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Video Shopping Guide
-Advice from your closest friends is best...careful with advice from strangers who promote the same groups of services every time.
-Decide on a budget...Experience, workmanship, equipment type and editing sophistication account for wide pricing variations. Pricing in the $500. range is thrown out money. Plan to spend well over $1,000. for an acceptable video and over $3,000. for a more sophisticated video.
-Meet with the person who will do the actual work...meeting only with a salesperson will get you promises that will not be kept.
-The “flavour of the month” is rarely the one to choose...scrutinize all Videographers equally, don't fall for referrals from strangers, low prices & salesmanship.
-The “team approach” is more of a “risky approach"... “Teams” tend to change often as cameramen & editors move on due to low earnings. Also, it is much more desirable to have the original cameraman edit his own work rather than leave editing to a “team” or a low cost outside service.
-Full size Sony HD video cameras are best...All small video cameras do not fully meet Hi-Def standards. DSLR & new mirrorless still cameras with limited video capabilities have various quality flaws and lack numerous controls that make them unsuitable for fast-paced & critical event video work.
-Recording in standard def is now history...Some still sell only Standard Def (DVD) video, genuine High Definition is the only way to go.
-Check the condition of the equipment for your event...old beaten up cameras & equipment held together by duct tape is common.
-Audio is mounted microphones pick up mostly background noise. Multiple higher-end cordless microphones are a requirement
-A quality back-up camera...Many event videographers do not have a back-up camera. Since there's only one chance to do things right, it's essential for an event Videographer to have an up-to-date back-up camera (and even an additional back-up) available in case of main camera failure!
-Lighting is still important...some added lighting is still and always will be a requirement unless a home-made look is expected. Most low cost services do not add any lighting.
-A tripod is a tool of the trade...for speeches & high level work nothing beats a solid tripod with pneumatic vertical movement.
-Short demo videos do not tell the whole story...Short entertaining demos are usually exciting, fast paced and can hide the imperfections of the full length version. View full length samples instead, preferably on a large screen TV rather than a smartphone or tablet. Look for: sharpness, good facial colours, evenly lit scenes, flow, pleasing transitions, steady zooming speed, lack of graininess, thought behind the camera-work and listen carefully to the audio.
-A Highlights (recap) segment at the ending...this can make a pricing difference but will become the most viewed portion.
-Styles vary, but traditional remains strong...careful with samples of short videos with impressive intros & endings, view the important segments instead as they will make the most difference many years down the road.
-Precautions to consider...A contract is a requirement, the edited data should be archived and available for future additional copies, the cameraman's name needs to be on the contract, insurance is a requirement, clear up rumors, check how botched segments will be handled.
-Be aware...Cash deals can be risky. Last minute surprises are common. Booking video through a photographer, caterer, DJ or any "all in one service" is very risky. Photography & video should not be booked from the same source, one of the two will be compromised. Rented equipment is often unpredictable. Do some homework as very few event videographers have the qualifications, technology and commitment required to do a proper job. Getting all your advice from one person is often risky.
-Speedy finishing...Waiting 6-12 months for editing is ridiculous, one month should be maximum. Some do go out of business unexpectedly!
-Not all blank discs or USBs are equal...Low end services use discs & USBs that are worth pennies. Careful with those who “throw in” multiple free copies; look at the content instead. Click here for Disc info page.  Hi-Definition discs are named Blu-ray.
-The High Definition Video evolution...High Definition Video has become dominant. Many in our trade will be promoting Hi-Def but they will be using the wrong “home type” small hand held cameras (HDV, DSLRs, I phones etc.) for very responsible work. This is not the route to take. Sony’s latest XDCAM HD High Definition solid state type equipment is the only format to consider although it is more costly. Not all Hi-Def is the same, variations exist, check our “High Definition info” section for more details.
-Avoid thrown out money...Choosing by price is false economy, you'll only get what you pay for!

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Video Productions by Josh © 2018
Wedding and Bar & Bat Mitzvah videos in the Greater Toronto Area