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Advice From An Expert
There's more to capturing the memory of your special day on film than setting up a camera. Get expert tips on leaving for your honeymoon with a great wedding video from videographer Drew Lavyne of sixminutestories.com, including the research you should start on now and what kind of music is your best option.
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Stage a Movie Marathon
Start by scoping out potential videographers' work from previous weddings. Once you get past the Groundhog Day similarities -- another bride, another groom -- you'll be able to focus on the differences in your emotional reactions to each.
Then, settle in with some films you respond to visually -- note the colors, light, and mood -- and give that list to your chosen videographer to use as an inspiration board, along with important elements and a list of the guests you want him or her to target. Better yet, supply photos of your VIPs so you won't need to point them out on your day. The more specific you can be, the better.
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Decide About Dialogue
When it comes to wedding films, including the original audio is a whole other ball of wax, and it's something you should discuss with your videographer at the outset. I made a creative decision early on not to record audio on my jobs -- I think getting the best man's "when we were in college" toast can take a video off the rails. Besides, you don't need audio to see the looks on the bride’s and groom's faces.
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Be Realistic About Run Time
The 21st-century attention span has been shortened to mere minutes, if not seconds, so I zero in on the moments that tell the emotional story of your day: hands grasping, biting of the lower lip, the loss of breath before "you may now kiss the bride." That’s what you'll want to see in the years to come.
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Get the Full Effects
If there's a special look you want -- like something that resembles a vintage Super 8 or 16-millimeter home movie -- it can be done in post-production. There are all kinds of treatments videographers can add with their computers after the fact. I could even make something look like 1950s black-and-white television.
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Adjust Your Music Expectations
Because of the way media travels online these days, you can't get away with setting your wedding video to, say, a Radiohead tune without securing the band's permission. All music has to be licensed. But you can find something similar to Radiohead on websites designed for this purpose.
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Coordinate Your Camera Crew
Videographers and photographers are used to working around each other -- cooperating so that they're not getting in each other's shots -- and you’ll only benefit from putting your photographer and videographer in contact as soon as possible. I usually meet with my counterpart beforehand and draw up something like a football playbook: You go left, I go right, stay at a certain angle. If there's a scene know I really want, I'll set it up so that I can shoot something without the strobe of a lot of flashbulbs firing.
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Order the iPad Version
Most couples ask for full high-definition. But if you plan to share the video electronically, ask for it to be saved in three different formats: high-def for your TV, medium for posting online, and small for e-mailing or watching on your smartphone or tablet.
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Request a Quick Turnaround
Some videographers have couples wait three to six months; if that's not what you want, make that clear when hiring and write it into the contract. Personally, I like to go home and start cutting right away. It helps me carry the vibe of the event into the video. I often end up e-mailing the small version to the couple when they're on their honeymoon -- and I've gotten many tearful, happy phone calls from beaches all over the world.