Planning cinematography and photography for the most important day of your life can be an overwhelming task. Here at Filmatography, we like to guide you through the process every step of the way to make sure we provide the most appropriate coverage for your event.
The first question we as a company always get asked is, "how many operators do I need"? The number of photographers or cinematographers on the day has a direct influence on the quality of coverage delivered. In order to make decisions on this it is important to know the value each will bring. This influence is slightly different between photography and filming because as a photographer you can more easily move, change lenses and take a variety of shots from wide, to mid-range and details in quite a short space of time. As a cinematographer this is more challenging, as filming is not just single shots but passages of footage that are then woven together into a creative edit - greater time is needed for this to develop the storyline.
Where coverage needs to be continuous at important moments of the day, for example bridal entrances, there is little opportunity for a cinematographer to change their setup and produce a different perspective of the scene, therefore having a second cinematographer is vital. Without this, just a single angle of coverage is documented. At these times photographers are also under pressure, so a second will certainly allow for a greater variety of shots and perspectives to be captured.
A diversity of shots in any given scene is what gives coverage interest and promotes creativity in post production. All of these things essentially define the quality of the final products. An increased number of photographers will certainly produce more photos and an increased number of cinematographers will allow longer films to be produced but the greater the diversity, the more outstanding the range of quality will be. Thought should also be given for any simultaneous split location events where multiple operators naturally make it essential to capture, for example bride & groom preparations and the venue scene setting and setup.
Great filmmaking and photography coverage is all about planning. To realise the greatest creativity and diversity of imagery Filmatography defines 3 main roles for its operators.
Predominantly using telephoto and medium telephoto lenses, this role focuses on the intimacy of reactions within and between people. The coverage takes on a iconic natural feeling, with operators staying well removed from the subjects presence.
This role provides core coverage of each scene. Key objectives are to establish the location, to progress and document atmospheric interaction of groups where available and general documentary content. In addition to this, it is to reveal textures, beautiful details and artistic compositions with extreme close-up’s.
With a highly creative focus this role builds on the core coverage cemented by the core roles, to capture unique perspectives and artfully conceived documentation to push the finished films and albums into creative masterpieces. Without the prescribed demands of core coverage this free role can fully explore creative opportunities at the event.
DECIDING UPON THE CREATIVE TEAM
As mentioned the prescribed number of operators has a direct influence on the quality of coverage that can be achieved at an event. Factors include the requirement to cover simultaneous events, the scale of the event to ensure enough documentation happens to represent it well and the operator roles the team are able to fulfil.
Photographers are able to handle the challenges more easily for reasons already outlined so when booking combination packages of photography (P) and filming (F), with the exception of very small events, we would always recommend that there is always one more cinematographer or equal when working with budgets in the following ascending combinations:
1P+2F / 2P+2F / 2P+3F / 3P+3F
Our consultations with clients are in depth and supportive to provide the best possible outcome on the day, avoiding disruption and miscommunications. After all, failing to prepare is preparing to fail!