Do you want just another Wedding Video?
or do you want it done properly?
Three Times Winners
of the Institute of Videography Award for
BEST WEDDING VIDEO
STEVEN ABRAMS VIDEO PRODUCTIONS are probably one of the oldest celebration video production companies on Merseyside. Established in 1983 they have now produced many hundreds of wedding and Barmitzvah videos, corporate videos and documentaries working all over the country and even on the continent. With the skills acquired over the years you can be assured that the video you receive of your special day will not only be a lasting memory to cherish, but will be a recording that you, your family and your friends will enjoy watching.
To ensure the best possible quality, the camera that is used is the Sony Broadcast DSR130P DVCAM. Unlike home video equipment that many videographers use, this camera, which is designed for industrial use and electronic newsgathering, produces a picture quality equal to that of broadcast television. For the technically minded the camera has 3 x two third inch Power HAD CCD pickup chips capable of resolving 700 lines (VHS can resolve about 280 lines and and Hi8 about 400) with a minimum required illumination of less than 2 lux per chip. Because it has three CCD chips where most other cameras only have one, it is able to retain full colour and quality right down to the minimum illumination. It is fitted with a 7.5 to 120 mm variable speed servo zoom, f1.4 lens (in 35mm terms this is equal to a zoom of 45 to 720 mm).
One very important item that most videographers tend to neglect is the sound. Most videos are spoiled by the poor quality of the sound during the wedding and later during the speeches. It doesn't matter how loud or quiet the people speak, unless a lot of skilful care is taken the recording will sound tinny and distant.
By placing a small radio microphone on the groom's lapel it is possible to capture even the most whispered vows clearly; A second radio microphone can be put on the minister or placed in the roof of the Chuppa. When necessary it is possible to put out up to 4 microphones at a time; All the microphones are remotely controlled and can be switched on and off by the cameraman. You don't have to worry about your voice booming out during any singing or the accidental recording of a whispered comment during the sermon causing embarrassment. A lot of effort goes into making sure that you hear the video as clearly as you see it.
The Video Man.
You may think with all this equipment around that the video will take over the day and intrude on the service. Rest assured, you won't notice the presence of the video man or the microphones during the service, and throughout the day he will remain as unobtrusive as possible.
Anybody can go out and buy a video camera and call themselves a wedding videographer. You may even have a friend who has offered to record the day for you. There is lot more to making a video than just pointing the camera. Is your friend competent with the equipment? Will the final recording have the flow and continuity of a professional production? Have they got enough batteries for the day? Do they have any back up if the equipment breaks down? The failings of an amateur video recording will not be apparent until after the event. By then it will be too late to go back to recapture some of the most important moments of your life.
There are also many so called professional videographers around who use a top of the range domestic camcorder and "do" weddings. Although they are usually a lot cheaper than us, remember you will get what you pay for.
Have these other people got any professional qualifications to back up their claims for their work?
In 1990 Steven Abrams submitted work to the Institute of Videography, achieving 94% in the assessment was admitted to the institute as a Master Member. Two more pieces of work where submitted in 1993 and achieved a staggering 97% aggregate.
Following these achievements he was made a Fellow of the Institute of Videography, attaining the highest possible level of membership.
Some things to look for in a wedding video
Apart from the obvious sound and picture quality there are many other things to look out for when choosing your videographer. Having all the fantastic equipment in the world is still no guarantee that you will get a good video. The skill of the cameraman on the day, the trouble taken to ensure things go smoothly, and the editing afterwards all go to making the video what it is. Skilful editing can transform good camera work into a work of art.
When you watch a demonstration tape does the video move along at a steady pace or are you always hitting the fast forward button to get past long boring scenes? Are the colours correctly balanced? Domestic cameras with automatic white balance cannot cope with the many different lighting conditions in Synagogues or at the reception. Broadcast equipment is adjustable to get the right colour balance in all conditions *.
Does the "story" of the day flow along or is it constantly broken up with fades and jumps? Does the cameraman stick to recording the bride and groom all afternoon, ignoring the guests? Is the video just a repeat of the "posed" photographs in your wedding album? Does the background music replace and/or drown out the soundtrack? Does the cameraman avoid "jump shots" by careful planning and recording of "cut away" shots?
Is the demonstration you are watching a master tape? If so you will not be seeing a true representation of the quality you will get from your wedding video, for when the master is edited the quality will always drop, even with expensive copying equipment. Ask to see a copy, in fact ask to see a number of copies of different weddings. After all, nobody is going to show you their worst tape. At Steven Abrams Video Productions they will be happy to show you a tape of ANY wedding they have done **.
You will appreciate that you get what you pay for. If you are looking for the cheapest video then don't look this way. Steven Abrams Video Productions don't compete on price, they compete on quality. Their wedding videos are dearer than most others around, but when you consider how much you are spending on your wedding day, the little extra you have to pay to get a top class recording to treasure for the rest of your lives will be well worth it.
What you get
Every wedding is unique. What follows is an outline of an average wedding, but your wedding video will be tailored to meet your own requirements:
The video will start with computer generated titles mixed with a sequence of photographs of the bride and bridegroom growing up. This is set to music.
The Shul before the ceremony to record the bridegroom, family, guests, bridesmaids and bride arriving with her mother. If the bride doesn't live too far away it is also possible to go to her house.
Record all of the marriage service, signing the registers until the newlyweds leave.
At the reception: Go around the guests and record them while they are gathered, followed by the formal "clapping in" of the Bride and Groom into the dining room. If you wish you may also have your guests recorded at the tables.
Cutting the cake and after dinner speeches using high quality radio microphones so that the camera can be kept out of the way at the back of the room.
Finish the tape with a recap of the day, consisting of a still frames sequence and special effects, looking back over the day's events, set to music (usually "LíChaim to life" from Fiddler on the roof, but you may choose something else if you wish) and ending with credits that list the best man, bridesmaids, ushers, etc.
Any other special recording you may require during the day will be accommodated as far as possible.
SELECT YOUR WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHER CAREFULLY.
YOU WON'T GET A SECOND CHANCE TO CAPTURE THAT SPECIAL DAY.
MAKE YOUR VIDEO JUST AS SPECIAL.
* Synagogues lit by orange sodium lights can sometimes cause difficulties as this colour is outside the range of ALL video cameras ability to colour balance. Broadcast cameras will still produce a colour balance that is as near to the original as possible. back
** Clients do have the option to request that their wedding video is not shown as a demonstration tape and this is always respected. back
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