majority of my clients require dvd which I find very quick and easy to produce. I am delivering a wedding tomorrow which is 98 minutes long and took 3 hours to render the first copy and make 2 extra copies. I am very happy to let them have an HD version on USB if required although I find it takes longer to render the HD file for output than it does to produce a dvd.

I also always deliver in person, as I collect full payment on delivery, but more importantly, it maintains a personal contact with my client which gives a high level of recommendation to their friends and family. When it comes to weddings, I find that feeling comfortable with you is a great selling point and is something that would be lost with remote online delivery options.

Roger
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Old January 31st, 2014, 09:27 AM   #11
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Re: New wedding vid delivery order?

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Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
I also always deliver in person, as I collect full payment on delivery, but more importantly, it maintains a personal contact with my client which gives a high level of recommendation to their friends and family. When it comes to weddings, I find that feeling comfortable with you is a great selling point and is something that would be lost with remote online delivery options.
Roger
I agree that something is lost with both postal and online delivery, but over the last few years I'd say at least 30% of our business has been from people who live away, maybe 200+ miles away who and are coming to get married near where they were born, where parents and family live etc. Delivery by hand to these couples would be both time and cost prohibitive. It's a tough one.
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Old January 31st, 2014, 10:56 AM   #12
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Re: New wedding vid delivery order?

That happens a lot to me Dave as well (maybe it's a Yorkshire thing!) I quite often get couples who live, for instance, in London but the bride's from Yorkshire so they get married up here - too much time and expense to deliver by hand. If they are very local I'm happy to do this but if it's more than a half hour drive then I post it.

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Old January 31st, 2014, 11:25 AM   #13
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Re: New wedding vid delivery order?

As I get better at keeping up, I think I'd like to promote the idea of a viewing party - like a movie premiere. Our main, watchable video is 15-20 minutes so that should be pretty decent for them to get a few people over. Or I could setup a 9'x10' screen and sound system for a backyard style movie, during the summer/fall.
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Old January 31st, 2014, 02:02 PM   #14
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Re: New wedding vid delivery order?

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Originally Posted by Dave Partington View Post
I agree that something is lost with both postal and online delivery, but over the last few years I'd say at least 30% of our business has been from people who live away, maybe 200+ miles away who and are coming to get married near where they were born, where parents and family live etc. Delivery by hand to these couples would be both time and cost prohibitive. It's a tough one.
I also have weddings from people out of normal delivery range from time to time, so compromises have to be made. I do find though that the couple often visit parents who live nearer to me, so it is often quite feasible to arrange for delivery to coincide with a visit. I have also delivered to parents before now, rather than the couple.

Roger
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Old January 31st, 2014, 07:34 PM   #15
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Re: New wedding vid delivery order?

I guess one has to be practical as well. I have a couple we shot last Saturday who live around 220 km away but Dad lives only 40kms down the road. I have given them an option to drop the package at Dad's house and they can visit him later or I have to use the mail system.

Yes, where practical a personal delivery always projects good service! Dunno about the UK but on average the vendor service here downright sucks according to brides on local forums! I don't want to be included in that group!

Chris
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