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Hired to shoot a wedding but not edit??

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Dan Rollins
Hired to shoot a wedding but not edit??
on Apr 1, 2011 at 10:05:08 pm

Sorry if this is a dedundant question.. I searched and couldn't find anything.

I just got a request to shoot a wedding but not edit, they emailed me a very detailed schedule along with the file format they want it in etc. I have not had a request like this before and it honestly kinda scares me. I have a very particular style and I shoot with HDSLR's with a steadicam, so I always have some experimental shots that don't work out, and that I wouldn't want anyone seeing or using! Anyone have any advice for this sort of request?

I would have to spell out some very specific things in the contract.. like do not attach my companies name to your edit! And I think I may still edit together a highlight reel for a promo on my site if the wedding was an interesting one.

Please share any wisdom, warnings or tell me if I should just run from it!

Thanks in advance!!

Cheers,
Dan Rollins - LiveWireFilms.com
HDSLR Videographer (T2i & 7D shooter) - FCP 7.0.3 (Studio 3) - 27" iMac 2.8 Quad-core i7 4GB RAM - ATI Radeon HD 4850 & 17" MBP 2.3 Quad-core i7 8GB RAM - AMD Radeon HD 6750M


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grinner hester
Re: Hired to shoot a wedding but not edit??
on Apr 2, 2011 at 5:50:21 pm

Just charge your day rate for shooting and give em the footage.



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Dan Rollins
Re: Hired to shoot a wedding but not edit??
on Apr 2, 2011 at 6:05:27 pm

I guess I need a day rate then :) This sort of thing is good because it forces me to build out the details of my business plan and pricing. Thanks.

Anyone else have any things I should watch out for? I was going over their request and they are very detailed about having 2 videographers (which we have) and they us at separate locations throughout the day, then only 1 doing the ceremony with 2 camera's and 1 at the reception. My partner is my wife and we have 1 vehicle... so there will be some interesting details to work out here.

Another question.. what are common "day rates" people charge? I was thinking of doing straight hourly but it would be 16.5 hours of requested time between the 2 of us (they want us a second day as well), so the cost would be close to my smaller wedding package.

Thanks for helping a noobie out!

Cheers,
Dan Rollins - LiveWireFilms.com
HDSLR Videographer (T2i & 7D shooter) - FCP 7.0.3 (Studio 3) - 27" iMac 2.8 Quad-core i7 4GB RAM - ATI Radeon HD 4850 & 17" MBP 2.3 Quad-core i7 8GB RAM - AMD Radeon HD 6750M


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Dan Rollins
Re: Hired to shoot a wedding but not edit??
on Apr 2, 2011 at 6:14:12 pm

Nevermind on the "how much is a day rate" question.. this post answered that: http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/11/856379#856379

I would still like to know anyone elses thoughts on things I should be careful of... I learn most from hearing "what not to do" stories. Thanks!

Cheers,
Dan Rollins - LiveWireFilms.com
HDSLR Videographer (T2i & 7D shooter) - FCP 7.0.3 (Studio 3) - 27" iMac 2.8 Quad-core i7 4GB RAM - ATI Radeon HD 4850 & 17" MBP 2.3 Quad-core i7 8GB RAM - AMD Radeon HD 6750M


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grinner hester
Re: Hired to shoot a wedding but not edit??
on Apr 3, 2011 at 6:02:00 pm

I'd say a flat $800 would be fair for all. That gives them documentation of the big day without breaking the bank and gives you some more experience.
As far as advice on the shoot, just know it's the bride's day. If you find yourself trying to decide weather to catch this or that when two things are happening at the same time, the bride is your shot.
afterall, no dude needs a big wedding... or a wedding at all. It's a chick thing.



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Thomas McIntosh
Re: Hired to shoot a wedding but not edit??
on Apr 5, 2011 at 7:22:55 am

[grinner hester] "afterall, no dude needs a big wedding... or a wedding at all. It's a chick thing."

Your statement is not always true. Maybe it is the usual state of play, but in my case, entirely wrong on both counts!

Don't forget that there are still some religious communities in which marriage and the wedding day is viewed as very important by both men and women.


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Thax Clave
Re: Hired to shoot a wedding but not edit??
on Apr 2, 2011 at 10:45:12 pm

If they want two separate entities to do the shooting and the editing, then they are taking a risk.

In the best of these situations a well-informed "producer" would be on-site during the event(s) suggesting shots, watching what is being recorded (maybe with a video monitor,) and taking notes as to time codes, etc.

That producer would then either personally supervise the edit and/or at least leave the notes with the editor.

Barring that kind of supervision, you can only "do the best you can" in covering what's on your shot-sheet (list of shots) and hope that the editor can find everything in post.

(Shooting weddings is not for the timid.) ;-)



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grinner hester
Re: Hired to shoot a wedding but not edit??
on Apr 4, 2011 at 3:49:04 pm

I wouldn't assume it's going to be edited at all. It may just be they want full documentation of the day. I'd not over think it. Again, I'd just quote a day rate and hand em some footage. I did this just the other night for an MMA fight. Couldn't tell ya what'll be used in post. Not my gig in this case. I was hired to shoot it and hand him a tape. Done deal.



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Dan Rollins
Re: Hired to shoot a wedding but not edit??
on Apr 4, 2011 at 4:56:10 pm

Thanks all for the replies! I actually turned down their request because of logistics... having 1 car between my wife & I is a big issue plus some other small things that would make it too difficult and we would have to rent a bunch of gear since we would be in separate locations.

The good thing from this is it was good pressure to look at my rates and think about this type of scenario. If we stop learning, we (and our business) will stop growing.

Thanks again for all the perspectives!

Cheers,
Dan Rollins - LiveWireFilms.com
HDSLR Videographer (T2i & 7D shooter) - FCP 7.0.3 (Studio 3) - 27" iMac 2.8 Quad-core i7 4GB RAM - ATI Radeon HD 4850 & 17" MBP 2.3 Quad-core i7 8GB RAM - AMD Radeon HD 6750M


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Brent Dunn
Re: Hired to shoot a wedding but not edit??
on Apr 4, 2011 at 7:00:46 pm

Why not hire a 2nd shooter with gear already?

I only do this if I have the date open, or if I'm hired by other companies that I frequently work with on projects. I hire them and they hire me, so we know each other's work.

In the future, always ask who is going to edit this and what style they are looking for.

I offer two types of shooting for other people, cinematic and documentary style. I charge hourly rates, because day rates for weddings typically can go from 6 - 12 hours. Indian and Bhuddist Weddings will run all day and into the next morning.

Cinematic requires more equipment, steadicam, sliders, cranes, etc.
Documentary, tripod.

So always ask what type of production do they expect and charge a rate based on not only the hours you are working, but how much gear you need to bring. Just because you are working an hour doesn't mean you do the same amount of work per hour...if that makes sense. I work my butt off shooting cinematic productions. Documentary is a breeze, but boring sometimes.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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Mark Suszko
Re: Hired to shoot a wedding but not edit??
on Apr 4, 2011 at 8:33:51 pm

I think it may not have been a good business move to cancel the gig just for lack of a car... you should have just rented a second car and billed the client in your overall bill... how hard was that to do? The client doesn't care about your transpotation issues, they want to hire somebody who can do the job.

As far as stipulating that you don't want your name on the edited video because you can't control the edit... that's unrealistic and off-putting. You're making yourself seem mercurial for no good reason. Hollowood DP's don't often get to edit THEIR work, but they still don't mind shooting and taking a screen credit for it. If you're shooting is as good as you think it is, no editor can hurt it all that much, and no way you'd be blamed for what the editor does, anyhow.

As far as HOW to shoot this, well, they gave you a shot list, so follow it. And try to do what ENG noews shooters call "Editing in-camera". That means you DON'T just roll indescriminately on everything with overly-long handles of pre and post-roll, and count on post production to sort it out. That's kind of lazy. In news, there is often no time to work that way. You think ahead about what you are rolling on NOW... to what you could have or need as the next shot... you pause the recording, set the next shot quickly and accurately, and hit "record" again. And you're always thinking: I'm on a medium shot now, what shot should I get next, a tight or a wide, or will a slow zoom and re-fame tell the story best at this point?" You're doing the edit, as you are shooting. It takes a lot of discipline, and a good sense of story and pacing, as well as some advance planning. The reward is a final product that plays perfectly, right out of the camera, without any need for editing. This was almost exclusively how I used to work in weddings.


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Dan Rollins
Re: Hired to shoot a wedding but not edit??
on Apr 4, 2011 at 8:53:40 pm

"I think it may not have been a good business move to cancel the gig just for lack of a car... "

Wow Mark, that is a little harsh. You are knowledgeable and I appreciate your input.. it is valuable. I was not going to go into the details of my decision but if you must know, it was more then "the car". My wife has serious health issues right now and I am not at a place where I am comfortable having her away from me on a separate job. Could I hire on someone else.. sure, but I have other things to worry about with my family then to try to nail this down job. The only interaction I have had with this person was a web-inquiry from my website, I have never spoke with him.. he is fishing for prices for his wedding. Plus, I told him I am unavailable for his wedding day but offered my services for an alternate shoot he also inquired about, I also asked around to some other videographers in the area to see if I could find a replacement. So was this good business? Absolutely.

I am definitely green to the event video world but I am not green when it comes to making well thought out decisions. This is a side gig for me right now and will be a couple years before it can be full time.

Thanks for your time.

Cheers,
Dan Rollins - LiveWireFilms.com
HDSLR Videographer (T2i & 7D shooter) - FCP 7.0.3 (Studio 3) - 27" iMac 2.8 Quad-core i7 4GB RAM - ATI Radeon HD 4850 & 17" MBP 2.3 Quad-core i7 8GB RAM - AMD Radeon HD 6750M


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Mark Suszko
Re: Hired to shoot a wedding but not edit??
on Apr 4, 2011 at 10:37:02 pm

Dan, its a little unfair to hold back important background information in the original description of your situation, then complain I didn't take it into consideration.


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grinner hester
Re: Hired to shoot a wedding but not edit??
on Apr 5, 2011 at 3:38:28 am

Shame on you for not reading minds, Mark. Dan's potential cl;ient should have known about the car battery too.
Some people.



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Mark Suszko
Re: Hired to shoot a wedding but not edit??
on Apr 5, 2011 at 4:33:52 am

My main point was that the issues he DID tell me about; lacking a second car or a second set of gear - is never a 100 percent deal-killer, by itself. Either of those issues are resolved with a step-rental and passing on the costs to the client. If the client wants more coverage, more *anything*, they of course can expect to pay more.

If I wanted this gig, I would have called up my local rental outfit and got a price on the extra camera and whatever other accessories I needed, called up Enterprise Rent a car for an estimate on a day rental of their lowest-priced putt-putt car, then added those costs to my regular day rate and whatever my second shooter would charge me, (if it's the wife, maybe nothing, depending on their own internal accounting, but just because she's married doesn't automatically mean she's a "freebie", Lord knows mine isn't) and presented that final total for gear, services, and staff plus time to the client.

I would demand the rentals and second shooter be paid for up front, at a minimum, to take the gig, so I never am a deadbeat to my suppliers and crews. This is an important principle to me: pay off everybody I owe before I pay myself, because in this biz word gets around and your reputation is more important than even your cash flow. I probably add on part of my end for the day to the down payment, so I'm getting "something" for sure, for all the trouble I'm going to. The rest I get on completion, and my profit will come out of that end, after expenses.

If they are not willing to pay that kind of money, and make the down payment in advance, you part as friends and no harm done. It just wasn't a match. You are just not in their bracket and you can't afford to go lower, or you would lose money. They need to find someone else, or re-assess their needs and come down on some of the requirements, if they want you.

But one shouldn't just chicken out of a job because it is more than you usually do. If you can afford the extras being built into the bid, it is worth considering taking the job. The next time you get a client pitch like this, maybe you should swing at it.

This much of it is not rocket science. It DOES require having already established in advance a relationship and a credit line with a local rental house or other source for the extras you may need, able to fill an order on short notice. And a relationship with one or two good shooters who's work you like and who like and respect you and would be willing to be hired by you. With that, you have the tools to take on a wider variety of assignments. And get paid more money for it. That's business. In fact, that's management business. As opposed to a hobby. The higher risk and commitment level brings consummate levels of reward.

The stuff about taking the name off the credits, I addressed that already previously.

I am a tad miffed that we didn't get the entire picture from the OP in the first go, not that this discussion became a waste, - since these issues remain valid subjects for discussion, regardless of the job happening or not - but that it was kind of leading us on when it didn't have to. I didn't write all this to put anybody down, and I don't feel I did. But I can have you speak to my customer service ombudsman, Mr. Zelin....:-) Or my Collections Associate, Mr. Hester:-)


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Brent Dunn
Re: Hired to shoot a wedding but not edit??
on Apr 5, 2011 at 3:41:24 pm

There are always some jobs that I really don't want to shoot. That being said, sometimes I just overprice it so they'll go away, or sometimes, I get surprised, and they REALLY NEED my services and pay up.

This happened recently on a travel job. I didn't want to drive 6 hours and even tried to tell them to hire a local shooter, but they saw my work and they new I had extensive knowledge of the subject matter. Therefore, no matter how much I charged, they were going to pay it. They were happy to receive a quality product and I was happy to finally be paid what I was worth, plus a bonus.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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