Raw wedding footage. Do you really want it?


by Curtis Zondag       

 Making wedding films is our art form. Getting to know the couple. Working with the planning team to get all the beautiful shots timed just right. The process is a labour of love (get it?, haha)

       Behind the scenes there are a lot of technical things that are boring for most people: Setting up tripods and sliders, getting microphone levels set on the groom and minister, getting shots of ceilings and flowers......lots of flowers.

       Between capturing all the moments of the day every video team shoots B-roll, and lots of it. This includes establishing shots of the venue, other shots of things like the dress, shoes, flowers, guests clinking glasses, dancing, and much much more.

        The true art in any video\film project is in the editing. The main goal is to tell the story with the best footage possible. Editing time is usually twenty times longer than shooting the footage. Every clip needs to be watched , and sorted before the magic happens. After the main edit is completed the footage goes through a process of adjustments for colour, and audio. Every team has their own secret formula.

       When booking new clients we get a common situation:

"We're on a budget. Can you just shoot it and give us the raw footage?"

My answer to this question is always the same, No.

          My job as a film maker is to give the couple a finished product. A product that will be remembered forever and be shared with future generations. Sound dramatic? It is. It's your wedding. Here's a future scenario: In ten years your spouse will ask you to find your wedding ceremony. With an edited wedding film you can search your hard drive (or holodisk) for "steve and sara's wedding." With raw footage you may be searching for "" and find a file of your best man drinking a beer. 

         I like to use food analogies. Think of your wedding film as pizza. here are two scenarios:

1- Mike calls me up and says "Can you make me a pizza for $20?" I make the dough, add all the the toppings, bake it, slice it, then give it to him. It's delicious. His fiance is thrilled and tells all of her friends how great it is. Mike is happily married.

2- Randy calls me up and says "Can you make me a pizza for $1.50? I'll bake it myself if you give me a deal." I think about and say "$1.50 won't cover all of the steps involved to make a great pizza. He replies "please just do it, it'll be fine."  "Okay. if that's what you really want." I give Randy a shopping bag and get him to hold it open. I then pour in a  two cups of flour, one cup of water two tomatoes, and a handful of raw vegetables., then send him on his way. Randy gives his "pizza" to his fiance. She leaves him. Randy is now alone and sad. Don't be Randy.

At the end of the day you need an edited film. it may cost a little more but you'll be glad to have it.



Why Hire a Wedding Videographer?

by Curtis Zondag


      When planning a wedding there are many details and vendors to hire. The usual list includes: Venue, caterer, flowers, dresses, and photographer. Every bride has a different budget and taste. No two weddings are the same. One thing that often gets left out is hiring a proper wedding videography team. Here is a list why you should hire one:


1. They know what they are doing

A video crew takes the time to plan different shots., knows where to stand without blocking the view of guests. They've been to a lot of weddings and can help keep your day on track.

2. Your friends and family should relax and enjoy your wedding

Everyone has a friend or family member (usually an uncle) that has a decent camera and offers to shoot video. Most people end up with shaky footage, heads or phones in the way. Many times this person will stand directly in the way of photographers. By hiring professionals you can relax knowing that your guests can have a good time, and there will be less drama.

3. You're busy

 You have a million things on your mind. There's no time for holding the hand of your friend with a camera. With a professional video team you can have that piece of mind that it will get done right.

4. They see things that you and your guests don't

A wedding day is crazy with people everywhere and excitement in the air. Prior to the wedding you spent 4 hours cramming little candies into boxes, folding bows, choosing sign fonts, selecting the menu and teaching your tiny nephew to walk slow and in a straight line. All of these things took a lot of time and effort. A video team will capture all of those little details for you to bask in your wedding prep glory.

5. Editing

Think you're pretty good with windows movie maker? That's the first problem. There are complicated steps involved with the editing process. A professional team "shoots-to-edit" meaning they know what they need before they arrive, which angles to use, and the order to use them. In the post-production process there are a lot of adjustments, exposure, colour grading, timing the music. For the average person this process is both expensive and intimidating. 

6. Clean Audio

We've all seen them before. Wedding videos where you can't understand a word people are saying. The music in the room is too loud. The speeches are muffled or clipping. A Videographer will take multiple sources of audio to capture different sources: the podium microphone, the DJ, and the minister. With the proper tools excessive noise and hiss can be removed during the editing process. Having clean and clear audio is crucial to the experience.


7. Capturing your moment in time

 Your wedding day is usually when you look your best. You trained hard to fit that dress and you are going to show it off in all it's glory. Your husband is young and has a full head of hair. Savour the moment! Every family has cute little kids at a wedding. It's always nice to see them that way twenty years into the future. Life is short. The speeches from your parents and grandparents are priceless.

8. The right equipment

Video equipment costs a fortune. If you rent it yourself it still costs a fortune and there is the learning curve that comes with each piece of gear. A professional videographer will have multiple cameras, lens, tripods, microphones, audio recorders, and more.

9. They can be two places at once

Many couples send each other little cards and gifts when getting ready for the ceremony. A video team can split up and shoot the bride and groom in two separate locations. The bouquet and garter only get tossed once. Multiple angles really highlight the moment.

10. No Regrets

After a wedding every couple reflects on their day and talks about what they would have done differently. Things they wish that they had and didn't have. One thing that often comes up is "I wish that I could have heard Dad's speech again." A Wedding Film is also a piece of your family history. It shows who you are, the era you live in, and the love you share.