With the couples spending a significant amount of money towards one of the most memorable days of their lives, weddings are surely a big deal. From the smallest details of the invitations to the huge decisions like color schemes and band selection, weddings have become a truly celebrated occasion of unity, family, and love.
In the wedding industry, modern documentation has been getting a lot of buzz considering that couples have now understood how important it is to have video or photos of the entire wedding day itself. Some book wedding videographers months in advance while others depend on close friends and family members to capture the wedding highlights. So if you are starting your own wedding video production company or if you are tasked by the couple to get the entire day on film, here are a few important points to remember in terms of wedding videos.
The ever-important gear. A soldier never goes to war without familiarizing himself with his weapon. Even if it is a borrowed camcorder or a freshly unboxed DSLR with video recording ability, the shooter must always get to know how operate his own camera. Know how to charge the battery, how to adjust the settings, and how to go about recording a scene. Also, bring along a sturdy tripod, it comes in handy during the long ceremony readings and the lengthy speeches at the reception.
The taken for granted audio. Since videos are generally moving photos, most people would think that it is all about the pictures and the visual aspect of the video. Actually, the audio plays a big part in the video’s success. Be it the natural audio of the scene or added special sound effects, the audio aspect of any video accounts for its clarity and authenticity. In weddings, there would be no point trying to perfect the video’s composition if the viewer cannot make sense of what the speeches are all about. It would be beneficial for the shooter to secure an audio or microphone system that can help in having a back up for the ceremony and reception recordings. Commonly, remote microphones can be hooked up to record the vows and it still can be hidden away in the groom’s pocket. Just don’t forget to retrieve it after the party and check it from time to time as it might run out of memory space in the middle of a really long speech.
Be prepared. Anticipating the day’s schedule and double-checking all gears before heading to the location are all part of the said preparation. However, it goes far more than the itinerary and the equipment. Professional videographers suggest that shooters attend the rehearsals to be able to properly see the venue itself and also to familiarize the members of the bridal entourage. Survey the venue if there is ample lighting especially in areas where the couple plans to hold the first dance, cake cutting, speeches, etc. Also, ask about contingency plans for weather so you too could be prepared for unexpected rainfall.
The early bird gets the best shots. Upon first hearing it, arriving two hours ahead of schedule might sound a little ridiculous and a bit exaggerated. However, most camera crews would prefer to be early on location to setup all gear and equipment orderly. Also, it allows for more establishing shots of the venue and the event. You get to shoot the venue as it is decorated with flowers and banners, wide angle shots of the establishment’s facade is also done better without the passersby or the parked cars. Most of all, arriving early means you still have time to go back and look for batteries, memory cards, DV tapes, etc. in case you have left them.
The precious B-roll. During the lengthy intermission numbers or successive speeches from one family to another, you’d think you are off the hook just as long as the video camera is aimed at the podium and the audio recordings are doing well. Actually, this is where a second camera comes in handy. Roam around the room and carefully observe the audience’s response and the couple’s reaction. In cinematography, these minor details may be filmed and then used as B-roll or cut-away clips. To break away from the continuous frames of one person talking for more than 5 minutes, these clips may be inserted. If it is a one-camera shoot, be quick to switch views in between scenes such as when the bride and groom are chatting up in another table or when the priest goes down the altar to prepare the couple’s papers. Use up your time wisely and shoot as many clips possible.