What does a videographer do? (from someone who also doesn't know)

Issy Briggs
August 29, 2023

Just like you, I didn’t have a flipping clue what a videographer does. So I reached out to my good mate John *a videographer* for his insight.


“A videographer creates videos, just like a photographer makes photographs”


Err thanks John, but I don’t think that’s going to cut the mustard, just like my dissertation at uni, I’m going to have to source some more “waffle” although this time it may actually be useful.


When I think of videographers I think of weddings and the bloke my aunt Sheila hired instead of a regular boring photographer to highlight her third ‘once in a lifetime’ wedding day.


But it turns out videographers are more than just tools my aunt Sheila used to try and out-do her pals with at her wedding, they do loads of stuff. From smaller projects like corporate videos, promotional content, case studies and recruitment to larger projects like adverts (think TV/Cinema/Digital/Social Media), films and music videos.


The next stage of my videography discovery journey was to contact someone who did know what they were doing, this time it was Will, one of the great videographers that work with Simply Thrilled. I had to ask Will some of my burning questions, so here they are for your enjoyment:


Q How would you describe the role of a videographer to someone who has absolutely no idea what you do?


Will: A videographer is usually an individual who uses a video camera to film and capture a certain subject matter, then uses video editing software on a computer to edit the footage they have captured together into a video that tells a story of either an individual, or a group of people. The videos can vary from promotional films for businesses, to music videos, events, weddings and corporate videos. The individual usually works alone and does everything involved in the production; pre-production, filming, audio and editing.



Q What led up to you choosing to become a videographer?


Will: When I was in school, I started making short videos of me and my friends doing parkour. It became a huge passion of mine. After school I went and did a BTEC National Diploma in TV & Film, followed by an FdSc in TV & Film Production Technology. I simply just found a hobby I really enjoyed so I kept following that passion, I didn’t have a plan B, but I think that helped me commit to making a career in film work.



Q What does your average day at work look like?


Will: Normally I work with production companies as either a camera operator. So on an average day I can get up anywhere from 5am-7am in the morning, pack my entire car with lighting, camera, audio and monitoring equipment, and drive anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours to the location.


Once at the location, I will usually meet with my client from the production company and we will briefly discuss the aim of the shoot to refresh our memories and make sure we are on the same page. 


Usually, if there is an interview involved, we will shoot that first. So we will go to the location that we will film the interview in and have a quick recce to determine where would be the best place for the interviewee to sit for lighting, sound and visual interest. I will then start setting up the equipment; camera, lighting and audio, then have someone (usually my client) sit in just to check that the shot, lighting and audio are all look / sound good.


When it comes to filming the interview, I will usually sit behind the camera to monitor audio and focus. My client will usually sit next to me and ask the interviewee the questions.


Once the interview is shot, we will normally shoot general visuals (also known as b-roll) to accompany the interview. What we shoot varies per project and normally is dependent on what the video is about, as well as what the interviewee speaks about. However quite often it will be shots of the interviewee doing their job and working in their environment.


It can be tough at times, especially when you are busy with bookings as it can involve anti-social hours and long days. You also need to deal with the admin; taking calls and answering emails from clients wanting to book you. So you have to juggle a lot of things at the same time.



Q What's the most exciting project you've worked on?


Will: I don’t think there has been just one project in particular, however I have worked on multiple projects for Center Parcs, one which involved me being an underwater cameraman, as well as Les Mills which involved travelling to Rhodes and Punta Umbria.



Cheers Will, that was great! Maybe I’ll become a videographer one day, or maybe I’ll just leave it to the guys at Simply Thrilled, I reckon they’ve got it sorted.



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