Hiring a Videographer for Your Event

We are so happy that more and more people are planning to have their wedding or special event filmed. Of course, as film makers, we believe that nothing can quite capture all the excitement and joy of an important event better than a team of great cinematographers! Wedding videography, once a dumb and poor cousin of photography, has finally come of age.

Every now and then we read a well-intentioned article trying to help couples sort through all the hype and decide who to hire. Usually the article suggests asking about equipment, hours, number of DVDs and so forth. I would suggest asking prospective wedding videographers the following questions. 

1. Why do you make wedding films?
2. How many videographers on your team and why THAT number?
3. Where are you during the ceremony?
4. Are you handheld? On a monopod (a flexible stick that supports the camera)? On a tripod?
5. Where are you during the first dance?
6. How do you negotiate space with the photographer(s)?
7. When do you record live sound?
8. How do you capture sound? Do you have backup in case a mic fails?
9. Can we watch the unedited media after the wedding and before the edit?
10.How do you decide what to put in and what to leave out?
11. How do you decide what kind of music to use? Do you use licensed, commercial music or Creative Commons music, or library music? 
(Note: Unless your wedding videographer has paid for a license to use commercial music, s/he cannot use commercial music without breaking the law).
12. How much equipment do you use? Where do you put it?
13. Will you  make me the star of my own movie? 
(Seriously, this will help you decide whether you are looking for someone who does "cinematic" wedding films that are dramatically romantic and shot with glidecams, steadicams, jibs and even sometimes shot from helicopters). 
Some couples may want to feel like Hollywood stars at their Picture of the Year and some wedding videographers excel at Hollywood Wedding Films.
14. How would you describe your "brand" and style. What are you best known for? 
15. What kind of couples do you most like working with?

If anyone has any questions they would like answered about the world of wedding (or event ) cinematography, feel free to drop me a line or comment.