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


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Old July 4th, 2007, 10:14 AM   #16
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happy 4th

well that makes me weary about the insurance. I would figure that any company that rents things out has THEMSELVES covered. Dana, that woman sounds like a real jerk, how can someone complain when they are getting it for free? They should be grateful, and if anything ask politely for extra footage rather than harassing you. I'd hate to deal with someone like that, but i'm sure eventually i'll come across one, right? I have no idea when I am going to start charging, or if i'm even going to end up doing another wedding, after I get a demo made, I assume I should start a website or something, because I don't know if I'm going to get any work through refererrals for these two weddings, I don't have business cards either, and thats another thing I should probably take care of.

Happy 4th everyone! Looks like rain here so i don't think we'll be seeing any fireworks :(
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Old July 4th, 2007, 10:36 AM   #17
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Jenna, they do have themselves covered but since you are the one renting the gear and using it on whatever location for however long it is your responsiblity to insure it, just as when you rent a car on a trip. You provide insurance OR buy the insurance from the rental company. Whether its cars or cameras getting the insurance from the rental company is generally more costly than providing your own but if thats the only way you have to go, then thats what you do.
Most rental companies as part of their rental agreement say that you are responsible for the gear and IF something happens to it you pay for it. Thats why having insurance is such a good idea. A $50 premium (for example) is a lot less than $3000 to buy a camera for a rental company after the camera has been stolen and now you not only pay for the egar but you don't have the gear either. Bad way to go.
insurance is a pretty standard thing for renting gear.

Have a good 4th!
Don
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Old July 4th, 2007, 04:28 PM   #18
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Yeah, she caused us a lot of stress. Now when I see the bridezilla demon begin to manifest, I exorcise it by declining the booking. The trick is to discern it before she signs.

I've never rented anything, but I have hired a second cameraman when my wife was filming a ballet. That might be a possibilty as well. You'll spend more, but you will also have someone to give you referrals and someone you can use (or even hire) in the future. The product quality on your freebie videos equals your ability to win new brides.

The website is imperative unless you don't mind burning, labeling and sending DVDs all the time. You'll have to do that anyway, but it gets expensive and the looky-lous can view online. If you're on a Mac you can render some Flash videos and find a good flash template for your work. Photogs use these alot.

For business cards: vistaprint.com. Excellent customer service, prices and templates. I'd secure a business license, web URL and then cards.
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Old July 4th, 2007, 06:00 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Dana Salsbury View Post
If you're on a Mac you can render some Flash videos and find a good flash template for your work.
You can do that on a pc as well you know ;)
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Old July 4th, 2007, 07:22 PM   #20
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With a special $39.95 app and extra time to convert it, that's true. ;o)
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Old July 4th, 2007, 11:06 PM   #21
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Yeah i'm trying to figure out how to upload videos, or get a general idea of how to put them on a website (not using you-tube embedding)
When I decide to get a website should I higher a company to do all of the work for me? such as building it and putting the video on it for me, I've heard that you can .. like buy a streaming server, forgive me if I sound like i have no idea what i'm talking about, because I don't, but it's like paying for the service to host your videos, and they give you a certain amount of gig space, and then you can use the videos on your website, i'm not sure if there's a code provided or something like that, i've also heard theres a way you can have progessive downloads off of your website using wmp or quicktime, but i wouldn't know where to start.

I know I need to get insurance, if I may ask, what KIND of insurance do I need? Is there a certain company I should go through, will it cover all of my equipment and any liability i may have against people suing me or something?

Also, one more question, at what point do I have to.. whats the word... Well I know that if you run a business without informing the government you can get in trouble (taxes and stuff) .. What process it's called, I do not know, lol. I have read somewhere that until a certain point it is only considered a hobby that you are getting paid for, you have to make a certain amount of money until you have to begin filing taxes and what not. I'm not sure if that was a general article or if it only applies to a certain state, any information on this and resources would be greatly appreciated!
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Old July 5th, 2007, 12:39 AM   #22
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Website

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenna Klingensmith View Post
Yeah i'm trying to figure out how to upload videos, or get a general idea of how to put them on a website (not using you-tube embedding)
When I decide to get a website should I higher a company to do all of the work for me? such as building it and putting the video on it for me, I've heard that you can .. like buy a streaming server, forgive me if I sound like i have no idea what i'm talking about, because I don't, but it's like paying for the service to host your videos, and they give you a certain amount of gig space, and then you can use the videos on your website, i'm not sure if there's a code provided or something like that, i've also heard theres a way you can have progessive downloads off of your website using wmp or quicktime, but i wouldn't know where to start.
I use a blog like WordPress as my website. My vendor is bluehost.com.
As for video clip streaming, I use playstream.com

Playstream is only $10.00 per month and allows 1 gig of access for your videos and lets you store 50 megs of video for others to see.
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Old July 5th, 2007, 06:54 AM   #23
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As for insurance the minimum in my opinion is liability-usually 1 or 2 million. However to get that you generally are also buying theft insurance on the gear.
For example RVNuccio.com has online forms and you'll know right away how much it is for your gear and liability-others may do it over the phone or email or...Check out StateFarm, Firemans Fund Insurance and anyone else you can think of, just make sure they know you are using it not as a hobbyist but as a professional.

As for business stuff, like should I incorporate, be an LLC, S Corp, Sole Proprieter, do I need to file 1/4ly taxes, or what, here's my suggestion. Although we are all well meaning with business ideas go see an accountant and a lawyer that specialize in setting up small businesses as you want to do. Sometimes attorneys will give a consult either free or at minimal charge say $25.00 and then ask for a referral for an accountant or the other way around. Whichever -but DO seek professional help in those areas. WHY? Because it's your money and livelihood an believe after going thru an IRS audit about 30 years ago I don't want to do it again so I got a BETTER accountant. Every persons situation is different but the basic issue is the same. Legal protection of assests and proper payment of whatever monies have to be paid to our government.
Ask other people you know that own businesses who their lawyer and or accountant is get referrals from them and don't let anyone talk you out of seeing a lawyer or accountant. "Aw you don't need them, don't waste the money, you can do that yourself" Are they going to pay the back taxes, along with interest and penalities IF there is a mistake made? Will they support you IF for whatever reason you get sued by someone and your business gets tied up in court during a long drawn out law suit?
I'm not being negative just pragmatic and realistic. I've been in my own business for over 35 years and have either had it happen to me or someone close to me. Do it right and you'll live a much happier less stressful business life.
Good luck
Don
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Old July 5th, 2007, 12:50 PM   #24
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Jenna,

Don't be discouraged. I only have one camera (Canon XL2) and have done two weddings so far. Both were for free to build a portfolio (which is porbably why I'm not as stressed). I realize that I am going to have to come in cheaper than most in my area since I won't be able to offer the multiple cameras. I also don't have the experience/knowledge of most others but I am OK with that. We all have to start somewhere.

I feel like my first two weddings have given me a good base. Now I have a portfolio of video I can provide to paying customers. And I know that with each gig my video should get a little better, so my brides will see what I can do and know what they're getting into. I am just going to be very clear about what I can and cannot do and charge accordingly. Both my brides were happy to just have the ceremony documented, even though I had one angle straight down the aisle. I save the snappy stuff for before and after. They have more or less, just wanted a documentation of the actual ceremony.

Also, it seems like you are trying to compete with the big boys right off the bat. Neither of us can. I am choosing to go after the customer who has a lower budget/expectation than the high end customer. I won't be able to meet their needs yet so why kill myself trying? Just concentrate on doing each video a little better than the last, learn, save money and buy new equipment as funds provide.

You'll do great!

- Paul
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Old July 9th, 2007, 12:49 AM   #25
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thanks paul, very encouraging words. I actually thought i'd appeal to the people with a smaller budget at first anyways, so no, i'm not trying to compete with the big boys just yet, but still I would like to always have a second camera, the wedding I just did yesterday, I got stuck in a bad spot and couldn't really see the brides face as well as the grooms, and of course the focus should be on the bride, I felt terrible but there was no where I could move to even though i was given total freedom, to many obstacles in the way, people, the bridal party themselves would have been in the way had i chosen another spot.

But i just realized my back up camera was messed up during the entire shoot and its very pixelated on the right side, and it lags behind a few frames, so i can't use any of it unless NOTHING on the right side of the frame moved.. so that'll be just a few shots.. disappointing, which is why it would be great to have a GOOD second camera.

I'll keep pressing on though, hopefully i'll get a good demo out of the two weddings I have done, and see where I can go from there.
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Old July 15th, 2007, 04:26 PM   #26
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Since you are just organizing your business now, don't worry about the second cam. If you do more weddings for free, just make sure the folks know what the risk is.

If you take on jobs for money and enter contract, you will need some type of second cam at least as a backup. You can find a miniDV unit at some warehouse store like Sams Club or Costco.

When booking real jobs get some level of reservation fee. Keep your contract simple and direct, and don't overpromise. Use those first few deposits for the gear you need.

Pay particular attention to camerawork and audio, so you have to do less cleanup in editing. That way your camera tape is very close to a finished product, at least at this level.

Also steer clear of difficult jobs that you will not be able to do.
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Old July 15th, 2007, 07:44 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dana Salsbury View Post
One other thought; if the b&g don't mind you moving around during the ceremony, you can shoot it as a music video. This is what we did. I felt like a total distraction, and probably was, but I got shots from every angle of the ceremony because I was not interested in continuity. I also did prep and reception, so I had great footage for the video. Of course it was a free gig, and I literally opened my first FX1 that day:

http://www.legacyhdv.com/shannonvid.htm

A music video is a GREAT marketing tool. It gives couples a sample of your style.
Dana I really liked the audio that you used on that clip .. where did you find that at?
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