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Peaches: Videographer Review (UPDATE)

I had previously written a review but I would like to update it since we have received the final product since I wrote the review.  Thanks!

Videographer: Daniel Lee Video: F

Overall, our experience with Daniel Lee Video was extremely negative and was, by far, the biggest disappointment of our entire wedding.

We had never met with Daniel because of the distance between where we lived and his base of operations but we did have a phone meeting prior to booking him and a few follow up calls between the time of booking and our wedding.  Based on reviews and our phone meeting we decided to book him.  My husband called him the Tuesday before the wedding to confirm and everything was all set.  On the day of our wedding, the videographer, a man by the name of Ben, showed up at my door and told me that Daniel had overbooked and was in San Antonio.  Ben told me that he had known for two weeks and was shocked I didn't know and felt badly for dropping the bomb on me about an hour before the ceremony.  I called my husband to confirm that he did indeed confirm with Daniel earlier in the week and he said this was the first he had heard of Daniel not being there.  If he had been sick or had a family emergency we would've been fine with it but hearing that he was overbooked, asked Ben to come two weeks before the wedding, and didn't tell us when we talked to him 3-4 days before the wedding has not sat well with us.  After the wedding, we contacted Daniel to express our disappointment that we were led to believe Daniel would be filming and that someone else showed up the day of.  Daniel told us that Ben would "exceed our expectations."  Eleven months later, we finally got a sample of our video and it became clear that the quality of the video was worse than we could have ever imagined.
 
There were four main problems with our experience with Daniel after the wedding and the video:  (1) We began emailing him monthly 6 months after our wedding (and 3 months after we sent him all the material he needed) to get an update on when we could expect our video.  Daniel frequently noted how busy he was, and other activities related to his interests outside of the wedding video business and told us starting in February 2011 that he would try to have the sample out by the end of the month.  At this point, we are now aware that he did not even look at the footage until April 2011 and we did not receive the sample until May 2011 (wedding was June 2010); (2)  Both the video and audio were extremely poor quality for a majority of the ceremony and the reception, to the point where even Daniel noted that much of it was unuseable (as examples, the footage selected for the big kiss was a shot of our kiss with a cousin standing in front of the stationary camera and we can just barely hear the readings during the ceremony); (3) the videographer, Ben, missed a key toast given by my husband's father at the reception; (4) There is no footage from the end of the ceremony until the introductions and we do not have all of the introductions of our families and bridal party. This is about 1.5 hours out of a 5.5 hour time period from the end of the ceremony to the end of the reception.

Overall, it seems like the video was unprofessionally done and could have come from any relative with a video camera.  The video is poorly framed and lit, is frequently out of focus (especially the footage of the ceremony), the sound is usually muffled or barely audible, and most of the shots taken by the handheld camera are shaky to the point that they are useless.  The video is not anything close to what we expected, especially based on the video samples Daniel pointed us to before hiring him.
 
We were severely disappointed with our experience with Daniel Lee Video since we do not have the video that we expected and wanted or even something remotely close to it.  The package containing the video arrived with a cover letter apologizing for the quality of the video and the delay in getting it to us, and offering us a ~50% discount.  Based on our conversation with Daniel expressing our extreme disappointment after receiving the final sample he voluntarily gave us a full refund plus everything included in the contract as well as the raw footage.  We have finally received all the material and the full refund as of the end of June 2011, although Daniel had to send a replacement check for one he sent us that bounced.  Do not hire Daniel Lee Video in any capacity, and tell your friends.

Re: Peaches: Videographer Review (UPDATE)

  • smw42smw42 member
    2500 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Are there any good videographers out there?!
    Anniversary Photobucket
  • bereasonable2bereasonable2 member
    Third Anniversary 100 Comments Name Dropper 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    Ugh! Sorry to hear that! WTF is wrong with people? How much did you pay? Glad you got a full refund.
  • edited December 2011
    I have a feeling there are good videographers out there, they've just priced themselves so high the rest of us have to choose the subpar options!  Makes me wish I would have been willing to spend the extra money at the time!

    Our whole package was supposed to be $1,350, but it was in three installments so luckily we had only given him $900 when we started trying to get our refund.
  • edited December 2011
    We are using Fiore Films and have seen amazing work by them and only heard the best.

    It seems that when it comes to videography - you REALLY get what you pay for and to get a top notch videographer you need to spend quite a bit.
  • smw42smw42 member
    2500 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I think you guys are right, but it's sad how high "quite a bit" can go! I spent $1750 and was still very unhappy with our service.
    Anniversary Photobucket
  • edited December 2011
    I didnt get ine back yet, but do really expect to be happy w/ ours- he was so graet the day of-  1-2 Remember Studios
  • edited December 2011
    I spent $750 and I was really happy with my video, so I'd say all hope is not lost!  I used IMR Films.  Doesn't USER recc someone less expensive also? 
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  • cindyn9178cindyn9178 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    wow, glad to hear you at least got a refund, but that bouncing check sounds like the icing on the cake! Geez!
  • edited December 2011
    Oh wow!  I'm so sorry to hear about all of that!  I'm logging onto Weebly right now to update your review and I'll make sure that it's anonymous so that you don't get into any trouble with them (legal or otherwise).
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  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_new-jersey_peaches-videographer-review-update?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:90Discussion:7f931b00-0e92-469c-aed3-e685f46b0aabPost:2e43d2e7-c8b0-40c5-a76f-dae2c172b530">Re: Peaches: Videographer Review (UPDATE)</a>:
    [QUOTE]I spent $750 and I was really happy with my video, so I'd say all hope is not lost!  I used IMR Films.  Doesn't USER recc someone less expensive also? 
    Posted by Little Spitfire[/QUOTE]
    Yup!  He recommends Tom Brant (who I'm using this weekend).
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  • edited December 2011
    Just realized that two other knotties (Denise and Tara) used Daniel Lee Video as well.  I wonder how their experiences have been in terms of getting their videos (what they already submitted for their reviews doesn't look too good).
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  • jchristeljchristel member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I used him also.  Our issues were minor compared to what I'm reading here, but we did have issues with the reception footage- Ben "forgot" to bring a light, so the footage of our guests having a good time came out grainy and dark- basically unusable.  

    I do have to say that I feel the fault was with Ben the cameraman and not with Daniel himself.  From what he told me, Ben kind of screwed him by doing a crap job at several weddings.  I'm not saying that Daniel is blameless here because ultimately, it was him we signed the contract with & he was responsible for the quality.  His mistake was trusting that Ben wouldn't do a sh!t job.   Daniel offered us a lot in return for the errors and overall we're happy with the quality of our video- we were sad to not have video of our guests on the dance floor, but all of the rest of the footage was great, so in the grand scheme of things, I'm not unhappy.

    I got the impression that he wasn't going to be doing weddings anymore- I might be wrong on that one, but I doubt he'll get much business since most of us found him here.  None of the girls who initially used him post here very often- two of them gave me good reviews, so who knows what happened.
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  • edited December 2011
    Wow. I feel horrible for you all. It's just terrible how some people run a business especially when it's a business tied to the most important day of someone's life. Don't they realize that they are stealing irreplaceable memories? I wish you all can sue for damages. A court should be able to put a dollar amount on the pain and suffering that this causes.

    I'm using GT Modern Creations ( located in Queens). Their pricing is great (husband and wife couple) and I must say the experience has been great so far. Unbelievably responsive. Gabriel responds to my emails within an hour. Distance was an issue for us so we skyped our first meeting and it was so much fun. Crossing my fingers that things go well for the wedding. They sound more excited than me after I sent them pictures of our church. =)


  • bereasonable2bereasonable2 member
    Third Anniversary 100 Comments Name Dropper 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    I'm beginning to realize how Daniel Lee operates - he just books as many jobs as he can and farms out his work.  His business model is based on volume.  More cheap jobs + more crappy camera operators = more $$ for Daniel Lee.  Then he'll just throw a couple of "freebies" your way to make you happy when your wedding video sucks.  Those "freebies" probably cost him next to nothing.  He also probably pays Ben next to nothing because he's not very good.  If he had more capable camera operators on staff, he's have to pay them more, thus he would either have to raise his rates or eat into his own $$.

    Any way you look at it... mental note - stay away.
  • edited December 2011
    This is very upsetting.  First photography, now videography....where will it end.
    The job market stinks, professional equipment is cheaper than it ever was, and anyone can make a website with a few clicks of a mouse and start a business, so there are many people entering this business that don't know how to run a business and are not skilled enough to do a good job,wedding after wedding.

    We used a touch of class.  Our video came out awesome and they have been around the block for a while.  It seems to get that comfort factor of using a well established pro, it will cost around 2K or so (or higher).

    I've been recommending Tom Brant for people on a budget because I know he will do a good job.  He has been offering a very basic packages at a great price until his new website goes live and he starts a marketing campaign.
    1st Groom

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  • edited December 2011
    Wow! I was *thisclose* to booking Daniel Lee, so glad I didn't! I was skeptical because some of his clips were amazing, yet others he showed us were awful. The bad ones must've been farmed out to Ben. 

    I used Lasting Memories Productions (lastingmemoriesproductions.com) - cost around $1000 and I love my video. 
  • edited December 2011
    I agree that the better companies were 2K or much more when we were looking but it's well worth it when the outcome could be missing parts of your day. We went with Your Cinematic Wedding and they specialize in a wedding film style not a straight video edit. We are very happy.they are very talented.
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_new-jersey_peaches-videographer-review-update?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:90Discussion:7f931b00-0e92-469c-aed3-e685f46b0aabPost:4121721d-6781-44e1-926e-cef9c21dc035">Re: Peaches: Videographer Review (UPDATE)</a>:
    [QUOTE]Wow. I feel horrible for you all. It's just terrible how some people run a business especially when it's a business tied to the most important day of someone's life. Don't they realize that they are stealing irreplaceable memories? I wish you all can sue for damages. A court should be able to put a dollar amount on the pain and suffering that this causes. I'm using GT Modern Creations ( located in Queens). Their pricing is great (husband and wife couple) and I must say the experience has been great so far. Unbelievably responsive. Gabriel responds to my emails within an hour. Distance was an issue for us so we skyped our first meeting and it was so much fun. Crossing my fingers that things go well for the wedding. They sound more excited than me after I sent them pictures of our church. =)
    Posted by Pharo47[/QUOTE]

    <div>
    </div><div>We just set up our meeting with GT Modern Creations and I'm glad you've already had such a positive experience. I keep hearing these horror stories about other companies, and it makes me so nervous. Something like videography is an extra for us (and not necessarily a cheap one!), so with a smaller budget, it sometimes makes you wonder if you should skip it all together and not waste the money on poor quality.</div>
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  • NJgurl19NJgurl19 member
    500 Comments Third Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_new-jersey_peaches-videographer-review-update?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:90Discussion:7f931b00-0e92-469c-aed3-e685f46b0aabPost:4121721d-6781-44e1-926e-cef9c21dc035">Re: Peaches: Videographer Review (UPDATE)</a>:
    [QUOTE]Wow. I feel horrible for you all. It's just terrible how some people run a business especially when it's a business tied to the most important day of someone's life. Don't they realize that they are stealing irreplaceable memories? I wish you all can sue for damages. A court should be able to put a dollar amount on the pain and suffering that this causes. I'm using GT Modern Creations ( located in Queens). Their pricing is great (husband and wife couple) and I must say the experience has been great so far. Unbelievably responsive. Gabriel responds to my emails within an hour. Distance was an issue for us so we skyped our first meeting and it was so much fun. Crossing my fingers that things go well for the wedding. They sound more excited than me after I sent them pictures of our church. =)
    Posted by Pharo47[/QUOTE]


    I'm using them as well, my friends used them and they are so happy with their experience!!!
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