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


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Old January 14th, 2007, 08:13 AM   #1
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Projection at the Reception

This question is a little different. I'm not sure if it's a trend I'm seeing but I'm hearing more about it here in my area as I get calls this year. Usually it's the guys that ask me about this, but while I'm filming the Reception they ask if we can project what we're filming on to a big screen. It's something I could easily do but people here already bark at my prices and I'm not sure they'd really like to spend the extra money for that. It's 4hrs of bulb use each party and we know bulbs aren't cheap. I'm not to keen on the idea as it would limit my mobility and creativity, so I'd setup my SD cam to run this type of setup. I guess my question is; is this also becoming a hot trend in your area? It's primarily done for Quinceaneras/Sweet 16 here in my area not weddings.

Monday
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Old January 14th, 2007, 09:21 AM   #2
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Yes it is becoming more of a request here as well. I wouldn't offer it for free though as your video will suffer while your shooting for the crowd and it is extra setup etc.
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Old January 14th, 2007, 10:04 AM   #3
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I would tell my clients that unless we have a separate crew specifically for the projection, then it would be like displaying a movie before it's been edited. So they can either have a really great video, or a nice novelty at the wedding.
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Old January 14th, 2007, 10:15 AM   #4
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get this abit.. not that popular here in aus as my clientelle are more the "naturalists"so theyre not all for teh big bells and whistles.. unfortunately.. as here in aus, thats where the money is..

Anyways with this, i charge 550 for the projection ON ITS OWN.. thats whether they want aslideshow or minimovie projected.. if i have to bring my unit, its 550.. a lil less than a new bulb.. people freak.. but i dont care.. its a $3700 projector and my insurance on it alone is enough to give you a heartatack
If i connect RCAs to the unit straight from cam, its either on a tripod static, or i get a written agreement that the crowd will not cross the cable. i cant afford losing the shot, let alone having someone kill my projector becuase htey wanna take a short cut...
If i bring another shooter just for this purpose, its another $400 bux..

nothing is free.. and im sick of clients who expect us to give them the world.. i call it a champaigne diet on a lemonade budget... what gets me is taht they want this, but dont want to pay us.. BUT if a photographer charges a grand for this, theyre happy to pay
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Old January 14th, 2007, 10:18 AM   #5
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Why would a separate crew make it any different in terms of whats being shown? Most couples are just loking for dancing footage blown up on the wall. This obviously wouldn't be filmed in the same way as you would shoot their video and there is no editing involved, so I don't understand your point.

From my experience, this sort of thing takes less time mopared to a same-day edit, so it is very doable and much easier thana same-day edit. It may be a little much to say that their 'really great video' is going down the tubes if they have you doing something else for 30 minutes. I simply let the couples we work with know that while we are doing that, we aren't filming for their wedding video.
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Old January 14th, 2007, 11:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Moreau
Why would a separate crew make it any different in terms of whats being shown? Most couples are just loking for dancing footage blown up on the wall.
I thought the question was to have a projector at the wedding, not the reception. No wonder it seemed silly to me. Personally, I wouldn't offer it. If that is the one thing that causes a potential client to go somewhere else, so be it.

I agree with Peter though, charge what you have to.
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Old January 14th, 2007, 02:05 PM   #7
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Regardless of the event it would require additional people to be on hand plus the projector cost. So there would always be a charge for this. The event determines the cost.

If it's the ceremony then this is the added equipment: Projection screens and projectors, cables, switcher, a director to call the shots that will be shown, and one assistant to help set up and make sure that everything runs properly. It's a live event cut and requires a lot of pre-setup plus the director there to keep everything looking smooth.

At a reception/party it's a bit easier. Screen, projector, one manned camera dedicated to the feed. The other normal videographers will cover the event as usual. The person on hand for the feed supplies the material for just that purpose: viewable material for the projector.

So either way, it requires at least one additional person on hand to insure that the projection material looks presentable. You could do it with no extra help, but best of luck.

If clients really understood the value of a screen and a projector they would hire VJ's for their receptions to compliment the work of the djs. A vj would have all the materials to control the projector and mix in your live footage with backdrops that will compliment the event. The reality is that most weddings are low budget and clients don't understand that there's more to a good party than loud music.

Ben
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Old January 14th, 2007, 04:37 PM   #8
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Thank you everyone for your replies. It's good to hear what others think about the subject. I do have a problem in my area, a good portion of the Hispanic Video & Photo companies charge a ridiculously low price for both services. They charge between $500 - $1500 for both video and photo services and the quality that is produced is usually poor to a descent but boring video, and really bad to pretty good photos. My market that I've been targeting for 2 years is a tough one with my current prices and yearly price increase. 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.

If I just add the projection to my video package only it goes well over $2000 which gets clicks on the phones with potential clients in my area. I was trying to see if anyone was in the same boat at all with this. I'm not sure what to do, I would have to add another filmer to the team just to film the reception for the projection and also to make sure my stuff is not damaged by a kid tripping over it or running into the table where the projector is on. This would insure I will be able to do my job creating their Quinceanera/Sweet 16 video. Thanks for all the replies, as it helps me with this decision making process.

Take Care

Monday
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Old January 14th, 2007, 04:58 PM   #9
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It can be done for less, but is that what you want? If your happy putting together a $2000 package that provides video with projection then go for it.

To do it cheap you may want to invest in a switcher and simply cut the projection cameras into a final mixed video as things happen. That's a boring final video compared to what can be done in the edit, but it saves hours of editing time later on. Three people, two cameras, any number of projectors and screens, and you can put together a good production. And that might be what your client is looking for. More of an impact at the event and they'd be happy with a "rough" edit for later. IMAG does look great when it's used right.

But remember, if you cut it live then your working as a team. And like any team you get better as you go and the more you work together, the better you'll get at cutting events on the fly and making it look great.

If I had a client base that could provide enough work I wouldn't hesitate to put together a three person team to specifically cover those events live with IMAG and a live cut recorded to tape. If you don't have any post editing time you can make a fair amount of money doing it that way even at $1800 per event.

On the other hand, if you want to focus on a very nice end product without being distracted with projection then maybe you should sub contract out the projection portion or simply let clients know that you don't offer that service and they'll need to go elsewhere if they would like it.

It sounds like you have a client base so maybe it's time to re-think your production methods and put a focus on live event coverage and rather than shooting for the edit.

Ben
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Old January 14th, 2007, 05:17 PM   #10
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Hey Ben thanks for your reply,
Yeah I'm not happy having to do all that work or have it on my mind while filming during the day. It would cost $600-$800 extra for something like this (I think, I need to look at figures again). That would be just adding on the live projection. You have a very good point about rethinking how I produce the final product, I could do a live edit with switching but in the end the final product will suffer greatly as it won't be as creative as I would want it to be. It would not be as enjoyable as I want the quality of it to be. So I have a lot of thinking to do especially considering the market I'm in. I don't want to go the route of live projection but if I lose numerous jobs I might have to re adjust. Thanks for you input, it's very much appreciated

Monday
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Old January 15th, 2007, 12:52 AM   #11
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good points, however afew things to take note are of this

are those companies offering this doing it to score the client from YOU? As in are they undercutting? Also if theyre offering orojections so cheap, more thn likely theire projectors are the cheaparsed data projectors which arent worth the plastic theyre in.. in the longrun, a decent projector with fatassed resolution and bulb life will make a huge difference. Ansi Lumens and contrast also play a major factor as if the colour/brightness is off, people may assume that its the footage, not he projector

Are these people ofering these cheap prices legit? or are they doing it cashin hand? If theyre avoiding the taxman then of course theyre going to be cheaper..

If going for a switcher, u could alwuyas try video toaster which is a live switcher and recorder, however to be honest, i dont see why anyone would want this.. its a 12k system for a dedicated PC and console... and it can either be digital or analogue, but good luck finding a 20metree 1394 cable

For a stage show projected ona screen for ""Žase of viewing" then its a good idea, as the crowd can see whats happening on stage much better, however for client ego boosting reasons, i wouldnt recomend it as the filming is totally different. When filming for live, the cameras must ALWAYS be spot on, the operator must ALWAYS be on the ball and NOT make any mistakes. The director or switcher must also know how each camera operator works, and know when to switch between the 2 or 3 or 4 or 5... and ore improtntnly the cameras must be calbrated.
Most switchign boards allow for live colour correction basd on their respective channel. The onus is then on the switcher to ensure that the cameras WB is consistant during the switch.

To be honest, theres not enogh money in it to warrant such an effort.. if there was a market for it (i do 4 live shows a year with abotu 2500 in the crowd, and 6 smaller estepfords (between 300 and 600 in the crowd) ) then it may change things, but id only do this if the package exceeds 5grand. The live switch is not a part of the edit package, so in turn, im doublehanding the job. Also, i dont buy my switchers, i hire them as technology changes and im not willing to fork out 5k for upgrades every year.
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Old January 15th, 2007, 01:30 AM   #12
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Projection at Reception

Hi Monday,

Yes, reception entertainment expectations by our customers are growing. A few years ago, the demand was primarily to view edited love stories, photo montages, interviews, music videos, concept videos (skits), etc.

Lately, Same Day Edits have started to gain popularity (much of it using one of the above with quickie cuts/edits along with some footage from the ceremony). And for those videographers that balk at SDE, no problemo - some of the DJs are more than happy to enter into the videographer's turf! No more just competing with the photographers for a decent shot. Some videographer forums have had charged dicussions about the challenges trying to do a quality shoot when a DJ crew is competing for wedding video. In fact, quite a few videographer contracts have clauses prohibiting competitive for-hire videographers; nice thought, but sometimes the B&G first hired the DJ with THEIR contract already in place.

Anyway, I'm not trying to highjack this thread - the point is, yes, we should expect more B&Gs to seek video entertainment at the receptions. FYI - my rig is a Dell 2300 projector, Draper Road Warrior portable screen, Mackie 450 speakers w/tripods, and a Panasonic DMRES46 DVD player. And yes, they *do* have to pay for it. If the Groom wants a plasma, I'll rent one, have it delivered, and pass through the heafty billing.

Finally, as with any gear, don't overlook the safety considerations! Your insurance agent should know about your gear, especially from a liability perspective. Even if you use gaffers tape, sandbag tripods, etc., we're still at the mercy of someone who's had "one too many" and knocks over 30 pound of gear onto another innocent guest. And who do you think the lawyer will call in the morning? Yet another reason to charge a fair price, right? Another tip - don't keep projector gear out in the reception area longer than necessary.

Who was that guy that said our job was easy, anyway?

Michael
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Old January 15th, 2007, 07:07 AM   #13
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""Who was that guy that said our job was easy, anyway?""
The moron who has no idea about what we do...
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Old January 16th, 2007, 01:52 AM   #14
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We get requests for different types of setups and we offer diferent setups. If we need to subcontract to fill a request then we do without any hesitation.
We have a plasma monitor and a projector with screen & audio. We also have a jib.

A few months ago a client wanted to make sure the congregation could see her daughter from the front for the entire wedding ceremony. They also wanted to show a montage that we created, at the reception. We neded two plasma screens facing the congregation with the feed from one camera feeding both monitors for the ceremony. We subcontracted a DJ to bring in and set up the two monitors. We then used our own equipment for the reception. We were paid well and booked several weddings as a result.

We firmly believe that video belongs to the video industry, not the DJ industry. Even though we sub-contracted some of the work to them, the B&G were able to book all of their video needs with us.

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.
Allen W
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Old January 16th, 2007, 08:37 AM   #15
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Thanks Michael for your reply, it's very much appreciated.

Thanks for the reply Allen also, its very much appreciated.
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