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Old August 13th, 2016, 07:10 AM   #1
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Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

Hi Guys

Producing wedding films now days seems to involve multiple cameras and often multiple camera operators, piles of fancy gear like stedicams, sliders, drones and gimbals and once you have knocked out a 12 hour session with all your expensive gear and equally expensive assistants, you are still faced with a week of editing. The fact that the bride sees you for a small portion of hours compared to your consultation, prep, and editing makes most videography companies sound expensive! Have we taken the humble wedding video simply too far so what we used to do in the old days for $500 now costs $5000?

In the old days on glorious VHS, I used to film a title, shoot the wedding, in camera, and eject the tape when I left the venue and hand it to the bride ...if I spent 6 hours at her wedding she paid for 6 hours ..it was so easy then and affordable too!!

My mate Alan did a live broadcast this evening of a 50th birthday ..the video was a livestream and the CDN does an automatic online video (downloadable too) that can be instantly viewed ...People not attending can watch the reception/party as it happens and the bride can actually see her wedding video before she goes off on honeymoon ..not "I'll have your wedding film ready in around 3 months"

Seriously are we getting so involved with a wedding film where it has become a severe budget consideration that brides have to wait months for? I would love to be able to say at the end of the night "Well that's done and dusted..on to the next job"
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Old August 13th, 2016, 03:51 PM   #2
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

I think it's like Mc Donalds vs a 3 star restaurant like El Bulli, some people like a Mc Donalds drive true and there is nothing wrong with that and some prefer to have to wait for weeks for the opportunity to book at El Bulli for some fine dining. A meal at Mc Donalds is forgotten tomorrow and the experience of a meal at El Bulli will be talked about for years.

A livestream wedding is as boring as it gets, nice if you want to have a CCTV recording but certainly not a engaging memory you want to watch over and over again, some thing are worth waiting for...
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Old August 13th, 2016, 03:54 PM   #3
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

Hi Chris,

I often have similar thoughts about wedding video now compared with how it used to be. However in the 'Old Days', we were following on from cine, which for the most part was totally silent and very short. VHS gave us freedom to shoot the whole ceremony and speeches with glorious sound, so the wedding video became a bit like the start of talking movies, but applied to people's own lives.

Now, with HD tv, blockbuster movies and the huge advances in technology available to wedding videographers, client expectations are much higher meaning that they expect to see something akin to a tv programme or movie, but with no appreciation of what goes into creating it. Because we are able to produce to a higher level, we choose to do so but at a cost of time in production. We could go back to a single camera continuous shoot, but that would be like making a car as in the 'Old Days', no heater, no washers, no electric windows, simple engine etc etc. It would be cheap but would it meet customer expectations?

The answer perhaps is to add a basic simple and cheap package to your offerings and see if people want to take it up. Film it all on your phone and upload it immediately for them, after all it's a mobile phone instant image era :-)

Roger
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Old August 13th, 2016, 05:56 PM   #4
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

Thanks Guys

Believe me I DO know the difference between a single camera shoot and a multi camera and multi operator shoot with all the gadgets and trimmings much the same as the difference in food choice but you must admit it's getting VERY complicated now days virtually forcing us to buy new gear as it comes out and spending even more time per wedding than we used to. I wonder what will happen in the future? Pick up your 4K iPhone or tablet and go shoot a wedding? Yes we use live stream for funerals and real estate at the moment but not weddings ... the quality and bandwidth hasn't become viable yet so one can do a 4K stream at a reasonable cost. My packages remain as they are but is still is a little disconcerting when a bride prefers another supplier over you because he has 2 assistant cameramen plus a drone operator. I don't think brides appreciate how much time we put into post production. Maybe the answer lies in alive edit? Have a pimple faced teenager that sits at a desk near the ceremony doing the 4 camera mix live and creating an SDE for the bride and uploading a copy for the overseas people at the same time. THAT I would love to do ... How great would it be to pack up at the end of the evening and say "We are Done"
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Old August 14th, 2016, 01:24 AM   #5
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

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My packages remain as they are but is still is a little disconcerting when a bride prefers another supplier over you because he has 2 assistant cameramen plus a drone operator.
If the packages of your competitor are more expensive then what you offer then it's not the extra cameramen and the drone that makes the difference, it only means their work is better then yours, brides don't care about equipment, it's about what feeling they get when they watch your films.

Quote:
I don't think brides appreciate how much time we put into post production
As I see it you have 2 type of clients, those that don't have a budget and look for the cheapest around and they just want to have a recording of their wedding and you have those that want to invest in a film that gives them the same feeling they had at their weddingday so they can go through that experience again when they want to. Carefully crafted trailers and highlights give them just that and they are willing to pay for it. I have experienced the past 2 years by almost doubling my prices that I get much more respect for what I do, I have had clients that ask me if I know a good photographer meaning they book me first, that never happened when I was cheaper. That respect you get by putting more time into post production, the client might not know how much extra time you spend on a wedding but they can experience the difference and for that they will wait 3 months if necessary.

Quote:
How great would it be to pack up at the end of the evening and say "We are Done"
I"m currently able to get a trailer online one day after the wedding, if I would have a person that would do such a live stream edit of the ceremony and speeches on the spot and have that finished at the end of the weddingday it should be able to wrap everything up a full day after the wedding with the online delivery of the trailer. In that way the couple at least will get a compelling short film they can share on facebook and go trough the boring livestream edit that pimple faced teenager put together when it's a cold winterevening. :)
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Old August 14th, 2016, 03:05 AM   #6
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

All good points Noa It depends on the bride. I was actually talking about SDE's live not streaming on the last comment ... live feed to the laptop from the cameras and record straight to HDD. It would be nice to edit on site as I really cannot fathom out how guys do an SDE in between the ceremony and reception.

Kudos to you for being able to do a short edit the very next day!!!
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Old August 14th, 2016, 07:15 AM   #7
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

Obviously live streaming and a well produced Wedding Video are two very different products fulfilling different needs. I offer a basic SDE on my own as an optional extra, which is really me collating a selection of clips from the Bridal Preps to the Reception entrance into a short 15 minute video. No sound as it is played on a loop during the evening party, where the DJ or band music would swamp the audio anyway. I also, like Noa, do a Trailer. However it's very basic; I give myself only an hour, maybe two to work on it. I apply some grading using film convert and correct some of the more extreme exposure issues, but that's as far as it goes. Audio is just the music, whilst the natural audio mixing I save for the separate Highlights video. It's just a teaser really, to wet the appetite so soon after the Wedding.

As for the changes in standards of Wedding Videos; this is to be expected as technology progresses and allows more to be achieved. The Video in DSLR sparked a new revolution in what was possible for Videographers and there are many who will push it even further, helped by new innovation's such as gimbals and drones.

We all have selected the level of service we feel happy and capable of offering and hopefully have enough clients to match that level. There will be those working to a higher level and those below. That's the nature of business. If you are in the Wedding Video industry purely for money, then these new standards of service would be seen as profit limiting. If you're in this for the chance to be creative and delivering a better product, then the new technology can only be seen as liberating.

There are better ways to make money and if this extra time doesn't suit, then there are other jobs out there. I would have stayed working for a University if money was the only concern. Better hours, paid leave and sick days and less stress. However very little job satisfaction .

Whilst the 'good old days' of knocking out a basic VHS may have an appeal when you're working late on an edit, many clients these days have nothing but praise for the developments in Wedding Video; turning what was once considered a cheesy Wedding Video into something that is now often described as Cinematic.

Last edited by Steve Burkett; August 14th, 2016 at 10:05 AM.
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Old August 14th, 2016, 03:11 PM   #8
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

Great post. The good thing is there is plenty of work up and down the chain and targeting your own section and selling that section is I think more important now than ever. Do you think the terminology between videographer And cinematographer makes any difference today in making that 1st connection with a bride? Meaning she looks at your home page for example and sees videographer never looking at your work. I hate putting labels on things and have always used videographer for marketing because that is what I have always called myself. I just wonder if brides have preconceived notions between the 2 since it seems like I am one of the few "videographers" left! Haha.
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Old August 14th, 2016, 04:56 PM   #9
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

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Originally Posted by Chad Whelan View Post
Great post. The good thing is there is plenty of work up and down the chain and targeting your own section and selling that section is I think more important now than ever. Do you think the terminology between videographer And cinematographer makes any difference today in making that 1st connection with a bride? Meaning she looks at your home page for example and sees videographer never looking at your work. I hate putting labels on things and have always used videographer for marketing because that is what I have always called myself. I just wonder if brides have preconceived notions between the 2 since it seems like I am one of the few "videographers" left! Haha.
People will have widely differing opinions on this, but personally I think cinematographer is a term that is often misused in wedding videography to suggest that someone is offering more than just a video. It has become fashionable to use cinematography to describe what is frequently a highlights or shortform video using a number of shot variations. They can range from slider shots, to cranes, focus pulling, drone shots etc. It's still a wedding video whatever you call it, although some like to call their work a wedding film or cinematic production. If you research what a real cinematographer or DP does, you will find it entails much more than making a nice wedding video, but borrowing the term cinematography suggests that your product is film like.

Some modernn videographers possibly feel that the term 'wedding video' sounds a little dated and is linked to the old VHS days. Whether brides are the slightest bit interested in what you call it is open to debate, although wedding video is immediately understood by everyone. Looking through photographer's websites shows a similar desire to sound more upmarket with terms such as Boutique Photography, Wedding Stories, Artistic Wedding Imaging, and the list goes on.

A wedding video can be as film like as you are able or choose to make it, whatever the length and it is entirely up to you what you call it. The important thing is to engage with clients to make sure that they know exactly what you offer and you know what their requirements are.

Roger
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Old August 14th, 2016, 05:22 PM   #10
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

I would say very few of us can actually be a cinematographer as we don't have camera crews to direct like in the big movies.


A cinematographer or director of photography (sometimes shortened to DP or DOP) is the chief over the camera crews working on a film, television production or other live action piece and is responsible for making artistic and technical decisions related to the image.
Cinematographer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinematographer

However from a marketing viewpoint it sounds WAY posher than "video guy" as does wedding film (as opposed to wedding video) so why not use the phrase if it gets you better clients or helps sales. Sadly half our business is marketing and half is technical and it's hard to be good at both!!
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Old August 16th, 2016, 03:21 AM   #11
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

A week of editing? I can usually turn around a solid 15 min feature film and snappy 3-4 min highlights in a day :)
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Old August 16th, 2016, 07:14 AM   #12
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

Hi Luke

I actually allocate 10 hours for edits on a basic ceremony and reception but I have seen people talk about 40 to 60 hours ..How they make a profit is anybody's guess but it cannot be much. The old issue still remains that brides will look at your costing for a simple 6 hour shoot and then do the maths to work out your "hourly rate" and then wonder why you charge so much!! If I stick to 6 hours at the wedding, 10 hours to edit and 4 hours for travel and seeing the bride/attending rehearsals I'm lucky to make $75 an hour. Of course I COULD double my prices but then I wouldn't get much work as every Tom, Dick and Harry with a DSLR is now a wedding cinematographer who would easily undercut me.


I wonder if anyone here would be brave enough to actually cost out a wedding and see how much they are really making ??? You have to include onsite time, travel time, bride consultancy time and edit and media creation time in hours and THEN factor in your insurance costs, vehicle fuel and road costs too. If anyone dares to do it and be honest I think they might get a shock as to how low their actual hourly rate drops to!!
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Old August 16th, 2016, 12:08 PM   #13
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

To the original post:

I've often heard couples remark about how dull older style videos were. Most aren't interested in watching the entire ceremony. The new era/style of highlight video offers a chance to relive the FEELINGS of the wedding day much better than sitting down and watching the 90 minute ceremony (I'm editing a Catholic wedding right now). Heck, the actual ceremony that day didn't feel all that exciting, other than the entrance and vows.

Of course, the rest of it, drones, sliders, etc. is all tools and whether we each choose to use them is a whole other thing. Personally, as a solo shooter, I use 3-4 cameras so I don't miss anything, and can still offer the most interesting and effective view of any given moment (I hope).
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Old August 16th, 2016, 05:55 PM   #14
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

When I first picked up a camera many years ago the first thing I was taught was how to move from shot to shot and edit "in camera" to make editing easier which I do to this day. If I were a bride I think that all I would want would be a highlight clip ..even a so called 15 minute feature film (I don't see how a feature film can be 15 minutes but never mind) A 6 -10 minute for me gives a great overview of the day and doesn't bore you to tears BUT brides still seem to want highlights, short films and then the works as well.

Considering that a large proportion of our time goes into post production (and we have to cost it out too) it would be great if we could just film the important bits ..bridal entry ..go sit down until the vows..get the signing and you are done ...probably 5 -10 minutes of raw footage is how it should be but you know that some bride is going to come back to you and will want to know "where is my Aunt Mary doing a reading"

Yes Rob I would say they MIGHT watch the complete ceremony once then it's never watched again but we STILL have to edit it even if she only watches it that one time
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Old August 17th, 2016, 02:45 AM   #15
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

The majority of people on here seem to feel that 10-15 minutes is the length of wedding video that clients want to watch and I have to agree that weddings are incredibly boring when taken as a whole. I have for most of the years filming weddings, offered full length documentary with full ceremony and speeches etc. Only over the last 2 or 3 years have I added the option of a short form or highlights version.

I find the opposite to most of you guys in that my clients prefer to have the full length version with a short 5 minutes highlights as well. You can argue that clients come to me because they know I offer doc style, but with the option of both, they almost always choose full length. When I ask why, they say that they want all the details and sounds of their day recorded including readings in the ceremony, shots of family members etc etc. They also like the option of skipping parts like hymns etc, but want them left in as they like the close ups of guests and family members during those long boring bits.

I have found increasingly that the norm has become short form video, and many clients that enquire with us don't know that anything else is on offer. So I find long form as boring as the rest of you, but when it is a special day in your own life and possibly the only chance to see all your family and friends together, I do understand why we are always being taken up on it. If all my clients chose short form though, it would certainly make my life a lot easier. I also wonder why it is that so many wedding video producers only offer highlights because they find weddings boring, but so many photographers are taking more and more photos of the bits that we want to leave out, guests during the ceremony, individual family groups, reaction shots during speeches, dance shots etc.

Roger
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