Wedding Video Tips
Having a wedding video business is one of the most profitable ways for videographers to make a living. As long as people continue to fall in love there will be weddings. Everyone flocks to where the money is at, so any business surrounding matrimony will be competitive and over saturated. Supply is beginning to outweigh demand. How does one set themselves apart from all of the other videographers out there and create demand for his/her services? Well, for starters anyone looking to capture wedding memories needs to think outside the box while being reliable. We have put together a mix of tried and true tips and innovative techniques that will help you create a video that drives demand and fascinates your clients, friends, and family members.
Most weddings follow the same format. Guests enter, bride walks down the aisle, vows are exchanged, bride gets kissed, first dance, dinner, yada...yada...yada. With weddings being so predictable how does one go about creating some excitement and uniqueness that people will want to see in their own wedding videos? You don't want to differentiate yourself so much as to put yourself out of business, but you must find your niche, carve it out, and protect it. This can be done by finding ways to get the most out of your equipment, your budget, and your creative thinking.
Creating a Wedding Video
• Interview The Bride And Groom
The more you now about the bride and groom the better your wedding video will be. You'll be able to personalize the video during multiple scenes (we'll make sure to point out how along the way). So do your research and film the interview. Ask them about their background, where they were raised, their interests, how they met, and how he proposed to her. Maybe they had a great first date, or didn't like each other when they first met. A great way to use this footage that others do not take advantage of is using it as transitions or vignettes between scenes throughout the film. Also, get an idea of what their vision for the video is and any specific shots they may want to include. Get as much info as possible as you may not get access to them again until after the wedding.
• Kick Back And Watch Some Movies
If you have experience filming weddings you should have an eye for what you like and what looks good on film. The problem is, you have used those techniques several times before. You have probably seen many movies or television programs that featured several different weddings with different wedding themes. Try using some techniques from those gems. Break out those old DVD's or tune into NetFlix to view some silver screen wedding creations. Movies like Four Weddings and a Funeral, or My Best Friends Wedding may spark some ideas on camera angles, camera placement, or other cinematic ideas for the wedding video. This is a great way to get inspiration for new or even original ideas and break out of that same old same old routine.
• Make Your List And Check It Twice
After you interview your subjects make a preliminary list of the things you'll need to complete your task. You can always change it later. The list should include everything you'll need including extra batteries, wireless mics, a tripod, SDHC cards, extra lenses, lens cleaners, headphones, and anything else you think you might need. Plan like you were getting ready for a hurricane and pack extra supplies. Extra cords, batteries, microphones and recording media, is essential. A backup camcorder is of the utmost importance. If the main camera breaks during the wedding and you don't have a backup you might be the talk of the wedding for all the wrong reasons. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Don't assume that you will remember to bring everything. Write it down, and check it off your list as you pack for the wedding ceremony.
• Check Your Camcorder
Check your batteries and your storage devices. Make sure that you have adequate battery life and storage space to record the entire ceremony. Charge your camcorder battery the night before the wedding and test your camcorder to make sure everything is in working condition. You need to know everything there is to know about your camera, including how to use the different features before filming any of the action. Enable any stabilization function your camera has prior to shooting. Enable auto focus to zoom in and focus on the action without sacrificing any detail. If you are using external or wireless microphones be sure to test the sound using a set of headphones.
• Attend The Rehearsal
Although some people do not think this step is necessary, we feel that it is a vital piece of preparation for any wedding video. Attending the rehearsal, planning ahead, and shooting some test video may avoid problems with lighting, and microphone placement. Visit the places that will be included in the ceremony such as the church and the reception hall. Have others pose as the bride and groom as shoot some test video to prepare for the big day. Determine where wireless mics need to be placed. Find out about the music, the speaker placement, and how loud it will be played. This will help you with positioning, camera placement, and creating camera angles later.
• Use Your Hands Instead Of The Stand
Try getting some handheld shots instead of sticking to the tripod the entire time. This will allow you to create some great angles throughout the wedding. During your interview with the bride and groom you want to let them know that you will be doing some close up action throughout the ceremony. Handheld shots will allow you to get some close ups of the bride and groom, circle the bride and groom as they say their vows, or get down to eye level with the flower girl or ring bearer as they go down the aisle. Some may feel that this can be a distraction from the ceremony, but the angles you get will create cherished lifetime memories for the bride and the groom and create a unique wedding video.
• Setup Several Shots
Another way to get creative is to try some different angles. When you are at the rehearsal look for creative places to set up your camcorders to get unique perspectives of the ceremony. Set up an extra camcorder on a balcony to get a snazzy overhead shot. Set up a camcorder outside a large window to get that fancy outside looking in shot. If you have equipment that allows you to take tracking shots try filming from behind the minister or priest. Video taboo you say? We say unique! A nice shot from this angle of the bride's and groom's faces and the guests in the background can make for a wonderful shot which can include the majority of the attendees at the ceremony.
Capturing unique shots and angles is just the beginning. Try filming some unique venues and scenes which may not be part of most wedding videos. Get some video of the wedding parties preparing for the ceremony (fully clothed please). Catch a glimpse of the chaos that is part of almost every pre-wedding nuptial. Have you ever seen Hell's Kitchen? Not until you've seen caterers preparing for a wedding. Get in the kitchen and film how things are going on behind the scenes. This will create some very interesting scenes that can be used to lead up to the ceremony and help to create a sense of time lapses within the video.
• Use The Guests To Create A Story
Some people are nervous around video cameras. They turn away, or make comments like "Please don't film me" or Is that recording?" No matter how hard you try to avoid drawing attention to yourself it is going to happen. You have a camcorder in your hand! As you capture the moments try asking the guests some of the same questions you asked the bride and groom. Pose your questions so that they have to answer in a narrative or story. You may be able to create a nice montage of the couples background from the answers given by the guests.
Pocket camcorders are very advanced and are capable of capturing HD video. Try handing out a few pocket camcorders to some of the guests to allow them to capture the action from their own point of view. They may obtain some shots that escaped you. Make sure you label your pocket camcorders and get the name of the individual you give them to. No need to get more than the name as we assume you can reach out to the bride and groom to find the individual if a camcorder comes up missing. Having their name of the person who has the pocket camcorder will also allow you to label the scene they created during the video. A small label or title stating "Joe's Point of View" would be a nice touch to the video.
• Wedding Video 101
You have to have cat like reflexes to shoot a professional wedding video. You must anticipate and follow the action throughout the wedding. You only get one chance to capture the action at a wedding ceremony. One distraction can cause you to miss one of the best parts of the ceremony. Attending the rehearsal will help you know what’s coming next and allow you to be prepared for each shot. Your camera motions will be smooth and calculated. Anticipating and following the action is key to shooting a professional wedding video.
And there you have it. Our tips and techniques for creating a wedding video. There are several ways to create a professional product but we feel that these are the most important steps in the process. Use your own imagination and creativity to come up with some original ways to making memorable videos that any couple would be proud of watching again and again.