DV Info Net

DV Info Net (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/)
-   Wedding / Event Videography Techniques (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/wedding-event-videography-techniques/)
-   -   How long to deliver a finished wedding project? (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/wedding-event-videography-techniques/236532-how-long-deliver-finished-wedding-project.html)

Aaron J. Yates June 1st, 2009 02:53 PM

How long to deliver a finished wedding project?
 
I apologize in advance if this topic has been covered recently, but I spent about 20 minutes searching the archives and could not find if this has been addressed.

How long after the wedding do you finish and deliver your products?

This came up as we were filming a wedding recently. One of the bridesmaids commented that she wished she had known about our firm for her wedding last summer. She was married in summer 2008 and had still not received her wedding video. A year is much, much too tardy in my opinion.

I have two classes of people I work for right now -- "friends" and "customers". I am in my 20s, so I have lots of friends of mine getting married, and I'm happy to give them a little discount, as long as they know I'm doing them a favor and so they don't badger me to deliver their stuff the next week. For my "real" customers, I have a strict pricing and delivery policy that I stick to. However, both classes of people tend to expect the video to be delivered even quicker than the photos, even though obviously our work takes much longer.

With a full-time job leaving very little time for editing, my goal right now is two months after the wedding. But we make a 4-5 minute trailer within a week or so.

How do you deal with impatient brides, and what is your policy on dates for deliverables?

Travis Cossel June 1st, 2009 03:03 PM

I tell my brides that we shoot for 8-12 weeks for delivery, but that we don't promise a specific 'deliver by' date as we produce custom projects and can't always anticipate the time that will be required. That said, I usually can deliver a video within 3-5 weeks.

Paul R Johnson June 1st, 2009 03:14 PM

WOW!

I don't do weddings, so had no idea you had such long timescales! My clients get impatient after a couple of weeks. Considering that you all ask for money up front too, I think I should dump my clients and start doing weddings. I get no money up front, get real pushes for the product and then if I'm lucky settlement in 30 days.

forgive my ignorance, but if weddings happen each saturday, you then have 6 days before the next one, and assuming you don't want to get behind, then surely a week tops muct be the norm. If you did two weddings on one day, then it could get sticky - is this what extends the timescale? If it is, then when do you catch up?

What makes two months 'quick'?

I'm not trying to be funny - it's just a bit of a shock. Considering how expensive weddings are, I'm not surprised the brides get upset.

Dany Badaoui June 1st, 2009 03:15 PM

I tell them 12 weeks. Usually give it to them within 6 so they get real excited when it is early. I just like to cover myself for when i am really busy.

Aaron J. Yates June 1st, 2009 03:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson (Post 1151989)
WOW!

I don't do weddings, so had no idea you had such long timescales! My clients get impatient after a couple of weeks. Considering that you all ask for money up front too, I think I should dump my clients and start doing weddings. I get no money up front, get real pushes for the product and then if I'm lucky settlement in 30 days.

forgive my ignorance, but if weddings happen each saturday, you then have 6 days before the next one, and assuming you don't want to get behind, then surely a week tops muct be the norm. If you did two weddings on one day, then it could get sticky - is this what extends the timescale? If it is, then when do you catch up?

What makes two months 'quick'?

I'm not trying to be funny - it's just a bit of a shock. Considering how expensive weddings are, I'm not surprised the brides get upset.

Paul,

I can't speak for everyone, but around here, weddings don't even come anywhere near even paying for the equipment investment, much less for the labor. That means all the videogs around here have full-time jobs in addition to their weekend wedding videography.

So, here's a typical week for me during the busy season, starting on a Saturday...

Saturday morning, get up, get the truck loaded with all the video stuff, pick up my assistant, drive to the wedding, film everything, drive back... a total of about a 12-14 hour day depending on how far away the venue is located.

Sunday, sleep in to recover from Saturday, eat a bite, capture all the tapes from the day before (8-10 hours of footage usually [4 hours from each camera]) which eats up most of the day. I get a little editing in while things capture and a little bit that evening if I'm lucky.

Monday through Friday is all the same: go to work, and after driving home and eating a bite, I might get about 3 hours of editing per night if I'm lucky. But, since wedding video doesn't pay the bills, I generally have at least one gig during the week to film, cutting out at least one night of editing, but probably two nights because I have to edit and deliver the weeknight gig.

So in total, I have about 9-12 hours of actual editing per week. Not nearly enough to edit down 10 hours of tape to an artistic, engaging film. So the next weekend I'm filming another wedding and getting even further behind. I have to wait for the off weekends when I'm not filming to actually get some real work done.

So two months is about as quick as I can do a quality wedding film. If it were up to me, I'd be doing video full-time, but with what brides are willing to pay here locally, there is no chance of that happening any time soon.

Don Bloom June 1st, 2009 04:01 PM

typically I tell them 6 to 8 in the beginning of the season and 10 to 12 as the year rolls on. I do more than weddings although some of the corporate type work has gone away hopefully not for too long. Since I average 50+ weddings a year there is no way I could keep the delivery time shorter although I DO generally get them out a bit faster, but I would rather tell them 10 to 12 weeks and deliver in 6 instead of the other way around. That makes for bad reputation and I as I always say 'you can not buy your reputation' no matter what you psend on advertising.

Jason Robinson June 1st, 2009 08:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson (Post 1151989)
forgive my ignorance, but if weddings happen each saturday, you then have 6 days before the next one, and assuming you don't want to get behind, then surely a week tops muct be the norm. If you did two weddings on one day, then it could get sticky - is this what extends the timescale? If it is, then when do you catch up?

What makes two months 'quick'?

You are indeed a bit out of touch with the wedding market, or at least the niche / boutique market. The thing is, a wedding movie / film isn't a cookie cutter product. Each movie is totally different from the previous one. No Production Assistant script package can swap out clips and get you a finished movie just like the last.

Also, I assume you do not work 7 days a week. Should we? No. I try not to work any more than 6 days a week. So I film on a Sat. I rest on Sun. I now have 5 days left for work. Of those five days, which would you want to devote to getting new business and to marketing? 1 day? 0 Days? I have at least 1 day a week that I spend on my web site, on reviewing ad spending, on new ad research, etc. That leaves 4 days. Of those 4 days, how many are spent meeting with new clients, prepping gear for the next shoot? Ok now there are 3 days left to edit. Of those three days, is there anything else you do in your life? Any commercial productions? If so, how many of those three days are devoted to the commercial business and how many to weddings? May be there are now only 2 days a week left for wedding editing. I have a roughly 100hr post production time line before my movies are finished. I've tried slimming that down a bit, but so far, it always seems to be around that mark.

Those not in the wedding film / movie business or those in the mass market wedding video business seldom understand the boutique business and look at it with astonishment and surprise like you just did.

Jason Robinson June 1st, 2009 08:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aaron J. Yates (Post 1152008)
I can't speak for everyone, but around here, weddings don't even come anywhere near even paying for the equipment investment, much less for the labor. That means all the videogs around here have full-time jobs in addition to their weekend wedding videography.

Actually there are a lot of us that are full time wedding videographers. I am fully self employed. But I started out part time like many others here.

Aaron J. Yates June 1st, 2009 08:54 PM

Jason,

I guess my market just hasn't really caught on to wedding video. Around here, when you mention wedding videography, everyone just expects a lame ceremony-only shoot from the balcony with a handy cam. When I show them our work and what all we do for a wedding, they really love it, but they simply won't pay for it. We're the first vendor to get cut when they're making budget decisions. Which is sad, but that's another thread.

The only reason I can't edit the videos faster is the extreme shortage of time. If I could get some brides to pay the $1500 to $2000 for our services every week, I could do this full-time. But any less than that and you can't make a living. So far, about 8 out of 10 brides turn me down based on cost alone, and judging from what I read around here, I'm way on the low end of the price scale.

Congrats on being able to do it full-time... I commend you and hope to be there some day myself.

Jason Robinson June 1st, 2009 11:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aaron J. Yates (Post 1152517)
Congrats on being able to do it full-time... I commend you and hope to be there some day myself.

Well I didn't say I was profitable or successful (or likely to be in business next year). :-/ I've got a total of 6 weddings this year. And 2/3 book my lowest $1100 package.

Nicholas de Kock June 2nd, 2009 01:15 AM

I try to deliver my weddings within 60 days, editing weddings is a creative process, in most cases the longer I take the better the result. Each delivered product has to be uniquely different from the previous. My editing process is very reliant on inspiration and occasionally when I'm over worked I hit a creative ceiling that blocks all progress. I quit my day job about a year ago not because I was making enough money but because I couldn't cope with the hours anymore, working/editing, I love filming and decided my day job would have to go. I am a full-time editor/director/cameraman/gaffer and employ one editor/assistant to help me stick to deadlines. I'm almost in my mid 20's, I make it financially by the skin on my teeth every month however I have dreams that I'll be successful. I have been trying to deliver my wedding within 7 days however it's almost physically impossible, the editing process takes almost a week, rendering takes up to three days sometimes on two Quad core systems with heavy colour grading. A realistic deadline would be three weeks given that you have the hardware and full-time editor to cope, if you work alone 8-14 weeks is very realistic.

Walt Paluch June 2nd, 2009 03:55 AM

2 weeks max
 
We are full time, with a delivery time of 2 weeks max. There no excuse why you cant have it that quick. Remember this is a part time job for some. When you work full time you expect a check by the end of the week , why should the bride and groom have to wait. If you are working full time and doing this as a part time job you need to put in more hours, or you need to get an additional editing system. We have three exact editing systems. When we make profit from a wedding we put it back in to our equipment so we can keep the Bride and Groom happy. We are booked solid and have a different business model then most video guys. Our goal is to keep our customers happy , and to get there video to them quickly so they can remember what happen on there special day and tell there friends who still haven't received there videos from the other companies they booked with a year ago.

Don Bloom June 2nd, 2009 05:10 AM

Whether you deliver in 2 weeks or 2 months Boutique or Big Box, large market, small market, long form or short form, full time or not... none of this matters. What I mean by that is this; Regardless of the above we all have our own business model and production schedule and as long as our clients KNOW UPFRONT that it will take X weeks to delivery then all of this discussion is moot. I know guys that can pound out a long form wedding in 10-15 hours and do a nice job on it. I personally need a bit more time about 20 to 25 hours. Is mine better? Probably not it just takes me a bit longer. I know guys that can do a short form edit in 40-45 hours. I generally need a bit longer, 50 to 60. Again, not necessairly better it just takes me longer.
I also know guys that do nothiing but editing every minute they can, not me. Never have never will. Especially now as I get older. There is more to life. Now while you young guns can sit there all night and edit after working a full time job, us oldtimers can't, at least I can't plus as I said before I do other work besides weddings but the bottom line is this. If your client knows what to expect as far as expected delivery time and quality of workmanship what difference does it make whether delivery is 2 days or 2 months? BTW, anything over 12 weeks does say to me maybe one needs to re-look at the business model. IMO 3 months is more than enough time no matter what the situation BUT again, everyone is different and there is no set rules about delivery, plus this topic has been talked and argued about before more than once so why don't we just move on.
Can't we all just get along?
O|O
\__/

Tom Hardwick June 2nd, 2009 05:26 AM

Brides have told me - on the plane back from the honeymoon, all she's thinking about and talking about is her wedding film. Seeing how her dress moved, so much they missed on the day, friends who have gone back to Australia, her mum blubbing in the background.

So to remain top of her chart means having the DVDs on her doormat, awaiting her return. And the direct result of this is that they will adore the film and adore you - they'll sing your praises and gush you off a thank you letter.

Every week that passes with no film increases the little things they'll find fault with. It's a direct proportion thing: the discs arrive two weeks after they return, two things she'd like 'fixed'. 4 weeks and she's getting cross. 8 weeks and they've had a big argument.

Have it waiting for them, that's my mantra.

tom.

Art Varga June 2nd, 2009 07:46 AM

I do this part time and position 8-12 week delivery. Getting a quality trailer out within a few days really seems to satisfy my clients and while it might make them more anxious for the final product, they can see that it will be worth the wait.

Art

John De Rienzo June 2nd, 2009 07:50 AM

4-6 weeks in the quieter months, and up to 12 weeks in peak months, ie, from now!

Never had a problem with any clients. Many onward referrals and bookings using this method from satisfied clients.

I do this full time and it's turning out to be an extremely busy year so clients understand this if you explain it clearly to them when you meet.

Cheers.

Jeff Kellam June 2nd, 2009 08:11 AM

Typically 3 months for delivery. My agreement gives a time range and a nice explanation of the time frame. Never had a problem.

I am trying this year for quicker more boilerplate captures, formats and project delivery. And when I still remember the event, I seem to edit it a little better. So I am shooting for 3 week delivery.

Of course every event seems to present some challenge on the audio or video or both that ends up taking much longer than expected to correct. I am also going to run 2 cameras on the reception events and try that to avoid time shifting single cam footage (to get a good shot) in the editing process.

James Strange June 2nd, 2009 03:04 PM

I average about 6 weeks in the off season (Nov-March) and about 8 weeks the rest of the year.

I do this full time, 60+ weddings a year.

As long as the couples know up front how long it takes, I don't see it being a problem.

As many have said previously, I always usually deliver sooner than they're expecting (my forms say 8-10 weeks, but its never usually any longer than 8.

Brides still reccomend me to their friends (about 40% of my bookings come from recomendations) so I don't see that as being an issue.

Philip Howells June 2nd, 2009 08:01 PM

We're full time in professional wedding production and economically it would be a struggle if this was the beginning of my career rather than the end. So with that codicil here's my 2c.

The most important thing in my view is customer expectation. If you give them the impression the programme will be ready for their return from honeymoon, then make it so. If you tell them it'll be three months (end of the season etc), then they shouldn't feel aggrieved if it takes 3 months.

The second element I think is crucial is technique. If you're editing a single camera shoot, then it'll take less time to complete than a three-camera shoot a) because there's less to prepare and b) because you've got fewer choices.

We're three camera and a typical wedding means 12 hours of tape to be taken into the computer in real time plus digital sound off cards in 4x. We multicam edit most of it so the bulk of the programme is quick and efficient. But grading and sound edit and sweetening can take forever when you include rendering. Creative editing of our guest interviews (typically eight or ten people, four or five questions each) takes a couple of days. But then the truly creative summary can take days including the tricksy bits and lots of rendering on the fastest machine we can afford. I tend to agree that no matter how formulaic you make your work, wedding videos are closer to art programmes than corporates.

In comparison, the bi-monthly 60 minute training programmes we did for 20 years for one client could easily be cut together in a day. They were scripted, we had a crew of seven and a computerised shot logging system which gave us a digitising list and EDL at the touch of a button. Of course that type of corporate work can be very efficiently done, but art it ain't.

As far as other activities; we attend 20 or so wedding fairs annually, usually on Sundays. Some are "commercial" ie we pay to attend, others are to support one of two hotels who've appointed us "preferred suppliers". If the business model wasn't so depressed budgetwise we'd be able to buy in help for the marketing and admin but it's not that way. So time has to be made for those activities too.

What I wouldn't want anyone to infer is that we're complaining. Sure weddings are hardwork and we often draw on all 30 years experience to get us out of tight spots, but the environment in which we work is unique - who goes to a wedding to be miserable?

Finally, just a small correction to the impression some have, not all of us gets the full payment up front - we take a deposit and a stage payment with the balance on satisfied completion. And to the man who's doing corporate and not taking stage payments - well good luck and I hope you don't get a big one go into administration on you. AFAIK the whole TV and film business runs on stage payments.

Tom Hardwick June 3rd, 2009 01:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by James Strange (Post 1153027)
I average about 6 weeks in the off season (Nov-March) and about 8 weeks the rest of the year. I do this full time, 60+ weddings a year.

60+ weddings a year is well over one a week so my mathmatics is thinking that you must get each edit completed in less than a week James. If this is so, can't you simply shuffle them all up (after a holiday, say) so that you can deliver last Saturday's wedding edit this Thursday?

I can't get my head around the '6 weeks in the off season' bit.

tom.

Robert Bec June 3rd, 2009 02:01 AM

3 to 5 months and they dont mind as long as i do a good job

James Strange June 7th, 2009 07:08 AM

Tom,

Each wedding, each edit is different, I'm just talking in terms of averages,

My first wedding of the year is usually edited within a week yes, but as time rolls on in the season (2 in a row, 3 in a row, sometimes 4 in a row) the turnaround time gets progressively longer, and thats not even considering the odd day off :)

When i say '6 weeks in the off season' it can take this long due to the stack of tapes still to be edited from the busy season. (ie i shoot a wedding on Nov 1st, I wont get around to editing it until say Dec 1st due to the pre-Nov weddings still to be edited (if that makes sense?)

Its kinda like a curved graph, if the weddings at the start of the year, turnaround time will be quick (as quick as 1 week in some cases) as we get closer to the middle of the year (busy season) it takes as long as 8 weeks, then as the busy season trails off, it comes back down to the stage where I just about get the november weddings edited in time for Christmas.

Then in January, I take some time off, do the marketing thing (fairs, website etc...) and edit the 1 or 2 Dec weddings I had (my dec weddings are almost always in between xmas and new year)

But hey, thats just me and the way I work, the main thing is my clients are more than happy with the product they get, and the timeframe in which they get it.

If all my weddings were spread evenly throughout the year, turnaound times may be different, but the wedding season is the wedding season.

ps, i think I read on the z5/fx1000 thread that you were thinking of getting the z5 and/or the mrc1k? I bi the bullet and got the Z5+CF recorder, best decision I've made.

Coming from an FX7, there' just no comparison, low light (which has always been a pain for me with the FX7) is just great on the Z5, and the CF card recorder is saving me an average of 5 hours per edit (5 tapes no longer needed to be recorded into comp)

So that might speed up my turnaround times a bit :)

Cheers

James

Tom Hardwick June 7th, 2009 08:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by James Strange (Post 1155174)
i think I read on the z5/fx1000 thread that you were thinking of getting the z5 and/or the mrc1k? I bi the bullet and got the Z5+CF recorder, best decision I've made.

Glad you like it James, but it's not the camera to replace my Z1, simply because of the CMOS chips' reaction to electronic flash. These are early days for CMOS in movie cameras and I'm sure it will be sorted, but it sure ain't in the Z5.

OK, a bride who doesn't care hoots if her reception venue is barrel distorted may equally not be bothered by electronic flash only lighting a part of every frame. I'm too fussy for my own good :)

tom.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:42 AM.

DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2021 The Digital Video Information Network