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Old August 22nd, 2014, 08:01 PM   #16
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

Hey James

I do realise that plenty of videographers and incorporating photography already but it does seem to be the way forward in the question "where do we go from here" ... There is only so much you can offer the normal bride and she does have a budget so you have to restrict what you offer a bride proportional to the amount of money she pays you. The major issue with video is that photos still are the primary choice for brides before video is even considered so if we create a photo/video package at least we end up with doing a wedding!

Chris
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Old August 23rd, 2014, 09:17 PM   #17
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

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Originally Posted by James Palanza View Post
So now that everyone is employing high end camera moves and getting great production value out of their wedding videos, what on earth is the next thing to stand apart?
Hey James, thinking more about the question, I guess there's at least two questions that you seem to be asking:

1. How to stand out? / How to get a unique selling proposition?
2. What technological advances will future videographers employ?

Re 2, well, there's lots of toys out there that could increase production value or, in general, make your footage very different from what a consumer could get. What's becoming more and more popular are drones, brushless gimbals, FS700 slow motion, and 4K. I don't think Black Magics are used that often at weddings yet, but certainly they add great dynamic range and rich colour.

I'm jealous every time I see another wedding videographer packing a gimbal, which seems to be happening more and more around here (though, frankly, I never see them doing anything with it that I couldn't do with a Merlin Steadicam).

In terms of old gear -- even something like Chris's tripod riser could add a lot of production value to a wedding, though it's not as sexy as the newer toys.

Maybe the next thing is motion control. Remote panning, tilting and rotating heads on jibs have been used in Filipino films for a while. But I think only now is motion control getting a lot more affordable, with gear like Edelkrone target and action modules, similar Kessler units, similar units on Kickstarter, etc.

One toy that caught my eye from NAB, and is way out of my budget is, the Andra follow focus system.

But as for question 1 -- unique selling proposition -- I guess it's quite an open question, and needn't be related to the gear question.

Think of it this way: what's next for photography? Well, maybe nothing! Cameras with more megapixels and better AF tracking.

So how do photographers differentiate themselves from competition? Well, price, packaging, experience, approach, philosophy, style, connections, or just marketing/branding...

So, translating back into video terms, can you position yourself as the go-to guy for gay civil ceremonies, or Asian weddings, or weddings shot at a particular venue, or whatever? Can you chalk up a whole bunch of industry awards? All these more general things potentially differentiate you from your competitors more than buying a Movi.
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Old August 23rd, 2014, 10:55 PM   #18
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

Hi Adrian

All very true of course but we also mustn't get caught up with the latest and greatest gadgets if the only person it will impress is ourselves and our fellow videographers. You need to concentrate very hard on what will impress the bride (the groom doesn't count) but if you can wow a bride then you are getting somewhere and it can quite easily be something that doesn't require huge amounts of money either.

I proudly told a booked bride last week how I will do her stedicam shoot on the beach with slomo and 360 circles around the couple etc etc and she told me "I'm really not into that kind of romantic stuff it's just cheesy" I'm actually leaving the stedicam in my studio on that shoot as she simply doesn't want that kind of shoot.

We need to look at brides requirements and what they would consider awesome and what would make them choose you over a competitor ... Quite a few brides have told me "I chose you because I love the way you do a live video guestbook" and that is just a single camera on my shoulder and comments from the guests.. no special gear and no special techniques at all. What we think is awesome doesn't mean brides feel the same way!

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Old August 24th, 2014, 05:03 AM   #19
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

Think about how photographers have been differentiating themselves for years. When all said an done, nothing has really changed in the world of photography since we gained the ability to have total control over the albums instead of just sticking pictures in a 'pre-formatted' albums.

So, how do photographers differentiate themselves?

It's a combination of who you are, what you say, how you present yourself, and of course, your show reel with some pretty awesome shots.

Photographers that have mastered both great posing (so it doesn't look posed) and great lighting techniques are the ones who are now standing out. Example: the back lit night scenes with sprayed water that reflects the light make lots of brides go 'wow' and became the signature shots for those photographers.

What will your signature shots be? What will your signature story telling be like?

Building a brand is not about having the latest gear, it's about being something (or multiple things) that catches their eye and makes them want to book 'you' instead of a 'wedding video'.

It's something that all the high value guys have and the budget price guys don't, and 'that' is what commands the price differences, not just the gear they use.
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Last edited by Dave Partington; August 24th, 2014 at 12:32 PM. Reason: Fixed a typo.
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Old August 24th, 2014, 08:04 PM   #20
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

Wow this created some great discussion. Well to clarify, I mean't more along the lines of how many people are all starting to use sliders, jibs, gimbals and other higher end production devices fairly well, which is making it now harder to stand out. There are 3 other video groups in my area who do a wonderful job with these devices. As they become more affordable and people get skilled using them, pretty soon every video will be full of all the camera moves that originally stood out.
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Old August 24th, 2014, 08:21 PM   #21
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

The real answer of course is NOT to follow the majority but simply be unique and create a niche market. If you do what everyone does then you have competition that can quite easily do things as well or better than you and you have a huge fight on your hands to stand out from everyone else who, in the bride's eyes, seems to do the exact same thing with exactly the same product making it hard for her to choose so she usually starts to look at pricing to make a choice.

Find something you can do that makes your service unique and no-one else does and voila! you now don't have any competition so as long as it catches the bride's attention and she thinks it's awesome then you have a winner. Having better slider shots than the guy down the road isn't going to lift your head above the majority but a unique feature will.

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Old September 1st, 2014, 06:08 PM   #22
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

Here in Orlando there are a lot of companies adding video to their photography, dj, lighting, venue services. Out of the photographers doing it, I can't say any of them strike me as great. It's moreso, "my camera can film too, so why not?" kind of thing. It really bothers me that people think that they can do everything. With that said, I do photography as well, but I DO NOT get photos from video and I don't do both the same time. If my company is booked for a combo package, I do the filming and have an associate photographer do the photos. Or if they just wanted photos, they can book me to do the photos. I am perfectly capable of both.

But I see trends come and go such as slider shots for entire videos to the whole slow motion photo booth fad, and now the drones are being used a lot. Me personally, I am focused on getting better as a cinematographer and telling better stories with all filmmaking. I don't need gimmicks to get me business, I will let the work speak for itself. However, I do need to book more weddings lol!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig McKenna View Post
Have people really succeeded at creating great films yet? Maybe your area is blessed, but from what I've seen on Vimeo there are a great number of forgettable wedding films that fail to retain the story. People are caught up in time shifting for the sake of it, or are failing to really shine in other ways with obvious faults and a lack of vision either on the shoot or within the edit. Maybe I am too harsh, or expect to always see "high end" that works perfectly, but there just seems a huge gap between a great number of poor to average films, then a huge leap to amazing films?

As a complete amateur, I would expect more from "pros". I should be able to watch films and truly wonder, "How?" As this is not the case in many films, I think people need to learn how to use the higher production gear to enhance the storyline... rather than to hide the basic mistakes, like icing over a flavourless cake. Alternatively, they need to know how to use higher production tools to better the film, whilst also retaining a solid storyline. Either way, the skill of storytelling, capturing great audio and the ability to capture perfectly exposed / well framed / creatively shot footage will prevail in the long run. I can live without a drone.

In ten years, when drones, 8K and other things are common ground at weddings, we'll all still look back at videographers like Ray Roman and consider that a great film is all about light and shadows... whether you're shooting in ISO 400,000 or not, the principles remain.
I completely agree with your assesment. Far too many not telling the story of the day, but rather telling their companies story of how they film weddings.
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Old September 2nd, 2014, 02:52 AM   #23
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

Goodness, I always get a little bothered by this whole 'story telling' thing.

For starters - stories are chronological. So many of the best aren't doing that. And its for marketing reasons. People need hooked in the first fiv e seconds these days or they are gone. So everyone starts putting photoshoot first. Its manipulative.

I feel that a lot of the big names in the business, and their clients aren't so much telling a story, but are creating a faux finish of an actual event. Its quite distorted and manipulated truth be told.

And why? Because it looks more dramatic, emotional and impressive. Thats what the clients and the cinematographers are going for. It makes them look good to their friends and peers.

But guess what - the actual story of their day involved the beginning stuff happening at the beginning, there were guest who were laughing and chatting, etc etc...

Too many of the 'productions' are in my opinion conceited.

IMO a couple will want to look back in 20 years and watch something that is more like the real event, rather than a movie with tonnes of setup scenes and no sense of reality.

I watched competitors film the other day and was blown away by the filming and the edit - but I really didn't know if it was suitable for a wedding film because it was quite cold and all in slo-mo.

Here is a prime example
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Old September 2nd, 2014, 03:12 AM   #24
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

Clive, you make some very valid points. I guess every couple has different expectations and that is exactly why it's important to be consistent with your work so couples know what they're getting at the end of the day.

The 'natural' story of a wedding would be a chronological one as you said, however that isn't the only story there is. For example during the speeches multiple stories are told, each representing a unique standpoint of how the film can be different both in terms of actual content (chronology of events) as well as on genre and style (some speeches may be emotional while others can be more lighthearted).

Personally I provide a trailer edit based on speeches or music, and a feature film which follows more of a chronological order. I enjoyed the trailer you've attached visually, although I do feel that the lack of audio takes away from the experience / story being told.
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Old September 2nd, 2014, 03:39 AM   #25
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

Quote:
For example during the speeches multiple stories are told
I often have weddings where there are no personal speeches except for the groom saying "thank you all for coming and enjoy your dinner", then there is also a ceremony in church where all texts are provided by the church so there goes your story :) That's why I prefer a more documentary type of approach during the first part of the day so I at least can give some impression how it felt. At the venue it's often just some creative shots and ofcourse the cake and first dance.
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Old September 2nd, 2014, 03:45 AM   #26
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

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Originally Posted by Clive McLaughlin View Post
For starters - stories are chronological. So many of the best aren't doing that. And its for marketing reasons. People need hooked in the first fiv e seconds these days or they are gone. So everyone starts putting photoshoot first. Its manipulative.
That's absolutely not true. Stories should have a start middle and ending but that doesn't mean they should be chronological. As for the manipulative thing, that's how any story goes. Draw someone in, keep them entertained and end with a bang. Even a chronological retelling of the day is going to be manipulative as you're likely to cut anything unflattering to the couple.

Personally speaking though I wouldn't limit myself to always putting some of the photoshoot first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive McLaughlin View Post
But guess what - the actual story of their day involved the beginning stuff happening at the beginning, there were guest who were laughing and chatting, etc etc...
I disagree. That was the running order of their day. But it's not their story or even the story of their day. Rather than thinking of it as a list of "things that happened" you should be thinking of everything as interlinked and how it can be put together to tell a compelling story of not just the day but also of the couple, their friends and their family.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive McLaughlin View Post
IMO a couple will want to look back in 20 years and watch something that is more like the real event, rather than a movie with tonnes of setup scenes and no sense of reality.
I agree with you on the setup scenes part. For me that's creating the story rather than telling it.
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Old September 2nd, 2014, 06:36 AM   #27
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
I often have weddings where there are no personal speeches except for the groom saying "thank you all for coming and enjoy your dinner", then there is also a ceremony in church where all texts are provided by the church so there goes your story :) That's why I prefer a more documentary type of approach during the first part of the day so I at least can give some impression how it felt. At the venue it's often just some creative shots and ofcourse the cake and first dance.
I hear you! Most local weddings over here don't do speeches as well so the trailer is more of a 'music video' although I do use the vows as the main storyline. I feel relieved whenever I do destination weddings since their speeches provide countless creative opportunities in terms of narration.
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Old September 2nd, 2014, 06:43 AM   #28
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

With all these points being said ...

I've come across guys that create magnificent stories and others that just walk around with the camera all day. There is a market for all of those products. Cinematic / documentary and what have you.

But we're all still classed as videographers to any bride. And they either like your style or they don't.
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Old September 2nd, 2014, 08:01 AM   #29
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

I do agree that stories don't need to start at the beginning ..look at TV dramas ... they suck you in with just part of the climax and then go back to the start. It's a traditional story telling method.

That being said I must admit I don't like the way some videographers jump all over the place with the vows and then jump to speeches and back to prep and back to speeches and unless there is a story itself in the speeches that warrants a flash back to prep then it just confuses the bride totally ...besides most kill all the live audio so only pictures can tell the story yet they seldom do. It might be a wise idea to go onto websites that show you how to write a good story and learn the structures involved. Random video snippets with a music background is not a story at all and certainly won't hold any attention.

Yes James, styles do differ and either can suit a bride. The standard doc from start to finish at least enables the "dumb" video guy to tell a story without knowing it. Creating a story over a shorter span takes a LOT more skill and the guys that master that technique are the ones that brides appreciate the most.

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Old September 2nd, 2014, 11:07 AM   #30
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

Yes, sometimes films/tv do start at a later point in the story then show the buildup - but thats totally different. That's in cases where there is some element of unknown or a climax or a twist.

I don't think anyone is going to watch a wedding story that begins with a couple dancing and then want to watch the rest to find out how these people ended up on a dancefloor in front of all these people - its a wedding, we know that already!

I guess I'm just concerned that this 'story telling' phraseology is just marketing. I'm yet to full understand what is meant by people arguing for it.

All i know is when I've finished a good film - if its emotive and contains good clips, my job has been done properly.

Ok yea, you may get something in a speech or personalised vows which is particularly emotive and you may want to overlay that with other video for aesthetic reasons - but I still don't get what is meant by 'story'.

Its an occassion, which you filmed. certain things were said, certain things were filmed - you get to choose the order, but we can't chnage the story of the day.

Am I completely missing the point?

Somebody give me an example - show me a film and tell me the 'story' that that film is supposed to be telling me by the way it was filmed and cut.

I'm willing to learn something here. But I've never been one for marketing spin or duping people with fancy words.
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