1. We already have a photographer? Should we still invest in video?
Organizations that have experience in storytelling and capturing memories should understand the sensitivity and importance of preserving and capturing your moment. You must then justify whether it’s worth spending a couple thousand dollars to have a living, breathing video. Is it worth the additional cost to have something to share with your kids and generations to come? For nonprofits, is it worth the investment to be able to show future donors and participants the intangible energy and experience at your events? Is it worth the investment to further spread your mission?
A well done video should give you chills and help you relive the candid moments in real time… giving you the full spectrum of emotion every time you click play.
So, the question then becomes why do we put photography on a pedestal? It’s because photography is beautiful. Photography, when done right, captures us at our highest highs or lowest lows, preserving the raw emotion of a particular moment. Think about a decision, experience, vacation, purchase, or victory you’ve had in the past… Really think about that particular memory. What makes it special to you? How does it make you feel? Why does it make you feel this way? Humans are emotional creatures; emotion drives everything in our lives.
The way something makes us feel is EVERYTHING. The best events, the best memories, and the most memorable experiences we have in life all come back to one thing; the way it makes us feel. A great video doesn’t capture one emotion or one moment. It captures all of them. Video should tell your unique story in a way that spotlights your event, tells your story, makes you cry, laugh and feel whole.
2. Why is videography important for our event?
From our personal experience, videography is something that is cherished and sacred to the families and organizations that invest in it. We often receive messages of gratitude from past clients who had lost family members, but their memory lives on through video. While he was no longer here in body, one family was able to relive the memories of Grandpa moon-walking across the dance floor. A son was able to listen to his father tell him how much he loved him, even after he had passed.
A nonprofit organization was able to raise $175,000 at their Gala as they brought donors to tears by showing the impact of their donations. EMOTION is everything. Show your donors why they matter. Show your donors how their money changes lives. Tell your unique story.
We think videography is worth every penny, but ultimately the decision is in your hands.
3. What should I be asking to ensure I am getting the highest quality video and trained videographers?
Here are a few technical questions to ask your videographer, along with explanations of why these questions matter.
1. What type of camera is best?
We’ll spare you the technical jargon and just give you the details to ensure you get the highest quality video; DSLR cameras are great, and they’re very common in the videography and photography industries. The majority of photographers and videographers are using DSLR cameras from reputable brands like Nikon, Sony, and Canon. A few years back, high quality cinema cameras were nearly unaffordable unless you were working with a Hollywood budget. Now, high quality film cameras are the norm, and we highly recommend you book a video company that has access to them. They’re able to shoot 120+ frames per second, allowing for true slow motion without motion blur or choppiness.
A few notable companies that make high-quality film cameras are: Sony, Arri, Black Magic, RED, Panasonic, and Canon. We find the Sony A7S2 and RED Scarlet W 5K make for a beautiful pair. The Sony A7S2 does exceptionally well in low light. If you have multiple videographers, make sure they’re shooting on the exact same cameras OR shooting in LOG. What is LOG? All cameras have a different color temperature and the looks slightly differ. In other words, each camera has its own color personality. Shooting in LOG allows your editor to color the footage to match each camera PRECISELY to another. That means you can have multiple videographers capturing your event and make everything look like it was shot on one camera later.
2. Will you need LED lighting for your cameras to operate in low lighting?
As important as the type of camera is the lens your videographer is using. The higher the quality of lens your videographer has paired with their camera, the better and crisper the images. Most high-quality cinema cameras are NOT designed with nighttime or low-light shoots in mind. Because of this, it can be challenging to find a videography company that doesn’t require lighting, but bright lighting at your gala or fundraiser is not ideal. It’s intrusive and annoying to guests. Plan accordingly.
Look for better cameras.
Look for better lenses.
Look for more experienced videographers.
These major details are worth the extra money.
3. Can you export in 4k or 5k?
720p and 1080p will eventually become obsolete. If your videographer cannot export in 4k look elsewhere.
4. How many video projects do you shoot per year?
The more projects, the more experience! Videographers typically book 6-8 months ahead of time. Find your preferred videographer and plan to book them right after your venue, photographer and entertainment.
5. What other types of videos do you shoot?
When you’re only seeing things through one lens, your perspective and creativity can be limited. Look for videography companies that have experience shooting a variety of video projects. This will ensure you work with a well-rounded videography company that doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all mentality and portfolio.
4. What type of video should we choose?
Typically 3-7 minutes long. Highlight videos showcase a particular event or experience. These are typically used to solicit future participants and sponsors; showing them what they missed out on and giving them something to look forward to next year.
The length of these videos can range from 30 seconds to 5 minutes. We suggest 3 minutes MAX. These videos aim to raise awareness about a cause. You often need to demonstrate a specific problem. Not all nonprofit mission videos need to be sad to be impactful. We find the use of humor to be a fun touch. Through creativity mission videos will help promote your organization’s fundamental message through empowerment and education.
A commercial should aim to tell your organization’s founding story and connect you to the symbolism of WHY you do what you do. The video should pull in viewers immediately and establish an emotional connection that invites the viewer to join the movement. A call-to-action is very important here.
5. Can we choose our own music?
You should be able to, yes. To some, this is important. However, we usually suggest that you don’t choose your own music. Each video has a unique feel and story. An experienced videographer will choose music that fits yours. Most videographers pay to access a database of license-free songs. This allows you to share your video without worrying about upsetting a producer, record label, or agent. If you choose to use licensed music by popular artists, posts shared on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms are often flagged and deleted.
Videographers put a lot of pride into their work, and love to showcase the quality of their end product. Just because Kesha’s “TiK ToK” is your favorite song does not mean it belongs in your video. Look to your video company’s expertise.
6. How many events have you shot, and what is your turnaround time?
You’ll want to know that your videographer has worked on other time-sensitive, high-stress video projects. It takes preparation and experience to manage flow, timeline, and all of the important aspects of a video shoot (especially when shooting something like a mission video with story boards, scripts, shot lists, actors, multiple locations, etc.).
Expect your turnaround time to be within 90 days. If it’s more than that, we suggest looking elsewhere. Your videography company might make you pay more for an expedited edit if your request is same day / same week.