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Old September 11th, 2016, 07:23 PM   #46
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

I must admit I haven't tried them as the cost has put me off ... they seem to want an arm and a leg for a tiny stand and then it's often a two day affair so apart from the actual cost of being an exhibitor, you essentially lose a whole weekend that you could be shooting a paying wedding or even two. Yes we do have cheaper ones but those tend to be right in the middle of the busiest part of the wedding season and more often than not you are booked. I had the opportunity to do a "free" one in November but it's a good hour's drive out of the city on a Sunday and do I really want to do my usual Saturday wedding the night before then haul my weary backside out of bed in the wee hours of Sunday morning to set up stands and suchlike??
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Old September 11th, 2016, 11:39 PM   #47
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Hi Arthur

I think I would also prefer the variety of doing multiple weddings like yours rather than a highly complex multi-camera work of art as they are harder to sell and a lot more post production work too. However 65 weddings is a bit much as far as I'm concerned as our typical season is September to May down here and it means you are doing 2 weddings each and every weekend ..that's a huge amount of effort as you technically only have 5 days after each weekend to edit maybe 2 weddings from the weekend just past so you don't get a backlog. Our main basic weddings we now do as a live broadcast and edit/mix the footage with a second wide angle cam and titles etc etc on site as it happens. That way our week is essentially free and we at least have a break. I see Noa was doing some calculations based on 16 higher end weddings versus your annual 65 single cam ones ..what base price do you charge for one of your weddings??
Hi Chris, my price was raised up from $1300 US dollars to $1400 this year as I had no price increase during the past 7 years. Easy to calculate that I rake in, on the average year, very close to 90 grand, not factoring in the income tax ( around 25% ). I used to have packages ranging from $750 to $1800 in the past but most wanted the mid point package and so I dropped the low and high end ones, also because I did not want to commit to a low package and refuse a higher priced one if it happened on the same date. I do not take 2 jobs on the same date as I don't want to pay a cameraman $750 to shoot a job that might result in lots of editing time to correct mistakes. I don't take that risk. My competitors charge much more as I have mentioned but their overhead expenses and salaries are huge and that cuts deeply into their bottom line. They push all that multi camera shoot with bokeh stuff, special effects, steady cam, crane at reception venue, etc. I get the feeling they enjoy the attention of distractiing guests. They ( my competitors) also contract photographers that bring in their share of 2nd and 3rd shooters that add to the confusion. It is not uncommon to see 3 videographers and 3 photographers on the same event. Sure,they charge around $5k and average 30-40 jobs a year but take away their expenses and they might see $2K profit per job..and that is before income tax kicks in.
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Old September 12th, 2016, 12:40 AM   #48
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

Hi Arthur

That's pretty good but of course some would rather do only 20 x $4500 shoots to get a turnover of $90K ..I do agree than what you do makes sense as you can edit quickly and easily where the higher end guy has staff to pay and will take a week or more to edit .. I see Roger does just a single "all day" package for a US$ price of $1055 and he also adds photos included for $1320 ... Our base video package is around the same here with bride prep thru to first dance for AUS$1099 ..and I can do them solo. I often wonder if the high end guys are offering "what I want to give you" rather than "what you really want" ..hence the title of the post ... Unless they are rolling in money most brides simply want a record of the day and whether you do it on one cam or with 3 video guys and 5 cameras, do they REALLY care?

I guess if one has the expertise to sell the bride a Cadillac when she really wanted a Toyota we must take our hats off to them for their marketing skills. I still prefer something I can wrap up and deliver in a couple of days with minimum overheads. I fact I'm trying to convince brides to have a live broadcast wedding which we actually edit live too (it does take two people though) That way when we leave the venue after the first dance is over ..the wedding video is finished and we have almost zero post work to do. However trying to sell new technology to brides is hard work but we have booked 3 so far!!
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Old September 12th, 2016, 04:23 AM   #49
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

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I often wonder if the high end guys are offering "what I want to give you" rather than "what you really want" ..hence the title of the post ...
I was following one of your other posts where you talk about the streaming a wedding, not that I would consider doing something like that but I do find it interesting, there was also a link to a website that contained these type of live streams but there was one particular film which was a interview with you, the woman who interviewed you, who also got married recently, said that weddingvideography is all about capturing moments and then asked you what your favorite moment was that gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling and before you answer she says "mine is the first look".

You then say, "for me not" and say it's the romantic photoshoot with slowmotion shots because that's the first time of the day they get a break from the panic from getting ready, getting through the ceremony etc.

I actually only hear you talk about what "you" find important in that interview, you say you only find the ceremony the most important part of the day and ask why anyone wants to watch their drunk friends who cost a lot of money on food and drinks, or why anyone would spend a lot of money on their wedding instead of having a ceremony only and a few drinks after that and be done with it and save some money which they can spend on important parts after their wedding.

Actually you are the one that is offering a "what I want to give you" rather than "what you really want" because all you say in the interview is targeted to the service you are offering. There is not one moment where you are giving me the impression that you care about what brides actually want.

Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying what you offer is not important, I can imagine that the interest for having live stream weddings in large countries where family live much further distances apart from eachother and are not always able to attend wedding is much larger then in a tiny country where I live in. The possibility to follow a ceremony live or watch it later for anyone who cannot attend sounds very appealing and there certainly is a market for that. It also is very appealing for brides with very limited budgets who just want to at least have the ceremony captured.

About one camera documentary shooters and "high end cinema" 3 shooter teams with all the toys. As I see it it's all about budget, those brides that have a small budget often end up in the "weekend warriors" zone, eventhough there are talented people operating in that area at very low prices there is a lot of crap being offered as well and from my own country I find many operating in that area, they don't care about sound, they don't have the technical skill and they don't have the talent, and they just care about making a extra buck.

If I would get married and have a big budget I would hire a guy like Rob Adams without a doubt, his films are beautifully crafted and would be worth every cent because that would be the only real memory left from my overly expensive wedding. If I don't have the budget I would end up with a weekend warrior knowing that the possibility of hiring a talented guy would be very very small, not non existing, but just very difficult to find and if my budget was very limited I probably would have my ceremony only filmed but would expect it to be at least a 2 camera coverage with good sound, if that was not possible I rather have a family member on the front row hold a camera and just point the camera towards the altar.

Quote:
I guess if one has the expertise to sell the bride a Cadillac when she really wanted a Toyota we must take our hats off to them for their marketing skills.
A few weeks back a bride wanted to hire me, she wanted the film package which is a full day coverage, when she visited me to watch a finished film and talk about her wedding she said to me she changed her mind and just wanted to have a ceremony coverage only. I said to her "I don't do that, I only offer full day coverage", I saw she was disappointed but then said to her; "just watch a finished film from such a full day coverage and see what you could be missing."

When the film was over she didn't say a word but the look on her face when she turned to her boyfriend was telling a lot, she said that the reason she was in doubt and eventually changed her mind was because she had a feeling that weddingvideos where long and boring and was surprised now to see my 20 minute highlight.

A few days later she send me a email with a signed contract attached for a full day coverage, what is important here is that I did not have to sell anything, I have not applied any marketing skills but I just made her feel what it's like to drive in a Caddilac ;) and by this offering what she really wants.
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Old September 12th, 2016, 04:31 AM   #50
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

Hi Chris,

I think that things probably vary according to the area that you are in. Although we do travel further afield, the majority of our weddings are from around a 50 mile radius, which is a fairly low average income area. There are cities like Cambridge which are about 90 minutes drive from us which have an above average income, but in my experience they are more likely to be already married and established in life, as Cambridge is just too expensive for most young couples starting out in life with some exceptions of course.

Our basic all day wedding video package has now been overtaken by our joint video and photo package, which accounts for about 80% of the bookings. We can do both without any particular increase in pressure on the day because of the way we work and equipment we use. We also added a more varied package with pre wedding shoot, and a fun booth in the evening. We started to push that more this year and although there is only a small amount of extra work for considerably more money, it has already gained a lot of bookings. We have also seen an increase in take up on the photo only package which is the same price as the video only.

As Claire and I can both work solo on any of the packages and also edit individually, that means that when we have two of our top packages on the same day, it gives a very good income return.

Steve, I hear what you say about interacting with people at wedding shows and I suppose that because both Claire and I were entertainers for many years, we are very used to that side of talking to people and don't have a problem with it. Perhaps that's why we enjoy the wedding shows and are able to make them work.

Roger
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Old September 12th, 2016, 05:10 AM   #51
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

Hi Noa

You are 100% correct and that was a perfect example about telling the bride what she should have ..yes I do it, most of us do it and yes, it's wrong ..it should be what the bride wants and we must not assume she has no idea so offer what suits us. Do as I say here don't do what I do!! What you are doing is much the same except your film does the selling so in essence you are saying "this is what you need" ... It's called marketing my friend and it's how we make a living ..no it's not the right way to approach a bride but we are all trying to make a living so the last thing we need to do is ask a bride "What do you want in your wedding film" ... She might say ..shoot the vows only and then the speeches and that's it!! We never want that as we make a miserable amount of money and we KNOW she will regret asking for what she wanted and blame you. Point taken ...bottom line is take her for a ride in the luxury limo and sell her that concept.

Roger? I am in the same boat as you ... the market in the last two years has honestly bottomed out ..brides have cancelled weddings as their partner has lost his high paying job on the mines ... generally not a great market .... 2 years ago we were turning away brides, a 4 bed home was renting for $600 a week (and hard to find) and now we have over 8000 vacant rental properties in the Perth area and rentals have dropped by 50% .... the mines have laid off a huge number of workers and property foreclosures have doubled .... We are now in a self made low income area with most brides looking at self catering receptions in a hall, or just opting for a registry wedding. Most celebrants, in fact, are making their own little "wedding areas" in their back yards and doing marriages for as little as $350!!
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Old September 12th, 2016, 07:50 AM   #52
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

That's interesting about the backyard wedding Chris as it would be totally unrecognised in the UK. A place for weddings has to be sanctioned by law and a licence granted with all sorts of tight restrictions on how and where it is done. You can't for instance get married in an area where alcohol is served, it would have to be separated off, so down the local pub is a no no unless they have a separate room licensed and approved for weddings.

It always amuses me when I see Ausie weddings in the park. :-)

Roger

Last edited by Roger Gunkel; September 13th, 2016 at 03:05 AM. Reason: corrected spelling
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Old September 12th, 2016, 08:23 AM   #53
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
What you are doing is much the same except your film does the selling so in essence you are saying "this is what you need" ... It's called marketing my friend and it's how we make a living ..
Actually what I am only showing a bride is what she will be missing if she doesn't book me, in this way I am not trying to sell her anything she didn't need or want in the first place, something you keep referring to and which makes a difference to me.
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Old September 12th, 2016, 06:35 PM   #54
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

Hi Roger

A registered civil celebrant can perform a wedding ceremony anywhere they wish ..even over the kitchen table if need be. We have a fair number of "wedding reception centres" which sport a reception area, nice gardens and then a ceremony area complete with a gazebo. The only legal requirements are that you have two witnesses and the couple can legally marry and are sober! I would say that close to 90% of our weddings here are civil ceremonies ... churches have jumped on the wedding band wagon and a Church wedding can set you back over $1000 easily for just the use of the Church and the priest. Most venues will charge only half that for a wedding ceremony so Church weddings are becoming fewer and fewer.
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