Questions to ask your Videographer

wedding film

Questions to ask your Videographer

wedding film

When looking for a videographer you would be well advised to seek someone who is experienced, creative and artistic. But how can you tell all that? Of course you should view examples of work, looking at the clarity and quality of the video, the composition, as well as the details of shooting and editing. But else is it important to discover? It’s a long, hard day for the videographer – trust me – so someone prepared, who works well under pressure and has the physical endurance and ability to stay focused. It’s a marathon, not a sprint – actually it’s perhaps more of a triathlon – ceremony, reception, function. On the day the videographer should be a bit like a Swan, calm and serene on the surface, but paddling like crazy just beneath. But then; look too relaxed and I’m not sure they’re working hard enough! Bad, mixed metaphors aside, people usually know quite quickly when they ‘click’ with a videographer (no pun intended). But should you really want to grill the videographer filming the your wedding here is a handy list of questions to ask your videographer: What type of lighting will the videographer use? The ideal answer is none. If they have to, a top light on top of the camera to be used only in the darkest areas, i.e. the first dance would be acceptable. Although do ask. If you really don’t want a light in your face for that romantic first dance ask your videographer to get a very fast lens. It may be an extra cost, it may not be, but if you don’t ask you may feel like a rabbit in headlights on your first dance! So, you’ve been warned. How will the videographer be dressed at the wedding? However you wish (*they should retort). And would-be videographers, make sure your shoes are comfy and quite! Do you have sample videos I can see? I would hope so. But even we don’t do DVDs anymore – in our bid to be green – but do however have loads of content online so you can view a full wedding ceremony. What packages do you offer? Most videographers offer about three packages with endless variations. Do you have any kind of qualification? Ah… I have a degree in film (that’s probably not worth the paper it’s printed on) but hey, some people like to know about it. In truth the question should be how techie are you? So forget if they don’t have a degree – or actually even if they do – ask they what codec the record in. There are endless varieties of video compression types, but if they don’t know what they’re even shooting, don’t hire them. How many cameras do you use? A bit of a clincher (assuming they do know how to use them). I personally think two is a minimum. It does put the price up a little, but having a second camera (and ideally second operator) means there is a back up in the event of some unforeseen technical problem. The second camera allows for a static camera to be continually recording, while the operating cam do something else with the other one. The more coverage, the better the finished product should look. Do you use wireless microphones? The answer should be yes, TWO. One for Groom and the Minister that can then be transferred to the best man and the father of the bride. Audio is on the utmost important to all the interesting stuff of the day – the emotion! The speeches, the vows, the interviews… Do you have a written contract? Personally I like handshake spitting to seal deal but that hasn’t went down well. If your videographer doesn’t do contracts I’d be worried they may not turn up at all. While paper and pen contacts aren’t as romantic as signature in blood they protect everyone involved. Are you unobtrusive? As unobtrusive as you’d like, but we’re not invisible. Some days I barely say two words to the bride – there’s loads for them to do, and if I need something important I’ll speak with the best man. If the bride and groom are comfortable with the camera, there is always the option to do a couple of staged moments for the films benefit ideally just after or during the photoshoot. Will the shoot interfere with the proceedings in any way? No – you’d hope. How much do you charge for additional hours beyond the agreed contract? We don’t usually get this request as often as we might expect because staying for the first three dances means we get enough high quality footage to cut together a nice three minute montage which people usually find enough. But our rate is £75 / hr (but that’s for two of us). Do you work with the photographer to ensure mutual cooperation? Yes, we don’t want them mucking up our frame! Usually the only area of conflict occurs during the first dance, and we are both required to be close, we tend to bow out for the first minute to let them do their thing and then we film the rest. Are you there throughout the entire reception? Yes, but we will take a break during the meal, then film some other location elements and prepare for the dances. How much are additional wedding DVD or blu-ray copies? The answer is usually not cheap. The reason for this is the license for the music tracks are bought per copy (it may one day be the music industry’s last source of revenue) and it’s really the only thing the videographer has to mark up. I’m just saying it how it is. If you want some nice looking, professionally printed DVDs or blu-rays in boxes then it costs. If you wanna knock-off your own copies you can do that too. Far be it from me to call you cheap. It’s your call. In truth it usually doesn’t come to that because we encode the film and put it online so it exists for everyone to see and enjoy, anytime, anywhere!

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