Videography Creative Interview: Lasting Blueprint Productions

5:43 PM, by Unknown

1. Tell us a little bit about your company and how you got started.

Lasting Blueprint Productions was formed in 2010. The name originates from my initials and my favorite Jay-Z album, The Blueprint. The album is a classic and what is a classic? Something definitive in its field. Ok, that is enough Hip-Hop talk, that is not why we are here. The company was originally called Lasting Blueprint Multimedia because it was going to focus on video, photography, and graphic design. I soon dropped graphic design and later on photography because I wanted to go the full video production company route. I had absolutely no intention to ever enter the world of wedding videography because at the time I had no idea weddings were shot in the style that I do. In the fall of 2011, I shot my first wedding at the DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando Downtown. Talk about nerves! I remember the day of the wedding I had to call a friend to calm me down because I was so nervous! Well, the day went by great and I had my first wedding day under my belt. From there I decided to add wedding video services to the company. That’s my company’s origin story for you, it’s not quite how Bruce Wayne became the Batman, but it will have to do.

2. What are some things couples should look for when looking for a videographer?

Couples should definitely watch the material of any wedding videographer they come across. Most people will not see what I see when watching a wedding video from a technical standpoint, but one thing for sure is when you watch a movie you either love it, like it, thought it was ok, thought it was bad, or hate it. Say for example, you watched The Dark Knight for the first time and you absolutely loved it and you want to watch it again immediately, you will watch again. Now let’s say you watch the Fantastic Four (pick one, they all are bad) and you absolutely hated it. Will you watch that again? I doubt it. So when you are on the hunt to choose a wedding videographer, look at their portfolio and see if you love it. Don’t just like it, love it! This is your wedding day that will be documented! You might see the examples of videographer A and love every second of it, but his price is $500 more than videographer B who you thought was just ok. Well, don’t go with just ok. You aren’t going with just ok for your wedding day attire and you certainly aren’t marrying a person because they are just ok! So go with what you love, because your big day is about love, not about being just ok.

3. What is your favorite part of the wedding day to capture?

The prep before the ceremony and their time right after the ceremony before they begin the portraits with the photographer. It’s those intimate moments that are captured that I can then piece together later while video editing. I do my best to be out of the way throughout the entire day especially during prep. I’ll hide behind mirrors, beds, crouch, and do whatever is possible to get a shot. I’m also always on the move. People in the room always wonder what in the world am I doing and tell me at the end of the day how they know I did a good job because I was all over the place. That is pretty funny to me and a great compliment to receive. It always happens. When the couple watches their wedding film they see exactly what Lasting Blueprint Productions was doing. It’s a time when you can really show off your cinematography skills.

4. How do you feel videography has changed in the last few years?

Honestly since I started late 2011, the only change is the equipment, which makes for oversaturation. More cameras and more devices. It’s easier than ever to video a wedding. I watch a lot of wedding videos because I like to see good work. 2015 is the year of the drone and the DJI Ronin-M. Great devices, but they’re being overused if you ask me. Got to be able to use them right and tell the story correctly. Running around with aerial shots just because is eye candy, but its fluff. A few years ago every shot in a wedding video used sliders. I think two years ago, everyone was doing slow motion booths. It’s kind of like the movie industry, a lot just go with what’s popular. 

5. Do you have advice for wedding videographers just starting out?

Don’t copy the popular cinematographers/videographers out there. You might have the ones that you like, but you want your own style that describes your brand. Study filmmaking. Watch films that Roger Deakins is the DP for. Look at Alfred Hitchcock movies. When I attended Winter Park High School, my TV Production teacher Mr. Schwartz had us watch Alfred Hitchcock films like The Birds, Psycho, and Vertigo and learn about his iconic storytelling techniques. Those are just two names to throw out there, but there are plenty of directors and cinematographers throughout the history of film that can help you on the technical side. The point is to tell the story of the couple. Sure, many wedding timelines are similar, but the people you are documenting are unique. Try to get as much info about the couple as possible and pick up on their intricacies. Business wise, remember that a wedding is not a one day thing for you. You also have pre and post-production to handle, so with your pricing, charge what is going to make your business profitable after you factor in marketing, promotion, insurance, maintenance, expenses, and taxes. Also, like The Joker said, If you're good at something, never do it for free!

6. If you were to make a blooper reel, what moment that you’ve captured would make us laugh the most?

I don’t have any fun blooper stories to tell unfortunately. I’ll probably remember one randomly in a week or so knowing how my brain operates these days.

7. What is the most challenging part of your job?

I would have to say it’s persuading people that video matters as much as a photo. My style of wedding videography which you could consider cinematic is still fairly new. Before the DSLR, wedding videos, were long presentations. You know, a big camera on a tripod panning and zooming. That is the traditional way. Not to knock anyone that does that style, but it just doesn’t intrigue me. So there is that perception of wedding videos being long and boring and you will never watch. You also have couples that bypass video, which I just do not understand why. Would anyone want to watch their favorite movie in picture form? Imagine if Titanic was only pictures. There is no way that it would have become the top grossing film of all time (at its release). Photography is needed, but pictures does not tell the entire story. From my experience and also seeing in wedding videographer forums, we are typically contacted last out of all vendors. I think there needs to be better education to couples so they are aware that wedding videography should be prioritized at the same level as photography. It doesn’t help when wedding blogs don’t showcase videographers and if they do, it’s not nearly anywhere close to how photography is featured. You see weddings and styled shoots on websites that had a videographer, but the video is not featured along with the other vendors. It’s like videographers are the evil step child of the wedding industry and this definitely needs to change. Last, I would have to say is after almost four years, I am still trying to figure the Orlando wedding industry out. I have tried many marketing and promotion methods that just has not panned out. With that said, If Tony Stark managed to build the Iron Man Mark 1 suit from a cave and escape, then I can face these small wedding challenges and defeat them!

8. What keeps you inspired?

Storytelling keeps me inspired. Being able to tell the narrative of a couple’s magical day and turn it into a beautiful wedding film is special to me.

9. What is the biggest lesson that you have learned, and would pass on to new wedding videographers who are just getting started?

I learned that you have to trust your skills and your brand will prosper. When you find your niche, stick to it and master it. Don’t take what every person says as gospel because truth be told, not every person is going to be 100% honest with you because some feel for some reason that they can work every wedding possible and you would be taking money from them. Don’t worry about what other videographers are doing with their wedding videography business. Far too many people are getting married for you to be concerned about competition. Also, no one is perfect so with each wedding that you do, learn from it, and keep improving on your craft.

Paradise Cove Orlando Wedding Film: Karen + Andres from Lasting Blueprint Productions on Vimeo.

You can see more of Lasting Blueprint Production's work on Vimeo and you can visit their website to learn more!
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