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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old May 17th, 2015, 11:51 AM   #46
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Re: events /weddings : new media to distribute USB sticks: is the future?

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You know as a videographer, I'm just as guilty of my clients of keeping DVD alive. A DVD disk is cheap, relatively easy to produce and rarely gets playback complaints from clients. USB of course has many issues with TV playback and even bluray has had problems for me from couples unable to play such disks on PlayStation devices.

That doesn't change that DVD as a video delivery is a poooor choice and would be apparent to most couples if time was taken to show the difference. They pay me to film HD and get a crappy SD picture in return.
All good points Steve and I do agree that as we produce HD edits it would be better to deliver in HD, but although I agree with Noa that HD is comparatively easy to deliver, that is where the problems start. The incompatibility between types of BluRay, players and formats, the inability of many TVs to play USB and no standard delivery system, just confuses clients and compounds the problems. At least with DVD it had been the only format that gave a massive improvement over VHS quality, became universally accepted, and is still the only format that just about everyone can play.

We are now in an era where any good technical ideas are immediately protected and available only through expensive licensing to other manufacturers. That means that all the main manufacturers want to develop and license their own product which is why we have so much incompatibility and no incentive for all companies to adopt the same platform. At least with VHS, the film industry saw the massive potential market in video hire and it took off globally, with DVD following along. Now the BluRay market is much more limited globally and streaming is taking the place of video hire. Streaming for small businesses like ours though is a difficult technology to commit to and is far from universal as a delivery and viewing format. It also takes away the value of the client having something tangible to own for the large amount of money they pay for their wedding video. I can see a client thinking ' Why am I paying hundreds or thousands of pounds/dollars to download my wedding video, when the latest blockbuster costs virtually nothing to stream compared!'

It's a conundrum that's likely to be around for a while.

Roger
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Old May 17th, 2015, 12:08 PM   #47
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Re: events /weddings : new media to distribute USB sticks: is the future?

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I can see a client thinking ' Why am I paying hundreds or thousands of pounds/dollars to download my wedding video, when the latest blockbuster costs virtually nothing to stream compared!'
But that blockbuster could be streamed by a million people, if each only had to pay 1 dollar per view I wouldn"t mind charging that for my wedding videos either, if I had the same amount of people watching it. :)
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Old May 17th, 2015, 12:19 PM   #48
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Re: events /weddings : new media to distribute USB sticks: is the future?

I'm trying to recall if there were 2 disk formats battling it out at the beginning. Certainly there was for bluray as I recall my laptop did the ROM version which failed to win the battle.

DVD was a success because it took up less space than video, was similar to CD in appearance at least and avoided tape jam problems that were rare but memorable with video cassette. That said recorded TV to DVD never took off and its things like Sky + that really replaced the video recorder. If dvd is to die, something similar would be needed for hd and 4k. Its out there but limitations like internet speed still count against it, plus the format wars.

Something like a hard drive controlled through the TV, with an idiot proof interface would be one idea, online storage too. Trouble is we are on the threshold of a decent breakthrough in hd and 4k playback. It needs a dominent format that appeals to the masses.
No one but movie buffs are going to replace 1 shiny disk for another even if it means getting hd, but give them a new medium which requires no shelf space and is as easy to use as DVD, then HD and even dare I say 4k would have a better chance of acceptance than it does now.
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Old May 17th, 2015, 01:26 PM   #49
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Re: events /weddings : new media to distribute USB sticks: is the future?

How about taking the mobile phone to the next level, where it becomes the media player for the wedding video for viewing anywhere, and like a lot of phones now you can stream it by wifi to your smart TV for viewing at full screen full HD. It seems that we are pretty much there now, and It shouldn't be that long before all phones and TVs are compatible along the lines of Apple TV .

Roger
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Old May 18th, 2015, 09:49 AM   #50
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Re: events /weddings : new media to distribute USB sticks: is the future?

I have some issues with the value perception of a streaming delivery as well. I just seems your product gets taken down a notch when you deliver to the web instead of physical media. Kind of like it does get compared to the $1 download.
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Old May 18th, 2015, 09:58 AM   #51
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Re: events /weddings : new media to distribute USB sticks: is the future?

But you could make a website for the client with their trailer on the frontpage with the possibility to add comments, maybe with a facebook plugin, and a way to download the trailer and the full version with a password protection? Should be fairly easy to make with a wordpress template.
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Old May 18th, 2015, 01:00 PM   #52
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Re: events /weddings : new media to distribute USB sticks: is the future?

As long as they pay you. :) I do not shoot weddings so I am coming at this from a different point of view though.
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Old May 18th, 2015, 03:56 PM   #53
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Re: events /weddings : new media to distribute USB sticks: is the future?

Tim, I'm not sure what point of view you're coming from; if shooting video is just a money earner, a job to pay the bills and not an interest beyond that. You'll find some in the Wedding industry that'll share such an approach and I suppose I can't fault them that. It is a business first after all. However if earning hard cash was my only concern, I'd have stuck with my old job; similar money, lot better hours and a lot less work. I came to Wedding Videography because I wanted a job that meant something to me, a job I cared about, a job I was proud of doing. Yes I need it to pay its way, but I also want to feel passionate about what I do, otherwise frankly I wouldn't do it.

When it comes to my work, I want to deliver in the format that best serves what I filmed. I don't care that some may accept less, I want them to receive what their money has paid for - a copy of their video at the resolution it was recorded in. As far as I'm concerned there are too many so called Professionals just using Wedding Videographer as a means to earn a small buck and care less about delivering quality.

I may have to acknowledge that half my clients still want DVD, but as a Video Professional, I certainly don't accept it. DVD is only an accepted delivery because of convenience of playback and because of perceived value over nothing more than a fancy case and something tangible in the hand - a classic case of style over substance. If I'm paid to deliver a top quality professional video, I feel I owe it to my clients to deliver it a such.
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Old May 18th, 2015, 07:50 PM   #54
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Re: events /weddings : new media to distribute USB sticks: is the future?

Hi Steve

I don't think we should be comparing commercial work with weddings at all. Weddings are IMO a domestic sale and therefore need a different marketing technique. To the corporate client something like $2000 is a drop in the ocean ! Do the job and supply it to me in the best and most professional format and that is that!

Businessmen don't have to be coaxed with fancy marketing ... they have a vision and want it turned into a video and then they tell the accounts department to pay you.

Unlike the business guy who is perfectly happy to say "send the file to my web developer" ..the same $2000 is a small fortune to a bride so she is far more likely to expect a LOT more for her money. Her "value for money" expectations are way different to someone wanting a web based promo video

Chris
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Old May 18th, 2015, 10:30 PM   #55
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Re: events /weddings : new media to distribute USB sticks: is the future?

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Originally Posted by Steve Burkett View Post
Tim, I'm not sure what point of view you're coming from; if shooting video is just a money earner, a job to pay the bills and not an interest beyond that. You'll find some in the Wedding industry that'll share such an approach and I suppose I can't fault them that. It is a business first after all. However if earning hard cash was my only concern, I'd have stuck with my old job; similar money, lot better hours and a lot less work. I came to Wedding Videography because I wanted a job that meant something to me, a job I cared about, a job I was proud of doing. Yes I need it to pay its way, but I also want to feel passionate about what I do, otherwise frankly I wouldn't do it.

When it comes to my work, I want to deliver in the format that best serves what I filmed. I don't care that some may accept less, I want them to receive what their money has paid for - a copy of their video at the resolution it was recorded in. As far as I'm concerned there are too many so called Professionals just using Wedding Videographer as a means to earn a small buck and care less about delivering quality.

I may have to acknowledge that half my clients still want DVD, but as a Video Professional, I certainly don't accept it. DVD is only an accepted delivery because of convenience of playback and because of perceived value over nothing more than a fancy case and something tangible in the hand - a classic case of style over substance. If I'm paid to deliver a top quality professional video, I feel I owe it to my clients to deliver it a such.
Not meant to be a dig on wedding videography. I used to do weddings many years ago.

It is great to be passionate, but I do not know how your post relates to digital or web delivery. I hate DVD as well but am not convinced digital solves all of the problems and it probably creates new problems as well.

What if you shoot a show or theatre performance? If you provide USB sticks they are more expensive and do not have any branding or nice feel to them. People are probably more likely to copy them as well.

If you just put your product on the internet, how are you going to receive payment? Do you need a password? What if people misplace the password? Can you ever take the video down as you never gave anything in the first place... And the list goes on.

Most of this does not apply to weddings. That is what I meant.
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Old May 19th, 2015, 01:08 AM   #56
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Re: events /weddings : new media to distribute USB sticks: is the future?

Tim, its frustrating to provide DVD as the picture quality is of course inferior to the HD image or in my case 4k, that was captured in camera. Colour isn't always as good. Watching DVD on my 55" 4k screen, the image can at times look out of focus, murky and lacking punch to colour. When you work hard on something, you want it to be seen in the best possible way. Most people can watch at least 720p on the internet, which although not full HD is still better than DVD. The only reason we are supplying DVD is because of easy playback, a lovely little box and the potential extra cash from copies. Its not however because it showcases the video at its very best.

DVD is popular now as video cassettes were in the 90's. Now they're all but gone and in 10 years I don't expect DVD to be quite so prolific. I appreciate right now options for HD delivery are limited, even more so for 4k. Things will change. Its changed in the last 10 years, especially in regards to online video.
If the Wedding video is to be watched just once, then DVD delivery is fine. If however the couple wish to watch it in the future, say 10 years from now, they'd probably be grateful if their videographer had supplied them with their video as HD digital files.
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Old May 19th, 2015, 03:43 AM   #57
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Re: events /weddings : new media to distribute USB sticks: is the future?

Steve, it's interesting to see your passion for the quality of the work that you produce and I understand your desire to hand over the best possible quality. I don't disagree at all and now supply a USB with the HD version in addition to the DVDs.

For me though, I realised long ago that the vast majority of couples just want to see a watchable and well put together video of their day and the quality of the video really is secondary to the content. I sometimes think that if I supplied it on VHS they would still love it and not even notice the low res. The number of times that couples praise the quality of the DVD underlines that for me, so content is king and quality is secondary. That doesn't mean that I ignore quality, far from it, which is why I now give a USB, but it is frustrating how little interest is paid to the quality by the client, when I spend so much effort and money trying to achieve it.

I'm sure you are also right about quality being more important to them in the future, so offering both the convenience of DVD and the quality of HD seems a good compromise.

Roger
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Old May 19th, 2015, 04:37 AM   #58
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Re: events /weddings : new media to distribute USB sticks: is the future?

Roger, many of my clients share yours in their lack of appreciation for picture quality, but then I feel if couples feedback emphasised camera technique in their praise of my work over comments like, it made me laugh and cry in a good way, I'd have failed to capture the day.

That said a significant number of my clients do pick up picture quality. Especially when I'm liaising with the Groom, about a fifth of my Weddings. Last November I had the Bride complain her main video lacked the quality of the Trailer. I assumed she meant the longer video was slower in pace, but it was the colour grading she was on about. I used film convert for the Trailer but not the full video - takes longer to render. Once I graded the main video, she was happy. A number of clients have asked for bluray or USB after initially saying DVD, but felt in hindsight they wanted an HD copy instead. A couple wanting HQ 4k files as the Groom has a large av system with 90 foot screen. I could give other examples.

Ultimately a little vanity plays a part. I'm sure most movie directors would prefer movies to be seen on the big screen and not just for the sake of money. If you work hard on something, seeing it butchered via an SD conversion feels like vandalism. That said, I'm not crying into my breakfast every morning I produce a DVD. Initial copies are always DVD and whilst all my online videos are now 4k, I'm under no illusion they're being watched that way. Still as online videos from 4 years ago are still being watched usually on anniversaries, I live in hope that one day the couples can see their Trailer at the resolution it was intended.
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Old May 19th, 2015, 04:47 AM   #59
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Re: events /weddings : new media to distribute USB sticks: is the future?

Hi Roger

Compared to a corporate client who is more often than not expecting high quality and that's why it's quoted in the job spec, a bride is all about content and playability .. keep in focus, don't screw up the apricot coloured bridesmaid dresses and make them pink, and cover what you say you promised and you have a happy camper!

Apart from content being top of the list, I think ease of playback (even if she watches just once) is a hot second. Brides have shied away from me offering them a media player with the files preloaded probably because it's just too technical ... Let's face it, quality aside, a DVD is a familiar bit of media so that's why they prefer it. I still only give DVD's for the full content and then the highlight video on USB ... I have also moved to USB for photos after brides reported poor IQ on their photos as their DVD player was playing them as a slideshow when I supplied the images on a DVD ... at least with USB they cannot drop it into a DVD player ... that shows really what simple creatures brides are. For me that's enough to supply the simplest playback as possible!

This is probably also why brides couldn't care less which camera you use ..all they want is memories and a simple way to watch the end result.

Chris
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Old May 19th, 2015, 01:24 PM   #60
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Re: events /weddings : new media to distribute USB sticks: is the future?

Chris,

The last movie you saw or TV show; have you cared what camera they used, perhaps you gave it some thought as a Videographer, but the majority probably watched said movie and TV show and gave no thought to type of camera, nor to depth of field, jib shots and focus pulls etc. and yet all of this and more play a big part in the language of cinematography and in the style of what we watch on a daily basis. Content is visible, technique should be invisible, but both have their part to play.

I know some balk at progress. I use to work at a University Media Department and suffered a tonne of complaints when Lecturers were told videos cassettes would no longer be supported in favour of DVD. The arguments, the hysterics, even tantrums - one guy stomping his feet in the office. Yet a few years later, these same people were singing the praise of DVD when we moved to online videos via our Portal instead. People are fickle. They accept what they accept because they're use to it. They can if pushed get use to something else. So why not USB?
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