Lots of details to hopefully help with any questions you may have…
-answered by David (FIND OUT MORE ABOUT ME BY CLICKING HERE)
WHY HAVE A VIDEO?
Wedding Videography is something that many people getting married tend to actually think of as an option compared to a ‘must have’ for a Photographer. But a great wedding video with its moving images, soundtrack, and those fun and emotional speeches, can bring the whole day and all of those special feelings flooding back much more than a book of photos ever could.
There is a certain stigma about wedding videos from a few decades ago where videographers turned up with a huge “video”camera, blinding light and microphone on a pole which made every guest weary of the very obvious presence of a camera recording their every move!
Nervous, self conscious guests are never a good thing to watch. The 2+hour videos they supplied too were’t great to watch unfortunately either.
Modern videography tends to be much more discrete unless you hire a production team who come with a lot of equipment such as cranes & dollys.
The videos produced also tend to be shorter than in days gone by, with the “less is more” approach. This means you get a video that’s not an effort to watch, just to see the good bits.
As film makers, our job is to make your video a joy to watch, so that includes editing out the parts you don’t really want to see, and just leaving the very best bits.
WHY HIRE A PROFESSIONAL?
Can I do a list? You should check that the person you hire can offer you all of this…
- Commitment – It’s my main job, my livelihood, it pays my mortgage and bills and feeds my family, I will do everything I can to turn up to your wedding, even if I am so ill that you wouldn’t want me there! (I also have a great network of fellow videographers who can help out if I really couldn’t make it). The weekend guys who maybe charge a little less, already have a full time job to pay their bills, so may not have the same commitment as professionals will have.
- Backup equipment – is taken to each wedding we attend just incase something fails. People just starting out may not have backup cameras, lenses, cards, batteries, lights, microphones, audio recorders, which could prove an issue if anything breaks during your wedding.
- Dual Card Recording – my main camera writes to 2 memory cards, so if one card fails, I still have a copy of your footage on the other card. Most lower end cameras don’t offer this, so if the single memory card fails with your footage on, it’s probably gone for good.
- Pro Footage Backup System – I have a 3 copy backup system… 2 copies of every wedding I shoot are kept with me at my house, and another copy is stored at another location. If ever a hard drive corrupted or was damaged, or there was a theft or fire at one location, there should still be a safety backup at the other location.
- Public Liability Insurance – if a guest trips over equipment and injures themselves due to our negligence, or we break an expensive vase at your venue, you won’t be liable for any damages, our insurance will cover it. You venue may also request that we have a policy in place before they allow us to film.
- Reliable transport – I had a brand new car late last year because I get so worried about breaking down on the way to an event! I honestly have nightmares about it.
- Experience and thinking ahead is everything at live events. When something can only happen once, it needs someone capable and ready to properly capture it.
SO, HOW DO YOU FILM DISCRETELY THEN?
The cameras we use are much smaller, and unless pitch black, no blinding light is needed to make everyone squint and look shocked!
Most guests usually think I’m just a photographer due to my main camera looking a bit like a photography camera, and then don’t realise they are actually being filmed.
My cameras are also interchangeable lens cameras, meaning that I can get that “cinematic” background blur and high end look compared to many videographers who use fixed lens traditional video cameras. Those can sometimes look like a bit like wobbly amateur home movies with a flat and lifeless image in comparison to my cinema camera. I take a lot of care to make sure my footage is nice and smooth and wobble free!
I also mostly work alone, meaning less people following you around with a camera all day.
DO YOU MAKE US PERFORM TO THE CAMERA?
NO! (unless this is what you want, of course), I’ll tell you on the day to just ignore me, I aim to be as discrete as possible when filming, as this yields the most natural results. I love it when you tell me “We hardly even knew that you were there!”
HOW DO YOU CAPTURE AUDIO?
For the ceremony I will place a very small lapel mic on the groom with a recorder that fits in his pocket. This will capture the bride & groom’s vows and also the registrar/vicar/officiant. I’ll also find out where any readings will take place and hide another microphone nearby to capture these.
For the speeches, usually there will be a small recorder in front of each person speaking. We may sometimes put a lapel mic on each speaker depending on the room acoustics and if they are planning to move around during their speech.
All cameras record ambient audio too as a backup source just in case.
MY PHOTOGRAPHER IS WORRIED YOU WILL GET IN THEIR WAY…
I ALWAYS do my best to stay out of photographers way, and work with them to make sure we both capture the shots we need.
I’m behind the camera for a reason and definitely don’t want to be in your wedding photos!
I’m there to do the best job that I can for you. I let your Photographer run your day as they would if I wasn’t there, and try to film your day naturally from afar, keeping out of their way as much as possible.
DO I HAVE TO FEED YOU?
In a word, no. I’d never turn down a free meal, it’s always welcomed and very much appreciated, and I’m an “anything but fish” kind of guy, but I never request one as part of the contract either.
I know 3 course wedding meals are expensive, we have eaten at tables with guests as part of the wedding breakfast before, some venues will actually offer vendor meals for us as a cheaper alternative if you want to feed us, and many of our previous brides and grooms have offered to pay for a bar meal instead, which is so very nice of them.
We are on our feet for up to 12 hours a day, so we do need to eat (usually when you have your sit down meal as filming people eating is all kinds of wrong to us!)
All we ask is for you to let us know if food will be provided or available at your venue.
We don’t like to leave the venue incase we are needed for any surprises during your meal, but if we haven’t been informed and can’t get anything at your venue, we may have to pop out to get something from nearby.
WHAT ARE YOU LIKE?
Me personally, I’m very quiet, polite, friendly and hard working (I’m writing this at almost 2am after just finishing a preview film!) I’m not the really outgoing salesman type like many in this industry, I’d rather you see my work and if you like it and my prices to get in touch and we’ll discuss further. No hard sell!
I won’t say a lot during filming either as I don’t want to ruin your video, so my job suits me quite well! Your photographer will usually be the shouty one organising people while I film it all discretely.
I’m married and have identical twin girls born in Feb 2015 called Georgia & Lyla, they are now the reason I do what I do and strive for success. I get to be at home with them much more than if I had a normal office job, even with the hours of editing I do every day. And I then spend the rest of my time trying to build my business when they are in bed at night!
Favourite things are Formula 1, Cars, Cameras, Gadgets and Oasis.
Oh, and weddings! Although I never get to go to them as a guest anymore, I always get asked to film!
WHAT DO YOU WEAR TO OUR WEDDING?
Usually all black shirt trousers and shoes. I often get mistaken for a waiter. Please don’t ask me for butter or some more wine.
No jeans, shorts, trainers or caps (I have seen professionals wear these to a wedding before!)
I’ve ruined countless suits whilst filming weddings to know that they really aren’t practical when I’m trying to be a ninja to get the shot I want. So I have some slightly comfier shoes and harder wearing trousers that form my uniform now!
DO WE NEED TO MEET BEFOREHAND?
I personally try to keep things as simple as possible so don’t usually need to meet up with you before the big day unless you really feel it necessary.
I won’t really be organising you and your guests like your Photographer will be during your day, so there’s no real requirement from my side. Your Photographer will be running things and I’ll be filming everything as it happens, quietly and discretely, not saying a lot at all!
We will discuss all that’s required during our conversations beforehand.
On the day, I/we will arrive in time to scope out the venue for the best position, setup the cameras and speak with the registrar/vicar/officiant. All you need to do beforehand is let them know that we will be filming, and also please let your photographer know to expect us too.
Don’t worry, I’m nice, quiet, friendly and sensible, and will do all that I can to put you and your guests at ease on the day.
If you do really feel the need to meet me before your wedding, it’s possible but I will have to charge for my time. Pre meets are so rare for me (I think possibly 2 or 3 in over 100 weddings!) that they not factored into my prices to help keep them as low as possible.
WHERE DO YOU COVER?
We are based in Halesowen, around 7 miles from Birmingham, giving us great scope to cover the Midlands within the normal price of our videos.
Our package prices cover the Midlands area within a 50 mile radius of B63.
We would film anywhere in the world (still waiting for a destination wedding abroad!) but travelling charges may apply outside this radius.
ARE YOU INSURED?
We take our work seriously, we make sure that everything we do is done professionally, with common sense and competence.
But, accidents can happen, and unlike many vendors out there, WE HAVE PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE UP TO £2MILLION
This means, if we are to blame for any injury to our clients or their guests due to our own negligence, we are fully covered.
Our Public Liability insurance, and equipment cover is supplied by AXA.
HOW TO BOOK
If you have decided that we may be the people to capture your special day, just send us a message with your date, venue(s) and ceremony start time, along with the package that you are interested in, and we’ll check availability for you.
PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU DON’T HEAR FROM US WITHIN 48HOURS, PLEASE CHECK YOUR SPAM/JUNK MAILBOX as WE ALWAYS REPLY 🙂
Once you are happy with everything and request to book us, we will send out your personalised booking paperwork with all details of your package, how to pay your deposit and subsequent payments, along with a booking form to fill in and return with details of your day.
DEPOSIT & PAYMENT PROCESS
Sending your money to someone who hasn’t given you anything in return yet is a big deal, but paying in full before your big day is usual for most photographers and videographers.
However, we have a slightly different take on things which we hope makes you feel a little easier…
All we require is £200 deposit to cover each camera operator booked to record your wedding, and this will secure your date.
(This is non-refundable as we will have to turn down other jobs to keep this date for you)
For bookings under £999 – All of your remaining balance including any extra hours will be due 2 weeks before your wedding.
For bookings £999 & over- Half of your remaining balance including any extra hours will be due 2 weeks before your wedding. The remainder is to be paid once you are happy with your preview.
You can also make small payments up to your wedding date if you prefer.
If you decide to purchase full footage of the ceremony, speeches or first dance for your “Mini” or “Signature” Montage Package, this can be purchased up to 12 months after your wedding day if required, but must be paid in full before we start editing it.
HOW LONG UNTIL I SEE MY FILM?
The industry standard for wedding video editing time is actually 16 weeks! And while we feel that it honestly is nice to forget some things from your big day before re-living them again on film, we aim for 6-8 weeks maximum. In 2019, the average wait for our clients was 7-8 weeks, and in 2020, we are aiming to lower this to 6-7 weeks.
Weddings are quite seasonal so we have to ‘make film while the sun shines’ sometimes filming a few videos a week, which then creates the backlog.
We allocate about a week to edit a wedding but each film is different, and being a creative process, some can take much longer before we are happy that they ‘work’ and flow properly compared to others which may fall together very quickly. There is no way that we would let anyone see them until we feel that they are the best they can be, so this is a reason we can’t give an exact date for when you will see your preview.
We also operate a queueing system which is based on when you initially booked, and when you sent in your list of music.
We can’t add you to the queue until we have your list of songs, so please be aware of this, especially during peak season as other people will jump in front of you until we receive your list. This can delay your film hugely.
Editing is a very overlooked process and I’ve spent countless hours of my life since starting this job sitting at a computer editing wedding videos – it is the most time consuming part and therefore the part that costs the most.
From each wedding comes 300+ small clips which I first have to go through and pick out all of the best bits from them. Then each one has to be colour corrected, sharpened, straightened, stabilised before I start the process of actually putting the film together. With the Montages I spend hours listening to all of your chosen songs to see which part of the film they will suit best before developing a timeline plan of where everything will go. The hardest part by far is timing everything to the music so that it uses the lyrics to help tell the story and add some extra feeing into the film.
All I ask is that you are patient, I promise it will be rewarded. Rushing never helps to create a good film.
I honestly work into the early hours all of the time, away from my own family to get your videos finished as soon as possible and to make sure my work is as perfect as it can be for you. I love my job so that is not a moan by the way! 🙂
When it’s ready, you will receive an online preview of your main wedding film to view first, and once you are happy with this, your DVD or USB will be created and posted to you, usually within a week or two.