Wedding Videography Special Deal

I’m offering a special deal for couples getting married in Summer and Autumn 2018. As a videographer primarily specialising in filmmaking, commercial and visual-arts shoots, I’m  making the leap into covering more weddings. I’m mindful that there are many couples who may unsure about whether to add videography to their wedding plans. The cost can seem prohibitive, and there are lots of untrained and unqualified ‘videographers’ at the low end of the market. With that in mind, I’m happy to be able to offer a one time only low-cost wedding deal for couples getting married Summer and Autumn 2018. These two packages represent a great deal on professional cinematic videography for your wedding, at an unbeatable price. They feature high quality videography from a postgraduate trained filmmaker specialising in characterful, artistic shooting. I’d love to work with you to get the cinematic look and feel you’d like for your special day. You can see some highlights of my artistic work here, or get an overview of my commercial work here. To book, or have any questions you need answered, you can get in touch here.

Full Wedding Package – € 1100

• Two shooters
• Pre-wedding Consultation (Skype or phone)
• Bride & Groom Prep
• Family Moments / First Look
• Full Ceremony
• First Dance
• Reception Speeches & Highlights
• Beautiful titles and colour grade included as standard.
• Standard Kit Rental included.

Final Videos (all in 1080p HD)
• 2 – 3 minute Trailer
• 8 – 10 minute Cinematic Film
• 20 – 30 minute Documentary

Wedding Highlights Package – € 800

• Single shooter
• Pre-wedding Consultation (Skype or phone)
• Highlights of Bride Prep, Ceremony
• Highlights of Reception & Speeches
• Shooting till First Dance
• Beautiful titles and colour grade included as standard.
• Standard Kit Rental included.

Final Videos (all in 1080p HD)

• 2 – 3 minute Trailer
• 5 – 8 minute Cinematic Film

Extra Special Add-ons (optional)

• 3 * 1 minute videos, resized & optimised for social media – € 300
• Guest Messages Video – € 300
• Custom DVD with menus & full colour cover * 2 copies – € 400
• All Raw Footage on USB key – € 150
• Drone Rental & Operator – € 350
• Stablised Gimble (for more cinematic shots) – € 150
• Filming till midnight (one shooter will stay till midnight) – € 300
• Express Delivery of Wedding Footage (within two weeks) – € 200
• All videos shot and edited in 4K – € 500
• Custom Website to host your video & photos – € 650
• Vintage look – add Super 8, Super 16 or VHS look to your film – € 500

Terms and Conditions

All videos are provided as a high resolution digital download.

Food must be provided for videographers on the day.

Excludes cost of transport to and from the venue, and accommodation if required (e.g.: if filming till midnight option is purchased). This will be agreed with you before the booking has been accepted.

Finished videos are delivered within one month of the big day.

Non-refundable 30% deposit required for all bookings.

Drone Operator subject to availability.

Website option includes domain name, but excludes on-going hosting, which can vary between € 10 – 30 per month for the lifetime of the site.

All prices are inclusive of VAT.

Other Terms and Conditions as per our Client Agreement.

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Why is videography so expensive?

Last summer I graduated from the Broadcast Production Masters in IADT. Since then I’ve transitioned from primarily working in radio, to shooting and editing events. I’ve worked on everything from christenings to concerts, art documentation to theatre promotion, short films to music videos. Over and over again, clients are surprised at the cost of services (even cut price, chance of a lifetime, ‘just this once’ services).

Here are my current rates.

Two things are in play here. One, the market for videography is still not well established in Ireland. For many clients it’s their first time dealing with a videographer. Two, lots of people (from established photographers, to folks who just got a nice camera for Christmas) figure they’ll turn their hand to videography – offering to shoot their friends and family at ultra low, or even no cost.

I thought I’d take the time to explain what goes into making a professional video – from equipment to time. Hopefully it gives a fuller picture of the costs involved.

The Cowboy Factor

zzzz21frFilming is not photography. There are a host of factors that need to be taken into account filming a live event that just aren’t there when taking photographs – from the 180 degree rule to choice of recording codec, from handing aperture changes in motion to dealing with interference from the refresh rates of lighting. Filming isn’t 24 times harder than taking a photograph, but it is significantly more difficult.

Think of it like this – imagine you’re asked to take a photo of a friend. Now imagine there’s only one shot left in the camera, and they’re moving, and the light is changing, and this picture is important to them – maybe its capturing the most important moment of their lives. Now repeat this one hundred times and you’ve got some idea what it’s like to make an event video.

Note – this isn’t to denigrate the artistry or complexity of photography. The best photographs are as complicated to setup and certainly as artful as any film shoot. It’s just that when it comes to capturing real time events, in varying conditions, with high expectations, there are more factors to be juggled when shooting video.

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When you’re filming on your phone, or in the automatic mode on your camera, or just in great lighting – many of these problems disappear, often at the cost of the quality of your final image.

Not F**king up

When you hire a professional, they use professional gear, including but not limited to SD cards, hard drives etc. They also engage in a professional workflow – duplicating and backing up footage as it’s shot, on site and off. This is all to ensure that your project or event doesn’t disappear. That sound is recorded as well as picture. The final edit is there next week, or even next year, when you need it in an emergency and have lost or deleted your copy.

It’s a lot more work than you think

When you’re hiring someone to make you a video, much of the work they do is invisible. This can include, but is not limited to – equipment assembly and disassembly, logging footage (loading it into the computer, labelling and checking each file, backing up etc), reviewing clips, editing, re-editing, colour grading, rendering (squeezing out a final file), and reviewing the export.

Any one of these steps can go wrong in a hundred ways. Rendering alone can take hours on a complicated project, even on a fast computer. There is no such thing as a ‘quick edit’, or a ‘small change’, since changing one element of a video requires re-rendering, then checking over every other element of the newly exported video. Counterintuitively, a short video (say a 30 second advert) can take MUCH longer to make than a long video (for example a single shot of an event).

I could write an entire article listing the intricacies of editing – which depending on the specifics required by the project (the number of clips, number and type of cameras, whether takes are mixed, the different kinds of media involved, synching speech, cutting to music etc) can be enormously involved and time consuming. This is why videos produced by friends or ‘for free’, can take months to appear, never get finished at all or be very disappointing when they do finally get done.

Equipment is expensive

Here is my current filming kit. Here is the gear I intend to buy over the next year. Filming equipment is expensive, really expensive.

The camera is in some ways the cheapest (and arguably least important) element of a filming setup. It’s a support system for the lenses, monitor, microphone, and accessories. One that requires lighting, fast media, and a faster computer and external hard drives to edit its output.

Right now, my gear is close to the most basic setup with which professional work can be done. It’s my experience and eye that differentiate the final product. Even so, my current setup cost several thousand euro to build up. Each time it’s used, it faces wear and tear, and more than almost any other freelance industry – each year it must be upgraded as standards improve and new equipment becomes available.

In addition to a reliable, decent quality camera and editing computer, there are numerous non-obvious yet expensive elements to a pro-filmmaking kit, including things like…

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  • High quality Lenses (600 euro up each, used).
  • Lens adapters (200 euro up).
  • Variable ND filters (100 euro up).
  • Camera cage (100 euro up).
  • Remote follow focus (150 euro up).
  • Gimble (750 euro up).
  • External multichannel sound recorders (500 euro up).
  • Wireless lav microphone kits (800 euro each).
  • Second camera, for multi-angle shoots (800 euro, used).
  • Monitor (200 euro up).
  • Matte Boxes (100 euro up).

The list goes on and on, and whats more, it varies per job, meaning that one setup will not suffice for a varied workload.

Experience

Imagine, you’re on a plane to Thailand. God forbid, as my mum likes to say, you have a heart attack. The call goes out, is there a doctor on board? A hand is raised in first class. The off duty doctor races back towards the hell that is economy and begins to [INSERT 7 YEARS OF MEDICAL SCHOOL TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE HERE]. You survive. What saved your life? Was it a stethoscope?

baby-doctorIt was your doctors education and experience. The training (and more importantly hands on experience) of a videographer / director of photography, is what makes their work worth paying for. In my case, I’d been filming and editing web and short films for over a decade before I decided to turn professional, and embarked on an expensive masters degree. I’d also been working as a radio producer writing, producing, recording, and editing programmes (many of which are directly transferable to what I do now). It’s the thousands of hours I’ve spend on and off sets, shooting, rigging, editing, grading, watching tutorials, reading manuals, and generally learning, that you’re paying for when you hire me. Not just my gear.

Freelance work

Videography, sound recording and editing are for the most part freelance work. That means that the day rates charged have to support the living expenses of the videographer while they look for work and on the unpaid days that will arise for even the most qualified and popular videographer. Like all freelance work it’s paid at a slightly higher rate than full time work, at least in theory. In practice, videographers work for below their official rates all the time – usually for charity campaigns etc. This places additional importance on being paid properly for professional work.

Additional Expenses

Other things can add to the cost of videography significantly, from additional staff (to provide B roll, sound recording, makeup etc), to equipment rental and transport. These costs vary by event, but they can mount up. They’re frequently invisible to the client, as they’re accounted for in the initial quote provided. Sometimes these costs are swallowed in order to help establish a working relationship, or just ease what can be an onerous burden – for example when shooting for artists or charities. In the end they still have to be paid. This may sound obvious – but it bares repeating: You wouldn’t ask a lawyer, builder, plumber or taxi driver to do their job for free. Why would videography be any different?

Conclusion

Hopefully this gives a bit of context to videography pricing – and a hint as to what a great deal you’re getting when a professional does offer you a discount.
Baring in mind all of the above, videography in Ireland is incredible, arguably unsustainably, cheap. Compare the price of filming a wedding here (about 1,000 – 4,000 euro), with the prices for the same service in the US. Now get in touch, and hire me!

Spaghetti D*ck

Just over a year ago, I went along to an event run by Dublin Filmmaking Collective Kino D. Kino Kabaret’s are weekend long filmmaking jamborees. Anyone no matter their level of experience can take part in making a movie – usually lots of short movies. That weekend I helped out with a bunch of short and silly movies, doing everything from acting to sound. In the sleep deprived downtime between shoots I wrote a daft little script. We scrounged some time together and filmed it, my short – ‘Spaghetti D*ck’. Flash forward a few weeks and shot through with enthusiasm for zero budget filmmaking we remade this absurd flick in super ultra mega full colour hd. I’m a big fan of whimsey, and a movie about a man whose equipment is primarily pasta certainly qualifies. Making this silliness helped convince me that writing and directing films was something I could actually imagine doing. It introduced me to a bunch of incredibly talented actors and filmmakers I still count as friends today. Hope you like it. If not, suck a spaghetti d*ck.

Cheap video equipment for sketches and short films

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Over the past few months I’ve been working on ideas for sketches and short movies. Radio is great and all, but the audience for radio comedy is limited and for radio drama, practically non-existent. With that in mind, I’ve been developing some scripts and shooting a couple of test shorts – one of which has made it out into the wild. I’m lucky enough to have some extremely talented friends who’ve amassed cameras, lights and sound equipment and aren’t afraid to use them. That said, I always feel nervous using other folks equipment – if it breaks I’ll have to replace it, and feel awful, and I still won’t have my own camera. Plus, you always learn more when using (and having to pick) your own equipment.

After a few months of ferocious poverty, I’ll soon have a trickle of cash coming in from my latest drama series for Newstalk (more to follow on that, mucho excited). Now’s the time to pick up some very basic video recording equipment. Ideally I’m looking for an easy to use setup that has non-awful picture quality, steady shots, usable battery life, and decently long recording time. Since we’ll be recording sketches, it needs to work in ‘low light’ (in other words, inside a normal house, without additional lighting). And since I work in ‘the arts’ I can’t spent too much on the whole dealio. After buying a bunch of crap over the years I’ve figured out two things 1) you really need to try before you buy, or failing that ask people who regularly use the same stuff 2) the ‘best’ equipment is the equipment you can best use, not what can theoretically do the most in perfect conditions in the hands of an expert. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve sat around on film sets while the DOP fussed with a camera and the light died – complex camera setups make simple things very much harder and longer to make.

I already have a decent sound recorder (the Zoom H6) and mic (Rode NTG2) , which I use for radio work. I also own a cheap DSLR I picked up in the states a couple of years ago – the Canon Rebel T4i (known in Europe as the 650D). Right now I only have the ‘kit lens’ it comes with, which sucks for video, especially in low light. The Canon has a whole bunch of limitations. It doesn’t like to record for more than about ten minutes at a go. The battery dies after maybe 30 minutes of video. It’s slow to focus, even with a good lens. And it’s relatively complicated to use. So here are the options I considered.

Options

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1) GoPro Hero 4 Black
+ cheap steady rig available
+ lots of shooting possibilities due to tiny size / simplicity
+ tiny and easily set up
+ up to 2 or 3 hours battery life
+ numerous accessories (e.g.: batteries, mounts, mic inputs, super long 12 hour batteries)
– really expensive, distortion needs to be corrected in software
– video is washed out

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2) Better video equipment for the Canon – a better film lens, better memory card, longer lasting batteries, and a cheap ‘steadicam’
+ by far the best video quality
+ cheap batteries and lenses available
+ cheap steady rigs available
– much more complicated use
– slow to focus
– limited shot length before overheating / hitting the camera’s file size limit
– good lenses are expensive

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3) A point and shoot camera or camcorder
+ reasonable image quality
+ relatively inexpensive
+ really easy to use
+ reasonable sound in the camera
– point and shoots have very low battery life
– difficult to steady
– looks like video
– difficult to import video for editing

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4) A cheap android phone with a good camera
+ cheapish
+ also a phone
– limited memory (32 gig max)
– shooting a lot could wear out the phone
– battery life
– cameras aren’t good until you hit a pretty pricey phone
– phones break, crash, and get grumpy when wet.

After chatting with a bunch of friends, including camera geeks and comedians who regularly shoot sketches and shorts, this is what I’ve decided to pick up.

What to buy

1 * Sony HDR-CX405 camcorder – 215.00
– This tiny camcorder seems to work unusually well in low light, gets a couple of hours video on one battery, it can transfer video via wifi, and has very good depth of focus and good onboard sound. Hopefully it’ll be perfect for simple sketches.

1 * Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens – 134.00
– This ‘nifty fifty’ lens has a really low f.stop, which the camera geeks assure me means it’s great for low light. It’s also got a quiet STM motor, for less jarring and noisy focusing. It’ll help me learn to shoot video better on the DSLR, and perhaps be good enough for making shorts – although issues with staying in focus, and more complex setup means we’ll probably not use it for sketches, at least at first.

2 * replacement T4i batteries – 20.00
– Cheap, if slightly dodgy batteries should greatly extend recording time on the Canon.

1 * 64GB Class 10 SD card – 35.00
– A cheap if slightly low spec memory card. Should be fast enough for video recording on both the Sony camcorder and the Canon camera.

1 * low cost steady cam rig – 100.00
– This ultra cheap steady cam thingamejig is a little bulkier and heavier than I’d like, but it should work with both the camera and camcorder, and let us do handheld shots without too much horrific shakiness.

Thanks

Thanks to Sean Burke, Seb Dooris, Shane Conneely and Orla McNelis for all the advice.