Evolution of style – Where we were and where we are going

EventDV this month did an excellent article on what is called the “New Documentary” style. In the beginning wedding videographers would just record the day as it happened. Then after Non-Linear computer editing systems became popular, videographers had the opportunity to be more creative. So the “Cinematic” video was born. Instead of just covering the day, now a small movie with lots of music and effect (slow motion, black & white etc) could be done. The problem here was that after awhile it was all music and not enough story.

That is what the New Documentary style is all about. Use the music and effects only as needed to move the video forward, and to establish a style.  Use lots of actual dialog and voice overs to tell that story. The EventDV article explains it much better than I can.

As for myself, I am starting to move in that direction. I looked at some of my early wedding videos and realized that I was already employing the elements of the New Documentary style. They didn’t have the sophistication of my more recent work, but they told the story in a natural and interesting way. So look for some modest changes in the way I edit wedding videos over the months.

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GPVA March meeting

This week’s GPVA meeting featured I Do Stream, a company that markets a live video feed to the Internet. It is an interesting concept, You connect a camera via Firewire to a computer hooked to a broadband Internet connection. I Do Stream provides a way of allowing people anywhere to watch the feed live (or almost live). I don’t know how many wedding videographers will use it. We have enough trouble trying to get audio hookups at churches and reception halls to work without adding Internet connections, but at other more controlled venues live streaming video could be a reliable source of extra income.

GPVA member Joe Donato presented a very informative presentation entitled “How Ballroom Dancing Save My Videography Career”. Besides being a videographer, Joe also teaches ballroom dancing. He showed the audience how to apply dance concepts as a way of getting smoother handheld footage.

To cap of the evening, we had a surprise guest. Ron Dawson of Cinematic Studios in Cupertino CA, spoke via iChat from Las Vegas, where he is attending the WPPI Expo. WPPI is the organization of wedding photographers. Ron explained how he made a shift from wedding videography to corporate by producing videos for professional photographers. Ron is also well known in the blogging community and his talk at the WEVA Expo last summer on blogging is what got me going on this blog.

At the conclusion of the evening many of us headed up the street to Champps where a lively discussion of things video continued until past midnight.

The Next GPVA meeting will be held April 15, 2008 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in King Of Prussia, PA. Go to the GPVA website for more information.

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For the groom – Wearing a microphone

Most videographers outfit the groom with either a wireless microphone or a digital recorder before the wedding ceremony, so we have a clear recording of the vows.

We usually place a small clip-on microphone on the groom’s lapel. This picks up audio from both the bride and groom. Why do we only mic the groom? There are two reasons, Since the bride and groom are facing each other during the vows, the bride’s voice will usually be as loud and clear as the groom. The second is appearance. While a small dark colored microphone is almost invisible on the groom’s tux, it is quite noticeable on the bride’s dress. In addition, it is connected to a wireless transmitter or digital recorder. We can easily hide these in an inside pocket, or on the groom’s belt. It isn’t so easy to hide such a device on a wedding gown.

In most cases, we put the microphone on right before the ceremony, and remove it afterwards. It is important not to turn it off or touch any of the controls as this could cause us not to be able to record your wedding vows. Remember that once the ceremony has started, we can’t come over and fix anything.

The microphone is sensitive enough that you only need to talk in a normal tone of voice. As long as you speak loud enough to be heard by your guests, we will get a good recording.

Use of extra microphones is one reason to have a professional do your wedding video. We have the equipment and experience to allow the entire ceremony to sound great.

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Where can I find good information on wedding video

Here of course :).

While I do have some knowledge on this subject, and I make sure that what I say is accurate (let me know if it isn’t), this site is only one of many places where you can find information on wedding video. Here are some suggestions on where else to look:

  • Other videographers sites. While I would like you to choose us for your wedding video, I know that my colleagues have different styles, ways of doing business, and prices. An intelligent consumer will always shop around. Google their sites, read what they have to say, and view their samples. We hope that you will come back to us, but what is important is who is the best fit for you.
  • National videographers associations. There are two, The WEVA and 4Ever Group. Both have pages especially for brides, and WEVA also maintains a directory of videographers.
  • Local videographer associations. You might have to Google for these, but this is an excellent place to get a listing of local videographers. In the Phildelphia PA area, it is the Greater Philadelphia Videographers Association.
  • Other sites such as Brides.com and The Knot, have lots of advice. If you are looking for a videographer, photographer or DJ, check out WeDJ.com.
  • Blogs – Find some wedding related blogs, both from professionals in the industry and individual bride’s blogs.
  • Friends – Do you have friends who had video? Talk to them about it. Also if they were married recently, ask to see their video. In addition ask friends who didn’t have video if they regretted that decision. You might be surprised by the answer.
  • Books – Wedding planning books may be a good resource, however the information (particularly regarding video) is sometimes outdated. Our industry has changed a lot in the past few years. What we do today is quite different (and more sophisticated) than a decade ago.

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Is High definition important for your wedding video

While most couples are not asking this question (at least no one has asked me yet), we are moving rapidly into the world of high definition television. It is getting difficult to even buy a standard definition television these days. Wedding videographers are also moving into the hi def world, us included. We are in the process of acquiring high definition cameras and editing systems. Is resolution everything though? No. I firmly believe that content is what counts.

The reason why most couples don’t ask their videographer about HD, is that it is the content that is important to them, not how many pixels are on the screen. They want their video to be a beautiful, meaningful portrait of their wedding day.

And that is how we feel. We know that people who ask us to film their weddings are asking us because our something in our work has touched them. Not everyone who sees our samples will like our style, but for some, that style is exactly what they are looking for.

Yes, we will be going HD in the coming months. But it will not change how we tell your wedding story.

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