Separate The Wheat From The Chaff

If we remember rightly, there are quite a few companies out there who do what we do. If you are like us, and like to research a great deal before you go ahead with something, you could spend the year before your event scanning through Google trying to differentiate between us. To help you separate the wheat from the chaff (what is chaff..?), we’ve put together a few little questions for you to pose to your potential event videographers.

What is their camera to camera operator ratio?

It is very easy for a videography company to say that there will be plenty of cameras for your event, but are there going to be enough bodies to hit record and film? The last thing you want is for your event film to be a montage of stationary shots because there aren’t enough people to pan, tilt, zoom etc. Or worse, while your videographer is operating one camera, what happens if you leave frame in the other, rendering that shot useless? Or worse, an unsuspecting pedestrian who is just trying to get a better view blocks a safety camera that is recording a vital shot. You don’t get any second chances with live events, which is why it is better to have as many videographers as there are cameras.

Do you have a budget for music?

It is all very well to say that you would like the most recent Take That song (why?) to underscore the delightful event video that Memory Lane Films has just put together for you, but there are rules and regulations regarding the use of music in commercial film. Does your videographer know the rules, and will they follow them? Make sure you don’t get caught out by putting something up on your website that in fact isn’t allowed to be there. There are plenty of ways to give your event video a lovely soundtrack without breaking the rules, don’t worry.

How long do they take to edit?

We completely understand that you want to get your event video back as soon as possible – you want to get the memory of the night to your client the following week, or to show your absent loved ones what a great time you had at your birthday party. But beware of the videography company that says that they can have your video back to you by this time next week. We’re not just giving ourselves an excuse here; these things take time. It’s possible to hammer out an event video edit, but time is needed to review the footage, to piece it together properly, and to colour grade it to perfection. As old Bill Shakespeare says, “Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast.”

Make sure that their quote is the final price

We’ve all been there at some point; you receive a quote for a service, approve it, only to find that the equipment adds 25% to the package price, or that it doesn’t include fuel, mileage or travel time. Always check that your videographers’ costing is completely transparent and all-inclusive.

Does your videographer know what you want?

The live event videographer is accustomed to arriving on the day of the event and reacting to what is happening around him. However, a great videography team will know everything that will happen before it happens. You don’t want a single moment of your event to be missed; make sure the company with whom you are working has all of the information before the big date – you don’t want to throw them a curve ball for which they are not prepared. And if your videographer isn’t asking, then you need to consider how interested they are in your final event video being the best it can be.

How many videographers in their team?

A great deal of live event videography service companies will charge a premium for extra camera operators. Bear in mind that every time you add an extra videographer, you are essentially doubling the amount of footage, and thereby the review time when it comes to the edit. However (and this is the most obvious comment you will read on this website…maybe) multiple camera operators can be in more than one place at once, allowing them to capture the goings on across the whole event. And, of course, it also affords the videography team multiple angle of the same action.

Do they have sound equipment?

Sound is just as important as image. We can shoot in the highest of HD, and if it is underscored with poor quality sound, the entire video can be ruined. Your videographer must have a number of different microphones and an extensive knowledge of how to use them. If the sound is not recorded at the correct level, the sound can peak completely or can be too quiet, forcing the editor to increase the volume in post-production, inducing horrible audio hiss. Make sure to speak to your videography team about sound.

How old is their video equipment?

There is a great deal of wool pulling going on in the film and video industry, usually with regards to the equipment being used by videography companies. There are new releases in audio and visual equipment all of the time, sometimes with the tiniest of developments being made. However, it is up to the videographer to keep abreast of this. Make sure to ask your potential event videography production company what equipment they are using, for video, sound and editing. Will your video be in HD? Will it be colour graded? In what format will the video be delivered? It might be worth doing a bit of independent research to ensure that you’re at least a little bit media savvy.


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