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


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Old October 26th, 2006, 10:59 AM   #1
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Demo DVD or not?

Does sending out demo DVD's increase sales? If yes, do you send them to everyone, or just those who ask for one? If no, what other things can you do (besides online demos) to show your work?
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Old October 26th, 2006, 01:22 PM   #2
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yeah I have a demo but don't send out too many. As far as I've seen, it hasn't increased my sales. Many of my clients are referrals and they've already seen the work but if they want one I'll give them one. Cold clients (non referrals) will get one after a conversation with them to see if we're on the same page money wise AND if they request one. For the most part my demo is also online so they can see it there and most have. I say for the most part because thee are a couple of things on line that aren't on my demo but nothing that would affect the continuity of the demo so no biggie.
I send them out if requested. But that's just me.

Don
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Old October 26th, 2006, 08:17 PM   #3
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Hey Sheldon,
For me here in MD, I can say that distributing demos has increased the amount of inquiries I've received. 2 solid jobs came from the clients viewing my demo and knowing that they wanted to choose me for their event. Is it successful really for me? Well I would consider 100 Demos and 2 solid jobs so far. To me that was worth it but for others opinions will vary. I hand my demos directly to young girls getting ready to turn 15 and they as well will pass some out to their friends for me. (I primarily film quinceaneras)

Take Care, hopes this helps
Monday
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Old October 26th, 2006, 08:21 PM   #4
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Hi Sheldon,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheldon Blais
Does sending out demo DVD's increase sales? If yes, do you send them to everyone, or just those who ask for one?
Its been my experience that a DVD demo, as inclusive as possible with as much good content as possible, is the way to go. Every valid inquiry I get for the days I have available gets a demo and a brochure sent to them.
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Old October 26th, 2006, 09:04 PM   #5
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In my experience, people who want to see demos either know what they want to see in a wedding video or are simply fishing for information. Few of the fisherpersons actually return to me. I suspect they use my demos to illustrate what they want to see in their finished video to other, less expensive and less experienced video production wannabes. In addition, I have been "shopped" so many times by would-be competitiors I am no longer willing to freely distribute my work on a moments notice.

That realization puts me in a difficult position. I no longer distribute samples of my work to anyone but those who are willing to meet with me in an initial consultation, where they are shown the same video samples. If, in consultation, I feel clients are genuinely interested is reviewing my samples I will provide a demo disc, but only if they sign a contract.

On the other hand, a demo of one's work is not only an essiential sales tool, but a personal validation. Getting that demo to a responsible client is the challenge. The answer, I believe, lies in being selective. I know several successful artists whose medium varies from painting to ceramics to jewelry. All are very selective regarding who gets to see their work in a definitive way, but all are very willing to provide representations of their work on the web in a very general way.

If there is a bottom line conclusion to this question, I believe it is the responsibility of the individual video artist to sensibly define parameters of acceptance, and then adhere to those parameters with a passion equivalent to that of fervent religion in the sense of ..."In the beginning, there was light, and god said, let ME be light". Venture capitalism at its best. Hopefully tempered by an honest appreciation of the human experience.

What you ask is really difficult to answer, because there are so many answers. What works in one location will not work in another. The key, I hope, is to absorb the opinions of many and do what the famous pasta chef once said, "Throw a bunch on the wall. What sticks is done. That simplifies everything."
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Old October 27th, 2006, 06:09 AM   #6
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No,
im very picky with what i put online and what i give to people
if a client bases my service ONLY on the finished product, then theyre doing themselves a dis-service, as what i do is more than jsut an archive of their day.
Like Wal, i now only give demos out to serious potentials with teh onus that it wont be distributed. I also only send dvds out to potentials who are interstate and who ive been in correspondance with for at least a week.

many a time have i had my work pilfered.. i even hired an editor who i trained up, and he ended up using the techniques i taugh him (to be used for my business) on other projects for my competitors.
I mean lets face it, we all must have something to differentiate what we do from the next guy, and in this situation, what i had which was excllusive to me, was given out willy nilly simpy because an editor wanted more work.

now, like Wal, "I suspect they use my demos to illustrate what they want to see in their finished video to other, less expensive and less experienced video production wannabes. In addition, I have been "shopped" so many times by would-be competitiors I am no longer willing to freely distribute my work on a moments notice."
This is rampant at this time, and i have had more than half my queries end up comparisons to otehr comapnies.
In the end, if THESE people ended up with a demo, more than likely theyd be showing it to the competition and asking for "that look" its happened before and will continue to happen.

Now though, i take full control of where my work goes and who gets to see it.
Sure i lose business, but the business i do get is worthwhile, with appreciative clients.
In the past, and the clients i deal with now, it wasnt the case, but things are changing for teh future clients and i know that season by season, my work will get easier, as the filter process refines itself
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