Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › Is 15 to young?
August 26, 2007 at 8:54 PM #42756shooting_rubberParticipant
My younger brother wants to know if 15 is too young to start filming weddings? He has been doing short movies for a while with friends and he has a pretty decent camera. So what I want to know is that if you guys think he is too young to start doing weddings?
August 27, 2007 at 12:23 AM #179176CoreeceParticipant
I think it was Henry Ford who said "if you think you can or cannot do something, you’re right"
I would not listen to people that are quick to say that you cannot do something especially without giving a logical reason, but you do have to be realistic.
It would be hard for anybody to just start doing weddings on their own if they do not have the experience or never shot a wedding before. Customers want experience and they want proof of that experience. There is much to know about video production techniques, business and business law. There is much equipment you need to have. (more than just a decent camera) You usually need at least two professional 3-chip cameras ($1000 – $3500 each) plus tripods, lighting equipment, wireless handheld and lavalier microphones and receivers, a good computer with DVD authoring and editing software…etc. Much of this stuff can be rented but you still have to invest a good sum of money and know what you’re doing.
I think it is unlikely for him to be able to have his own business and gain his own clients right this moment. Mainly because of a lack of experience, equipment and laws that might prohibit him from doing this on his own because of his age…This doesn’t mean that he can’t shoot weddings however. I would recommend that he get a solid knowledge of professional cameras, shooting techniques and editing equipment. Have him talk to local production companies about giving him an opportunity to work as a production assistant. The knowledge gained from any professional video experience is priceless. Most people when they start out in video production work for very little money if any at all just so they can learn. When the company is comfortable with your work and trusts you, they will give you more responsibility. I would also recommend getting involved in video production at school as much as he can. Most schools now-a-days have awesome equipment and can help students find production work. (either paid or unpaid)
This business is not always easy or fun (but most of the time it is). The pay isn’t great in the beginning and the people can be real jerks at times, but if he presists, perseveres, doesn’t give up when things go sour, gains enough experience and saves enough money, there is a good chance that he can have his own wedding video production company when he turns 18 when the law allows him to.
I hope this helped. I would also suggest talking to as many professionals as he can that can give him some direction. Videomaker also has some great information on the equipment and knowledge he’ll need to have in order to get started.
I just wanted to add that when I first started I contacted over 50 production companies without a response even though I already had a year of professional experience. After about one year I finally got an awesome job as a camera operator and editor that travelled all over the country producing sporting videos. I now have moved from Michigan to California and work as a professional freelance editor. As I said, persistence and perseverence are very important in this business….Don’t give up! While he is waiting for responses, he should keep practicing and improving his camera and editing techniques and save money. It will also help a great deal if he has a demo reel of the things he has done.
August 27, 2007 at 4:17 AM #179177birdcatParticipant
I cannot say if your brother is mature enough to handle the stress that doing a wedding would provide (you only get one chance and if you screw it up someone is gonna hate you forever). There’s a lot to remember and experience counts for much – both in taping and editing. Also think of the credibility factor – how are guests going to react to a kid filming – they may not take him seriously and that would make for a sub-standard product.
I do think that he should go as a second or third camera and learn as much as he can – That way, by the time he turns 18 or 21 or so, he will have lots of experience as a cameraman and will know just what to do when starting his own business.
He can also learn (if he doesn’t know how yet) editing – A very wonderful blend of art and science, taking not just experience but a good eye and mind’s eye as well.
I started taking still photographs at age 6 and had my first major front page shot (NY Post) at age 20. Age doesn’t matter in some things, but in dealing with the public, and especially in any business venture, perception is everything.
Just my $0.02.
August 27, 2007 at 5:31 AM #179178AnonymousInactive
perfect time for him to volunteer to be second camera for a pro on a few weddings.
It’s not that I think he’s too young to wing it on his own (if he’s really good) but he will have a heck of a time convincing Brides, if you get my point. Even a child prodigy, has learn the hardest thing in life to learn is PATIENCE.
August 27, 2007 at 6:46 AM #179179EndeavorParticipant
So what I want to know is that if you guys think he is too young to start doing weddings?
August 27, 2007 at 7:03 AM #179180AnonymousInactive
In general, no, but I’d be afraid that if he starts doing weddings, he might get angered by an angry or picky bride and/or not being able to do things his way as he would in making shorts, and that may turn him off from production all together.
September 1, 2007 at 9:51 PM #179181AnonymousInactive
Is he too young to do weddings? No, but I would advise him to really sit back and count the cost of doing this.
I’ve always been a video nut. I remember making home movies with my brother when I wasn’t even in my teens yet. But looking back then, I can honestly say I didn’t have half a clue as to what I was doing.
It was actually when I was 15, and I got job in a "real" studio, when I really started to learn about video production. My first job there was timing during live recordings, so they could put everything together on the linear editing units later (yow, I’m already dating myself there!) A few months later I started running a camera, and within a year I was even directing and editing footage. That was when I really started learning how real video editing was done.
It was still about three more years after that before I went out on my own. I started out by doing free wedding videos for friends who were getting married. I used that experience to build a demo reel and a reputation, and before long I bought my first set of decent camcorders.
When I look back on my life, sure, I might have been able to start filming weddings when I was 15, but to tell you the truth, it was better for me that I learned under the tutelage of pros in the field for a few years first, and then slowly stepped out on my own.
But again, that’s just me. When I was 15, I didn’t know what depth of field was, let alone how to reduce it to give me a better picture. Creating interesting lines and the rule of thirds were not yet in my vernacular. I had a lot of learning yet to go. Heck, I still do have a lot of learning to go. The bottom line is that if he wants to give it a shot, he should go for it. That being said, he should also be prepared that it might blow up in his face, and if it does, he shouldn’t be too disheartened from video production.
September 9, 2007 at 6:10 PM #179182AnonymousInactive
At age 15, he may be too young to enter into a legal wedding contract.
January 10, 2008 at 12:11 AM #179183AnonymousInactive
I think it was Henry Ford who said "if you think you can or cannot do something, you’re right"
AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! That is one of my favorite quotes of all time! I never thought that it would pertain to Video making to other people as it does to me! Well That just made me really excited when I saw that
February 7, 2008 at 12:25 AM #179184AnonymousInactive
i’m going to say yes if he’s doing this himself. If he’s helping out with an experienced videographer, then no 15 is not too young. I started helping out when I was 14, started shooting my own when i was 17. You have to get a wide depth of knowledge about different religions and customs to be able to know how to produce a quality keepsake for a bride and groom.
February 12, 2008 at 9:30 PM #179185AnonymousInactive
Does he have any other professional experience? Any quality videos that he can show for portfolio purposes? It can be anything at all as long as it can demonstrate his ability to shoot a good scene and put together a good production. I agree what what a lot of other folks on here have said. If he can do a year or two as second or third cameraman then he can pick up on some things from more experienced photographers and move into his own later.
February 16, 2008 at 6:10 PM #179186faqvideoParticipant
He is probably too young from legal point, too young to enter legal contract. On the other hand, he may offer a fresh look and a hype appealing to the young couples. I agree that it could be easier to start working for established producers. But it’s always worth trying. The necessity of 3 cameras is a myth and often a gimmick to suck more money from the marrying couple. Good professional is able to do wonders with one good camera. It’s a good idea to have a back up camera handy though
Good luck, go for it! It’s a hard work, but pays well and is a lot of fun.
February 19, 2008 at 6:53 PM #179187brandon0409Participant
The necessity of 3 cameras is a myth and often a gimmick to suck more money from the marrying couple. A good professional is able to do wonders with one good camera. It’s a good idea to have a back up camera handy though Good luck, go for it!
I will agree that the necessity for three cameras is a myth BUT… The necessity for (at least) two cameras is not a myth.
Any seasoned wedding videographer knows that you should not have less than two cameras. Personally I use three. I don’t charge any more for three than I would for two. I only have three (plus two extras as backup) for ease of editing. If I am moving one camera and my 2nd camera operator is moving at the same time as I am,both of those shots are out, so the the 3rd camera is there with a nice static shot that I can always rely on.
This 3rd camera has been a life saver more than once. The extra cameras are just backup in case something happens to the others. I usually don’t use or even download that footage.
Yes… I know the argument, and I have already responded once to it a few months ago on these forums.
“A good videographer can make a quality production from just one camera.” And that’s all well and good but it takes twice the time to try to manipulate that one shot to make something that the bride and groom will actually want to (or more importantly) or be able to watch without getting a head ache. An hour long static shot is boring. A besides, why put myself through all of that extra (editing) work when I don’t have to?
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