Saturday, January 30, 2010

Wedding Videography 101: “Cinematic” versus “Documentary”


“Can you make our wedding video look filmic?”

“Can you shoot documentary style?”

As a wedding Toronto wedding videographer, I hear these questions a lot. And truthfully there is no short answer. It is challenging trying to sum up our or anyone’s work in one word or phrase.

The terms, “filmic” and “documentary” get thrown around a lot, and can mean different things to different people. Often times, a videographer won’t strictly belong to one category or the other. If you’re not sure where a certain videographer fits in, just ask to see a sample of a complete wedding they have shot and edited… then decide if you like it. Then, who cares what it’s called? If you like it, you like it.

Usually, a “filmic” or “cinematic” look implies that a video has been shot widescreen or 16:9 (with the growing popularity of widescreen TVs, most videographers shoot widescreen these days anyway), with saturated colours, and some dramatic slow motion effects. It can also mean very stable moving shots created with the help of cranes or jib arms, steadicam apparatus, etc.

The advantages to going with a cinematic videographer, is that you literally get a chance to star in your own professionally shot movie. You will be beautifully lit, and captured from the right angles, and only the best, most glamorous shots will make the final cut. You may never look better!

The drawback, of course, is the cost. It takes a lot of people to put a production like this together, not to mention a lot of high end equipment. And finally, there is editing time: for a truly filmic experience, several hours in an editing suite is required to synch up footage from multiple cameras, mix sound and music, create transition effects and titles, etc.

Another drawback, depending on your point of view, is it is not an ideal setup for the camera-shy. You will be surrounded by a crew, lights, and equipment. You will likely be aware of the cameras. You may occasionally have to wait for the cameras to get in place or re-enact for the cameras if necessary.

A “documentary” approach implies that your video is shot with less bulky equipment, and you might only get one or two cameramen with this approach.

The drawback of a documentary approach is it’s going to have a grittier look than the filmic approach. How gritty? Again, this is going to vary from shooter to shooter, so ask to see a sample DVD to come to your own conclusion.

The major advantage of a documentary approach is that because the equipment is lighter, the shooters have more flexibility, so they can move and capture spontaneous moments as they happen naturally. The approach is less obtrusive, and when done correctly, you shouldn’t feel the cameras around you a whole lot. The cost for a documentary approach should be less: the equipment isn’t as high end or cumbersome and you can get away with less people on set. How smooth the final DVD looks depends on the amount of time allocated to editing, and this can vary from production house to production house.

Hopefully, this article has shed some light on the pros and cons of a filmic approach and a documentary approach. It should make finding a balance between these two styles easier, so that you end up with a wedding videographer that is right for you.

This article was written by Nishi Dias of Night Day Productions: a Toronto-based video production company. If you'd like to publish this article, please credit, link-back and contact Nishi at:

Night Day Productions

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Night Day Productions awarded 2010 Bride's Choice Award for Videography (WeddingWire)

2010 Bride's Choice Awards - Wedding Photographers, Wedding Cakes, Wedding Venues & More
Weddings, Wedding Planning, Wedding Websites, Wedding Checklists

Toronto - Ontario – January 20, 2010 - WeddingWire, the nation’s leading wedding technology company, just announced Night Day Productions has been selected to receive the 2010 Bride’s Choice Awards™ for Videography!

The annual Bride’s Choice Awards™ recognizes and celebrates excellence in quality and service within the wedding industry, as determined by recent reviews and extensive surveys from over 500,000 newlyweds.

Night Day Productions is among the top five percent of all vendors in the WeddingWire community, which includes over 100,000 wedding professionals across the US and Canada. Awards were given to winners across 19 different service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers.

“We are excited to recognize and honor the success of the top wedding professionals within the WeddingWire Community” said Timothy Chi, WeddingWire’s Chief Executive Officer. “The annual Bride’s Choice Awards™ program has given us the unique opportunity to highlight the best wedding professionals in each region as reviewed by brides and grooms who have utilized their services in the past year.”

We are happy to announce that Night Day Productions is among the very best Videographers within the WeddingWire Network, which includes WeddingWire and Martha Stewart Weddings. We would like to thank our past newlyweds for nominating us for the 2010 Bride’s Choice Awards™.

For more information, please visit our WeddingWire Storefront today.

About WeddingWire, Inc.
WeddingWire is the only online wedding planning resource designed to empower both engaged couples and wedding vendors. WeddingWire enables engaged couples to search, compare and book over 100,000 reviewed wedding vendors nationwide, from wedding photographers to wedding cakes. WeddingWire also offers an online community and a suite of cutting-edge planning tools, including wedding websites and wedding checklists, all at no charge. For wedding vendors, WeddingWire provides free online management tools creating the only market opportunity that gives businesses control over their clients, reviews, leads and performance. In addition, WeddingWire has partnered with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (NYSE: MSO) to provide its network of local vendors and online wedding-planning tools in the Weddings section of For additional information, please visit

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Survival Tips For Wedding Show Season!

'Tis wedding show season! Here are a few tips:

1) Wear comfortable shoes and dress in layers so you can shed some clothes if it gets hot

2) Bring an empty backpack for fliers and swag: not too big, you have to manoeuvre through crowds

3) Bring pre-printed address labels so you can save time (and hand cramps) filling out ballots and request-for-info forms

4) Bring a bottle of water and a small snack

5) Ditch the dead weight. Don't drag a huge unwilling entourage to the show, you'll lose them in the crowd and they'll bring you down. Bring enthusiastic, energetic, motivated people with you... then you'll have fun!

6) Go in with a mission. Know which vendors you're looking for. If you've already booked a florist, get a site map of the show and skip all the florists. If you're looking for a band, bring a list of questions you want to ask a band.

7) Bring a notebook and pen so you can write down the vendors that impressed you. Be prepared with questions you want to ask them and record their answers.

All the best!

Nishi @ Night Day Productions

Monday, January 4, 2010

Wedding Videography 101: Editing versus Raw Footage

When it comes to videography, don’t make the common mistake of thinking you are paying for just one day of service. A lot of prep time goes into any production, and after the shoot, as much as 50 or 60 hours might go into editing and refining your footage. Or not. It depends on the production company. So ask what your videographer puts into their editing process, and expect to pay accordingly for their time and efforts.

Your videographer might simply offer the raw (unedited) footage; in which case, a tape or hard drive to DVD transfer and some packaging is all that is required after the shoot. This is by far the cheapest option when scouting for video packages, but it is important that your expectations for this option are realistic.

There is a lot of software out there that can enable anyone to edit their own footage, but even if an amateur has the time, patience, and creativity to finish their own video, a professional editor is likely going to see more potential in the same batch of raw footage. If you don’t plan on editing your own footage and just want to leave it unedited, understand that everything is going to be left in, audio levels may be inconsistent, and without the benefit of chapters you won’t be able to skip to precise points of interest.

Your videographer might offer light editing; a “clean-up,” if you will, where some of the rougher, darker, uneventful footage is taken out, and dissolves are put into to soften the transitions between scenes. DVD chapters might be added. Some music might be added. A light edit will cost more than no edit (obviously), but it will give you a nicer finished product that is more entertaining to watch.

Of course, if you really want to dazzle your friends and family, you might opt for a full-on edit: which includes effects, titling, colour-correction, evening out of audio levels, montages where video is edited to music, etc. This edit takes the most time and so it will cost more.

Other factors to take into consideration: are you able to screen the first edit and have input on the final product (will your editor re-edit?). Does the editor upload your video to a website so you can proof your edit and share it with friends and family? How many copies of the finished product do you get? All these perks take more time and resources, so they will add to the cost of your wedding video.

When shopping around for a wedding videographer, you are going to encounter a lot of different packages and a lot of different price points. Hopefully this article will help you understand the amount of time that goes or doesn’t go into a wedding video production, so you’ll know why some videographers charge what they charge.

This article was written by Nishi Dias of Night Day Productions: a Toronto-based video production company. If you'd like to publish this article, please credit, link-back and contact Nishi at:

Night Day Productions

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