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2 person wedding video business

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Kurt Raihn2 person wedding video business
by on Jan 11, 2008 at 6:21:04 pm

Just a quick question.

What would be a ballpark figure that each person would make in the following scenario:

2 person wedding video business:
1 person travels (4 hours max by car) and shoots.
1 person edits and authors DVD.

What would be the approximate monetary split for a business like this? 50/50, 60/40, 70/30 or ? Who gets paid more?


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TomRe: 2 person wedding video business
by on Jan 12, 2008 at 1:07:18 pm

Why would you ask others these questions ?

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Kurt RaihnRe: 2 person wedding video business
by on Jan 12, 2008 at 3:21:49 pm

Maybe because others have experience and inputs to the question.

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Rick WiseRe: 2 person wedding video business
by on Jan 12, 2008 at 5:53:13 pm

There is no good way to answer this question. Traditionally, Directors and Shooters make quite a bit more than editors, though editors can end up working more days and hence actually earn more total money.

So much depends on the relationship between your two people. I assume you are one of the people, and the other is not a family member -- strictly business. What's tough is the amount anyone can make on a wedding -- which is a tough, tough job -- is relatively small. I shot two of them for free for friends, and would almost never consider doing so for a fee, unless the bride were willing to go very, very high end.

That's not much help. Sorry.

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Kurt RaihnRe: 2 person wedding video business
by on Jan 12, 2008 at 8:01:14 pm


Thanks for your inputs. Your assumptions are correct about the structure of the potential business. As you mention, editing does consume quaite a bit of time but does not necessarily receive the same hourly compensation. I guess I was hoping there was someone on the forum in a similar situation.

Thanks again,

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Zane BarkerRe: 2 person wedding video business
by on Jan 13, 2008 at 1:45:29 pm

[Rick Wise] "Traditionally, Directors and Shooters make quite a bit more than editors, though editors can end up working more days and hence actually earn more total money."

True but this is just a wedding video so there really no director, and the camera person is usually just getting the events as they happen.

One thing that should be considered, is where is the money to pay for equipment coming from. Is the camera operator supplying the camera and the editor supplying the edit suite, or will those things be supplied by both people.

I would say to be fair all the money goes into a business account, and each person is then paid a set hourly wage for what they do. Keep in mind there is more to be done then just shot and edit. Somebody has to go out and bring work in.

You could also do a hourly rate for just the shooting and editing, and then just do a overall percentage of what is charged that goes to the person that brought in the client. Say 10% o of what the client payed goes to the person who brought them in, and the rest of the money is used to pay each hourly.

Don't let technology get in the way of your creativity!

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Kurt RaihnRe: 2 person wedding video business
by on Jan 13, 2008 at 6:37:14 pm

Thank you Zane, you offer some very good insights.


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Steve EisenRe: 2 person wedding video business
by on Jan 13, 2008 at 3:48:30 am

You charge based on the quality of your work. Most guys charge for the porterhouse and deliver the hamburger.

Steve Eisen
Eisen Video Productions
Chicago Final Cut Pro Users Group

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Mark SuszkoRe: 2 person wedding video business
by on Jan 14, 2008 at 7:07:23 pm

Just another way to look at this:

Perhaps the simpler way is to bill separately for the shoot and the edit, and you each keep the money from your end.
This way at least, you only get money for what you did, not what someone else did. Even though your work complements each other and is incomplete without the partner's contribution. 4 hours of driving to the shoot plus maybe 5 or 6 hours to shoot the event plus 4 hours back is roughly 14 hours total. Assuming (not everyone does) that the driving is billed as the same rate as shooting. Some bill portal to portal, some bill from start of work to end of shoot and not any travel. Makes a difference.

Figure the editor takes three hours just to ingest and log your raw tapes before she edits. Then working at a pretty fast pace she might take 4 times the real time duration of the finished product to cut something together, say eight hours to get to "done" but nothing fancy. Eleven hours for the edit, two more to make a tape dub or burn a DVD, you've just about put the same hours in on both sides of the production, you had to wear a tie is the main difference...

If she goes on to do more for the end product, make some cool montages or extra segments like a music video, she's going to add up extra hours over you, and make more money for it. She should: she did more work. Are you wanting a cut of that? Why?

I once was sent by my wedding video boss to talk to an unhappy client. She didn't want to pay full price. She had been quoted a rate of about fifty an hour for a shoot and edit, and said she should only pay a hundred because the finished master's length was 2 hours. We had 2 guys spend six hours shooting four hours of raw tape and eight hours of editing to get her the finished 2-hour master.

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john markertRe: 2 person wedding video business
by on Jan 27, 2008 at 7:27:20 pm


Unless you do a ton of business, neither of you will actually make enough to earn a living full-time It's better if you shoot and edit by yourself.

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Jamie KehoeRe: 2 person wedding video business
by on Feb 1, 2008 at 3:00:29 am

I run a wedding video business and I shoot every production with two cameras and I edit it all myself, except at busy periods when I have had some sub-contractors edit for me for a flat rate. That way it doesn't matter how long they spend on it. Had a few of them that sucked at editing, however and I had to clean up their work so to speak.

I shoot with my wife, I trained her to use the camera, she shoots better that a pro now, I had a tv camera guy shoot for me once, terrible. With my wife, I know what I get in the edit room, albeit some surprises, but generally pretty good. If it is a partner and not close kin, you can work it where you both shoot and take turns at editing, that way you don't get bored and you deliver a far better product to the client and then split the profits 50/50. If one of you is doing the calling, chasing and viewing with clients, then you need to add a percentage for every wedding for that.

Don't know if this can help you, but hopefully that is a start, I have shot over 100 weddings professionally.

G5 Dual 2.3GHZ
Mac OS 10.5.1
2 x 20" Apple Cinema Display
128MB ATI Graphics

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Jane BennettRe: 2 person wedding video business
by on Jun 16, 2008 at 9:07:02 pm

It sounds like you're just starting out, and good luck to you! I'm just starting my photography business too and so far the income hasn't really been enough to support myself, let alone additional employees. But keep on in there and it will all come in time. My advice is to work by yourself until you build up enough of a client base to justify more people, if this is intended to be your primary business. You should also work on getting your name out there-- try listing with as many free vendor listings as you can. is a good place to start. I hope I'm not butting in too much-- it's just my two cents. Good luck, and I wish you all the best! - Jane

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