Article by James Storrie , President, NZ Professional Videographers Association
Award Winner, 2001 Awards Winner (Silver Monitor, Best Category) ITVA
International Member WEVA (Wedding Event Videographers Association)
You don't have to know your DJ's total wattage, your photographer's brand of lens, or your limousine's engine size. So why care about your videographer's equipment? To tell you the truth, you really shouldn't have to become a video expert to choose your videographer.
We have seen too many articles and checklists instructing couples to ask about "3-chip" cameras, various tape formats, a myriad of editing equipment, or membership in a particular wedding videography association. Most of this well-meaning advice is given without much education or explanation. And sometimes, a little knowledge can be dangerous.
We have over our years, had brides contact us about filming their weddings and read a list of "Questions to Ask A Videographer." Thankfully, we "pass" with flying colours.
However, realistically, the future bride does not understand much of what she's asking about and of course, no one should blame her for this. This is a consumer doing what she can to educate herself and trying to be a smart shopper.
After all, it is 'the videographers' responsibility to breakdown all the technical terminology into useful information. But the evaluation process should not stop there.
- Anyone can buy the equipment.
- Anyone can learn the terminology.
- Anyone can pay $50 to $150 to join a wedding videography association.
- In addition, almost anyone can learn to use a camera adequately.
Fortunately however not just anyone can craft a wedding video into a sentimental treasure.
Therefore, we suggest you need to set some of that well-intentional advice aside and look at the source of the service, your videographers' work.
- It is the only thing any true craftsman wants to be judged by.
- Sure, ask to look at their demo tape but ensure you take a close look at the video.
- More importantly ask to watch an actual finished wedding product.
- Contact the couple in the video, or read the testimonials offered.
- Ask them about their experiences with the videographer.
If the videographer can't make this happen, then they probably aren't impressing too many of their clients.
Remember that you're probably never going to become an expert in video production.
So instead, why not become an expert in what makes up a beautiful and tasteful video.
And rather than worrying about too many technical issues, ask yourself these questions:
- Does the video tell a love story, really showing who these people are?
- Is the audio clear, with crisp clean sound at the ceremony and throughout the event?
- Does the video transition smoothly from shot to shot, without any of the "car dealer ad" special effects?
- Is the video free of useless or poor-quality shots?
- Is the picture quality comparable to your local news broadcast?
- Does this look like one of the TV shows about dream weddings?
- And most importantly, does it evoke emotion and will it make Mum cry?
If you can answer "Yes" to these questions, then you have a great prospect (videographer) to ensure your legacy is preserved of your special day.
Make sure that everything you are so impressed with is included in the package you are buying, such as:
- Rehearsal Attendance
- Multiple cameras angles.
- If you are choosing a multiple camera shoot, make sure that a live videographer attends each camera.
- Wireless microphones to capture your vows.
- Exceptional editing.
- Interviews and guest responses.
- Tasteful special effects.
- Credits and titles on the video.
- Personalised video cases with your photo or name.
Your video can be the most intimate memento from your wedding day or your worst nightmare. We have not only seen them, we've fixed quite a few and at a cost not much short of having a professional in the first instance.
We call them your friends; your uncle or friends' friend who has acquired a new camera and decided your wedding should be the one to try it on. *enclosed below is a letter from a previous client we filmed and who let price control their memory the second time around.
You may remember us - your company video'd and produced, our parents Adelaide & Denis Mullanes 60th wedding anniversary 2 or was it 3 years ago, then we wanted you to video our wedding and we couldn't afford you.
Well I am sending you this note to say that we now wish very much that we had somehow found the money to have you record our wedding. The friends and family we organised to use the video camera did a shocking job e.g.: old batteries that weren't charged and very old reused film. Needless to say, the result was disappointing. We regret we should have listened to you.
The point of all this is, please show this note to other people who are not sure whether they want to spend extra dollars recording a special event or if they think they can do it themselves. The risk is that we are exposed to such high quality film in the media and at the movies, that a do-it-yourself job can be definitely disappointing.
Our bad luck and rest assured we would use you again in the future.
Hope you have a restful and happy festive season.
Kindest regards Chris & Nannette Mullane
Taking the time to select a quality videographer will ensure that your day is captured as a truly quality event.
Acknowledgement: This article was provided compliments of AVI Creative Wedding Artistry. You can find all their contact details here.