Tech today is amazing, but even the best tech can have problems or fail, so backups and contingency are an absolute must for videographers. Here are all the ways we build in contingency to our shooting and editing.
Well, as you’ve probably guessed, one just won’t do. I take 3 cameras to film a wedding. All of them are used to provide different angles and views of the events that unfold. If one should fail, 2 will be plenty.
Cameras are kinda useless without power. This is one of the most important things to have in reserve. We use cameras that are powered by a variety of means – they have internal batteries whilst using external batteries, so if one battery fails, another takes over. Multiple spare batteries are kept on our person ready to change out spent ones throughout the day. We constantly charge spent batteries at the reception venue and have power banks to recharge tech when not close to a power point, although we take enough power to get through an entire day without recharging anything.
We carry enough storage in our cameras to get through an entire 10 hour shoot. That’s a LOT of storage. If we got a bit too over-enthusiastic shooting everything that moves, we can always dump footage onto a portable SSD drive.
It’s a pretty rare event that an SD card should become corrupted and fail, but it can happen. Obviously there’s not a huge amount we can do in this situation, but would try to recover what we could. This is also where a second shooter comes in.
We carry multiple lights to light speeches, first dances and shoot details. These are all battery powered, and guess what – we have lots of spares.
We always record at least 2 dedicated sources of audio, but often this can be as many as 6 sources of audio from multiple recorders and cameras.
Other gear contingencies
Well, there’s multiple tripods, stabilisers & gimbals. There’s multiple monitors, lenses and audio recorders and cables. Everything has a backup.
I always take a second shooter with me to every wedding I can. This means we can be in two places at once, and ensures we don’t miss anything. It gives me plenty of options in post production too.
Storing Footage for Editing
The first thing I do when I get home from a shoot is back up everything onto hard drives. I keep the files on the cards whilst the hard drive backup also backs up to the cloud. You can’t be TOO careful! I store all raw footage for up to 6 months after the wedding in case any amendments or additional edits are required.
What happens if I’m run over by a bus or taken out due to illness? I will do my best to find another videographer who can shoot the day (providing I’m still alive and not incapacitated!). I will then edit the footage that they shot according to my style. In the event that I’m incapacitated and unable to do that, you would receive a full refund and would be free to source another videographer. All this sort of stuff is covered by my contract.