By: Peter San Nicholas (Mr & Mrs Wedding Duo)
1. Gadgets, Gyros and Gizmos
There are so many different rigs and contraptions available to todays cinematographer, once only affordable for “Big Time” hollywood production companies. Your videographer should have at least a few of the following gizmos to give your film that “Big Time” look:
Jib or Crane – This looks like a teeter totter with a camera on one side and counter weights on the other. This gives the shot a floating look and can give shot an arial perspective.
Slider – This can be as small as twenty-four inches, up to tracks that measure many yards. The camera glides along rails and can be used in multiple axis of motion. It gives the appearance of a sliding foreground and background.
Steady-cam (gyroscope) – We’ve all seen these contraptions strapped to Monday Night Football camera operators. This allows the operator to walk and even run without the camera shaking or moving. I like to use mine during the ceremony to get continuous steady shots.
Fluid Head Tripods – Nothing says a professional shot like a rock solid pan and tilt or static shot. This sounds like a given, but a good fluid head on top of a tripod can costs a thousand dollars plus.
POV(point of view) and Underwater Cameras – These will give your film a fun and personal angle. These cameras can be so small they can be hidden where people won’t see them, but give your film a unique, fly on the wall perspective.
Drones – Cameras on mini helicopters actually used in military special ops missions, but can make for a spectacular arial shot of your ceremony. If your getting married cliffside, this tool could be right up your alley.
2. Mic Check 1-2-1-2
When it comes to producing a quality wedding video, you can’t leave out good audio. Your videographer needs to have a dedicated audio recording or the ceremony that can be dubbed back in, while editing. Many times the microphone on a video camera can pick up unwanted background noise and even noise from the camera itself, so be sure to make top notch audio a priority.
3. Media Delivery
How is your videographer going to deliver your finished video? You could download it from the web, get it on DVD’s, or how we deliver, on a custom flash drive in a personalized wooden box. A special gift to open when your cinematic fairy tale is delivered.
4. Match Maker Make me a Match
My wife Shayna San Nicolas, Photographer, makes it our top priority to click with our clients. Our goal is to put our clients at ease and make them feel like we’re one of their friends or family members. We do this by using our “Getting to Know You” questionnaire. We are with you longer than any other vendor, through stressful times and through intimate times. Make sure your a match with all members of your dream team.
5. What’s the SDE?
Oh, the Same Day Edit(SDE). Do you need it, yes you do, and let me take it a step further, you and your guests will be flabbergasted when they view it at your reception! This is an option for Mr. & Mrs. Wedding Duo clients. If you want to share the morning preparations, groom hanging with his boys before the ceremony and the bride getting dolled up before she walks down the isle, then get a SDE that is shown at the reception. I can edit a 3-7 minute SDE while your guests are at cocktail hour and have it ready to show in 30-45 minutes while my assistant continues to film so we don’t miss a moment!
6. Is 4K the Way?
It’s beautiful, is detailed, it’s elegant, it’s state of the art and NO, it’s not necessary. 4K is approximately four times the resolution of 1080p, what you see on your high definition television. The problem with 4K is unless you have a 4K t.v. you won’t be able to view your film in its full definitive resolution. Your film will take a huge amount of space to deliver it to you on media.
7. An Artist, a Business, or a Blend?
When you sit down to meet with your videographer it’s critical to get a sense if this person has a professional business mindset. They can have all the talent in the world, but if they can’t deliver on their promise, then all their talent is useless. They may be fantastic at setting up shots, editing video and have an ear for perfect sound, but if they don’t have a killer business skill set, they might leave you high and dry when it comes to performing on their contract.
Speaking of contracts, do they even have a contract? Don’t let this word scare you. This instrument is there to protect you as well as outline what is to be expected from your videographer and what’s to be expected from you as the client.
Ask for references and really follow up on them and ask how they were to work with. Did they deliver their product on time and in a professional manner? In a perfect world your videographer will have a strong business background with an artistic flare that you’ll love.