Dragons Den a BBC series in which budding entrepreneurs get three minutes to pitch their business ideas to five multi-millionaires willing to invest their own cash. Two weeks ago two ladies from Clapham came on the show to introduce their idea of handing out a video camcorder to a budding punter to film at their friends wedding and the girls would charge £849.
For the £849 you get a dated Sony camcorder for a day to film whatever you wish at your friends wedding, returning the camera and tapes to the girls, they spend 3 days editing some kind of video together ending up with a DVD.
At first I was horrified at this concept but that depends what side of the fence you are coming at this…
Pro cameraman/editor’s hat…Very unprofessional footage to work with and as we all know you can’t make a silk purse out of a sows ear. This idea turns years of instilling into punters heads that they must get a professional to film the wedding…upside down.
Businessman’s hat…Great if you can get away with charging £849 and doing half the work.
There must be hundreds of wedding videographers cringing at this idea but if you think about it it’s not such a bad idea, who in their right mind wants to spend one more second at a strangers wedding if you can possibly avoid it.
The worst part of the wedding is when the £1500 a day wedding photographer skips off after the mock cutting of the cake and you still have at least 3 hours ahead of you.
The point is if you don’t enjoy being there then it makes sense to let someone else do your job…in fact I will bet the two girls are charging a lot more than many so called professional wedding videographers and they are only doing half the work.
It goes against all professional ethics but times are changing…no one thought 10 years ago that people would be filming weddings with photographic cameras, it’s all changing though I may add not for the better.
Anyone in their right mind will always choose a professional videographer over a DIY Video Bob or Bettie but financially if people in Clapham are affording this DIY filming service with editing and DVD services then you should all be charging £1500 minimum per professional wedding video and I bet thats way off the Clapham average cost of a wedding video…£650 at a guess.
Latterly when I was in the wedding scene I would on occasions hand out a smaller camcorder to see what footage the best man could produce or in one occasion I gave the flower girl a camera, so as you can see this idea is not new but the “extra” footage shot by amateurs was clearly identified and the client got the best of both worlds a cracking wedding video with some extra family input. The important point being 98% was professional and the extra raw footage was cherry picked and even the flower girl was given some tuition on using a video camera.
Good luck to the girls, they should be updating and handing out Sony MC50s, simple solid state camcorders with very little to tweak and cracking HD or SD pictures.
They prove one thing people are willing to spend money on little to no production values and are happy with a few copyright music tracks and an edit on iMovie…how much lower are production values in this world going to drop.
Conclusion : Over the past two days I have spoken to many people involved in and around this topic and it seems this has been good for the wedding video scene in general.
1. It has raised the profile.
2. Given many cheap skates a lot to think about.
3. Given the professional a benchmark for the first time “If you want to film it yourself it will only cost £849”
There is nothing to stop you as a working wedding videographer offering this very same “DIY” service as a starter package or doing what I did and giving various members of the wedding party a shot at filming some footage with a smaller easy to use camcorder.
The best news is the new benchmark starting price is £849 if you are charging less than this you are too cheap !