Lights, Camera, Video

Continued (page 2 of 3)

Chapman suggests that you also ask how many cameras the videographer will use. "This comes down to budget, but it's really preferable to have at least two cameras; you're limited with one." (Chapman also recommends checking with your clergy member to be sure that at least one camera will be allowed up front in the altar area.) Also, find out how the videographer records sound. A new audio advancement is tiny, wireless microphones that "can be clipped to a lapel and that are almost invisible. This lets you have nice, clear, uninterrupted sound."

Learn what type of editing the videographer uses. Chapman explains: "Some videographers use in-camera editing (which is basically just the footage as it was shot, with little or no editing afterward), which is the least costly but most limited method of editing. Others may spend up to 20 hours editing your video and making it television-quality."

When it comes to video style, you've got a range of options. The "love story production" or the "relationship segment" is increasingly popular. "These videos are the story behind the story, how the couple came together. It's important family history," Chapman says. "Sometimes these segments are produced in the relaxed style of A&E's Biography or a high-energy TV special. The videographer might take the couple to some of their favorite spots, interview them about their relationship, or get reactions from friends and family. On the wedding video, the love story segment usually appears as a prelude to the actual ceremony." Another emerging trend is videos shot in an MTV, music-video style.

How to make a good style match? "Tell the videographer what your television viewing preferences are," Chapman advises.

Finally, if you're dealing with a videography studio, be sure to indicate in your contract the specific person you want to shoot your wedding. Often, studios will employ more than one videographer, and it's important to make it clear which one you want to work with.

Act Three: the Wedding Day

You can make the videographer's experience a little easier by supplying a schedule of the day's events. Be sure to introduce the videographer to the key players in your wedding—for example, your parents—to ensure that these VIPs are featured appropriately. You might want to pay extra to have the videographer shoot the rehearsal dinner. This will familiarize him or her with your ceremony and allow for prenuptial mingling with the important folks.

And remember: Your videographer needs to eat! Supply a meal—and if there are assistants, feed them too.

Post-Production: the Final Cut

Some wedding videos take months to complete, so when you sign your contract, make sure you get an idea of when you can expect to see the finished product. And find out exactly what you'll get: Discuss with your videographer whether you will receive just an edited copy of the wedding video, or if you will also receive the raw footage, i.e., all the material that was shot over the course of the day. Some videographers include the raw footage, some don't. If you have a preference, hire accordingly.

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