Yours may well be the best wedding/graduation/dirty thirty party ever! But you’ll need video evidence as proof.
Videographers capture once-in-a-lifetime moments and turn them into movie magic. Ready to commit, but unsure how to start? Three top-rated Thumbtack.com videographers—Albert Benichou of DeNoise Studio in Emeryville, California, Jeff Preston of Faithful Dog Digital, a national organization, and Franklin Sayers of FAS Filming in Severn, Maryland—breakdown the top 10 things you need to know.
What is the first question to ask a videographer?
The professional consensus is to research portfolios online before engaging the pro. If you like what you see, Sayers suggests asking about their experience with events similar to yours, while Preston says always confirm their availability for your intended date.
Do videographers need special training or degrees?
No. While there are many schools that provide professional training, all three agree that the most important qualification is number of years of practical experience in the field. Preston discussed the importance of a videographer or company carrying insurance—for private events, and especially corporate functions.
How do you determine rates?
As you can imagine—it all depends. According to Benichou, videographers’ rates vary based on number of crew needed, hours required, post-production editing, and length of the final product. If you can decide what you want as a final product—that determines the services and rate you’ll receive.
Are there packages people can purchase?
At Sayers’s company, rates are determined by hours, number of cameras used, and post-production time. On Thumbtack, he has packages available for one hour, two hours, on up to 12 hours.
Benichou’s studio offers packages including one or multi-camera sets, audio recording, PA systems, lighting, post production editing, animations—the sky’s the limit with what you can dream up.
Pro Tip: Preston says that companies often offer lower rates to return customers than one-off clients. Purchase a bundle that covers your parent’s 50th anniversary, your niece’s college graduation, and get a deal on your wedding!
What are some cool things you can do with event videos?
Benichou thinks the hottest thing now is creating a cinematic look for a smaller family or business event. For example, turn a 1st birthday party into a five minute Hollywood blockbuster. Preston is excited about his company’s in-event projects where they post 15-30 seconds clips while the event is happening to Facebook, Twitter, etc.—and then produce a comprehensive highlight video after.
What are video wedding trends you’ve noticed?
Again, brief, highlights-focused cinematic videos are the cool trend, Benichou says. They’re social media-friendly and people (besides your parents) will watch them. Sayers says there are definitely still requests for the two hour documentary videos, though—so if you have your heart set on one—don’t despair.
How does payment work?
DeNoise Studios requires payment only after they show the clients the proofs online and before delivering final media. The exception is weddings, where they ask a 20% deposit to block the date—because weddings often book far in advance then change their minds.
Faithful Dog Media requests a deposit then payment after completion, with a signed shoot agreement up front so the client knows exactly what they’re getting.
Each company has different policies, so be sure to ask upfront.
Typically how long are event or wedding videos?
At DeNoise Studios, approximate times include commercials that start at 30 seconds, interviews at two-three minutes, academic talks at an hour long, and wedding documentaries that run one-two hours. Sayers works a lot of weddings and sees a mix of requests for either the five minute highlights video, or the traditional, two hour documentary.
What happens on the day of the event?
Benichou tries to capture everything—the car rides, kids, pets, architecture, nature, artistic views. He says people are shy the first hour and then forget you’re there.
For Preston, the videos really happen in pre-production. He stresses the importance of meeting with the client well before the event so the film crew has a prioritized shot (cake cutting, first dance, etc.) and interview list—that way you get what you really want. The day of, he says, it’s all about being flexible and rolling with what takes place.
All the pros want you to know that the real magic happens after filming. The videographers hit their studios and blend together hours of footage, often from multiple cameras, to create a visually stunning story about your event.
What’s the best thing about having a wedding or event video?
Franklin says event videos are “visual memory in motion.” He sees it as a wonderful way to relive the music, the scene, the experience—as well as revisit best wishes interviews, maybe even from a Grandpa who has since passed on.
Make your next to-do truly memorable and try out a videographer. At very least, you’ll have awesome videos for your Facebook page.