Videography FAQ's

To protect your investment, we recommend that you create additional copies of your wedding video and put them away for safe keeping.  We highly suggest you also purchase the high definition files for additional copies and storage.

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Your full length password protected video will remain online during the video review process as we prepare your final DVD.  Your highlight video will remain online for up to three months.

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If you’d like to add additional time with your video team, you can add time for $150 /hour per videographer.  Your wedding videographer will carry an authorization form the day of the wedding and our office will contact you for final payment when you return from your honeymoon.

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A High Definition (HD) digital file is the highest quality video of of your wedding film. This QuickTime digital file is “rendered” or produced at the same quality that the camera recorded.

A benefit to receiving your wedding video as a digital file is the option to create additional copies for safekeeping or gift giving. Because these files are not copy protected, you are free to use as you’d like. The HD digital file can also be streamed to your viewing device such as AppleTV or Roku, as well as stored on your computer or tablet.

Raw footage is every second of footage shot on your wedding day. Each couple’s wedding length varies, but most will average between 4-6 hours of raw footage. While your final edited version contains all the big moments of your wedding day, your raw footage will include everything – additional angles, more candid moments, and longer segments of time that were condensed in the edit. As this is raw footage, please keep in mind there may be floor shots, the ceiling, zooms and shakes as the videographer is framing the shot.

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There are very strict copyright laws that are heavily enforced regarding putting copyrighted music online and in videos available to view online. Therefore we have purchased music that is allowed without that worry. Rest assured, however, the song you originally picked will appear in your final wedding video.

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It’s really up to the client, as to when we will begin shooting for the day. There are several important moments prior to the ceremony that most couples want included in their video. This includes prepping hair & makeup with the bridesmaids Mom zipping the bride into the wedding gown, dad’s face when he sees you for the first time and recorded messages between the bride & groom. Ideally, schedule about an hour to capture this footage.
At a minimum, your videographer should start shooting at your ceremony site about 30 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony. Many officiants actually require the videographer and his equipment to be completely set up prior to guests being seated.

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We cannot begin editing until we know what songs will provide the soundtrack to your video.
Couples who have submitted song selections prior to their wedding will see the first draft of their wedding film within 12 weeks of the wedding. For couples who need more time selecting these songs, you will be un-rushed and can expect to see a first draft within 12 weeks after submitting.

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Mike Staff Productions videography packages include unlimited locations. Go nuts. We’ll be there to capture it all.

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The good news is that our cameras require very little light, and when more is needed, we’ll use subtle on-camera lights to get the job done. Good lighting is essential to create a romantic mood and overall vibe on your video. In most situations we are able to control the lighting, however ceremony sites can be more challenging. Churches for example, often forbid videographers from using additional lights; and lighting outdoor ceremony sites are unpredictable due to weather.

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The audio recording of your wedding day is super important and we come prepared. We will bring wireless mics and ambient mics to record your ceremony. The Groom will be asked to wear a cordless mic during the ceremony, which will be removed immediately afterward. Other mics are placed throughout the ceremony site to record all the readings and music played during your ceremony. Throughout the reception we will plug into the DJ’s sound system, so all announcements, toasts, special dances and other events will be crystal clear. Of course, we can only guarantee good quality from this line feed when the DJ is also from Mike Staff Productions.

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We’re often asked why your finished video could be only about an hour long, when the videographers shot over 8 hours worth of footage. This is a good question, and the answer lies in the editing room. In film production it’s often said that the magic happens while editing. The same is true with your video. For example, we may shoot for 45 seconds of your maid of honor putting on your necklace, but only show 8 seconds on your finished video. This footage, combined with a great musical soundtrack and you and your bridesmaids voices all edited together creates a beautifully finished scene in your wedding video … while if we just showed the entire 45 seconds, the impact would be significantly diminished.

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Personal messages can be a great way for the parents & the bridal party to share some special thoughts with you. For best results tell people in advanced that this is important to you and ask them to participate. Sure, being spontaneous can be a good thing, but asking people to give some thought to what they might want to say in advance will produce the very best footage. Another unique thing about video is that you and your spouse can give messages to each other before the ceremony. You can do this by speaking directly to the camera or simply reading letters to one another and having your videographer capture the moment. Either way, this can be pretty emotional footage that you will love watching over and over.

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Thanks for asking. It is customary to invite your videographer to dinner. After a busy day of shooting, they will truly appreciate having dinner. If you have a “vendor table”, it is common to seat your DJ, Photographer and Videographer at the same table. It’s a good idea for your service providers to be close and available in the event that they are needed to shoot a spontaneous event.

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Final payment is due wiFinal payment is due within 14 days prior to the wedding (or event).thin 14 days prior to the wedding (or event).

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We are happy to accept cash, check, Visa, MasterCard or Discover.  As a client, you can make payments by calling our office or through your secure online account at mikestaff.com.

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Each of our videography packages includes a specific number of copies of your final wedding DVD.  You are free to make additional copies if you need or we can do so for a small fee.

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Each of our wedding videography packages includes a standard DVD or flash drive of your wedding.  If you would like to upgrade to Blu Ray, we also offer that option.

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We are happy to provide additional digital or DVD copies for a small fee.

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Yes.  Wedding Videography services are taxable in Michigan and Illinois.

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While gratuity is not mandatory, as in all service industry’s tipping is certainly appreciated for a job well-done.  Many clients have asked delicately, “What would be an appropriate amount to tip the  Videographer?”  We have observed most clients decide on a gratuity between 5-15% or around $100+.

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It is customary to provide a meal for your wedding services team (videographer, photographer, DJ, wedding coordinator, etc.)

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Yes, the package hours are continuous; and your videographer will be ready to capture any wedding day footage during your dinner that will be valuable to your produced film.

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As each video team can only service one couple per day, our coverage times are continuous.

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We always have backup videographers and equipment on call and ready to go for every wedding, whether we have one event that day or when we are fully booked.

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Guest interviews and messages of love and wishes for the newly married couple can be a very special part of your finished film.  If you’d like video messages from your wedding day, your videographer can approach your bridal party and parents and politely request messages for your wedding video.

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Streaming live video events online is a highly specialized service that Mike Staff Productions does not offer at this time.

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Of course not.  We do not use lights at the church and only non-intrusive camera-mounted lights at the reception.  Light is needed to produce beautiful images.  Without it your video will lack depth and detail.  Our videographers are trained only use it when needed and will be sensitive to you and your guests.

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Yes, for an additional fee we can provide a screen and projector at your reception to display a slideshow or pre-produced video.  Please consult with our office for more details.

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To get the best audio during your wedding ceremony, the videographer will ask the groom to wear a small lapel microphone.  In addition, the videographer will also place a secondary microphone in the ceremony area, such as on a podium used by a reader.  And as an extra audio source, the camera will also record the ambient sound from the ceremony venue.

During the reception, the videographer will capture ambient audio.  Whenever possible, the videographer will also request a line feed from your wedding DJ.

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Your important dances, such as your first dance as husband and wife and the dances with your parents, will be captured for your video in their entirety.  We recommend 45-60 minutes of recording time to capture open dance floor footage to be used for your wedding reception dance montages.

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The length of time to record video messages is dependent upon the cooperation of your wedding guests.  While we focus on video messages from your immediate family and bridal party, we can also request messages from anyone you’d like.  Be sure to discuss video messages with your wedding videographer during your video planning discussion.

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Each video has a unique running time, but in general your final video will be the length of your ceremony PLUS 40 minutes.

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We’d love your feedback – our editors will provide you with the opportunity to watch the edited video and we welcome your suggestions for edits.

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Many clients prefer to have the videographer film the excitement of wedding preparation with the bridal party.  This can be a great way to capture the fun leading up to the ceremony.

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Your videographer will need a minimum of thirty minutes prior to the ceremony to mic the groom and ceremony locations as well as film pre-ceremony details before getting into position for the ceremony.  Many churches have rules that dictate placement of cameras and location of wedding videographers that must be adhered to.

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Of course.  When you receive the initial presentation of your completed wedding video, you will have one week to review it and let us know if any changes are required.  Once you are satisfied, we will quickly prepare your final wedding video.

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Should you need to add additional time to your videography service on your wedding day, you can do so for $150 per hour, per videographer.

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We offer several options for the length of coverage to meet each couple’s unique needs.  The most popular selection is 8 hours of continuous coverage.

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For brides and grooms interested in receiving the raw footage from their wedding day, we offer this for a small fee to cover the additional production time and materials required.

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Your final edited wedding video is the result of the creative efforts of both the cinematographer and editing team.  Because each team member works closely with others, you can be sure the same consistency is applied across all the videos we produce.  To make sure that your own unique needs are understood, you should speak with the videographer that will film your wedding prior to your wedding day.

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We have experience filming weddings from many different cultures, so the chances are very good that we do have experience in working with your culture.  If not, we are eager to serve, and are open to filming any new or special circumstance.

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We call it “Stylized Photojournalism”.  While we document the events of the day as they occur, your videographer will provide minimal direction throughout the day to help you look natural and at your very best.

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Absolutely!  We’re happy to include whatever music you’d like in your finished video. Music can be very personal so we encourage your suggestions.  But if you are having a hard time picking, we would be happy to pick them out for you.

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The editing process is dependent upon some choices you will need to make about your wedding video – short or long format editing, music to be used with your montages and overall style and vibe.  Once you have submitted your information, Mike Staff Productions guarantees you will have your wedding video within 12 weeks.

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