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


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Old June 14th, 2006, 04:59 PM   #16
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I see what you meant...garage rates, I thought you meant what the mechanic himself makes.
Marilin fishing sure does sound like a good time though:)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Montgomery
Thanks Joe.....and I went and changed it! You didn't by chance book a trip did you? We have plenty of openings, but they are filling up fast. Well actually we are open from now till........... Ah come on a book a trip.

http://www.sfgmedia.com/video/leadin.mov I can get you on TV.

You mean you guys don't pay your garage that? I better move off the beach.

Jim
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Old June 14th, 2006, 08:17 PM   #17
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Anyone who thinks a camera operator that charges $40 per hour makes $80,000 per year is not taking reality into account. All videographers who make ~$80,000 per year and work 40-hour work weeks raise their hand...

If you need a helper, hire a student or buddy who needs an extra $100 and expect minimal performance. Otherwise, $250 for 5 hours of work is not so bad. If an operator supplies their own gear, they are supplying just as much equipment cost as a typical mechanic. I have met car mechanics and videographers. Neither are more highly intelligent or skilled. Both jobs require skill and experience. Nobody thinks twice about $60/hour for plumbers and car mechanics, but they think other trades should get $15/hour? I can do just as good a job fixing a sink as a plumber can do shooting an event video. Why should I get pad 1/4 as much? I can understand this logic coming from customers, but when videographers downgrade their own profession it seems a bit silly.
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Old June 14th, 2006, 09:00 PM   #18
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Marcus- You're definately right about the 40hr work week. Some folks can do it, but most of us are hobbyist/amature, or part time videographers to supplement income. There are the occasional jobs that pop up though... like shooting a ten minute casting interview for $100. Plus I got $8 for the tape!

Now, if I can only line up 8 or 10 of those a week...
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Old June 14th, 2006, 10:16 PM   #19
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The only time I work at shooting 40 hours a week is when I used to do 3 weddings back to back to back which I 100% refuse to do anymore (I'm way too old for that stuff now) or if I do a convention or seminar that runs 3 or 4 days. You can easily do 40 hours in 3 days at a convention/seminar HOWEVER thats 40 hours on the job not actual shoot time. There's always stand around time BUT when bidding on this type of work you have to make allowances in your bid for set up,breakdown, standaround time. So 40 hours on the job (3 days work) may really only be 18-20 hours of tape time, but hey, who's countin'!
Don
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Old June 14th, 2006, 11:02 PM   #20
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Here's another one not paying attention.......who said anything about a camera op who charges 40 bucks an hr makes 80k per year....its nowhere in this thread, read more carefully before you get in an uproar.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Marchesseault
Anyone who thinks a camera operator that charges $40 per hour makes $80,000 per year is not taking reality into account. All videographers who make ~$80,000 per year and work 40-hour work weeks raise their hand...

If you need a helper, hire a student or buddy who needs an extra $100 and expect minimal performance. Otherwise, $250 for 5 hours of work is not so bad. If an operator supplies their own gear, they are supplying just as much equipment cost as a typical mechanic. I have met car mechanics and videographers. Neither are more highly intelligent or skilled. Both jobs require skill and experience. Nobody thinks twice about $60/hour for plumbers and car mechanics, but they think other trades should get $15/hour? I can do just as good a job fixing a sink as a plumber can do shooting an event video. Why should I get pad 1/4 as much? I can understand this logic coming from customers, but when videographers downgrade their own profession it seems a bit silly.
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Old June 15th, 2006, 03:57 PM   #21
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Quote:
Needless to say, I would never hire someone who squaked at a 200-300 rate to shoot a wedding.

They can stay home on a sat or sun and watch football.
I totally agree. The going rate in my town for a experienced wedding videographer is between $200 and $300. IT'S HARD TO FIND GOOD HELP!

Jon
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Old June 15th, 2006, 07:17 PM   #22
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Joe, I believe I was combining posts in my brain that were comparing mechanic rates to videographer rates.

"To give you all an accurate quote, my neighbor is a chief mechanic and makes $30-$35 per hour. That's $60,000+ a year. So if you're getting $50 -$60 an hour shooting you're doing alright."

That thread references the 2,000 hour work-year (50 weeks x 40 hours) giving a $60,000 salary from $30 per hour.

The point of my post was not to roar, but to illustrate that videographers are not like hourly employess, but independant contractors like plumbers and mechanics. The businesses of videography, car repair, and plumbing are trades that require skill and expensive tools. It is not at all unreasonable for a business to charge over $40 per hour, so it should not be seen as odd that a camera operater ask the same.

For some events, a $100 buddy manning a second camera is appropriate. For other jobs, hire a professional and pay professional rates.

For the record, Joe, I would happily work for you all day (well, 12-hours) for your stated typical pay of $250-300. I'll even bring my Lectrosonics wireless. $50 per hour is not outrageous to ask, but a volume discount and freebie hours are also appropriate. That's business. Let me know if you need extra help and are willing to pay the expenses for my commute! :)
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Old June 15th, 2006, 07:28 PM   #23
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I see what you mean Marcus....sometimes what we write on these boards gets confusing and is hard to understand fully...sorry for riding you on that.

WHere are you in HI.? I have a very good friend who lives on the North Shore.
I


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Marchesseault
Joe, I believe I was combining posts in my brain that were comparing mechanic rates to videographer rates.

"To give you all an accurate quote, my neighbor is a chief mechanic and makes $30-$35 per hour. That's $60,000+ a year. So if you're getting $50 -$60 an hour shooting you're doing alright."

That thread references the 2,000 hour work-year (50 weeks x 40 hours) giving a $60,000 salary from $30 per hour.

The point of my post was not to roar, but to illustrate that videographers are not like hourly employess, but independant contractors like plumbers and mechanics. The businesses of videography, car repair, and plumbing are trades that require skill and expensive tools. It is not at all unreasonable for a business to charge over $40 per hour, so it should not be seen as odd that a camera operater ask the same.

For some events, a $100 buddy manning a second camera is appropriate. For other jobs, hire a professional and pay professional rates.

For the record, Joe, I would happily work for you all day (well, 12-hours) for your stated typical pay of $250-300. I'll even bring my Lectrosonics wireless. $50 per hour is not outrageous to ask, but a volume discount and freebie hours are also appropriate. That's business. Let me know if you need extra help and are willing to pay the expenses for my commute! :)
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Old June 15th, 2006, 09:29 PM   #24
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You all might find the following of interest, from the U.S. Deaprtment of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos091.htm). 2004 is probably the last year for which there is decent data.

"Median annual earnings for television, video, and motion picture camera operators were $37,610 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $22,640 and $56,400. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $15,730, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $76,100. Median annual earnings were $48,900 in the motion picture and video industries and $29,560 in radio and television broadcasting.

Median annual earnings for film and video editors were $43,590 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $29,310 and $63,890. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $21,710, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $93,950. Median annual earnings were $44,710 in the motion picture and video industries, which employed the largest numbers of film and video editors.

Many camera operators who work in film or video are freelancers, whose earnings tend to fluctuate each year. Because most freelance camera operators purchase their own equipment, they incur considerable expense acquiring and maintaining cameras and accessories. Some camera operators belong to unions, including the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians."

Note that fewer than 10% earn more than $80,000 a year and we can assume that these are tops in the profession. For reference, the median U.S. per capita income in 2005 was $34,586 and the median household income was on the order of $44,473. In 2004 the poverty level for a family of four was $18,850.

Assuming a work year of 1,700 hours the median wage of $43,590 works out to $25.64 an hour, so $300 a day is about right for operators with normal profressional experience. It would be fair to pay a kid with a cam rather less.
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Old June 15th, 2006, 10:04 PM   #25
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Sorry, I used the median editor's salary for the camera operator's median salary in the above.

The hourly rate, again assuming 1700 a year, is $22.12 an hour for camera operators, at least in May of 2004. $250-$300 a day is still pretty good.
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Old June 16th, 2006, 07:43 AM   #26
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I fondly remember how affordable things were in 2004...housing and energy prices have nearly doubled here since then. Fortunately, my landlords haven't raised our rent significantly. The median price of a house on this island has now gone up to over $660,000. That's dollars, not yen or pesos. Also, a typical median house around here is not too impressive.

Joe, I live in East Oahu, the opposite side of the island from the North shore. What is known as the North shore is actually the Northwest shore as this island is somewhat diamond (as in playing card symbol) shaped. In my neighborhood, the median price of a house is about $900,000. I think it's time to raise my rates!!

I think what that data shows is that camera operators are not getting rich. Editors seem to make a reasonable living, but editing is kinda boring. Darnit, I really need to start putting money in front of job satisfaction. If we all agree to raise our rates, does that mean we are a price-fixing monopoly? I've always wanted to be a consumer-hostile monopoly!
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Old June 16th, 2006, 08:44 AM   #27
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The U.S. government actually calculates a different poverty wage for Hawaii and Alaska because the cost of living is so much higher (I used to live in Hilo and I remember what prices where in the mid 70s!). In 2004 it was $21,680 for a family of four, in 2006, $23,000 ( http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/06poverty.shtml ).

The money in this business is in the creation and control of intellectual property and not so much in production services -- which are quickly becoming a commodity.

Last edited by Peter Wiley; June 16th, 2006 at 10:08 AM.
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Old June 16th, 2006, 09:00 PM   #28
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I pay $400.00 for experienced wedding videographer (for a whole wedding day work).But he must have have gear, tapes, and a car:)

Anthony
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Old June 17th, 2006, 09:27 AM   #29
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I'm movin' to Jersey! Aloooooohaaaaa!!! :)
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Old June 17th, 2006, 09:53 AM   #30
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Boy... are you going to be in for a culture shock!
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