Monday, August 3, 2009

Gadgets, Gizmos, and Romance

Today I wanted to get a little technical and talk about some of the tools we videographers have available these days. It's such an exciting time to be a wedding filmmaker; there are more options than ever before! The equipment and software we use is allowing wedding videos to look more like Hollywood productions instead of Uncle Charlie's handycam home movie.

Here is a run-down on some of them (and by the way, Vanessa McKellar Productions uses every one of them):

- High Definition: This high resolution format is fast becoming the standard, replacing standard definition. Oftentimes it costs extra to have your video delivered in HD, but you will certainly appreciate the difference in quality.

- Super 8: This nostalgic film medium is shot on circa 60's and 70's cameras. (So it's not really "new" per se but it's becoming more and more in vogue.) The camera operates noisily, but you'll end up with warm evocative imagery that adds spice to videos. The film is expensive and it works best with lots of light. Pairs perfectly with a vintage-style or outdoor wedding.

- Canon 5D Mark 2: Wedding filmmakers are buying this still photography camera because of the beautiful HD imagery it can capture. Because it uses photo lenses, the depth of field is shallow and it looks more like a movie. This camera really sings with detail shots and dancing coverage at low-light receptions.

- Steadicam/Glidecam: These are counterbalanced camera stabilizers that allow the videographer to walk and run while the camera remains steady. Originally created for use in big budget movies, they are now trickling down to the event industry. They create a dramatic cinematic look that can really enhance a production.

(Here's me adjusting my Merlin Steadicam, photo courtesty Alex M Photography.)

- Magic Bullet Looks: This is a software plug-in that generates effects for video while editing. You can have a video clip that looks blah and flat and washed out, apply Magic Bullet and make some tweaks, and turn it into something that is vibrant or romantic or moody. Think of it as Photoshop actions for video. Here's another blog post I made that demonstrates what Magic Bullet can do.

Hopefully this little crash course on new technologies will help you make a more informed hiring decision when it comes time to research your wedding videographer. It's nice to know what's out there, what you might like, and what you need to look for in a filmmaker.

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Nicole said...

Very helpful. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

HEY!!! I'm so thrilled that my husband and I made you blog while you were adjusting your special camera!!!!

Counting down till the video makes me blog!!!!! =)