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Old August 21st, 2014, 08:09 PM   #1
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So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

So now that everyone is employing high end camera moves and getting great production value out of their wedding videos, what on earth is the next thing to stand apart? Its pretty crazy, there are at least 3-4 other companies in my area that are doing really good work. The only thing I can think of is in the future offering photo with video as the frame grabs will be so high quality in the next five years.

Ugh, its getting tough to stand out!
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Old August 21st, 2014, 08:29 PM   #2
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

I've had a long hard think about pulling frames from video. Eventually decided against it. My reasons are nothing new, but basically it's that there's a compromise on both sides, especially the photo side.

Video compromise: high shutter speed, which not only changes the look but makes low light shooting more difficult.

Photo compromise: raw; higher resolution/sharpness, and freedom of framing are probably the big things you're giving up on. By framing, I mean not only portrait framing, but Dutch tilts, which often look great in photos, but can only be used sparingly in video.

Smaller photo compromise: if you're only pulling frames and not taking real photos as well, you're giving up on creative shots involving long exposure or flash, including double exposure, second curtain shutter sync, strobe lighting, and various effects with radio flash.
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Old August 21st, 2014, 08:52 PM   #3
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

Have people really succeeded at creating great films yet? Maybe your area is blessed, but from what I've seen on Vimeo there are a great number of forgettable wedding films that fail to retain the story. People are caught up in time shifting for the sake of it, or are failing to really shine in other ways with obvious faults and a lack of vision either on the shoot or within the edit. Maybe I am too harsh, or expect to always see "high end" that works perfectly, but there just seems a huge gap between a great number of poor to average films, then a huge leap to amazing films?

As a complete amateur, I would expect more from "pros". I should be able to watch films and truly wonder, "How?" As this is not the case in many films, I think people need to learn how to use the higher production gear to enhance the storyline... rather than to hide the basic mistakes, like icing over a flavourless cake. Alternatively, they need to know how to use higher production tools to better the film, whilst also retaining a solid storyline. Either way, the skill of storytelling, capturing great audio and the ability to capture perfectly exposed / well framed / creatively shot footage will prevail in the long run. I can live without a drone.

In ten years, when drones, 8K and other things are common ground at weddings, we'll all still look back at videographers like Ray Roman and consider that a great film is all about light and shadows... whether you're shooting in ISO 400,000 or not, the principles remain.
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Old August 21st, 2014, 09:03 PM   #4
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

What is next? It's hard to say but the trend over here is leaning towards an all-in-one service much like Rob Benda is starting to provide. We have one guy and his wife doing a DJ/Photo/Video package and brides love it!

I wonder how far this will extend? Maybe soon our businesses will be providing the celebrant (for civil weddings) as well as photo and video and then DJ and MC services as well ....???

The all-in-one conconcept certainly seems to be gaining popularity if you multitask you can provide a cheaper service from the bride's point of view!

Let's face it if you hire a photo, a videographer and a DJ ..each will cost you say an example figure of $1500 so you total cost for 3 vendors is going to be $4500. Hire just a combo pair that can handle all 3 jobs at say $3000 and that's an awful amount of saving for a bride which is a big incentive.

There are times as a husband and wife team where one is sitting on their butt so Rob has already shown it's quite feasible and the cost saving is a big incentive for the bride.

I already offer photo/video (as Adrian does) and I just had a couple forfeit their deposit to their photog as it was better to just use us and they still saved some money.

I really think that as videographer we need to start combining services and offering more than just video! The advantages of doing just photo and video combined is a huge plus for me as I don't have any "photog in the shot" issues and the bride gets a better deal.

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Old August 22nd, 2014, 04:59 AM   #5
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

All of the above is true, and is still ringing out by speakers such as Will Crocket, who discusses lots about Fusion and the interlinking of photo and video. Similarly, Victoria Grech discussed Fusion a couple or more years ago at CreativeLive. She offers 2-3 minute films, whilst also taking the photographs for the day... whilst I found her films decent (and better than I could capture), I also found that the number of shots used were few and far between... I would be, admittedly, disappointed if the growing skills and technology used and adapted for weddings were to go out of fashion with the brides (brilliantly captured 15 minute films). It's incredibly important to me to have a great ceremony, speeches and short, yet brilliantly edited film; along with amazing photographs. I know that as photographers, we see the importance, but still... I know it would be worth the extra $1500 if necessary.

Taking nothing away from these combined services, as every package fits the bill... but making some businesses redundant (as you're giving more for less) is a dangerous step for photographers/videographers, as we look to damage our overall landscape/profits by committing more of our services for less money.

Also, I don't believe that you can be equally talented in both photo and video... the two are both beasts to reach a higher price point (2000+).
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Old August 22nd, 2014, 06:15 AM   #6
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

Providing both services? You can forget about being a specialist with images or video that really shine then.

You will be a budget video/photo provider. There is absolutely no way you can capture the moment if you have to focus on both a video and photograph.

I am all for providing photographs if i'm shooting in 4 or 8k by taking frame grabs, but handling a DSLR and my Videocamera at critical points during a wedding. I wouldn't be able to do it. Or if I could, the work wouldn't come out to my standards at all.
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Old August 22nd, 2014, 07:25 AM   #7
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

Just like a hollywood movie made decades ago and present. With modern technology, high quality CG has become a norm with lots of explosive, aliens, robots etc etc. They sure are an eye candy and fun to watch years ago. Now? We have grown so numb to those effects that we expect it to be the minimum standard. Ultimately what drives a great movie is still the story plot and lines. Although Transformer series visually look great, it will never enter my top movie list. One of my most favourite movie of all time is Forest Gump. Great storytelling and simple cinematography but is very captivating till today and I can keep on watching over and over again. I guess the same goes to wedding. Very soon everyone will be shooting in 4K but ultimately what drives the video is the story and the audio. Just keep every story simple and true to the couple's day and it will be timeless.
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Old August 22nd, 2014, 08:40 AM   #8
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

So true. So many fancy, blockbuster films bore me to death regardless of how good they look on my HD TV. I still prefer films with a proper storyline.

All comes back to conent. Without the content, your fancy shots of flowers and an empty venue means squat. They are simply B roll. And that's it.

Just don't miss the action on the day! That stuff will always have repeat value when it comes to watching the wedding video in the years to come.
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Old August 22nd, 2014, 10:51 AM   #9
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

Hi James

I never meant trying to do photos and video solo by any means but as a team with your wife/partner/friend.

My wife handles the ceremony photos while I'm doing video and then for the group photos and couple portraits I do those while she does the venue layouts and also starts an open photobooth for the guests which works very well for us while I'm back on video for the rest of the reception.

I did one combined photo/video shoot at a small wedding and yes, you just cannot do both at the same time and maintain a high standard on either so that would only be suitable for tiny really low budget stuff and even then much too much for one person to handle.

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Old August 22nd, 2014, 11:47 AM   #10
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

This is a path we've been talking about lately - offering both photos and videos in a one stop shop.

Yeah, if we could find a DJ service to go in with us, that would be awesome too.

I think brides would welcome that idea of just going to a single vendor to get their media needs covered.

Of course, the hard part with that is, if using independent vendors - getting everyone to coordinate on prices and scheduling.
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Old August 22nd, 2014, 11:53 AM   #11
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Shem View Post
Just like a hollywood movie made decades ago and present. With modern technology, high quality CG has become a norm with lots of explosive, aliens, robots etc etc. They sure are an eye candy and fun to watch years ago. Now? We have grown so numb to those effects that we expect it to be the minimum standard. Ultimately what drives a great movie is still the story plot and lines. Although Transformer series visually look great, it will never enter my top movie list. .
I really liked the video deconstructing Bayhem - the main criticism being Michael Bay just doesn't understand how to stop with the active dynamic shots and use something smaller and more intimate - simpler, which would provide needed variety and respite. You can't always have it be loud.

I'm sure we all do a smaller version of that - we use dynamic or cool shots a bit, then use the steady. Or break up wide shots with tighter, more intimate ones (or vice versa).
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Old August 22nd, 2014, 01:33 PM   #12
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

Hi Chris

In that case people are already doing that; providing both services.

I thought you meant juggling the task yourself ... photo AND video on the day! what a nightmare trying to pull that off on your own. If a bride is silly enough to book ONE person to do both, I don't feel sorry for them at all should the photos or video not be up to the standard they would expect.
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Old August 22nd, 2014, 01:48 PM   #13
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

Anyone who has tried, or continues to produce great 'short form edits' with a storyline to match the visuals will know, not only how difficult this can be within the confines of a wedding scenario, but also the amount of time and energy used whilst putting together all the pieces in a truly magical way that the bride and groom will cherish.

The problem with these edits is that unless you are being paid what you are worth for your work and time you will soon find that you are not making ends meet.

The other problem is, as has been discussed, many couples simply do not wish to pay well for our services, especially here in England.

Many weddings here have little in the way of vocals to enhance the edit. Many times we are left with a poor ceremony in terms of storytelling vocals and even worse speeches laiden with stag do's etc.

I know storytelling is not all about the vocals but it would be foolish to not realise it helps a great deal.

From as long as I can remember, people in the industry have been talking about educating our couples to think differently about what we offer and what we are worth. From my experience couples have seen to a degree how the wedding industry has progressed over the last few years but still wish to hold on to their money or seek a cheaper alternative judging costs by what coverage they may receive rather than quality.

It's all well and good trying to compare our so called wedding films to the likes of hollywood greats with sumptous storytelling but I think we need a reality check here.

Ultimately the films that will stand out are those with a great story to tell (helped by great couples) mixed with beautiful visuals and edited in a fashion that will be coherent even when time shifting is used (not just for the sake of it)

My thoughts!
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Old August 22nd, 2014, 04:10 PM   #14
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

Very true indeed John.

Too much effort is required trying to tell stories as the edit (as well as the day / speeches) has to be spot on, unlike a long running documentary edit.

It's just not feasible trying to achieve such things.

I think with our miserable grey skys here in the UK unlike certain locations where the sun's always out, you will find many weddings can be very dull (I always seem to find myself filming in the rain). And the documentary wedding videographers that still use HDV camcorders are doing very well. I know of a few actually. As they churn through many weddings and have a quick turn around. No complicated equipment to lug around, no slider shot nonsense or steadicams.

The story tellers struggle to get business in the UK with their high prices (that reflects the amount of effort required in editing and capturing the day in a certain way).
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Old August 22nd, 2014, 04:11 PM   #15
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by John De Rienzo View Post
Anyone who has tried, or continues to produce great 'short form edits' with a storyline to match the visuals will know, not only how difficult this can be within the confines of a wedding scenario, but also the amount of time and energy used whilst putting together all the pieces in a truly magical way that the bride and groom will cherish.
I have found that, as long as there are enough quality spoken words from the day (toasts, for example), AND/OR an interview session with the bride and groom, that this kind of narrative/storytelling based film is actually easier (and certainly more rewarding) than trying to make something more or less linear come off well and feel fresh and new. And it's invariably going to be more unique to the project.

I start by laying down the narration (the bits of story and words) and then move to the cutaway shots. I really do find it flows nicely. BUT... it depends on having a wedding of good, usable, interesting spoken words.
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