The interview process is an important tool. We use it in so many scenarios in life, sometimes without even knowing that we’re using it! In the creation and refinement of Mountain Fresh Films I have done many interviews myself. I’ve interviewed Wedding Clients, Corporate Clients and prospective team members for my production companies. I would like to share with you what I’ve learned from these interviews and also suggest some vital questions for you to ask a prospective Cinematographer. I will provide my answers to these questions to give you a better understanding of Mountain Fresh Films, my philosophy and how we work.
- Are you a videographer or a cinematographer?
If your interviewee tells you that these terms mean the same thing, then you should probably move on to the next candidate. A videographer is associated with the way weddings were shot quite a while ago. For instance, during the ceremony a videographer might only have one camera, on a tripod, getting the shot from behind where the guests are seated. In the old days this was all that was expected. In fact this is why some people today think they don’t need a wedding film. Because they think that it’s going to be shot as simply as what I just described and ‘Uncle Frank can do that on his Smartphone.’ Truth be told, in the old days, wedding videos were simpler and far less cinematic then they are now. They were still, of course, treasures for the lucky couples because of what they were preserving. They just weren’t as visually or emotionally impactful as what we can do now.
I am a Cinematographer and Mountain Fresh Films is a Production Company. I use several cameras during the ceremony so that I can get separate close-up shots of you and your sweetheart as well as a master shot of the entire scene. The various camera angles make the final film much more cinematic and compelling without losing site of what the ceremony is all about. This makes your Wedding Film even more meaningful, special and unique to you.
- Do you use redundancy while recording and in your storage system?
This is one of the biggest and most important questions of all! Backing up the footage while recording and also in storage is more important than I can verbally express. We’re talking about a live event that is so very special. The moments captured will not be repeated and we can’t go back in time to do a reshoot! If the person you’re interviewing doesn’t have a redundant recording system and a very redundant storage system, please move on!
Our main camera (or ‘Camera A’ as we call it) records on two memory cards simultaneously. Also we transfer the footage from the cards to our external hard drives as soon as we reach home base. We have 6 external hard drives with your footage on them in one location and 3 more external hard drives with your footage on them in an entirely different city. I’ve heard so many heartbreaking stories from couples and wedding professionals about footage that was permanently lost. It’s a real tragedy, so I take all the precautions mentioned above to make sure that your footage and your beautiful moments are protected and safe!
- What medium do you deliver the final product on?
These days disks, like Blu-rays and DVD’s are quickly becoming obsolete. Many laptops and home computers no longer have disk drives in them. The preferred mediums seem to be Downloadable Files and USB Flash Drives. If your interviewee is still providing the finished product on a disk, I’d advise caution. Disks can’t hold as much data as flash drives which means the video has to be compressed more to fit on a disk. More compression means the picture quality of the video will be lower.
Mountain Fresh Films will deliver your finished film to you as a Downloadable File or on a Custom USB Flash Drive. We do this to make your life easier and to give you the power to make as many copies of your Film as you wish!
- What resolution or format do you shoot in?
Right now a lot of companies shooting Wedding Films and Corporate Films are still using High Definition. However ‘4K’ (or Ultra High Definition) is 4 times the resolution of High Definition. That’s right, 4K is 4 times sharper than HD!
Mountain Fresh Films shoots everything in 4K. Seeing your Movie in 4K will take your breath away, it’s as if you were right there! Also, by filming in 4K we give you the option to choose if you’d like your final film to be in 4K, HD or both.
- Do you do your own editing?
Arguably, editing prowess can be more important than filming technique. With today’s professional cameras getting a beautiful looking shot isn’t necessarily the greatest challenge. A bigger challenge is taking all of that (hopefully) lovely footage and properly editing it into a masterpiece. It’s true that poorly shot footage can only be fixed so much by editing. On the other hand a well shot film can be ruined by bad editing. I bring this up because many video and cinematography companies ship their raw footage elsewhere for editing, sometimes even overseas. This can be risky in terms of the quality of the editing and the security of the footage.
At Mountain Fresh Films we do all our editing in house. This ensures that the final film meets our quality control standards. This is such an important event in your life and we want to make sure that your precious film is edited beautifully. You deserve no less.
- How do you handle the audio for the ceremony and the reception?
This is another very important topic. As fantastic as the look of a film may be, if the audio isn’t satisfactory it can greatly diminish the perceived quality the film.
One of our main goals is to never hinder your enjoyment of your wedding day. Because of this, our cameras are at a discreet distance during your ceremony. This being the case, the camera microphones wouldn’t provide high quality audio. The background noise would be louder than anything else. So we put a wireless microphone on the groom in addition to plugging a digital audio recorder into the DJ’s sound system. This gives us two ‘clean’ copies of the ceremony audio. When watching your wedding film you’ll be able to hear the officiant, the vows and the more quiet and emotional parts of your ceremony. We also use the digital audio recorder in the same way during the reception. This is very helpful for speeches and other special segments of the reception. Whether you’re hearing the toasts or quiet vows through a few tears, these things are too precious to miss.
- What software do you use for editing?
This is pretty cut and dry because there are only a few video editing programs considered legitimate by the professional filmmaking community. The top 3 professional video editing programs are Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro and Avid Media Composer. If the person you are interviewing does not use one of these programs you should probably consider moving on to the next candidate.
We use Premiere Pro, which happens to be the same video editing software was used to edit Avatar, Deadpool and Gone Girl. Using Premiere Pro allows us to edit your film just like a Hollywood movie. It helps us make your film a work of art that you will treasure forever.
- Do you use color correction?
Whether we’re talking about a wedding film, a feature film, a corporate film or a commercial. Color Correction is an extremely necessary editing tool. For example, indoor environments for conventions or wedding receptions often use fluorescent lighting. This is great for energy conservation but terrible for human skin tones. We all tend to look a little too Green or Blue under many types of fluorescent lighting. Most professional cameras have a White Balance function that can sometimes help with this issue. But the most reliable way to fix these kind of issues is in the editing bay with someone who is very skilled in color correction.
We use color correction and we love it! It makes your film more real, more vibrant and more stunning.
Well that wraps up this blog. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope you found it helpful! Please feel free to leave comments and we hope you enjoy exploring our website!