Pushing the Envelope

On Wednesday I attended the New Jersey Videographers Association’s meeting which featured two seminars, one by Patrick Moreau, Konrad Czystowski and Casey Warren of Stillmotion in Toronto (Patrick & Konrad) and MIND|Castle Studios in Seattle (Casey), and the other by Chris Jones of Mason Jar Films near Austin Texas. Both were outstanding and both gave me a lot to think about.

Chris gave an excellent seminar on the editing workflow and how to organize the edit for more efficiency. What I learned was that the way things are done now just wastes time. Modern non-linear editing software is designed with the idea that there will be a well organized shot list of scenes and takes. In the film world there is a script. In event videography there isn’t. As a result the standard editing workflow isn’t necessarily the best method for us. In addition to improving our workflow Chris also talked about focusing on the task and how we too often let distractions cut into our editing time. There were some good lessons there.

The Stillmotion/MIND|Castle presentation featured some of the most incredible wedding videography that I have ever seen. As I watched those clips I wondered how could I ever even approach that level of artistry. But that why we (as wedding videographers) were there. Even if we never get to that level, we are still raising the bar on our own work. For myself when I look at what I did last year compared to this, I see a significant change. That is because of people like Patrick, Konrad, Casey and Chris who are willing to share their expertise. Those of us who are willing to put aside what is comfortable and familiar, and are willing to push the envelope are the ones who will excel.

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What My Friends Teach Me

A couple of posts ago, I talked about the Wedding and Event Videographers Association (WEVA) Expo that I attended two weeks ago in Orlando. One of the highlights was meeting with members of the Video University forum. VU as we call it is a forum devoted to professional wedding and event videography. While I have met some of the attendees, most were people who I only knew online. It really was a pleasure to put faces to names. What is most important though is the wealth of knowledge in this group. Some of the top videographers in the world are regulars on the forum. And no one looks down on a newcomer. When I started out VU was an invaluable resource and now as an experienced professional I am still learning. As a group we are very willing to share techniques and business methods. There are few “trade secrets”. This makes us all better.

Video University is not the only online forum devoted to wedding videography. There is also WedFact, a forum that concentrates on artistic wedding filmmaking. While I spend more time on VU, I enjoy WedFact too.

Then there are the local videographer associations. Here is the Philadelphia area it is the Greater Philadelphia Videographers Association (GPVA). As a group GPVA has a lot of talent. Almost every year there are members winning national awards such a the WEVA Creative Excellence Award or being named to the EventDV 25 list of top videographers worldwide. And like VU, GPVA members share and benefit as a result.

I never want to stop learning and improving my craft. Online forums and professional videographers associations are a wonderful way to keep on top.

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