Bar Mitzvah / Bat Mitzvah and Jewish Wedding Planning and Resource Guide
Photography and Videography
Video can recreate the life of an
event in a way that captures the action and emotion of the day. It is
often one of the most important elements in planning an event.
|Finding the Right Videographer|
Early event videos were crude by today's standards, but today's videos
are quite advanced and professional, thanks in part to the Wedding and
Event Videographers Association, WEVA
Videography is a serious profession, not just a hobby. Professionals
now have the latest video and computer-based editing systems and often
produce network-level results. Digital Video Disk (DVD) is growing as a
special event video distribution medium. Here are some issues to
consider when choosing videographers.
- Ask for sample videos.
The number of cameras, lighting, microphone placement, artistic
ability, technical qualifications don't mean that much if you don't
like the videpgrapher's work. Look for smooth camera work, natural
editing, sharp sound (remember to consider the location).
- Request at least 3 references. Are past clients happy with
the results? Were they happy during the event? Was he/she easy to work
with? The professional should be technically competent, likeable and
easy to work with.
- Ask for membership with professional associations, such as
- How many weddings or Bar/Bat Mitzvahs do they video each
- Ask for an explanation of what "Unobtrusive" means to them.
Wireless microphones? Low-level lighting? Multiple cameras? How will
being unobtrusive affect the final production? For instance, there may
be a tradeoff between external lighting and accurate color reproduction.
- Ask for proof of insurance.
- Determine what end product (ie tape, DVD, basic, montage,
music, full Hollywood production, etc.) you want. Different budgets and
expectations require you to consider quality, type of end product,
level of editing, budget, and the extent of coverage. When you have
this defined for yourself, searching for the right videographer is
easier. Is a "love story" intro for a wedding video important to you?
Or do you have to have a pre-event birth-to-now collage, set to music?
Price and capabilities are affected by these needs. For instance, while
a 30-40 minute composite video may seem "less" than a full event video,
it involves the same amount of shooting plus more extensive editing.
- How are services billed? By the hour, flat fee, packages
- How do they coordinate with the wedding photographer? The
two need to work closely together without interfering with each other.
- Tell your brother to leave his video-cam at home. Consumer
cameras today often deliver grainy footage and muffled sound. Amateurs
also lack the experience to plan and coordinate to blend with the flow
of the event, and they can be plagued by insufficient battery capacity,
insufficient or excess equipment, poor lighting and sound. There is no
substitute for a professional who comes prepared with the right
knowledge and equipment, understands the religious tradition, and is
focused on creating your video rather than being a guest. Most problems
with intrusive video occur with non-professional videomakers.
By Gordon Kosanovich of Count Video
|Finding the Right Videographer|
Choosing the right videographer is not as difficult as it sounds once
you understand the differences between companies and their styles of
production. Most people seem to believe that all videos are created
equal. They most certainly are not. So many people choose by price
alone and are extremely disappointed with the finished product.
Also, referrals can be a hazardous road to travel. Not all people have
been exposed to the differing qualities of video productions that are
available. And sometimes trusting a neighbor's taste and judgment is
not the best choice.
The two styles that are most prevalent in the industry are documentary
and story. The documentary style tends to be a long, rough 4+ hour
production with very little editing. Most people don't understand what
a documentary is: a documentary captures and delivers a very long
version of your day. It can be far less entertaining than what you
might believe. We've all grown up on television and movies with a
strong story-line feel. But it seems that a lot of event videos do not
hit that mark. It's important to see 2 or 3 different styles: the
documentary and the story styles are very different. Generally
speaking, the documentary style is more cost-effective but certainly
nowhere near as entertaining as the story style.
Story style production takes your day and your most important moments
of the event and builds it like a television show where it tends to be
more condensed and more powerful. Keying in on the most important
moments. These productions generally have 30-40 hours of editing time
invested to create something that is more like a good drama production.
The finished product will have a more concise and to-the-point
plotline, so as not to bore your viewers, but to move them and have
them become emotionally involved with the storyline, your story.
Today, the equipment being used in video production is excellent,
making it far less a concern than it once was. What makes a video truly
entertaining with a great story are 3 elements: (1) a talented and
creative camera person; (2) perhaps most important, how much time is
spent on your project in post production (there's more to editing than
an opening title with some photos and highlight ending); and (3) the
communication prior to the event to understand your likes and dislikes.
In selecting your videographer, the fundamental rules apply. Do they
have a legitimate business location, such as storefront or office? Be
cautious of those individuals who don't take their profession as
seriously as you do; who don't devote full-time attention to their
work. Make sure that the company is fully insured, will accept major
credit cards and allows for client input. Do they have back-up
equipment with them at the event? Are they with you for the entire day
and evening without charging for overtime? Will you receive all of your
unedited footage without extra charges being applied?
It's important to see more than just a demo tape. Demo tapes can be
very deceptive. By previewing a real, edited event video, you get a
much greater sense of the company or person that you're dealing with
and their abilities to convey your story. Videos can be wonderfully
entertaining and not dull if you choose the right company. Keep in mind
best price does not mean best value.
Professional people work together well. Your videographer and
photographer will work together if you have professional, respectful
companies. When you hire people with part-time standards, you don't get
much professionalism. This will not only affect your video, but your
photos and your memories as well.
If you select properly, your video should entertain you like a good
movie or a good television show, and not some long-winded boring
documentary that you'll only sit through once. With a good story,
you'll look forward to reliving the day and your event by watching your
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