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


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Old January 23rd, 2011, 11:28 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiros Zaharakis View Post
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.
Well said Spiros.
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Old January 24th, 2011, 12:07 AM   #32
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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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I'm with you, Bill. I am a digital filmmaker too. But, maybe some day I'll purchase 30K worth of Zeiss cinema lenses for my 5D and rent helicopters for my wedding videos...uhm, films...and finally be a cinematographer. Damn the bill, I'm an artist.

The industry is changing and morphing into providing still and moving images as a package. Sure, there will always be specialties, but this is where we are headed. We will be asked to do it all. Are you ready?
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Old January 24th, 2011, 02:27 PM   #33
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***the below is all based on my opinions and some factual information***

I'm so confused now... after reading through this thread at all the different opinions, I just don't know what to think... I mean people are calling George Lucas and Peter Jackson GOOD cinematographers? Here are their cinematography credits... films you have probably never seen... for a reason... George Lucas - IMDb and peter's credits: Peter Jackson - IMDb

If the cinematographer EVER yelled "Action!" on a set, he could be fired immediately... unless of course the director gave him permission and let the crew and actors know.

Roger Deakins... now that guy is a TRUE cinematographer (and/or DOP). A man who manipulates light, puts the camera in the best places to interpret the directors vision... moves the camera for a specific reason... chooses certain lenses/apertures/shutter speeds/ASA (or ISO) to evoke a certain emotion or to direct the attention of the viewer to something... the camera is the DOP/Cinematographer's playground. If these are things you consider while you shoot a wedding, then heck yes you are a cinematographer/DOP while you are shooting. Once you get home, you are an entrepreneur, and editor, a colorist (assuming you color grade/time your movies), a sound designer, a disc author, an animator, a compositor, a graphics designer... and I'm sure other things. The real question is, are you being honest with yourself, clients, and peers when you call yourself a cinematographer? Do you use light, composition, lenses, shutter speed, aperture, camera movement, and focus for a reason... or are you the kind of guy that bakes cakes with only a couple of the ingredients instead the whole list? Ask yourself... "what am I?"

I have shot on the Red, the 5D, and all sorts of other digital cameras. Maybe we are Digital Artists/Producers? Cinematic Journalists? Vid-e-o-tographers (I know you've heard that one before)? Filmmakers? Movie Makers? Video Producers? Visual Artists? File based Mediaographers?

If you capture things in a documentary kind of way with no vision behind what the final product will be, or how you should use lighting, lenses, aperture, camera movement, etc... you should be a videographer (according to the mighty internet's definitions of videographer).

If you do the opposite, maybe you should consider yourself a Filmmaker, Visual Artist, Digital Artist... judging by definitions, it would make more sense because our job encompasses more than just what the cinematographer does.

For those of you calling yourselves cinematographers just to allude that you are "high end", please stop... unless you really are one. You are giving all the guys who actually have pieces of art a bad rep just like the term "videographer" already has... do we really need to continue the cycle or can we just go ahead and break the cycle?

Sorry for being so brash,
Cody
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Old January 24th, 2011, 08:07 PM   #34
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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.
So you shoot on 16mm or Super 8?..35mm film?
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Old January 24th, 2011, 09:16 PM   #35
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I think all the people in this thread that are calling themselves Cinematographers are in the wrong forum... We're in the Wedding / Event Videography Techniques forum!! :-P
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Old January 24th, 2011, 09:43 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Cody Dulock View Post
For those of you calling yourselves cinematographers just to allude that you are "high end", please stop... unless you really are one.
Amen.

John (Cinematic High End Digital Wedding Video Production Videographer)
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Old January 25th, 2011, 11:44 AM   #37
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All markets are different, but...

I've attended (as an exhibitor) 7 Bridal Shows over the last 3 years, with over 300 brides per. So 2,000 or more brides in the last 3 years, and I can tell you from my experience that IN MY MARKET, the term 'videography' and 'wedding video' has a negative stigma where they relate to weddings. This is largely because of the lack of awareness on the part of brides, as to the evolution of digital cinematography, and the higher level of aspirations on our part.

You can't compare the work of 20 years ago (or even 10 years ago), with the work of today. This is mostly because on non-linear vs. linear editing. Yet we use the same terms to define it now as we did 20 years ago. Ever wonder why Ford let the brand name 'Pinto' die?

Fortunately, this is changing. In the meantime I avoid both terms, Except when I SEO, because despite the negative stigma, the relatively few brides that seek our services on their own, are going to search the term 'wedding video' not 'wedding cinematography'.

Again, this is based on MY experience, in MY market. Your mileage may vary.

(note. For those who don't know, the Pinto was a vehicle prone to exploding when rear-ended in a collision. This was seen as detrimental to the brand).
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Old January 25th, 2011, 12:00 PM   #38
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Ken

I don't disagree with much of your sentiment but I would feel happier if you were able to suggest a new updated and current term rather than choose others which are already established and have their own connotations in different markets.

Also I think the Pinto link is unfortunate, not merely because the car was considered unsafe by some but, as far as I recall, because Ford knew about the flawed design and decided that it would be cheaper to pay the liability claims than to re-design the car.

I seem to remember that in one case a California court awarded punitive damages aginst Ford because of their decision. It certainly wasn't one of Ford's finest moments.
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Old January 25th, 2011, 02:27 PM   #39
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I certainly mean no disrespect to anyone here who prefers the term videographer but as stated in previous posts...in certain markets, that term has a very negative stigma attached to it. The words poor quality, cheap, unprofessional, shaky camera, etc. come to mind. That’s not to say that's actually the case...quite the opposite. Many of today’s wedding videos are true works of art but that darn "V" word seems to stick in the minds of brides (again, in certain markets).

The world has gotten itself so politically correct that it seems we have to be very careful in choosing a word or term that describes us because we might step on ones toes or hurt their feelings should we choose to apply their word to our business. In an ever changing world of technology, it's hard to know what to call ourselves. I do agree with Philip however in that it would be great if we could establish a new term instead of using words associated with other areas of specialty. I'm not sure how realistic that is though...as it would take years for a governing body to establish one and many more years to make it common place so that brides forget about the "V" word. I just think it would be great if brides referred to us with one common word instead of the current hodgepodge of terms that we use today (videographer, cinematographer, film maker, video producer, camera guy, digital story teller etc.)
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Old January 25th, 2011, 03:01 PM   #40
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I just think it would be great if brides referred to us with one common word instead of the current hodgepodge of terms that we use today (videographer, cinematographer, film maker, video producer, camera guy, digital story teller etc.)[/QUOTE]

the Photographer is the photographer, the florist is the florist, the Limo guy is the limo guy....But us? lol
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Old January 25th, 2011, 05:21 PM   #41
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We use the term cinematography specifically to distinguish ourselves from the preconceived impression that 'videography' creates. We don't care one bit about the technical film world definitions. We care about how a prospective bride is going to react to work and our branding, and that includes what terminology we use. So for us, based on the type of work we are doing, we like the term cinematography.

Besides, 'videography' is such an awkward word .... d;-)

(in all seriousness, though, call yourself whatever you want)
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Old January 25th, 2011, 05:30 PM   #42
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By the way, I just read earlier in this thread that we should call ourselves 'videographers' because that's what everyone else is calling us. Fail. Why should we let others define us?

I'll have you know that I just recently convinced a national bridal blog to switch from using the term 'videography' to using the term 'cinematography'. There's no reason we HAVE to hang onto a term if we don't like it.
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Old January 25th, 2011, 06:04 PM   #43
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By the way, I just read earlier in this thread that we should call ourselves 'videographers' because that's what everyone else is calling us. Fail. Why should we let others define us?

I'll have you know that I just recently convinced a national bridal blog to switch from using the term 'videography' to using the term 'cinematography'. There's no reason we HAVE to hang onto a term if we don't like it.
Definitely bro. Epic Fail.

I'm over trying to discuss with those who are so stuck and convinced that videographers is what we should call ourselves, technical terms aside. They'll never think differently, which is fine, so I just let people be. I really think that there will be a division and brides will start to realize the difference is NOT just in the term but also in the work. It may take a few more years for it to catch on, but better to be ahead of the curve than trying to catch up ;).

In the words of another artist (haha) :

What am I doin'? What am I doin'?
Oh, yeah, thatís right, Iím doiní me
Iím doin me

;)

Cheers to all the videographers, cinematographers, visual artists, video producers, "videotographers", and everyone in between. Have a great week.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 12:00 AM   #44
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... and wannabes! ;)
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Old January 26th, 2011, 05:24 AM   #45
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Believe it or not this discussion about the term 'videographer' has been going on since the 80's when the term was first coined. At that time, when amateur/semi professional video equipment was becoming affordably available there was no real name to describe the person who used it 'professionally'. In a pre-echo of these discussions now, those using the then new technology for 'serious' work didn't want to be associated with amateur Super 8 'Film Makers' and the connotation of randomness, badly focussed, poorly exposed home movies; 'one man band' video production was in its infancy

In an attempt to mark out users as serious, creative, business people, akin to photographers, the prefix 'photo' was swapped for 'video'. It was never really popular, as it sounded ugly and at that time slightly pretentious, but no one has really come up with something as recognisably descriptive and understandable to those outside of the business.

Now all those years on I can see that those of you who are carving out a new direction in timebased media (a term that was used for video a few years back) want to be disassociated from the connotations that you have with 'old school' video, and I don't blame you.

One thing I would point out though is that in a business sense it's not what you call yourself that's important but what your potential customers will think of you as. I've just made quick check on most used keywords when searching for wedding video, film, DVD services on Google. Videography is top, then Wedding videographer, I'm afraid that Cinematographer doesn't appear anywhere. I know that those at the top end of this business will not be relying on Google searches to draw business but others may have a long struggle to get the term videography out of the minds of the general public.
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