Vendor Spotlight – James Coleman
We took a few weeks off from doing our Vendor Spotlights, but we’re back at it again and starting things off for the month of August is a company that we have had the pleasure of working with at a few weddings. Hundreds of people have watched our highlight reels that we recently started to do after each wedding. We don’t expect anyone to think they are professional quality since they are something we do super quick using a small camcorder and Adobe software.
For the times when people want something really nice and pro quality, we recommend that they use an actual videographer, since they have better equipment, software, experience and an eye for capturing the best moments of your day. And that leads us right here into our next Vendor Spotlight – James Coleman. James is a local film producer and always delivers some of the most amazing videos from each wedding he does. We’ve had him on our preferred list for a while (and we as well are on his) so we ALWAYS recommend him first and foremost when clients are looking for a professional videographer in Rochester, NY. We sat down and took some time to chat with him and see what it takes to be in his industry.
Vendor Spotlight – James Coleman
Kalifornia Entertainment: Hi James! Thanks for talking with us today. We know you have a lot of videos to edit and finish up for your clients, so we won’t take up much of your time. Tell us more about ColemanFilms and how you got into videography?
James Coleman: Not a problem! It’s great to sit down with an awesome company like Kalifornia Entertainment and discuss the world of videography. I originally got into filming when I was a young kid around 9 years old. My brother and I always wanted to make a movie. One day, my friend brought over his grandfather’s old VHS camera and we spent the next 4 hours remaking every scene from Halloween that we could think of.
KE: That must have been an awesome film to watch when you guys were done doing those scenes! Let’s discuss weddings and the whole concept around filming them. What are some things that wedding couples should look for when thinking about hiring a videographer?
JC: Compatibility is a big one when it comes to spending an entire day with someone, who in a sense will be getting very personal with you. I think it is important to have a good sense of humor and an outgoing personality. After all, weddings are supposed to be fun right?
KE: We completely agree. Nobody likes a stick in the mud, so the more fun and outgoing the client is, the better the outcome of the wedding. What is your favorite part of the day to capture?
JC: My favorite part is during the after ceremony pictures because it really allows a creative outlet for me to view a client’s wedding through a more relaxed time. Coming from a film background, it is almost like creating a movie with actors.
KE: One day, we’re going to have to do a whole “Kalifornia Hollywood Premier Style” wedding reception together with paparazzi, red carpet, limo’s pulling up, moving spotlights, and Director James Coleman! *laughing* How do you feel videography has changed in the last few years?
JC: Videography is ever changing. Technology advances so quick that in 6 months the in-thing becomes obsolete. I feel the biggest change in recent years is the jump to DSLR shooting. It allows a videographer so many options, as far as look and feel or even atmosphere of the wedding.
KE: Technology moving quick can be a good thing. It forces a business to step up their game and many clients out there would prefer to go with a company that has the latest and greatest, whether it’s equipment, trends or knowledge of the industry. That’s one of the reasons why so many clients choose Kalifornia Entertainment, due to the fact that we remain on top of what the hottest and best trends are. From the start of filming to finishing with editing, how long does it usually take to complete a wedding job?
JC: Normally between 15 and 20 hours from start to finish. I feel with such a specialized skill, the time needs to be taken to really pick and choose the best shots and moments in the day to really make something memorable.
KE: We respect that. There are many businesses out there who rush things and do not take the proper time or care to ensure that the final product that they are delivering, is top tier. By you doing that for your clients, it shows why you are one of the best in this city at what you do. Do you have any advice for videographers who are just starting out and are trying to learn the business?
JC: Yes…number 1…know your worth but do not expect to get paid what you want in the beginning. It takes time and effort to build a clientele that will recommend you to others.
Number 2…be kind and courteous to customers and hear them out before denying or accepting any job. Small opportunities can lead to big ones.
KE: Solid advice! If you were to make a blooper reel of any wedding or special event you have done, what moment that you’ve captured would make people laugh the most?
JC: I feel bad saying this, but it was a funny moment. I had a groom who had a bit too much to drink and actually passed out on the dance floor to the point he had to be looked at by a paramedic. (He was alright though just dehydrated. Plus, he was a good sport and had a laugh when he woke back up).
KE: We have seen many people pass out or get sick from drinking too much at weddings but I don’t think we have ever seen a groom get to that point. *laughing* Glad to hear he was ok and was ready to party again when he woke up. What is the most challenging part of your job?
JC: The fast paced environment. As an event videographer, you have to be communicating with your DJ or event planner to know what and when things are coming next. You do not want to miss something important.
KE: Weddings do seem to move really quick these days. We have always communicated really well at the weddings we did together. It makes things super easy and non-stressful for everyone involved. Plus, there has been a lot of compliments from our clients about how well we interact which seems to be lacking with other businesses in this industry. Your videos are very high quality. Do you carry around a lot of equipment?
JC: Technology has gotten so convenient that I really only need my camera (and lenses, and an uncomfortable amount of batteries in my pockets) and my tripod to achieve what I want. On occasion, I will utilize my slider and Steadicam for certain things.
KE: Ahh yes, you can never have enough batteries. We are very OCD about making sure we have enough on hand for our wireless microphones. If there was one piece of equipment that you could not live without when filming couples on their big day, what would it be?
JC: Aside from the obvious camera, I would have to say my tripod. I feel it is becoming a lost art, but there are so many versatile and interesting shots you can accomplish with just a tripod. It is the most effective in establishing the venue in my opinion.
KE: Do you film by yourself usually or do you bring assistants?
JC: Normally by myself unless the client has requested a second videographer. My brother and I do this together so he is usually out at another wedding doing the same thing.
KE: If you could go anywhere in the world to film, where would it be?
JC: I am very into gritty, crime style films and I would love to have free reign in L.A to create something stylish in the city lights at dusk.
KE: Can’t ever go wrong with L.A. But we’re a bit biased due to the west coast being like a second home. Other than weddings, what other types of events or projects do you film?
JC: I am a film maker at heart, but that is the goal in life unfortunately that does not always pay the bills. Weddings are a good way to hone my craft and still be creative in an upbeat environment.
KE: Is there anyone you would like to thank?
JC: I would really like to thank my friends who have always been a part of my brother and I’s escapades. ColemanFilms has honestly been around since probably the year 2000 (when I was just a goofy kid with a dream). Reviewing my old films is almost like watching us grow up all over again. It is something I have always and will always be passionate about. So to them, I say thank you.
KE: Thank you so much James for taking this time with us. We look forward to working with you again in the near future at many more weddings. And we hope to one day see you on TV accepting an award for Best Director in a Hollywood Film!
If you’re interested in learning more about videographer services at your wedding, reach out to James Coleman right away and be sure to let him know that Kalifornia Entertainment referred you!