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


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Old May 27th, 2006, 05:52 PM   #16
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You could take that attitude, or try to work together to get the CUSTOMER the best package they can. If you run into problems, work around them, talk to the DJ...offer to pass out his card to other clients.

If they say no up front, don't just give up and say it's not possible. There's always a way to get it worked out. If at first you son't succeed, rethink the problem and approach it from a different angle. Lather, Rinse, Repeat...

Ask simple questions of the DJ/Church, such as "what is preventing you from letting me connect?" or, "how can we come to an arrangement that will make both of us happy?"

In business, we need to foster relationships that allow us to elevate our deliverable to the customer. If you'd rather give the customer a substandard product because the DJ said no once, so be it...price your product accordingly.

Other things I've run into when shooting weddings is that the priest wouldn't allow the cameras close enough to get a decent picture of the bride and groom, we were going to have to shoot from behind the audience on the ground floor. I spent 15 minutes showing the priest the kind of footage I could get from different parts of the church (with him in the frame) and we came to an agreement that I could not only tap a headphone port on their sound board, but I could set a tripod up in the choir loft for my stationary wide shot, and two cameras in the wings on either side crossing up the couple at the front of the church. I just wasn't allowed to draw attention to myself or go in front of the first row of pews. WIN/WIN all around...the next time in that church, I'll be able to say remember when you let me up there how professional I was and how still I was? I'd like to get a little closer at least with a camera if not with an operator to see how that works, I'll even hide the camera behind the organ/piano/flowers or something.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 06:43 PM   #17
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Rick....chill out, dont be so negative. Cole has made many good points not to mention he is offering some damn good advice. THere's no "I" in team, and on the wedding day, it really comes down to a team effort by everyone to make things work there best for "the client". Sure...not all vendors think the same way, but atleast you know you did your best and it will make a difference in the long run.

Cole's advice on having the client or the MOB contact the DJ to explain the audio needs......this is a viable option.


Sometime's coming up with the best solutions in the heat of the moment(while its happening) do not always work best since you under pressure and stressed, this is why its good to have a menu of options or solutions to possible issues ahead of time, this goes for audio, cameras, lighting, camera positions, etc etc.

It looks like Cole keeps this mind, and thats the kind of guy I would want working for me as a client (B&G).



Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Steele
Why stop there? Specify that the MOB and bride tell the photographer to stay out of our way. And also, they should tell the church to let us plug into their system and let us stand and move where we want. And if there's a wedding coordinator they should carry our gear too.

This way we can get everybody hacked off to the point where nobody works well together. Nice theory but impractical in my opinion. The wedding family does not need to fight my battles - I'm an adult and if a DJ doesn't want me fooling with his livelihood I understand and am OK with that.
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Old May 28th, 2006, 11:00 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole McDonald
You could take that attitude, or try to work together to get the CUSTOMER the best package they can. If you run into problems, work around them, talk to the DJ...offer to pass out his card to other clients
But I thought the MOB/Bride was to do this? :)

Again, if the first contact the DJ has with me is from the MOB attempting to explain to him how I need to share his soundboard, in terms and expertise she knows nothing about... it's time to hang it up.

If the "second" contact the DJ has with me is from the MOB after I whine to her like a 12 year-old about his refusal to allow me a hook up... it's time to hang it up.

You can "tout" the mighty power of the client all you want but it's not the "be-all-end-all" solution. I'm not putting my networking referrals in the hands of the client. I'm a big boy and can deal with it myself.

Now saying all *that*, the one area the MOB/Bride can indeed help with would be camera placement at the ceremony since they are members of the church and most likely know the pastor first hand (which I do not). Now *this* makes since and I find it ironic that you chose not to call out the big guns in the scenario you described.

Bottom line: don't depend on anyone else to help with or do the job you were contracted for. Expect nothing from the client and if you do get help, that's great but I would never (I mean never) put them in a position of conflict with strangers to work out *my* problems.
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Old May 28th, 2006, 11:46 AM   #19
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In that situation, I got results I could use and fostered a longer term trust with the church without having to pull out the big guns. We are adults and start by asking nicely, then negotiating. If necessary, the customer is a tool we can certainly use since the quality of their product will reflect upon us, I would absolutely consider this a tool to use. I certainly don't start there, but if everyone involved is a professional, it will never get to the point where the MOB will be necessary.

I buy the photographer a coffee when I show up to set up. Over coffee, I discuss angles with them. I don't get in his shots...and he doesn't get in mine. I've never had a photographer step into my shot at a wedding. I've never had a DJ that wouldn't let me hook up. I have had them initally say no almost every time. With the sound folks, I discuss the trials and tribulations of being a DJ...which I've also done. Once they understand that I was "one of them" the refusals melt away. With the churches, I use my past participation in my church's music group as an ice breaker. I've only needed to use the MOB (I tend to stay away from the B&G as much as possible as they have enough to think about) once to get hooked up to a board, and that was dealt with calmly and without the forceful nature you seem to be implying.

At no point did I go to her whining like a 12 year old boy. I asked the DJ, worked the social engineering which failed, talked to his assistant, offered to hand out business cards for him to other clients, commented on the nice board he had and lent him adaptors and cables that he had forgotten. At that point, I explained the situation to the MOB and described the effect wild sound would have on the video I was being hired to produce. She accompanied me to talk to the DJ and made the request (no threats were needed) to let me connect to the board. This started earlier in the day when the DJ was setting up as I ask to be included on all of the pre wedding events as well so I have time to figure out angles, lighting and sound.

Don't dismiss a technique based on the fact that you view it as childish, everything can be used as a tool and used in a professional manner. If one can't see fit to find ways around the problems on a shoot, then maybe it really is time to "hang it up".
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Old May 28th, 2006, 09:33 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole McDonald
We are adults and start by asking nicely, then negotiating. If necessary, the customer is a tool we can certainly use since the quality of their product will reflect upon us, I would absolutely consider this a tool to use. I certainly don't start there, but if everyone involved is a professional, it will never get to the point where the MOB will be necessary
Standard mantra and you're preaching to the choir Cole. I was merely taking you to task with your initial comment worded thusly:

Quote:
When they hire you, make sure you let them know that they should tell the DJ that you will be tapping his board to get clean audio for the night while you're shooting. Make it a contingency upon which you take the job.
Specifically the last line which implies to me you do indeed "start there" before trying to work things out for yourself.

So what is it you do exactly? Make each client personally responsible for getting the DJ to allow a hook up at contract signing (who may have been booked before you?) or, deal with him yourself like you now say?

Not trying to debate semantics here with you. Your initial comment led me to believe you were placing ownership on the client to provide you with things they can't possibly gaurantee at the time they hire you. If that's your position (I still really don't know), then I simply disagree with it.
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Old May 28th, 2006, 09:57 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denis Potasnikov
Yesterday I filmed second day of the wedding.Part of it took place in a club where some music played very loud.So I used Sony VX2100 and set my volume on less than average.I do not have external mic.Of course, the result was awful - where there are low basses, the sound is terrible.Should I always use External mic or put something like fur or other material on my internal mic.
Thank you, guys

I did a wedding where the sound man forgot that 'full blast in the monitors' isn't really a good idea, since all the sound was distorted, and the voices survived the best, i dubbed the song in over the music and pulled back a little and it seemed to help tings. I hope my idea helps you. Basically I used the live highs to get the voices and dubbed the song in.
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Old May 28th, 2006, 10:20 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Steele
Specifically the last line which implies to me you do indeed "start there" before trying to work things out for yourself.

So what is it you do exactly? Make each client personally responsible for getting the DJ to allow a hook up at contract signing (who may have been booked before you?) or, deal with him yourself like you now say?

Not trying to debate semantics here with you. Your initial comment led me to believe you were placing ownership on the client to provide you with things they can't possibly gaurantee at the time they hire you. If that's your position (I still really don't know), then I simply disagree with it.
I did make it sound that way by that wording (shame upon my head), I'll expound...

When asked to do a wedding job, I do ask who they are getting as a DJ and Photographer and Location right up front. I do let them know it's so I can contact them up front and get them working together with me to get better production values for their daughters' big day. So semantically, I do ask them to help intercede right off the bat. It's bred of doing jobs that went poorly and striving to find ways to correct the problems.

Please, debate semantics with me, I feel it is in the best interest of this community to hear the pros and cons of a given situation. In this discussion, they have been shown correct and incorrect/dangerous ways to deal with the same problems. I did word the initial posting carelessly, assuming too much on the part of the reader...that's my fault, but the information wasn't technically incorrect.
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