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


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Old May 4th, 2007, 10:39 AM   #1
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What would you charge?

I met a restaurant owner the other day while picking up my tax paperwork the other day and he asked what business I had. Well he said that the restaurant he owns always has country music stars performing and wanted to get some video of some of these events. So he asked if I would be interested and of course I said yes. He's supposed to give me a call next week so we can meet and talk more about it but I don't know exactly what to tell him on on pricing. I've done weddings and school events but this seems a bit bigger. What would you charge? I would more than likely be a 2 cam shoot appox. 1 to 2 hours and then edit time. For those of you that have done events like this please feel free to chime in.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 12:43 PM   #2
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One thing I'd check is whether he's got video/copyright/image clearance with the artists... that might end any deal before it starts. You might be able to do "highlights" for promotional purposes, but full performances? I doubt it, not without quite a bit of negotiation with artists/management/etc. if they are "stars"...

Video/DVD rights are usually pretty well protected, and you don't want to get on the wrong end of that legal situation.

DB>)
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Old May 4th, 2007, 01:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
One thing I'd check is whether he's got video/copyright/image clearance with the artists... that might end any deal before it starts. You might be able to do "highlights" for promotional purposes, but full performances? I doubt it, not without quite a bit of negotiation with artists/management/etc. if they are "stars"...

Video/DVD rights are usually pretty well protected, and you don't want to get on the wrong end of that legal situation.

DB>)
That was EXACTLY my first thought! Well said Dave!

After that, I'd probably sit down and figure out about how much I get per hour with my wedding packages, guess-timate how long it'd take to do the music video, then mutiply... If it doesn't look like enough, add some for slosh. Yep, it's not very scientific and maybe not very business-like, but at least it's a starting point. You'll learn on this one and adjust up or down for the next one.

Good luck!

Mark
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Old May 4th, 2007, 04:12 PM   #4
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Dave, thanks for the heads up. I will make sure to bring that up when the time comes. Is there anything else I need to ask about before I commit to anything? How about a contract? Anyone willing to share a sample contract?
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Old May 4th, 2007, 04:12 PM   #5
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I assume the legal responsibility lies more with the restaurant owner than with you as the shooter. If you are hired to record the event and hand a DVD to the restaurant owner, it's him who has to decide what to do with it. If it's just to keep in the restaurant's archive, that would be very different than if they use it for advertising, let alone sell the DVD - but either way, it's not your decision, and your contract with your client could clearly spell out that he is responsible for any legal stuff as far as the use of the material is concerned. Having said that, I agree that this should be agreed upon with the musicians before you show up with your video gear. (Needless to say, this would be very different if you decided to sell copies of the DVD yourself.)

Another thought is that, unless you have done this before, you may want to consider bringing an audio expert along, someone who knows how to record live music and make it sound good. It takes some experience to do that well.

Sorry, I still didn't answer your original question. If highest possible audio quality is needed, you will likely spend more money there than on the video portion of the job. Is it a one-time deal or a regular thing? (Getting used to a new location requires some effort.) These things would make a significant difference if I had to bid the job.

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Old May 4th, 2007, 07:13 PM   #6
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If you get paid to shoot it, you'd be an "accomplice" and just as vulnerable... I'd make 100% sure that the owner has clearly worded signed releases. Even if this was to go to the owner's "personal archive", there's a lot of risk in even having the source material around... one "copy for a buddy", and who knows how big a mess it would end up being!

That said, if you get everything cleared up there - audio is going to be a bugger depending on the room and the sound guy - IF the sound guy is good and knows the house, he could probably spend some time putting a submix together and feed that to whatever your recording device of choice was - Iriver, H2/4, digital deck, CD recorder etc.

NOTICE the word "IF"... and if the house doesn't have a house sound system may as well just shave your head NOW... better than pulling it all out... also you'd have to be careful as MANY "stars" have their own sound guy, who may make them sound good, but somehow screws up the entire system in the process!

You probably won't get much of a usable "ambient" mix, but you will most likely want it to mix in for crowd reaction and such with the board feed (if you can get that)

Pricing? I guess that depends on if you love or hate country music <wink>!

DB>)
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Old May 5th, 2007, 08:04 AM   #7
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Dave,

I completely agree with your comments about the audio, especially your warning about relying on ambient sound alone. I've seen/heard people try it, and the results were not good.

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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
If you get paid to shoot it, you'd be an "accomplice" and just as vulnerable... I'd make 100% sure that the owner has clearly worded signed releases.
Something tells me there's got to be a way to avoid legal trouble for the videographer. Surely, in a Hollywood feature film production the camera operator is not responsible for getting release forms etc. taken care off. That's ultimately the producer's responsibility. Applied to Lalo's case, if Lalo sets up the contract such that the restaurant owner is the producer of the video, and Lalo is merely a subcontractor providing recording and maybe DVD authoring services, I would hope that that protects him.

Any legal experts around here that can offer a professional opinion?

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Old May 5th, 2007, 09:17 AM   #8
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I do this kind of thing quite a bit, usually as sell-through product that the artistes flog as merchandise. I have never had any issues with copyright. The copyright issue is complicated, but I don't consider it my problem at all - I'm providing a service and I supply the product on a DVD to the person I invoice. I treat this exactly as the people supplying the lighting and sound system do. They sing copyright material through the PA system -I don't think it reasonable that the PA system owner becomes an accomplice in the crime?

When people approach me to handle the entire production (usually for me CDs, not DVDs) then it is more complicated. The duplication houses will not press a CD without copyright ownership being evidenced. They do this to protect themselves from counterfeiting claims. I'd argue that all of this 'new' copyright talk is not actually our problem, although like the wedding video, it is now being pointed in our direction. Far easier for the vicar to query it with the guy with the camera than to try and tackle the bride about it. Where I have to, I get involved with that kind of stuff (luckily, I don't do wedding type work) but I charge for doing it. For what it's worth, I'm putting people out at the moment for 160 a day, 80 for a half day. Always plus expenses such as travelling at 37p per mile, and hotels at full cost plus meals which again are charged on at cost.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 01:12 PM   #9
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Paul -

BIG difference between creating product for the artist and doing it for a venue owner (now if you do great work, maybe the ARTIST or management would be interested in a deal... Lalo, potential profit if done right!).

The "star/artist" likely has rights reserved for the use of their name, their image/likeness, their performances and perhaps the songs themselves, depending on whether they "wrote" the material or it's used by other arrangement. And there is a wide range of attitudes among "artistes"... some are co-operative, others...

Remember you are an "artiste" TOO, and how would you like it if the client ordered ONE DVD, and went and had 2-300 pressed from your "master"... or if another video dude "borrowed" (STOLE) directly your work and claimed it as theirs? Everyone likes to eat, and theft is theft - think of it that way and it helps cut through the legalese. If your use deprives someone else from getting paid for their work... don't do it!

I would suggest if the videographer covers their tail with a contract that specificaly states the person contracting the event is responsible for all needed copyright releases and indemnifies the videographer for any legal expenses that might result from such issues, you'd be "relatively" safe. That said, there's a lot of flakey shakey dealings in the music biz, and if you ended up on the wrong end of a suit and the promoter blows town with no forwarding address... so you'd be potentially on the hook to defend yourself, and out of pocket even if you "won".

The likelyhood that a copyright holder is going to go after a bride for using a song in a wedding and having a dozen DVD's made of her ceremony is pretty small (fair use defense would probably protect the videographer there, but if you use a copyrighted song in it's entirety... it's "potentially" infringement if you make "copies" - you'll have a derivative work defense, but that's not going to be easy or cheap to defend).

If you're doing a few hundred copies... or if you're involved in "bootlegging" a performance for profit or in a way that cuts into profits from a legitimate product an artist sells... you may well find yourself in trouble... potentially BIG trouble.

Intellectual property (copyrights, patents, etc.) is a HUGE mess - it's one of the reasons we don't have High Def DVD at areasonable price yet - a good bit of the fuss is over how to protect content from "illegal" pirating. Look at the RIAA suits... bottom line is CYA if someone elses IP is involved in "your" production/product...

DB>)
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