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TOP TEN REASONS FOR A PROFESSIONAL WEDDING FILM

By Vedha Sampath

In almost every wedding budget, there are things that we would all love to have, and things that we would consider an extravagance. Here are the reasons why you should BUMP a professional wedding film to the top of your budget list!

10. It's the Sound

One great thing about a wedding film is that it is an audio recording as well. While many people have videocameras, or even phones that record video, they do not have professional sound recording equipment. Having pro recording gear can make it possible to get cleaner sound for the vows, toasts, and guest comments that will make your video more memorable. It can also make it possible to filter out sounds that are unwanted, such as wind noise, airplanes, or even other people talking.

9. Weddings Are About People

While photography is great for capturing moments and details, cinematography's greatest asset is the capturing of human emotions: expressions, motion, and voices of the people in your life. You have spent all this time planning a great event, plotting out the details, and spending money on decorations and the necessary expenditures. A wedding film is a great investment in the PEOPLE that will be at your event…and almost every bride will tell you that it seems like they didn’t have enough time to talk to everyone on their day.

8. History

I have been doing this type of work for fifteen years, but I didn't realize the importance of it until eight years ago. I was married in 2003, and I watch my video every year with my wife, and also see my young son watch it even more than we do. But it wasn't until my aunt died of Lou Gehrig's Disease that I saw the true value. We had never really made any videos of my aunt. We rarely saw that side of the family, because they lived pretty far from us, but I had seen her a lot when I was younger, and she made it to the wedding. It was actually the only time that my wife met her. So, years later, after her death, it was amazing to show the video to my son, and explain to him who she was.

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7. Fade Away

"Long ago, it must be, I have a photograph ~~ Preserve your memories, they're all that's left you” - Paul Simon

It is inevitable. Your memory will fade. Just think about your eighth birthday party…or your eleventh. What do you remember? Surely, you will remember more about your wedding, right? Yet, most people say the same thing to us after the reception is over. "I can't believe it's over!" "It was so short!" Because the day goes so fast, it's even easier to forget the many things that happen. The wedding film can be a reminder, to both of you, of the events of the day, and the promises made to each other.

6. Bias vs. Balance

I got a call one day from a bride who wasn't my client. She told me that she had called before the wedding, but had decided that their budget didn't allow for a professional wedding film. Her uncle had a videocamera, and had offered to film the wedding for free. But, when she got the video, she noticed something. Her uncle had talked to and filmed all of the people on the bride's side of the family, but he had ignored the family of the groom, simply because he didn't know them and felt uncomfortable. She asked if there was anything that I could do, to "even out" the footage. I suggested that she edit out all of the shots of her family, and just show the main events of the wedding. Just show the ceremony, dances, toasts, and cake cutting, but don't show the comments that her family had made. There was no other way to do it.

A pro will take the time to show everyone at the wedding. They have experience in talking to people, and getting what is important onto film. Without the footage, it is difficult to make a balanced film.

That bride told me, she saved money at the beginning, but she pays, every time she watches her amateur video.

5. Kids

It might be true that your kids will watch your wedding film more than you will. It's because they weren't there. When they are young, they will see mom dressed as a princess, and a huge party, with all of the family members they know. (And maybe some they don't.) The wedding film is a document of where they came from. The start of their family. As they grow older, they start to realize the values and principles behind marriage. They start to see the importance of it.

Before you discount it, how much would you pay for a film of your parent's wedding? Or your grandparents? Or your great great great grandparents?

4. Convenience

Which would be easier for you? To upload and organize 100 photos from your wedding, and figure out how to share them effectively on Facebook, or to upload one 5 minute Cinema Recap Edit? Oh, I forgot…we upload the Cinema Recap Edit for you.

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3. Investment

Think about all of the "things" that you have to buy for your wedding. Dress, flowers, DJ, event venue, tuxes, table arrangements, place cards… You get the picture. How many of those things would you consider to be an expendable item? Most? All? While a great DJ is probably the third most important thing you can buy for your event, you can't keep him when it's over. What are the second and first most important? Photography, and your wedding film. And THEY ARE THE ONLY TWO THINGS THAT CAN BE CONSIDERED AN INVESTMENT. An investment is something that has a return. Something that, in the future, will be as valuable as it is on the day you pay for it. Most wedding magazines suggest that you budget at least 10% of your total budget for photo and video. This is because the film and photos will allow you to keep a part of everything else that IS your wedding.

2. Insurance

As the economy tanked in 2007, many people were left without jobs, and decided to find other types of work. The proliferation of digital photography, coupled with the escalating price wars of Costco and Walmart, made the IDEA of wedding photography really attractive to many people who just needed to make a few bucks here and there.

But there is a problem with seemingly "easy money." It's usually not so easy.

What most people don't think about is that with digital photography, and filmmaking, the majority of the work is done on the back end. While most respectable venues require liability insurance, business licenses, and references, there is also a lot to think of after the wedding is over. Is there backup storage of the footage or files? Is there a good workflow, so that the work gets done in a reasonable amount of time? Is the person "used to" producing a number of events in a year?

A professional will have all of this, and more. Experience level at a wedding is key, because there is no way to stop and take a mulligan. You either do it right the first time, or go home crying. (And dreading the call from the bride.) Maybe that is why there has been an upswing in brides getting "abandoned" by their photographers or videographers. The professional knows how to handle these things. The amateur just leaves town and stops answering the phone.

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1. Emotional Content

A great wedding film can offer a higher emotional experience than photos do. The right music, married to a cinematic edit of amazing images and the heartfelt voices of the people that make up the wedding can create a memory that is total and unique. Wedding films can be touching, hilarious, poignant, and revealing. The emotion starts with the captured footage, but is really transformed and changed through the editing process, to become something that might even seem better than the real thing. The cinematographer is the catalyst, but the editor is the one who drives the film to be something bigger than the individual clips of footage. There is simply no better way to remember all of the amazing highs of that beautiful day!

- MM

Laguna Beach Wedding Videography - Gianna and Sam

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