Wedding Frequently Asked Questions
We already have a Photographer, do we really need video?
I will tell you that not having a film is the number one post regret after a wedding. The day goes by so fast and I promise you, you will want to invest in your memories. Photos are great and they capture that perfect moment in time but nothing transcends you back to that time like a wedding film. I not only want you to remember the events that happened but I want you to remember how it felt. When the day is over all you have left is the documentation of your day. As relatives pass on and get older or you grow your family, your wedding film along with your photos will be the only investment in your wedding that will increase in value over time. Wedding films in most cases are still seen as a "luxury item." I think the perception is starting to change slowly but in my opinion you need both. I've been told several times from clients it was the best investment they made. Budget for it. It's worth it.
Can I choose the music?
For the creative edits you see online I ask for complete creative control. The reason being is that these edits are like complicated little puzzles and I'm often searching for something very specific. By putting limitations on that, you might not get the best product in the end. Also, all the music online has to be licensed properly. Unfortunately I can't just use anything. However I have some incredible online music libraries to draw from and I always take the clients' musical tastes into consideration. I haven't had any complaints yet!
Do you travel for weddings?
Yes! We love to travel. Travel quotes are available upon request.
How long does it take to receive our film?
The turn around time for your film is approximately 4-5 months. Because of this, I only take a limited amount of weddings a year. The edit process is where I will spend most of my time on your wedding. Quality takes time and I will never give a client something I'm not 100% happy with.
How do I book you for our day?
It's a 50% retainer and a signed contract. Everything can be done online and it's super easy. Once I have those two things, the day is yours and only yours. The rest of the fee is due 30 days before the wedding.
Will you film my wedding if we book Swoon Films?
Yes! That is the plan! I do not run a factory. I'm a very small boutique business and I want to keep it that way. I love being a part of the entire process to make sure my quality standards are met. Because life can be unpredictable and in the unforeseen event that something prevents me from being at your wedding, I have an incredible network of amazing professionals to call upon. I also only invest in the best and most experienced collaborators to work alongside me during the day. That way if something unfortunate were to happen, they could take over.
We are private people. We don't want our film online.
To be honest, I would probably tell you that we are not a good fit. I love to show off films once I've spent weeks putting them together. I mean, I have the best clients on the planet and people need to see your film!! Not showing a film is like creating a gorgeous painting and then hanging it in the closet. A lot of clients find me through SEO and by searching for their venue. It's because of this I could potentially lose out on a job if my film doesn't come up. This is my storefront and this is what I sell. You wouldn't be here if I had nothing to show! However, I get privacy concerns and never tag clients in posts or use last names as a general rule. If you have a really good reason for keeping your film private whether it's because of a job requirement or something else please let me know. I could take it on a case by case basis. It would require an NDA contract and extra fee at minimum. Contact my office for more information.
Do you film San Francisco weddings?
I have! Lots! I can tell you they are a special kind of challenge! Tight timelines, parking issues, logistics, theft, getting our gear safely from place to place can compromise your coverage. I take San Francisco weddings on a case by case basis. Contact me for your special situation.
Will I have to wear a mic?
Believe it or not, audio is my NUMBER ONE priority. I could have the most beautiful shot of your vows but if my audio is terrible, I really have nothing. I have backup upon backup and work closely with your band or DJ to get you the best audio possible. I usually only mic the groom and officiant because those mics also pick up the bride just fine. Great audio is really dependent on client/officiant/DJ/band cooperation.
How many cameras will you use?
Depending on the event, 3-4 cameras at any given time and 2 videographers are included in all packages.
What is Your Style?
This is a big question! Style of filming? Style of editing? Let's start with filming. On the day of I have a fly-on-the-wall approach. There will be from time to time, some light direction mostly during preps and your portrait session but capturing authentic moments is my priority. I will use filming tools throughout the day to give your film a cinematic feel. During the editing process I listen to every bit of audio and organize the entire day so I know exactly what I have. The sound bites from the day are what shape your film and tell your story. I then search for the perfect music to connect everything together. It's never cookie-cutter. It's your unique experience. It's also not a "music video." I'm doing much more than that.
How long will the film be?
I have 3 lengths: a Highlight around 5 minutes, a Short Film that's 6-10 minutes and a Feature length film that's 15-25. The reason there's a range is because I haven't filmed your day yet! It's hard to know the exact length. It depends on many factors and what was filmed. The range gives me the creative license to make a compelling and engaging film.
How long have you been filming weddings?
I started in 2002 working for one company and in 2009 I went freelance. That probably translates to over 500 weddings filmed and around 1000 edited! It was so great working for so many companies and different studios. I learned so much during that time. However there was one thing missing. I didn't have that direct connection with the client. Launching my own business was the next logical step to be more connected to the people I was making films for. In 2012 I started Swoon Films.
Will you work alongside my photographer?
Ah! The question really is, will your photographer work alongside us? I ALWAYS work alongside a photographer whereas, a photographer won't necessarily work alongside a videographer every time. I'm used to working alongside another image professional so it's not a big deal for me. I prefer to work alongside photographers that want to be collaborators and have fun during the day! If we work together we will always get what we need and you, the client, benefits the most. Communication is key. I have an amazing list of photographers that are not only talented but love collaborating. Let me know if you need a recommendation! I want you to have amazing photos but I also want you to have an amazing film. I've been told in the past that we are easy-going, fun to work with and have ended up on many preferred vendor lists.
Do you offer discounts for off-season / weekday / Sunday weddings?
In a nutshell, no. Because I only take a limited number of weddings a year, it's the same amount of work no matter what day it is. Venues and other services will often offer discounts on these days because they want to fill out the calendar and by the time your wedding is finished, their job is done. However, my job is just beginning! I still have to put your film together.
Do you have liability insurance and/or can you send a certificate to my venue?
Yes. Just contact me and I can send your venue proof of insurance.
Oh no! Our date is taken! Can your company still film our wedding?
Sadly no. It's times like this I wish I could split myself in two! If your date is listed on the contact page and says something like "Wedding-location" or "Freelance," that means the day is booked. However contact me anyway and I will give you some awesome referrals!
Will you fly a drone at my wedding?
I am FAA licensed to fly a drone commercially. We love to make it happen when we can! It's a tremendous responsibility and liability. Some venues do not allow it so please check with your venue for the rules. There's also other factors like timelines, logistics, weather and location of venue that could affect drone coverage. It's not something I can promise at this time.
Will you be intrusive or in my face with a camera?
Well how is that any fun? I'm not sure where on earth we got that reputation but I'm still fighting the stereotype to this day. We use small DSLR cameras that are low profile. We do use some lighting (never during the ceremony unless your location is incredibly dark or at night; we might then suggest some extra lighting) during the reception to help shape faces and make everyone look amazing! They are not overpowering since our cameras and lenses are very light sensitive. I've been told over an over again in reviews that my couples forgot we were even there and we made them feel really comfortable on camera. That's one of the best compliments I can get.
What's the difference between a "Filmmaker," "Cinematographer," or "Videographer?"
In the wedding business, nothing! It's all about marketing and what the company chooses to call themselves. I personally do not use "Cinematographer," because in the movie business this is the D.P. or Directory of Photography. I don't want to take away the fact that I'm also the editor! Editors are the unsung heroes of most movie making! Quite honestly I feel like it's the most challenging part of the job to take a mountain of material and craft a story without a script. It's also the most rewarding part of the job for me. I prefer the term "Filmmaker" but use it interchangeably with Videographer. So please don't ask me who my favorite director is. I don't have one. I'm into really good editors!