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Old August 6th, 2015, 06:15 AM   #61
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Re: Asked to film for another company

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Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
Ok I am scaremongering to some extent, but with the fairly minimal percentage of videos to weddings, it doesn't take a lot to change the landscape. A similar thing happened with photography a few years ago, where companies like Kodak flooded the market with national advertising, subcontracting in local photographers some of whom were abysmal but cheap.
But Roger as you yourself pointed out once in a joint package discussion, the idea of combined packages is changing the market, with the potential to drive down prices. Don't you think I'm asking questions myself over whether to include photos in some capacity. DSLR's changed the market, multiple cameras, non linear editing if you go further back. The market is always changing and those who adapt survive, those who don't will either struggle on or bow out. Now Photographers can shoot video and Videographers can produce 4K stills. All of which impacts more than this guy doing a 4 hour package at 349.

I have a Ceremony only package at 295; I've run it for 5 years. It's had such low takers as to make me consider removing it. Is a 4 hour package that much of a threat. If you offered one yourself, do you think you'd be flooded with requests for it or just a few cash strapped Brides. If could well be this guy has this 4 hour package as I have the Ceremony only one. I did have the misfortune of getting a full Wedding booking on the same day I had a Ceremony one in Winter, so I subcontracted out to a guy who occasionally 2nd shoots for me. Its not necessary a reflection of a permanent business model, just adapting to a particular circumstance.
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Old August 6th, 2015, 06:51 AM   #62
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Re: Asked to film for another company

Good post Steve, and I would agree in some areas and disagree in others.

My joint package is only done in conjunction with the video and costs more than many videographers and. photographers charge. My photo only package next year will be in the typical photography price range with all the things that the joint package doesn't offer. I am though, not subcontracting to bring prices down the whole joint package is by my business for my business and is moving with changes in technology. Your ceremony only package is just you and you choose to set a price that you are satisfied with. You could of course subcontract in student camera operators for a low rate, do minimal editing and advertise over a wide area to bring in lots of weddings on the same day. But you know as well as I do that quality would suffer considerably and you may well lose some of your full priced weddings as a result. There are always those couples who just assume that a video is a video!

Another point is that I doubt you would travel 300-500 miles round trip for a 295 wedding.

Regarding your own thinking on some sort of photo inclusion, is that because you like the idea of a more flexible and wider based offering, or because you are worried that photographers who are now offering video may take work from you? At the last big wedding show that I did, out of 10 photographers, 5 were offering some sort of video add on, so I wouldn't worry about taking work from them, they outnumber videographers by 10 to 1

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Old August 6th, 2015, 07:25 AM   #63
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Re: Asked to film for another company

Hi Roger

Since you are talking about photo inclusion my reasons are totally away from the fact that more photogs are offering video. That doesn't worry me at all. My primary reason for offering photography and video is simply because I'm sick and tired of arrogant photogs taking over the shoot and me having to beg to get a mere ten minutes to do a stedicam shoot ... that was the number one reason I decided on dual packages and from our entire new season I have only TWO video only shoots .. all the rest are combined. Shucks if it meant I could rid my shoots of photogs for the entire season, I would do the photos for free rather than put up with some photogs!! There is of course a little spinoff here and that is by marketing photos and video brides will look at us for photos and then usually consider video too as we give them a hefty price break when they both combined. Yes we offer photos only and video only too and do book photo packages but for me it's nothing to do with what other photogs are doing or offering ..the less I see them the better and so far it works a treat. Yes we CAN offer lower combined costs as we are already onsite doing one or the other so the bride doesn't have to pay to get a photographer to her wedding .. we already have two right there (or still have one while I'm shooting video)
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Old August 6th, 2015, 07:38 AM   #64
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Re: Asked to film for another company

I read this with interest despite me not into weddings. I will never be into weddings as that is not my cup of tea.

People have to understand that we are a business ie. we make a living out of filming. I often get these kinds of offers to shoot much below my rate. Clients request me to do it one time as this project doesn't have budget etc etc. I simply decline even though I am available.

Someone earlier in this thread wrote that by accepting several small jobs one can buy a lens. However, remember if you once cave in, then your rates are gone for ever. If an agency or lot of folks in the market know that you have done one project for cheap, then when you are trying to bid for a good project, someone or the other will know that you were doing it for peanuts.

We are not selling products in the mass market. Management guru C.K. Prahalad had said that there is value at the "bottom of the pyramid". He said that if you can sell something for as low as a rupee/dollar or whatever denomination to millions of people, then you make millions. However, as videographers/cinematographers you can't do a million shoots. So forget the notion of shooting cheap.

So what can you do?

Differentiate. Stand out from the crowd. Market your 30 years of experience.

Why is the discussion going on about cost+ pricing ie. cost of parking+ cost of battery charging + cost of equipment etc plus a small margin for your business?

A newbie will be looking at cost+ pricing strategy. A man of considerable experience should be charging a premium.
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Old August 6th, 2015, 08:26 AM   #65
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Re: Asked to film for another company

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Hi Roger

Since you are talking about photo inclusion my reasons are totally away from the fact that more photogs are offering video.
The last thing I'm looking at is a discussion on joint packages, their merits, price structures. I brought it up only as Roger questioned this others company package of 349 for 4 hours video and suggested it could harm other videographers. My argument is that its harm is no greater than yourself and Roger running joint packages, in terms of having an impact on price and other Videographers / Photographers income. Its not a challenge to say you and Roger are undervaluing either your service or Videographers work in general. Impossible as I don't know what you charge, though have seen similar companies prices to make guesses. We are all entitled to compete in a competitive market at the end of the day. It's those offering 349 for a full days filming you need to worry about not 4 hours.

Now I agree that obtaining bookings for 349 from couples 150 miles away is a dubious practise, and I can't see how it can be sustainable or why those couples would even do such a thing. However a 4 hour package at 349 sourced locally isn't entirely unreasonable. 12 hours at 1047 isn't a bad price and the same rate as 4 hours at 349. I've seen joint packages at 1200, not too far off and a lot more work in comparison. I would have more to fear from Photographers offering video than this guy, as their low prices would cover the day and not 4 hours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
Regarding your own thinking on some sort of photo inclusion, is that because you like the idea of a more flexible and wider based offering, or because you are worried that photographers who are now offering video may take work from you? At the last big wedding show that I did, out of 10 photographers, 5 were offering some sort of video add on, so I wouldn't worry about taking work from them, they outnumber videographers by 10 to 1
I'm thinking of offering some photo function even if via 4K stills and some basic photo taking, but more to keep my business modern and competitive. Certainly I wouldn't do formals as I hate the concept and the type of photos they produce. I've seen some fun ones, but only with the right crowd who don't take it seriously.

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Originally Posted by Sabyasachi Patra View Post
Someone earlier in this thread wrote that by accepting several small jobs one can buy a lens. However, remember if you once cave in, then your rates are gone for ever.
That was me. And I keep saying this, but 40 an hour is a good rate; its probably more per hour than what I'm getting with my top Wedding package when I factor in all the work I do for each one. The issue here is that the number of hours is small. People here may well be glad to work 10 hours at 40 per hour but not 4 hours at 40 an hour due to the effort involved in undertaking this work. However we all have a different threshold. For me that would not be an inconvenience. It doesn't devalue my work, my experience or skills.

My justification is this, if I can work 40 an hour for 10 hours, I can for 4 or even 2 if need be. The question is then can I be bothered to take the job given the low number of hours and consequently lower fee. Is it worth giving up my time, which I could always put to better use. Many here would say no. For me in most cases I can say yes. 20 small jobs may not individually offer much, or seem that attractive, but as a whole can be very lucrative. If it allows me to indulge and buy a more expensive lens, then it's worth the trouble in my eyes.
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Old August 6th, 2015, 09:24 AM   #66
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Re: Asked to film for another company

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That was me. And I keep saying this, but 40 an hour is a good rate; its probably more per hour than what I'm getting with my top Wedding package when I factor in all the work I do for each one. The issue here is that the number of hours is small.
I will admit, I kind of don't agree. 40 an hour would be fine IF it covered all the work, not just "filming" time. And if I wasn't using all my own gear.

Sabyasachi has some fair points. For us, the date itself has value. I suppose last minute booking makes any rate seem appealing since its better than not working. I would have been more interested in that several years back than I am now. Now I don't *need* the booking at any cost.

------

Mostly, my problem with the original booking in question is how.... scummy it looks. I still think the guy is just a booking agent. He's trying to book as many events as possible, at a low rate, then farm out the work. He's a high volume-low satisfaction guy. Personally, I am not and don't care to work for or with those kinds of people. The booker is taking chances with their wedding.
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Old August 6th, 2015, 10:11 AM   #67
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Re: Asked to film for another company

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I will admit, I kind of don't agree. 40 an hour would be fine IF it covered all the work, not just "filming" time. And if I wasn't using all my own gear.

Sabyasachi has some fair points. For us, the date itself has value. I suppose last minute booking makes any rate seem appealing since its better than not working. I would have been more interested in that several years back than I am now. Now I don't *need* the booking at any cost.

------

Mostly, my problem with the original booking in question is how.... scummy it looks. I still think the guy is just a booking agent. He's trying to book as many events as possible, at a low rate, then farm out the work. He's a high volume-low satisfaction guy. Personally, I am not and don't care to work for or with those kinds of people. The booker is taking chances with their wedding.
If you're happy with 40 an hour if it covered all the work, then it emphasises my point that 40 is an acceptable fee per hour when for big jobs; it's just this job is so small, making the 40 an hour not appealing. As I said previously, people would work 40 an hour for a 50 hour job, just not for 4 hours. However whether its still worth doing depends on whether you want or need the work or not.

As for the guys business model, we can but speculate. Apparently he does have a much higher price for full day. I offer Ceremony only for a low fee package, but that doesn't make me a booking agent. The fact he takes bookings so far from his location suggests outsourcing I agree, but could just be a willingness to travel as far as it takes to get some work. I know I did when I first started. I did Weddings all over the Country during my 1st 2 years. Pared it back since then mind, but he could just be a newbie.

We have but 1 example of his booking, just 1 and Roger's assessment of his website, but websites only tell what the business wants couples to read. No ones gonna put, I'm new to the game, finding my feet. Only a few Weddings to my name etc. Mouthing off to Roger is wrong, but lets not accuse and convict the guy based on 1 phone call.
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Old August 7th, 2015, 03:51 AM   #68
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Re: Asked to film for another company

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Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
There are also photographers in this region offering photo packages for the same price and less than my add on cost but how that is possible I have no idea.
The overwhelming majority of wedding photographers at the low end are 'Weekend Warriors'. For many people a couple of hundred quid (that they will not declare to the tax man) for a day taking snaps is a fair rate & easy money. I am sure that there are plenty of people who would photograph a whole wedding for the 160 that Roger declined.
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Old August 7th, 2015, 04:05 AM   #69
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Re: Asked to film for another company

I would have turned down this offer of work too but not because I don't think that 160 for a few hours work is a bad rate for a day that I had no work booked. However I would be very worried about turning up at a local wedding & filming for this budget outfit. Even if you were just filming & had no other involvement because you were the local guy you would be associated with the quality & value of the finished product. If the couple were unhappy with the finished product then you would be tainted by that & if they were happy with the video then you would be known as a guy who does wedding videos for 349.

If you weren't someone who does wedding videos so don't have to worry about the effect on your prospective customers then 160 isn't bad & according to Paul R Johnson there are plenty of video professionals who will work for 120-140 per day.
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Old August 7th, 2015, 04:51 AM   #70
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Re: Asked to film for another company

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Originally Posted by Nigel Barker View Post
I would have turned down this offer of work too but not because I don't think that 160 for a few hours work is a bad rate for a day that I had no work booked. However I would be very worried about turning up at a local wedding & filming for this budget outfit. Even if you were just filming & had no other involvement because you were the local guy you would be associated with the quality & value of the finished product. If the couple were unhappy with the finished product then you would be tainted by that & if they were happy with the video then you would be known as a guy who does wedding videos for 349.

If you weren't someone who does wedding videos so don't have to worry about the effect on your prospective customers then 160 isn't bad & according to Paul R Johnson there are plenty of video professionals who will work for 120-140 per day.
I think this is a very important point Nigel and one that I made early on in the thread. I was filming a wedding yesterday and there were two previous clients and several other people that recognised me from weddings. It was only 200 yards from the venue that I had turned down. It could so easily have been the wedding that I turned down and the finished product would have been associated with me and my business. The previous clients may well have wondered why they had paid so much more and others seeing me at wedding shows would expect the same package price. Furthermore if the end product was poor, it would reflect badly on my own business for the sake of 160. I also agree that for non wedding work it is a totally different matter, but for a wedding in your own area definitely not worth the risk.

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Old August 7th, 2015, 05:21 AM   #71
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Re: Asked to film for another company

As I mentioned below, I filmed a wedding yesterday about 200yards from the venue that I was offered fo 160. I'm mentioning it again as it reinforces my own reservations about time allowances.

It was a joint photo and video package, with Claire filming and photographing the Bride's Preps and me going straight to the venue for a 3pm ceremony. I know the venue well, but like to have time in hand so left at 1.00 for the drive. In support of Steve's driving times, I actually arrived at the venue 10 miles away at 1.15. Unfortunately, the day before, contractors had fenced off the carpark and started digging it up to convert into gardens, so I had to park illegally away from the building and make three trips up two flights of stairs, with the equipment, then find the manager for a room to put it while I found somewhere to park. That took until 1.30, then a 5 minute drive to the nearest paid carpark, only to find it was completely full and I got stuck for another 5 minutes waiting for 3 idiots to move who had decided to block the carpark waiting for someone to free up a space. I tried another car park that was also full and eventually spent another 10 minutes driving through the middle of town one way system to a fringe carpark. That was a 5 minute walk from the venue so I arrived finally at 1.55, needing to set up the cameras and start filming and photographing the guests starting to arrive. My first shots were at 2.05, 65 minutes after I left home.

Interestingly, one of the couple's there I had filmed 4 years ago and they had a very expensive arty photographer, who constantly ignored me and walked through my shots. The couple phoned me up after I had delivered their video and asked for some stills from the video, 50 I believe, as the photographer had missed a lot of shots that they had asked for even though I had them on video and they could sometimes see him on the video taking the pics. He also took no still at all of their daughter, or they didn't come out. That wedding was one of those that was instrumental in us adding our photography package.

Roger
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Old August 7th, 2015, 09:04 AM   #72
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Re: Asked to film for another company

I know the feeling! 18t truck arrives, driver gets out to prepare for tipping the kit. Traffic warden says you can't park there the rules have changed. Oh dear, says the driver, I've just change the tacho to 'resting', so I cannot drive it again for 4 hours. Best just give me the ticket, I'll take a pictures, send it to the office, and they will pay it over the phone immediately. No says the traffic warden, I want you to move it. Love to, the driver says, but it would be illegal for me to drive it now - so it's a four hour wait I'm afraid, so sorry. This went back and forth. They wanted it moved and the fine was 5 more than the lorry park charge 3 roads away. He was happy with the ticket, but the traffic warden was being told by their office to get it shifted. In the end, the driver just gave him his mobile number and said give me a yell if you write out the ticket. He didn't move and didn't get a ticket.

One solution offered was that he should get there for before 10am. We sat and worked out the actual cost based on everyone's daily rates

Extra driver to cover driving hours, including subsistence payments 320
Production Manager extra cost 180
Lighting crew (2) 140 x 2 280
Sound crew (2) 150 x 2 300
Stage crew non-union (6) 36 x 6 216
Stage crew union (4) 80 x 4 320
Early cleaning call 40 x 4 160

That's close on two grand to get there early, or 35 for a parking ticket. what a daft world.
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Old August 7th, 2015, 11:03 AM   #73
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Re: Asked to film for another company

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I will admit, I kind of don't agree. 40 an hour would be fine IF it covered all the work, not just "filming" time. And if I wasn't using all my own gear.
I've just done a quick calculation on the cost of hiring my setup for a day (cameras/steadicam/lenses) not including audio gear and supports it actually comes to just about 50% of what I charge - makes you think ;)
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Old August 7th, 2015, 02:15 PM   #74
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Re: Asked to film for another company

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My first shots were at 2.05, 65 minutes after I left home.
Roger, to sum up I think it's up to you to decide if the job is worthwhile. I never spoke to the guy, nor seen his website nor know the venue and surrounding issues that parking a car there brings. I've never had the kind of hassle you describe, so understandably I didn't take such things into consideration. That said, yes I do leave in good time for my own Weddings at least.

Ultimately not liking the venue for such a small job, not thinking the fee worth giving a day up, not wanting to aid the competition and not wanted to be associated with a company you have no respect for are all individually damn good reasons to turn a job down. Wider issues as to whether 40 an hour is a good rate, or 160 worth doing the job are down to each of us to decide. I have no issue with it, others do.

Mind you, 3 trips with your equipment. I see you're one of these Videographers that have your equipment spread across multiple bag and cases. I've worked with them. I find it inefficient. I have 4 cameras, 10 lenses, audio recorders, gopros x3, tripods, a monopod, 3 lights, lightstand, jib, slider and mic stand. 2 bags, that's all. One on the back, 1 on a 2 wheel trolley. So even with stairs, its 1 trip. I have handles for the trolley and had 1 venue like yours where I carted both 2 flights. This was also 1 trip from the car parked 10 mins away on Brighton seafront, where parking is non existent. When I arrive at the reception from a church Ceremony, I don't like to waste time by going back and forth.
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Old August 8th, 2015, 12:52 AM   #75
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Re: Asked to film for another company

Age and fitness levels make all the difference. A 30 year old may be able to hump everything in one go, a 50 year old may not, a 60 year old simply won't

I speak from experience.

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