Feb 022011
 

We are nearly there with our new web site. My goodness it take ages though it should be up during next week. We will have a whole new range of wedding videos to show as well as a revamped design. So a really big thanks to all the our inhouse web designers. They have managed all kinds of technical wizardry with the intergration of our tweets and incorporating our Vimeo Pro channel.

Wedding Video and Wedding Videos Check out of last entry
Lanesborough Hotel wedding video

Oct 012010
 

We haven’t blogged for while as we were waiting for the season to end. Thing is, it hasn’t as we will be shooting wedding videos all during October and November. A first for us. Our wedding videographers have shot some great footage in some truly memorable locations which will be showcasing over the winter months. We will also be posting a blog on how to shoot your own wedding video from an inhouse wedding videographer.

May 312010
 

Another biggy in the questions department is HD.
(its all in the “i” and the “p”)

We hope that below explains (without getting too geeky or too long winded) what it is really and what you should watch out for.

HD referrers to a variety of differing resolutions all higher than SD.
HD has 2 main differences from SD – Resolution and frame rendering

A normal SD TV has one set resolution
Which is 720×576 lines or pixels shown at 25 frames per second. The frames are what is known as interlaced – meaning that 1 frame is actually made up of 2 frames lashed together in strips. All the even numbered horizontal lines mixed with odd numbered lines of the following frame. – Kind of like lacing your fingers together but not, as you would need only half the fingers on each hand.

You can watch a HD film on your computer as your screen’s resolution is high enough to cope with the increased information. Your ordinary TV cannot.

Sooner or later everyone will have a HD TV. However while HD TV and HD players should be able to show SD films (just). A film shot in SD can only be “up converted” to HD. Kind of like transferring your old VHS cassettes to DVD. It works but doesn’t look too great.
But films shot in HD can be “down converted” to be shown on an SD TV and looks absolutely stunning.

The two main (there really are way too many to mention) resolutions for HD are 1440×1080 and 1920×1080. We shoot the “documentary” and “television” packages in the former. For the “film” package and the “Diamond Lounge” we use the latter. All HD TVs and HD players can play these resolutions. Most HD movies are in 1440×1080 and most HD broadcast channels are in 1920×1080. So typically a decent new HD player will be playing at 1440×1080 and a decent HD TV can show a whole variety of HD formats including 1920×1080.

In conclusion

However, (other geekier settings) aside, the real nub of the matter is in how frames are rendered. You may often see an “i” in HD descriptions of wedding videography as in 1080i. This “i” is our old friend (and we mean old) interlaced frames. (half the fingers on each hand laced together).
The whole point of HD is that it mimics film. Film is not made of interlaced frames, but full individual frames. This is the main reason why it looks so nice as each frames is literal a still photo. In HD this is referred to as “p”. or progressive scan. Basically “i” is rubbish and “p” is great. While SD TV only plays “i” if your footage is shot in “i” you cannot change it to the far superior “p” later (when you get a lovely new HD TV). You have to “de-interlace” in edit which (and this is why “i” is so rubbish) literally makes up/invents the missing odd and even lines. Not good.

So regardless of all the flim flam that is spoken about HD and wedding videography. If you see an “i” remember that this old technology and “p” is the one of the main advantages HD has over SD.

May 052010
 

A quick update on
“At this time of year we have many people enquire as to best working practices for videographers or videography in general……… we are frequently asked to provide information or recommend another wedding videography or wedding video service”

The London based Wedding TV channel picked up on this resent post and interviewed our technical director to discuss further what to watch out for when selecting a wedding video or a wedding videographer.

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Mar 072010
 

At this time of year we have many people enquire as to best working practices for videographers or videography in general. If we are fully booked for a date we are frequently asked to provide information or recommend another videography service.
So we have decided to compile a 5 top tips list for selecting a wedding videographer or videography service. We do hope you find this list useful when googling through the thousands of videographers and events filming companies that are out there.

01) You are the Producer.

It’s important to set a realistic videography budget before you talk to a videograher.
Then once this is set, contact your shortlisted videographers and tell them your budget and see if the videographer or their representative tries to sell you up. For example if you have decided on a 1 camera documentary feel but the videographer suggests a 2 camera filmic style instead. It would strongly suggest that they are not receptive to your wishes but rather overerly concentrated on upping the budget.
We would suggest moving straight to the next name on your videographer shortlist.

02) Beware the static camera

2 cameras 1 videographer means one person has 2 tripods, 2 tripod bags, 2 cameras, 2 camera bags, endless batteries and 2 cameras to change tapes in. Mr Bean springs to mind rather an image of calm discretion.
The main issue is that the videographer will need to spend valuable time at important moments shuttling cameras around and may well actually loose a lot of important shots.
Then on a more technical note the static camera footage has an odd effect in edit. The editor will use the footage to cut to when the operated camera is being moved or refocused. The effect produced is rather a strange one because the static camera footage feels rather a lot like cctv. Something that the eye is just not familiar with.

03) Who is actually filming

If you are considering using a high turn over videography service. (One that can cater for over 2 events on the same day). An important thing to note is who is actually filming your special day. There is nothing inherently wrong with a close group of videographers working in conjuction. However what it is best to avoid is videographers beginning hired in for the day, through a high turn over videography service. A good question to ask is for the name of the videographer several months in advance. If they are a close group then they should know who will be filming on your day. If not then maybe a far smaller company would be able to supply you with a more personal and skillful film.

04) How old is the equipment

Is a really good question for cutting through the dead wood. Ask for the name of the camera directly. If what follows from the videographer is a lot of guff about this and that format and the latest mahoosey-what thing-a-me, move on. If you do get the name of the camera which should include the brand and its number (for eg. Sony HVR Z7) then give it a google. Age really matters in this business and more than 6 years is pretty old. Popular cameras for videographers are as follows. Sony PD 150 or 170 (way way too old) Sony Z1 or FX1 or A1 or V1 (too old). The Sony Z5 and the Sony Z7 are both very good cameras (we use the latter) and the Sony EX1 and EX3 are excellent cameras (we use both).

05) Style or fashion

In videography terms the shear volume of shots gathered is key to a truly stylish film. The videographer needs to shoot a huge varity of establishing, mid, and close up shots, as well as what are called transitional and 1, 2, 3, and group shots. Then once the footage is in post production the editor is able to select the shots which edit together seamlessly.
However if the editor is struggling to match shots then there is a propensity to reach for the latest fashion in transitions software, to cover the lack of shots. Typically at the moment this would be the, white flash disolve, or the colour burn out. Which may divert your attention now, but in 5 years time it will look tired and cheesey and off course you will notice the mistakes it is designed to cover.
While the carefully implemented and infrequent use of dissolves can look great, if you see more than 2 in a 3 minute showreel it does not bode well for the longevity of your film. Check out our video

We understand that videography is just a part of the many different services you will be using for your wedding day. However a well made film of your special day should be a treasured possession with the ability to entertant for many a year to come. We hope that the above helps you in finding the right videography service.

Feb 102010
 

Welcome to our new blog. Over the course of the year we will document how our clients films are produced, from the initial contact through to delivery of the final film. We hope this will give you an insight and hopefully some ideas when you consider filming your wedding.

We have just completed a NTSC transfer for an American client from Iowa City USA. Unable to attend his niece’s wedding here in London. Dennis decided to purchase one of our packages as a wedding gift. Because here in Europe we use a different system for television, called PAL. It meant that Dennis needed a company that operated pro edit systems to transfer the footage to his native NTSC format. Happily we were glad to oblige and in fact we can transfer our films to any format worldwide.

Towards the end of last season we introduced our new cameras. So now has come the time to take down our old and fondly remembered samples and highlight what those new cameras can do.

After much debate we have managed to select Kathrina and Alistair’s absoulutely lovely village wedding in Dorset, for our example of the “Documentary” package.

Shot in and around  Charmouth.

We selected Kathrina and Alistair’s ¬†Church wedding film in the end as we felt it highlighted how at ease people felt around the camera. Something that we really feel is important is that the film should be about the people starring in it. We have a sort of motto at Portobello Films – invisible but approachable – and we think that Kathrina and Alistair’s film shows both in equal measure. We hope you enjoy it.

However we cannot bring ourselves to take all those films away so we have kept one of our favorites from 2007. We will be adding some more examples to show our other packages, just once we can decide which ones.