I have had many conversations about gear with my cinematographer and videographer friends. But most center around the amount and cost of gear we bring to weddings. There is a lot of business sense that comes out of the conversations. For instance, I am not going to bring a crew that would normally go to a $100,000 commercial to a $5,000 wedding. How would I pay the people, or afford the gear for that? The answer is I wouldn’t and I would be out of business.

The really interesting idea that’s tossed around is the idea of me bringing my main production camera, the Red Scarlet Dragon, to weddings. Overkill gets thrown around a lot. But I ask myself over and over again; is it over kill? The Scarlet Dragon records in raw format. When I do photography at corporate event or weddings I always shoot in raw because it will give the best image to work with when I edit on my computer. I have been doing that for years and all of my clients have loved my product. The Scarlet records in raw format and that gives me the same range of editing options as my pictures do. It allows me to recover very dark images or very bright images. If the color of a light bulb is giving everyone a sickeningly green glow I can take the green out. Can you do this in other formats and other cameras? Yes of course, but I have much more leeway with the raw codec from my Red Scarlet. I can recover and properly expose my video faster and with better results. That’s the bottom line.

This is not to say that I don’t use the other cameras on my commercials and weddings. At the end of the day I’m not interested in competing and delivering a product equivalent to my high school neighbor that went down to best buy and bought with his summer jobs earnings. I have been there and done that. It is always lacking. You will always want more out of that gear because it cannot provide the level of quality that SwordFish Media Productions can deliver. Why would you hire me if I’m using the same camera as your uncle? We all love him (hopefully) but at the end of the day my creativity is capped to some extent (I think a large extent) by what gear I bring to the table. Can I make less gear work? Of course. I just rely on my years of experience and creative problem solving to get it done. But why would I want to constantly do that? My wedding clients- my brides, don’t hire me for that. They hire me to make them movie stars for a day. They hire me because they want the best quality work they can find. Not because I’m the cheapest. If quality matters, than gear matters. Bottom line.

Ian Miller
Owner SwordFish Media Productions