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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...

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Old January 20th, 2011, 01:16 AM   #16
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Generally, when I speak of what I do in the global sense... I'm a 'video producer'. When I talk to corporate clients that is.

When I market my services to brides/couples, I'm a cinematographer, that is - that i strive to do something decidedly more cinematic, compelling and interesting than simply videotaping a wedding. Which by definition could simply mean setting up a couple of cameras at wide angles and pressing record.

I 'videotaped' my first wedding 20 years ago. Did a few and gave it up until 3 years ago when I was inspired by some of the greats on this forum to look at weddings in a completely different, much more cinematic way. And now I aspire to create works of art, not merely to record an event.

Hey, but that's just me...
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Old January 20th, 2011, 08:14 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Philip Howells View Post

We settled for the more explicit if no less wieldy "Wedding Video Production". It communicates easily and is "exactly what it says on the tin".
Then you produce wedding videos, then you are a wedding video producer.

Claire (video producer) and yes, I have broadcast TV credits as a producer but in my maiden name (so don't bother looking in IMDB cos I aint there :)

Good luck with the new business Philip.
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Old January 20th, 2011, 11:19 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Randy Panado View Post
Trends and market perception change thru repetition, not thru being complacent. If you (you not being Chris but in general) want to continue calling your product a wedding video and others want to call theirs wedding films, let people be. I'm sure there will come a time when there is a stark difference between wedding films and wedding videos due to the hard work and persistence of those who believe they are trying to produce something more and pushed to tactfully correct people who called them by the wrong term.
I've had two clients approach me recently using the term cinematography vs video. I do believe it makes a difference in perception. Timex sells watches. Rolex sells timepieces. Which term would you associate with a higher quality product?
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Old January 20th, 2011, 12:47 PM   #19
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Thanks for sharing your experience Art. :)
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Old January 20th, 2011, 01:49 PM   #20
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Hey, shooters. I just wanted to take a minute to apologize if I offended anyone with my comments. It wasn't my intention to further divide us on the issue. Peace.
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Old January 20th, 2011, 03:08 PM   #21
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In my mind, it came down to what I think my Brides are going to be searching Google for.

9 out of 10 will search for Wedding Videographer because that's what WEDJ, The Knot, etc.. call it. They care that you do a great job at capturing moving pictures with sound and I care that they can find me.

So what I came up with is: I'm ok with calling myself a videographer, but I don't shoot wedding video, I make wedding films.
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Old January 20th, 2011, 03:50 PM   #22
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What a great thread! You guys are cool.

I would say most of us here are videographers. We make wedding videos. We are video producers. We use (high-end) video gear. We struggle to educate our clients the value of videography because of the stigma of "Funniest Home VIDEOS" and Uncle Bob's trail of destruction during birthdays and family reunions.

(A) If you have professional industry-recognised training at a film school, shoot on film, CineAlta, RED etc, use focus pull assemblies, work with a director, sound team, lighting team and produce content which is destined for large screen release - you could rightly classify yourself as a DOP, or cinematographer.

(B) If you are producing wedding or event videos by yourself or with a couple of assistants, using video gear (DSLR's, Canon/Sony prosumer, PC/Apple editing suite), smack a bit of Rod Stewart or Celene Dion wailing over the top, (or worse, some royalty free piano music you downloaded and shared with a mate) burn it onto DVD-R, give it to your client for private domestic viewing - hate to break it to you, but you are a videographer.

There is quite a clear distinction.

HOWEVER - There is a grey area of people who ARE videographers, but claim to be cinematographers because the word video makes them feel dirty. This is just insecurity. And to justify their crazy prices. (or the clients "investment" I think their new website term is) They could rightly claim to produce videos with a cinematic look and feel... but cinematographers they should not claim to be.

WIKIPEDIA - A "wannabe" (slang for "want to be") is a person with an ambition to be someone or something that she/he is not. The term is mildly pejorative, intended to convey the foolish nature of the desire due to the incompetence of the "wannabe" to accomplish the goal.

This is all true. It's written above - and it's on the Internet - so it must be! ;)
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Old January 20th, 2011, 04:08 PM   #23
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By your post and logic, the majority of the leading studios in the wedding filmmaking industry who consider themselves wedding cinematographers are wannabe's. Quite the bold statement mate. ;) I'm secure with myself to know that others can say what they want about the difference in terms and marketing and it not effect me one bit, but to go on record and call people wannabe I venture to say that there is talent in the wedding filmmaking industry that is good enough to work in hollywood and on sets. I mean heck, the NFL has one of the top wedding studios shooting for them on a regular basis as does MLB. It borders insulting to call people wannabes in my humble opinion. A better choice of words would have been better off there bro.

Also, I would find it silly to say that if a run of the mill videographer attended a prestigious film school and shot with some fancy equipment, that they have the "right" to call themself a cinematographer while still doing run of the mill work when on other hand, you have self taught guys who started from the ground up shooting from sony mini DV then to HD DSLR and now produce excellent work aren't able to call themselves cinematographers but produce "cinematography". That's a head scratcher. A piece of paper or amount of hours in attendance doesn't qualify anyone in my mind. I feel it's the approach, the work, and the thinking...but hey, I'm for sure in the minority in this subject.

On another note, there's a huge difference between being insecure and wanting to change the perception and direction of wedding and event filmmaking. Discerning brides DO know the difference between a videographer and a cinematographer. Let's not insult their intelligence by just saying that it's just a marketing term or videographers being insecure and wanting to separate themselves from videographers with a fancy word while ignoring the fact that MOST (not all) of the time, there is a difference in the quality of work.

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Old January 20th, 2011, 04:32 PM   #24
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Hi Randy - sorry if my post offended you. I've read back over it however and stand by it.

How does one achieve the title of cinematographer? When does one make the leap from being a videographer to cinematographer?

You can be both. But it depends on what the job and setting is.

Back to an earlier analogy: If George Lucas was filming his cousin's wedding with a Sony Z1 - he would be the videographer. A bloody good videographer with lots of cinematography experience... but his role at the time would be described as a videographer.

Now, if he bought a crew along with him, had cranes and jibs flying all over the place and shouting at the priest 'ACTION!' through a loud hailer.... well then he's probably going to introduce himself to the guests as the cinematographer.
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Old January 20th, 2011, 06:51 PM   #25
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You haven't offended me, it doesn't matter what your definition of a cinematographer is in relation to calling myself a cinematographer. I'll call myself an astronaut if I feel like it accurately described what I do based on MY definition ;).

Now that I know what you deem a videographer and a cinematographer is by definition, what you say makes sense based on that. We all have different views on what defines a cinematographer and videographer. You describe yours based on the gear and the production going on, I base mine on the work and the approach to shooting. There's no point in pushing the discussion further (for me) as we're at an impasse.

To each his own. Cheers.
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 07:39 AM   #26
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I go by the title videographer, I hope to switch my name to "Videomaker" as it is what I do.
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 09:57 AM   #27
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When asked what I do I would say "I make videos" until some one asked if I worked in a Sony factory. That was in the days of VHS players.
Don't know if the sense of this translates to the US but here in UK a VHS machine was referred to generically as a video, as was the cassette and the footage that was on it.

Last edited by George Kilroy; January 23rd, 2011 at 10:36 AM.
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 10:20 AM   #28
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Problem is though, that cinematographer is so constraining a term. I'm so much more than a cinematographer. I am sound designer, editor, cameraman, director(in some cases) script writer (in some cases), grip and gaffer. I don't mind floating the connotation that cinematographer has vs. videographer, but it is a very specific and confining term. How about Digital Filmmaker. That sums it up a bit right? btw not a great search term,so..
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 12:27 PM   #29
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I believe there are quite a few major differencies between someone that does video and someone that tries to implement cinematic techniques and storytelling at weddings.

The word "video" brings in my mind low quality home movies, news coverage (ENG), Documentaries and TV series (best case scenario) and also weddings and porn.

The word "Cinema" brings in my mind, my favorite movies, some nice short independed movies I've seen (most of them being shot with regular HDV video cameras) and in my mind this is often very closely related with the word "art".

Since weddings are one shot events and there are no second or third takes, the cinematic approach has to have some limitations in the "coverage" side of things.

When you do video, your priority is to cover the event.
When you do wedding cinematography, your priority is to tell a story your own way.
Accuately covering the actual events becomes second priority and the lead goes to atmosphere, feelings and emotion.
Photography all of a sudden, becomes more important than with simple video coverage.

The end result in video should have no gaps in the coverage and the couple should be able to clearly see what happened at their wedding. No major event should be missed from start to finish and pepole should have neutral skin tones even if the D.J. has pink/blue light show on the dance floor. Artsy stuff when shooting video is not important.
Besides the word "art" doesn't go together with the word "video".
After waching a wedding video we shouldn't have any questions about what happened on that day.

When you do wedding cinematography, the goal is to make a short movie that tells the story of the day in the same way movies do.
Just like in the movies not every part of the story is presented in order excite the imagination.
The cinematographer also shoots other things during the wedding (like let's say a bird that flies on the trees above, a kid that plays with the flowers or the waiter's hands serving the food) and of course doesn't use on camera lights.

The end result has to bring in mind the word "art'.
After seing the movie we should be left with something wanted and some parts of the day should remain a mystery.

Having said all that, one should first think what is it that they do and then decide how to market themselves.
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 03:44 PM   #30
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Im 26, Im still learning , I have been in this business for 1 year now, videographer sounds dated to me, It sounds like a man of 65 called Dave with a camcorder filming a wedding, giving the client a 2-3 hour wedding video on a video tape with bad music. I use "documentary wedding cinematography". It sounds cool, Im trying to tell a story through moving imagery. It sounds fresh, it is fresh and I get some phone calls saying we called you cause it said cinematography in my advert.

I would almost be embarrassed to use the word videographer. It just sounds so so old. But thats just my view.

More importantly i say Im a film maker. Why would i say videographer. Film maker is way cooler.
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