Friday, December 30, 2005

Brides NEED Wedding Day Video!

Literally thousands of brides every year say they regret not including video in their wedding planning. Now, it's too late.
According to many members of the professional wedding and event video production community this reaction has been their collective experience when talking with these brides.
''Our company is always marketing through direct mail, client referral programs, participating in area bridal fairs and other events,'' says Mary Ann Osness of CorElAnn Productions in Southern California. ''We get to speak with many newly wedded brides as a result and the vast majority of them tell us they regret not having a video of their wedding day.''
Osness says that a good number among this group admit they got portions of their wedding day on video, taken by friends or family.
''They will tell me it's a good thing to have some of their wedding videotaped, but that often the things they wanted to see the most were not recorded, or that they could not hear the vows, readers or other special commentary due to bad audio,'' says Osness.
Osness says her experience isn't unique. She says many of her associates in the professional wedding and event video production community have similar experiences.
Osness points out that such experiences can be viewed first hand on the many wedding web sites available.
''I read post after post on wedding web sites where brides say how disappointed they are now that their day is over and they have no video,'' says Osness. ''These brides are the very ones who, posting before their wedding, strongly advocated the lack of need for video.''
On posts prior to their wedding day, according to Osness, these brides claim photography is enough.
''A bride told me recently that she loved her photographs, wouldn't give them up at any price,'' says Osness, ''but she added that, now that it's too late, she would gladly spend the same or more to have had a wedding video.''
Osness says this is just one example, but the story is universal. She says that brides often mention not having actual live representation of their wedding day, expressing regrets.
''The professional photography community is a strong, solid, well-represented service provider group in the wedding industry,'' says Osness. ''They are aggressive, adding instant services, musical montage creations, even creations with narrative, and hundreds, sometimes thousands, of images for their clients.
''They continue to provide the trophy enlargements hanging in foyers, over fireplaces and in other prime home display areas,'' Osness says. ''But as important and valid as this service is it remains essentially a silent, two-dimensional outline of the event.''
Video is warm, says Osness. She says it has ''life'' and contains elements that enhance and compliment photographs.
''It is essential that photography and video are taken together,'' says Osness. ''Emotionally, they complete the memory. A photograph offers reflection, the video offers reality - that's what many people are into these days,reality, right?''
Osness says her primary frustration, one she shares with her many associates, is finding a way to get brides to realize and address the need for video before they realize and regret the absence of it.
''Yes, there are thousands of us who produce professional wedding and event video product,'' says Osness. ''We do have a personal interest in this. But so does the bride. When so many of them tell us how they wish they had realized the importance of video and are now sorry they didn't, that's saying we as professionals somehow need to reach them.''
Osness notes that a search on the web will reward every bride, regardless of budget size or limitations, with quality video at a price that works for them.
She says the vitality of video will reward the bride, her friends and family with a lifetime of living memories.
''People often think the memory alone will sustain them,'' Osness concludes. ''But there are so many instances caught on video of which celebrants have no memory because they didn't even know it occurred.''

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Wedding Video Registry

NOTE: Since writing this entry the Wedding Video Registry has been temporarily discontinued.

This is the most exciting development yet in a qualified and viable resource for obtaining professional wedding video production at little or no cost to you! This program offers you a way to experience virtually "ZERO!" impact on your already difficult to manage wedding budget while getting a professional video production of your wedding day events far beyond what you thought possible!
Now you don't have to depend on a friend, associate or family member with a video camera to videotape your wedding. They deserve to be a part of the celebration, not a working stiff! And, the pressure of providing some degree of quality with less than professional equipment can often result in headaches, heartaches and hassles - a lot of hurt feelings on both sides of the camera.
Now you don't have to "settle" on a low budget video production company/individual with low experience and mediocre equipment. Sure, there are many "newbies" out there just getting into the business and willing to make you a deal! But, if they are not prepared for contingencies, if they are not backed up with redundant equipment and prepared for those inevitable emergencies, equipment failures, that can arise, it might not be such a bargain after all.
Granted, there are some inexpensive video producers available who do some pretty darn good work for the price, charging anywhere from $800 to $1,000 for a two camera production - well, that's two cameras and one operator, and one camera at your reception.
The Wedding Video Registry professionals ALWAYS provide TWO cameras AND TWO operators at both your ceremony AND your reception! You get limited preceremony coverage, as well as creative coverage of your on site formal photo session, representation of your attending guests before and after the ceremony, the cocktail hour before your reception gets under way, six hours coverage, up to 40 hours of digital editing...
...and EVERYONE who participates in The Wedding Video Registry will get a complete and professionally edited DVD of your wedding day video production.
How can this be?
Simple! Add The Wedding Video Registry to your gift registry listing and notification!
You are probably already familiar with the web and local retail store gift registries. You have likely established a gift registry already. It is helpful for those who need/want to know what you need/want, cuts down on duplicate gifts, helps individuals work together to get you more expensive items an individual normally might not be able to afford.
The Wedding Video Registry works the same way, as a cooperative effort among your family, friends and associates where, based on the number of guests/invitations/announcements you send, and they participate, they are simply purchasing a copy of your professionally videotaped, edited and produced wedding day DVD video. One hundred participants would pay only $18 each, 150 guests, $12 each. More participants could make the individual orders less, or keep the price at $12 to $20 and use the extra to obtain one or more of the many available creative options from The Wedding Video Registry professional video producers.
There's another option in the event you do not have enough guests or participants. Just 50 participants would cut your costs in half. You would budget and pay, out of pocket, just $900 for a production that would cost you three or more times that! And, everyone of those 50 participants will receive a copy of your professionally produced wedding day DVD!
Their participation in The Wedding Video Registry is truly the gift that keeps on giving! The Wedding Video Registry is not intended to replace or eliminate regular gift registry participation. Its purpose is to provide an alternative gift suggestion for those who want to give something more, something unique! Their participation will not only assure the creation of a memorable, meaningful future family heirloom, it is a gift they give that actually GIVES BACK! And it is affordable enough that your video can be in addition to their regular gift presentation from your gift registry suggestions.
Believe me this is a gift that will "be there" probably far longer than any other gift you might receive. Another bonus is that you now have protection against the loss of your wedding day DVD video. With so many exact digital copies of your video available there will always be a resource for replacement in the event yours, or a guest's, copy is lost, damaged or somehow destroyed!
Is this a bit gauche? Well, tell me, do people in general perceive the ongoing tradition of retail gift registries gauche? No! The Wedding Video Registry IS a gift registry! One that is not only reasonably priced, affordable instead of, or in addition to a more traditional gift, but returns its value to the giver who actually will get something for her money!
That's not their intent, but that is still what will happen!
Every participant in The Wedding Video Registry receives a professionally produced digital copy of your soon-to-be heirloom wedding day video! Each and every participant will be named in a special segment at the end of your traditional video production. Each will have the satisfaction of giving you a truly unique and personal gift and, something we all appreciate, being recognized for being so thoughtful.
Complete details regarding The Wedding Video Registry are available at You will love the special quality of your professionally produced wedding day video and the knowledge that a lot of people put a lot of love into making it possible.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Photo? Video? Ice Sculpture?

I hear a lot of people claim they live in the moment. When I hear this I often wonder if they really know what they are talking about - live in the moment... for the moment.
What moment?
And, after the "moment" is that it? The moment never to be revisited or called to mind? Never to have a high enough value that it is worth recalling, remembering, reliving?
The ice sculpture soon melts, gone forever. Unless, of course, it was captured on film or memory chip, or videotape.
On film that sculpture can be captured forever in all its frozen glory. Its once wonderful, glistening detail can be reaffirmed at a glance...
...a memory of what once was and is no more.
Another photo can freeze the results of its demise, capturing virtually forever that melted masterpiece's remains - what was and is no more, but for the photograph, the memory.
Yes, photography captures the moment doesn't it?
But video, ah yes, video captures the event, the passage, the occurrence, the story like nothing photography could hope to achieve. The video of that melting ice sculpture can be long, excruciatingly boring; like real time.
Or, in the hands of a talented editor, the passage of time, while depicting the painful passage from reflective, diamond-like art to nothing more than a puddle awaiting the cleanup crew, can be a beautiful thing. There's a story here. Is the story of the ice sculpture reflective of the story of the marriage celebration where it gave its life?
Like the sculpture, will the wedding and reception that followed, the marriage that resulted, soon melt away into nothing?
A pause for thought, huh?
Can the photographs do that? After a fashion. Say, one of the sculpture's delivery - solid, hard, defined. Another of the sculpture sweating out its midlife, rivulets cutting lines into its once solid facade. Then a photo of its half-life, less than it was, still showing some of what it must have been, a series of moments rapidly fading. A final photo of the puddle, nothing to reflect on what that shapeless body of water had once been.
Sure, photos can do that, leaving much of it to the mind to recall.
But video, ah yes, video captures every moment, every fading of reflective glory. It conveys passage of time in a reality show. The drops move, the ice diminishes, the shape of things change until there remains only that body of water. Music enhances, highlights the event, underscoring a change from something to nothing.
What do most care?
They, after all, live for the moment, in the moment.
Like the marriage.
Life would, then, have to be a series of moments to live for, live in. Something a mere photograph cannot convey, provide.
Video is more about life, what it was, what it is, what it has become.
It is more artistic than a painting, more reminiscent than a photograph.
After the event, the video remains.
But what of the ice sculpture? the wedding? the marriage?

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Good, Fast and Cheap

The best you can hope for is two out of three.
Take video production for example. Independent wedding and event video producers are all over the board with this one. Are the majority of them good? Probably, but that is subjective and from the perspective of the service provider, the client and/or her relatives and friends.
There are a lot of cheap video services providers out there. The technology is certainly affordable, providing a great starting point for newbies. Working out of home generates low overhead, start up costs...and that's good to a degree. Inexpensive is a relative term. It sounds a bit better than "cheap" still giving the impression that a video service provider who is "inexpensive" might be somewhat more credible than one who is cheap. To a certain extent, unfortunately, you do get what you pay for.
Fast. What's that? What's fast? One or two months? Less than one month? Two, three weeks? Ten days? The fewer days spent on editing a video product, depending on length, complexity and content, can result in omission of quality. A lot depends on what the service provider charges. What equipment, technology, creative resources does she have at her disposal? Today's tools can help be fast, and good, but it isn't likely your service provider will be cheap.
There are a few things you must do whatever your budget may be for video production.

• Set your budget, but make an effort to be flexible a few hundred dollars either way

• Make it a point to interview a minimum of five video production services providers

• Make every effort to obtain a minimum of two of them via references from people you know and trust

• Do preview samples of their work

• Do follow up on references: liked work, liked the people, performed as promised, any surprises good or bad

• Do establish how long (how many weddings or events actually produced) they've been in business

• All else being equal, what are your instincts telling you - run? Are you comfortable? Do you like them?

• Good instincts, a comfortable, agreeable feeling is one thing, but is she going to be there behind the camera

• You might have 12 months to get everything locked down, but give yourself more than a couple of months

• Wait til the last minute and availability (see above) diminishes, potential for making a bad call increases

• Whatever the promises - get it in writing. For your own protection you simply must get a definitive agreement

Follow the above suggestions and you might just be able to find a video services provider who is affordable (based on your flexible budget) - avoid "cheap"; fast - anything under four weeks can be considered so; and good - you saw their work, right? They've been in business for a few years, produced several similar events - right? The references were positive, you did contact them, right?
Keep in mind that while there certainly is an abundance of talented individuals out there who started producing yesterday, experience plays a major role in the positive outcome of a video production. People who have been in business for a few years, with a number of productions under their belts, tend to understand Murphy's Law that if anything can go wrong it will. They are prepared for equipment failure, with sufficient backup resources to get the job done, and get it done professionally.
You will pay for that experience but, more than talent, looks, production samples, production content, contract inclusions, or even personality, the premium for experience will be the single most significant portion of your investment in a professional video services provider.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Having Your Wedding Video Produced

You may not realize it now, or even think it's important to preserve your wedding day events on video. And, if you do, you may not think it is important to spend money for a professionally produced wedding video, opting instead to allow a friend, relative or guest provide that service at no charge.
Arguments for having a professionally produced wedding video can be found everywhere, and the specific points for doing so are often redundant to the brink of nausea.
Sadly, solid arguments for having a professionally produced wedding video are rarely given on the countless web sites for brides seeking information regarding professional services.
The photographers and their products are ALWAYS mentioned, but video production rarely gets the same degree of positive nodding. Why?
Doesn't matter.
What matters is that a family member, friend or guest isn't going to get the important elements of your event simply because they are not professionally committed to doing so. They want, and rightly so, to be a part of the celebration, the event. None of these groups will EVER provide a clean, audible, solidly produced and edited representation of the day. In addition, they rarely have the necessary equipment for professional acquisition, editing or production.
The cheap route isn't always the way to go either, although it usually will provide something a step or two above what you can expect for free. Many people just starting out in the wedding and event video production business will at least provide audio enforcement, stable camera work via tripods or other stabilization, and are often professionally committed to providing a better product than friends, family or guests. They are not a part of your celebration, thus they are usually less distracted.
Experienced professionals, provided samples of work uphold their claims to quality and experience, are usually worth consideration and the expense to hire them. Why?
They have redundant equipment and assistance to ensure production quality even in the most negative of conditions. They are usually prepared for contingencies - spare batteries and alternate power sources, backup camera gear, extra audio batteries, mics and bulbs for lighting equipment.
Rare is the bride who opts out on a professionally produced wedding video and later upholds that decision. Rare is the bride who takes the same degree of interest in selection of a professional video producer as she does the photographer, who invests equally between the two, and later regrets the investment of time and effort, and cost.
Those who do not have a professional service provider produce their wedding video usually come to regret it; those who do don't!