Choosing a wedding and event filmmaker for your special day can prove to be more difficult than you originally thought. Hopefully I can alleviate some of the stress of searching with some advice as a filmmaker to a future bride or groom so that you pick the filmmaker that best fits your needs. Most brides dream about their wedding day and every minute detail that goes into making that day happen, you want a filmmaker who will accurately capture all those little things that make your wedding day special.
The first thing to look for in a filmmaker is experience. There are many inexperienced filmmakers starting out who promote themselves for weddings because they believe that shooting weddings are easy, which could not be farther from the truth. Not all wedding films are produced with the same amount of quality which is a direct result of the filmmaker’s skill and equipment. Notice if the filmmaker has won any local or national awards, this is a good indicator that they have competitively better quality and are respected in the event filmmaking community. Also meet the filmmaker at their place of business, notice the level of professionalism that goes on in their studio.
You want to book your wedding filmmaker as soon as possible. An experienced filmmaker will be able to help you with your wedding plans, giving you their opinion on vendors and venues as well as photographers. It would be a good idea to ask the photographers opinion of the filmmaker as well since they may have worked with them in the past.
The Demo Reel
A filmmaker’s demo shows his or her best shots cut together in a flashy way set to some upbeat yet touching music. Beware of the demo reel. This is a representation of the best that the filmmaker has to offer, so the demo may be misleading. Ask to watch a recently finished wedding. Then you can see an entire wedding film and be accurately able to assess the filmmaker’s quality of work. Don’t stop at one, the more wedding films you watch, the better you’ll be able to judge which filmmaker has the most consistent standard of quality. Another reason to watch a finished wedding film is to judge the audio quality. In a demo the shots are set to music and played in a montage, so it is impossible to know if your vows will sound crisp and clear, or if they will sound like they were shot in a wind tunnel.
Here are some things to consider while watching the video:
- Is the video in good quality (High Definition/Bluray)?
- Do the colors look bright and accurate?
- Is there fuzziness or graininess?
- Is the audio of good quality and is there any distortion?
- Do you like the titles and special effects?
- Is the editing smooth or choppy and amateurish?
- Does it look like something you would see on TV?
- Is there anything missing that you would’ve liked to see in the video?
A successful wedding film needs more than just one skilled filmmaker with a nice camera, but rather a whole crew. Some filmmakers will only shoot with a minimum of two or three people, depending on the style you wish your wedding day to be captured in. If you want a documentary style video, then you may have one filmmaker, but if you want a cinematic wedding with dramatic cuts and artistic shots, then at least two filmmakers are absolutely essential. The work doesn’t stop when the cameras shut off, ask about the editing process as well, such as; is there a dedicated editor in the studio? Ask about your filmmaker’s crew and their experience. If you have a good crew, they will be able to feed off each other’s artistic abilities producing an exceptional video.
It is hard to say what a good price for a wedding film is, but don’t be afraid to spend some money. The price will rely on such factors as what you want included in the film, what style you want your wedding filmed in, etc. Remember that a wedding film has longevity. It will outlast the flowers which will wilt and the top of the cake which will be eaten at some anniversary dinner. A good filmmaker will usually cost just as much as a good photographer. The film will provide you with not only images of your wedding, but voices, music, and scenes from your most cherished day. A wedding film can become an invaluable item that you watch over and over with friends and family, some of whom may not have been able to make it, or not even born yet; or it could be something you watch once and regret not paying a little extra for better quality.
The personality of your filmmaker is also important. You want to be able to get along with your filmmaker and feel comfortable around them. They will be with you on your most intimate day with your friends and family and although we filmmakers try to be as unobtrusive as possible, we are not invisible and need to know how to interact with others.
In summary, you want a filmmaker who has experience, good examples of their work, an equally professional crew, and a great personality. Hopefully this criterion helps you with your decision and you are rewarded with a wedding film that you will cherish from your first anniversary to your fiftieth.
Here is a link to our movie gallery which features our most recently finished wedding films in their entirety, enjoy!
Also here are some testimonials from past clients. Get a feel for what they liked about their wedding film.