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


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Old April 20th, 2006, 04:11 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aviv Hallale
I've been using that VHS-C cam for 4 years and I really want to get as far away from it as possible, the VX2100 will be the first DV cam I'll be getting and I really don't want to work with a cheap camera again...Ever.
I think your plan is a way to get started, but I wouldn't do it for that price more than a few times. There is a reason young bands don't have good videos: they are expensive to make!

Don't forget about the wear and tear on your precious vx2100! Shooting a full set then capturing that footage is at least 2-3 hours, plus travelling, shooting in a fairly hazardous environment...

On the other hand, if you don't have much else to do $60 is better in your pocket than not. When I do cheap work like that I stack functions and try new techniques, learn stuff that I might not risk on a higher profile client.

And after 40 of these or so you'll have paid off your camera...

Take care,
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Old April 20th, 2006, 07:11 AM   #17
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I've got a different idea. $60 for an edited video of even one song, much less a whole 45 to 60 minute set, is so far below a fair market value that you shouldn't even think about doing it for that. If you really want to do some of these gigs because a: you need the practice or want to experiment; or b: really like the bands and want to do them a favour; or c: want clips for your reel or to get a rep as the go-to guy for indy bands who want a music video made, then go all the way and do them for free aside from direct out-of-pocket expenses. If you're professional enough to do it as a business at all, you're professional enough to charge what other established, pros charge (and I doubt the company that does 'em for $180 falls into that category.) Just starting out perhaps your rates should be on the low end of a more established professional's rates but they still should be in the same general range. Don't dramatically undercut your peers. You'll actually be better off from a professional reputation and business precedent viewpoint if you charge nothing at all than if you charge such a nominal amount that it clearly labels you as an amateur not to be taken seriously. You'll find you get less negative reaction from your clients with "The first one was free because I was testing a new camera but this one's for real and it'll be $1000" than you will from "I know I only charged you $60 for the first one but this one will be $150 because of ...." The 60 dollar rate sets a precedent that you're bargain basement, 2nd-string while doing it pro-bono does not.

A number of years ago an acquaintance of mine had an interesting esperience with rates. He was a computer consultant who charged $100 per hour. He had too many demands on his time and he wanted to cut back a bit on the client load so he reasoned that if he raised his rates some of his clients would drop away. He went to $175 an hour. Guess what happened ... his client load went UP! The higher rate gave people even more of an impression he was top-drawer (which he was) and everyone wanted him. The same sort of thing applies in any profession where your product is your talent, your skills, and your credibility.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 08:40 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aviv Hallale
Cool, thanks...What kind of audio recorder would you use? I was going to use my laptop, the realized it doesn't have a line-in and I can't seem to find an external audio adapter for cheap.

There are some USB Soundblaster cards you could use for your laptop.

I used a Marantz CDR-300 CD recorder...they work great and are very portable.

I started out doing some music videos for bands like you're talking about while was in college, and afterwards without getting paid for any of it. I like working with the music industry, it helps the band out, and it beefed up my demo reel. I'm now getting some paying jobs doing the same thing from other bands in the area, so it's working out well.

Good luck to you.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 09:16 AM   #19
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Aviv,

I think we are losing something in the currency conversion. xe.com gave me this
1.00 USDUnited States Dollars = 6.01681 ZARSouth Africa Rand

give us an idea of what $60 USD would buy in SA, say in terms of movie tickets, food, rent etc?
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Old April 22nd, 2006, 07:02 AM   #20
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Ok,

$60 is R360 abouts, a movie ticket is R14, fast-food can range from R5 to R25 (single cheese burger to combo meal, in regards to McDs)...DVD can be R59 to R120 depending on release, PC Game, from R99 to R250 also depending on release....It is a fair bit of cash for an 18 year old still living at home.

I've been thinking about the best way to shoot, having the camera \on a tripod (panning and tilting where appropriate) at a different angle for each song would be the best bet in terms of stablitiy, but of course there'd only be an angle change every four minutes or so, which can be pretty boring. I can already see this as a reason to charge less, people would definitely pay R400 more to have three cameras and a very dynamic looking video.

I'm actually expecting to make the most money out of full music video production for the bands that can afford it, and that's of course also easy enough to work with having only one camera.

I think most of these bands would want a live video to put on their website for people to see as a cheap alternative to having a full fledged video done rather than just being a video for the band to watch to see their performance, so I'd imagine that they'd want something with lots of cuts and different shots, so I'm thinking the best route would be to film hand-held, easily moving to a different angle, and using lots of cutaways between shots.

Is the best bet to maybe ask the band what they want stressing the pros and cons of each method?
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Old April 22nd, 2006, 01:37 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aviv Hallale
Ok,

$60 is R360 abouts, a movie ticket is R14, fast-food can range from R5 to R25 (single cheese burger to combo meal, in regards to McDs)...DVD can be R59 to R120 depending on release, PC Game, from R99 to R250 also depending on release....It is a fair bit of cash for an 18 year old still living at home.

I've been thinking about the best way to shoot, having the camera \on a tripod (panning and tilting where appropriate) at a different angle for each song would be the best bet in terms of stablitiy, but of course there'd only be an angle change every four minutes or so, which can be pretty boring. I can already see this as a reason to charge less, people would definitely pay R400 more to have three cameras and a very dynamic looking video.

I'm actually expecting to make the most money out of full music video production for the bands that can afford it, and that's of course also easy enough to work with having only one camera.

I think most of these bands would want a live video to put on their website for people to see as a cheap alternative to having a full fledged video done rather than just being a video for the band to watch to see their performance, so I'd imagine that they'd want something with lots of cuts and different shots, so I'm thinking the best route would be to film hand-held, easily moving to a different angle, and using lots of cutaways between shots.

Is the best bet to maybe ask the band what they want stressing the pros and cons of each method?
I'm going to chime in here and add my few cents worth - and thats in SA Rands!

Aviv, what you are hoping to achieve here is really what 90% of the people here have indicated - its not a feasible project at that value. Wanting to earn those extra few rands for someone your age is not a bad thing and I commend you on your innovative spirit.

However, the price you mentioned for a three cam shoot is very reasonable! I for one would not work at that price and have done quite a few music dvd's for local Cape Town bands.

Should you want to earn extra money, there is a market for the cheaper versions of wedding/christening/etc videos which could easily net you about R1500-2000 per event. That would sound like a better proposition to me. One thing you must strongly consider is getting hold of another mini-dv camera. In any work you need to do, one camera just doesn't cut it. And to mix VHS footage with DV footage would be a travesty!!!

I'm sure Dad can afford you a loan for another cheaper mini-dv camera which you can use as a B roll camera.
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Old April 22nd, 2006, 05:52 PM   #22
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Dad just paid 20 grand for the VX2100 in faith that I'd be able to do something with it, which I'm pretty adament in doing :D

Jeremy, it's nice to see a local here...I'm quite involved with the local Punk music community, so I have a lot of chances to videograph a lot of gigs, the thing is that most of these bands really can't afford extravagant productions...More upmarket bands like The Rudimentals, for instance, are prepared to pay in between 15 to 30k for a good video, but there's no way I'm going to take on that scale project. (especially when they used my lecturer as the DOP on their last video :P).

Half of the idea is for experience and the other half is just to get some cash going, I'm pretty confident that if things work out well for the first two or three projects, I'd raise prices.

Also, keep in mind that these are cheap prices for a simple live video, if a band approached me for a full on music video, I'd be far more confident to charge a more reasonable price...It's also easier to work with one camera in a narrative music video than a live gig.

If there's a more experienced company charging R800 for a 3 camera shoot and edit, I think it's almost cocky for me to charge anything more than R400 for a one camera shoot and edit.

Passion wise, I'll always be a filmmaker, I'll always want to tell my own stories and not record other peoples' memories, this little venture is also just a way to store a few rands over for a budget for a future project of my own I'd like to pursue.

Also, even though I'm Jewish (:P), I really don't like money-talk, I just don't feel right at my age charging someone a lot of money for something...It just seems wrong, of course this is just a mentality I need to get out to succeed as a business person, but right now, I guess I'm doing it more for the fun and experience than making a living.
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Old April 23rd, 2006, 05:53 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aviv Hallale
Dad just paid 20 grand for the VX2100 in faith that I'd be able to do something with it, which I'm pretty adament in doing :D
.
Just for two grand more you could have had HDV!! Ah well - each to his own.

Good luck and let us know how the first one turns out
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Old April 23rd, 2006, 08:26 AM   #24
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Actually, for a grand more at Fotolens in Belville (minus all the accesories like an extra light and tripod)...I wanted a camera that performs well in low-light seeing as I'm primarily going to be filming in dark environments (clubs etc)...Believe me, and Boyd will testifiy, I had a BIG dilemma over which camera to get :D
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