The Key to Do-It-Yourself Wedding Video Success: Pre-Production

The most important step professional videographers take to ensure that their wedding video projects will have a successful outcome is pre-production. If you want to save time, money, unnecessary work and untold frustration, without a doubt, pre-production should be the main focus of your energies as they pertain to the do-it-yourself wedding video.

We cannot emphasize this point enough. If you skip this step, or just give it a cursory going-over, you are going to be very disappointed (and maybe even angry) with the final result. If you spend adequate time and effort on pre-production, the rest of the production will flow as smoothly as water running downhill.

The responsibility of pre-production is going to fall on the bridal couple and the person they designate to produce their wedding video.

The bridal couple’s main pre-production responsibilities are:

1. Think about, decide and write down exactly what they want captured (videotaped) the day of the wedding. This should be done approximately one or two months before the wedding, with final clarification at the wedding rehearsal.

2. Choose the person (Director) who will be in charge of producing the video. This can be family or friend volunteers.

3. Clearly communicate to the designated Director, exactly what they want captured (videotaped) the day of the wedding.
This conversation should take place approximately two weeks before the wedding. It’s important to be clear and exact, because if you don’t shoot it you won’t have it.

From this point forward, the responsibility of the wedding video should be assumed by the Director. The Director should make sure that the following pre-production tasks are completed:

1.Meet with the bridal couple to discuss what should be videotaped for the wedding video. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification when unsure about anything. Take clear notes.

2. Gather all necessary video/audio equipment. A minimum of two cameras is highly recommendedÂ…three are even better. Make sure that at least one video camera has the following features: a)Jack for external audio (Mic In), b) headphone jack, c) external light, d) flip out view screen, e)internal camera microphone, AC power adapter

Also, be sure to provide a minimum of two, fully charged batteries. for each camera you will be using.

3. Make sure that each camera is mounted on a tripod.

It doesn’t matter if you use VHS cameras, DV Cams or Film Cameras, but a tripod is the one of the MOST IMPORTANT pieces of equipment you will be using during the shooting of the wedding.

4. Purchase sufficient blank videotape cassettes for each camera you will be using. Ask the couple how long they expect the wedding to be, then purchase enough videotape to cover twice that length of time.

Example: If the bride tells you she expects the wedding to last one hour (60 minutes) then purchase enough tape to cover two hours (120 minutes) for each camera. This ensures that you will have enough tape for the wedding and the reception. Its better to have too many tapes than not enough.

5. Plan to attend the wedding rehearsal

These five pre-production tasks should be completed no later than one week before the wedding rehearsal/wedding. Following these pre-production steps will put you well on your way to making a do-it-yourself wedding video look as professional as the professionalÂ’s.