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Old August 4th, 2015, 02:09 PM   #31
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Re: Asked to film for another company

While understand the concept, in practice I have bills to pay, and principles are great, but don't buy food. I'm lucky in that I do quite a few different things and really don't have the luxury of saying no that often. I'm sure many wedding people can do other work too during the week, but many are properly in business. I turn work down when I can afford it, but sometimes I have to do stuff I really don't want to. I does not devalue my work. It's business. I have to sometimes do less than my best work because events conspire against me. This evening, for instance, two hours of careful plotting is wrecked when at the last minute the turns move the kit around on stage with the house tabs in. When they go out, all the carefully lit and marked X's on the floor are no longer right, and the only solution is to light big chunks of the stage. Many songs look dreadful. Not my best work, but out of my control. This afternoon's was much better. Pay is nothing to do with it? I do the best I can at any negotiated fee. Price does NOT indicate quality for me, and I suspect the fees are just what is economically viable for a particular production. If weddings allow you to charge lots of money, because the whole industry is a premium product, that's fine. It's not an indicator of quality. If you had an expensive finance package on broadcast kit, would you care what you are using it for if it generates income? A day of shooting industrial washing machines is not as exciting as hang gliding, but pays more?
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Old August 4th, 2015, 04:31 PM   #32
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Re: Asked to film for another company

Paul you can probably employ Gordon Ramsey at his normal rate then ask him to fry chips all day, it's not his fault if he can't do his best work for you. but you wouldn't get him to fry chips at a chip fryer's rate when he's not working so why expect a respected videographer who is capable of much more to work for less if he doesn't need to.
Also Paul I think you will find that not only the technical quality, but also the production values and content of wedding video has advanced considerably in the last 35 years.

Steve, when I say less accuracy I mean more regarding composition and precise closeups etc, rather than focus, which I think is a prerequisite at any level. I agree with you that there will always be a requirement for imaginative and artistic photographers, but I do think that much of the mundane photography work at weddings will be perfectly achievable with HQ video frames in the coming years. You can still set a pose as for a still, but shoot 5-7 seconds of video to pick your still frame and also use in the video.

Matthias,'Bottom line is you get to choose between good, fast and cheap, but you only get to pick two'
Great line and absolutely on the nail!

Roger
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Old August 4th, 2015, 05:12 PM   #33
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Re: Asked to film for another company

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Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
so why expect a respected videographer who is capable of much more to work for less if he doesn't need to.
Well obviously if you don't need the work then you have every right to not do it; no one is forcing you. I think the original post you made suggested the work offer was almost insulting. I think the arguments being made here is that its not. It may feel insulting to you. Maybe it's too low a fee to merit getting in that car. However others may feel differently.

I've turned down work when available because to do it and edit the material would impede my other work. However I still feel 40 an hour is a worthwhile fee. I can't help but wonder if this was 40 an hour, for 50 hours of work, you would have replied differently, subject to whether doing this work would cause other issues like helping a competitor or impede other work you're doing. If so, then the fact you refused it comes down really to the small number of hours involved, making the 40 an hour somewhat a low fee for a Wedding.

Now I would take an offer of 40 an hour for 50 hours work. 2000. Yep, do me nicely. However if I can take the job for 40 an hour for 50 hours of work and not feel like it's insulting my worth as a professional, how is it an insult when the work is 4 hours for the same per hour rate. Should more be paid per hour when the hours are 4 rather than 50.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
You can still set a pose as for a still, but shoot 5-7 seconds of video to pick your still frame and also use in the video.
That would work very nicely; so many Photographers complain of blinkers in a crowd and video would help limit or even solve that problem. Mind you, come wet weather when you're forced indoors, then that is where the Professionals earn their fee. I've seen good ones and bad ones handle those conditions. The Professionals have proper studio lighting equipment and effortlessly get through it whilst those less experienced try and make it work with a bounce flash. Delivering good work when conditions are right is easy, delivering when everything is stacked against you is another matter. So video whilst a solution in some cases would suffer in others.
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Old August 4th, 2015, 06:39 PM   #34
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Re: Asked to film for another company

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Originally Posted by Matthias Claflin View Post
As I read through all this, I see that Paul mentions that he would rather work for less on a day when he wasn't working, because at least that way he is making money. However, isn't the supply/demand supposed to dictate the price? Meaning the supply of videographers not working (probably few if it is in the heat of wedding season) with a high demand, should be more money, not less?

To me, I've been shooting music videos, concert videos, corporate stuff for the past 3 years and only entered into weddings this year so maybe I don't understand.

I just recently had a potential music video client ask me to shoot them a video for their song, literally two days after I heard the song for the first time. He then wanted me to shoot this short notice video at my usual rate, to which I told him it wasn't going to happen. I told him I could shoot the video but because of all the planning that was involved in a music video, even if it is just a "performance" video, and the editing (since the turnaround was a week later), I would have to put other projects off to finish it in time, and therefore he would have to pay a premium price if he wanted the job done on his time frame. He wasn't interested so I wished him well and went about my day. Did I make money that day? No. But I also didn't devalue my product or my other products in order to make a few extra bucks.

Bottom line, you get to choose between good, fast, and cheap, but you only get to pick two, and I refuse to make anything that isn't my best work.
Its a bit of give & take. Similar to airlines, I think they jack up the prices as the date gets closer, however in the final days prior to the flight the prices drop, as they have the vacant seats still & are better unloading them for cheap. Same with hotels.

Sure you can ask for higher rates, and the guy will likely pass & call around, If they don't find someone else, they'll call you back in a pinch. Otherwise, you lost the gig. Sometimes I could've used the money, sometimes admittedly I enjoy a summer Saturday off.

I don't normally receive or get these type of phone calls or emails. I think I received a strange email that I passed on, it was up near NYC & just some red flags, plus I think they also wanted it edited all for cheap, as I know the NYC rates are wayyyy higher than mine, and I didn't want to travel 2 hours & fear about traffic up that way. AFAIK the regular big chains do not operate this way & schedule people a few months in advance. I don't like last minute things being dropped onto me as its not my problem. But if the wages are ok (isn't $80 UK a pretty decent rate? I'm converting to US Dollar), is that just to shoot it or also for editing fees, delivery, customer service end of it as far as feedback, re-edits etc..In other words I would shoot a wedding for $100/hour, but I wouldn't shoot, edit & deliver a 4 hour wedding for $400.
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Old August 4th, 2015, 07:52 PM   #35
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Re: Asked to film for another company

My personal view here is not the rate per hour but the actual hours involved! If someone wants me to do a 2 hour ceremony it does cost them more per hour than an 8 hours wedding per hour because both events still have the same pre-event setups, loading, unloading and travelling!! Let's say (just rough figures) prior to a wedding, I need to shower, change, check and prepare gear, load the car and drive to the venue and setup early and lets put that "time" at 3 hours in total. If I'm paid $100.00 an hour I'll make $200 for the 2 hour gig and $800 for the 8 hour gig since the company isn't going to pay me for any prep time ..it's only onsite time.

So the 8 hour gig actually soaks up 11 hours of my time reducing my hourly rate to $72.00 an hour. Now, the short gig involves 5 hours of my time so for this one I only make $40 an hour ...only 40% of my offered rate. Set up and travel/ prep do take up your time so there is a point where you have to say XX an hour isn't worth it! If I shoot a ceremony I cost it out at a much higher rate for onsite time that the client sees simply because whether I do a 2 hour shoot or a 22 hour shoot I still have prep time to consider.

For a fixed rate offer from another company you surely must get down to a point where the shoot is so short that is doesn't become viable for you to do it ??
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Old August 5th, 2015, 12:35 AM   #36
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Re: Asked to film for another company

Oddly enough Chris I tend to have a shower everyday regardless of whether I'm filming or not. Perhaps things are different in Australia. Including shower time in ones working day seems a bit of a stretch, but there you go. Takes me 5 minutes to get dressed, 15 to check equipment and 5 minutes to pack the car. Journey time, well if it was lengthy like an hour or more, I agree the 160 seems less appetising. A 10 mile drive Roger described, if only all my jobs were so close.

As far as I'm concerned setup at the venue is part of the filming time. Sure I may arrive early as I left in good time to get there, but I don't feel the need to start work till the 4 hours scheduled. I suppose I could factor in 90 minutes as extra time, but 3 hours. Maybe I just move a little quicker than everyone else. :)
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Old August 5th, 2015, 12:53 AM   #37
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Re: Asked to film for another company

Just for interest I have regular shave/shower times especially to wake me up in the morning. If I was doing a ceremony shoot only it would be more than likely around the 2pm to 3pm time slot so I certainly don't want to get into my gear at 7am so in those cases I would shower after lunch, check and load gear and head off .. if I wasn't doing a wedding then I would be lounging around in scruffy clothes and just have an evening shower so yes, it adds into my work period. I also have the habit of arriving earlier than necessary after I had the unfortunate experience of heading to the Church once to set up with the limo right behind me! When I cost out a wedding it includes not only shoot time but also setup and travel time too ... on an 8 hour wedding I cost myself out at 10 hours just for the shoot ...doing a ceremony only I need to not cost for 4 hours but for 6 hours so there does come a point when it's no longer a viable shoot if someone else is paying by the hour.... Ok at 40 pounds an hour what would you do if the client wanted you just for an hour??? Is it really worth your while heading out on even a 10 mile drive to earn 40 quid??? There must be a cut off point at a fixed hourly rate where you decide "it's just not worth it"
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Old August 5th, 2015, 01:18 AM   #38
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Re: Asked to film for another company

I like to separate money and job satisfaction when I can. For example, I quite fancied the three days on a P&O mini cruise that involved an out two hours work, and a day in port. Decent fee, easily worth being away three days. Said yes, and as far as I work, saying yes means I do the job even though the contract comes afterwards. The job lost the sparkle when I discovered the word "cruise" should have had "booze" before it and the port day is in a Northern European industrial district! Still money of course, and still exactly the same job.

I also do a few freebies for worthy causes, when I volunteer. I rarely do freebies when they ask me, because they are just taking the pee.

Yesterday ended up as 14 hours start to finish, with perhaps 4 of hard work, including a half mile walk with camera and kit from the nearest parking, for the fee I mentioned. It's a job. It's not high art, or bafta material.
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Old August 5th, 2015, 01:20 AM   #39
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Re: Asked to film for another company

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Ok at 40 pounds an hour what would you do if the client wanted you just for an hour??? Is it really worth your while heading out on even a 10 mile drive to earn 40 quid??? There must be a cut off point at a fixed hourly rate where you decide "it's just not worth it"
I think 4 hours about the minimum for a Wedding shoot. To be honest if as low as 1 hour, then travel time becomes less absorbed into the day's fee and you have every right to include it in your hourly rate. If I was hiring someone for an hour, I'd factor in travel time in hours worked. I'd probably not expect to have to pay the guy to have a shower or get dressed, but once leaving the house...

However my years working for a University help me to see the other side here. There were times I had to pop in for an hour or two for one reason or another. Oddly the University never thought to pay me for getting ready or for travel time. I admit fulltime work carries different bonuses than a one off job, but I think working for yourself in Weddings filming can blind one to the real world. My brother is a manager for a firm that pays crap wages, take home pay less than 1600 a month. 37 hours a week, plus he's often expected being a manager to stay late unpaid. Often this works out as 1-2 hours a night - so as much as 10 hours a week unpaid. Their answer to this - you're lucky to have a job.

You want to think 40 an hour for 4 hours Wedding work is exploitation, fine, but maybe if you had a taste of real exploitation, you might look at that money and be grateful for it.

Last edited by Steve Burkett; August 5th, 2015 at 02:05 AM.
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Old August 5th, 2015, 04:38 AM   #40
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Re: Asked to film for another company

Steve I think you are digging your heels in on an arguable point with no real need. For a 4 hour shoot, it would be 4 hours of filming, so for me, whether it was for myself or someone else, I would allow 6 hours. In this particular instance although only 10 miles away, it was for a venue in the middle of a busy town centre on a Friday where the venue has no parking and other parking is a nightmare and would involve a long walk. I also like to allow for unforeseen emergencies like breakdowns, accidents etc, plus checking out the venue, talking to management, meeting the Bride and setting up gear. If you are happy to only allow 30 minutes to get ready, load up and hope there are no hold ups etc, then that is fine and we obviously work with different margins and safeguards, but that is our own choice. Again in this particular instance, we are talking about starting filming at 11am and finishing at 3pm so once I am home, unpacked, downloaded footage and put batteries on charge, then I have basically done a days work. I don't consider 160 less fuel and parking a reasonable return for that effort and equipment. 10 hours at the same rate, would still be a days work but would bring in 400 which would be a fair return.

I was also not insulted by the pricing offer as you said, but if you look at my original post, it was the fact that after I turned it down he proceeded to insult my 'Funny little pink old school website' and question how I could possibly get work from it and that it must be word of mouth only. At that point I just laughed and wished him luck.

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Old August 5th, 2015, 05:17 AM   #41
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Re: Asked to film for another company

Whether people here think that 40 an hour for a short job is good or bad, it does raise another issue that has barely been touched on. That is the question of how this very cheap national approach of offering wedding video affects other businesses like mine and yours.

Looking at the overall picture, the company that offered the work is selling a 4 hour wedding service for 349. They are offering 160 to a camera person, which leaves 189 for editing and supplying an end product. Now I never never went as far as discussing what was required, but assume from his approach, that one camera would have been sufficient. What about sound, an alternative angle with a second camera and other things that most of us would expect to use as a basic requirement. How long does it take to view footage from a 4 hour shoot and collate it well enough to produce an edited end product?

I wonder if editing is also subcontracted out at a basic hourly rate, so for instance, 'here is the footage, we allow 2 hours @40 per hour for the edit.' That gives a profit of 100 on the wedding with virtually no input, which could be multiplied by an infinite number of weddings. The problem is, what sort of quality do the couple actually get? With that sort of random filming and the limited amount of money that could be allowed for editing, it may just be a one song edit from any useable footage. Pure speculation of course, but I don't see that the overall price could allow for any sort of quality product.

What makes it attractive to clients is the price of course and is exactly the sort of price that can take bookings from your potential clients who don't know any better and may well have lost me a client in this particular instance. A follow up problem if this type of cheap subcontract work grows, is that as more businesses like ours lose out to them and give up like David Partington, the hourly rate will drop as more people are prepared to do the work to get some income.

In a market where the value of wedding video is often not appreciated until after the event, we need to be on our guard against quick deals that can undermine the image of wedding video that most of us have been carefully trying to build.

Just my personal opinion of course.

Roger
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Old August 5th, 2015, 05:29 AM   #42
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Re: Asked to film for another company

The arguments against seem to swish back and forth. One moment unacceptable because its actually 6 hours not 4, the next unacceptable because as you yourself argued Roger, it was a poor return given your experience, equipment and skills. However as you feel the job becomes more reasonable at say 10 hours at 40 an hour, the issue is less the pay per hour is too low given your experience, equipment and skills, but rather the job is just too small. Which is another matter entirely and hardly undervalues your experience and skills. I think it is a view I see shared by some Videographers I contacted for assistance, unable to accept low hours but willing to do the job at the same rate if the hours are high enough to warrant the effort. There's no excuse for the bad attitude from the guy when you turned him down however.

I do usually give myself plenty of leeway, but for 10 miles, that leeway would be a lot smaller. A decent SatNav, Google even can help anticipate most traffic situations, plus good local knowledge, which I assume you must have. To quote an original example, I could happily give myself 30 minutes to reach Salisbury, park and get to the venue. I know all the back routes, short cuts and secret parking places. As for setup, speaking to Bride, management, this I'd include in the 4 hours or else its 5 hours not 4. When contacted for similar jobs, I always say I charge from setup to departure. Fuel is also an extra. If they're unhappy with this, cheerio. Its not an unreasonable condition.
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Old August 5th, 2015, 05:35 AM   #43
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Re: Asked to film for another company

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In a market where the value of wedding video is often not appreciated until after the event, we need to be on our guard against quick deals that can undermine the image of wedding video that most of us have been carefully trying to build.
I feel that way about Photographers taking on video and adding it either as a freebie or at say a low rate of 200-300 extra for a Photo package with video. For many Brides meeting these Photographers for the 1st time, it can be their first taste of a Wedding video and if they take it, they'll never know the benefits of hiring a full time Videographer. Speaking to some Photographers they feel the same way about Videographers offering Photos as an extra. However you may have a different point of view on that one Roger. :)
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Old August 5th, 2015, 05:46 AM   #44
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Re: Asked to film for another company

I can certainly see Roger's point here. The prep/travel/parking time for him would be 2 hours and I agree there too so it would end up as 6 hours of your time at 160 ..a rate of 26 and a bit per hour. Take the same guy, same venue and same rate but shoot for 10 hours and it becomes 12 hours (prep time is the same) so your payment of now 400 becomes a more reasonable 33 and a bit per hour. I still say that we are entitled to say no simply on the grounds that it isn't worth it ! I was discussing the very same issue with Rob Benda a while back and as a DJ as well I'm quite sure he would also think twice about something like setting up your sound system and DJ gear for a very short gig ...unless you are paid a better rate, the setup/prep time (especially for a DJ) would actually be more than the actual gig.

Drive 10 miles with a single handheld camera and do a shoot ..sure I would do that no problem ...no setup, just walk in, shoot some footage and you are done.

I did a shoot for Coke last year when they launched their Barista Bros iced coffee ..I had to drive 20kms with one camera, film the promo van driving down the street and the guys getting out and presenting a gift pack to a local competition winner. 11 minutes of footage but over an hour or more of travelling and waiting for the van ... they paid me $350.00 as their policy was they paid their media guys a minimum of 3 hours @$100 an hour plus travel costs ... I never minded that as it covered my prep and travel!!
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Old August 5th, 2015, 06:50 AM   #45
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Re: Asked to film for another company

Steve, I don't think the argument is swinging back and forth between different arguments. There is no point in raising every argument in each and every post. My turn down of the work is based on my experience, skills and equipment investment being worth more than the 160 for giving up my day. The alternative is not sitting on my backside doing nothing, but editing my own work, processing photos, improving the website and doing accounts, all part of running a full time business.

You have said that 4 hours for you would include setting up etc so you would need 5 hours for 4 hours filming or the guy would only get 3 hours of actual filming. That wasn't the deal, it wasn't 4 hours base to base it was 4 hours filming, so whatever way you hack it up it is still more hours than the 4 that are being paid for.. If I was asking another professional company to film a wedding for me I wouldn't be offering them 160 whether it was 4 hours filming or more and I certainly wouldn't make derisory comments about their business if they turned me down.

I don't intend to comment on my joint photo package here as it is irrelevant to this thread, but if you want to start a new one about joint packages, I will be happy to contribute, as I'm sure Chris would as well :-)

Roger
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