In my many years of producing Wedding Films, I have found that there are a few simple thoughts and decisions a couple should discuss with each other regarding the filming of their wedding:
What style of music would be preferred for the background soundtrack on the Wedding Film? While most of the scenes filmed will be shown with the original sounds that occurred at the event, several Music Montages are created on the Wedding Film where background music will be added to augment the effect of the footage. Generally, romantic film-type music and light jazz works well for the sequences, but it's your Wedding Film so Anything Goes!
At the end of your Wedding Film, we will produce a Music Video Highlights Recap of the whole day - your own Music Video! Many couples choose the song they danced their First Dance to, but again, the choice is yours. Do you have a special song that the two of you consider to be "your song"? Do you have more than one. We often create our Music Video Highlights Recaps utilizing two songs: one for the Ceremony portion and one for the Reception portion. It's all up to you!
How many cameras should be used to record your wedding day? Multiple cameras make for better coverage (imagine watching a concert or sports event filmed with just one camera!). But the more cameras and camera people involved, the more noticeable they will be to your guests. We do all we can to minimize our "footprint" on your most special day, including wearing dark suits and using modern, small High Definition cameras that can create fantastic images with little or no on-camera lighting. Basically, if the Wedding Film is a high priority for you (and I think it should be :-) ), we should cover your ceremony and reception with at least two cameras. If on the other hand, ultimate discretion is your main goal, I can come out with a single DSLR camera (with a 2nd unmanned camera for the Ceremony) and blend in as if I am one of your guests, all the while creating a surprisingly professional Wedding Film for you (I'd be happy to show you Wedding Films shot in this extremely discreet manor).
Regarding the length of your finished Wedding Film: When I started filming weddings back in 1982, it wasn't really "filming" - we just shot the weddings on consumer VHS cameras and tape recorders and little if any editing was done. By early 1984 I bought my first industrial VHS editing system and I was able to create surprisingly good edited videos of weddings (though the picture quality wasn't really comparable yet to even "normal definition" television).
At that time and for many years afterward, a full-length wedding video tended to run at least an hour and a half, and in the case of a Catholic wedding ceremony with a full Mass, the finished video of the ceremony and reception could run well over two hours. By the late 90's the higher end wedding video producers were offering "Short Form" condensed versions of wedding productions that used TV and Film type editing techniques to shorten the finished product to around 45 minutes. In essence, in the short form version, while you'll see pretty much everything from the original, each shot will last a bit less time (and the part of each shot picked during editing will be the best part).
In this day and age, some companies (generally those just starting out) offer just the older, Long Form style. Other companies, usually the higher-end companies, offer the Short Form style. I leave it up to you. When we meet, I'll show you Short Form versions and we can compare them to Long Form versions, and ultimately, you will decide how long you'd like your Wedding Film to be.
Wedding Videos versus Wedding Films:
Until recently, when weddings were recorded, even with the best equipment available, the quality didn't compare to the current level of broadcast television quality. Even when I recorded Tom Arnold and Roseanne Barr's wedding in the early 90's, while I used the best cameras available, the finished product wasn't as good as what one would see if they turned on their TV and watched say, the "Roseanne" TV show. The reason was the technology: First off, if one lighted a Wedding Ceremony and Reception with the amount of studio lighting required to really produced "Broadcast Quality", one would ruin the event itself. Secondly, in those days, all editing was done "tape to tape" meaning a generational loss of quality occurred.
Then, came the digital age! With the advent of computer-based, non-linear editing, generation loss ceased to exist. A digital copy of original footage, edited, and ready for viewing has the same level of quality as the original footage.
The next big thing was the tremendous increase in the camera's ability to shoot scenes in low light. In this day and age, the cameras we are using can produce an image that is slightly BRIGHTER than the real level of brightness in a room. It's amazing. Finally, the last and most recent advance has come in the form of true High Definition with the ability to shoot, edit and deliver in full High Definition on Blu-ray™ Disk.
At this point, what John Kevin Films is producing is on a par with any High Definition documentary you might watch on a High Definition channel. We are no longer creating wedding videos. I am happy to assure you, what we now create are Wedding Films. Let us create one for you!
My very best,