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

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Old October 5th, 2006, 07:07 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Columbus, Ohio
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Backup personel??

What do you all do if something were to happen and you couldn't make it to a wedding? Do you have any backup people that you can call? It is just my husband and I, so I guess if this were to happen to me, I would just have to cancel and refund the clients money. I don't know what else to do. I am newbie at this, only one wedding under my belt. The second one is this weekend. So I have a lot to learn. Thanks for any advise that you can give.
Andrea Lair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 5th, 2006, 08:51 AM   #2
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Location: Chicago, IL
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Network and get to know some other videographers in your area by joining the local videographers association if there is one. I would have to believe that in your area there would be.
Barring that, you need to find a couple of folks that you trust and could use as a backup however I have to say that if there is something that happens to you at the very last minute you might be hard pressed to find someone and if something happens a few days before the event I think you would have enough time to make arrangements. In 23 years I have never missed an event, not to say there were times I really didn't feel like doing it (sickness) but I have never had to cancel and refund the money. That's a sure way to hurt your budding reputation-brides talk to one another a lot and if you cancel on 1 it will really hurt your business in the long run. Do what you have to do to meet up with some folks that would be willing to help out in a pinch.
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Old October 6th, 2006, 04:55 AM   #3
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Location: Aus
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ive got 4 backup operators and i jsut acquired another student for b-roll stuff
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Old October 7th, 2006, 12:50 AM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Kingman Arizona
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Well aside from making your business look bad, I would make sure to have a contract that specifically says that you can terminate the gig at any point for any reason(with all moneys paid back in full). Anything could happen before the wedding e.g. get sick or get into an auto accident. Its just the way of life.

This way they can't sew you for punitive damages for missing the once in a lifetime shoot.

I never had to do it, but only because I have backups.
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Old October 9th, 2006, 03:09 PM   #5
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Location: On the NC Crystal Coast
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Interesting question. It happened at our wedding a couple of decades ago.

The morning of the wedding, I called the videographer to let him know the time for one event had changed by about 30 minutes. That's when he informed me he wasn't going to show up for anything. Didn't offer an excuse; just said he wouldn't be there, and didn't recommend anyone else. Click.

I made a few phone calls and did line up another guy, but at a much higher rate. With only about 3 hrs 'till the ceremony, money was not a consideration.

We fumed about that for a couple of weeks 'till someone recommended Small Claims Court. So, that's what I did. Filed a claim for breach of contract, and the amount I asked for was the difference between the agreed price w/videographer #1 and the higher price I had to pay to videographer #2. Back then, one could only ask for reimbursement of actual loss up to $2,000, but not for punitive damage. I don't have any idea what the rules are now.

It was an interesting experience. Just like The People's Court on tv. I told my story and provided documentation, and the other guy pretty much had no story, not even a lame excuse. The judgement was in my favor for the amount requested, plus, the other guy had to pay all court costs, including my court filing fee.

So, not showing up can be costly.

As life takes it's unexpected twists & turns, I'm now on the backside of the camera. But, I've never been a no-show. I never even considered that a possibility because, well, nothing will never happen to me on the day of the wedding.

But, it might, and I should have a backup plan.
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Old October 9th, 2006, 05:52 PM   #6
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Location: Durango, Colorado, USA
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It hasn't happened to me yet, but I have in my contract a statement which stipulates that the Reservation Deposit is non-refundable (to protect me if my client cancels), but all other paments made to me are indeed refundable if I am forced to cancel.
Fom many years I was forced to work alone, and was always nervous about the question, "what if I have to cancel. Developing a stable, if you will, of reliable back-up people is a must. How you do that is open to question. Whatever makes the most sense based upon you networking. My choice is to seek out aspiring video enthusiasts, provide whatever training is necessary, and then develope a working relationship that will hopefully grow into something the growth of your business and being able to manage three or more events in one day, for example.
Like somany other aspects of running a business, it takes some sincere and careful thought.
Waldemar Winkler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 9th, 2006, 07:08 PM   #7
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 32
Thank you for all the advise. I don't ever plan for this to happen whatsoever. I will be there if I say I am going to be there. But I am also a worry-wort. And there are "what ifs" in life. So I was just curious as to what kind of plan you all had. I need to get my butt in gear and start networking!
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