It’s very often during initial conversations with couples that they don’t know enough about wedding videography to really know what they want or what’s important, or to understand the why of how we do different things at Focused Story Films. It’s my goal here to shed some light on our process and the general process of videography.
When You Reach Out/Consultation:
At Focused Story Films’ it’s my goal as business owner and lead cinematographer to connect with you in as personable a way as possible. That means I LOVE to meet couples (as couples) over coffee to get to know you. Sometimes couples expect our meetings to be very business-like and only go over a pricing sheet and be done with it. Discussing business is important to me and we will get there – but an important component of working with any videographer on your wedding day is that you’ll be spending a large portion of the day with me. Getting to know each other so we’re all comfortable is critical. I’ll be capturing so many personal, intimate moments between you as a couple, and you with very dear family and friends. I want you to feel comfortable enough with me that on the day you can forget that I’m holding a camera and can just let these moments play out – because trust me – they’ll be gorgeous.
In the consultation after we know each other a little bit, we will absolutely jump into packages and pricing. It’s so important for me to understand what you want out of your wedding film. Every film is unique – and I take great care to make sure my films don’t become cookie-cutter replicas of one another. Come to the consultation prepared to share what you’re most excited about for your day and why you feel like video is going to be important to your day. There’s so many different reasons why you want to memorialize your wedding day and I never want to assume why video is something you want. We all know what they say about when you assume!
I am not a “hard closer” salesman. If you’re excited and ready to book at our consultation, that’s perfect. I can walk you through the process and secure your date before someone else steals it! If you need some time to think, that’s perfect. I’ll follow up with you about a week after your consultation, either by phone or email and go from there.
At Focused Story Films we try to keep the booking process very simple. We do everything electronically to make things easier on you and on the environment. We will send you a contract directly toyour email, where you can read it, fill it in, and sign it all from your computer, tablet, or phone. We will do the same with an invoice, that allows you to pay by credit or debit card. We do also take cash or checks via mail, or we can meet again if that’s easy for you. We only require a $500.00 deposit to book your date, and require the remainder of the payment in full two weeks prior to your wedding date. We’re happy to set up payment plans with our clients as well if it helps keep you on budget and not stressed!
Prior to Your Wedding:
After booking you can expect to hear from us about a month out from your wedding to confirm your timeline and make sure everything is on track. If you need to reach out before then it’s incredibly easy via email or phone. If you have a wedding coordinator, after we’ve touched base I’ll reach out to them to coordinate all the final details so you can relax about your day, knowing things are taken care of. If you don’t have a wedding coordinator, I will check in with you several days prior to the wedding one more time to make sure you feel good and confident about things.
On the Wedding Day:
When I show up on a typical wedding day I’ll upload my equipment and make sure I connect with the photographer, wedding coordinator, and of course YOU! We immediately establish a good working relationship with your photographers so that we get off on the right foot and are working together to get great content for you to remember. I’ll begin shooting bride and groom preps, detail shots, and establishing shots. I’ll be with you most of the day, along with my second shooter. We do our best to stay discreet and not interfere with your day. During preps we may “stage” small elements like putting on jewelry, buttoning the groom’s jacket, or other small moments that will look great in your film, but reactions and genuine moments are our top priority. We love when our bride’s makeup can be done near a window with beautiful natural light – so let your makeup artist know not to put you in a dark corner. The photographer will thank you as well!
Prior to the ceremony we’ll discuss the photographer’s game plan, and do our best to make sure they’re not in our way and we’re not in theirs! We shoot most ceremonies with four cameras (two on the sides, one center, and one that will change positions to capturing unique angles, if your ceremony space allows.) If you’re getting married in a place of worship that has very specific rules about photography and video we will adjust accordingly. If we can, we’ll mic the groom and officiant with lapels to capture crisp, clean audio of the ceremony.
During the reception we’ll connect with the DJ and plug into his sound board for clear, crisp audio of the toasts and prayers. Depending on your reception space and the lighting, we may employ off camera lighting to get the beautiful shots you deserve to have in your video. If your reception is light enough, we may choose not to employ lights to maintain perfectly the atmosphere you wanted to create. We put our lights above the average eye line and aim them down so your guests won’t be unintentionally blinded by poorly placed lighting. We don’t employ on camera lighting for the same reason. We don’t want your guests getting frustrated that there’s people sticking lights in their eyes (not to mention off camera lighting looks way better than camera mounted lights!) We typically stay for a little of the open dancing and then leave, unless you book us for more of the dancing and an exit.
When our booked time is up, we’ll make sure to let you know we’re heading out and how much of a blast we had (because let’s be honest, weddings are SO MUCH FUN! And we love all our couples!)
After Your Wedding Day:
Typically a wedding film takes 10 to 15 weeks to produce after your wedding day. We get a lot of questions about why that is. Often we are working on several wedding films at once (a typical wedding season will see us working on a wedding every weekend). Our process for editing a wedding film isn’t cookie cutter template like many of the cheaper companies who produce more or less the exact same film for every client. We believe you and your memories are worth more than that. We spend significant time looking for the exact right music to fit your film, and crafting the audio and visuals of your film in a way that tells your story best. Sometimes a film just edits itself and is incredibly fast, and sometimes it’s a birthing process of trial and error, experimentation and exploration to ultimately bring you something that will connect with you and be a treasure for the rest of your life.
Once we’ve completed what we believe is the right cut of your film, we’ll send it to you and let you see if there’s anything you’re not 100% in love with. Many times couples are incredibly happy with their films as is and we finalize and deliver them. Other times they want a few changes made. Neither way is right or wrong. While ultimately we make the final judgment call on every film, we’re more than happy to work with our clients to make their film mean as much to them as possible. “Good enough” is not a mantra we believe in.
Focused Story Films will be offering digital download and storage of our 2018 weddings. Depending on what deliverables you got, you will have multiple files (wedding film, complete ceremony film, and/or documentary film). Some of our packages also include flash drives. At this time we will not offer DVDs or Blu-Rays of 2018 weddings, but you are free to put your files on a DVD or Blu-Ray for personal use. We will follow up with you after your delivery to make sure everything works and you’re happy! We hope that through the process we’ve not only created you wonderful wedding material, but