Interviews with New England Wedding Vendors: Videographers Part 2
This is the second part of my interview with professional videographers in the Massachusetts area. We continue to review the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the wedding industry. Today’s interview features the talented Larry Minick at LMproductions, and Russell Smithe at R.S.V.P. Video.
Keep reading to see what they had to say about the pandemic, their businesses, as well as their predictions for the wedding industry. The precautions they think we should consider moving forward.
A little about the interviewees…
Larry started LMproductions in 2007. They direct, film, and edit weddings, corporate videos, commercial content, live events, and anything in between. LMP has filmed 500+ weddings and produced content for companies like Mott, Boston College, WB Mason, Big Orange Productions, YPO and the State of RI, and many others.
Russell has been a filmmaker since 2004 and is the owner of R.S.V.P Video, which is an abbreviation of ‘Russell Smithe Video Productions’. They offer all types of video services but mainly focus on wedding videography. Russ has worked on 1,100+ weddings so far.
Without further ado, let’s get into the interview!
I started by asking about the overall effects of the pandemic on their businesses, but if there were at least any positives to this. Russell said, “All my scheduled events from March 15 to August 1st have been postponed or canceled. Therefore our team is not working or collecting any revenue.
New bookings have been very scarce with the economy put on hold. This has also impacted incoming revenue. The biggest positive attribute has been the extended break from capturing weddings. I am a workaholic and find it hard to stop. This forced break was a blessing in disguise, I used this time to heal. I do my best work when I am feeling good!…body, mind, and spirit.”
Larry answered, “COVID has definitely had an impact on the business. Three [weddings] were completely lost, and around twenty shifted to 2021 or 2022. Four corporate projects have been pushed back, with one officially canceled because it was a time-sensitive project. I would guess about 50k in revenue is gone from 2020,” adding optimistically, “[But] my dog has gotten in WAY more walks and park time [and] I updated our website.”
Regarding their predictions on the impact of COVID-19 on the wedding industry as a whole, Larry offers a few ideas. “This is the question I often wonder about the most and I keep coming up with multiple scenarios:
Scenario 1: Everything goes back to normal in 2021. Weddings and large scale events are allowed without restrictions. Besides, the business continues as it would have. (This is my ideal situation.)
Scenario 2: It’s possible that the 2nd wave of COVID could happen and 2021 weddings may be affected. Then which in turn might just make all future weddings much smaller and more intimate. I think this would have a big financial impact on vendors.
Scenario 3: Depending on how long this lasts, and how long financial assistance programs are available. It could potentially put vendors and venues out of business. I am not sure what impact that would have on the wedding industry as a whole.
Scenario 4: If COVID is completely gone by 2021, couples could possibly decide they just want smaller weddings in general so they don’t have to worry about reschedules.” I love how detailed and thorough this answer is! Scenario 1 is my ideal situation, too.
As for Russell’s answer, he admits, “I have mixed feelings about this, but I feel more intimate and personal weddings will take place after all this clears. I firmly believe that more attention to cleanliness will happen.
What I hope happens is that the wedding industry comes back stronger than ever. Also with all those small businesses that took a major hit, will have a windfall of work for years to come.”
Whenever regulations are set in place, videographers Larry comments “It all depends on how much longer COVID-19 is around. How do you social distance on a dance floor? Ideally a safe environment for everyone, but not something so extreme that people can’t congregate.”
Russell advises, “I feel that everyone needs to be more precautious on cleanliness, period.”
I couldn’t agree more, Russell! Pandemic or not, cleanliness and sanitation are essential in an industry where we all work so close together. Especially to ensure the wellness of both our clients and ourselves.
Thanks so much to Russell and Larry for their time and awesome answers. Be sure to check out their social media linked below. The next interview in this COVID-19 pandemic miniseries will be publishing soon, so be sure to stay tuned.
VIDEOGRAPHER SOCIAL MEDIA
Larry Minick at LMproductions
Russell Smithe at R.S.V.P. Video