To Err is Human; to Correct an Error is ProfessionalApril 28, 2017
Every videographer will make at least one mistake at a wedding (and probably more). But will it be a mistake you notice, or one they’re already prepared for?
Few things are more important than choosing the right videographer to hire. One of the questions I’m sometimes asked is, “Have you ever made a mistake or missed an important moment at a wedding?” Event videography, especially wedding videography, is a high stakes game – you only get one chance to get it right – and life is full of mistakes. What do you do when user error, or equipment malfunction, or just an unlucky circumstance results in a missed shot? Or worse, a missed scene?
I remember reading a quote a few years back by a famous violinist discussing the fretless strings of a violin. He said something to the effect of, “I play the wrong note all the time. But I fix it before anyone else hears it.” I have a similar approach to videography. Do I make mistakes? Of course – to err is human, but to correct your mistakes before anyone can tell is what separates a professional from an amateur.
What does this mean? It means being quick, being prepared, and perhaps most importantly, using redundancy. This means multiple cameras and multiple sources, being quick and ready to move with the action, and knowing how to fix things in post-production.
Does your videographer know how to recover data from a damaged memory card or clean up audio to remove unwanted background noise? Does your videographer have a backup audio and video source for the most important moments? These are all things you learn to do with experience, and each wedding or event I’ve filmed has been an excellent learning experience.
Last year, for example, I had what could have been a disastrous scenario – a sound recorder that didn’t start recording. This could have been a serious problem if I hadn’t already had a backup sound recorder going the whole time. It may seem like such an obvious solution, but some of the most important questions you can ask your videographer are, “What backup equipment do you carry? How prepared are you for mistakes?” If they say they never make mistakes, run!… because of course we all make them.
Does your videographer know how to recover data from a damaged memory card or clean up audio to remove unwanted background noise? Does your videographer have a backup audio and video source for the most important moments?
Ultimately, all you need to record a wedding is one perfectly placed camera and microphone. But this is impossible – people move, the event never stays in one place, a guest stands in front of you, someone pulls a cable out, they speak too quietly… all these issues are par for the course. That’s where redundancy comes into play and knowing how to edit it seamlessly into the final video. And this can be expensive – one camera is expensive, two is more expensive, and three? Well, you get the idea. And sound recorders? And a few videographers? These seemingly extra items are absolutely necessary when you consider the importance of what you’re filming. And when you cut costs, there are risks you take.
Having an experienced videographer (or team of videographers) with these redundancies in place will ensure that your wedding or event is properly filmed so that you can relax and enjoy the event yourself. Mistakes and the unexpected will always happen, but a professional videographer is prepared to deal with those mistakes so that you don’t have to.