Yes, of course. We don't normally send out demonstration material for legal reasons and we prefer to meet our prospective clients to discuss requirements. We will then present one or more examples from our work that reflect the style and subject requested. We can either visit your home, office or a venue you specify, e.g. where you will be holding your reception.
Yes, we do. We use a range of Sony & Panasonic 3-chip professional digital cameras recording onto tape or SD-HC cards. We never use LP mode and we never re-use tapes. Editing is done on a suite of PCs equipped with specialist capture cards and removable disk drives. We run professional editing software under Windows. This gives us great flexibility to work on a range of projects to meet client deadlines.
We use full DVD and Blu-ray authoring software & hardware to create a master DVD or Blu-ray disc and then our own in-house duplication facilities to create final output discs.
We can also output to various other formats and can also provide output in NTSC or SECAM standards.
We use Sennheiser wired and UHF radio professional microphones to ensure the highest quality. Occasionally venues have their own sound reinforcement systems and we are obliged to use them. Obviously we have no control over their quality.
For personal events such as weddings we generally use a very small button microphone with a small hidden radio transmitter. This enables us to capture the sound of your vows very clearly (although you do, of course, still have to speak up so your guests can hear you!). Alternatively we can use a small voice recorder in a top pocket or a shotgun microphone on a stand.
For toasts and speeches we usually use highly directional stick microphones to clearly capture the speaker's voice and eliminate most of the background. We leave a little ambience in, however, otherwise it would sound very flat.
We use similar techniques for corporate work where a speaker is giving a presentation to camera.
For stage productions we have our own mixing desk and special microphones and have successfully captured “theatre in the round” as well as more traditionally staged productions.
We also use digital sound recording technologies to capture ambient sound and postdub it to give a natural feeling to the video.
We started as stills photographers in the mid-1960s which was, of course, before video was available as a medium outside the broadcasting companies. We made our first 8mm film (of a local drama production) in 1966 and our first wedding was filmed, again on 8mm, in 1968. In those days film was comparatively expensive and a reel only lasted about 3 minutes so only the highlights were recorded. Sound was a problem as magnetically-striped stock was only just beginning to become available and most cameras couldn't synchronise with a recorder. We used perforated tape in a portable tape recorder and a crystal synchronising system to lock camera and tape together with a pulse. We also filmed in 16mm - even more expensive - and used Bolex 8mm and 16mm equipment with 3 fixed focal length lenses on a rotating turret.
It was in the mid-1980s that we started to switch to using video as a production medium. In the early days it was VHS and Beta equipment upgrading to Hi-8 in the early 90's, digital in 2000/1, HDV in 2010 and AVCHD in 2011.
RoBeBo Ltd was formed in January 2002 because we expanded the range of work we undertake and a major corporate client preferred working with a limited company rather than our previous sole-trader status.
Some magazines and wedding guides have indicated that the length of a wedding video in hours and minutes should be stated in the contract.
We suggest that any (wedding) video is an artistic creation and an exact length cannot be pre-determined because much will depend on events on the day. Generally speaking the final video will be between 1 and 3 hours long depending on how much of the preparation, still photographs, greeting guests, speeches, disco, etc are to be included. Some clients don't want us to film the service whilst others like us to leave before the dancing starts. We can only give you an indication after discussion of your exact requirements.
The same is true for most other formats of social video, e.g. birthday parties, etc.
What follows should not be taken as a definitive guide to copyright issues, however:-
If the copyright of the material being filmed belongs to you or you have the permission (in writing) of the copyright owner then we don't need a copyright licence unless it’s a stage play or concert in which case we will need to obtain a Grand Rights Licence (see below).
For events at which copyright material is being played an MCPS Limited Manufacture Licence (LM) is required. This will cover live performances. The minimum LM allows up to 25 minutes and up to 5 copies of the final production. Additional licence blocks can be purchased covering longer durations of copyrighted material and many more copies of the production. Please telephone for details. There are various restrictions on content - you cannot have all works by the same composer, not more than two works by the same artist, etc. so we generally have to discuss licences for a non-party type of event. We couldn't, for example, record a Beethoven Concert given by a local orchestra under the LM scheme but we could probably obtain a special licence for a reasonable cost. Please note that, for example, the words of a civil wedding ceremony and any poems read are copyright and their duration should be taken into account for licensing purposes.
If you are using pre-recorded commercial music, e.g. CD's at a Disco or post-dubbing copyright material over parts the video, then you will also need a PPL licence.
Combined MCPS/PPL licences offer the best value and we automatically include a minimum 5-copy licence in our wedding packages. We include a 2-hour licence for Platinum videos.
For stage productions we may have to submit a schedule of proposed copyright works and the publisher’s permission to use them (known as “Grand Rights”) to MCPS who will quote for licensing. Corporate and commercial video requirements are different and obtaining clearance can be quite expensive. An alternative is to select from our extensive range of copyright-free and library music or to have a piece especially composed which we can arrange.
Performing Rights Society (PRS) licences are not required for us to film and are not included in the price. However you may need a PRS licence if you are performing to members of the public (which means anyone outside your immediate close family) or outside your home in a location which doesn't already hold one.
This is a relatively new phenomenon and appears to be a way of generating additional income.
Some Christian churches are using the additional fee to offset their CCLI licensing costs and are stating it to be a copyright charge.
Our understanding is that a church has to have a CCLI licence to hold its ordinary services (the words and music of which are copyright) and so do not require an additional licence for your wedding/baptism/confirmation, etc. Some seem to think they do need an additional licence to cover this or to have a service videoed. This is not the case where the videographer obtains a licence but it is important to negotiate as the licence obtained by the church may not cover videoing the reception and may also limit the recording of the service in other ways. Professional organists who are members of the Royal College of Music have been instructed to charge a performance fee by that organisation.
Anyone has the right not to be recorded on film or video. However, the Data Protection Registrar has indicated that, by attending an event such as a wedding, the person should reasonably expect to be recorded and it is up to them to stay out of the field of view of the camera.
Unfortunately, cameras are mechanical and do, very occasionally, break down or there is a faulty tape or memory card.
Because we use multiple cameras we can usually continue filming on a second, third or even fourth camera. Very few other videographers have the equipment to be able to do this.
If it really is a disaster then our insurance cover allows us to re-stage the event up to a cost of £75,000.
We are happy to say that we have never had to do this.
Unfortunately, people, whilst not mechanical, are subject to the vagaries of life and, very occasionally, a vehicle may break down or there is a problem on the road or we get taken ill.
We normally set out for an event at a time that allows at least one hour before we are due to start filming. This has always been sufficient to cover for holdups on the road.
In the case of illness we will make our best endeavours to obtain the services of another competent professional to cover your event but if we cannot, or we cannot get to it because of other problems, then our insurance cover allows us to re-stage the event up to a cost of £75,000.
We are happy to say that we have never had to do this.
We do not sell any of our videos to third parties nor do we permit their public broadcast. Our Terms and Conditions allow us to use all or part of your video for our own marketing purposes. Typical uses would be to show examples of our work to other prospective clients or to take stills or clips from it to put on our web site or to include in advertising.
Where we have been requested to make a video including children, e.g. school or Nativity plays, Confirmation services, etc. we will only take orders from the commissioning church or school and we will not sell copies directly to anyone, even if it is a parent or guardian of one of the participants. If the video has been commissioned by an individual and is of, for example, a children's party then we will only sell copies through the individual who booked us and not direct to any other parent/guardian.
Under English law we automatically own the copyright and we do not normally sell it on to you or anyone else. We give our clients a licence to use the video for their own use but not to use it for public broadcast except with our prior written agreement. This is much like the use of software on a computer - you don't own it but you have the right to use it. Following legislation changes in 2014 you may make a backup copy of the final video for your own personal use. This does not mean you can copy it to give to friends and relatives who are not part of your immediate household. These restrictions are generally the case with all videographers and stills photographers.
We keep a copy of the edited final version for 7 years. We also keep a master copy of any disc we have created for you for a similar period. All tapes, optical and magnetic media have a long but finite shelf life so unfortunately we cannot guarantee we can recreate your video forever - please see our Terms and Conditions accessible from the tab above.
We do not normally sell the originals but we may be prepared to sell a copy so you can have your own backup at a fee representative of the amount of preparation time.
The above does not apply to evidential videos where the client always gets the original tape/film.
Editing is both a mechanical and artistic process and it's not really practical to have someone sit alongside whilst we edit a video unless it's on one of our training courses. (By the way, trainees don't edit your video - they have specially filmed sequences to practice on!)
We will, however, have had one or more discussions with you regarding content and editorial decisions. If you wish, and at extra cost, a “rough cut” will be made based on those discussions. This copy will bear a timestamp on every frame and we will provide ou with an Edit Decision List sheet so that you can choose which parts to keep and which parts to remove.
From that a further dialogue can take place to hone and polish the final version. In that sense, you are participating in the artistic element of the editing process.
All copyrights and trademarks acknowledged.