KMc Video Productions is an industry award winning video production company. We have provided full time, value based video production services to the greater Chicagoland metropolitan and Northwest Indiana areas since 1993.
It has been our experience that there are many details that are not fully considered or understood by bridal couples prior to purchasing video production services so here on this forum we will attempt to set the record straight.
The video and photos of your wedding day will be the only items that will bring you as much joy 25 and 50 years from your wedding day as they did the first time you saw them. But video, unlike photography, will extend those memories beyond a moment frozen in time to include the music that was sung, the voices of friends and family, and visual images that will make you laugh and cry for years to come.
Experts estimate that video images captured on DVD (with proper care and storage
) can be passed down to at least six subsequent generations of your family. With all that video can do it is amazing to us that many couples don’t put the same effort in saving their wedding memories on video as they do with selecting the banquet facility, or the flowers to decorate their venues, or the attire to be wore by the participants. So where is a good place to start?
A good place to start is with yourself by having some idea of what you want your video to look like. Ask yourself what images do we want to see? For example:
1.) Do you want rehearsal coverage or pre-wedding coverage of the bride and groom?
2.) Do you want photo montages added (growing up photos, candid shots of the day, or honeymoon photos
3.) Maybe you want bridal party & guest interviews and a lot of dance coverage or maybe no dance coverage?
4.) How about a short edited recap of the entire day set to music that is added to the full-length version of your wedding video? Now that you have some idea of what you want,
keep in mind that unlike comparing gas prices or food prices at your local grocery store it can be more difficult when comparing video companies to get the exact same price / benefit ratio. So if you’re not sure who to call - start the selection process by asking people who you know (and in whose judgment you trust
) that have had wedding video services for a referral to the company that did their wedding video. Also web sites like this one are a great place to look for wedding videography services grouped by area. The weeding out process
can be begin with something as simple as asking - is video production your primary source of income? If the person says no or this is a part time business (a red flag should go up
) and lead to a much deeper vetting process on your part. Full time companies that have been in business for at least three years have more of a vested interest in maintaining good customer service. Our company for example will on average get 60% of our wedding business each year by way of referrals. Pricing of video services,
as with all of the wedding day vendors that you will be hiring, is an important factor. But bridal couples that go into the process with a pair of low price blinders on should heed this simple piece of old school thinking “you will get what you pay for
”. Some schools of thought move customers to go with relatives or family friends (but family relationships & friendships have been ruined this way). So how are bridal couples to decide? After a reasonable amount of comparison (3 companies
) settle somewhere in the middle for pricing with an eye toward a company that can craft packages as close as possible to your needs. Don’t be afraid to ask any questions that will come to mind.
Asking questions is one of the best tools to use in the selection process. Here are 10 questions to consider: · Will you have a backup camera and other backup equipment? · Will you be using on-camera adjustable lighting? (More about this later) · Will you be using a tripod when shooting the video? · Can I select a style for my video? (Candid, Documentary, or Cinematic) · If we want a multi-camera wedding will all of the cameras have a camera operator or will any of the cameras be unmanned? (More about this later) · Ask if the company will be using battery or A/C power during the wedding day? If the answer is A/C another red flag should go up. Being tied to a wall outlet will restrict the camera movements and creativity. In addition this action may pose a tripping hazard. · Is your company insured? (General liability also errors and omissions with a minimum one million dollars of coverage) ·
Is your company directly responsible for the entire project? ·
Are there any time or venue limitations in this video package? ·
What items are not
covered under the editing terms? Ask to see two samples of their work.
The production values of a company’s samples are a major key in the selection process. These values are not as subjective as why you liked that movie you last saw at the local Cineplex. So when you see a sample of the production company’s work, consider how that work compares to what you find on network television. Are the images clear and reasonably steady? Do the camera movements make sense with a purpose toward better storytelling? Is the editing clean and the use of special effects appropriate? Are the video scenes well composed? Is there a sense of seamless connection of the video scenes throughout the sample as it unfolds?
Single or multi-camera wedding is for many couples a major question. The traditional single camera wedding job can produce a fine wedding video. But, if you want a higher quality look to your wedding video (and the decision does not strain your wedding day budget) consider a multi-camera wedding video.
Muti-camera wedding videos provide a look and feel closer to what is normally seen on television. Reaction shots, reverse angle shots, balcony shots, and alternate close up shots are just some of the broad range of coverage you get by having additional cameras for your wedding video. In an effort to maintain the highest production standards for your muti-camera wedding we recommend that all
cameras have a camera operator, to allow for the maximum amount of shot selection and camera positioning during the wedding. In general an unmanned camera is unable to track action as it unfolds, and with some exceptions can’t be adjusted for close ups, or react to that unexpected “Kodak” moment.
Today, there seems to be some misinformation out there regarding the use of on-camera lighting and its use with digital cameras. If the video person you are talking to says that he does not need light for his camera
another red flag should go up. Here are some facts to consider:
Professional photographers would never consider taking pictures of your wedding without using their flash units. The next time you watch a television news segment (shot away from the station
) at a minimum the cameraperson will use on camera lighting to capture that footage. On-camera lighting is a great way of keeping color and picture integrity for close up and intermediate shots. We recommend that you insist that at a minimum the production company use on-camera (adjustable
) lighting for the shooting phase. In addition the lighting levels of the venues that you will be using should be set no lower than 75% (3/4) of their highest settings. In general the better the lighting of the venue the less likely your footage will be grainy or suffer from poor color levels. Now once you have found a company
you then want a contract that will lay out all of the terms, conditions, responsibilities, exclusions, turnaround time to get the finished video, and what happens if there are problems. What are the payment, cancellation, rescheduling, and refund policies of the company? The best advice is to assume nothing and make sure that all of these points and any special needs or requests are documented in writing. Payment terms are a subject where there are clearly two valid sides
of this coin to consider. First is the customer’s point of view. Many customers are uncomfortable with paying in full for a product that won’t be delivered for a few weeks after the wedding day. For the most part, with the exception of the photography and videography wedding vendors, the other wedding services that were hired are delivered and any problems are revealed by the day of the wedding.
But, photography and videography companies have endless stories of bridal couples that have overspent for their wedding day. After returning from their honeymoon and having a product that is ready, deliverable, and on time the company can have an uphill battle to get the payment that is due. In some cases the company may not get paid the final payment at all.
We don’t know if there is a perfect answer on this issue so our company made the decision to have in the case of our low to moderately priced wedding packages a 1/3 deposit that is payable at the contract signing, the 2nd 1/3 is payable a few weeks prior to the date and the final 1/3 is payable immediately after the video is approved (no personal checks for the final payment
). For our upscale wedding packages a 25% deposit is payable at the contract signing, two additional 25% payments are made on mutually agreed dates prior to the wedding, and the final 25% is payable immediately after the video is approved (no personal checks for the final payment
We suggest that if the company wants their payment in full prior to the wedding day and you are not comfortable with that, you should ask the company representative if a final balance payment agreement can be worked out that will make both sides happy. Well in advance of your wedding day
have a pre-production meeting. This is the area that will make or break your wedding video. As a practical matter it is easier to spend 2 hours asking questions, receiving suggestions, and planning solutions to potential problems rather than 2 hours of Q & A directed at your production company’s representative about why your video didn’t turn out the way you imagined it would. Pre-production is that golden time in the video process to insightfully consider production landmines that might go off, workout the details of post-production, and for the bridal couple to relate their expectations of what the finished product should look like. For an additional bit of insurance you may want to put in writing all shot coverage requests. In closing,
remember good video productions are built on mutual accountability between the customer and the production company. Both sides bring assets and responsibilities to the table in order to make the wedding video successful. The video production process involves a lot of work, but the results will be worth it.
For additional information about what we refer to as "The Chicago Wedding Video Experience"
, we invite you to visit our web site at www.kmcvideoproductions.com
We would also be happy to answer any specific questions that you might have on this forum.
Thank you for taking time to read this posting and good luck in planning your wedding day.
P. S. If this information has been helpful and you would like more information on these or other video related subjects or you just want to comment about the information posted here, we want to here from you.
May 18, 2010 at 10:04 PM