Excellence in Media Production

Archive for March 2011

The Wedding Save the Date Video, The Wave of the Future

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So what is a, “save the date” video? This is usually a wedding invitation that is scripted and communicated via video,  by the bride and groom in order to personally invite friends and family to their wedding. It can be posted on video hosting platforms, distributed via
DVD or embedded on the couple’s website. The Wedding Videos and the Save the Date videos are becoming more  popular today with the advent of lower cost technology such as video cameras, hard drive capacity and the ability to upload, as of this article, 2gb of high-definition video and up to 15 minutes of video in a wide variety of formats onto YouTube. Some other video hosting platforms such as Vimeo offer free and upgraded Vimeo plus accounts that give users the ability to upload up to  5gb per week and have the ability to customize the player to include different colors and the ability to set security features to allow password access only to video. Some professional wedding videographers are offering the Save the Date video as a part of their service offerings. I would always advise, that if you would like to have an especially nice professionally produced wedding save the date video or a wedding DVD, hire a professional to record it. Usually, they will have invested in higher end professional video equipment and have the experience in order to produce a professional looking video.

The save the date video is limited only by the bride and groom’s creativity. I have listed a few to give you a flavor of what is out there. Keep in mind that these video are the creations of the bride and groom. These are some that were posted on you tube and have garnered over one million hits at the time of the publication of this article.




Not only can these save the date wedding video trailers fun and exciting for your friends and family to view, it can also serve as a project that you and your future spouse can work on together and have fun doing it. After all, that should be what marriage should be about; working together to create a beautiful masterpiece that others can see. Your marriage should serve as an example for future brides and grooms, an example for your children and all that observe near and far.

Bennie Cheatham

J and J Digital Media



Written by jandjdigitalmedia

March 28, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Does Your Wedding Videographer Need to Attend the Wedding Rehearsal?

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This is one of those questions that there is no right or wrong answer to. I will give you reasons that the videographer should attend the wedding rehearsal and reasons that it may not be necessary.

Attending the rehearsal is probably the best way to prepare yourself to record the wedding the ceremony, specially if you are somewhat new to wedding videography. Even a seasoned professional with many years of experience shooting live events would benefit from attending the wedding rehearsal. Sometimes, just talking and asking questions of the facility coordinator may allow you more flexibility when it comes to getting the best shots during the wedding. After all, the couple will have hired the wedding videographer to provide  a service, so my opinion is to do whatever it takes get the job done. Of course you will want to respect the sanctity of the facility and the event. The wedding rehearsal is also an excellent time to get to know the names of some of the people in the wedding party, the Best Man, Maid or Matron of Honor, and of course,  the wedding coordinator. This allows for the wedding party to become a little more comfortable with you on the wedding day. I have found that when the audience is comfortable, I am able to acquire much more realistic and natural footage during pre-wedding ceremony activities.

If you have recorded at a facility in the past and have many years of experience in recording weddings you may be able to get away with not attending the rehearsal. If you do not attend the rehearsal you will certainly want to arrive early at the facility. Decoration placement may be different from  the last time you recorded a wedding at the facility. Many wedding facilities are putting more restrictions in place due to vendors not respecting policies, so even if you have recorded a wedding at the facility in the past, this is something to be cautious about.

In my experience, I have come to rely on my ability to plan. I develop my plan starting with my initial conversation with the Bride and Groom. I further develop that plan at the rehearsal and with a good plan in place it is time for execution on the wedding day. I have learned while training and in combat that although I may have a plan, “no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.” However, having a good plan puts you miles ahead vs. not having a plan at all.

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March 23, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Video Generation Loss In a Wedding Video Should be a Thing of the Past.

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Good news to share here.

With the advent of new technology, (digital video format) and now, high definition, generation loss, in theory, has the potential to be a thing of the past. Before the digital format became available at the prosumer level, we had to rely on either digital 8 or high8 and a few other standard formats. When we captured the video, we had to edit from the original footage to a master (that was one generation). Then we copied from the master to make the duplicate copies for distribution to the bride (that was the second generation). If the bride ran out of copies and wanted to copy more to distribute to friends and family, (that was the third generation). I hear lots of brides say that they have seen wedding videos that were fuzzy and not very clear. Well, many times it may have been that the video was never captured with a high quality camcorder or it may have gone through several generations, making the copy that is being viewed look very grainy or even “fuzzy.”

Back in 1993 when I first started in wedding videography, I purchased a Sony VX1000 which was the first prosumer level digital camcorder that many semi pros, including myself, could afford. At that time the camera cost $4100.00 it was very high quality video for that time at about 400 lines of horizontal resilution. Once I went through each generation, the copies that went to my customers was at best, “OK.”

Today I acquire video with a High Definition camcorder, edit in digital format and distribute digitally either through DVD or the internet. With this process there is no generation loss. The quality of the images recorded from the outset remain in high definition unless I choose to use a different setting in the editing process  that would reduce the quality.

In conclusion, the availiability of high definition is readily available. So if you are able to put it into your budget, it would really make sense to do so.

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March 21, 2011 at 10:32 pm

How to Hire a Wedding Vendor.

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Your wedding day will be one of the best and most memorable days of your life. It is important that you screen your vendors well. There is an old saying in construction measure twice, cut once. It will save you money and time in the long run. Before you even schedule and interview with a wedding vendor, pay attention to the response time that you receive from that vendor. If it is slow (over 24) hours getting back to you then don’t bother to meet with them. This usually means one of two things: The vendor is disorganized or is too busy to take care of their customer

Once you have made your selections, it’s time to start interviewing your vendors.  You   should interview no more than two to three wedding vendors in each category (florists, caterer, photographer, videographers, decorators, etc.) . If you find 8 caterers in your area, look at each vendors website and narrow it down to the final 2-3.  Interviewing  more than three vendors can become confusing and overwhelming.  When meeting with your selected vendors, be prepared to ask questions!  Questions suggested are:

  • How long have you been in business and how many weddings have you worked?
  • How many weddings have you done per year? (This can be tricky. Too many weddings a year may not be a good thing. Some vendor price their services high in order not to do too many weddings in a year. Others only work weddings part time, so listen closely to the answer that the potential vendor gives and decide.)
  • Wedding date availability are they available for your wedding date?  If not, what are alternate dates and solutions?
  • How much services (according to wedding size) and what is the deposited required? When is the remaining balance due?
  • What is your (the vendor) cancellation policy? You should want to enter into a contract so that everything that is discussed is binding.

Remember,  trust your  instincts during the interview.  Make sure that the vendor is interested in your wedding details and that they have a full understanding of what you would like.  If  a vendor seems standoffish or just plain rude,  walk away.  All vendors should treat prospective clients in a kind, professional manner.

Some excerpts are from the following link

The Author of this Post Bennie Cheatham of J and J Digital Media,

Written by jandjdigitalmedia

March 7, 2011 at 8:54 pm