Ask the Experts: The Videographer

Martin Andrews, Blue Sky Films, Owner

By: Jill Hudson

What should a couple ask a videographer during their first meeting? Couples should ask to see full-length videos of real weddings to make an informed decision about the overall quality of work. Any decent videographer can piece together a demo reel with the best shots from their best weddings. We cut two products for each wedding: a four-to-five-minute highlight video of the day, and a full-length version that has everything.

Many couples say video is the first thing they’ll do without if they need to cut wedding costs.

I know, and I hear on the back end that it’s one of their biggest regrets. My parents were married in 1971. They have very nice pictures, but I’d gladly pay $3,000 or $4,000 to see a video of my mom and dad when they were 25 years old, or to hear my grandfather give his welcome toast. It’s impossible to get that back.

What sort of rookie mistakes did you make when Blue Sky started five years ago? We watched other companies’ videos, which was a mistake. Then I decided that I wanted to make wedding videos look like movies. I didn’t want to use tacky effects like randomly cutting to black-and-white film, or using a shaky, handheld camera. I admire filmmakers like Kubrick, Scorsese, Spielberg, and Mike Nichols, and I like their approach to telling a story through film.

What was the biggest wedding you’ve shot? It was an Indian wedding at the Ronald Reagan Building with 600 guests. We had four video cameras and a Super 8 movie camera filming over four days. At the actual reception, we had all five cameras do a live feed onto giant ten-foot screens. It was a major production.

Do you work with couples on music choices for their videos? We do, and they usually have a lot of input into the music selection process. They supply the music for us on CD, and we’ll recommend something else if they pick music that doesn’t work great with film.

Like what? Like “Pour Some Sugar on Me” played during the dancing part of the reception. It’s like, “I realize this was your song back in 1989, but it’s going to be horrible on video, trust me.”

This article first appeared in the Winter/Spring 2010 issue of Bride & Groom