Frequently Asked Questions  - wedding videos

Frequently Asked Questions  - wedding videos

 

EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT WEDDING VIDEOTAPING.....

 

 

HOW LONG HAVE WE BEEN VIDEOTAPING WEDDINGS?
In 1979, as a student in Northwestern University's TV & Film Department, Earle Greenberg took an educated guess that video would change life as we knew it and founded VideOccasions, an extension of his already successful video audition talent agency, Talentape, inc.

WILL EARLE GREENBERG PERSONALLY SHOOT YOUR WEDDING?
Yes, if you book Package 6

WHERE DO OUR OTHER VIDEOGRAPHERS COME FROM?
Most have film school training, those who don't have decades of experience. All have a knack for creating visual art and combining state-of-the-art equipment, professional techniques and "the eyes of artistic observers." Earle's production style and the style in which he trains his professional team of videographers is based upon this "formula," He has found this to be the best method of providing a consistently high quality product while working within the constraints of your occasion.

WHAT DO WE MEAN BY "CONSTRAINTS OF YOUR OCCASION?"
We have a reputation to do whatever it takes to not interfere with you, your guests or the ambience for which you have invested so much time and money to create. So just as there are many different ways to plan an occasion, there are many different ways to record one. Please remember that our job as professional wedding videographers is not to create things to shoot, but rather to shoot things creatively. In order for us to provide you with best possible finished product, it is important that there are no surprises and that you provide us with all of the details and externally imposed constraints of your occasion before they occur. This gives us the opportunity to work more efficiently and discreetly and to be in the right place at the right time.

WHAT IS OUR ULTIMATE GOAL?
To produce an artistic DVD of your wedding which will allow the viewer to feel as if they were actually there with you (ie. your children and grandchildren), even if they weren't there.

HOW ARE WE DIFFERENT FROM THE REST?
Being the leader in artistic wedding videography means always searching for ways to make our work better and more visually interesting. We do this with things like: integrating extreme close-ups, with black & white and sepia footage and by changing real time visuals into slow-motion or fast-motion where appropriate. We frequently do not show the bride in color until she walks down the aisle. As always, any of these artistic things we do can be changed back to normal if you desire during the editing revision period. We also tend to shoot a great deal of footage, because if it isn't recorded you'll never get to see it. Many of the new age videographers shoot only what they need to make a 30 minute or so television show of your day. The problem with that is that you will never get to see everything. When you have kids and grandkids, we can guarantee you that they would rather see an entire toast, lots of dancing, people laughing versus a highly truncated version that is merely a readers digest version of the day.

WHAT IS "CAMERA-ON-A-STICK"?
In August of 1999, Earle began regularly using what our staff lovingly refers to as "camera on a stick." This was a small, camcorder mounted on a collapsible pole and held about four feet over the heads of the subjects or objects we are recording for an extremely unique and 'heavenly' view. It also enables Earle to perform unique camera moves on decor that were previously impossible without large pieces of production equipment typically used by movie crews. You can't imagine how interesting this looks until you've seen it. Besides that, no one is tall enough to get in our way. "Camera-on-a-stick" is only available when personally contracting Earle Greenberg. The demo on our site contains footage using this technique.

DO WE USE BRIGHT LIGHTS DURING A CHURCH CEREMONY?
We don't use bright lights during anything.

DO WE USE ANY LIGHT DURING A CHURCH CEREMONY?
None at all. We have never come across a church that is a proponent of using light.

WHERE DO WE SET UP DURING A CHURCH CEREMONY?
Wherever works best from the positions allowed by the clergy. Our preferred setup is one videographer in a doorway off to the right side of the altar and one in the back of the church on ground level or in a balcony.

DO WE USE ANY LIGHT DURING A JEWISH OR HOTEL CEREMONY?
It is typically unnecessary to add light to religious ceremonies, as we use the most effective low-light cameras. However, even the best low-light cameras require reasonable levels of light in order to provide a nice image. If the room is only candle lit, the video clarity will diminish. We prefer to add light only if it can be accomplished without interfering with the ambience of your ceremony. If you prefer otherwise, please advise us. There have been many occasions on which we have been asked by a Rabbi or other officiant to use light because they don't have enough light with which to read. You should discuss canopy lighting with the appropriate vendors. Remember that while can lights on the floor may make the chupa look nice, they will give you racoon eyes and are not particularly flattering.

WHERE DO WE SET UP DURING A JEWISH OR HOTEL CEREMONY?
Our preferred setup is one videographer behind a chupa post or backdrop and the other videographer at the back of the room. Depending on the size of the chupa, room and bridal party, one videographer may record the processional handheld at the end of the aisle if permitted.

CAN WE USE MORE THAN TWO CAMERAS FOR YOUR CEREMONY?
Yes, you can book up to four videographers for ceremony coverage in addition to a remote control, motorized head camera for the ceremony.

HOW DO WE RECORD CEREMONY AUDIO?
We put a wireless lapel microphone on the groom which picks up the officiant, bride and groom. We also put a wireless microphone (if allowed) on any podiums, that may be used for readings. We also run two house microphones for ambient sound and music and frequently use an additional high quality digital audio recorder connected to the soundboard if possible.

WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT TO SEE PRIOR TO THE CEREMONY ON THE FINISHED DVD?
Depending upon what time you have our videographers begin, your edited dvd will generally begin with a montage of: baby photos, the invitation, exteriors, signage, interiors, stained glass windows, the altars, flowers, candelabras and architecture. Depending upon the hours contracted, you will typically see 'behind the scenes' of bridal party preparation and the photography session, as well as the arrival of guests, all accompanied by classical music (or any other music that you provide). Many of our clients have us start early enough to document the hair and make-up sessions as well. We normally edit a majority of the pre-ceremony 'people' footage in sepia or black and white to give it a classic look.

WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM THE RECEPTION ON THE FINISHED DVD?
Prior to the reception will generally be a montage of: the portrait session, limousines, flower arrangements, place cards, ballroom, centerpieces, the cake, tables, etc.... also accompanied by music. Reception activities such as the receiving line, guests entering the room, announced entrances, toasts, cake cutting, dancing, bouquet and garter throwing are always on the finished DVD.

WILL THERE BE WIRES ON THE FLOOR FOR THE VIDEO EQUIPMENT?
Since 1979, all of our equipment has been attached to a mobile monopod or tripod which gives us hand-held mobility with tripod stability.

WILL WE DO INTERVIEWS AT THE TABLES?
No. These were standard in the 80's and early 90's but so many people complained about being asked to talk on camera that we stopped doing them. If you do want any of your guests speaking on camera, please let us know, so we bring the necessary equipment. We do not solicit comments. If you are interested in some interviews, we'd suggest starting with the grandparents.

DO WE USE LIGHTS ON STANDS AT THE RECEPTION?
No.

DO WE USE ANY LIGHTS AT THE RECEPTION?
For evening weddings or hotel rooms without windows, we typically have to add some light. Even the best low-light cameras require a reasonable level of light in order to provide a really nice image. However, since all of our equipment is mobile and battery powered, the atmosphere of your reception will not be disrupted by high-wattage lights. Our standard lighting consists of a battery powered, dimmable 100-watt LED light, mounted on the camera, illuminating only what is being videotaped - rather than illuminating large portions of the room. However, we frequently shoot weddings where lighting is used to pinspot tables and other decor. The hotel or lighting company can use similar equipment to put a 'wash' of soft light on the dance floor. For events lit like this, we would not need additional light. Remind your lighting vendor to not use yellow or green gels, or your guests will look like they are sick. As mentioned earlier, we will always opt to sacrifice some image quality in order to not interfere with the ambience. If at any time you think that the light is too bright, just ask the videographer to dim it down. Please note that many of today's photographers not only have flashes on their cameras, but also use continuous lighting which is typically brighter than our light. We obviously have no control over what the photographers do.

WILL WE BE IN AMONGST YOUR GUESTS DURING DANCING?
During dancing, we use a zoom lens and shoot over the heads of your guests from the perimeter of the dance floor, and rarely shoot from amongst the guests on the dance floor as would videographers who shoulder hold the camera or your typical photographer. We can easily see into the middle of dance circles from high up on the perimeter and not be in anyones way..

WHAT KIND OF CAMERAS DO WE USE?
We used to talk about specific camera models and specifications, but that really didn't mean much to most people. We are always experimenting with the latest and greatest. With regard to cameras, whether you hire us or not, you should make sure that your videographer uses a camera that is High Defintion with 3-CCD or CMOS chips that perform well in low-light. Not only do we use these cameras but we frequently use cameras that can be held in one hand and hidden behind our backs. Our lights also have dimmers.. These provide a sufficient amount of light in normal circumstances. All of our packages and videographers include High Definition cameras.

WHAT DO WE DO DURING EDITING?
Editing allows us to complete the artistic process by removing or moving any recorded audio or video footage to anywhere on your finished video. For an entire wedding, this final phase of the production process requires 20- 30 hours, and is truly, "where video becomes art." Our three state-of-the-art computer based edit systems not only allow all 'revision' editing to be completed by Earle Greenberg, but also allow us to complete your initial edit in about 3 weeks.

IS ANYTHING IMPORTANT REMOVED DURING THE EDITING PROCESS?
Never. Editing simply allows us to choose superior shots and angles. For example, there might be ten different views of the ballroom on our original footage. Editing allows us to provide you with the ones that look the best. We never remove anything of significance.

CAN YOU SIT IN ON EDITING?
Only if you'd like to miss your honeymoon. Editing takes from 20-30 hours and is done in the week or two following your wedding (while your wedding is still very fresh in our minds). If we didn't edit right away, it would probably take twice as long and then we'd be like the other videographers and not deliver your edited dvd for months. We don't want to be like the other videographers.

WHAT IS THE EDITING REVISION PERIOD?
We do a full edit and provide you with a digital or dvd copy for review. Most of our clients make no changes to the first delivered DVD and just request their final copy. However, we are happy to move, remove, delete or modify any video or audio on the DVD to insure that you are completely satisfied with the finished product. We do ask that you give us a list of these changes within 3 weeks of receipt and you will use the timecoding to provide that change list.

WILL WE USE A LOT OF SPECIAL EFFECTS?
Not if we can help it. Many videographers use (overuse) fancy video effects... because they have them. Although we have the technology to perform hundreds of these visual effects, we avoid them because we believe they cheapen the overall look and feel of the video. In order to provide you with a finished DVD that is more artistic and conservative, we primarily edit in 'film style,' using dissolves, fades and cuts - because transitions from one segment to the next should be seamless. If you are aware of the transition, then the editor is not doing a very good job. The content is 'the thing', not how you get from one segment of content to another.

HOW MUCH FOOTAGE DO WE SHOOT?
There is no limit to the amount of video footage that we shoot.

HOW LONG WILL YOUR FINISHED VIDEO BE?
There is no limit to the length of your finished video. We have delivered edited wedding videos ranging from one hour to four hours. It all depends on what takes place. We often shoot quite a bit of footage... even dancing, because as good as we are, we can't predict the spontaneous.

DO WE INCLUDE A HIGHLIGHT VIDEO OF YOUR WEDDING?
Packages 2 through 6 all include a one song highlight video montage, normally in black and white and slow motion. We also make available a completely customized highlight video. You use your final dvd to make a list of everything that you want included in the highlight video. You can even come in for the editing session. We charge hourly for this and if you're really organized, it shouldn't take more than two hours. The timecode on your review DVD allows you to precisely tailor the highlight video to your personal preferences

HOW DO WE DELIVER THE FINAL PRODUCT?

1) Straight duplicated copies. Put it in the player, hit play and it plays straight through. You can always jump around or speed around using your remote.

2) Chaptered copies. These are a little more expensive and take a little longer to produce because you have to decide on chapters and we have to do the programming..

 

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF WHEN PLANNING YOUR WEDDING?
For hotel ceremonies: Hotels, lighting designers and florists who think that lighting the decorations are more important than lighting the bride and groom.

Guests getting up to make unplanned toasts when the videographers are shooting at the other end of the ballroom.

Guests doing anything worthy of capturing when we are shooting somewhere else or not in the room. If there are specific people who are important to get on video, please tell us who they are. We can't read your mind and many people avoid the video camera. That is why we frequently record guests leaving the ceremony and entering the ballroom - so you have a chance to see everyone.
 

DO WE LIKE SURPRISES?
Only when the surprise is on you or your guests. We can always be prepared for what we know about in advance. However, the only way to be prepared for any surprises on us would be to constantly hover around you and your guests. Since we want to be as unobtrusive as possible, hovering around you is not a good way to do that. So we walk a fine line between being instantaneously ready and not being very visible.

It gets hard to focus a camera when you haven't eaten for many hours, so please be aware that our videographers and your photographers will need to eat during the evening. Eating at midnight doesn't help our visual acuity when the recording started at noon.

Although we may charge more for our wedding services than most, we take great pride in consistently providing the type of artistic, comprehensive videos for which we are known.

 

SO IF YOU ARE SEARCHING FOR A VIDEOGRAPHER WHO WILL CREATIVELY CAPTURE YOUR PRECIOUS MEMORIES WITHOUT BECOMING PART OF THEM AND YOU SHARE OUR BELIEF THAT VIDEOGRAPHERS SHOULD BE NEITHER SEEN NOR HEARD, WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU.

 
 

Questions?

We are always ready to help. You'll appreciate our rapid response.

 

847-498-6360  Illinois and Wisconsin  |  480-378-9050  Arizona

info@chicagovideoworks.com   |  info@webcastermaster.com  |  info@customphotomosaics.com