A delightful palm tree graces a beach scene
(909) 241-0445

What will my video look like? Will it be closer to "Romancing the Stone" or the videos my ten-year-old brother films with his phone?

Somewhere in the middle. We'd like to think it's closer to "Romancing the Stone" but honestly, this is a live event, with no do-overs! Things happen. Bugs fly into the camera, drunken relatives lurch through the frame, and the photographer may appear constantly as he goes in for the close-ups with his flash that rivals the sun. But, hey, that's all part of the fun that makes it a live event. The spontaneity also means we can capture footage of a special glance, Aunt Martha's rendition of the Chicken Dance, and all the moments that make your day uniquely yours.

What is your process?

We shoot with two HD cameras on tripods. At the ceremony, we have two different angles so that if one frame is obscured we always have a second shot. We have two digital audio recorders. We can mic the groom's lapel, and put the second mic on a stand to capture the bride and the officiant. As videographers, our goal is to be unobtrusive and not part of the scene, unless we're interviewing you or your guests. We usually shoot from a distance, and use the zoom feature for more intimate moments. At the reception, we capture distinctive moments as well as great overview shots of the room.

Will the lighting matter?

Yes! Outdoor events are dependent on the sun, clouds, and shadows. A wedding under the trees can be lovely, but shifting leaves can create color variances where skintones change from one minute to the next. Indoor lighting can often be dim, especially at receptions or darkened churches, or when somebody turns off all the lights for a special moment. This can create a grainy effect on the video. We do our best to color-correct to minimize these effects. Knowing this up front, it's better to keep the lights on at a consistent level whenever possible.

Why does it cost so much? You're only at my wedding for a few hours.
That's true, but most of our work happens before and after the wedding. Before the wedding, we like to meet with you and bond. We also go with you to your venue to review camera placement, and to discuss the specific shots you want us to film. After your wedding, we take the footage back to our studio, where we lovingly craft the finished video. A 30-minute wedding becomes 60 minutes of video footage when you're using two cameras. Now extend this out to a multi-hour wedding and reception, that's a lot of footage! Finding the best footage takes time to review. After the best camera angles are chosen, then we figure out color correction and audio correction. Now add syncing the audio to the video, adding music, titling, optionally creating the artwork for a DVD menu and a DVD label, backing up the many gigabytes of data, and you've got quite a project!

Do I need both a photographer and a videographer?
You might. They serve different purposes. Photos are an instant in time, often staged to get that perfect look. You can't beat a skilled photographer for creating the beautiful framed photo on the mantel. Videos are live and dynamic. They capture the motion and sound as it happens. Each time you watch your video, you relive your wedding. Now imagine watching your favorite movie like a flip-book, one frame at a time. It'll get you there, but it has an entirely different feeling. This is the main difference between photos and video. If you can only afford one, we of course would recommend a videographer. We have the ability to take still photos while filming video, and there is the option of extracting single frames from the video.

How long after the wedding until the video is done?
This varies, but we make every effort to get your finished video done as quickly as possible. We'll need at least one week, but you should be on your honeymoon so you won't even care! If it takes longer, it's because we're giving it extra-special attention to be all that it can be. Rest assured, we want your wedding video completed as much as, if not more than, you do!

Will MemoryLane4Us use any of my wedding footage for promotional needs?
We might. Scenes from an attractive wedding are a great way to let prospective customers know about our work. We won't use anything to make you look bad, just the highlights.

I want my wedding as a DVD or Blu-Ray image. Can I also get it as a movie file that I can play on my computer?
Yes. The MPG movie file is the standard with our Silver and Gold packages. DVD and Blu-Ray images / files are an upgrade. For DVD files, we provide the ISO file, menu artwork, and DVD label artwork file electronically for you to download and make your own DVDs. For Blu-ray files, we provide the Blu-ray directory structure, menu artwork, and Blu-ray label artwork file.Also available are DVD and Blu-Ray discs as an upgrade. But take note that if we sell you the physical discs, the entire order becomes taxable.

DVDs and Blu-Rays are old-school. Can I just get my video as a file?
Yes. In fact, the MPG movie file is the standard for our Silver and Gold packages.

Does sales tax apply to my purchase?
Yes and no. We called the California State Board of Equalization (sales tax) in January of 2013. Here's what they said:
If the finished product contains electronic files with no physical media, then sales tax does not apply. If we provide DVDs or Blu-Ray physical media, then the entire transaction is taxable, currently at 8% (as of January, 2013). For instance, 8% of $2,000.00 is $160.00. If that's worth it to you, then let us know up front and we will charge you accordingly. Please also note that upgrading to physical DVDs or Blu-Rays requires an additional upgrade to DVD files or Blu-Ray files. For DVD files, we provide the ISO file, menu artwork, and DVD label artwork file electronically for you to download and make your own DVDs. For Blu-ray files, we provide the Blu-ray directory structure, menu artwork, and Blu-ray label artwork file.

Can you add my favorite Beach Boys song to the video?
Probably not. For those who are adventurous and with deep pockets, music licenses for most popular songs can be purchased through ASCAP and BMI. However, if your favorite artist is an independent, then their music might be more affordable. Our favorite site for royalty-free background and transition music is Kevin MacLeod's Incompetech.com, and we also like Jason Shaw's music at AudioNautix.com. You can find some great public domain music at FreePD.com, and no or low-cost music at Pond5.com.

Do you need access to electrical outlets or can you run off of batteries?
We highly recommend electrical outlets. Our cameras and digital audio equipment have batteries and can run on them, but who really trusts batteries? We would hate to miss one single second of your vows, or your ring exchanges. These are once-in-a-lifetime moments, people! The less we invite Murphy's Law, the better.

What equipment do you use?
Cameras: Three Panasonic widescreen HD cameras (TM55 and TM900)
Audio: Two Roland digital audio recorders (R-05 and R-09)
Microphones: One lapel mic (Sony ECM-44B/9X), and two handheld mics (Sony F-V620)
Other: Three tripods and one mic stand

What can we do to make the video even better?
Be yourselves. Don't worry about our cameras, we will not hover around you constantly like crazed paparazzi. We position ourselves so that we can capture the action without being part of the action. Even from the back of the room, our incredible zoom means a crystal clear image. We make sure your fairytale shots are beautifully filmed, so you can relax and just be there for each other. For a wonderful video and a great marriage, that's all you need to do.

What are your thoughts about wedding guests with their cameras and phones?
Some couples have requested their guests to relinquish their devices when they arrive at the wedding, others just ask if device use can be minimized. Either way, reduced amateur photography and videography ensures that your professional photos and videos will look their best. We have had experiences where guests step right in front of our tripod to capture a shot, and we have seen a swarm of devices held up, obscuring a perfect moment. This video says it better than words ever could!

March 17, 2016

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