WEVA is Getting Exciting Again

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When I first started in this biz only seven short years ago, one of the first educational experiences I had was the annual Wedding and Event Videographer Association (WEVA) Expo. It was STUPENDOUS! I was inspired. The networking was fantastic. And I came away with more ideas I could possibly implement. For the first two or three years in business, every WEVA Expo was like this for me. But somewhere down the line, if I’m honest, it lost it’s luster. It had seemed to reach a plateau. I had gained a certain level of experience and knowledge, and nothing new was being offered. As I mention in an upcoming episode of FilmFellas, the experience got stale. And I don’t even want to go into the drama that happened between 2005 and 2007 when some ex-WEVA “higher-ups” split off to do their own thing. Can we say soap opera?

And I know I wasn’t alone in my feelings. I spoke with so many colleagues who felt as I did, that there was nothing left to learn at WEVA. It was great if you were just starting out, not so much so if you were more experienced.

Well, I’m happy to see that there are changes happening with the expo that have got me excited to go again (which helps since I’m speaking, but that’s not why I’m excited.) I think largely due to the efforts of WEVAs educational guru John Zale, the line up this year is easily one of the best I’ve seen in years. Names like world renown cinematographer Phillip Bloom and his F-Stop Academy partner Dennis Lennie. Wedding cinematographers extraordinaire Patrick Moreau and Konrad Czystowski of StillMotion fame. USC film grad and director of the “Bourne Identity” style concept video “Snow“, Kevin Shahinian. And other amazing new speakers like Ray Roman, Phil Hinkle, Matt Davis, and the winners of the $1,000,000 Doritos commercial challenge, Dave and Joe Herbert of Transit Films. And you’ll have the “usual suspects’ like Mark and Trisha VonLanken, David Robin, and one of my favorites, Brett Culp.

If you’ve taken a break from attending WEVA in the past, I can sincerely say, this would be a great year to return. Taking place in beautiful Orlando, FL from September 14-17. Hope to see you there!

11 thoughts on “WEVA is Getting Exciting Again

  1. Great write up Ron. Your comments on the “lost it's luster” and the great experience WEVA provides when starting out and but not so much when one is more experienced. Well, I like to add that even “the experienced” have to continue to change and reinvent themselves, and WEVA is a place that cultivates innovation through collaboration from individual created possibilities. Looking forward to sharing some possibility and time with you at WEVA, glad that you are attending and leading the way for a great networking reunion.

  2. I totally agree with you Sandy about experienced videographer still needing to grow and evolve. We never stop. I just felt for a while that I was no longer “growing” from the material offered at WEVA. But this year the tides have changed. I think the reason we've seen events like ReFrame, InFocus and that other one form was b/c there was something missing for a lot of people. That's all.I too am looking forward to the networking “reunion.”🙂

  3. Thanks for posting Ron. I haven't renewed my WEVA membership in the last two years. It got stale for me as well. There was also some bitterness involved. Not with WEVA or with any one person, but the wedding industry as a whole. I poured my heart, soul, time and finances into building a great wedding video business and it turned out that my area can not support it. (not the higher end creative work anyway) I thought I could be the best in my area, which I was, but the amount of advertising and education involved to spur people into purchasing a product they didn't see the value in was too much. I believe in always making every video be your best, or to strive to push yourself to do great stuff whenever you can, but I was working HUGE hours, making massive sacrifices and the ROI was dismal.I see Videographers doing great wedding video work, pushing the creative limits, buying expensive gear, getting connected with thew top 1 percent of the wealthiest americans, and that's great. As far as I'm concerned, in my area, it's a pipe dream. I know, there is a national and international market for doing high end weddings, but quite frankly, I don't want to travel every weekend and be away from my family constantly. And then you have the very time consuming editing process awaiting you at all times. It's a vicious cycle. I love story telling. I love the celebration of life that weddings hold. I love the emotional reward, but all that is for not if it ain't paying the bills. I do love WEVA for the practical business side of things and the awesome fellowship and camaraderie we share as video/media professionals. That's how I met you, Ron! Anyway… I would like to see WEVA get away from the “rock star” fantasy world of celebrity Videography and focus more on the reality many, many wedding Videographers face. It's bleak out there. I hate to say it, but in all honesty, If you want to work less for more, and still do weddings, get into wedding photography.

  4. Thanks for your very open and honest comment Tim. I hear you man. As I wasreading your first paragraph, I thought “marketing nationally, marketnationally! You don't have to be limited to your local market.” But, thenyou aptly addressed that issue in saying you don't want to travel and beaway from your family. That is the BEST reason I've heard so far to my”market nationally” soap box. :)I hope your plea will be heard by the powers that be at WEVA to offerprograms that apply to a whole host of videographers. I think this year theyare trying that. There are a number of programs geared specifically towardscorporate video production. But, there is always more room to grow.Lastly, thank you for spelling “camaraderie” correctly. I think only 2 outof 10 people I ever come across know how to spell that word.🙂

  5. I haven't completely given up hope for doing weddings I still do about 10 a year, but the business plan has less and less focus on having that part be the main stay. I would love to travel and shoot international weddings now and again, but having it be my main focus would not be beneficial in the long run. Corporate, documentaries, and narrative film, are the bigger focus now. Narrative film being a dream to plan and work towards. Corporate being a great revenue and steady work flow generator to keep food on the table and money in the bank. Documentaries being a direct evolution from weddings and tribute videos. As an artist, I have a gift to communicate ideas and concepts in entertaining and engaging ways. So many opportunities are opening up for us all!

  6. Thanks for posting Ron. I haven't renewed my WEVA membership in the last two years. It got stale for me as well. There was also some bitterness involved. Not with WEVA or with any one person, but the wedding industry as a whole. I poured my heart, soul, time and finances into building a great wedding video business and it turned out that my area can not support it. (not the higher end creative work anyway) I thought I could be the best in my area, which I was, but the amount of advertising and education involved to spur people into purchasing a product they didn't see the value in was too much. I believe in always making every video be your best, or to strive to push yourself to do great stuff whenever you can, but I was working HUGE hours, making massive sacrifices and the ROI was dismal.I see Videographers doing great wedding video work, pushing the creative limits, buying expensive gear, getting connected with thew top 1 percent of the wealthiest americans, and that's great. As far as I'm concerned, in my area, it's a pipe dream. I know, there is a national and international market for doing high end weddings, but quite frankly, I don't want to travel every weekend and be away from my family constantly. And then you have the very time consuming editing process awaiting you at all times. It's a vicious cycle. I love story telling. I love the celebration of life that weddings hold. I love the emotional reward, but all that is for not if it ain't paying the bills. I do love WEVA for the practical business side of things and the awesome fellowship and camaraderie we share as video/media professionals. That's how I met you, Ron! Anyway… I would like to see WEVA get away from the “rock star” fantasy world of celebrity Videography and focus more on the reality many, many wedding Videographers face. It's bleak out there. I hate to say it, but in all honesty, If you want to work less for more, and still do weddings, get into wedding photography.

  7. Thanks for your very open and honest comment Tim. I hear you man. As I wasreading your first paragraph, I thought “marketing nationally, marketnationally! You don't have to be limited to your local market.” But, thenyou aptly addressed that issue in saying you don't want to travel and beaway from your family. That is the BEST reason I've heard so far to my”market nationally” soap box. :)I hope your plea will be heard by the powers that be at WEVA to offerprograms that apply to a whole host of videographers. I think this year theyare trying that. There are a number of programs geared specifically towardscorporate video production. But, there is always more room to grow.Lastly, thank you for spelling “camaraderie” correctly. I think only 2 outof 10 people I ever come across know how to spell that word.🙂

  8. I haven't completely given up hope for doing weddings I still do about 10 a year, but the business plan has less and less focus on having that part be the main stay. I would love to travel and shoot international weddings now and again, but having it be my main focus would not be beneficial in the long run. Corporate, documentaries, and narrative film, are the bigger focus now. Narrative film being a dream to plan and work towards. Corporate being a great revenue and steady work flow generator to keep food on the table and money in the bank. Documentaries being a direct evolution from weddings and tribute videos. As an artist, I have a gift to communicate ideas and concepts in entertaining and engaging ways. So many opportunities are opening up for us all!

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