Every week someone asks what is the difference between videography and cinematography. In fact, a majority of our clients call asking for videography, when we provide cinematography services.
To simplify it, a videographer is usually 1 person capturing what's occurring on their own, with one camera typically on a tripod.
Cinematography, on the other hand, consists of "portraying" the story, with multiple cameras and with special gear like drones, slider, cranes, and other tools.
Think of it this way. If you hired a videographer to film your wedding, the video he or she would create for you would consist of 30 minutes initially of the beginning of the ceremony, and then another 30 minutes of the grand entrance and speeches. That one hour would be what a videographer would create and deliver, which also reflects why he or she may only charge $1000-$1500.
With a cinematographer, he or she would begin when the bride is getting ready and continue through the cake cutting and often the bride and groom's exit. Two or more cameras (cinema cameras) may be used, in addition to drones to get some aerial shots. We've used up to 8 cameras before on a single wedding. Stabilizers such as the Ronin and Osmo also help create seamless moving shots that add cinematically to the final film. What we do is deliver 3 different videos from a wedding. A "raw" edit, which includes the entire ceremony, speeches, dances, and cake cutting, which may be 75-100 minutes starting, and a "film," which is color graded and made with music to represent an actual movie of the day, and a shorter teaser we call a "trailer," which obviously represents what's to come of the film. We try to deliver these within 3 weeks following a wedding, while I know some studios can take up to 6 months. But a videographer can deliver the video within 48 hours, since there is not much, if any, color grading or music that is added. You can expect to pay $3000 to $10,000 for a complete cinematography package with multiple experienced crews, and sometimes more. We have a higher end package that includes a 4K TV.
Below is a quick cinematography reel from recent weddings.
Which you decide to go with might not solely rely on preference, but also on budget as well. If you've spent a majority of your budget on your photographer, then you may only be left with $2000 for video, and a videographer may be your only option (or you could invite 5 less people and save that way...). Even if your budget only allows for a videographer, we still recommend capturing video of your special day or event, as the feeling of watching an event is incredibly different than viewing the photos.
Here are a few recent engagement and wedding trailers told in a cinematic type of way.
If you have any questions about videography vs cinematography, or about the cameras or gear your crew is planning to use, feel free to leave a comment or email directly.
Photographer & Cinematographer