It’s June and that means it’s time for another Vendor Spotlight. We work with so many incredible, talented and experienced vendors every wedding season. Some, many many times and others, only a handful of times. In this particular case, we worked with one specific videographer by the name of Tim Mieney a few times and he always does a 5 star job for his clients. He actually is the one who we have to thank for our promo video that you see on our Facebook page and here on the K.E. website. So we wanted to sit down with him and discuss his business, his experience, what his thoughts are on the wedding industry and why the Father-Daughter Dance is the most special point in every wedding he films. Without further ado, check out our Vendor Spotlight – Productions By Tim after the jump.
Vendor Spotlight – Productions By Tim
Kalifornia Entertainment: Good morning Tim. Thank you for taking the time to sit with us and discuss your company. We’ve had some pretty wild and incredible weddings together, including a recent Greek reception that had so much energy! Let’s get things kicked off right away by you telling everyone more about Productions By Tim and how you got into doing wedding videography.
Tim Mieney: Sure, but first…thank you for sitting down and chatting with me. It’s quite an honor to talk with the man behind Kalifornia Entertainment, who has the reputation of being the best in the Rochester wedding industry. I have yet to see anyone else receive the amount of reviews and recommendations you get or see anyone else do what you do at weddings, so this is really great. My wedding video career started in my last semester of college at SUNY Brockport. I had purchased a camera and a bunch of equipment and started scanning Craigslist for some job opportunities. I came across a company looking to hire a wedding videographer. Long story short, I shot one wedding for them, realized I could do the job much better on my own and started Productions by Tim that week. My sister-in-law actually had a friend getting married that summer, so I offered to shoot her wedding for $500. The wedding fell on the day of graduation, so I skipped the cap and gown and filmed my first solo wedding instead. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
K.E.: W’oh! Now THAT is what I call dedication to the craft. I don’t think I have ever heard of anyone skipping their graduation ceremony to work a wedding. That’s amazing! Since taking that plunge and starting your business, how many weddings do you usually do every year?
Tim: My first wedding was in 2014, so I am in my 6th season of weddings. I do enough every year where I can spend time with my family and earn money to be happy.
K.E.: Spending time with your family is always key. Sometimes we get so caught up in what we do, that we forget how important downtime and quality time with loved ones can be. What are some things that couples should do or look for when deciding on hiring a videographer?
Tim: I think the best thing for couple’s to do is find a style of video they really love. There are so many videographers and each has their own unique style. What one person enjoys may be totally different than what you enjoy. My style does not appeal to everyone, and that’s okay. So find someone who’s work really tugs at your heart and lock them in as quickly as possible, because if they’re good, they’ll book up quick!
K.E.: I couldn’t agree with you more! It’s the same with DJ’s. There are so many different personalities and everyone does things differently. If every vendor did things the same way, the wedding industry would be pretty boring, don’t you think? *laughing* Do you have any favorite parts of a reception to film?
Tim: At the reception, I love filming detail shots the most, then the father daughter dance. Detail shots are really enjoyable. I love close-up shots, and details are exactly that. It’s fun to gather that supplemental footage that helps you better tell a couple’s story. And the Father-Daughter dance holds a special place in my heart because we just had a baby girl 2 months ago. Even before she was born, I always loved the idea of dancing with my little girl at her wedding. So filming other dad’s experiencing that with their daughters is always very special to me.
K.E.: Maaaan, listen….seeing all that emotion between the father and daughter always gets me every time. We could do a thousand weddings and that special moment in time will always pull at the heart strings! And when couples can relive that moment over and over through the incredible footage you capture, it’ll never be forgotten! Congratulations on your new baby girl and being a father. Do you feel like wedding videography has changed a lot in the recent years and if so, how has it changed?
Tim: I think five years ago the kind of wedding videos you were seeing we’re definitely different than what you’re seeing now. I think the level of competition between videographers has forced everyone to elevate their quality of work. We aren’t just documenting anymore, we are storytelling.
K.E.: You’re 100% right! Weddings have evolved and clients demand more. You either learn to evolve and boost your services and knowledge or you fall behind. It’s not just with equipment either. It’s how you do things and how you offer a certain art or skill set that puts you at the top of the industry. From the start of filming to finishing with editing, how long does it usually take to complete a wedding job?
Tim: I truly believe that what makes you, Kalifornia Entertainment, the best in this industry. The things I have seen you do at weddings is light years ahead of what I have seen anyone else do. Your skills and services are unheard of and seeing what you have evolved them into is wild. The amount of time I spend on a wedding between filming and editing is typically less than 40 hours, but sometimes more. If you throw in emailing clients, the occasional pre-wedding meeting, prepping for the wedding, driving etc… it can easily be north of 50 hours.
K.E.: Holy crap! 50 hours is a lot and I bet so many clients have no idea how much time is actually spent doing things. And here I thought me spending around 12-15 hours prepping and pre-planning on every wedding was a lot. *laughing* Do you have any advice for new videographers who want to break out into the industry or learn the ins and outs of it?
Tim: Prep work is very very important for every wedding so you can deliver the results the bride and groom want. And having enough prep beforehand also makes your job a little easier when it comes to showtime. For new videographers, I would highly recommend offering to work for very little or free until your work is worth charging for. Offer to be someone’s assistant and expect to be paid in nothing but knowledge. If you’re willing to PAY for an education and attend classes, then working for free is 100% less costly. YouTube has also been a huge asset for me. There is a vast world of knowledge literally a few clicks away. Use it! Also, don’t get caught up in having all the latest gear. You need to invest in professional equipment, but you don’t need to do so year after year. Finally, embrace the fact that there will always be others that are better than you. Learn from them and continue to improve. Eventually there will be others that look up to you, and that is an incredible feeling.
K.E.: Wise words, my friend! We see a lot of new photographers and DJ’s trying to break out in the industry also and many professionals say the same exact thing about shadowing others and taking the time to learn not just about the industry but how to make their services better. What has been the funniest or craziest thing you captured on video when doing weddings?
Tim: I will always remember this one… While getting some footage of the bridal party after the ceremony, the groomsman decided they wanted to get a shot of them peeing in a line with their backs turned to the camera. One of the bridesmaids (who was quite under the influence already) decided that she didn’t want to miss out on the fun so she ran over, lifted up her dress with one hand and threw her other hand in the air and screamed “woooo!” *laughing* She wasn’t wearing any underwear and it was hilarious. I’ll never forget it.
K.E.: Ah yes…drunken antics at weddings. They never get old! *laughing* What is one of the most challenging parts of your job?
Tim: The most challenging part of my job is probably editing. It can be daunting at times. 25 weddings can easily pile up on you if aren’t on top of it. However, I also don’t like editing because I know I have to. I like to be in the right frame of mind. If I sit down and I’m just going through the motions, I stop and I wait until I’m in the right head space. I want to be able to give as much creativity to every edit as I can. This year I am challenging myself to really go above and beyond to make sure my shots and my editing are well thought out and not “cookie cutter.”
K.E.: That’s what really separates the professionals from the amateurs. Taking the time to really think about what you’re doing and how it will benefit the client without going through the motions, as you said. And not being cookie cutter is one of the most important things in what we do. There isn’t a single bride and groom out there who wants their wedding day to be just like everyone else’s. So breaking out of that cycle that everyone else does and offering something truly unique and exciting is something that will ALWAYS make those of us stand out in a massive sea of saturation. If there was one piece of equipment you absolutely cannot live without when filming a couple’s big day, what would it be?
Tim: I’ve seen you do incredible things. You definitely are not cookie cutter and I have seen you give bride and grooms a service that is WAY outside of what everyone else does. For equipment I can’t live without, well of course I need my cameras. *laughing* Besides that, I absolutely need my Gimbal. It allows me to get those smooth moving cinematic shots that have become a very important part of my cinematic style.
K.E.: There is nothing worse than seeing shaky videos that give you motion sickness when watching. *laughing* Your videos are ultra-smooth and clear, which is due to great equipment and of course top-notch experience. Do you usually film weddings on your own or do you bring assistants?
Tim: 99% of the time I film alone, which is very challenging, but I love it. I have tried hiring assistants and while logistically it makes my life easier, the final product never made me happy. If I’m going to work with another videographer, it will be a colleague I trust and have 100% confidence in. The downside to this is I have to pay them well enough to block off a day where they might otherwise have been able to work for themselves. I explain this to couple’s ahead of time so they understand why a 2nd videographer is so costly.
K.E.: As the saying goes, if you want something done right, do it yourself. Putting your faith and trust in someone else to do what you do can be a massive challenge. If you could film anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Tim: I would love to film ANY destination wedding outside of the country. I’ve gotten so many inquiries over the years and none of them ever pan out. I’ll cross my fingers for 2020!
K.E.: I actually receive a few inquiries every year to do destination weddings when clients are looking for the best of the best. I’ll keep you in mind when couples are looking for a videographer to travel. Productions by Tim and Kalifornia Entertainment working together on a tropical beach somewhere would be one for the books, for sure! Do you film any other type of events or projects, or do you strictly do weddings?
Tim: I’ve done quite a bit of video production outside of weddings including movie production, music videos, commercials, training videos and various editing gigs. I typically reserve wedding season for strictly weddings and sill pick up these other type of jobs in the off season.
K.E.: Having the opportunity to do other type of events is extremely valuable in my opinion. It gives you a different perspective on things and makes your services and experience much more well-rounded. This benefits bride and grooms greatly because as vendors, we can see things from completely different angles which as you said earlier, doesn’t become cookie cutter and allows us to stand out. Is there anyone you would like to thank for your rise in the wedding industry, or for helping you get to where you are today with videography?
Tim: I have to say thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to all the wonderful clients who have hired me, loved my work and shared it with their friends. Referrals are where 90% of my clients come from and I would not be in business without them. THANK YOU! I also have to give a huge thank you to all the amazing wedding professionals I’ve met over the last 6 years, especially the ones who asked for my card at the end of the night. It is truly humbling to receive recommendations from other professionals who appreciate your work. I can’t even begin to explain how honored I am to have these relationships with other vendors.
Finally, I want to thank you Josh. I want to express again what an honor it is to have another wedding professional do a spotlight on your business. I have met a lot of people in this industry and there are some BIG egos in the Western NY wedding scene. Fortunately, you are both extremely talented and extremely humble in what you do. It has been an honor developing a professional relationship and friendship with a true professional of the industry who is always willing to share what he knows with anyone who cares to ask. When I walk into a reception and see you standing behind the DJ booth or on the dance floor, I know that everyone in that room, myself included is in good hands for the rest of the night and will be receiving something special. Thanks again, Josh. I am honored and humbled to be a part of this spotlight.
K.E.: Anytime Tim! It’s an honor to work with someone of your caliber, experience and skills. The amount of joy and amazing emotions you cause with your videos is extremely inspiring and world class. I’m looking forward to working together again soon and rocking some of the most incredible weddings the Rochester area has ever seen!
Vendor Spotlight – Productions By Tim
If you would like to see some of Tim’s work or you’re looking for an amazing videographer for your reception or big event, reach out to Tim in the following ways:
Check out some of the other incredible Rochester Wedding Vendor Interviews and other Vendor Spotlights here.
DJ Kalifornia (Joshua V.) is an 13 time finalist and 5 time winner in the annual Best of Rochester City News Poll as Best Rochester DJ, voted upon by thousands of people over the years as a finalist and winner. He was also a finalist in the WHEC’s Channel 10 News weekly “Rochester Rocs” award as Best Live DJ, nominated in the annual prestigious “Roc Awards” as Best Rochester DJ, as well as a winner and finalist in the Democrat & Chronicle Choice Awards as Best DJ In Rochester.
Kalifornia Entertainment, as a company, is an annual multi-award winning business with achievements from The Knot, Weddingwire and other online wedding directories. The business has achieved over 500+ five star reviews in total and has been placed on 50+ PROVEN preferred vendor lists. DJ Kalifornia was the leading long time successful resident DJ at Rochester’s beautiful ONE and Two89 nightclubs in the East End District, as well as resident at many other nightclubs in the area. He was a long time monthly resident on Party 103…a worldwide radio station with millions of listeners and world renowned top global DJ’s. You can see him play at other nightclubs all over as a special guest or headliner from time to time when not doing private events.
He currently writes for DJ Times magazine (now DJ Life Magazine), which is the biggest DJ specific world wide publication with millions of readers spanning across the planet on every continent and showcases the worlds best DJ’s. His articles discuss how to get an upper edge over the competition and how to apply strong marketing techniques, strategies, social media, Public Relations and diversity in a way that places you as an industry leader and gain more business. The magazine featured him in a full article, in April of 2020.
He’s been a resident DJ at just about every major nightclub in the Rochester, NY area over the years (and has played all over elsewhere as a guest and resident DJ), was the founder and creator behind the Rochester Zombie Prom, Showcase of The Arts, One Night In Heaven Fashion Show, and many other popular large scale events around WNY. He has thrown hundreds of established and successful themed events, themed weddings (considered the best and #1 elite in Rochester for putting together unique themed wedding receptions) and is very well known through out many different social and business groups and circles in WNY. His experience, vision, knowledge and the ability to make your wedding or event stand out from the rest, puts him at the top and head of the industry that no one else can duplicate, when it comes to being your DJ or entertainment vendor of choice.