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

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Old April 24th, 2014, 06:40 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
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Travelling Abroad

Recently got asked to do a quote for a wedding abroad, and wanted to get a general feel for how people do things. We've travelled with equipment before, so I'm not worried about that aspect, more worried about pricing everything out...let me know what I'm missing:

Flight to and from (obviously)
Accommodations -- do you require a minimum stay, like at least one or two days before, and one day after?
Per day rate for food and / or any ground transportation needed? -- How do you determine what this charge is?
Wedding package (obviously!)

Am I missing anything?

Would love to hear about anyone's experiences travelling! Like I said, I'm not worried about the equipment, just about pricing it out appropriately and advice when it comes to the actual trip! It's just a quote for now, but would love to do this in the future, even if not on this one, so thought I would get advice now!! Thanks!
Katie Fasel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 24th, 2014, 07:40 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Belfast
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Re: Travelling Abroad

Sorry that I can't really give you any info, I've never been asked to go abroad (yet).

But I do reckon it would amount to at least double my regular stay at home fee.

I've never understood it. If i was going to say Spain, to get married, id just google videographers in that area.

Your client must rate you very highly to want to pay so much to have you come.

Maybe someday I'll get paid to go to some pretty places!
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Old April 24th, 2014, 08:15 AM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Sydney, Australia
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Re: Travelling Abroad

Hey Katie, I'm not that experienced with this stuff (done maybe five... three interstate, two international). I hate quoting for destination weddings, to be honest, because it's a battle between charging properly for them on the one hand, and the fact that, on the other hand, they look really good in your portfolio, are fun to do, and you don't want to deter the client.

I'm not personally in a position to charge properly. I'd rather give a very budget quote just to get the job. But eventually you've got to charge properly...

If you take a few days extra and make a holiday of it, that can help to rationalise it in your own mind.

Or if you literally go on holiday to get the gig, that can be a smart way to do it. You know -- you want to visit Germany, so you start advertising for discounted weddings for German couples, so that you can shoot something while you're over there.

Main thing missing from your notes is pricing for the extra time, since they often take you a day to travel there and a day to travel back. Not only that, but you may find you need to spend extra time to shoot it properly, like taking a few hours before the day of the wedding to get establishing shots, or timelapse shots or whatever, then an hour or two the day after to do a proper location shoot with the couple. If you're in unfamiliar terrain, that may limit your ability to cram everything into one day (plus, at the back of your mind, you want to pull out all stops and shoot as much wow footage as possible).

Other thoughts:

Food -- I've never costed for this. I guess it's probably fair to, since it's not really like you can take packed meals with you. But if your client is counting every dollar, maybe they'd argue that you're not spending more money than you would have at home.

Plane travel -- be wary of letting the client book this, at least without double checking the baggage allowances. And remember also that the longer you take to book a ticket, the more it's going to cost. So, if you quote them a price now, maybe that price will increase by the time they decide to book you. (So, quote a price that says "plus plane travel" or include a disclaimer that prices might change.)

Extra baggage allowance costs? To be honest, I always exceed the allowance, so just have to sneak it in cabin luggage.

Days' accommodation -- just depends how early you're thinking of starting, and how early finishing. I mean, could you fly in early in the morning, shoot it, finish at 10pm, then jump on a late plane back, and therefore save the client hundreds of dollars? If you're driving, rather than flying, a long way to a wedding, you can probably argue with the client that it wouldn't be safe for you to drive back late at night after a 16-hour day, and you need the accommodation the night of the reception.

Type of accommodation -- there's a lot of grey, disputable area here depending on how dollar-counting the client is. Will the client make you take the first flight in the morning on the day of the wedding because it's cheaper, as well as saves them on a night's accommodation, or can you argue that it's better to travel the night before in case you miss a connection and don't turn up for their wedding? Do you require minimum standards of safety for your gear (so they can't put you up in a shared room in a backpackers' hostel)? Do you require minimum standards of comfort? Would the client prefer that you sleep on their couch to save money? Would the client suggest that you could sleep at the airport after the wedding? (One of mine did... and I agreed.)

Location of accommodation -- preferably, somewhere not too far from the groom/bride's house, but if it costs more than the hotel outside the town, can you persuade couple to cover it?

Ground transport -- I normally charge for car rental and for necessary transfers (eg did a job in Fiji -- charged for transport from airport to dock, then boat to island). Obviously I'd prefer to book all this stuff myself, but client might want to, or might want to secure you some sort of package deal.

Petrol costs -- depends whether the client is going to argue that petrol would be part of your normal expenses anyway if you were shooting a wedding at home. And there's other costs associated with car rental that the client might or might not dispute. For instance: car insurance. Incidentally, car rental companies have different options/attitudes to petrol -- eg, maybe they want you to pay a lump sum at the start, even if you don't use up the full amount; or maybe they want you to bring it back with a full tank, so that you're only paying for what you use.

There's other expenses that might crop up. Maybe there's visa processing fees when you enter a country. Maybe there's a "reef tax" for taking a boat. Maybe it's a tourist destination, and food costs a lot more than you realised. Maybe you miss an airport transfer and have to take a taxi. Maybe there are parking costs. Maybe you need to hire gear or a second shooter locally. Maybe you'd prefer to post batteries to yourself than to break airline regulations by taking them with you. I don't think you ever spend less than you think... So, depending on how badly you want the job, it might be wise to build in some sort of buffer to cover miscellaneous expenses...
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Old April 24th, 2014, 09:09 AM   #4
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Honolulu, HI
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Re: Travelling Abroad

I think your biggest concern is acquiring a work permit in a foreign country. It's a real headache. Your insurance may not even cover you too. You may be better off to sub-contract a legit company in that country?
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Old April 24th, 2014, 10:37 AM   #5
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Location: Seattle WA
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Re: Travelling Abroad

What an interesting dilemma! For me, what to charge would depend a lot on the circumstances and the country of consideration. For the latter, it would depend on how much I would, or in some cases maybe wouldn't, want to go there.

This could be a great PR opportunity for your business so that'd be a plus. Heck, if someone paid you to go to a foreign country you must be really good, right? (we know you are but for that web site visitor...)

If it was me and I wanted to go there really bad, I'd even offer a "trailer" of the preparation prior to departure, assuming the individuals are really close by. Kind of an "Amazing Race" type of shoot, lots of hand-held, crappy lighting, quick-and-dirty shooting (hey, they sold lots of advertising on this program, didn't they?) with minimal editing.

Time Zone adjustment: If you had to go from WI to HI (... Warren, couldn't resist that), time zones take some adjustment, at least they do for me especially when they get up to 8 or 9 hours. Some of this adjustment one can prepare for ahead of time by shifting hours ahead of time.

Place to rent gear: What happens if some gear didn't arrive, or got damage, or .... Is there a place where one can quickly grab a replacement?

Return Trip through US Customs: Have CBP Form 4457 completed and approved for your gear. If there is a significant international airport near where you live you can drive there and get it completed ahead of time. Usually they don't check gear (at least they never have for me, but the first time you don't have the form that is when they'll check, right?)

Tried to attach my *.rtf document on this subject but that wasn't a good file type so here it is:

The list below is from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Web site U.S. Customs and Border Protection | Securing America's Borders and outlines the rules for what needs to be declared:

Items you purchased and are carrying with you upon return to the United States.
Items you received as gifts, such as wedding or birthday presents.
Items you inherited.
Items you bought in duty-free shops, on the ship or on the plane.
Repairs or alterations to any items you took abroad and then brought back, even if the repairs/alterations were performed free of charge.
Items you brought home for someone else.
Items you intend to sell or use in your business.

Contrary to popular belief, purchasing something in a duty-free shop does not necessarily mean you don't have to pay any duties or taxes on it; the item is only duty-free in the country where you bought it. If the value of the item falls outside your personal exemption (see below), you will have to pay U.S. duties on it.

Register Your Items
To avoid confusion, the CBP recommends that you register certain items before you leave the United States -- that way you can prove that you owned an item before you left. This is particularly important for foreign-made items like laptops or watches. You can register the items at the nearest CBP office or at the international airport from which you are departing -- just request a Certificate of Registration (CBP Form 4457) and have the items (including serial numbers) handy.

Unless I think of something else, ... oh, one more thing ... what about an assistant???

Last edited by John Nantz; April 24th, 2014 at 12:10 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old April 24th, 2014, 12:41 PM   #6
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: York, England
Posts: 1,323
Re: Travelling Abroad

Work permit and insurance (including public liability) ould be my biggest concern.

People know what it costs to travel and to stay places, but of course they are hoping you'll see it as a holiday yourself and pay much of it out of your own pocket (I've had that as a request). That's all well and good if you were going there anyway, but if it sucks up all the money you would have earned doing the job then it's all pointless (to my way of thinking). It's not a holiday, you'll be scouting locations etc.

Next, if you're using any wireless mics etc, are those frequencies legal and similarly allocated to this type of equipment? If not you could find interference from all sorts of things.

Flying ultimately mean travelling lights. Will you have sufficient backup gear with you if yours fails? Can you easily rent gear at the destination and are they willing to pay for it?

What are the laws on copyright etc for recording ceremonies? What is expected from you in terms of the venue or the officiants?

If you're used to recording ceremonies inside and this is going to be outside, do you have the required windscreens for your lapel mics.

Oh, the list goes on :)

You could wing a lot of this stuff, right up to the moment something goes wrong and then what?
Qualified UAV Pilot with CAA PFAW
Aerial Photo / Aerial Video | Corporate Video Production
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Old April 24th, 2014, 02:08 PM   #7
Join Date: May 2010
Location: England liverpool
Posts: 1,165
Re: Travelling Abroad

I have filmed a few in Spain and Greece next year x2. The client is paying a package holiday for 4 days for two of us. since I want two days filming before hand then a day to finalise. So the pack is 4 days. I charge her my top package since I will be filming for three days two on and off and the wedding day. I will be throwing in a beach party plus pool party but that's great for me. All equipment in a large rucksack, tripods, monopods slider in a big hold all pay extra for it! Crane and lights leave at home but I take two led light for on camera for back up. But the full frames will sort the low light out. Sun cream and shorts ready! Steve
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Old April 24th, 2014, 02:09 PM   #8
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: York, England
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Re: Travelling Abroad

Sounds like a blast - have fun Steve! Oh, and post a link to the finished film!
Qualified UAV Pilot with CAA PFAW
Aerial Photo / Aerial Video | Corporate Video Production
Dave Partington is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 24th, 2014, 03:56 PM   #9
Join Date: May 2010
Location: England liverpool
Posts: 1,165
Re: Travelling Abroad

This was in Spain Dave,
Will sure post next years in Greece can't wait cheers dave

Last edited by Steve Bleasdale; April 25th, 2014 at 03:26 AM. Reason: Spelling mistakes
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