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


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Old July 18th, 2007, 09:55 AM   #1
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Weekend event videotaping

Hello, I have the opportunity to tape an event taking place at a camp in Maine. The event will have up to 150 high profile folks there. It is a 3 day retreat with many activities planned. I will not make any money filming the event but can offer DVDs for sale on my website. I believe it is a great opportunity, coming the day after I fly back from the WEVA convention. Any advice on how to shoot something like this?

thanks
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Old July 18th, 2007, 10:37 AM   #2
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Put your 'deal' in writing.
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Old July 18th, 2007, 11:19 PM   #3
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Hi Janice,

If you're close to Phillips Maine, stop in and say hi to my cousins and my Aunt Ruby.

On a more serious note:

What kind of "activities" are they doing ?

What stuff would they like to have for posterity ?

What stuff would they like to be able to review/ look back on ?

Is it a "for fun" retreat, or a more serious "educational" retreat ?

The "How" might be drived from your answering these Q's.

Sounds like you may need more than one Cam/Operator.

Have fun in Maine,

Harold
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Old July 20th, 2007, 06:23 AM   #4
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Camp Reveille

The retreat is going to have yoga, pure sculpt, volleyball, challenges, all sorts of activities. The website was just put up... www.campreveille.com. They are only having one photographer and one videographer. I was invited because I know the personal trainer very well. They will want some of the video to put on their website as this is the first of many retreats. Their site will also link to mine for purchasing the video. We plan to add a form in their welcome package for them to pre purchase the video. We will be getting release forms, she thinks there will be a few who will not sign. I will cut them out in the edit.

My plan is to capture at least 10 minutes of footage from each event. Then edit it all together, perhaps about 60 minutes of finished DVD. Not really sure yet. I am hoping to get some ideas at WEVA also. I will be attending for my first time.


thanks to all for your input and any ideas.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 05:49 PM   #5
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Hi Janice,

Looks like you've got a good direction for planing.

You may find it rather difficult to "edit" out those who fail to sign the releases. If you Video an entire group, it might just be impossible.

The Retreat's mangers should put out the idea that there will be Video and Photos taken, so expect to be seen. They could do this by E-Mail to all participants. Then ask/have any shy folks be sure to get themselves out of the Cam's view when taping/photo-ing.

You could also announce just before you start taping, to give them "on-site" warning to put themselves out of the Cam's view.

This is how I do the Adult Roller Skating Parties I do.

Harold
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Old July 20th, 2007, 05:54 PM   #6
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Harold, great idea to give them a heads up so they can move out of camera view. Thanks for the idea.

Janice
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Old July 20th, 2007, 08:13 PM   #7
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Start rolling BEFORE you give the warning. Then you have a record that you did give the warning...
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Old July 21st, 2007, 09:13 AM   #8
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Good suggestion Vito.

I have another question. One of the events will be a indian counil fire where the participants wak silently down a wooded path into a ampitheater where Amani will be playing drums. This will be at night 8:30-10:00, I am wondering how to capture any of it without spoiling the mood with lights. Maybe some shadows with the focus on the fire and the drumming?

any ideas?
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Old July 21st, 2007, 11:59 PM   #9
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Sometimes trying to light a dark event defeats the purpose. It's a fire lit event. Shoot it with the available light. You may want to boost your gain a bit, just enough to match the light level to what your eye sees. Don't try to make it brighter than what you see, because then you are changing the ambience.

If you have any control over placement of the participants, you could try to make sure they are in a position to take advantage of the firelight.

If you want to use an on camera light, you could tape a piece of gel on it to match the fire colour.
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Old July 22nd, 2007, 06:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janice DeMille View Post
Hello, I have the opportunity to tape an event taking place at a camp in Maine. The event will have up to 150 high profile folks there. It is a 3 day retreat with many activities planned. I will not make any money filming the event but can offer DVDs for sale on my website. I believe it is a great opportunity, coming the day after I fly back from the WEVA convention. Any advice on how to shoot something like this?

thanks
Injecting a slightly cynical note, if you're not going to get paid for this, at least aren't going to get paid enough to cover all of your expenses, and are counting to sales of the DVDs to recover your costs, you need to ask yourself if you should accept the gig at all. Is there anything going to happen that someone will really want to watch again and again, anything going to be said or done that justifys repeating? If not, why will anyone want to buy the DVD? A few people might want to buy a DVD about their retreat right as the weekend ends in the emotion of the moment of parting with new friends etc thinking they might like a souvenir of the experience, but it's not likely you will have the production cut and ready to release by that time and in my experience that drive to posess such a momento pretty much vanishes by the time their car gets to the end of the driveway and turns onto the main road. By the time you get the finished DVD offered up on your site, the attendee's interests will have moved on and new shiny objects will have caught their attention. Sounds to me like the conference centre is trying to finagle you into giving them free marketing video in return for the unrealistic hope you'll be able to sell enough DVDs to recover your costs. Since they want to use this material for their advertising, insist on getting paid a fair price for your work, even if they're friends charge them at the very least enough to cover all your expenses and the depreciation and maintainance on your equipment, etc. No business survives for long giving away its inventory and your business inventory consists of your talent as a videographer. No pay, no play.

----------Comment Added-----------
Just looked at the website. Holy moly!, there's some signifigant bucks invested there and signifigant bucks behind them! They can absolutely afford to pay you the going professional market rate to do their advertising and marketing video work. Make sure they do.
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Old July 22nd, 2007, 03:10 PM   #11
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I'm guessing you're being "comp'ed" for the retreat as it is, that might be better than getting paid!

However, I agree with the other comments, get any deal in writing, and do the math since you will be "working" - looks like this could become a semi-regular gig too, so you want to see how it could be long term.
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Old July 22nd, 2007, 06:03 PM   #12
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I initial thought was the same on the DVDs, who would buy them?? Getting them to pre-purchase though would potentially sell more. I don't expect to make any money at it, enough to cover the depreciation on the equipment and hopefully a little extra. However, I do feel it is good exposure and experience.

I definitely agree with getting it in writing. Thanks for all your input.
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Old July 22nd, 2007, 06:37 PM   #13
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Hi Janice,

If you are not making money out of this then treat it as a loss-leader to build future work for you.

You say it's good exposure - well make it so!

In return for your low cost filming, how about arranging to have a stand in a prominent position where folks can pick up a leaflet and a business card.

Maybe produce a 10 Top Tips on Videography briefing sheet which they can pick up too, anything to get your name across.

Make sure the venue people too know who you are and what you can offer for future events.

You may not be making real money on this (although you surely must cover your tape stock, travel, out of pocket etc) but it is still 'business' and treat it as such.

Your filming might be free but maybe charge them a commercial rate for excerpts to put on their website, a DVD mastering charge, duplication, cover design, packaging etc etc.
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