Archive for February 2011

Jewish Wedding – The Art of Celebration

February 24, 2011

David & Jaimeby Roger Resler

We shot a wedding in October, 2010 for one of the nicest couples we’ve ever met: Jaime and David. We seem to be fortunate in that the couples who hire us tend to be really nice people. David and Jaime are at the top of the list of all-around “niceness.” Of course it generally doesn’t hurt the niceness factor to be head over heals in love!

The wedding took place at Montelucia, which, of course, is a fabulous  location to begin with! The ceremony took place outside facing the gorgeous mountain backdrop and the weather was bridal- magazine perfect.

Jaime was escorted down the aisle by both of her parents (dad was smiling, mom was crying!) and then, as is traditional, she circled the groom three  times, he then circled  her three times and they both rotated in a circle once, for a total of seven, which, of course, is the magic number.

 

The couple then listened to the traditional challenges, blessings and exhortations and then exchanged rings and vows as the sun set.

Earlier in the day, an ornately decorated document called a Ketubah was signed by both the bride and the groom in the presence of witnesses, and it was now read for the audience.  And in keeping with tradition, as the ceremony came to a close, a glass was wrapped in cloth and then smashed by the groom accompanied by cheers of  “mazel tov!” by all present.

I was told that the idea behind the breaking of the glass is that the glass is broken so the marriage will not break, or stated another way, the marriage will last as long as the glass stays broken, ie. forever.

Later in the evening, as the reception was getting underway, an excellent live band called “Limelight” featuring the usual guitar, bass and keyboard was also accompanied by a talented trumpet player and lead singer.

Once the traditional Jewish music got started there was no stopping the fun! The entire room was alive with dancing in circles, clapping, twirls, high-fives and kicks. The bride and groom were then hoisted on chairs, waving napkins to the delight of the crowd.

Speeches were given by  friends and family  including a hilarious  and tear-jerking tome  by the best man.

The cake was cut and  bouquet tossed in the  usual manner, with the  bride’s sister making a perfect catch.  All in all, it made for an unforgettable day!

Jaime and David had hesitated to spend the money on video given all the expenses they were dealing with, but as the day drew closer they realized they needed to include video. In the end, they knew they had made the right move as they now have all these happy memories (and many more) captured and preserved on HD video. Someday their children and grandchildren will be able to experience the magic of their wedding as well.

Thanks for the opportunity to capture your wedding, Jaime and David, and for the fun we had doing it! Mazel Tov!

Click here to see a video of this wedding.

Copyright © 2011 – Roger Resler, Arizona Wedding Video, LLC. Phoenix, Arizona. www.azweddingvideo.com , all rights reserved. Phone: 602-618-2033 (All original blog entries on this site may be reposted elsewhere without prior approval provided this  information block as well as a link back to this blog are included).

Please add Roger as a friend to your Facebook page or “Like” ourArizona Wedding Video page on Facebook!

Roger Resler is the founder of Arizona Wedding Video

“Because your wedding is not just another ordinary day.”

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Here’s some questions & answers about videography

February 24, 2011

FAQ’s

I’m hiring a professional photographer, isn’t that enough?

Not really. While we agree that wedding photos are great, they simply cannot capture the combination of motion & sound and the resulting emotion that video offers. With video, you not only see a snapshot of the bride’s entrance, you can also see her smile develop or perhaps you will see the tears in her father’s eyes. You will hear the vows, recitations, special music or poems at the ceremony, as well as the message given by the minister. You won’t miss the cheers of your friends and family at the reception, and you will hear every word of their speeches, hear their laughter and see the tears of joy. You can not only see, but re-experience your first dance, cake cutting and bouquet toss. And most likely, you will see many things you simply would have missed otherwise. If your wedding is like most, it may even be one of the few times you have all your family members together in one place. Why let all that slip into a distant memory when you don’t have to? In short, nothing captures these unrepeatable events like a professional video. And there’s no better time than your wedding to take advantage of it.

My photographer can also shoot video, shouldn’t I just have him or her do it?

While there are some companies that offer both photography and videography, we focus exclusively on video and refer our clients to photographers we have worked with. The reason is simple. While they seem similar and are indeed complementary, photography and videography are really two different arts requiring different equipment, software and techniques. Companies that offer both will generally either do one or the other well but usually will not do both well, unless they are large enough to offer completely separate staff and equipment.

What drives the cost of professional video?

What many people don’t fully understand is that while we are, of course, very busy during the wedding itself, working hard to capture every detail, once the day is over (and unlike many other wedding vendors like caterers or dee-jays), the majority of our work still lays ahead. It’s not simply a matter of transferring video from one camera to a DVD or Bluray–in fact, it’s never that simple! Instead it involves downloading and synchronizing the footage from four cameras and multiple audio sources, color correction, detailed editing and adding in special effects, rendering (and re-rendering!) video files and DVD menus, burning multiple DVDs & Blurays and making copies, and designing & printing DVD packaging. When you consider that if the ceremony was one hour, it will take four hours just to download the footage from the ceremony into the computer, you can begin to understand that there’s simply a lot of work behind the scenes! That’s why it’s imperative that when you hire a videographer, you are hiring someone who loves what they do! And we do!

I found a videographer who is less expensive than you. What gives?

We have found that sometimes inexperienced, start-up companies may offer lower rates as an incentive to get your business. The problem, of course, is that their inexperience can often result in poor quality video or audio or even missed coverage. Most of these companies tend to go out of business within the first two years. Also, some companies may only offer coverage with two or even only one camera. You simply can’t produce a professional grade DVD with footage from only one camera. And two cameras only offers the bare minimum coverage for professional grade. We always shoot with at least 3 to 4 cameras to ensure a wide selection of shots to choose from during editing.

Well then why are there videographers who charge more?

On the other hand as you shop around, you will likely encounter companies offering packages that are much more expensive than ours. Does that mean they offer better quality? Well we sure don’t think so! It is difficult to imagine what they could possibly do to improve on our coverage and service! Of course it’s easy to simply charge more. So if you really believe you must pay more than we are currently charging in order to get high-quality service, just let us know and we’ll be happy to charge you what the other guys do!

Why not just let my uncle Charlie capture my wedding?

Another thing many couples often don’t realize is that there is a huge difference between hiring a professional videographer and simply having uncle Charlie videotape their wedding with his consumer model camcorder. While uncle Charlie certainly means well, his one consumer model camera on a tri-pod (hopefully it’s on a tri-pod!) in the back of the room simply cannot produce professional results.

What do you do that’s better?

We shoot with 4 professional HD cameras, one of which we often mount on a 12 foot camera crane (called a jib). It allows us to get the camera well over people’s heads (even from the very back of the room) for unobstructed views. And it also rotates and moves up and down for some really dramatic looking footage that looks fabulous on the bride’s entry as well as the couple’s first dance, etc. Another of our cameras is mobile which allows us to capture all kinds of great shots including, of course, a shot of the bride as she enters the room and walks down the aisle. And our remaining two cameras offer reliable steady shots from two different vantage points. During editing, we can choose which shot we want to go with at any given point and this is what allows us to produce a very “watchable,” professional grade DVD and Bluray.

Our cameras also offer 3-chip color reproduction and operate well in low-lighting conditions. They also offer optical image stabilization and 20X zoom. Most consumer model cameras do not offer these features and the picture quality suffers as a result.

We also make use of high quality wireless mics and digital audio recorders to capture high quality audio (as opposed to the one cheap mic built-in to uncle Charlie’s consumer model camcorder) and we are often granted permission to tap directly into the house mixing console for excellent audio.

When you add it all together, it becomes clear why so many couples these days are hiring a professional videographer to ensure that the sights, sounds and emotions of their once-in-a-lifetime day are professionally captured and preserved.

Isn’t four cameras a lot? Won’t that many cameras turn my wedding into a movie set?

Well you might feel like a movie star, but we’ve never had a couple complain that we were too intrusive. In fact, most couples tell us they barely even noticed we were there. Our job is to capture events as they unfold, not become a part of them! As explained above, two of the cameras we use at the ceremony are stationary (with no operators) and we place them in discrete locations. Another camera (with an operator) is placed near the back of the room or wedding area and it also is not mobile. Unless the wedding requires special coverage, only one of our cameras is mobile and this allows us to get shots of the wedding party and the bride as they enter. When the bride is about halfway up the aisle, our mobile cameraman moves out of the way and to the side and then eventually to the back of the room or wedding area. We’ve found that for receptions, three cameras are generally sufficient to get the kind of coverage we need.

Do I have to pay everything upfront?

No. We require a $250 deposit to reserve the day. Then half the remaining balance is due anytime up to or on the day of the wedding. The final payment is due when the DVDs and Blurays are ready (generally 4-6 weeks after the wedding).

I don’t have a Bluray player so I don’t want to spend extra for HD that I can’t play.

These days, some couples have Bluray players (or Playstation III’s) and some don’t. In either case Bluray is here and is rapidly replacing standard DVDs. The color and clarity of HD Bluray is amazing. So we have decided to offer one complete, HD Bluray copy with every package. There is no extra charge. So you get the standard DVDs that come with your package as well as one free Bluray with additional copies available. That way, even if you don’t have a Bluray player right now, chances are you will down the road. And then, you’ll be able to watch your wedding again… like you’ve never seen it before!

What else makes you unique?

Because we love what we do, we treat every wedding with the same care we would if it were the wedding of a close family member. In fact, by the time the day is over, we often feel like family! Beyond that, one unique and popular item we offer is a digital photo frame. This is included with our Ruby and Diamond packages or as an option. We preload the frame with anywhere from 200-700 digital still photos that we take directly from the most candid moments of our HD video footage. During editing, we have the ability to go through the video frame by frame until we find the perfect shot! In some cases we can even capture special moments from the video that your photographer missed! The frame plugs in to a power outlet and then displays a repeating slide show. It’s becoming a very popular item!

Roger Resler is the founder of Arizona Wedding Video

“Because your wedding is not just another ordinary day.”

 

 

No Regrets

February 1, 2011

by Roger Resler

After life has run it’s course and you’re looking back on it all, what will you regret not doing? Well hiring a professional videographer to capture your wedding may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but, then again, you never know!

I was speaking with a mother-in-law-to-be about her son and future daughter-in-law’s upcoming wedding. It sounded like it was going to be a major affair. An outdoor wedding at a very fancy venue, 400-500 guests, one of those huge, lushly decorated tents, fancy DJ and a big band, and even the possibility that Sandra Day O’Connor might perform the ceremony. (Apparently she is a personal friend).

Okay, she had my attention. Being a wedding videographer…. well, let’s just say, you know what I was thinking! I couldn’t not ask her… so, when opportunity finally presented itself, I casually asked: “So have you hired a videographer yet?”

“No,” she said with a genuine air of disappointment, “and they don’t want to!”

I shouldn’t be surprised at this response. I am, after all, a trained professional. Nevertheless, after hearing for the last ten minutes or so about how special—no, how unique—this wedding was going to be, I have to admit, when I popped the question I was not expecting a flat out, “No, we don’t mess with your kind!” Okay so that’s not exactly what she said, but that’s pretty much what I heard.

The truth is, this mother of the groom was on my side. She wanted a video of the wedding. She understood the value. Apparently her son and future daughter-in-law did not. Nevertheless, realizing what was at stake here (I mean if this would have been a fishing expedition, it had all the makings of developing into “the mother of all ‘the one that got away’ stories”) –realizing what was about to take place, I immediately deployed counter-measures. “How can they have Sandra Day O’Connor officiate at their wedding and not capture it on video?” I asked, expecting the profundity to work it’s magic.

“I know! I’ve tried to tell them!” she said. As it turns out, money—as it is roughly 99% of the time—was apparently not the issue. She had even offered to pay for videography! What?! (Are you feeling my pain yet?) You can’t be serious, I thought, but somehow managed to hold back. “They don’t want the cameras there and they think they would only watch a video once anyway.”

Ouch! M-a-n! Hit the cameraman when he’s down!

I have to admit, I was ready to confront the ole’ “we just don’t have the budget for video” ploy (even though we just spent $30,000 on the world’s best photographer—not that I’m bitter)  but this?! They don’t want video cameras there? They will only watch it once? I admit, she got me with that double salvo. I was mortally wounded and struggling to work up an on-the-spot-come-back but the hopelessness of the situation began to dawn on me. My fish was going to swim away and leave me with nothing but the tale and no amount of smooth talking was going to reverse the situation.

I don’t know whether mom finally prevailed and they hired a videographer or not. But the entire conversation made an impact on me. Besides giving my ego a serious shellacking, it hit home (as if I needed reminding) that there are couples out there getting married that simply don’t want the service I provide. But is that really the case? Or is it something they might actually come to regret someday?

When you consider that for substantially less than the cost of an arm and a leg, you can hire a professional to digitally video tape your wedding using multiple high-definition cameras, combine the results with music, effects and menus to produce what just a few years back would have cost a small fortune… well, we simply live in a remarkable age.

So why isn’t every couple standing in line to hire a videographer? It may be that the image of the low resolution, over-exposed, blurry, was-he-shooting-from-the-deck-of-the-Titanic(?) wedding video that never ends still prevails in the minds of many brides. Or it could be that today’s brides are simply over-exposed to technology. Or, maybe they simply think, we’ll only watch it once, so why go to the trouble? (No doubt they think exactly the same thing about their $30,000 wedding photos **rolls sarcastic eyes**—but I’m not bitter!)

That brings us back around to the concept of no regrets. While there may be some elements to your wedding that are simply beyond your control, the fact is not hiring a professional wedding videographer is not one of them. It comes up time and again. I don’t even need to cite statistics. Just do a google search if you doubt me. One of the top regrets for most couples after the wedding is that they did not hire a professional videographer. So why didn’t they? Well, unlike our money-is-no-object mom, they usually reasoned: I am on a tight budget and I just can’t afford video. Given that I drive a Kia minivan, I get that. In fact what couples are spending on weddings amazes me. But what I don’t get is how could they spend that much, put that much effort and planning into this once-in-a-lifetime day and then not preserve the memories on HD video?

Is it really just a matter of, we’ll probably only watch it once?  That’s not what my clients are telling me. In fact I recently heard that one bride was recently “caught” by her husband watching the video repeatedly because she loves the way she looked in her wedding dress! Another bride lost her brother to a car accident a few weeks after the wedding. She watches the video as the last happy memento she has of her and her brother together having a good time. There are many reasons to re-watch a wedding video. For one thing, virtually every couple I provide DVDs to tells me we captured things they would have missed otherwise.

If your wedding is captured on video, you won’t miss the vows, recitations, special music or poems at the ceremony, as well as the message given by the minister. You won’t miss the cheers of your friends and family at the reception, and you will hear every word of their speeches, hear their laughter and see the tears of joy. You can not only see, but re-experience your first dance, cake cutting and bouquet toss. And most likely, you will see many things you simply would have missed otherwise. If your wedding is like most, it may even be one of the few times you have all your family members together in one place. And when you have children you will be able to share the magic of your wedding with them. Why let all that slip into a distant memory when you don’t have to? In short, nothing captures these unrepeatable events like a professional video. And there’s no better time than your wedding to take advantage of it. No regrets. Here’s one that doesn’t have to be.

Copyright © 2011 – Roger Resler, Arizona Wedding Video, LLC. Phoenix, Arizona. www.azweddingvideo.com , all rights reserved. Phone: 602-618-2033 (All original blog entries on this site may be reposted elsewhere without prior approval provided this  information block as well as a link back to this blog are included).

Please add Roger as a friend to your Facebook page or “Like” ourArizona Wedding Video page on Facebook!

Roger Resler is the founder of Arizona Wedding Video

“Because your wedding is not just another ordinary day.”

First blog post

February 1, 2011

by Roger Resler

Hello to all! This is my first attempt at blogging. I’m going with the “let’s lower expectations” from the start strategy so what follows will appear brilliant by comparison.

In any event, assuming I keep up, (which is anything but certain) this blog will hopefully be a place where I can share amazing insights into the uber-fascinating world of wedding and special event videography.

To accomplish that lofty challenge, I will, no doubt, simply share some of the best experiences we’ve had from actual weddings. We’ve either been really lucky or really blessed to have had really great clients. Either that or the bridezilla repellent we purchased must be working.

In any event, we shall see how quickly (or unquickly as the case may be) I can figure out how to post more material including, hopefully, some photos and maybe even some video.

All the best!

Copyright © 2011 – Roger Resler, Arizona Wedding Video, LLC. Phoenix, Arizona. www.azweddingvideo.com , all rights reserved. Phone: 602-618-2033 (All original blog entries on this site may be reposted elsewhere without prior approval provided this  information block as well as a link back to this blog are included).

Please add Roger as a friend to your Facebook page or “Like” ourArizona Wedding Video page on Facebook!

Roger Resler is the founder of Arizona Wedding Video

“Because your wedding is not just another ordinary day.”