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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old February 7th, 2006, 01:17 PM   #1
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I am about to get into the wedding videography business (haven't you all heard this before). At the present time, in my area, we do not have such a service. Probably because of market size, economy and other factors.

I have been working with a wedding photographer on several weddings where I take the photos and create a video montage using the 'Ken Burns' effect etc. to create some very nice pieces for the clients. I have been using Adobe Premiere for this and After Effects. I would say I am 'fair' in the proficiency department using these two programs. In the videography department I have never done a wedding...I have used a video camera a lot. Doing community events, school concerts etc. that I edited into pretty decent productions with Premiere. We made a pile of money for the local school with last years Christmas concert DVD. I know I can film a wedding. I am not saying I would do it as good as some of the ones I have seen here but with experience I think that is also achievable.

I have two Canon GL2's and a Sony HC90 as a backup. I need to get some better audio equipment.

I have put up the website, started the local advertising and have made two bookings for weddings already in June and July. I am still tweaking my pricing and options I want to offer and this forum has been very helpful in that regard..thank you.

Good: I have secured the only spot for a videographer vendor at a local Bridal Faire next month. The reason I got the 'only' spot is as I stated above...there are no other's in the area.

Bad: I do not have a portfolio! Nothing to show. Showing up with business cards, brochures and a smile isn't going to cut it. Or at least not take full advantage of the opportunity.

My Solution: Rent a couple wedding videos from another business's for use at the Faire. I would pay a fee for use and display these videos. Not as my own...(I would never do that)...but with proper credit going to the owners and using the strategy of telling the people at the Faire that I am in the startup phase of my business and I am offering videos SIMILAR to the ones I was showing.

Opinons on this idea requested. Good or bad.

I fully realize this may not be what is considered ethical but with the owners permission and credit for their work (and a fee) I am thinking the idea doesn't really cross that line. If there is anyone here that would be interested in doing something like this with me please PM me.

If you like, I invite you to have a look at my website ( a work in progress ) at /link removed/ or have a peek at a sample Video Montage I recently done at /link removed/ This is a 5 minute clip of a 30 minute project.

...And before you jump on me about the usage of the music...I really have a different view on this and would be happy to share that in another thread.

Last edited by Monte Comeau; February 8th, 2006 at 03:19 AM.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 01:53 PM   #2
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While it isn't necessarily unethical or anything, the idea makes me frown. I don't know how many other videographers would be excited to do this anyway. If I was approached with this request I'd probably be friendly but decline to let him use my footage. Nothing against him, but we've all gotten into this business in relatively the same way. We've gone out and shot someone for free or for very little money and then the ball has started rolling. This is how I did it. I shot both of my sister's weddings for free last year and this year I am doing business with it. I'm not really sure what to tell you, except that you should probably try to shoot a wedding for someone for the express purpose of getting demo footage. If you make some extra money off it, great. If not, at least you'll have something for a demo.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 02:13 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Mike.

I do realize that it will not sit well with some.

I was/am fully intending to do a couple cut rate or even free jobs to get established so I have my own material. It is the way I would prefer to do it as well.

However, this opportunity arose with the Bridal Faire that presents me with the dilema of not having anything to show and no time to do anything. People do not get married in these parts in the Winter for obvious reasons.

I merely want to show a video of a wedding and tell the potential clients that they would be getting a similar product, that I am confident I can provide.

Giving this some thought since I posted my original message I suppose I could just show wedding videos of all types telling the clients that I am offering a service similar to those I am showing. I wouldn't want to go that route but I don't see any copyright infringement in that if I never said it was mine and gave full credit to the owner. You see this in advertising all the time.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 02:23 PM   #4
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Yeah....I would steer clear of using others footage period, even with your explaination that it's not yours.....just sounds confusing. I second the idea of shooting a couple for free or real cheap....a great way to get "what you need footage"....and considering you will be the only videographer in your area, you should have no problem getting some takers on the offer. This way, its your footage and you can create what you want......in your style. No need to rush it, take your time and do it right.

Best of luck to you.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 02:32 PM   #5
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As you don't have much time, I would get in touch with local churches right away and tell them that your looking at giving away a free wedding video to get started and ask if they can contact couples who are getting married in the next couple weeks. You can then shoot and edit the ceremony and do some sort of highlights or short form version and bring both of those with you. If you get lucky you may be able to film the whole day and put together a couple different clips which would give you samples and would be more representative of your work.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 02:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Moreau
As you don't have much time, I would get in touch with local churches right away and tell them that your looking at giving away a free wedding video to get started and ask if they can contact couples who are getting married in the next couple weeks. You can then shoot and edit the ceremony and do some sort of highlights or short form version and bring both of those with you. If you get lucky you may be able to film the whole day and put together a couple different clips which would give you samples and would be more representative of your work.
That is a great idea and I have actually advertised this. But people do not get married in the winter around here. For obvious reasons. I just don't want this opportunity to pass without taking advantage of it and am trying to find a best solution.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 03:00 PM   #7
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contact other wedding vendors....photographers, florists, catering, djs, etc. tell them about the free or cheap offer, maybe they can contact their clienst and tell them for you.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 04:58 PM   #8
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I know you don't want to hear it but it really is the truth of the matter....using the work of others to promote your business no matter how you cut it (no pun intended, but it works pretty well) is just not a good approach. The couples will think it's out of phase with the way things should be, perhaps even perceiving it to be shady or just plain cheap and valueless. I'm sure that somewhere within a 100 mile radius there is somebody getting married that you can get some footage of....you've gotta do what you've gotta do....a successful business requires going above and beyond....sometimes to extreme extremes (yes...I meant that)....I cannot put it any other way that you've just got to do what you've got to do even if it's not fall into your lap easy.

If worse comes to worse I would just go to the bridal fair with no footage and be straight up.....take your business cards, perhaps some trifold brochures (can get em for good prices as VistaPrint online....dont include pricing in brochures as they can fluctuate as you figure things out) and just meet and talk with the couples being open, friendly, honest and organically human....it would be better than going the cheesy route. There will always be obsticles and less than ideal moments/situations in business but it's best to always maintain a certain level of integrity and clarity......to me the whole idea of using others footage without telling would be a lack of integrity.....and using others footage and being open about it would lack clarity....it would confuse the brides and give them even greater doubts as to what you are offering that even having no footage at all.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 04:59 PM   #9
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I agree with everyone else, using someone elses video is not the way to go. Everyone's filming & editing style is different and what you show them will not be a sample of your style. It will be unfair to the bride & groom because they will be expecting something other than what they will end up with. Telling them that it will be similar to what your are showing is not unethical but it borders on used car salesman logic and is a bit sleezy. If you want to show a sample of your work, show your photo montages.If someone at the show is interested in seeing a sample of a wedding video setup a meeting with them a few weeks or a month down the road - that way it will give you enough time to video a free wedding and have something to show the prospective clients.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 05:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Runyon
to me the whole idea of using others footage without telling would be a lack of integrity.....and using others footage and being open about it would lack clarity....it would confuse the brides and give them even greater doubts as to what you are offering that even having no footage at all.
Well...I thought I would get this kind of reaction and I suppose I do agree with it for the most part. hard to argue with most of it.

What I have done this afternoon is write letters to three resort type businesses in the area that offer wedding packages and offer my service as a freebie that they can include in one of their higher end packages...we will see how that goes.

Thanks for the replies and thoughts on the matter.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 06:02 PM   #11
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Daniel has hit the nail on the head, as i dont have time, i havent gone through all the posts but heres an option for you.
Im one for origianl work, but as this is an opportunity you cant pass up, heres another solution...

PAY a producer for right to use the footage they have taken. this can be ok, if you let the potnetial clients know that the footage was shot by someone else.. meybe a staff member or more acurately, a contracted videographer.
From the raw material YOU do an edit as you would normally do it. At least this way you have had your hand on the piece and is a closer representation or YOUR product

apart from that, everyone else has suggested everything else..

"My Solution: Rent a couple wedding videos from another business's for use at the Faire. I would pay a fee for use and display these videos. Not as my own...(I would never do that)...but with proper credit going to the owners and using the strategy of telling the people at the Faire that I am in the startup phase of my business and I am offering videos SIMILAR to the ones I was showing."

DONT DO THIS>..
Theres no iff or buts in weddings.. theres no maybes and theres no room for assumptions.. you cant assume anything as your shooting style (or shoudl i say SKILL and EXPERIENCE) may not add up to what youre showing.. this is misinformation and to be honest, its false advertising.. theres no "similar" in this game.. ifyou want to be similar, u may as well cal yourself "generic videos" and be like everyone else..

Jsut because ur in an area that isnt serviced by your profession, doesnt mean other companies arent willing to travel to that area to shoot. I do alot of work interstate, not becuase theres no service for it, but becuase people want my product and they dont care how much it costs. believe me, there wll be people in your area who are like this, so even though you may think theres no competition, there actaully is..

Good luck with it!
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Old February 8th, 2006, 12:46 AM   #12
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I like the idea of going to the churches and doing a wedding. That's a good one. Please let us know how it turned out.

Mike
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Old February 8th, 2006, 03:18 AM   #13
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Thanks everyone. My perspective on my original plan has definetly changed. I realize that it would be best to go to the Bridal Faire without a demo than to attempt to use someone elses work, and more importantly, style.

Thanks for your thoughts, I will let you all know what happens...one way ot the other.

ps...judging by the number of PM's I got offering to do this for a fee I really feel the people here in this forum are genuinely concerned about the integrity of their work. I don't think I need to tell you how many offers I got...but I will...ZERO.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 07:15 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monte Comeau
Thanks everyone. My perspective on my original plan has definetly changed. I realize that it would be best to go to the Bridal Faire without a demo than to attempt to use someone elses work, and more importantly, style.

Thanks for your thoughts, I will let you all know what happens...one way ot the other.

ps...judging by the number of PM's I got offering to do this for a fee I really feel the people here in this forum are genuinely concerned about the integrity of their work. I don't think I need to tell you how many offers I got...but I will...ZERO.
Don't waste your money going to a show without a demo.
Just find a nice looking couple and do a Romantic Love Story video demo to show at the Bridal Fair.
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