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Wedding video (dvd) production tips and FAQ

-DV (digital video) Cameras questions – what to know
-Must I have my wedding video shot in HD (high definition)?
-What is 3CCD?
-Is sound important?
-Can I make photos / stills from certain shots on my DVD?
-Why does Snapshots from my DVD make such bad quality photos?
-Do videos/DVDs replace photos?
-What’s important when I’m choosing a videographer?
-What if I want the good old classic VHS Video?
-What should I expect to pay for a professional wedding video (dvd)?
-Is a double camera shoot better than a single camera shoot?
-What is a reasonable time for delivery of the wedding video (dvd)?
-What do people mean by 'different styles' of wedding video?
-How Mona Lisa Productions answers the above do’s and dont's?

DV (digital video) Cameras questions – what to know:
To get a DVD with vivid resolution, your videographer needs to use the right camera. Here are a few tips with regards to cameras. Always remember however, that a good camera only takes immaculate footage if the operator is talented and professional.
What’s the difference between HD and SD?
HD = High Definition and countries such as America, Australia and Europe have converted their entire broadcasting system over to this format. The easy explanation is, it has twice the amount of picture information, and thus resolution / clarity than SD. HD’s format is 16:9 – thus widescreen
  SD = Standard Definition is still South African broadcast standards. It seems as though we will be converting to HD in 2009, to meet International Broadcasting Standards for the World Cup in 2010. SD’s format is 4:3 and thus typical ‘square block’ TV that lots of us have at home.

Must I have my wedding video shot in HD (high definition)?
NO. HD DVD players and writers are not the household standard in SA yet. If you have one weak link (thus if you don’t edit the HD footage, encode and write the DVD with HD compatible products) it will cause the HD to be compressed, and be downgraded to a lower quality than if one were to shoot it with SD from the very start. Thus you get the stripe effect that so many people with widescreen TVs complain about.

What is 3CCD?

A CCD is a chip in a camera that analyzes color. If you have a 1 CCD camera, a single chip has to analyze RGB (Red, Green & Blue). With a 3 CCD camera each one of the primary RGB colors get their own analyzing CCD chip, thus the color mix is more vivid and accurate. Lots of HD cameras don’t have 3 CCD chips because of the volume of information it takes in, being HD and all. Note: Simply stating that it’s a 3CCD Camera, does not mean it is professional broadcast quality. To get that TV look, the CCD chip needs to be at least 1/3 inch big. Aperture, Optical Zoom, White Balance etc is also important. Tiny cameras are not yet broadcast quality, doesn’t matter how hard sales people try and convince you that they are.

Is sound important?
Yes, even more important than the picture. If the DVD’s sound is not clear and nicely mixed on your DVD, it will irritate you to watch it without really knowing why! Thus if you go and look at some of the videographers wedding DVDs, listen to it too – ask for scenes of the speeches and ceremony. Make a mental note of the sound levels, are they the same at all times – including the volume of music being mixed in.

Can I make photos / stills from certain shots on my DVD?
If you’re happy with 1.2 Mpixel grainy pictures, yes:-) Else I suggest rather getting a professional photographer. Minimum Mpixels required for quality printing is 5 Mpixels.

Why do Snapshots from my DVD make such bad quality photos?

In South Africa we use PAL as Video format, thus there are 24 frames / stills per second (it’s actually double the amount, but interlaced). This is what causes the video to look as though there is fluent motion – thus the word “Motion Picture”. Even if the video has crisp clarity, the single pictures making it, are not high in resolution.

Do videos/DVDs replace photos?
No, they compliment them. Photos capture the moment – the energy. DVDs set atmosphere and provide story telling and emotion.

What’s important when I’m choosing a videographer?
A few things:
• Their personality should compliment yours – they work on an intimate level with you;
• Flexibility and understanding to your filming needs;
• Do they understand the process that they’re busy with, or is it merely a way to make some extra money?
• Their professionalism – ask for credentials, amount of experience, and if applicable, awards received.
• A reference or two won’t hurt.
• DO view their work. With art (if the videographer does their job well, the DVD should be art), your sole question should never be: what does it cost? Sure, budget is important, but sometimes if you can’t afford the true masterpiece, then paying someone that fits in your budget, is as good as painting the portrait yourself ;-).
• Weddings, being a weekend industry, are open to the ‘hobbyist’. Thus, ask your videographer if they do it as a full time occupation, or a ‘hobby’ (hobby meaning on the side, besides their 9-5 week job). Someone practicing their skill / art on a daily basis, often has a greater understanding, higher quality and shows more care for their product.

What if I want the good old classic VHS Video?

We provide and recommend DVDs as a final product. If a video is a must, we can deliver one for you.

What should I expect to pay for professional wedding DVDs?

Nothing less than R4 000 for a very basic Wedding DVD. Usually prices go up to about R10 000 for single camera shoots, depending how you combine your package.

Is a double camera shoot better than a single camera shoot?
No, the other way around. Unless you can afford to have a Technical Director who can coordinate the 2 Cameras to make a nice final cut, stick with one camera. It’s always important to have one mastermind behind a video due to editing constrains. It’s also not good to have one videographer, with two cameras. There is a tendency to let the one camera just roll and focus on the preacher whilst the other one is being used to film the couple. This can be disastrous if the preacher moves out of camera frame. No, if a videographer has formal training and lots of experience, they will be able to film everything with one, single, camera. It’s also far less obtrusive.

What is a reasonable time for delivery of the wedding video (dvd)?
If your videographer has any requirements such as you having to provide your choice of music for your DVD, they will only be able to schedule your DVD for editing after receiving these items. Thereafter a reasonable time would be 4-6weeks, depending on whether it’s peak or off-peak season.

What do people mean by 'different styles' of wedding video?
Generally you get staged and documentary style.
Documentary tells the story as it is – natural. Generally the following words describe it: emotional, realistic, simplistic, story telling, and if the videographer knows their skill, artistic.
Staged means the videographer will direct you in your doings. Thus if they feel something will really look pretty on the DVD, they’ll tell you to for instance wave or dance etc. If you like wild effects, transitions, and an unnatural look, this is definitely for you.

How Mona Lisa Productions answers the above do’s and don'ts?

• We use 3CCD SD Professional Broadcast Cameras.
• We use 2 Channels for recording sound – one for a Sony Boom on board mike, and the other a Sennheiser lapel mike. A lot of time is also spent on mixing sound levels of different channels and tracks to perfection. Thus the sound is immaculate.
• We don’t do photography, but always love to refer photographers whose work we trust.
• Our personality is friendly and easy going to allow free creative thinking. Yet our work is made to perfection.
• We’re very flexible to your filming needs.
• The philosophy behind our productions is that we invest in a couple’s future. When one is in a relationship, you often see your partner visually, and feel yourself emotionally, and the ‘us’ is often difficult to mend because of this constrained perspective. With a video you can see and emotionally feel the ‘us’ together, and it strengthens your relationship. You also see your family and friends, and whaw, how cool will it be to see that 20 years from now.
• We’re full time videographers and editors. Most of us have been to film school, or have years of experience. We love what we do.
• We have references and some of our work on our website. You’re welcome to contact us if you would like to see more.
• We provide and recommend DVDs as a final product. If a video is a must, we can deliver one for you.
• Our prices generally range between R4 300 and R7 500, depending on how you combine your package.
• We do single camera shoots.
• Our delivery period is about 4-6 weeks after receiving the music from you.
• Our main style is documentary, storytelling, simplistic, emotional and artistic. But on request we can do all those effects for you with a press of a computer button.


cell: 083 284 5409
fax: 086 684 1818