1-Camera vs. Multi-Camera – what’s the big difference?

A single camera can only capture a single POV at a time.  But 2 Cameras can capture 2. It’s like comparing a mono audio recording to stereo. And 3 Cameras will open up the video even wider. It offers the viewer a better-than-being-there experience. Usually, I’ll have a camera left and a camera right, the third camera will stay wide, either center front of stage, or shooting from behind the stage for audience reaction shots. Reaction shots with a single camera pretty much can’t be done smoothly. If you want your video to give an unexpected importance to your event – go the multi-camera route. As for Weddings, you’ll want a camera on the bride’s face and a camera on the groom’s face.

What’s the difference between an Assemble Edit and a Revision Edit?

As an example, a 3-camera shoot will yield 4 streams of media (3 video tracks and 1 audio track). Most often, these are completely independent streams. They need to be “ingested” individually into an editing software suite (I use Premiere Pro, but Final Cut is also very popular). Then, these streams/tracks need to be synced with each other. I’ll sync each video track with the audio track, and that’ll do the trick. But, this is only prep, a viewer isn’t going to watch all three streams of video at the same time (unless he/she just loves the drama of security monitors (split screens). So, choices have to be made. I’ll preview each track and decide which camera has the best shot at any given moment and choose it. I’ll also make transition choices based on the beat or mood of the music or drama. Most cuts between cameras will be straight cuts, but I may decide on an effect transition – the classic dissolve is very sweet. I may also decide to adjust the duration of the dissolve. All of this comprises the Assemble Edit. I’ll usually add titles and credits and this will be your presentation in its entirety. From this, highlight reels can be cut (at an extra cost).

After reviewing the assemble and/or highlight reel, the client may be perfectly content. However, sometimes the client may want certain changes in the production. He/she will make logs with exact times of scenes or transitions to be cut or changed. I’ll take those notes and make revision edits (usually charged at an hourly rate).

Do I have to tell the venue management that I’m going to have my event videotaped?

You really should. It would be no fun for anybody if they disallow videography on the date of your event. Your deposit and my time are non-refundable. You should also make sure each of the major players in your event are okay with being videotaped.

What is DVD authoring?

I'll select an iconic image from your footage, then pretty it up and use it for the Menu image. I'll also create buttons on the menu so the viewer can navigate through the footage. I'll also create chapters for longer sequences so you can click the "next" button to jump through the footage faster when you're looking for something specific. The menu and and video file(s) are then transcoded and burned to the DVD. Lastly, I'll create a sweet image and title to "lightscribe" into the top of the DVD itself as a label. This handsome golden DVD is then enclosed in a clear case for easy recognition. This DVD will play in most any DVD player or on computers with optical drives.

Can video files be burned on a DVD without authoring?

Yes. Video files can also be burned to discs that are used like flash drives. This is a convenient way to transfer large video files, but this is not DVD authoring because the files can't be played on a DVD player, plus there is no menu and no label.

What is transcoding?

Cameras and camercorders record the video information in formats that are useful, but not very universal. Once an event is shot, I'll need to download the media to a computer drive, then conform it into an editing program (I use Adobe Premiere/After Effects). This is where post-production happens, but the resulting edited file can only be understood by Adobe Premiere. Hence, we need to transcode via a codec into as universally understood a format as possible, so it will play on as many different devices and browsers as possible. Mpeg4 is quite common and I use that one a lot, however, there is a long list of file formats to choose from. Transcoding to Mpeg also greatly reduces the file size. This is quite important when uploading/streaming video files on the web. Small nimble files play without stutter on the web, but with a compromise of sharpness. Full HD sharp transcodes, look lovely, but may take time to load and may pause on occasion during playback. So, transcoding is a bit of a balancing act. Transcoding can also take hours of computer time -- even for short 3 minute spots depending on quality settings.

What difference will the extra videographer option make to my video?

Let's say you've opted for a multi-camera shoot, with one videographer (me). That means I'll be operating one camera: zooming, panning, shooting from interesting angles. All of that adds compelling close-ups and refreshing movement. The other camera(s) are static. That doesn't mean boring. In fact, I find a super wide shot of the whole event to be an awesome cut-to at the appropriate moments during editing. But, of course another skillset of careful personal artistic attention operating a camera will add that much more to your production.

Light Kit Vs. Available light?

Often, available light is fine for video. In fact, if you have an event on stage, the venue probably has you covered. However, venues with low light will translate into a lower quality image on video. A light kit can help tremendously in these cases. It will also give more punch and sharpness to interviews.

DSLRs Vs. Camcorders?

Great question. I shoot with Canon DSLRs and Sony Camcorders. Which is better? The answer is that they are both great tools, so the question should be: "Which tool is best for which task." Very very generally, DSLRs are great for short shooting spurts and where generous time for set up is allowed. Pros -- wonderfully warm image with interchangeable lenses and that beautiful blurred background that makes the subject pop. Cons --- they don't offer smooth nor dynamic range in zooming. Plus, they have a limited shoot time. Camcorders are wonderful all-purpose shooters. Pros -- they run for as long as you've got room on your card (for hours) and offer a sweet smooth zoom that can open wide and zoom in very close all without changing lenses. Cons -- the focus is crisp, great for some jobs, but not so good when you want the blurred back/foreground effect. (Note, as technology blasts forward, this information is time sensitive.)