May 4, 2020 / Weddings
Let’s be blatantly honest, every Singapore wedding videographer faces different challenges on every wedding. However, not every wedding shares the same theme, even though the formats seems to be similar. Thus, skills and expertise play a critical role in creating a beautiful wedding film.
Sometimes when couples do hire a videographer, uncertainty plays a huge part in this process. Who wants to hire an idiot who can only shoot video on his iPhone 7? Not forgetting, the horror stories of videographers whose main camera that become faulty during the actual day(not everyone brings an additional camera). In addition, sometimes when the videographer becomes too commanding, some clients hates it. Likewise, some client does not share the same vision as the videographer.
In every single project, expectations must be established before anything can happen. When a videographer shoots a couple on their actual day, it’s more like a partnership, rather than a sole-proprietor business. The subjectivity of art makes people have a different perception of what makes a good video. Hence, a wedding video that looks like poop may be a gem to another person.
Thus, setting the right expectation needs to begin the moment you first meet your videographer at Starbucks.
To the couples and videographers: Don’t expect the other party to read your mind! Humans can be really weird creatures at times. When things do not go as what they expected, they blame the other party. Each of us has specific needs. However, when you do not makes it clear, nobody will know.
If you are getting married, here are some questions to ask the videographer you may be hiring. Not forgetting, for every question, I will give my logical reasoning.
1) HOW MANY HOURS AM I PAYING FOR?
S$xxxxx for 10 to 12 hours. The typical wedding package. Some Singapore wedding videographer charges an extra S$150 for every additional hour. Imagine you have exceeded 2 hours? Let’s deduct an extra S$300 from your pocket. If the videographer charges an extremely high price for one of his premium package, maybe you can ask for free overtime services.
2) WHAT KIND OF WEDDING STYLE ARE YOU CAPABLE OF PRODUCING?
There is a difference between a cinematic and a documentary looking wedding video.
A documentary wedding video shares the similarity of a video journalistic style. From A to Z, a journalistic approach follows the events as truthful and chronological as possible. Everything will be edited based on the order of the events
However, a cinematic approach requires prior planning. These terms derive from the movies. You know directors like Steven Spielberg or Martin Scorsese? A particular style will be injected into the video. Sometimes storytelling plays a huge role. In addition, the images of the video will have a strong focus on framing and composition. In fact, some of the wedding videos can even be placed on a huge movie screen.
3) HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN SHOOTING VIDEOS?
If a videographer tells you he doesn’t believe in cinematography(the art of photography and camerawork in filmmaking), but just a documentation, maybe you can slash his prices? What’s the point of hiring someone who charges exorbitantly but sucks at compositing a beautiful image?
Ironically, some people who shoot short films, music videos, or other styles, implements a more creative flow when they shoot a wedding video. Besides someone’s event documentation skills, considering hiring someone who has a creative perspective.
4) DO YOU HAVE A BACKUP BODY FOR YOUR MAIN CAMERA?
Most videographers bring two cameras for a shoot. Two is better than one. Such a lame quote, but whatever. A backup body bring more security to the shoot. Imagine, during your first march in, the videographer’s main camera cannot be switched on? That’s some scary shit.
After all, cameras can also break down. Like any other electronic equipment, their reliability can only be so much. If an additional camera lies in the videographer’s backpack, this will reduce the risk of missing any moments. Even if the second body belongs to an entry level, getting the job done lies as the utmost priority.
5) DOES YOUR PACKAGE CONSISTS OF EXPRESS HIGHLIGHTS?
The packages on the market vary. Some packages consist of the same day edit of the morning segment. This will be shown during the dinner banquet. Most the time, couples pay for the videographer to endure the stress of editing a cool video in a couple of hours. Gone were the film days. Digital videography brings forth a new addition to the wedding video packages.
The first time I am introduced to this term “express highlights”, I thought it sounded lame. Sidetrack a bit. Express equates to advance of the delivery. On the other hand, highlights meant the main highlight of what have happened.
Do ask for a discount, if you have decided you do not need this portion of the package. Sometimes, videographers could not deliver the video in time for the dinner banquet. Should that happen, make sure, a deduction of the final payment must be made clear to the videographer.
6) DO YOU HAVE A WRITTEN CONTRACT?
After all, it’s a business. Hiring someone without a simple written agreement puts you at risk. A drafted agreement ensure responsibility, reliability, and SOME trust(humans do breach contracts). Sometimes freelancers only submit their invoices at the end of the service.
Ensure wordings states the amount to be deposit upon confirmation. Also, beware of contracts that come with compensation. Nobody should pay in the case of termination. Contracts should be impartial. Make sure to READ. Sometimes, companies drafts contracts that only benefits them.
Only make a decision, if you fully comprehend that white piece of paper.
7) HOW LONG WILL WE RECEIVE OUR CINEMATIC HIGHLIGHTS?
Wait, before we discuss the lead time. Do you understand the meaning of Cinematic Highlights? A final summary of the whole wedding makes the Cinematic Highlights. It’s gorgeous.
An express highlight shares similarity of a movie trailer. However, the Cinematic Highlights showcase the full movie. Your personal movie.
Sometimes companies have a huge volume of work to clear. Like duh. They might not deliver the final video in time. Make sure the timeline of the final delivery states the duration of the turnaround time. You don’t want to be chasing the company consistently for your final product.
8) WILL THERE BE ADDITIONAL CHARGES IF YOU ARRIVE BEFORE 7 AM OR IF THE WEDDING ENDS AFTER 12 MIDNIGHT?
Trust me. Some people do charge for that too. Occasionally, people call it a surcharge. Reminds me of taking a taxi though. Note the difference in surcharges and overtime. A surcharge comes either by per hour or a one-time payment. Imagine paying for surcharge and overtime cost? Damn.
Horrifying example: Package S$1588 + S$300 ( 2 Hours Overtime) + S$140 (2 Hours Surcharge) = S$2028.
Sometimes the bride’s makeup starts at 5.30 am. Thus, an additional charge may be imposed on you. Welcome to the world of hidden cost. Ensure to check every single additional charge before signing on the dotted line.
9) DO YOU NEED AN ADDITIONAL CAR SLOT DURING THE MORNING COVERAGE?
Some videographer drives their own vehicle. They believe that a separate vehicle gives a more professional impression. Whatever you call it. However, some of them believe that it incurs more cost when they drive their own. I mean petrol can be really expensive in Singapore.
Sometimes videographers prefer to seat with the couple (If a slot is available). This gives them the freedom to document the segments of the couple’s moment in the car. It all depends on their preference. Overall, just ask this question in case you need to reserve a slot for the videographer.
10) HOW RECEPTIVE ARE YOU TO OUR IDEAS OR YOU KNOW WHAT’S BEST FOR US?
This seems like a redundant point. Sometimes, videographers might have a conflict with the couple’s ideas. Ultimately, most videographers have your interest at heart. They want the best-looking video for you.
However, like any business, the person who pays makes the final call. Marrying an artist vision to another person’s perspective can be a challenge. Sometimes, a couple will be so hard on their idea. And changing their views can be really tough.
I mean imagine, if the woman goes through her wardrobe to choose her attire for an outdoor shoot. However, everything she proposes sucks. How does the videographer tell her nicely? If he rejects everything in the cupboard, it may seem like he dislikes her taste. What if the video turns out to be shitty if she wears any of that attire?
However, what if the videographer propose an idea that doesn’t work? Like he thinks that a green dress blends well with a nature background. Some ideas obviously suck. Even someone who claims to be artistic makes disastrous choices. Humans make mistakes. Hence, it’s important to clear the air with the videographer about creative differences.
The best combination lies in a collaborative process. Both videographer and couple can help each other to create a memorable love story. Thus, acceptance of difference views and compromising comes as a huge factor in marrying both the client and the videographer vision.