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Thread: Just a few queries....

  1. #1

    Default Just a few queries....

    Ok, so I have read the thread that offers links and articles on how to get started in wedding videography. But there are still a couple of things I am unsure of and something that raises concern.

    I am a film student and I have already filmed and edited wedding videos for two of my cousins on separate occasions. I would now like to take this up professionally part time to get a bit of extra money in. I am confident that I can deliver videos of professional quality providing I can find a client base.

    How much to charge?
    How to bill my clients.
    And the thing that concerns me after reading one of the articles is do you really need 2 cameras? I only have one (a sony HDR-FX1E), which seems to work fine for me. And I can't imagine running around in the background between 2 different cameras would be very practical. Am I missing something?
    And basically any further advice that someone in the know can give me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Default

    I'm sure you'll get some more advice from actual wedding videographers, but I'm a freelance in corporate and creative so I'll impart a bit of advice which I hope is of use.

    How much to charge?
    As far as charge is concerned it very much depends on the service you plan to offer, there are wedding videographers out there who charge thousands and others who charge a few hundred. The ones that charge thousands add value to their services with things like, following the bride and groom from an early stage in the day i.e. showing them getting ready and so on. Also they might add value by gathering old photos, interviewing relatives (not necessarily on the day), using dolly's, jibs, cranes and lots of different cameramen to capture the day from as many conceivable angles as possible!

    Then of course there's post, they might add value by chaptering their dvd adding tons of extras, motion graphics etc. etc. Then of course in their package the cost will be affected with how many dvds they produce. So work out what you're going to do, is it just going to be you covering the event? Are you going to cover the after party and speeches? How long will you spend in the pre-production, production and post production phases? And how many DVDs are you going to offer with your basic package? You'll probably come up with (and I'm assuming you live in the UK) a figure that's no less than 1500 and you'll probably find that's at the low end of the scale.

    How to bill your clients?
    Well this will be a completely personal thing and you'll get more confidence the more top quality videos you produce, but what I would definitely do is download a contract template from the web, just put in 'contract of works template' as your google search term, try and find one for a videographer or at least a creative. That way you can outline EXACTLY what you're offering and what you expect of your clients, this will save you a hell of a lot of headaches in the future. Like I said you'll gain confidence in charging, especially when it comes to getting some kind of deposit, but I'd suggest a one third deposit and then outline in your contract exactly what that means. Is it refundable or not, are there exceptions and so on. Remember contracts are there to protect you and your clients and are admissible as legal documents in any small claim court cases you are unfortunate enough to become embroiled in.

    Do you need 2 cameras?
    Well I guess I kind of covered this in my first point and that of course depends on the level of service you are going to offer, obviously if you did have 2 cameras then the only way to properly man them would be with 2 operators. So you're going to have to sub-contract, paying another operator upwards of 200 per wedding. I wouldn't do this until you feel you've established yourself and you really know what you want and you're comfortable with the type of service you offer. That way you can employ someone and know that what your asking them to give you fits in with what you're offering your clients.

    You've gone the right route so far, offering your cousins your services and getting their weddings on your showreel, get some paid work on the back of those and see how it goes, you might find that what you offered your cousins doesn't fill peoples expectations when they're parting with cash, or you might find that what you offered them is worth X amount (how many hours did those DVDs take you to complete? How much do you want to get paid per hour? work out what X is from there).

    Finally, don't try to run before you can crawl, don't take on too much and build up your business slowly adding skills, services and equipment as you go and most importantly and I'll write this in caps; DO SOME RESEARCH! Phone or get your female friends and family to phone around and see what's out there and how much people charge and are willing to pay, then and only then can you go forth into this business area with confidence.

    Hope that's given you food for thought, good luck!

    Video Production Services Company UK London

  3. Default

    You say you want to go "Professional", then along with the above good advice remember that as well as the hourly rate you want to achieve for your work you'll need to consider the cost of advertising and promotion, public liability insurance, equipment cost and depreciation, equipment insurance, travel and any tax liability you may incur.

    If you will be shooting solo a second camera does give some insurance against malfunction of your camera or media during those vital parts which you must capture, the second shot then becomes a bonus during editing. You will soon find that you'll need some off-camera audio equipment if you want to offer a professional product.
    Last edited by ThomTom; 05-23-2011 at 12:01 PM.

  4. #4

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    Thank you for the replies. But yes, this was another thing I forgot to ask. Are there any legal precautions I must abide by? For example, as you just mentioned ThomTom, 'insurance'. What else do I need to do? I doubt in this day and age it's just a simple case of advertising my services and then just going out and doing it...

  5. #5

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    My 2ps worth. Using 2 cams adds so much more than just another viewpoint. If your main one breaks down, it's a reputation saver and means you may not need to claim (poor production that missed vital scenes) on that professional indemnity insurance you took out. If you have no 2nd operator, keeping the 2nd cam at your side means this can be pointed at guests while you film the ceremony/speeches. It also means you may not need to claim (someone fell over your unmanned tripod legs) on that public liability insurance. Having the 2nd cam opens up all sorts of cam moves that you just can't do with one. Crash zooms to bag the ring shot/cute kid/tender moment. These look so amateur with just one cam, but knowing the 2nd cam is locked off on the same scene means you cut out the crash and edit back in when you're reframed up and focused.
    Travelling to jobs means having kit insurance while it's in your vehicle too.
    A dozen other options for creating great, watchable productions are scattered round these forums too. Essential when your livelyhood depends on getting it right all of the time
    My opinions are just that . . . Mine. It's not personal, but is based on my emotional and professional reaction to requested critique. If you choose to ignore constructive comments, I'll just assume you're a vanity poster and not posting to improve your filming and editing skills.

    Ex A.P.V Videomaker of the year - Ex M.M. IOV Come join my EXclusive club

  6. #6

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    Hello xx.terror.storm.xx

    You will find that more and more events and sites will be asking for you to have at least a basic level of public liability insurance before you can even go on-site. Like Zero mentions above - it's mainly to protect you, the organisers and the event goers. It can kick in if someone trips over your bag or tripod, gets injured and looks to sue you.

    If you have any queries or questions - I work for a business insurance broker - so feel free to get in touch via Online customer support
    Kind Regards

    Tim

  7. Default

    Whilst I wholeheartedly agree with Tim that you should have PLA insurance for your own peace of mind, I can honestly say that in over twenty years of wedding and event video production I've only ever been asked once to show any evidence of holding it, and that was by another videographer who was hiring me as an additional cameraman for one of his bigger shoots.

    Incidentally, going by Tim's username I may be using his company for my insurance.

  8. #8

    Default

    It's only in the last few years that high class venues insist in seeing a copy of the public liability policy before allowing anyone on the premises to film. One venue we regularly film at had a major fire a few years ago and I feel that kick started everyone into this procedure. They require 5million minimum cover too.
    The professional indemnity policy is optional, but if you're doing this for a living it would be foolish to consider not having it, especially for what they both cost.
    Last edited by Zero; 05-23-2011 at 04:04 PM.
    My opinions are just that . . . Mine. It's not personal, but is based on my emotional and professional reaction to requested critique. If you choose to ignore constructive comments, I'll just assume you're a vanity poster and not posting to improve your filming and editing skills.

    Ex A.P.V Videomaker of the year - Ex M.M. IOV Come join my EXclusive club

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Zero View Post
    It's only in the last few years that high class venues insist in seeing a copy of the public liability policy ......
    I guess that I must only be asked to low dives.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ThomTom View Post
    I guess that I must only be asked to low dives.
    Nothing wrong with low cost venues - I started there myself, but quickly realised that getting into a high class market I could spend so much more time on the edit and charge accordingly.
    I immediately noticed that the 1st question asked isn't "how much", but "are you free to film our wedding day"
    Hence instead of 50+ weddings a year we now attend 20 and make better videos and more income
    My opinions are just that . . . Mine. It's not personal, but is based on my emotional and professional reaction to requested critique. If you choose to ignore constructive comments, I'll just assume you're a vanity poster and not posting to improve your filming and editing skills.

    Ex A.P.V Videomaker of the year - Ex M.M. IOV Come join my EXclusive club

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