FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How soon before the wedding should I hire a videographer?
A: You should hire your videographer about the same time you hire your photographer. Popular dates (May through September) fill up quickly. We recommend booking as soon as possible as some brides will book as much as two years in advance. (We are already receiving requests for spring 2010.) However, every once in a while we still have a date available so don't hesitate to call us if you are making a last minute decision on using videography.
Q: Why should I hire a professional videographer. I have a friend who will tape my wedding for free?
A: There is nothing requiring you to hire a professional to preserve your memories on video. There is also nothing that requires your friend to give you professional results. (And wouldn't you rather they be able to enjoy the wedding rather than worry about getting the all important shots?)
We doubt you will rely on a friend take your wedding photos, and we wouldn't suggest entrusting your precious wedding video to a friend either. Most of us have friends who have paid a couple hundred dollars for a palm sized camcorder and perhaps a hundred or so more in software. We, as professionals, have invested thousands of dollars in digital, broadcast-quality cameras and accessories. We have spent thousands more on top of the line software for digital editing, titling, and special effects. Then figure in professional wireless microphones, tripods, and backup equipment, all intended to capture your unforgettable wedding video. On top of all the tangible assets, we also attend national meetings and seminars to improve our knowledge and skills.
Council Bluffs Video Services has videotaped many weddings and we know the ins and outs of capturing this important event. Unless your friend or "Uncle Bob" is a Hollywood producer, we can't emphasize enough what a huge difference there is between a home video and a professionally-produced video. Your friend or relative may have the best intentions, but it's very unlikely that they have the equipment that a professional has. It's a rare case if they have the know-how or experience to produce a video you will want to watch again and again. Also, do they have the ability to focus on the task at hand and be on top of all the especially important moments? To make great video, you must be meticulous in searching out the best angles (yes, more than one) and experienced enough to anticipate the best moments to capture. We believe your wedding video is too important to leave to chance.
Q: When I hire Council Bluffs Video Services, who will actually be recording and editing the video? When I can I meet them?
A: Council Bluffs Video Services is a family business and we do all of the shooting and editing ourselves. Each videographer has their own personality and style, just like photographers, and this largely influences how your video will look and feel, but the most important step to a great video is the recording (video AND audio), both what's recorded and how it's covered. We are creative, unobtrusive and specialize at wedding documentation. You are encouraged to meet us before making any decisions and review previous works, some of which are on our samples page. We will work closely with you in the planning, production, and post production processes of your video.
Q: What kind of equipment do you use?
A: Council Bluffs Video Services uses professional, broadcast quality equipment. What does that mean? Cable TV is brought into your home at a resolution of 330 vertical lines of resolution (VLR) on your TV. Older VHS signals only allowed for 230 VLR. The NTSC broadcast standard allows for 525 VLR. Simply put this means that your TV has the ability to show 525 discrete lines of vertical resolution, but you are normally only going to see 330 lines of resolution at best.
We use Canon digital cameras that record at nearly 500 VLR and have three CCD's (often called chips), which are integral to the high resolution capture of images and translates them to electronic signals. These cameras are good at capturing in low light situations, normally avoiding the need for additional lighting, especially the bright lights that were commonly used in years past. This allows us to be less obtrusive than videographers in the past. We use professional wireless microphones to ensure we have crisp, clear audio for vows, toasts and other important moments.
Editing is performed on any of our several high-end computers that allow the digital signals from the tape to remain digital all the way from the recording to the finished DVD. (VHS tapes are an option, if requested, and will be created from a digital master.) Our DVD's will have the "label" printed directly on the face of the disc, unlike the other guys that apply paper labels that tend to come loose. Additionally, these DVDs are water-resistant, scratch-resistant, and have a glossy finish. Our cases are designed using high-resolution artwork and printed on heavy-duty brochure paper for the best appearance.
Our Equipment page contains a complete list of what we use.