Jan 142016

Wedding Video Drones – What You Need to Know

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What is it? A bird? A plane? Superman?

No it’s a drone, and my goodness, they are EVERYWHERE. Offering a new perspective on your special day, these devices are irresistible, and extremely accessible, even for the most novice of wedding videographers. However, there are a few things to consider before allowing your wedding video to take flight.


1. Certifications: First of all, your wedding videographer must have FAA certification to fly any sort of drone for commercial use. Most videographers get by without this exemption because they are considered “hobbyists.” For example, if your Uncle Larry wants to fly the drone at your wedding for a good meal, that’s fine. However, as soon as you pay your videographer, they are now considered commercial, and in order to fly commercially the FAA or Federal Aviation Authority requires them to have a section 333 exemption, which proves that the drone pilot or the company in question has met all of the requirements to legally fly their drone.

What if my videographer says he doesn’t need a 333 exemption to fly, what should I do?

This exemption is a legal requirement, meaning if you hire someone who is not licensed to fly a drone at your wedding and something happens to cause injury or damage, it will not be covered by insurance, and you could be help liable to for any costs.


2. Experience: Ask to see a reel of their drone work. If they don’t have a specific reel for their drone flights, or their reel lacks variety, it could mean that they don’t have much experience with flying their drones; and an inexperienced drone pilot could prove to be a dark storm cloud on your special day.


3. Quality: Even though drones are new to the consumer market, the market is saturated with many different kinds of drones. Some shoot with a GoPro, which produces a bubble-shaped, fisheye shot. Others shoot high quality resolution, which usually matches the cameras on the ground better. This allows for seamlesstransitions from ground shots to aerial shots.


Also keep in mind, just because a videographer may be excellent shooters on the ground, it does not always mean that they are excellent in the sky. Just be sure to do your homework and rely on your expertise to choose the right videographer to capture your special day. After all, this is your day, and with this information, you know what to look for.


Ethan Moews of Spark Media

Mar 312015

Wedding Cinematography by Rex Polanis

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Brides and grooms of Jacksonville and the surrounding areas, if you are thinking about hiring a videographer for your wedding, please reads these tips by Rex Polanis!  Rex is a professional videographer who owns Drawn In Media LLC.  He wrote this article to help inform brides, grooms and their families about what to look for and how to hire a videographer!

Pricing: Expect to budget between $1,500-$10,000 for quality cinematography. Pricing will reflect many factors: location and distance of prep sites, length of wedding service, special events during reception, amount of cameras to adequately capture said events, and the final product.


Two Types of Wedding video companies:

Good cinematographers are exclusive. The same person you meet and book shows up to your wedding. They take the time to know you and know what to look for. They add a personal touch to your video.


Budget videographers sub out the camera work and sometimes even the editing work for pennies on the dollar and are purely profit driven. They don’t care about the final product. To them all weddings are the same.

A good cinematographer knows the truth is no two weddings are alike.

Many people come to my office and say the price for service is high. My response: regret is even more expensive. In my field there is no relief for buyers’ remorse.


No More Long Form

Quality cinematography is not a long drawn out single static shot uncle bob video. Many clients come to my office expecting that 8-10 hours on location shooting will produce 8-10 hours of footage from each camera. Nothing is further from the truth.


An experienced wedding cinematographer knows when and what to shoot to yield a watchable and enjoyable film. To break it down, during consultations I ask my clients what comes to mind if I ask them to watch a 6 hour wedding video? They always reply with, “Boredom,” and I answer ,”Exactly.” We don’t shoot for boring, we shoot for exciting, dramatic, and fun. We will make your wedding video something you want to watch more than once. It’s really that simple.


The Real Work

Most of the work for cinematographers takes place during editing, after the event has taken place. Every hour of video shot (per camera) takes between 6-10 hours of editing. Multiply that times the 3, 4 or more cameras and you can see that editing time adds up. Why does one hour of footage from one camera take 6-10 hours of editing? The process includes color matching and color grading all the shots, syncing audio from external audio devices, and setting music, syncing footage from multiple cameras and angles, removing the periods of silence or transitions, etc. The point being that it’s not point, shoot, burn. Many hours go into the edit, even for the most seasoned cinematographers.


Raw Footage

Raw Footage. 99% of my clients ask for raw footage. Raw footage is not what many people think it is. It’s similar to a photographer’s raw shoots. Photographers will take between 3-5k shoots during a wedding and deliver about 80-120 on an album. That is less then 1% of the shots they took. Likewise cinematographers will take 1-4k different shots throughout the day and only a fraction of them will make the final cut. Also, we don’t always catch people at their most flattering moment. Think about that shot of Beyonce from superbowl half time show from a few years ago. See Figure 1a below. It’s a terrible image that does not justify her beauty and grace at all. We shoot to create a story and engage the viewer, we leave the bad stuff in the raw footage.





Drones: The FAA recently released guidelines for companies using drones. Most of the rules are just common sense, for example: Do not fly over people or roads with traffic, do not exceed 400 feet in altitude, maintain a safe distance from buildings, trees, and other objects, stay clear of Other Air Traffic etc. I mainly use my drone to film exteriors of venues on days before or after the event has taken place. I operate this way for a few reasons.

1) Drones are LOUD. The last thing you want to hear during your vows is the loud buzzing of a drone hovering over your outdoor ceremony

2) Safety. I hold a private pilots license and even with that, Your wedding day is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Drone technology is still relatively new and can be somewhat unpredictable even in the hands of experienced pilots. It’s not worth risking an unpleasant disturbance or even injury on your wedding day.



Good images are made with good lighting. A experienced cinematographer does one of two things: goes where the good light is, or brings high quality off camera lights. We capture light. With out light there is nothing to capture but darkness. It doesn’t matter how good the camera is, it still needs a light source to capture an image, unless you want grainy green tinted night vision combat shots. Good lighting makes great video.



A good video is nothing without good audio to complement the images. All the shots can be beautiful and breathtaking, but without audio there is no story to follow, no emotion to feel. Without audio, a video becomes boring, flat, and one-dimensional. During a wedding, there are vows, a message, and toasts. Those words tell the story of the couple and are as vital as the images. 50% of the video is audio. If it doesn’t sound good, it doesn’t look good. Try to watch a video with poor audio and you’ll “see” what I mean.


DJ’s and Speeches

As mentioned before, the most important thing at the wedding are the words: the vows, the sermon, and the toasts. Cinematographers should be in charge of the toasts and speeches, NOT the DJ. If you want the speeches to be a part of the video (which they should always be), then the cinematographer should be in charge of them. I learned a long time ago to never leave the audio up to chance or a DJ. I bring top quality microphones and audio recorders to the events I shoot. During the speeches/toasts I run my mics through a splitter and I give one line to the DJ and the other to my audio recorder. I cannot tell you how many times good audio is ruined by inexperienced DJ’s. I cannot stress this enough. After the party, all you will have to remember the speeches is the audio in the video. The speech audio needs to be left to the cinematographer to be captured properly.




We can’t shoot everything. We would love to, but everything is not interesting. A wedding cinematographer has to anticipate who, what, why, when, where, and how to create a compelling and dynamic video in the edit. We look for the moments where all the elements align and produce the moments that are visually and emotionally compelling.



Some people assume that all you need is a good camera and you can shoot good video. This idea is not true and is a reckless assumption that produces many regrets. It’s not the tools, it’s the artist. Da Vinci could create a masterpiece with a pencil, and even better art with the proper tools. Giving the keys of a race car to an inexperienced driver is a mistake waiting to happen. Again I say, it’s not the tools, it’s the artist. Let me drive this nail even further: Anyone can hold a Stradivarius, but not everyone can play a Stradivarius, and even less can play it well.


By Rex Polanis

Owner, Drawn In Media® LLC  – Facebook Link

Mar 152015

Tips on Videography by Take One Produstions

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Thinking about having a professional videographer for your wedding…great idea!   Here are some great considerations and tips Doug Lewis, from Take One Productions has written out.  When you are thinking about having a video to memorialize your big day…take these ideas to heart!

Most couples don’t think they need a wedding film, They already have a photographer and their friends and family are taking pictures and video. They think a videographer is just another expense, that they’ll have a huge camera in their face and their guest’s faces. Or maybe they’ve sat through friend’s videos and winced at the bad music, long – winded speeches and never ending running time.


The art of videography or cinematography has experienced a revolution in the past few years. Long gone are the days of big cameras and boring videos. Today’s filmmakers are using the latest technology and story telling techniques to create stunning wedding films that allow the couple to re-live all the emotions, the actions, and the reactions of their wedding day forever. Many filmmakers shoot on cameras similar to a photographers camera, but are using it in a totally different fashion. There are also several new tools available to filmmakers to provide Hollywood style special effects. Some of these are stabilizers, (GlideCam, Movi, Ronin) Jibs, (which move the camera up and down for sweeping cinematic style shots) sliders, and drones for aerial shots. With all this Hollywood style effects available, the production quality of wedding films has increased exponentionally, however, the most important thing that couples can look for in a wedding filmmaker is “Do they connect on an emotional level?” “Can they tell the story of the day?” “Can they make you feel all the emotions a couple experiences on their wedding day?”All the special effects, drones, sliders, and Movi’s won’t make a difference if the story of the day isn’t told. Anyone can take video clips, set them to a music bed and make a montage, but it takes a true filmmaker to tell the story and re-create the emotions of the day. Nothing can compare to re-living the emotions and feelings of the most important day of your life.


So what should a couple look for in a filmmaker? First, as with any vendor, ask your friends who might have had a wedding film done for their wedding. Ask to see it. See if you can follow the story of the day.


Second, do your research, check various wedding websites, read reviews, watch samples online. As with photographers, there are many choices and many different styles. Each filmmaker will have a unique style and make sure it matches with what you want from a wedding film. Some Filmmakers are more classic with a slower paced wedding film other are quicker and more contemporary, some are even a little edgy. It all comes down to how the couple wants to re-live the memories of their wedding day.


Third: Ask Questions. Chances are a couple hasn’t shopped for a wedding filmmaker before. Here are some FAQ’s


  1. Can we see a full length film? (Most important!!! Every Filmmaker has a different style and most samples on websites are just quick eye candy pieces. Know what your filmmakers style is, just like a photographer. Pay attention to the audio, look at the color of the film and most importantly does it make an emotional connection with you?
  2. Do we get to pick our own music? (Big one here…Most filmmakers will welcome your input and find out what kind of music you like and use similar artists to create the mood and feel of your film, but be aware most filmmakers will use licensed music from online resources. Legally we cannot use that John Legend song without securing rights, which is very expensive)
  3. How long does it take to get our wedding film back? (This can be all over the board. Industry average is about 12-14 weeks. Check with your filmmaker about turn around time)
  4. Why is my wedding film only 15-20 minutes long when you are there for 8-10 hours on the wedding day?


Hollywood spends 9-12 months to film and prepare for a 1.5-2 hour feature length film. Imagine ALL that footage they whittle down to create a compelling story, that’s entertaining and convenient to watch. Wedding Filmmakers do the same thing! Only we only have 9 hours to make the magic happen. No second takes at a wedding. 🙂

  1. Do you offer Photography as well? We feel that photography and videography are equally important. Because of that, we just want to focus on what we do best, telling stories of wedding days with our video cameras. We let the photographers do what they do best, and work so well with them that you won’t even notice. We feel that the majority of studios that offer both services, or even DJ companies that offer videography, can’t really focus 100% on doing the best job they can for both services. We don’t want to water down your video or photo experience by trying to offer both.


When considering a wedding filmmaker, couples should budget the same about for a wedding film as they do for their wedding photographer. Average Rates in Jacksonville for a quality wedding filmmaker range from $2500 to $5000 Also, book your wedding film early as popular dates fill up quickly. In closing, there is some amazing work done by some amazing filmmakers, but do your homework and look for the filmmaker that fits your style. Remember, flowers and décor can transform a plain room into amazing scenery but it will only last one day, the cake will be eaten by the end of the night, the music stops playing and the venue will have another bride dancing her first dance tomorrow. A wedding film will make you laugh, cry and relive all the moments from your wedding day. You will be able to show your children and grandchildren what your wedding day was really like. Think about it and think about what that is worth to you?

– Doug Lews, Take One Productions




Aug 292012

Meet Siberian Pictures – Wedding Videographers

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Accommodating, Creative, Professional, Affordable, and Likable

Meet Siberian Pictures

Why do you love what you do?

Who wouldn’t love working in the wedding industry? We get to be a part of someone’s most special day and it’s a day where you are surrounded by people in love and family members who are just so happy for the couple. It really is a special time and you can just feel it in the air and for us that makes the working atmosphere so much fun.

What makes you different from others in your industry?

Siberian Pictures Video is unique in our industry in several ways, but one very distinct difference is that we capture your entire day, no matter how long it may go. We start filming when the bride begins getting dressed and we don’t leave until the last guest is gone all at no additional cost. When we got married many years ago, we missed out on having half of our reception filmed due to the time constraints in our videographer’s contract and at that time it just was not in our budget to add additional hours. That is one of my biggest regrets and my husband and I knew that when we started our company, we would never make a bride have to make that choice.

What are your price points or price ranges?

Typically our prices range from $1595 upwards to $2495. But we strive to be as flexible as possible and will work with you to build a custom package to meet your needs and budget.

My favorite product or part of our video that a bride can add to a package is our cinematic recap. When we film for a cinematic recap during the day we really get to go all out and be as creative as we can. We capture the extra moments and beautiful scenes that might not always fit into the standard video.  Once we hit the editing studio that is when the fun really begins. We compose a recap of your day using romantic vision and style in this 2 to 5 minute video. The recap is where we can really show our editing expertise and we create a very dramatic video that looks like a fully produced short film you would see on television. Our Brides love posting this recap on FB and YouTube for their friends and family to get a taste of their special day.

What else should you know about Siberian Pictures?

We start booking wedding dates 2 years in advance, so contacting us as soon as possible is always in a Bride’s best interest as we do book on a first come first serve basis.

In addition to wedding day video services, we also offer photo montage creation and can provide both projection and screen services.

There are so many top notch wedding vendors in our area and we have worked with so many awesome vendors it is hard to mention just a few. We love working with Kris Graham Photography, Fox Fotography, Simply Delicious Cakes, Alpha and Omega Event Consultants, D’Land Entertainment, Nicole at The Ponte Vedra Inn and Spa, Club Continental and so many more but these are just a few.


How to contact Siberian Pictures Video

Years in Business: 8

Contact Information:

Phone Number: 904-226-8478
Website: www.siberianpictures.com   
Click here for their FACEBOOK

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