Need Advice About “unplanned wedding”

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    • #43280

      Unplanned on my part.

      Two long time friends on mine (the bride is related to my wife) are to be married. Now we normally do not have a part with that side of the family. But I just got a call from the brides mother (reason for not having a part) and the groom (who has seen my work) ask the brides mom if I would video the wedding. I told the brides mom (let’s call her BM for short) that i needed to talk to Yuski. She rebutted “are you interested are not” I told her I was but I speak to the bride and groom because it is their video and I need to hear what they want.

      Anyway Yuski is to call me. here is my problem. I am still using a single (1) Sony HD camera. DCR-SR47. I do not have another camera that is as good quality. I still do not know what they want.

      So since i have only 1 camera and I will depend on still shots as well, what would be a fair charge. (YES I WILL CHARGE THIS SIDE OF THE FAMILY)

      I was thinking $250.00 for 10 completed copies and 1 copy of the RAW video.

      Is that a fair price?

    • #181452

      So many of your posts over the past few have reflected some degree of business acumen and common business sense, also reflecting an awareness of your perceived lack of adequate equipment.

      On the other hand many of your posts have indicated that you have quite a bit of knowledge and/or opinion on the subject of video production on the broad scope of things.

      However, to even consider covering a full wedding, friend, family or not, for $250 is beyond my comprehension, and certain NOT smart business no matter WHERE you currently are in the scheme of commercial video production.

      A really, REALLY fair price, no matter what kind of camera or experience you may have, would start at a minimum of $600 and include only ONE copy and NO raw video.

    • #181453

      Earl, you made me work for this post. I had to look up the word acumen. Thanks. I wish I could pronounce it. I will figure it out.

      You are correct it could be a perceived lack of adequate equipment. But I am also very much afraid. Let me explain. I have been “practicing” for this moment. I do not know if you have ever visited my site, but I have 3 of I think 7 weddings that I edited from other people’s shot footage. I can’t speak from a professional view point but I think they are good. People tell me they are. I am going to post my latest one later this week, I think it is the best job I done yet. I had asked the shoot the wedding but was passed up because a “friend” did it for free. Well I ended up with her footage, she did a really good job, 1 TAPE camera. With that about 500 photos it came out all right. But why was I called in. The wedding had disaster after disaster. In the “real” wedding the best man missed his que and ran out of music, I had to add an entire verse. Also for some reason no one got much of the brides parents on film of any kind. That had to be fixed. Also (got to love this) the batteries DIED during the dance with the father and bride. I turned that into a full 2+ minutes from about 30 seconds.

      The bride was not graceful in her walk, and many more mistake.

      My fear, I believe I edit good, but if I can’t line up that shot I get anxious. I remember that I was filming a live event once and I was nervous to get out, in that event I had 3 cameras going. (I have 2 720p’s) and I was saved. But this will be the real deal. And I am worried about walking in with 2 720p’s as a backup.

      Yes I am very worried about everything going wrong on the “real” first run. I know you are right on the price. But I hate that “I told you so” line so much.

      But you are right.

      I will pull the contracts out tomorrow and get them ready. If they sign and it turns out alright I have to go get legit since I now have a first legit paying job. If you knew my wife’s family, you would have said $10,000.00 just to be int he same room.

    • #181454

      Earl here is what I settled on. There are 2 wedding videographers that I can find int his area and here are their sites.!open&U=DDB58668860317B686256E8B00531EC1

      I have undercut both by just a little either in price or better package.

      However if you do not care look over the three packages I have set up and see what you think please?

      Gold Package $1200.00
      1) Rehearsal Coverage*
      2) Rehearsal Dinner Coverage*
      3) Two Camera Coverage (1 720p concealed on stage to capture close up of bride & groom*)
      4) 1 1080p Camera for entire ceremony coverage
      5) Complete Digital Editing of all footage*
      6) Photo Montage
      7) Titles, Graphics, Transitions, Menu & Credits Included
      8) Bride & Groom Background Introductions
      9) Bride & Groom Dance/Groom & Mom Dance/Bride & Dad Dance
      10) 12 DVD copies of Completed Video

      1) Full Wedding Coverage
      2) 1 1080p Camera for Entire Ceremony
      3) Photo Montage of Reception w/Reception Music*
      4) Bride & Groom Title & Menu Effects Only
      5) 6 DVD copies

      1) Full Wedding Coverage (un-edited)
      2) 1 1080p Camera (Stationary)
      3) DVD Menu Effect Only
      4) 4 DVD copies

      I had to offer multiple DVD’s to under cut the other companies. I just spoke to the groom. It is scary when they ask you how much. Now I know the brides dad, well he might as well be the U.S. mint, the guy can make shorts out of $100.00 bills and throw them away. Nevertheless it was still hard to get out and not sound nervous. Anyway the groom is talking tot he bride and they are suppose to come over Saturday to talk things over. The rehearsal is the 19 (my wedding day) the wedding is the 20th.

    • #181455

      Looks like a good place to start, but eventually you’ll want your top package to hit $1,500 minimum. What are your anticipated prices for No. 2 and No. 3?

    • #181456

      I thought I had those up there.

      #2 $750.00

      #3 500.00

    • #181457

      Earl has great advice and I would go with it.

      One more thing – NEVER SELL RAW FOOTAGE CHEAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      If they want raw footage, either make it a gift because you are friends or don’t consider anything less than $1000 for it alone.

      The reasons for this are: 1) This is your base material and is very valuable, as well as there is much of it, leading to point 2) if they see all the footage, invariably they will ask you to include this and include that, mostly piecemeal after you have spent hours editing and rendering causing many hours of extra work on your part, and not caring how this 17 frame clip they must have of aunt Martha makes the final product look.

    • #181458

      Birdcat. Last night after I read Earl’s first post my wife and I sat for hours talking about this very fact. I had gathered from Earl’s comment that same thought about RAW footage. I had never thought about it like that myself. When my wife and I were talking I asked her what she thought a fair price was to charge for the Gold Pack? I also told her what Earl suggested. She thought Earl was too high and she felt that max $250.00 $300 tops. Well I pulled up those web sites I posted here and she was aghast. But then I asked her 1 simple question. I said babe, how many hours do I spend editing a single video (you know that look a child gives you with they figure out why 2+2=4?) well she had that look. She said I spend a lot of time in the office on editing and she had never considered that like a “punch the clock” time job. When I told her that I can spend as much as 200 hours for a 2 hour production the wheels went to turning. Those prices now seemed too low. And she agreed that when I do get better equipment to increase the prices I have currently set. I did this as a hobby for so long and as a kindness for so long that it is going to cause shock waves for some time. But It may take awhile but I think I have planted enough seeds that they will come to me. Over the last two years I have done 45 productions and given away over 2,000 disc as a hobby. My first production was in Windows Movie Maker and was just your basic slid show set to music. I got the inspiration from a friend that got married and the photographer made a slid show of their photos. I remember saying in a room full of friends (including the mom) I can do that better. I was then challenged over and over. Over the last two years some of my friends look forward to my productions. So I know for a short period of time now that i am making a business out of it that it will dry up a bit, but after an event they will pull out cousin Bob’s video then remember or watch one of mine, they will come back I just have to wait this out. I am hoping Yuski calls today, but with my wife’s cousin overseeing the wedding I do not look for it.

      Thanks all Greg

    • #181459
      Grinner Hester

      I did a wedding for some friends last weekend. I covered botht he ceremony and the reception for a flat $2k because they are friends of the family. Wound up shooting 11 hours and will probably edit 3 days so it’s waaay below half price for them. It was fun though. I had forgotten how much fun being a part of people’s happiest day is.

    • #181460

      If I had that camera in your hands I could get $2k as well. Nice camera. I am hoping that by years end…

    • #181461

      The page I have been putting off doing. Any feedback would be grateful, and or suggestions. Keep in mind the above links to my comp around here. So keep that in mind when comparing my rates to others. Also I have an added reason for some of the items on my rates. Note the * at the bottom. Some of the weddings I will end up doing the bride and groom do not have the final say in.

    • #181462

      I am uploading “Josh & Sarai” in 3 parts. under weddings drop down Josh & Sarai

      This is the one that came out “best” IMO. But it was with contributed video. Suggestions on the edit?

    • #181463

      I rendered “Josh & Sarai” in AVCHD. I have cut it into three pieces and still can’t get each piece under 100MB (the limit for weebly) Anyone have a suggestion to compress this small enough. Even is in three parts? I can’t use FLV for weebly even though that is small enough.

    • #181464

      Greg, love your website..check your contacts..thanks Harry

    • #181465

      Greg: The camera you’re shooting with is pretty much irrelevant. If you’re a good videographer you’ll produce adequate video with an adequate camera, increasingly better (technically) video with a more expensive box. That’s a given. The bride doesn’t know and doesn’t care what camera you’re using and, most importantly, cares primarily about the shots you get, not whether they’re in SD, HDV or 3D.

      What’s getting lost in the discussion so far is your costs. The real question in setting rates is this: “How much does it cost me to produce a wedding video,” or any video for that matter.

      You go shoot a wedding and reception; with equipment preparation, travel, and a day at the event, you’ve invested 10-12 hours of your life, maybe more. Then you sit down to edit and create a DVD, investing another 15-20 hours. Lets be conservative and say a total on this project of 30 hours.

      If you charge $600 for the job you are grossing $20 per hour. From this you’ve got to deduct your costs for gas, food, parking, media, insurance, etc., etc. So you’re probably only netting $16-18, and this is before you pay yourself a salary and put aside a “profit” for the business, money which you’ll eventually be able to use to buy better equipment and to replace things as they break or become obsolete.

      For me the basic question is “what is my time worth.” Ultimately I have
      nothing to sell in life except my time and expertise: I’m not willing to
      do this for $10-15 an hour unless I’m desperate to feed my family.

      Given the model you propose, at $600 you’re basically working for free. That’s why, even in today’s financial climate, you’re seeing others who have posted to your inquiry charging $1500 to $2000. At $1500 a wedding you’re grossing $50 per hour for 30 hours of work, which means you might be able to pay yourself a salary of $25-30 an hour, cover your costs and set aside something for business growth.

      I appreciate what you’re wrestling with; we’ve all been there at some time in our business lives. Good luck.

    • #181466

      Thanks guys for all the excellent feedback. I am going to start to put time limits on projects. I did forget to mention one thing about the Yusuke Wedding. I on my own translated everything into Japanese because he sent copies home. That took way too much time.

      I shoot another soon, going to rethink a lot.

    • #181467

      At Weddingmaster, thanks for the props on my site.

    • #181468

      My latest running offer has been $200 per hour of the wedding with the minimum of 3 hours. That includes single camera shooting, editing and delivery on DVD. Customers often find the price too prohibitive.

    • #181469

      Hi All,

      I, too, have spent a lot of time agonizing what to charge family and friends and other “closer than a pure business relationship” projects. Here’s what I’ve decided upon. For really close people (your own kids first marriage) do it free and make it a present. For everyone else such as cousins, in-laws etc, charge costs such as travel, hotel and meals, blank tape, discs etc. Then, add your labor (probably $50-$100 per hour), but don’t charge them for it. Instead, tell them that is the real price and you are giving them a great discount as a present.

      This system works for me.

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