Whether you’re doing it for fun or profit, there are a few things to consider when producing a wedding video. This is a big day for the participants so you’ll want to make sure you get it right. Here’s a checklist of what to bear in mind before capturing some of the most important moments of a couple’s life.
Have the right equipment on hand. While you don’t need the most expensive gear out there, just make sure that you have a digital format camera that will take clean smooth shots without bouncing around and that will work with a tripod if possible. Use back up audio and make sure that your audio equipment works well and is in a format that can be easily edited. Events like these can pick up lots of background noise (reception music, conversations, etc.) and you’ll want to work with the audio to make sure it is refined on your final production. A mini digital recorder works great for this and you can even have the groom pop it in his pocket with a lavaliere mic.
While you won’t need the top of the line camera, do make sure you clearly understand your camera before assuming a project such as this. Know what your camera’s light sensitivity is and try to use the lower light ratings when filming indoors at the church or hall. You’ll get better quality shots and be able to produce an excellent final video.
Make sure that you take some time to get some b-roll coverage of the locations where you’ll be shooting in advance so that you can edit in pre and post shots of the surroundings when you aren’t trying to capture the human action. Take a lot of footage of guests and you’ll then be able to place these shots appropriately in your final production. This will also provide you with some extra footage to use in editing if necessary. When at the reception, include plenty of room shots and speak with the bride and groom in advance to see if there are some special requests that they have so that you’re not trying to operate on the fly at the event.
Get plenty…PLENTY…of close ups of the bride, the groom, their families…even the guests while they are showing emotion. These are the money shots – the ones that really evoke those special reactions from viewers and participants. Get grandma and the kids. This is a heartfelt event and you want it to show that in the final video.
Hopefully you have attended many weddings before and you can anticipate the action. Find out in advance if there are going to be any unexpected pieces that need to be captured and more and more often, these days, people are really shaking up the tried and true with spontaneous dances or flash mobs and the like. You won’t be able to stop and reshoot and everything you are capturing is a one shot deal so make them count and be prepared. Make sure not only the bride and groom speak to you in advance but parents and attendants as well if they’re planning anything that needs to be included. Focus on the events and what is happening, the people, the feelings, etc. You will have plenty of time in editing to add special effects or filters with the technology that is available.
After the event, edit and produce the final as quickly as possible. This is something the couple will be looking forward to sharing and their urgency is the most important thing.