This came up so I thought I'd share with you my 'diaster' -as it's called- when I filmed my most recent wedding. It's long, so here we go:
Ok, so it all started off at high school, as I am a senior (class of '07!! woo!!), when our vice principle asked me to shoot her daughters wedding. This was about six monthes ago when she approached me, and I wasn't all too sure on how to price my work. Because she was my principle, I didn't want to go overboard with the price (but now I think I should have) so I charged her $250. Flat.
As it goes, I signed a contract of what I had to film and when I had to be there. The wedding was in March so I had a lot of time, but I honestly never really thought of it until about a week before. My brother was supposed to help me as a second camera man but he couldn't make any of the days, so I had to film all of it with only one camera using my FX1.
Rehersal was the first shoot, which was a couple days before the actual wedding. This went really good. I had great angles and great sound --mainly because they rehersed everthing like several times allowing me to get every possible angle.
Then the wedding came...
So I get there early to set a good image and grab all the possible raw footage of the scenic decorations as possible. Which I do. The groom and bride were both very nice to me and had so much faith in my film because of the credentials my company has. So I film everything at the wedding (parents walking in, grooms reaction, bride entrance, unity candle, vows, kiss, cake, dances, speeches, etc). Once all is done at the church, we move to the reception hall and film the mother/groom dance, bride/father dance, best man speach, etc. I get all of that.. and by now I am on tape 3. Tape 1 was all of the rehersal and half of the wedding, tape 2 was the second half of the wedding and first half of the reception, and tape 3 was the last half and closing. So once I got to tape 3 and just about finish my battery dies (of all things!). Funny thing is, it said I had 100 minutes remaining but realistically it was like 1 minute. So right then I'm like "oh shi*"... so I go and tell the mother and bride. Of course they are upset, and I had forgotten my spare battery at home. Luckily I had filmed all of the essential footage stated on the contract. So I left.
I actually didn't start the editing process until a week later because I was leaving for Disneyland a day after the wedding. But when I got back, I started.
When I used to edit (I don't do this anymore), I did it chronologically. Meaning, I would pop in tape 1 first, edit, move to tape 2, then 3, etc. Well once I finished my tape one, I went in to my bag to grab tape 2. I couldn't find it. So I started to freak out and look everywhere for it (remember, this is the last half of the wedding which included the kiss, cutting of the cake, dances, and speeches). I looked everywhere! I called the ballroom, messeged the church, and did numerous traveling to recall my footsteps. I could not find this tape. Another thing is that I was paid beforehand. At that point, I didn't know what to do. I could edit and try to merge tape 3 with my footage of tape 1 -but it wouldn't flow. I didn't want to tell the bride about this, so I emailed her mother and told her the news. She was obviously very mad and dissappointed.. and I would be, too. So I gave her a day to cool off. Then she got back to me saying I could use some of the photographs from the photographer to fill in the important scenes with a slideshow with music. I already knew this video wasn't going the way I had planned, but I did everything I could to rectify my actions.
When all was done, the video turned out to me 35 minutes and I was quite happy with it. I know that the kiss and all the other things weren't involved, but I had the beginning prayer, the entrance, ring exchange, and the whole "do you take so and so to be your husband?" etc. It was after that scene where tape 2 came into play. The tape I lost.
So I gave the final DVD to the mother (my vice principle) to give to the daughter, and remember, she doesn't know yet. I agreed that I would give them free copies because of my actions, eliminating me giving back the $250.
So the mother showed the daughter the following day. And they HATED it. They wanted all their money back leaving me with $0 in the end, after I had tried so hard to produce a product that would make them happy. I had put so much time into editing it to hopefully make it as beautiful as possible, regardless of the missing tape. I know I had lost important footage, but I at least got them exchanging rings and saying "I do" along with half of the dance and the entire rehersal. And they still hated it. They began to get emotional about it and bring it into my life. I apologized, but I think there is a line where I have said I'm sorry enough. They (as in the bride and groom) began to get hostile and started telling me how I ruined their life story. I was pretty mad now, but I didn't react. They demanded all of their money back, but I told them that I had worked countless hours and I at least derserve $100 for what I gave you. They hated that idea, too. I didn't want this to go any further, and I certainly didn't want them to be on my back.. I wanted them out of my sight. So I gave them their $250 in cash. Leaving me with $0 in the end. I also gave them the all of the raw footage... but no copies.
The mother (my VP) did like the film and gave me $100 of her own money. And I thanked her.
So yeah, that's the story. After this incident I'm not doing weddings anymore. I learned a huge lesson -watch carefully over your tapes!! I am still dumbfounded about it because I have NO IDEA where that tape is. But even if it does show up, the way the bride and groom acted towards me was unacceptable. They thought they could take advantage of me because of my age. Some people are cruel no matter how much you try to make them happy.
I think I'm done now... let's hear your stories!
Thread: Tell Us Your Disaster Story
Results 1 to 7 of 7
04-18-2007 01:09 PM
Last edited by Arcwave; 04-18-2007 at 01:21 PM.tricofilms.com
04-18-2007 01:24 PM
Not to play the judge, but looking at the facts:
You obviously have some concentration problems, we all do some times, but honestly you gave them something to step on, in the end you don't have a choice but to leave with empty pockets, thank God for her nice mother. Then clients are clients they never know what they want but they know how they wanted to look.
After all like some posts in the same content like yours, if someone wants to get the real thing and wants to pay will go to a pro. Which means if they don't go to a pro:
1) It's clear they want to get away as cheap as possible.
2) They will scr*w you for the last penny you have asked.
04-18-2007 01:28 PM
The marriage wont last anyways. :P
04-18-2007 01:35 PM
All that aggravation for $250???? It's so not worth it. I would not even show up for that amount.
If you charge cheap prices, you get cheap customers.You're so money and you don't even know it!
Dan Lewin, Videographer/Editor
04-18-2007 01:43 PM
Did you ever find tape #2?Actor / Musician
04-18-2007 01:50 PMOriginally Posted by Steve_Arm
And yes, that marriage won't last. But no matter, I'll let the pros at it next time. I still have several years to go before I can classify myself as one.tricofilms.com
04-18-2007 01:51 PMOriginally Posted by tommyinlatricofilms.com