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Thread: Looking for experience/partner!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Worcestershire
    Posts
    4

    Default Looking for experience/partner!

    Hi everyone. I'm Dan, a 21 year old mature student living in Worcester in the UK.
    I'm currently finishing a course in Creative Media Production which has given me a lot of knowledge so far!

    I'm looking to start my own business, or partner with someone next year, but I understand I will need some experience first.
    I have started to buy my own kit slowly, and I have started with an IMac with Final Cut Studio.

    If anyone could do with a helping hand, or would just like to get a bit more information about myself...you can email me at danieldeanavery@hotmail.com
    I'm friendly, very polite, easy to get along with and an extremely ambitious.

    I look forward to hearing from you,

    Regards,

    Dan
    Last edited by GPM; 11-29-2011 at 12:33 PM.

  2. #2

    Default

    Hi Dan, I can't help you out with what your looking for but I noticed you said you are starting to get some kit together for next year. I would recommend that you keep your receipts so you can present them to the tax man as start up costs. You might be in for a nice surprise. Speak to a real tax adviser for more detail.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Worcestershire
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    Hi Dan, I can't help you out with what your looking for but I noticed you said you are starting to get some kit together for next year. I would recommend that you keep your receipts so you can present them to the tax man as start up costs. You might be in for a nice surprise. Speak to a real tax adviser for more detail.

    Good luck.
    Didn't think of doing that, thanks a lot for the tip

  4. #4

    Default

    As a start up, I advise that you start renting out pro/expensive kit rather than buying cheap that you will always own.
    You can get a 4k camera for 100 for a week-end hire, and if the client is paying you 1200 for a wedding video, It's better than spending less and not getting the right result!

    The next item, Is basically cover your ass any way you can.

    Get rock solid terms and conditions, Try to fix rates and costings on paper, work out if client pays me X and my costs of doing it are Y then my living expenses are ABC I will have this left: ....

    For the first 2 serious jobs expect to make a loss as you will want to win those jobs if you have never done paid work before and you will need to take it as an "experience" and use it as proof to future clients that you can deliver.

    Be very harsh with your content, If a shot is out of focus ask yourself why that shot was not in focus, Audio clear and clean? If not why not?
    There is a world of difference between studying a subject and actually being paid for that work, especially if your freelance!

    I might also suggest you find yourself experience as a camera operator even whilst your still studying, Offer to work on cam op events free of charge, Gain experience in pulling off different shots in a live setting with an experienced director calling the shots.

    Hope this is helpful to you!

  5. #5

    Default Its tough!

    Hi Dan,

    I'm also in the same boat, although a little further down the line. I've been filming weddings for about 3 years for a friends company and have around 30 under my belt but last year decided to set up myself. We've been 'in business since about july of last year. We have a good website and have spent a lot on marketing, computer hardware and software. We have 1 half of our camera kit, a Sony FX1 and will hire the other camera when necessary. We are now (very slowly) starting to take bookings but its a frustrating slow road.
    I think marketing is possibly one of the most important things you can do, its expensive and sometimes seems to bring no results but 100% necessary. I have to admit I am becoming increasingly frustrated at the lack of contact from potential customers but put it down to early days. I'd be interested to know how you are getting on Dan and happy to swap tips!

    If anybody has any marketing tips I would be eternally grateful. At the moment we have a half page ad in a glossy wedding magazine, we attended 3 wedding fayres last year and gave out around 150 sample packs. We have advertised in local magazines and wedding websites but have had little response. As far as i can tell we look professional but sometimes you can be too close to tell. Any comments would be gratefully appreciated.

    Our website is Welcome to the Finch-Horner Productions website! The highest quality, professional wedding video production team around!

    Thanks
    Shaun

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Surrey, UK
    Posts
    10,849
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Shaun,

    You asked for a comments, so here are a couple which may help. Before any of that I'd just say I'm not a pro, nor a wedding videographer so I'm not telling this from "inside" but as an observation. I'm also no expert on marketing!

    Your website looks OK at first glance but the sample clips do not serve their purpose. Every one of the five clips starts with 10 secs of text explaining what the clip contains. Most internet viewers will have hit the "back" button before that 10 secs is up. Put the explanation on the website next to the clip and/or at the end of the clip and possibly a two word. two second (max) summary title (eg "Marriaoke - Sample") at the beginning.

    You compound the issue by then having a 15 second ident at the beginning of each clip. If I'm looking for sample clips for my daughter's wedding, I want to see sample clips - not your logo! I'm already on your website so I know I've only got to hit the back button to fidn out who you are, if I'm suitably interested.

    I just watched all 5 clips (which is what you'd hope a poential client would do). Two and a half minutes of that was filled with explanations and your logo. That's wasted my (or a potential client's) time and only served to make people totally fed up by the time they get to the content.

    As for the content itself, I thought the titles on the "titles" clip looked very much like the sort of stuff I might have done when I first got my hands on Pinnacle Studio five or six years ago. They did not have the very neat, crisp image people have come to expect, and the drop shadow looked really cheap and nasty. Some of this may be down to the compression for Vimeo (though many Vimeo vids are extremely sharp), but whether it's your "fault" or something else in the process, it does not look good against the opposition.

    I quite like the way you've done an " la carte" pricing structure, but I'm not sure it's a good idea to market it that way. When people see "another 100 for this", "another 100 for that" and "another 250 for the other" they may welllook at it that you're there for the day anyway, and obviosly can't take another booking, why are you loading the pricing. I'd suggest its better to give two or three packages with prices explaining exactly what is included, but get them to call for a quote with their specific requirements. (This doesn't change the way you price it at all, just stops them seeing everything as "extras" - like RyanAir and also makes them feel the package they want is more personally customised).

    I'd also drop the tag line "The highest quality, professional wedding video production team around!" Technically, you are - if by "around" you mean around your place of work! But most people will be taking around to mean a somewhat wider area, and, with all due respect, you're not. People will be comparing with other websites where they will see better - that doesn't mean they can afford better and that you won't be perfect for what they want, but if you are claiming to be the highest quality and there is plenty of evidence that you aren't, you come across as bullshitters and people won't want to deal with you.

    Hope this helps
    Tim

  7. #7

    Default

    A few observations from me Shaun, Note that I am extremely critical, Your clients demand perfection and whilst we cannot give them perfection we better get as near to it as we can, Or suffer the wrath of the bride!

    Additional copies of DVD/Blu-Ray - 20
    Additional presentation case from 15
    Wait....so if I want to get a second copy for my aunt/mother/uncle/sister/brother/third cousin it's 35 a DVD for a one hour movie?

    Samples - Enjoy our sample videos which demonstrate the quality of wedding film you can expect
    Your website design has crippled you here, If I want to see a sample of work, I want to see it properly, Whilst your trying to be different, Maybe let people see the imagery as big as they can without making them click full screen, Those little boxes don't "lure" you into your visual story.

    I strongly agree with Tim about the long logo sequence, If you feel you must have it, Stick it at the end of your sample videos.

    Video material, Brace yourself! I'm a harsh critic!
    Focusing on the ceremony video, It looked like a lot of that footage was done from hand-holding the camera, So in the very slow pans and focus pulls, There was a jerkiness to the imagery which was quite distracting, That can be excused during the ceremony when you have to get the shot, But you might have been able to use a tripod for the church shots

    1:20 - 1:30, What happened with the rapid cross-fade? It looked like something that should be in a rock concert? Slow fades and hard cuts are fine for this, But a rapid cross-fade with the slow pace of the music sticks out like a sore thumb.

    The bride walking up the aisle, The focus should be on the bride and groom, Not on the flowers or the service sheet Second camera should have been picking up facial expressions of guests watching the bride walk up the aisle.

    Two cameras, Groom is giving his vows....Oh back of his head, doh!

    Oh no! The vicar was holding the lavilier microphone up to the brides face! If your goal is to be invisible, You should not be intruding on any part of the ceremony, Asking the clergy to help you do your job is not fitting the bill, Sorry! But the photographer would not ask the vicar to hold a spot light under the brides face so he can get a better photo. Neither should the video team.

    One final note, I felt like most of the second camera shots, Most of the cuts towards the end, Were to cover up the mis-haps of camera A, Rather than help tell the story.

    I hope this is useful to you.

    One last note, In the 21st century where most people can stream HD content to their PCs, Why are you giving them low-resolution outputs? if I'm supposed to trust you with 1000+ to make my once in a life-time day look amazing, Surely the least you can do for me is let me see the "full quality" of what my 1000 will get.
    Last edited by Bpotter908; 01-22-2012 at 05:08 PM.

  8. #8

    Default

    HI guys,

    Thank you for your comments, it is good to get constructive criticism. As I said before you can be too close to the business to fully see an outsiders perspective.

    In response to some of your comments:

    Valid points regarding the sample explanations and logo. I'm going to get rid of these from the samples.
    The Opening titles sample was the first that I edited for the site and definitely has some issues that need addressing, think I'll re-edit that one.
    In regards to the tag line, I don't quite know where that came from, it's not on our site as such. I posted the web address not the cheesy strap line! I'll have a word with the web designer.

    Focusing on the ceremony video, It looked like a lot of that footage was done from hand-holding the camera, So in the very slow pans and focus pulls, There was a jerkiness to the imagery which was quite distracting, That can be excused during the ceremony when you have to get the shot, But you might have been able to use a tripod for the church shots
    Most of this footage was shot by me some time ago for my friends company at a time when I only filmed. Since I have starting editing I have really noticed fundamental do and dont's one of them being TRIPOD TRIPOD TRIPOD. I have started to use the tripod as much as possible since I began editing footage I have filmed.

    The bride walking up the aisle, The focus should be on the bride and groom, Not on the flowers or the service sheet Second camera should have been picking up facial expressions of guests watching the bride walk up the aisle.
    Two cameras, Groom is giving his vows....Oh back of his head, doh!
    Oh no! The vicar was holding the lavilier microphone up to the brides face! If your goal is to be invisible, You should not be intruding on any part of the ceremony, Asking the clergy to help you do your job is not fitting the bill, Sorry! But the photographer would not ask the vicar to hold a spot light under the brides face so he can get a better photo. Neither should the video team.
    One final note, I felt like most of the second camera shots, Most of the cuts towards the end, Were to cover up the mis-haps of camera A, Rather than help tell the story.

    This was a 1 camera shoot as my friends company offers both 1 and 2 camera shoots.I added the cutaways as I was concsious of the shot becoming tedious and also to cover up the vicar talking to the groom. The audio of the vows was from my own lavalier mic on the groom, the mic that the vicar had was for the church pa system, I also found that very annoying!

    In order to get the business started and the website up I needed samples so I used footage that I had shot for my friends company. Unfortunately, he sent them to me on a hard drive captured in DV so I had to live with the poor quality. I felt it was a little cheeky asking for the raw tapes. All of my videos will be edited in HD. I'll edit samples in HD from the weddings I have booked this year.

    Really helpful comments guys, thanks.

    Shaun



  9. #9

    Default

    The "tag line" is the title of the web page.
    title>Welcome to the Finch-Horner Productions website! The highest quality, professional wedding video production team around!</title

    Your web designer can change it, if you don't like it but it might be good for search engine optimisation side of things.

  10. #10

    Default

    Hi Shaun - I'm gonna be brutal, but please take it as constructive and take a fresh look at your whole set up. Many 'iffy' aspects have already been mentioned so I'll try to explain why these areas jump out at someone like myself who has built a very successful company with so many more referrals that we haven't advertised for 3 years.
    Firstly, don't waste money on glossy bridal magazines. They used to work . . . Now they don't! Wedding shows, always go for the high quality ones and not the cheaper hotel funded ones. They won't/don't have the marketing budget to attract the sort of clients who will pay the sort of fees you have listed in package 3&4.
    A good, attractive website is a bonus, but as has been said . . get to the point. Show the wedding clips. They know which website they're on and don't need more 'advertising'.
    Sorry, but your package prices are a shambles. Far, far too many options and the top 2 are seperated by 300 and the only extra is another DVD and another hour of filming Aim for 2 options and 2 extras, and always remember KISS!
    Lastly, and by far the most important aspect for you to look at, is your filming and editing. You must have had a very poor tutor if the filming and editing shown on your website is standard. If you're gonna boast about 'the highest quality productions', you really need to sharpen up both filming and editing basics.
    An example, and I've only briefly seen one clip, is the ceremony scene outside of church. The shot is very underexposed, probably due to being on auto, and some very similar shots inside. Your camera position in Church could have ben vastly improved (there seemed to be ample room) by moving a metre to your left. That way you'd have got the classic ring exchange shot, instead of the Vicar's back.
    The editing . . . hmm. I don't know where you learned to cut mid pan/tilt, but it's a huge no no and never, ever works.

    You haven't a long way to go, but please look long and hard at these areas and your productions will be lifted enormously. Your work is your best advertisement and the key to keeping busy year on year. Best of luck!
    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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