Everyone has an image come to mind when someone mentions a wedding video. Most people think of a bunch of crazy family members and friends yelling “CONGRATULATIONS!” into the camera and crazy Aunt Betsy in the background dancing the night away. But these days, a wedding video is less of an unedited play by play of the day, and more of a feature film. Today’s wedding films tell a love story.
We sat down with Michael Eller, owner of popular DC wedding videography company Monachetti, who has just finished up a very busy peak wedding season. Eller, who has 10 years experience in wedding cinematography, gives back through a non-profit in Annapolis called Creative Paradox (CPX), which empowers artists in the area through shows and a seasonal “artists in residence” program. In the Q&A below, he explains what to look for when choosing the right wedding videographer and explains why wedding films are so important.
Q: How/why did you get into the business?
A: I actually accidentally fell in to the business. A friend of mine knew I was an artist and knew I was starting to explore using the video camera as a medium. She asked if I would come shoot her wedding, and making something out of it. I said “Sure!” Weeks later she called me in tears after seeing the video, and said “You need to start a business doing this.” So, I did.
Q: What do you love most about shooting weddings?
A: I love that every wedding is different. This is so important to me, because it makes for having a very diverse and adventurous job.
Q: Why do you think it’s so important for couples to get a wedding video in addition to photography?
A: I could write a thesis on how the times are changing, but to be blunt, video (and having your wedding captured on video) is becoming the new standard. It’s not going to replace photography, and it never will. But it’s one of 2 most important (photography being the other one) investments you need to consider saving for. I can’t count the number of times I’ve run in to people who were marred in the past (especially before wedding video companies were accessible) who’ve said they wish they could have had video. It’s not a trend, and it’s not going away. If you need any proof, just look in to the statistics and growth of sites like YouTube or the features of each new cell phone or gadget to hit the market. It’s all focused around having the best camera, and video functions available. Video has become the worlds most powerful tool, and medium for documenting and delivering content. So you have to ask yourself, why wouldn’t you want this on your wedding day?
Q: What is your favorite part of a wedding?
A: Another tough one, as their are so many parts about weddings I enjoy. I’d have to say (as cliche as it will sound) the moment the couple has their first kiss has got to be my favorite part of the day. This never gets old, and it’s that moment that makes you proud to be there in capture it.
Q: How do you suggest someone going about choosing a wedding videographer?
A: Do your research and meet with the company! You will find their are a lot of companies out there, and ALL of them will claim they sell the same type of product. And to some extent, this is true. But ultimately you need to feel good (and comfortable) with the people who will be shooting your wedding. Attending a wedding (and in this case, working a wedding) is an incredibly personal event. Make sure you meet (or at least phone chat) with the company you are interested in. It’s so important that you get a sense of their style, and personality as they will be sharing the most important day with you.
Q: What makes your company different than others?
A: I think the biggest difference for us, is twofold. One, it’s the personal touch. We don’t have 10 videographers on staff, and we operate very much like a small business. We are a close crew of friends, and we want our clients to feel a part of that. We will stop at nothing to make sure you receive personal attention through the whole process.
The second, is our style. When I started the company 10 years ago, the most common compliment I’d receive was that our videos were not “cheesy” and felt more like relevant music videos, or short films. 10 years and almost 150 weddings later, we still feel like we are achieving this and that THIS sets us a part from the rest. Our goal would be that when you sit down and watch your wedding video with your future kids, it still holds up. We want our videos to stand the test of time.
Q: What are the new trends in wedding videos compared to years ago?
A: The new trends seem to be the way each company is utilizing the available equipment and tools. You’ll find a lot of companies successfully achieving that “cinematic” look. Lots of panning and dolly movements. A lot of integrating audio from the day in to the video. All good stuff. The DC/Metro area is really starting to produce a lot of groundbreaking wedding videos and I’m excited for the next 10 years.
You can find samples of Eller’s work by visiting www.monachetti.com. If you’re newly engaged and planning a wedding like me, believe me, you could spend hours looking at the site.