I have recently acquired a DJI Mavic Pro drone which I hope to use at some weddings starting towards the end of the 2017 season. Flying a drone for commercial purposes requires training and accreditation from the CAA and I'm currently working towards this. Aerial footage will generally only be possible at rural exclusive use venues and weddings at some private homes. When planning your videography I'll be able to give an indication of whether aerial filming will be possible. I have written a blog post on this topic here.
DO YOU HAVE A DRONE for aerial footage?
Are you able to produce our wedding on DVD?
I have stopped producing weddings on DVD and Blu-ray as I believe this format to be a poor technology. When DVD first came out in the late 1990s we were watching on smaller televisions and the quality was great compared to VHS. Roll forward nearly twenty years and most of us are watching on larger HD screens and a DVD picture appears pixelated compared to what we’re now used to. I film and edit weddings in HD and it makes me sad to think of the clarity and detail which is lost when transferred to DVD. Imagine how easily a disc scratches or deteriorates through wear and tear. That’s it, your investment gone forever. A digital file secures you for the future. Plug the USB directly into your television to watch in the full original HD quality. Make a copy for everyone in your family, back up to your computer, upload to cloud storage and burn as many copies to DVD as you like, you can buy an external USB DVD recorder on amazon for as little as £10.
What cameras do you use?
Developments in technology mean it’s no longer necessary to lug around a cumbersome video camera. In fact, to your guests, I’m likely to look like a photographer. I currently use two Panasonic Lumix GH4 cameras and a variety of lenses. Using a DSLR for video gives a cinematic feel to the production and interchangeable lenses allow you to adapt your set-up to the surroundings. The small form factor allows me to be more discreet and at the same time create shots which were unthinkable with larger cameras. I also use an additional professional camcorder during the ceremony and speeches to capture an alternate angle of the occasion.
Although I'm often upgrading my equipment as new technology emerges, the skill lies in the storytelling and editing. In one of my early films from 2010 it's hard to imagine that I captured a friend's wedding using just an iPhone4, flipcam (remember them?!) and a cheap camcorder from Dixons. You can be the judge here!
Do I have to weaR A Microphone?
Great quality audio is vital in video, usually a lapel microphone can be attached to a groom or celebrant during the ceremony and table microphones are provided for the speeches to capture crisp sound. If there's a professional audio set up, I can often plug a recorder into the sound desk when available.
CAN I CHOOSE THE MUSIC INCLUDED IN MY 'DOCUMENTARY EDIT' AND 'HIGHLIGHTS montage'?
Generally I choose the tracks used in the production. For the documentary edit, this is usually inspired by music playing at the event and often I make a separate recording of any musical performances at the wedding to use in the film also. On your wedding day, it's easy to miss the music playing when chatting with friends and relatives, so I like to include live music where possible as this gives a true account of the day. For the highlights I only use licensed music sourced from songfreedom.com and musicbed.com, the licensing fee is included within the price of your wedding video. Some couples do like to help choose the music, but I feel the best results occur when I'm able to match the music myself based on the footage I have and my own creative vision. If couples would like to help pick music, I ask that they contact me soon after the wedding before editing commences.
DO YOU SUPPLY RAW FOOTAGE?
I present you with just the finished, edited product. The reason being that each wedding uses around 300 to 500GB of memory which is difficult to supply and requires a fairly powerful computer to edit. Sometimes I’m running around from place to place filming the floor, or I film something over and over to get it just right, or I could unintentionally capture unflattering shots of guests that must never see the light of day. You don’t want to see these things!
DO I NEED TO OBTAIN PERMISSION FROM THE VENUE TO HAVE MY WEDDING FILMED?
If you’re getting married in a religious setting, it’s important to alert the relevant persons that you intend to have the ceremony filmed. Some churches may charge an additional fee for a videographer or ask to see proof of a MPCS-PPL license. They might also place restrictions on camera positioning which may effect the final production. I always make sure to introduce myself prior to the service and make it known that I intend to film discreetly throughout. For civil ceremonies and receptions, some venues may ask for proof of public liability insurance which I can provide on request.
Can you capture both bride and groom preparations?
It's good to get footage of both the bride and groom if possible. This is easily achievable when both parties are getting ready within the same house or hotel, or when the bride and groom are within 5-10 minutes apart. Any further distance than this means I'm spending time travelling when I could be be filming. When we go through the schedule of your day, coverage of the morning preparations can be planned to get the best result for your wedding film.
DO YOU INTERVIEW GUESTS?
No. Having attended weddings myself, I get the impression that this is something guests generally don’t enjoy (or actually do very well) and it goes against my ethos of remaining discreet and being in the background. I capture the natural action as it happens and I think this makes a better video.