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.
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.