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


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Old April 26th, 2006, 07:40 AM   #1
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No Editing on Weddings?

The last two days I have been getting calls and e-mails asking me if I could film a wedding, but not edit it as the would "do it themselves". I said "sure" and gave them an estimate for the job of just shooting, but it made me wonder if this might be the "wave" of the future with brides and grooms looing to save themselves a few bucks by trying to edit the vidoes themselves on their home computer.

I know editing software is cheap and relitivly simple to use, but has anyone else run into anything like this?

My guess is that they will try to do it themselves, realize that I shoot a ton of tape at weddings (a good deal of B-roll) and give up on the editing because its too much work, and either just let the tapes collect dust - or rehire me or someone else to do the editing at a later date.

Just curious if anyone has run into this . . .

Ryan
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Old April 26th, 2006, 07:56 AM   #2
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If they do a poor job editing they can make your camera work look bad. They can also lack the understanding about compression/authoring and make a decent picture from your camera look bad. Their final product will reflect on you. People watching thier video will not have an understanding of how your customer may have butchered the source. But when asked the response will be ...a guy named "Ryan DesRoches" shot the video. No thanks.

Personally, I would have no interest in this and I've not run into this at all. Book a full service package in its place.
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Old April 26th, 2006, 08:20 AM   #3
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Good Point Craig. . . guess I'm just too much of a newbee to think of the potential ramifications to my reputation.

The one good thing though is that the one person that totally wanted "no editing" what so ever is a film student - and has some decent work of her videos posted on line - so she seems to know what she's doing. (in the emails we sent back and forth I warned her of how much work it was and she gave me a link to her videos on line).

The 2ed one looks like I'll eventually be editing it now anyway - as I successfully convinced them that editing it themselves would take up a lot of time that they don't have :).

So, maybe I made a mistake on the first one - guess this is all a part of the learning stage!

Ryan
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Old April 26th, 2006, 08:53 AM   #4
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The other consideration is that if you price your filming of the wedding low, then you 'X' off that date as a chance to make more money by filming/editing the whole deal. So I would price higher than lower, and have in the contract a clause that you have the right to exclude your name from being associate with the final product if you deem it to be substandard. And transversly you have the right to have credit on the final product if it looks good.

Just my 02.1 cents.
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Old April 26th, 2006, 10:05 AM   #5
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well ud be surprised.... i get regular shooting only jobs for no less than 1100 a day.. and the hassle free transaction and easy workload is a godsend sometimes, which is why i limit those jobs to one a month ($$ talks) , so im stil getting regualr work and this stuff on the side for a bit of a break.

One thing though is that here in aus, ive noticed alot more Pros are tuirning towards "lightly edited" versions with "original sound" and only offering a highlights clip of about 20 to 40 minutes.. now with this, deliveries can be easily met within 6 weeks from the day of shooting, and for me, ive just taken this system on board and testing it during winter to see the response.
Only time will tell, but with what i do, im working my ass off and all i get is morons complaining about wait times, when they know exactly how long they have to wait...

people dont read contracts... even though they say they do and they sign their lives (or memeories in this case) away..
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Old April 26th, 2006, 05:07 PM   #6
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I'm with peter and steven, if I can get a wedding like that I would take it with no questions asked. But keeping the price high to not shoot down my own work.

Eric Hansen
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Old April 26th, 2006, 08:58 PM   #7
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I suspect everyone will have a slightly different opinion on this suybject. Mine is as follows:

If a client wants raw footage to do their own editing that means to me they want to buy my copyright. Simple. $1200 for each mini DV tape, plus my regular fees for the shoot. Done deal.

That gives me a gross of around $5000 or more per event with no editing time involved.

Haven't had any takers so far.
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Old April 26th, 2006, 10:41 PM   #8
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If a client wants me to shoot and not edit I am thrilled to take the cash and run. I am in the business to make money and shooting without dit is the best money for the time I can get. Editing is what takes up the majority of my time.
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Old April 26th, 2006, 10:50 PM   #9
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One other perspective from an actual groom

Hey everyone,
Let me first introduce myself because I have been lurking here for many months gathering all sorts of great information and have not had too many posts that I've contributed to. With that said, I am almost living the topic of discussion and wanted to share my side for a little more variety.

I am a groom (to be married on 23 June) and unlike the popular thoughts on the matter, I am not at all disinterested in my wedding or the planning of it. Actually, I rather enjoy the process of planning for the wedding because it has given me an opportunity to explore some creative projects that I otherwise would not have an excuse to pursue, not to mention I have a great fiance and am really excited about getting married. Unlike most grooms discussed on the boards, I am really excited about having a great wedding video that I can enjoy watching with my future wife, and that I can share with my family now and in the future. I think it is really important to preserve as many of these moments as we can because one day they will fade and we won't have any way to share them with future generations.

In order to get one of these "great" wedding videos I did what any groom (and bride) would do to find a vendor...go to a major bridal show and talk to those representing. I approached many professional videographers at the bridal show at the Baltimore Convention Center and talked to them about their work. At the time, I also had a strong interest in HDV as I have already owned a high def TV for over a year and believe that HD will inevitably replace the aged SD as the medium of choice very soon. Unfortunately for me, as soon as I began discussing some of my expectations for a video and my own experience, they pretty much all dismissed me as some kid that was pretending to fit in with the big dogs. Instead of leaving the show trying to choose between many great videographers, I felt rather insulted and decided that in order to get what I wanted I would have to take it on myself...not to mention only one crew at the show was thinking of transitioning to HD soon (via panasonic's P2 system) and most of the professionals seemed to know less about the technology than I did.

Now before I get heavily flamed for sounding like a prick, I know that I am not the typical "consumer" in that I really do make an effort to stay current with technology and actually use a lot of it. I have a lot of hobbies and talents that set me apart from all the uncle charlies of the world. With that said, people like me do exist and with the availability of relatively inexpensive hardware and software, as well as great training material (some of the best being free), you as professionals should recognize that while not everyone is capable of making a living at what you do, many are capable of dabbling in your playground and doing a highly acceptable job of it.

In the months that I have been reading these forums, I have come across several posts that blatently criticise the average joe for being such a numbskull, yet so many of the people posting here are just getting started in their professional careers with video and are only a few steps ahead. Sure, there are the seasoned veterans that produce stellar work, but even they started somewhere. The people here that make great videos should be very proud of their work, but not necessarily because it makes them look great, but because they are delivering a product that will have an emotional meaning to their customers...the people that invite you to play a huge role in one of the most important days of their lives. Many of you have a great satisfaction knowing this and take a lot of pride in your work. Many of you also actually enjoy editing, otherwise you wouldn't be doing it for a living. In all honesty though, don't you think that a technically inclined bride/groom could have just as much (if not more) satisfaction for editing their own wedding video if they had the skills and time to do it? Well, I have gathered up what i feel is the necessary equipment for the job and with the help of some friends with film experience will be creating my own wedding video.

I am writing much more than originally planned on this topic, but consider this my introduction to the wedding forum because I'll be in here lurking and hopefully posting more in the future. As a final thought, be proud of your work and your video, but remember who your customer is and what they are really paying you for...the ability to relive the emotions of one of the most important days of their lives through the eyes of someone else that was there. If a customer really wants to be involved in this process and obviously can't shoot his/her own wedding, why not let them by turning over the raw footage. After all, the video likely means more to them than it does you and if you do a good job shooting the wedding, there isn't much they can do in editing that will really hurt your reputation as a shooter. For most of you, it's just another weekend, another job, and money in the bank anyway.

Sorry if I've offended anyone here because I truly think this crowd is great and these boards have been a huge help for me while planning this effort.
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Old April 27th, 2006, 03:00 AM   #10
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Hey Jon...where are you in Baltimore, I grew up there until I turned 23 then moved to Cali. Sure do miss the blue crabs and old bay, can't get that stuff out here!

I think it's great that you are "involved" with your wedding planning.....for our clients, I would say that atleast 60% or more of the grooms are not at that involved in the planning.

Bridal shows are one resource to find vendors but definately not the best. You should try various wedding sites that have chat boards for bride's and grooms in your area.....you will get honest and "biased" opinions on a variety of vendors that these brides have contracted....and you will also get the scoop on which vendors to avoid as some of the couples have had troubles or bad service....and they post reports or grades on their services.

I dont think you should only be considering a video company based only on the HD thing......content, style, editing, etc. should be more important than just the technology. I would rather have someone who is "awsome" with camera shooting and editing than someone who shoots and edits in HD but their work is just ok.

As you stated....the company who dismissed you as some kid who was trying to fit with the techno talk......screw them!!! NO VENDOR should be treating you like that.....they are not worth the time and with an attitude like that....they will continue to lose clients like they lost your prospective business.

We do not offer the "just shoot" the wedding and hand over the tapes so the client can edit the footage. There's a lot of companies out here that offer that service but we have never had any requests for it. If this is what you really want to do....then be forwarned, you are gonna see some footage that looks much less than stellar.....you will see some shaky stuff, hear strange things.....but that is why the footage gets edited or we would all just shoot and play the tapes.

Also...I think by the client (you) editing the footage, the video will lacks its romance/surpise so to speak since you will be seeing everything before its done. You may disagree with me but you will never know what I mean if you do it yourself. To each is own.....so, what ever you choose to do, I wish you all the best.

-Joe



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Elam
Hey everyone,
Let me first introduce myself because I have been lurking here for many months gathering all sorts of great information and have not had too many posts that I've contributed to. With that said, I am almost living the topic of discussion and wanted to share my side for a little more variety.

I am a groom (to be married on 23 June) and unlike the popular thoughts on the matter, I am not at all disinterested in my wedding or the planning of it. Actually, I rather enjoy the process of planning for the wedding because it has given me an opportunity to explore some creative projects that I otherwise would not have an excuse to pursue, not to mention I have a great fiance and am really excited about getting married. Unlike most grooms discussed on the boards, I am really excited about having a great wedding video that I can enjoy watching with my future wife, and that I can share with my family now and in the future. I think it is really important to preserve as many of these moments as we can because one day they will fade and we won't have any way to share them with future generations.

In order to get one of these "great" wedding videos I did what any groom (and bride) would do to find a vendor...go to a major bridal show and talk to those representing. I approached many professional videographers at the bridal show at the Baltimore Convention Center and talked to them about their work. At the time, I also had a strong interest in HDV as I have already owned a high def TV for over a year and believe that HD will inevitably replace the aged SD as the medium of choice very soon. Unfortunately for me, as soon as I began discussing some of my expectations for a video and my own experience, they pretty much all dismissed me as some kid that was pretending to fit in with the big dogs. Instead of leaving the show trying to choose between many great videographers, I felt rather insulted and decided that in order to get what I wanted I would have to take it on myself...not to mention only one crew at the show was thinking of transitioning to HD soon (via panasonic's P2 system) and most of the professionals seemed to know less about the technology than I did.

Now before I get heavily flamed for sounding like a prick, I know that I am not the typical "consumer" in that I really do make an effort to stay current with technology and actually use a lot of it. I have a lot of hobbies and talents that set me apart from all the uncle charlies of the world. With that said, people like me do exist and with the availability of relatively inexpensive hardware and software, as well as great training material (some of the best being free), you as professionals should recognize that while not everyone is capable of making a living at what you do, many are capable of dabbling in your playground and doing a highly acceptable job of it.

In the months that I have been reading these forums, I have come across several posts that blatently criticise the average joe for being such a numbskull, yet so many of the people posting here are just getting started in their professional careers with video and are only a few steps ahead. Sure, there are the seasoned veterans that produce stellar work, but even they started somewhere. The people here that make great videos should be very proud of their work, but not necessarily because it makes them look great, but because they are delivering a product that will have an emotional meaning to their customers...the people that invite you to play a huge role in one of the most important days of their lives. Many of you have a great satisfaction knowing this and take a lot of pride in your work. Many of you also actually enjoy editing, otherwise you wouldn't be doing it for a living. In all honesty though, don't you think that a technically inclined bride/groom could have just as much (if not more) satisfaction for editing their own wedding video if they had the skills and time to do it? Well, I have gathered up what i feel is the necessary equipment for the job and with the help of some friends with film experience will be creating my own wedding video.

I am writing much more than originally planned on this topic, but consider this my introduction to the wedding forum because I'll be in here lurking and hopefully posting more in the future. As a final thought, be proud of your work and your video, but remember who your customer is and what they are really paying you for...the ability to relive the emotions of one of the most important days of their lives through the eyes of someone else that was there. If a customer really wants to be involved in this process and obviously can't shoot his/her own wedding, why not let them by turning over the raw footage. After all, the video likely means more to them than it does you and if you do a good job shooting the wedding, there isn't much they can do in editing that will really hurt your reputation as a shooter. For most of you, it's just another weekend, another job, and money in the bank anyway.

Sorry if I've offended anyone here because I truly think this crowd is great and these boards have been a huge help for me while planning this effort.
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Old April 27th, 2006, 03:40 AM   #11
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"Also...I think by the client (you) editing the footage, the video will lacks its romance/surpise so to speak since you will be seeing everything before its done. You may disagree with me but you will never know what I mean if you do it yourself. To each is own.....so, what ever you choose to do, I wish you all the best."

This would have to be the biggest factor why NOT to do your own wedding video.. simply due to teh amount of time you are sitting there, watching tweaking changing, by the time its over, there is no anxiety, ther eis excitement and there is none of that "oh i love this bit" response. As NOTHING will be asurprise to whoever is editing, th ework loses alot of its magic, and what i shoot may not be shot in teh wya YOU envision it dues to your difference in perspectaive as opposed to mine. I also shoot certain scens with differnt colour and camera configurations and not many people know how to work with this stock or with the style in general.

I do shoot for those that ask for it, and i also shoot for about 6 other wedding companies if im not booked, but i dont offer it openly.

Its good that youre an educated consumer, and getting into this line of work can be easy for some and difficult for others, one thing to note is that your comment about some producers knowledge of teh business and formats etc etc in general is accurate. I would say that of companies i supply, train or service for, 80% of tham have no clue as to what is happening in the industry.
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Old April 27th, 2006, 08:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Allen Rosenberger
Hey Jon...where are you in Baltimore, I grew up there until I turned 23 then moved to Cali. Sure do miss the blue crabs and old bay, can't get that stuff out here!
I actually live in Harford County to the North East of the city, but am close enough to call Baltimore home now. I am not a native and only moved down here about 3 years ago to take a job evaluating military equipment at Aberdeen Proving Ground. I haven't had too much experience with the crab yet, but you can buy old bay by the quart at BJs for pennies. Send me a PM and I'll drop a carton in the mail for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Allen Rosenberger
Bridal shows are one resource to find vendors but definately not the best. You should try various wedding sites that have chat boards for bride's and grooms in your area.....you will get honest and "biased" opinions on a variety of vendors that these brides have contracted....and you will also get the scoop on which vendors to avoid as some of the couples have had troubles or bad service....and they post reports or grades on their services.
This is a great point and appreciate the advice; however, I have checked out some of the bigger named boards and didn't feel that a majority of the topics posted there had much relevance to anything. I also recognize that bridal shows are very consuming (time and $) for videographers and the better ones out there would rather be working than selling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Allen Rosenberger
I dont think you should only be considering a video company based only on the HD thing......content, style, editing, etc. should be more important than just the technology. I would rather have someone who is "awsome" with camera shooting and editing than someone who shoots and edits in HD but their work is just ok.
This is an excellent point and something that I've thought about, but why be forced to choose? I don't want to hijack this thread and discuss pros and cons of HD, but I think that everyone can acknowledge the fact that the format will inevitably become the norm, regardless of whether acquisition will be with HDV, P2 cards, Red, or some other future technology that we don't know about. I have seen some demo work posted on the net of really sharp HD footage that just didn't have any style or was badly composed and you're correct in saying that the resolution alone will not make the video good. I wouldn't have decided to go down this road if I didn't think my shooters had the ability and talent to capture good footage with a little bit of their own artistic ability mixed in. Besides, it's hard to settle for just vanilla when you have already tasted superfudge and straight up like it better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Allen Rosenberger
Also...I think by the client (you) editing the footage, the video will lacks its romance/surpise so to speak since you will be seeing everything before its done. You may disagree with me but you will never know what I mean if you do it yourself. To each is own.....so, what ever you choose to do, I wish you all the best.

-Joe
Point well taken that I cannot disagree with, but I'm not so sure that it will really matter in the end (for me). As you can probably tell, I'm really excited about both the process and the final product. Unfortunately, there won't be any surprises for me in my edit, but at the same time there won't be any part of that video that I didn't personally touch and contribute to. If I was only concerned about the element of my surprise, I would be at a great loss. On the other hand I would miss all of the satisfaction of having a part of me (other than my mug) in the video. Additionally, this video will be for a lot more people than just myself and I'm sure I'll still get goosebumps from their reactions when they watch it with me for the first time.

There really isn't one correct answer to the original posted question, but this is one perspective from one guy who has an opinion. Professionals should run their business in a way that is lucrative to themselves and provides a quality product to their customers. What it takes for that product to have an inherent quality to it is left in the eye of the beholder.
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Old April 27th, 2006, 08:59 AM   #13
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I have no problems at all with being hired for just a production day with no editing attached. As long as the day rate is covered then it's a great way to shoot a wedding. I think that most people today can edit a video just fine. Award-winning edits? Maybe not, but that's ok. To me it's actually encouraging to see this type of work. People who know they need quality b-roll and audio, and they hire a professional to provide that. Then they work with the material themselves and do the edit how they see fit. I think it works out great.

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Old April 27th, 2006, 01:45 PM   #14
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My eldest son is getting married in 13 months. We will be hiring a videographer to simply shoot the wedding and hand over the DV tapes, which we will edit ourselves later.

I'm certainly not going to spend my son's wedding day behind a camera. I will most likely handle the camera a bit during the prep time and reception.

However, we'll probably have it shot by a fellow member of our local videographer's association.

13 months is a long time - it's always possible I'll have an employee or two that I can assign to the task.
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Old April 28th, 2006, 09:45 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan DesRoches
The last two days I have been getting calls and e-mails asking me if I could film a wedding, but not edit it as the would "do it themselves". Just curious if anyone has run into this . . .

Ryan
A couple times and as others have mentioned it could possibly make your work look terrible since they are cutting to the unknown. Instead of you cutting to specific shots you know you took to edit later..

I've had offers twice. The first one they wanted all the raw footage on DVD and needed it in AVI. So I quoted them $4000 considering how many DVDs it would take to put 8 hours of footage in .AVIs.. They opted not to do it.

The second I delivered on MiniDVCAM (notice DVCAM) and I charged them $100 extra for the tapes. About a week went by and the tapes returned and a check for $2000 to edit it.. LOL!

So I typically avoid this, unless the Bride or Groom are editors themselves or other videographers..:)
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