As we kick off our series on answers to some questions that you might have (that you should be asking) of all of your vendors, the first category of things that I’m going to address is ‘At The Wedding.” Basically, what effect will we have on your wedding day? You want your day to feel special, personal, and not like a theater event. Because it’s not a stage show. It’s your wedding!
(side note – sorry….for so many of these questions….the short answer is ‘it depends.’ So I’m going to give you the long answer. Because it depends. We design your film, and our approach to it, on your needs. Which means things are a little different at each wedding we do.)
Who will film my wedding?
You meet someone, you check out their product, you fall in love with it. You like the vendor, they’re someone you don’t mind having around during one of the most important days of you life. But then your wedding day arrives, and you’re met by a total stranger with a camera, one that may or may not know anything about you or your day. Will your wedding film look like one of the films featured on the website, one of the films you watched and fell in love with? Is that what you want to be worrying about on your wedding day? All around the world, wedding video companies book weddings they have no intention of filming themselves. Some of them have dedicated 2nd teams and disclose this at the time of booking, some of them are scrambling last minute for any human with a camera to show up and capture some things. Companies who do have 2nd teams or hire extras for weddings they do now shoot themselves should be able to share with you which videos from their site were filmed by other teams or outside shooters.
You should know who is going to film the day.
When you hire MotionWorks for your wedding video, we film your wedding. We film almost all of our weddings together; if for any reason we both can’t be there, we let you know at time of booking which one of us will be working with you on your wedding day. We are a small business; we don’t book more weddings than we can handle each year, because we feel it’s important to personally take part in each one.
How many people will be on your filmmaking team?
2-4. If you’re having a smaller wedding, we keep our team small. It will probably just be Chris and Rebecca. If you’re having a larger wedding, spread out in multiple locations, at a large resort, we’ll bring an extra person or two to help us capture all the moments. Don’t worry though, they’re all really cool people. We love spending time with them and you will too. In fact, if one of them happens to look a lot like Chris (okay, maybe exactly like Chris, only 19 years younger) that’s because starting in 2014, our son started assisting us at some weddings. I’m still in shock that one of my kids is a functioning adult, but it is cool to have him along for the day. He’s got a great eye, and is willing to do anything to get the perfect shot…including stand out in the pouring rain if needed!
What are your cameras like?
We don’t like to go on and on about our gear, because it’s just that: a tool we use to capture your story. If you want to get technical, we’d love to tell you about it more, but basically we use a variety of different cameras: GoPros, Canon 6D & C100, Sony a7s, and our new little buddy Osmo. The thing that matters is that they all are great at what they do, and they’re pretty low profile. In fact, most of your guests will think we are photographers and ask us to take their picture, because the cameras are very similar (in some cases, the same) as what your photographer may use. We also have a variety of other tools, mostly to help us capture great motion shots, and most of which you’ll never see. At your ceremony, Chris and I will have our cameras on monopods (it’s exactly what it sounds like, a one legged stick). We use lenses so we can stand off to the side but still get close up shots. If you move a little (communion, a unity candle, etc) we may move a little, but other than that, we quietly do our thing. We also place one camera on a tripod in the back (or balcony, if there is one) to get a wider shot of everything.
So if you’re worried about giant, over the shoulder TV studio style cameras in your face all day, don’t be. That’s not us.
However, when we’re prepping for your wedding and you call us up to say, “Hey, we’re doing this cool thing, and wondering if you can possibly film it” our answer is always “YES! We love cool things! We’ve got the perfect camera for that.” We’ve ridden in helicopters and UTVs, we’ve put GoPros on fire engines, classic cars, and horse drawn carriages. We’ve gone along on golf outings, bike rides, and early morning workouts. We’ve got just the camera for that.
Can you work with my photographer?
Yes. The answer to that is always yes. Frankly, we’ve probably worked with your photographer before, and if not, by the end of the day we feel like their best friend (along with your planner, your DJ, and other vendors). Because we’re your wedding team. Our entire purpose for being there is to make sure your day, and your memories are awesome, and everyone on that team knows the best way to make that happen is to work together. After you’ve booked with us, you get our client questionnaire, and part of it will ask for your other vendors. We touch base with them before your weddings day, just to say ‘Hi’ and let them know we’re looking forward to working with them, and also to plan ahead for the details of the day. Honestly, I think our clients just have really good taste, because we usually end up working with the most awesome people!
Do I have to wear a microphone?
You don’t HAVE to. But we would love it if you did. Here’s the thing: we want really excellent audio of your wedding ceremony. The best way to do that is if you wear a mic. Because technology can and sometimes does fail, we like to have audio of the officiant and the people getting married. Usually, the officiant (and anyone else who speaks) will already use a mic provided by the venue or DJ (we get a feed from that); but the bride and groom often don’t use a mic. We also really don’t like seeing a great big mic on a stand up front, blocking your faces and your emotions from your family, friends, and photographer. So we use these teeny tiny mics that we hide in your clothes. If you’re wearing a tux (or suit, or vest, or button up shirt) you’re going to forget you’re wearing it and we’ll probably have to chase you down and ask for our mic back. If you’re wearing a dress, the mic attaches to a a pack on a garter. So you probably won’t forget it’s there, but it shouldn’t feel uncomfortable (I mean, any more uncomfortable than a garter usually feels anyway). Now, for some dresses, the mic just won’t work. Depending on the bodice design, and if the skirt is very form fitting, then we don’t use it. We’re not about to ruin the look you’ve worked so hard for. In that case, we’ll be able to hear you just fine from the other mics. And if wearing a mic makes one of you super anxious, let us know. It’s not a big deal.
My church is really strict about cameras/has a weird layout/is only lit by candles. How do you deal with that?
Sadly, some churches/officiants have experienced vendors that just do not respect the awesomeness of the marriage ceremony, and because of that, have had to put into place some very strict rules. After all, this IS about your marriage, not a stage show. So remember that questionnaire? We also research your venue/church. If we haven’t worked there before, we research, reach out, and find out what the rules are. We are pretty good at assuring people that we absolutely respect this ceremony, and we’ve never had any instance where the rules of the venue/church prevented us from capturing a ceremony. Like I said before, we use long lenses anyway, and have a variety of cameras for different situations. We have never encountered it, but there are some churches that absolutely do not allow any cameras in the room. We will reach out, and we will talk with them and see if there’s anything they will allow; but the bottom line is that we aren’t going to break any rules. If you know this might be the case, we can discuss options before booking.
Layouts and lighting are something we deal with at every wedding. It’s part of the reason we come to the rehearsal; so we can make sure our well made plans will work (and have time to rework them if they don’t).
Are you going to be around before I put on makeup/fix my hair/while I’m getting dressed?
Awkward! But yeah. We’d like to be. We promise to make it the least awkward as it can be. Usually, you’re already getting dressed with a whole bunch of people on your wedding day, and you may know them better than you know us, but we won’t get all weird about it. We don’t film unflattering or risque things, so no worries there. If you’re uncomfortable with anything, just let us know. If you’d rather have one or the other of us around, just let us know. If during the day, you start to feel a little overwhelmed and just need some space, just let us know. You’re not going to hurt our feelings.
What we do want is to tell your story. That’s why we don’t have a ‘show up and film a ceremony’ package.
To do this, we need a beginning, a middle, and an end. That process is going to look different for each couple, and we’re totally fine with adjusting things to fit your schedule, your personality, and your day.
What will you wear to the wedding?
Silly question, right? I thought so, until I saw a photo of a vendor working a wedding in a ratty t shirt and sneakers. We dress to blend in. I prefer to wear black (for a variety of reasons, but most importantly, because I blend in). Chris usually goes with a dark suit. If it’s an outdoor wedding in August, he’ll probably stick to dress shirt and slacks. If it’s a beach wedding, we won’t wear black because black doesn’t blend in at the beach.
Do we have to feed you?
No. But, but all of our favorite people do! We do have to eat (we are human beings). It’s inconvenient to leave your wedding so we can grab dinner; the easiest solution is that we eat there. Some venues will ask for a vendor count and put together vendor meals. Others will have you include vendors in your final headcount. All we ask is that you let us (and the venue/caterer) know so that we can plan accordingly. Basically, the only time for us to eat at your reception is while you’re eating. It’s the only time we’re not filming. This goes for most of your vendors really, your planner, your photographer, and your DJ….either we all eat when you’re eating, or we don’t eat at all.
Did I cover it all? Do you have any other questions about how hiring Motionworks is going to effect your wedding day? Let me know in the comments and I’ll be sure to give you an answer. If you have questions about your specific day, get in touch so we can discuss details.
Join me next week as I go over “What Do We Get?” This will address all your questions about the actual product you are purchasing, the tangibles you will walk away with for your investment in wedding video.