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Old January 23rd, 2006, 11:46 AM   #1
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Video-photo montage during first dance - what do you guys do?

I've been approached by a client about doing a photo montage for their first dance. Assembling one is no big deal. Displaying / setting up / etc etc is a role I don't know if want to get into - taking time away to do this projection work will definitely interfere in our style of shooting. Also, I'd have to rent the gear (no clue on where I'd do something like this either) and I don't really have a pricing structure that takes this into account. Not to mention that it's A LOT more gear to have on site - which I just plain don't like.

What's the norm on this? I would expect that this definitely falls into the role of the hired videography company - I just can't edit the montage for them and then hand it over for them to work out the details of displaying it. Or could I?

I have no problem if this proves to be a deal breaker. I'm fascinated by the wedding they've got planned and I hope we can work something out simply because 'it's gonna be cool', but if not, it's not the end of the world.

What do you guys do?
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 12:02 PM   #2
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The montage is really not that hard to do. They supply pictures and any previously shot video, you edit to the music they choose, burn it to DVD or other medium for playback and you're set. Playback deck or DVD player, projector and screen. Plug into the DJs soundboard do a set up test before everyone gets to the reception and you're good to go. Now however comes the hard part. Getting the gear to the venue and setup between the ceremony and reception. If you go solo (as I do) hire someone to help for that time. I've had my son, a neighbor kid (responsible teenager), I've gone to the local community college and hired someone for about $50 to $100 to haul the stuff to the venue, set it up and check it before I get there. That way I can keep shooting and doing my job. Once the montage is over, they breakdown the gear, pack it up and haul it out to my place-drop it off and then they get paid. I make sure someone is there to accept the gear.
It's kind of a PITA but it is extra cash-I charge for the montage and the use of the projector and screen. $450 for the gear and $200 to 500 for the montage depending on whats involved. Also I make sure the B&G talk to the DJ to make sure about plugging into the sound system but I also call the DJ myself to talk to him/her.
I've done them solo and it is really a hugh pain to do that way so thats when I started hiring someone to haul the gear for me.
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 07:55 PM   #3
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Any recommendations for a cost-effective projector system?
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 07:57 PM   #4
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Setting up the display is as follows:
1. A video projector.
2. Computer or (preferably) a dvd player.
3. a minimum 6' x 8' projecton screen.
4. a wireless or hard wire link to the entertainment's PA system...or your own PA system.

If the venue has space, set the display up for floor/rear screen. This allows you to set up the projector, dvd/computer, and audio link out of any public traffic flow. Limited access to equipment is the best security.

If the venue doesn't have the space, you will have to use front/floor projection mode with the video projector. This means dealing with guest traffic flow issues.

Presentation:

Create the DVD with a menu that allows an attractive still image and easy access to the start command.

Position the B&G and yourself so both they dance in front of the slide show. Insure the B&G tell the photog to ONLY shoot from the sides of the screen to minimize their flash units washing out the screen.

If you don't own this equipment, rent it from a reputable AV company in your local area. Contact a large, name brand (Hilton, doubletree, Westin, etc) hotel in your local area and ask to speak to the AV director. Most of these hotel properties contract to professional AV companies for technical services. Most of the companies providing these services also have "street" offices offering the same services at a lower rate.

As a former career AV technician in the hotel industry, I suggest you be willing to talk and negotiate. There are few "bozos" out there. Most AV professionals are comitted to insuring you get the most for your dollar, even though it may seem expensive at first. Inviting conversaton will help you weed the profiteers out. If you would like more info., send me a private message.
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 08:43 PM   #5
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bring a dvd player you KNOW will play your DVD or you could be in for a surprise.
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Old January 24th, 2006, 08:05 AM   #6
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Some reception venues have a projector and screen available for rent for as little as $100 ...price this in your quote and the additional work on your end is minimized.
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Old January 24th, 2006, 09:06 AM   #7
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TEST TEST TEST! Be sure you test the setup before guests arrive. I have seen many of these photo montages go bad (usually the ones done by a friend) when the DVD doesn't work, the projector is set up wrong, etc, etc, etc. Then the guests get to watch you fiddle with the stuff for a half-hour.

And one more thing: Don't even THINK of running the montage direct from a computer. What could be worse than a reminder for your dentist appointment popping up in the middle of the montage?!
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Old January 25th, 2006, 04:26 PM   #8
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Consider purchasing a DVD Home Theater System. I bought a Zenith system (DVD player, 5 surround sound speakers, decent subwoofer) for around $150 2 years ago. This will allow you to play your DVD and control the sound on your own. No issues with a DJ's equipment. Also, for me, I use this system every year at the wedding show I'm in for my booth, and I've used it with a few other clients as well. It has more than paid for itself by now.

I own a Dell projector, which was fairly inexpensive (around $1,200). It has performed very well overall. I also have a portable screen which is around 5x5 or 6x6.

You can also probably find a rental place in your area that will rent you what you need, and then you can just mark it up accordingly to cover your time.

Like other have said, whatever you do, test it all out beforehand.
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Old January 25th, 2006, 06:52 PM   #9
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Travis,
Thats a good idea about the home theater system. They're cheap, you know it'll play your DVD and the sound from them is really good-probably better than some DJs ;-)
Good idea
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Old January 25th, 2006, 07:22 PM   #10
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Thanks. I try to keep things hassle-free! d:-)
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