Backlog Free 2018

A MacBook Pro, Glasses and Half a Cup of Coffee Displayed on a table

Wedding video production is awesome. Don't for a minute think that we don't love what we do. We often say that "we get paid to party with people on the biggest day of their lives." As wedding videographers, we get a front row seat to the most intimate of experiences, the moments before, during and after a couple pledges to be together forever. This is an honour and a privilege that we don't take lightly. Over the years Prairie Film Co. has been an incredible avenue for us to meet new people, to learn more about love, and to channel our abundance of creative energy. However, for every positive, there is usually a negative, for us the negative comes in the form of what industry pros know as backlog. 

Jordan from Priaire Film Co. editing video on his iMac. 
Lauren from Prairie Film Co. editing video on her MacBook Pro in Final Cut Pro X.

What is backlog?

Wedding video backlog is exactly what it sounds like: a queue of unedited or partially edited wedding videos. Backlog occurs primarily because of the condensed wedding season that we experience here in Manitoba. The vast majority of our weddings are shot between the months of May through October. Every weekend we’re in a new venue, with a new couple, shooting hours and hours of new footage. We’re producing so much raw media content, in such a short amount of time, that the post production process backs up. 

We like to pride ourselves on our punctuality. Not only do we show up on time, but we'll also edit videos in a timely manner. In Winnipeg, it's not uncommon for videographers to take twelve, eighteen or even twenty-four months to deliver final products to a client. We contractually guarantee our clients that we'll deliver films within a maximum timeframe of twelve months. However, we got to thinking, if we can pump out an awesome same day edit on the day of the wedding, what's stopping us from crafting a more refined highlight film before six, eight or twelve months after the wedding date? We got married in the summer of 2016, which is also the summer we shot 25+ weddings. Since then, we've restructured our pricing and have reprioritized what's most important to us. We're now taking no more that thirteen weddings each year with no loss in revenue (crazy right?). While our pricing restructure and recognizing our value as a company could probably have it's own blog post, what it taught us, in brief, was that we can reduce quantity while increasing quality, and everybody wins. After this restructure we decided to get ourselves out of backlog, and to keep ourselves out of backlog. 

Jordan and Lauren from Prairie Film Co. sitting on the couch together. 
Jordan and Lauren drinking hot drinks on the couch

The importance of focused time

Not only are we filmmakers, we're also small business owners. This means we're responsible for basic accounting, client acquisition and relations, social media, website management and so much more. On top of that, we both work forty hour per week positions in the non-profit sector, I (Jordan) as a Youth Pastor, and Lauren as a Graphic Designer. We are led by the passion in our hearts, that being said we don't allow the 'busy' excuse to enter our vocabulary. Sure, we have a lot on the go, but we do it because we love it, and complaining about doing what you love is pretty lame. We've realized that we have an infinite number of distractions and the most important thing that we can do is dedicate time, each and every day, to focused video editing. That means that sometimes we need to turn off the wifi and get deep with a wedding film. Time frames of thirty minutes to three hours where we don't take phone calls, don't check our Instagram and hardly even talk to each other. We're dramatically more productive when we focus... Again, the idea of focused time could probably have it's own blog post too. 

We currently have about eight more weddings from 2017 that need to be completed, and we're aiming for April 21 (Lauren's birthday) as a completion time. If you find yourself in the midst of backlog and need a little motivation, send us a direct message on Instagram or reach out via email. We'd love to share more about the ways we're kicking our backlog for good! Feel free to join us on our ride to a backlog free 2018!