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wedding videographer rates

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bruno silvawedding videographer rates
by on Jun 26, 2009 at 5:21:51 pm

Hey guys,

I am an editor and sort of dabble with shooting. Someone recently asked me to shoot their wedding and edit it down for them. This is my first time doing anything like this but I am wondering what I should charge them? They are cousin's of a friend of mine and asked me what I would charge and what I would deliver.
How can I best answer that, rate and deliver?


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Ron LindeboomRe: wedding videographer rates
by on Jun 26, 2009 at 5:34:31 pm

You are about to step into video's Most Deadly Game.

Expectations are never so high and emotions running so intense as they do on wedding videos.

I have done ONE.

I will never do another.

Why?

Bridezilla.

There is a second reason that wedding videos are best kept to the experts that do them all the time, and that is that just as in TV commercials, musical forms, etc., etc., there is a current popular style that many brides want. You better be able to understand and achieve that style or they will be disappointed. (Translation: you better be prepared to have lots of wedding stock animations, lower thirds, wipes, etc., and add lots of cheese.)

It will be the hardest money you ever make and even working with demanding ad agencies doesn't compare, in my opinion. Hitting the demands of BMW's agency was a cakewalk compared to Bridezilla.

My advice? Leave this one to the experts in the field. I know many good wedding/event video editors who do great work and earn a respectable living from it but they all had to pass through the fire to get there.

Your mileage may vary,

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom

Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
- Antoine de Saint Exupéry






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Mike CohenRe: wedding videographer rates
by on Jun 26, 2009 at 6:12:24 pm

What Ron said.

and..

Here is my limited experience:

If your primary job is not wedding videos, do not tell the bride you will give them what the local wedding video guy gives them, because of what Ron said.

Even for the guys who have a day job but do wedding videos on the side, I'm talking every weekend - they still follow the formula and charge a lot.

If you are doing this for a friend, cousin, niece etc, or for a stranger who somehow found out you may be good at this, tell them:

"I don't do wedding videos for a living. I'm not going to charge you $3500 like the other quotes you got, but you are not going to get $3500 worth of wedding video for the $1500 I will charge you. Using my sensibilities as an editor and my non-wedding production experience. Thus, your video will look very good but will be tastefully edited without wipes, motion backgrounds, cheesy animations or immediate playback at the reception. If you want those things, I am not the person for the job. But if you want a video like I would make for my own daughter or sister, then let's go."

That's what I said and did the few times I did a wedding. it is still 8 hours on your feet and 40 hours of editing.

Once you get into the price range of the top guys in your area, you had better be able to do exactly what they do and how they do it - HDV x2 cameras and lots of cheese.

Manage expectations. Go to the rehearsal with your camera. Be prepared for the reception - cake, dances, speeches with the lights on, then pitch black for dancing.

Mike Cohen


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bruno silvaRe: wedding videographer rates
by on Jun 26, 2009 at 7:17:28 pm

thanks guys, so much. this is very very helpful.

By no means am I attempting to do this on more than a rare occasion. I am simply doing a favor to some extra cash and I understand the couple doesn't want to spend $3000 for a professional.
I have a camera but don't have any lights or anything. Is there any equip that I should def acquire?


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Mark SuszkoRe: wedding videographer rates
by on Jun 26, 2009 at 7:40:23 pm

Good tripod. Wireless lapel mic for the groom. A way to tap into the church audio system. Second backup camera for a wider angle/cutaway if you can rent one. Camera light for the reception, you generally are not allowed lights in the church. Go to the practice rehearsal, work out the blocking and where the best place is for your tripod to getg everything. And check with the priest or minister or rabbi or mullah that you are okay to be there and what the house rules are.

I was always more nervous than the bride, doing these; they are high-stress, low pay.

Figure your editing hours well ebfore you make your quote: if you saya fixed price then spend twice as many hours as you planned, you're losing money. Bill in thirds: one third up front to secure the date and you use that money to pay for your rentals. The other third at the reception, the final third when you hand over the master and dubs.


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Zane BarkerRe: wedding videographer rates
by on Jun 27, 2009 at 4:14:11 am

[bruno silva] "I understand the couple doesn't want to spend $3000 for a professional"

Well in my opinion wedding videographers charge such high rates because of the mess they have to deal with in that type of business.

And there is one thing worse then bridezilla, and that is the mother.



There are no "technical solutions" to your "artistic problems".
Don't let technology get in the way of your creativity!



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Franklin McMahonRe: wedding videographer rates
by on Jun 28, 2009 at 3:59:52 pm


Video professionals getting into wedding productions is a dangerous mix, because most approach weddings like its the super bowl, no over-coverage is too much. I have filmed and photographed many weddings back in the day (I am in to other types of productions these days) and with my broadcast background I first approached it like a huge event (so..lets get the brides maids set up with the wireless lavs...) and it was amazingly exhausting.

Then it dawned on me...I was focused on the backlight clamped to the rafter and not on the people. I then started investigating different types of how weddings were shot and started to look at many that were covered "journalistically", more like an embedded reporter, covering the people and emotions (not a stretch...I've had a few weddings that were like a war zone..)

Suddenly I was not looking at a printed-out flow chart and orchestrating with the bride, but was more like a guest who happened to be capturing moments in real time. Instead of cheesy smiley poses, I captured the energy and fun and people. I realized the way I used to do it, not wanting to miss a thing, was about 10x more work. And 20x more editing.

Now of course you do have to capture some of the standard items, but when you look back, and also when you look back with the couple, instead of a generic record of the mechanics of an event, you capture the spirit and the "aura" of the big day. Think more indie handheld than block buster epic.

A good benchmark is receptions. Many shoot the ENTIRE thing. First hour you get 90%, 2nd hour you pick up extra stuff. 3rd hour you are repeating yourself, 4th hour you are spinning your wheels. Adding "2 hours of reception coverage" may be the best thing you can add to your contract. I did this and at the end of two hours got great hugs, thank you's and goodbyes from the clients...instead of hour 4 wondering to myself "is it OK to leave now?..."

And I can tell you from experience, my clients were 100 times happier with this indie style. Seriously, the brides especially loved the style. And it really set me apart from all the generic wedding videographers. You wondered how much you should charge, first though, ponder how you will do it.

My advice is to capture "the day" rather than "the event". Trying to control an uncontrollable event will leave you exhausted and disappointed, and whatever rate you charge will not be enough. Don't try to lead the event like most videographers do, follow the event in real-time and capture what is happening.

Frank

http://www.fmstudio.com/Wedding/Wedding.html

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CreativeCow.net PODCAST
frank@fmstudio.com
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Media Artist Secrets Blog: FranklinMcMahon.com
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bruno silvaRe: wedding videographer rates
by on Jun 29, 2009 at 2:50:12 pm

wow. extremely helpful. I will def take that approach as well. I'll map things out and come up with a decent rate. if anyone else has input, please im all ears!


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grinner hesterRe: wedding videographer rates
by on Jun 29, 2009 at 12:07:28 pm

start at 2k and go up from there. You'll not find a tougher client than the mother of the bride. I once spent 18 hours shooting a gig then 4 daze posting it. The mother of the bride did not like the video. It was not from a production stand point, her beef was "Why does my daughter look fat!?" Now, I know I could have diplomaticly explained the camera adds 10 pounds but I wasn't about to take blame for a decade of twinkies at night. I simply explained "because she's really chubby and shoe-horned into a really tight white dress."




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Chris DurhamRe: wedding videographer rates
by on Jun 29, 2009 at 6:23:55 pm

Well you guys are scaring the Hell out of me. I've agreed to shoot a wedding in August - actually helping a friend: He's tired of shooting them and his wife's the photographer. I've already edited one for him before and it was the dullest thing I've ever done. Oh well, it will be interesting if nothing else.


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John BaumchenRe: wedding videographer rates
by on Jun 30, 2009 at 9:12:37 pm

The memories just came flooding back. 10-12 hours on your feet running all day, into the night. 40 hours of editing, dealing with bride and momzilla.

I did my last wedding over 12 years ago, was talking to the photographer who was being paid $5K to do stills! I had to dicker and negotiate like I'd never had to before to get paid $2100 for 6 days work. I alomst put the video camera away to grab the Nikon but decided I really didn't want to do weddings.

Good luck to those who feel inclined to enter the world of wedding video.


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Shay CarriereRe: wedding videographer rates
by on Jul 9, 2009 at 1:25:14 pm

I fully agree with John; It killed me to know that the photographer was making twice as much money for half the total hours put in, and was probably commended by the bride and groom for their reasonable prices while I would be grinding for however much I could get.

On another note; editing weddings without some sort of template in mind; stock footage, music, etc will make you want to stick your thumbs into your eye sockets.



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Shay CarriereRe: wedding videographer rates
by on Jul 9, 2009 at 1:25:16 pm

I fully agree with John; It killed me to know that the photographer was making twice as much money for half the total hours put in, and was probably commended by the bride and groom for their reasonable prices while I would be grinding for however much I could get.

On another note; editing weddings without some sort of template in mind; stock footage, music, etc will make you want to stick your thumbs into your eye sockets.



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