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Monday
Sep022013

Why Angles Matter

Those who remember high school lit classes may recall the visual of Don Quixote fighting windmills. His perspective was that they were worth fighting, and that they were animated enough to fight back. The way he saw the world changed his life. What does this have to do with your wedding video?

Take, for example, the wedding ceremony of Jessica and Joel in September of 2013. They were married under pale, soft blue of the beautiful late summer sky outside of a stately nineteenth-century New England manor. This shoot was unique in that I used four cameras to achieve optimal perspective. I wasn't going to allow for the perception of anything short of the real thing.

I set up the XA10 at the rear of the seats, facing the direction from which the bridal party would arrive. In post-production, I altered some of the shots by eliminating excess space around the subject of the frame. Like a camouflaged bird, the HFG20 hung securely and invisibly from the gorillapod atop the trellice for a perfect view of the bride and groom both as they walked down the aisle and as their faces reflected the passion behind saying "I do." The EX1(Auto Mode) hung out on the right side of the seats, facing the bride and groom and their wedding party, with an unobfuscated and inviting view of the audience as well. I managed the EX1 in manual mode for the processional and a straight shot of the bride and groom throughout the ceremony. I casually adjusted each camera int he background in anticipation of the best angle to capture the emotion of what was being spoken and felt. Want to play "Where's Waldo?" with the camera placements? Go ahead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday
Jul022013

6 Differences between a videographer and a guest with a camera

1. Multiple Angles

To achieve a high-quaity video, it is essential to have more than one camera angle. Would you want to watch a NFL game with the camera perched stationary at the 50 yard line, swiveling back and forth following the ball? Neither would we. Do you want to see the groom's reaction to the bride walking down the aisle? Do you anticipate your guests' involvement in your introductions at the reception? Do you want to relive the bride and groom reciting their vows with their faces towards the camera? We thought so

2. Experience

Have you been to more than five weddings in your life? How about fifteen? Fifty? Okay, I guarantee you haven't been to a hundred. Any professional wedding vendor has been to hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of weddings during their career. I've worked with DJs who have been in the business for over fifty years, photographers who are prolific, and videographers who work three or more weddings per week. Managing disruptions, expecting the unexpected and proper anticipation of key events come with years of experience. As wedding professionals, we've seen it all. We know the 80-minute Catholic full mass ceremony like the back of our hand, we've filmed the signing of the Ketuvah in the Jewish ceremony more times than we can recall, we've seen the Polish polka, captured the Latin salsa and met all of the local JPs. Each wedding brings a new surprise but we are equipped with years of practice to handle whatever comes at us.

3. Technical Aptitude

Remaining competitive in the rapidly changing field of technology is necessary to making a living. If we're not watching what our contemporaries are doing and learning about the latest equipment, we're falling behind. To supplement our training, we develop new skills as editing becomes more precise and cameras become more advanced. We know how to sync pro lavs with the video captured onto high performance SD and we know how to back up our many hard drives and transfer our streaming footage into the cloud. When problems arise, we learn to deal with them because we have to. A guest doesn't have to. A guest is filming as a courtesy and isn't responsible for what the footage looks like. We've all overcome technical problems in the past and learned from them so that they don't happen again. So there's your insurance policy against technical errors.

4. Storytelling

Your wedding's going to become legendary in your family. Think of how quickly your favorite days have gone by. If you could recapture the feelings you had on the best days of your lives, would you? You can. Your hippocampus, the sector of the brain esponsible for maintaining memories, can be triggered by your senses. The right wedding video mixes the sounds of your voices with the bird's eye view of your actions to remind you of how it really was.

5. Equipment

Wedding guests don't carry around pro audio equipment, jibs, fluid-head tripods, dollys, monopods, gliders, or cinema cameras. And if they did, it wouldn't be discrete. Trust someone who has used each of these and knows how to be covert.

6. Reputation

You can trust an experienced videographer based on the reputation he has built for himself. It's an industry where professionalism, knowledge and consistency matter. The professional isn't going to be distracted at the wedding-they're there with a singular purpose.

Thursday
Jun202013

Brides ask: When should I book my wedding videographer?

     The save-the-dates are out. The guys got their tuxes. The DJ has met with you twice. Your photographer’s face book page is teeming with weddings that seem to rival Hollywood. What’s next?
     For better or worse, it is usually at this stage in the planning that I come in. As a wedding videographer, I’m accustomed to my place on the wedding to-do list. It’s somewhere between “order the cake” and “get out of the limo”. Yes, I’ve been contacted by desperate individuals who have perhaps tardily reassessed their need for a video, and I’ve both accepted the opportunity and also had to turn a few away due to prior bookings. And then there have been brides who haven’t even settled on a date but know they want a wedding videographer here in Massachusetts. I have yet had a client who is still searching for a spouse, but I’m sure that’s coming.
     Likely you fall somewhere in between these extremes. Not surprisingly, the epitome of matrimonial etiquette, Emily Post, is silent on when the videographer should be booked. My recommendation, if I may brashly interject in lieu of Ms. Post, is that you book your wedding videographer as far in advance as possible.
     It’s something that is important to you, your family, your friends, and your future generations. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to find a dependable, knowledgeable and unobtrusive filmmaker for your future family heirloom just because you were distracted by the color of the bridal sandals or the flavor of red velvet frosting for the snack bar.

When you know your date:
1. Book the reception facility
2. Ceremony location and officiant
3. Photographer/entertainment/videographer

     I put these three vendors on the same line because we interact the most with you and have the highest effect on your day. Does it surprise you that you should choose us before your dress? Well, it may. But a true professional at realistic rates with ample reviews AND an open calendar is harder to find than Vera Wang at your local Salvation Army.
     The planning may seem overwhelming, but the more professionals you have working for you and with you, the easier it’ll be. We’ve been to hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of weddings. We know our stuff. We can and want to help. Hire us while we’re available!
Sunday
Jun092013

Kristen&Jon: Norwood, Massachusetts

Kristen&Jon booked me fairly late in the wedding planning process, and this worked out well all around because I miraculously had a coveted June Saturday available. I showed up early to film the girls getting ready. Kristen could be a bridal model, I swear. Her family was so incredibly nice and the preparation shots came out great.

She and Jon make a fun couple. I immediately liked Jon when I met him, which is only natural since we share the same name. He had a very calm but nonetheless fun personality. I love when the couples I work for are so fun to be around and their families are equally as warm. I love my job!

The highlight of their reception I would have to say was the phenomenal Men in Black. Hiring a wedding band can be a daunting task and sometimes an expensive one, but every band I've seen at wedings I've liked. Men in Black took the cake, and they included everyone in their nonstop performance. I was thoroughly, thoroughly, thoroughly impressed. I cannot stress how talented they are.

Sunday
Jun022013

An elegant affair

As a recently converted viewer of Downton Abbey, I was enthusiastically anticipating returning to one of New England's most regal wedding venues: St. Clement's Castle. It has been several years since I have filmed a wedding there, and I knew that it was going to be as gorgeous as it was in the past.

Lindsey&James were getting ready at the Crown Plaza in Cromwell, CT and after we did some preparation shooting, we headed to Weslleyan University for some family pictures.

Lindsey was delivered to the ceremony site by horse-drawn carriage and her guests had tears in their eyes as she dismounted with the sun setting over the castle's turrets behind her.

It was the perfect time of day for a lakeside, castel-front ceremony. The 25 minutes flew by as her photographers and I got some breathtaking shots. Eagles soaring over the Connecticut River valley, the sun setting during the vows, the newly verdant leaves bristling gently in the evening breeze...

 

I am working hard to have their DVD completed for them by the time they return from their honeymoon to exotic Thailand.