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


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Old January 16th, 2007, 08:24 PM   #16
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"Every job is not the big one with all the bells and whistles but we never turn down a big job because we don't have the equipment. We take the challenge and Make It Work."

i think this is fundamental in all areas of business, however one must also consider the budget, and 99% of people i personally deal with DONT have the budget for this type of thing..
I wish they did, else id be sitting back directing while everyone else does the work for me but unfortunately, its not like this the majority of time.
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Old January 24th, 2007, 08:07 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
"Every job is not the big one with all the bells and whistles but we never turn down a big job because we don't have the equipment. We take the challenge and Make It Work."

i think this is fundamental in all areas of business, however one must also consider the budget, and 99% of people i personally deal with DONT have the budget for this type of thing..
I wish they did, else id be sitting back directing while everyone else does the work for me but unfortunately, its not like this the majority of time.
Amen. If the budget barely covers the cost of the additional gear and personnel, why bother offering the service.

I thought the primary goal of a production company is to run a business and make money. I just don’t understand why people whore themselves out like this.

- Offering more than you can provide
- Making promises that you can’t keep
- Directing your staff when you should be focused on videotaping
- Not making a reasonable profit for all the extra work

It just doesn’t make any sense. It’s time to start telling clients the truth. If you want cheap Mexican labor, you will pay for it every time you watch your video.

The extra money you spend for a great videographer will be forgotten. The crummy video shot with a cheap handycam will never be forgotten.
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Old January 24th, 2007, 11:27 AM   #18
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You've made some harsh statements Scott.

Your comment about cheap Mexican labor is completely inappropriate. Cheap labor, fine. Don't bring in a racial stereotype. The statement works without the word Mexican in there.

As for your third theory of production work: Any quality production requires someone to manage and direct the project. Period. It's about more than just one camera capturing one shot. Multi camera shoots require a coordinated effort. Sometimes you have to give up your own personal camera skills to better coordinate the group as a whole.

You have some valid points that make good business sense and would make sense for any production budget. Even low end video makes money if done correctly.

Ben
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Old January 24th, 2007, 12:42 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Lynn
You've made some harsh statements Scott.

Your comment about cheap Mexican labor is completely inappropriate. Cheap labor, fine. Don't bring in a racial stereotype. The statement works without the word Mexican in there.

Ben
Actually, I was responding to a post in this thread that said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monday Isa
"My point is this, that the Hispanic companies are offering this additional service but at a very low price. $1800 that will include photos videos and projection of the dance floor at the reception. In some cases they will use 1-3 projectors."
As you can see, I used the term "Mexican" fairly. I don't have anything against Mexicans, as long as they are legal citizens, pay taxes and don't run my company out of business with their cheap labor.
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Old January 24th, 2007, 04:16 PM   #20
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The original posting uses the word "Hispanic" in a respectable manner.

Be aware that this is a public forum and your comments are being read by the general public.

Ben
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Old January 24th, 2007, 06:09 PM   #21
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The first thing I do when the subject of video presentations comes up is to clarify the purpose. I am seeking to learn if the presentation is going to be a feature within that time frame politely known as "public remarks or toasts" and sometimes referred to as the "blah-blah-blah period" (one of my clients said this, not me). Or, is it simply meant to be a recurring entertainment feature not directly associated with any of the traditional events within a reception.

The former demands physical space, set-up time, and audio systems be in place well before the event for maximum attention focus. The latter can be placed in a dark corner on a small monitor or a large screen. the former demands more of my time and attention, therefore higher fees. The latter, is, of course, the opposite.

Often someone else builds the presentation. My fees are split. One fee to build the presentation. Another to stage it. In any case, the presentation system, whether it be large screen or small television, is supplied interms of both audio and video by me. I absolutely refuse to allow any other audio vendor to connect. That eliminates DJ's, who are not usually well versed regarding the technical aspects of their sound system. It also relieves the band's sound technican of trying to figure out how to introduce a new audio signal into the mix of an already maxed out system.

The end result, for me is one of two options. I can set up a kiosk type presentation early in the day and forget about it until I am ready to go home, or I gnash teeth with the wedding planner, caterer, the nightmarish maitr'd, and anyone else willing to "put up their dukes" to get the square footage I need to make the presentation happen.
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Old January 24th, 2007, 09:50 PM   #22
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hmm..

with these.. its a strange one..
for SDE's i do the editing and i hire my shooters.. i also shoot th morning stuff that i know i will use as opposed to sifting through piles of footage to see what works.. during teh ceremony, i sit at teh abck of the church and monitor my workers offering hand gestures and direction. Heyve all been briefed intently to a point of crying themselves into boredom.. lol..

anyways.. once im at each respective location, i do the editing while my shooters do what theyre supposed to.. It make the work easier to do it this way, an these kind of jobs, even though theyre higher paying, allow me to actually relax a little bit.. physically i mean...

at the reception, we always recomend the projections to occur AFTER the speeches and before the cake/first dance (if thats the sequence) this way we have everyones attention without even trying..

We set up the projector and only set up the screen at the last minute as we dont want people top get the gist of what were doing. Another thing i like to do is to use an available wall if its feasable.. saves alot of time

With regard to staff at venues, I have never had the issue Wal has had.. In fact quite the opposite..

As for pricing, i have a flat rate for projections, and then another ate depending on what they want projected.
If people throw pricing in my face, i just tell them straight out that theyre paying for my service, not soma backyard hack, and if they wnt to gamble their wedding on a hack, theyre more than welcome to do that. I then take note of who they are and if after their wedding they approach me to "fix" theyre footage (quite common actually), i dont bother dealing with them.
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Old January 25th, 2007, 12:11 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
hmm..
If people throw pricing in my face, i just tell them straight out that theyre paying for my service, not soma backyard hack, and if they wnt to gamble their wedding on a hack, theyre more than welcome to do that. I then take note of who they are and if after their wedding they approach me to "fix" theyre footage (quite common actually), i dont bother dealing with them.
Iím almost at the point where Iím just about ready to phase weddings out of my video production business.

I enjoy shooting & editing weddings but the general public seems convinced that ALL WEDDING VIDEOS ARE PRETTY MUCH THE SAME, which is total bullshit.

They treat the process the same way as if they were buying a camera. They check the internet, go to the stores and end up purchasing from the cheapest outlet, because in the end, itís the same exact product.

Every video production company has a different style and skill that is priced based on what their unique service is worth. These brides think they are soo smart and manipulative with their cut-throat negotiation tactics. The reality is, they are just pushing the good guys into the red. The videographers that started out with good intentions are turning into dicks because they are so sick of not making any money.

If you explain the technical differences in gearÖ.they donít understand.
If you explain the difference in editing style by showing them your demos, they donít careÖ..as long as itís in focus and the sound is decent, they seem to spend more time criticizing the brides teeth and hair than actually paying attention to your technique.

Perhaps this is a market that people should just cut their teeth in, and then get the hell out. 'nuf said.
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Old January 25th, 2007, 01:36 AM   #24
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Many brides have a pre-determined vision of a wedding video and you're right, they believe all wedding videos are pretty much the same. If you feel that you're wedding video is different then it's up to you to educate the bride.

A major part of your business is being able to sell. People will pay any amount for a product or service if they feel that they really want it. That is your job to make a person feel they really want your service.

If you're trying to sell wedding video production to a bride by relying on explainations of technical gear and having to explain differences in editing style because they are not obvious or you have a mental image of people falling into one negative category then you're right. You probably won't make any money and it's time to get the hell out.
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Old January 25th, 2007, 03:48 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen Williams
A major part of your business is being able to sell. People will pay any amount for a product or service if they feel that they really want it. That is your job to make a person feel they really want your service.
Allen W
Ha! In a utopian society you would be totally correct with that statement. My experience has been slightly different. People want you to lowball the cheapest guy in town, and then they want you to include an extra camera at no additional charge. That has been my experience with wedding clients in LA.

They tell you that they donít have a budget because they spent $1,500 on a photographer and they are only partially interested in hiring a videographer with the ďleft overĒ money. Like itís not something they want to do, but something they are forced into doing.

Brides are often excited by the quality of my demos, but then they get in touch with someone willing to add in that extra camera or a crane at the reception, without even giving me the chance to counter the other guys offer.

Everything is so emotionally driven with these people.

I donít seem to run into these problems with my other clients. I would like the opportunity to do your wedding but please donít make me feel guilty because of it.
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Old January 25th, 2007, 07:16 AM   #26
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"If you explain the technical differences in gear….they don’t understand.
If you explain the difference in editing style by showing them your demos, they don’t care…..as long as it’s in focus and the sound is decent, they seem to spend more time criticizing the brides teeth and hair than actually paying attention to your technique."

well, heres teh thing.. i ahev brides ranging from high end models, through to skanky bushpigs.. when i show a demo, i suss out what kind of client they are, and if theyre all uppity and stuck up, i show them some pretty sexy brides.. if theyre down to earth and not too pleasant looking, i show them girls of equivalent looks.. (im being general here.. please no whinging abotu whats skanky anor whats good looking.. )
This way the girls can relate to what they see on screen and if i can make a skank look good, i usualy score teh deal, BUT its these people who im tryin to avoid as theyre usually the cheapskates.. but beggars cant be choosers so sometimes we take jobs we really dont want to...

The point here is to advise the viewer that what theyre seeing is from SOMEONE ELSES WEDDING... what happens at THEIR wedding may be totally different.. not many clients seem to fathom this..
This is only to show POSSIBILITES of how any given presentation may be created, again, not many brides seem to understand this and believe that what u show them is the "it"

As for the industry itself.. im sick of the shifty behaviour of other business sending emails asking for prices or wanting to have meetings to check out our studio, and being so vague that theyre obviously fakers. Im yet to meet a genuine client who didnt know their wedding date, let alone the guy saying one thing and the girl going off on a tangent. I hoenstly cant beleive some levels these people take to get a leg up
Appaling and utterly pathetic
Theres also the funny trend happenin here wtih companies claiming "full length edit of your wedding day" when in in fact they mean trimmed raw footage.. from there they offer a 10 minute edit and by the play on words, they mislead clients into thinking theyre getting a fully edited feature length presentation
In fact, with the way things are going here, im close to drawing up a FAQ on my site pertaining to this..

I find that Its not brides which have issues, its other businss who misinform these brides who are in need of a kick in the head
And nwo with the advent of HD coming to the fore and delivery options being made available, theyre really fekking it up for everyone..

Im a producer, not a teacher, and im sick of having to re-educate potential clients
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Old January 25th, 2007, 07:39 AM   #27
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"Iím almost at the point where Iím just about ready to phase weddings out of my video production business.

I enjoy shooting & editing weddings but the general public seems convinced that ALL WEDDING VIDEOS ARE PRETTY MUCH THE SAME, which is total bullshit."

Agreed.. thing is, those of us that ARE different get our work ripped off by those that CBF'd working out their own style.. I used to have online demos, and one guy here literally analysed my work and copied certainclips SCENE FOR SCENE.. i kid you not.. he shot them in the exact same way and edited it identically to the way i had demo'd online.. (thing is the original was slighlty different) This was to the point of using the same music, transition and colour schemes..
So its with behaviour liek this that makes me wonder why i keep going, when i consider that a photographer charges at least twice as much and has much less post production work..
And instead of buying another HDV camera, i ended up getting a canon5d..
With that, ive noticed attitude and expectation is far more appealing to me from the client and i dont have to haggle with prices like i do with video..
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