The job of the wedding videographer can be a very stressful one. He is essentially aiming to produce a perfect wedding video, but there is no second take like there would be if you were shooting a drama. The wedding videographer also has no ability to set up extensive lighting rigs and so has to also work on producing the best picture he can , in an often dark church or wedding venue. He also has little idea of when and how people will move at various stages of the day. Because of this, the videographer must plan everything into a detailed methodology so he is as prepared as he can be on the day.
The first step in producing a plan of the day, is the final prep. The final prep is when the videographer speaks to the bride and asks her all the relevant questions, so he can device his plan of action. During the final prep, certain things are made aware to the camera man, and this gives him the chance to raise issues in the timings of the day.
For example, it may be that the couple have arranged for some entertainment before the meal, but when asking about the timings, the video camera man realises that there may not be enough time between the ceremony and the meal to shoot any of this entertainment, as well as the group shots, posed romantic shots and the details of the room shots. If this is the case we always make the bride aware that there may be a time issue and recommend that the meal be put back by half an hour. It is not always possible to adjust the times, but at least if we make the bride aware, we have done our job and given her the benefit of our experience. We always make a point of asking the question "do you have any special entertainment arranged for the day?". By asking the question we are prompting the bride to mention something she may not have mentioned otherwise.
Depending on the nature of a particular part of a wedding event we sometimes have to adjust certain elements of the camera settings. A good example of this would be the camera zoom setting. Our professional cameras have the ability to have the speed of the zoom altered. This is especially important on the first dance. If the couple have a flamboyant routine planned, then it is best we know about it before hand, so that we can increase the speed of the zoom. If the bride and groom suddenly separate and then comes back together during the first dance, we are able to zoom out and zoom back in to keep them tight in the frame. We always ask the question "are you doing a close embrace or have you got a routine planned?".
Another good question to ask is "are all the people who are doing speeches on the head table?". We ask this question because sometimes the speech makers are all over the room, and if the couple have only paid for a one camera wedding video, it is important that we can put the camera in a position, that allows us to be able to pan smoothly from one speech maker to another. We always double check this on the day, because often when the bride and groom see the breakfast room, they decide to switch things around. By being prepared with the knowledge of where things are happening, we are able to adjust and plan for these situations.
During final prep, we have many other questions that we ask. The questions mentioned above are just some of the main questions that we ask. A detailed plan stemming from our vast experience of weddings is a must, however sometimes things happen on the day that throw our plan into turmoil. When this happens we draw on past experiences to adjust our plan, in order to maximise the quality of the wedding video as much as we can.
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