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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old March 3rd, 2006, 11:12 PM   #31
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Good work guys!

I noticed my name mentioned on here, so I thought I would say Hi and congratulate you on your great work. I stopped by your website (ehansonproductions.com) and I really like your layout and your work.
Yes, Mormon weddings are a whole other ballgame, but I think it can be a lot better wedding to film in many ways.
Even though I do specialize in temple weddings, I film traditional weddings as well. In fact, one I recently filmed is showing on Good Things Utah on Monday (ABC4 at 10 am).
Traditional weddings usually take me almost twice as long to edit and are a lot more stressful. No second takes when the bride is walking down the isle, etc. With a temple wedding you can pretty much throw out any particular shot that you didn't like and it's not that big of a deal. Never have problems with the audio because most brides just want a music video. Sure, we might have speeches at the reception, but not a big deal for most brides. What is also nice is that doing a same day edit, I am forced to get the temple video done that day. That means when I wake up the next morning I only need to edit the reception and I am done. Work flow goes a lot faster!
It's true that the LDS market seems to want the best deal and they will just have their cousin film it for them, etc. But we aren't really going for the average customer. We want the customer that believes the video is the most important part of the day. I had one customer that had their sister make their wedding cake, had their reception in their backyard and the groom didn't even rent a tux. They just saw the value in the wedding video and that is where all their money went. So, how do you find those brides? For me it's all about networking. I really take care of those who will take care of me. One of the local bridal shops I approached when I was starting about 6 years ago. I did some video production for them for free. I made their commercial for free. I now give them half price on all their video work. Do they refer me? You had better believe it. And that's the highest booking client I get - Calling in because their bridal shop and their reception center and their photographer all mentioned me. It took a long time to get the network, but it sure pays off. One thing I recommend doing is finding out who is the best in the business (photographer, bridal shop, bakery, etc.) and networking. I have partnered up with the Joseph SMith Building, La Caille, Kenneth LInge, Photography by Portia, Latter Day Bride, Carries Cakes, New Media Weddings, Joe Muscalino Band, Culinary Crafts, etc. Just one really good connection could mean the difference between staying in business or not.
Another great connection are other videographers. I have a lot to learn from others and I love helping when I can. That gets around and other videographers refer me as well as me them. You were mentioning some videographers - check out www.norajames.com. She has some refreshing ideas. Go to Juliet's wedding. Good stuff.
Maybe I am just rambling here, but if you have any questions on LDS weddings contact me and I would be glad to help: dperry@davidperryfilms.com
All the best!
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Old March 3rd, 2006, 11:44 PM   #32
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David -

Thanks for the insight into your sound, sensible marketing approach and that link to Nora James' site. That's a really good example of a very well produced website. I think we might all note that there are no prices on that site. She invites a telephone or email inquiry, allowing her the opportunity to engage in a dialog with prospective clients before going into pricing (while she politely invites inquiries regarding pricing, I seriously doubt she immediately answers a "how much" question with a number - even an email inquiry). Clean cut site.
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Old March 4th, 2006, 02:49 AM   #33
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David,

Nice to see you on here. I'm not sure if you remember me from the old days, but I haven't forgotten you. I went to Sprucewood Elementary with you, and on up through the chain, culminating in a graduation from Alta High. I became aware that you did this type of work last summer when I was getting started. I must say that your work is rather spectacular and you've set an incredible standard for others to follow. I've always wanted to catch up to you. Never thought it would happen here. I know we weren't good pals back in the day, but it is nice to see a familiar face on the scene. On a business note, you've definitely gotten yourself acquainted with the right people/companies. I can tell it is paying off for you. Thanks for posting with the tips and I, for one, hope to see you around the community a bit more.
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Old March 4th, 2006, 11:49 AM   #34
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David,
Thanks for the post David, Those are some great ideas. I've been meaning to get going on the networking thing, but school tends to get in the way and what not. I've started with a local jewlery store, I do some advertising for them and they let me put demos in the shop or whatever, but i need to do more that's for sure.

Eric Hansen
www.ehansenproductions.com
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Old March 4th, 2006, 01:13 PM   #35
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Nora James has only one price - $2000. She is a stay at home mom and really isn't looking for quantity. I called her up and chatted a few weeks ago. She is really cool with a fresh perspective on the market. I think it is important to discover your style and market just that.
For me, my style is all about the glidecam and wide angle lenses. I hardly ever use a tripod. I usually don't even bring a tripod to a wedding. With the glidecam 2000 pro I can rest it on my belt and use it as a tripod if needed, but usually I am moving on almost every shot. Pictures are for still shots - video is all about moving. Check out my wesbite demos and notice that almost every single shot I am either zooming in or out, moving the camera or the couple is doing some movement. Not too much motion, but enough to keep things entertaining. MTV has limited our attention spans to about... one second.
One great video that got me started was Black Belt Series of Video work (or something like that.) I think you can get that at EliteVideo.com. Yeah, a little cheezy but great ideas and it really got me on my way.

I have been doing a little research on advertising and I have found that UtahBrides.com is by far the best website at which to advertise. Pretty pricy but good exposure. Salt Lake Bride is another great site that is really great for the money. $400 per year for only the website. Not bad considering I get more hits from Salt Lake Brides, than from Utahweddings.com. Not sure if I am going to stay with Utahweddings.com. Sure, I get weddings from them, but it is something like $2000 per year (that includes their book).

Mike,
I did get graduate from Alta, but I think you might be thinking of the other David Perry that graduated in 1990. I graduated in 1989, but I'm pretty sure I still remember you. Didn't you hang out with Robby Horn?

If any of you guys want a demo or want to stop by my studio, just give me a call at 801.302.9988 or email me at dperry@davidperryfilms.com.

Have any of guys checked in to www.UPVA.org? It's great to meet with some other videographers once a month. Next month is the awards ceremony, so our next meeting is the first Wednesday in May. Hope to see some of you there. We meet at Performance Audio on 2100 South and West Temple.

One last thing.. About price. I actually came out with a new package that is only $850.00 (my smallest package used to be $1000.) That package only comes with three songs total. Once I meet with them, a lot decide to go with a bigger package, but it does attract more clients. I also limit what days I will do the smaller package (weekdays or off months only). When I first got started I used to do a lot more 'deals' but I am finding that whenever I start doing all these special discounts the clients seem to really run with that and try to take advantage of me. The trick is to have a reason for every discount. i.e., the wedding is on a weekday or I haven't filmed at this location before, or offer a discount for full payment up front - anything, but have a reason so it doesn't cheapen your product or open the flood gate!

Another great website to check out is http://www.iriscinema.com/film_clips.php
The date video at the bottom blew me away. Looks like an indie film. Sweet.
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Old March 6th, 2006, 03:38 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Perry V

Mike,
I did get graduate from Alta, but I think you might be thinking of the other David Perry that graduated in 1990. I graduated in 1989, but I'm pretty sure I still remember you. Didn't you hang out with Robby Horn?

If any of you guys want a demo or want to stop by my studio, just give me a call at 801.302.9988 or email me at dperry@davidperryfilms.com.

Have any of guys checked in to www.UPVA.org? It's great to meet with some other videographers once a month. Next month is the awards ceremony, so our next meeting is the first Wednesday in May. Hope to see some of you there. We meet at Performance Audio on 2100 South and West Temple.
Well darn. You're a totally different David Perry than what I had been told. One of my friends (who also went to Alta and is my age) confirmed that you are THE David Perry that we both went to school with. Apparently she was wrong as I went to Alta a wee bit after you, graduating in 1997. Oh well. Even though I don't actually know you I've still admired your work since the earliest days when I started looking into doing this myself. You have an excellent style and I think it's great to have quality videographers like yourself in town.

I'd like to stop by your studio and see your setup. Nothing like seeing what "could be" someday. I think it would be awesome to have an actual studio and do this full time. I just don't think it's my time for that yet. I'll give you a call sometime.

I did go to a couple of meetings of UPVA. Decent group, although it's rather small. I've been meaning to join up permanently. Thanks for the reminder. Hope to meet you there. If I remember correctly you pretty much swept last years awards. :D Keep up the good work. Nice to have some local voices here.
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Old March 7th, 2006, 10:27 AM   #37
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what a tremendous source of information this thread has been! I was hoping for just a few replies. Now we have 3 pages of them!!

Since the thread is still going and seems moderately active, i'd like to ask another question here.

I was planning on offering a 1-week period of free videography for people who would book me between X date and X date in an effort to really jump start my business. So any client that books me within that one-week period gets free videography. Since i don't have a reel and am willing to offer free work, i thought it might be a fast way to prove myself as being capable of doing the work and setting myself up for a lot of reel material that would otherwise take forever to build to a decent level. If i do the work well, i would also expect lots of referrals from people who understand that the "free period" is over, so i don't end up with a whole bunch of people who booked me thinking it would be free.

Is this a good idea? Is this just the dumbest thing any of you have ever heard? hehe. I just thought i'd run that by you guys, since you were talking about being careful not to open the floodgates.

I'm just not sure how in the world to advertise myself. Flyers at colleges? That's about the only real idea i've got. I can't just go to a bridal shop or an expo without a reel... can i? Any ideas for cheap/free advertising? Per everyone's advice in this thread, my prices are incredibly low (starts at $250), at least until i get myself moving.
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Old March 7th, 2006, 11:31 AM   #38
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you have to do alot of adversiting before hand so people will know there is the free 1 week period.

Since I own another company doing fengshui and other related services.
I had tried adversiting on the newspaper for a month only 4 people had called us. You should try a month rather than only a week to get more customser and you'll get referral from them. Referral is the best way to get client where they listen to you and really really nice which they also don't bargin and not picky.
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Old March 7th, 2006, 12:13 PM   #39
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Raji, I don't know if you want to spend the time and effort to advertise for the special. I think it would be must more effecient to go out and get the clients personally. Here in Utah you have to know somebody or know somebody who knows somebody who is getting married...The first few videos I did were for free from people I knew that I offered to them in this way. That way you don't have to worry about people contacting you and you can control just how many videos that you accept to do for free.
You could also participate at a bride show with flyers and what not and participate in the free giveaways maybe. but I understand your concern I wouldn't want to do a show w/o examples. Just some ideas, Let us know what you decide.

Eric Hansen
www.ehansenproductions.com
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Old March 7th, 2006, 12:16 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raji Barbir
what a tremendous source of information this thread has been! I was hoping for just a few replies. Now we have 3 pages of them!!

Since the thread is still going and seems moderately active, i'd like to ask another question here.

I was planning on offering a 1-week period of free videography for people who would book me between X date and X date in an effort to really jump start my business. So any client that books me within that one-week period gets free videography. Since i don't have a reel and am willing to offer free work, i thought it might be a fast way to prove myself as being capable of doing the work and setting myself up for a lot of reel material that would otherwise take forever to build to a decent level. If i do the work well, i would also expect lots of referrals from people who understand that the "free period" is over, so i don't end up with a whole bunch of people who booked me thinking it would be free.

Is this a good idea? Is this just the dumbest thing any of you have ever heard? hehe. I just thought i'd run that by you guys, since you were talking about being careful not to open the floodgates.

I'm just not sure how in the world to advertise myself. Flyers at colleges? That's about the only real idea i've got. I can't just go to a bridal shop or an expo without a reel... can i? Any ideas for cheap/free advertising? Per everyone's advice in this thread, my prices are incredibly low (starts at $250), at least until i get myself moving.
Why not borrow a venue and stage a fake one to film?
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Old March 7th, 2006, 01:43 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House
Why not borrow a venue and stage a fake one to film?
Personally I don't think that's necessary. Like Eric said, it is easier/better to get out there and find someone to shoot for free. What I have found helpful is to just talk to everyone. Tell them you shoot wedding videos now. People will start coming out of the woodwork and saying "Hey, my friend is getting married" or "One of my relatives is getting married." Just talk to anyone and everyone. Don't be obnoxious about it, but get the word out that you've started and you need material. People will bite. I lucked out because I did two of my sister's in the same summer and used them as demo material to start out with. But you can find people. Even if you could "borrow a venue" I think it would be hard to fake one. No offense Steve, really.
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Old March 8th, 2006, 12:19 AM   #42
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Raji...

Here's an idea.

Contact a photographer and tell them that you are going to help the photographer give a bonus to their potential clients so they will book with the photographer.
The bonus is a free - or discounted - wedding video.
The photographer wins because it could be the extra push to get the client to book with them and you win by building up your portfolio.
Now, if you work well with the photographer, they might want to refer clients to you in the future, even if it is only a small discount off your regular prices.
If the photographer isn't convinced and your really want the business... tell the photographer that you will produce a demo video for them. At the wedding, you will take some shots of them taking pictures, working with the couple, etc. and add some of their photos. They now have a demo for their website or something to pass out at wedding shows.
I think a photographer would love that.
If you would like to see an example of a demo I did for a photographer, go here: http://www.utahbrides.com/vendors/in...p?id=42&cat=12 and click on View Demo (UtahBrides.com - Photography by Portia).

Another option:
Tell your family and friends that if they know anyone getting married - you will do their wedding for free or a discount and it can be a gift from your family or friend.

Another option:
Contact a reception center and offer to make a demo of their reception location so they can play it for potential brides when they come in. Have them put it on their website with your info. I did this for the 23rd floor event center. Go to www.23floor.net. On their homepage on the left corner it says click here for a video tour. Have them find out which upcoming event does not have a videographer and you can go film it and use it for your demo as well.

Another option:
You can't really solicit at the temple, but you can go to a place where people do a lot of bridals (Thanksgiving Point, etc.) and look for someone getting their bridal done. Go up to them and congratulate them on their upcoming wedding. Let them know you are out getting some shots as you are just getting into the business. Ask them if they have a videographer, if they don't offer your services for free or at a discount.

Another option:
Go to a day spa and give them some coupons for a free wedding video to give to their potential brides.

I guess the possibilities are endless. One thing to note is that many people look at "free" as having some kind of catch. If it were me I would ask them to just pay for my film and supplies (Like $25.00 or something). It makes it more like a sweet deal than a gimmick. Does that make sense?
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Old March 8th, 2006, 10:31 AM   #43
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David,

thank you so much! Those are incredible ideas!! Talking to a photographer... why didn't i think of that??

I think what happened to me is that i spent so much time racking my brain trying to find a good idea that i couldn't think outside the box anymore. So thanks a lot for your help.

one thing, for those in the future that wanna go there, it's http://www.23rdfloor.net , NOT http://www.23floor.net !! The typo you made led me to some weird japanese forum... lol
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