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how to become a wedding videographer


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#1 grahamstanly

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 12:08 AM

hey all well I am just curious about how a wedding should be filmed. I would like to know basically everything you can tell me. Basically how much money on average does a wedding videographer charge? what tools are nessisary. How long should the finished product be. Is the finished video put to music? or do you have audio. I have seen a few that had no audio just music. is it mostly filmed in SD, or HDV? How many people does it take to shoot. I have seen some shot with one man, and some shot with 2. and finally how do you get the job?

thanks
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#2 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 03:54 AM

Loooooaded question, ha ha

Pricing: Search around and find as many wedding videographers you can and find out what their prices are.

Equipment: You don't want to be too intrusive with your equipment, so a prosumer 3-CCD camera with a quality mic should be enough. And, if you plan on doing interviews with family members you'll want a separate handheld mic, or if there's a special portion where the wedding/reception's DJ's PA system will be used, you could probably patch in wirelessly to the soundboard to get some good audio of that portion (or you could have the DJ simply record it for you to edit in later)

SD or HD?: Whatever's in your budget, generally they don't care which one...but HD is getting more popular, so if you have the means I guess go for it. I find a film element to a wedding video is always nice as well...plus film has a timeless quality and will probably never suffer the fate of becoming an obselete format.

Number of Shooters: Various angles of the ceremony itself is always nice, so it's good to have more than one shooter. But I think for things like the reception and whatnot, one camera should be fine.

How to get the job: Start with family members' weddings, shoot them at cost and build up your reel so you'll have something to show to potential employers in the future.

Of course, there are SO many ways you can go about starting up your own wedding videography...these are just some things that come to mind at 12:54am.
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#3 Daniel Smith

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 09:37 AM

Use a pro-mist to add some diffusion. It will give it that white, surreal 'pretty' look.

Try getting some work experience with one and take note of everything he does.

Edited by Daniel Ashley-Smith, 20 February 2007 - 09:37 AM.

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#4 Chad Stockfleth

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 10:06 AM

Use the pro-mist if you want to be cliche about it.

I would recommend thinking of them like a documentary. Talk to the couple and find out what's important to them and try to cover that in as interesting a way as possible. The best wedding video's I've seen have a little artistry to them. A tri-pod stuck in the back of the room is boring. Look for small details. The bride and groom have such a whirlwind day that they hardly get to take it all in. It's nice for them to be able to look back at the things they might have missed.

Also, as a practical tip: Try putting a lav mic on the groom. You can catch a lot of great intimate conversation, and it will also pick up the bride and priest (depending) during the ceremony.

I have a friend who made a pretty decent living for a while shooting weddings. He managed to make each one unique and convey the emotion of the day. Seriously, there's nothing weirder than being brought to the verge of tears watching someone's wedding who you don't even know! :D

All in all, you can learn a lot from shooting weddings. You only get one take.

Good Luck!
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#5 grahamstanly

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 08:56 PM

yea the you only get one take thing is intimidating but i have filmed sporting events and you also only get one take their. basically at my fingertips i have an HD cannon xh-a1, fairily good fluid head tripod, small handheld steady cam, a filter kit, and final cut pro. what other tools would be helpful. and when confronting the bride and groom, how do you go about meeting their demands? Basically do I film and edit the way they tell me with the songs they want or do I get creative? o and I forgot to mention above, I also have a shotgun mic, and boom but I dont think you use those during a wedding.

thanks
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#6 Chad Stockfleth

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 06:50 PM

well, you have to discuss what the couple wants. it will be a little different each project.

the friends i have that do it usually offer a couple packages, some longer, some shorter.

if you can do one or two that really show that you have a talent for it, then you can tell them what you are about and how you like to do things. they may have music they want, but you'll probably have a little liberty.

i think the best way to get started is just to do one, maybe cheaply, and then go from there. most of the questions you have are things that will become apparent after you do one or two.
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#7 David Sweetman

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 07:14 PM

I've found it to be notoriously easy to get into wedding videography, but I've consciously decided to not go down that path, and only do the odd video for a friend; the reason is it's not very fun and it is percieved as so far from narrative filmmaking that it doesn't help in that regard on the resume. It's easier to get into if you know a lot of people who are getting married, and who have friends who are getting married, and who know you make films and think you're good at it. After my first wedding video I soon got several other requests just by word of mouth. Didn't hurt that the couple got 40 copies of the video... anyway, it could easily grow into a full-time thing.

As far as interaction with the couple and specifics of content, I think if you just do a few videos, like Chad said, cheaply, you'll get into a groove for it.
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#8 Matthew Bennett

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 10:10 PM

The trick with wedding videography is to slightly dutch every shot, not so much that it's noticable, but just tilt the camera ever so slightly. You can also physically move in towards the subjects (bride and groom) while tilting wildly at the same time. When editing, make sure to use every filter you have in the effects bin of your NLE, however unmotivated. Also make sure to include a shot of a red rose, where every other color of the shot has been drained to black and white, and only the rose bud itself remains in red.
(Yes I have very bitterly shot and cut weddings to support my film education, can you tell?)

Seriously though, weddings can actually be quite well done..
see this site for probably one of the world's best

http://www.bluecoremedia.com/

Edited by Matthew Bennett, 21 February 2007 - 10:14 PM.

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#9 Daniel Smith

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 12:38 PM

I know this is slightly off-topic and directed more towards a discussion of wedding videos but I think I'd prefer to have my wedding shot by a family member or friend (amateur.)

I mean, the professional ones just look like some kind of a documentary, a TV reality show that you would get on sky or something.

Amateur footage looks more real.
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#10 grahamstanly

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 03:48 PM

yea i watched a few "professional videos" but to all i have seen is music videos really a bunch of touching moments to music...i dont know if thats normal but i would like to get some audio in there. Well my biggest problem is age I am confident in my ability with a camera and audio, and editing. but im only 17 so I dont want people to see me as unprofessional or think they can take advantage of me. but I suppose i can get some jobs if i charge a lot less than others in my area. and if i turn out a few good projects i will just up the price.

tell me if those ideas are dumb, and if you think i should just wait.
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#11 Chad Stockfleth

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 04:20 PM

Forgot to mention, one of the great things about shooting weddings: You get paid half or full amount up front to hold the date. This can give you capitol to hire an additional camera person or rent gear.
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#12 David Bradley

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 11:22 AM

Use a pro-mist to add some diffusion. It will give it that white, surreal 'pretty' look.

Try getting some work experience with one and take note of everything he does.



I know this is slightly off-topic and directed more towards a discussion of wedding videos but I think I'd prefer to have my wedding shot by a family member or friend (amateur.)

I mean, the professional ones just look like some kind of a documentary, a TV reality show that you would get on sky or something.

Amateur footage looks more real.


No offence Dan but the pro-mist in that context would look like a prelude to a cheesy 70's porn unless used sparingly and discreetly.

As for the family bit, i'd be tempted to agree, always thought it would be weird to have some chap stood next to you at the alter while you throw away the key on the old ball and chain.
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Willys Widgets

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Visual Products

Wooden Camera

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Rig Wheels Passport

Tai Audio

Opal

Metropolis Post

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Paralinx LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Glidecam

Aerial Filmworks