The Difference Between Videography and Filmmaking

The Difference Between Videography and Filmmaking

It takes years to learn the skill and perhaps a lifetime to excel in it. Knowing the difference between videography and filmmaking will allow you to appreciate the art.

Let’s dive deeper into understanding the art and uncover the key differences between videography and filmmaking and the craft behind the camera. 

 

What is Videography? 

Have you ever seen videographers run around a party venue trying to capture the most memorable and candid moments of people? Well, that is videography. 

Videographers work personally with clients to capture moving or still images on their devices and combine them into a long video. There are no complex technicalities, no cuts or acting, no script, and little to no fiction.

The person behind videography

They often record personal events like weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, and corporate events. As someone from the industry, I can testify that large-scale lights or cameras are also not needed in videography. A small team often handles the equipment used for recording. 

The primary purpose of videography is to document your big day and capture the smiles and cries of the people around you. The videos usually only need a little editing; hence, they get delivered in a couple of weeks. 

 

What is Filmmaking? 

Mr James McAvo, the person behind movies like Split (2016) and Atonement (2007), once said, “Filmmaking is a miracle of collaboration.” It is the process of telling a story through motion pictures. A filmmaker has control over what he records and can take as many shots as they want. Filmmaking captures the laughs, jump scares, emotional breakdowns, and thrills we experience on screen.

It is a complex and lengthy process of capturing stories and working with many artists. Filmmakers work behind the camera, and there is extensive brainstorming behind every frame a filmmaker captures.

A woman director inspects a cinema. Her name is Lily Blossom

It often includes camera operators, set designers, sound engineers, editors, directors, actors, and producers to create an engaging cinematic experience for the audience. 

They work long hours, often taking months or even years to complete a movie. There is much work in pre-production, production, and post-production, and expert individuals handle each sector. Did you know Orson Welles’ film The Other Side of the Wind took 48 years to make?

Filmmaking uses large and expensive cameras with advanced lighting and sound setups. Post-production is critical and involves editing, special effects, color grading, sound design, and much more. 

 

The Difference Between Videography and Filmmaking

What’s the use of knowing the definitions if we can’t distinguish between the two crafts? Explore the world of videography and filmmaking deeper to note their key differences. 

 

Videography

  • Purpose

You can hire a videographer to document a personal or professional event. They also create marketing and promotional content, training videos, and videos that capture real-time happenings and live performances. 

So many of us have hired a videographer on many occasions. I remember hiring them for my wedding day, again on my daughter’s birthday, and shooting a marketing campaign for my company. 

It is for the videographers that we can see our special day even after years. You can show your daughter’s first birthday party to her on her eighteenth birthday or screen your wedding day on your fiftieth wedding anniversary.

To quote famous director and screenwriter Peter Jackson, “The most honest form of filmmaking is to make a film for yourself,” and rightfully so. 

  • Equipment and Style

Videographers use portable and versatile equipment for shooting. Some standard cameras they use are mirrorless, camcorders, and DSLRs. More advanced videography cameras include action cams, drones, and spider cameras. 

Since they produce real-time shooting, they use lightweight, easy-to-install cameras. Both the budget and crew of videography tend to be small as they do not require multiple takes or elaborate post-production. 

The videographer is using a high quality camera to capture the scene.

  • Post-production 

As we have already mentioned, post-production in videography is simple. No VFX, sound design, or complicated procedure is needed. All they have to do is trim, transition, color correction, and sometimes add music or sound.  

 

Filmmaking

  • Purpose

There is not one purpose of filmmaking. Filmmaking is not just for entertainment; it is a great way to express one’s culture and tradition. Apart from that, filmmaking is the only medium that enables creative people from various sectors to work together and create visual magic. 

Movies like Shawshank Redemption, The Godfather, LaLa Land, Forrest Gump, Blood Money, etc., are unique creations of marvelous filmmaking. These movies have become cult favorites for movie lovers and will remain in everyone’s hearts for generations. 

Films can make you laugh, cry, excite, or send chills down your spine. Thanks to the writers, directors, actors, cinematographers, sound designers, and editors who bring the best of what they can offer that results in perfect storytelling. 

Filmmaking can also address social and economic aspects. It can be a medium of protest or can also inspire people. Since so many professionals come together, filmmaking generates revenue that impacts the country’s economy. 

  • Equipment and Style

Film production includes high-end and technologically advanced cameras, lighting, and lenses. The complex setups and management help filmmakers achieve their desired look. 

The visual and audio effects are tailored to the directors’ needs, obtained by different camera angles, lights, and editing. 

  • Post-production 

The post-production process in filmmaking is extensive. It takes specialized professionals to handle the editing of a film. In post-production, editors can alter sound, lights, VFX, and the character’s appearance. 

Behind the scenes of- The Dark Knight. Directed By Christopher Nolan.

Remember the 2009 sci-fi movie Avatar? It had the most advanced VFX work in the history of Hollywood cinema, so much so that it is still used as an example of mind-blowing VFX to date.  

 

Difference Between Videographer and Filmmaker

Experts in relevant fields handle videography and filmmaking. Let’s find out what their primary responsibilities are. 

  • Videographer

Simply put, a videographer is the person in charge of videography. They make real-life cinematography and capture private or corporate events. 

  • Filmmaker

Directors or producers are known as filmmakers. They are the masterminds behind the films that we see on screen. 

 

Difference Between Filmmaking and Film Production

While filmmaking and film production may sound similar, they are not. They are two sides of a coin. Think of them as the wheels and steering of a car; one is useless without the other. 

One handles the creative aspects, and the other is responsible for the technicalities and management. Both are equally responsible for successfully delivering the film to the audience. Let’s find out the difference between filmmaking and film production. 

 

  • Filmmaking

Filmmaking means bringing thoughts and ideas into reality. It includes creative work that writers, directors, actors, and cinematographers do.

The filmmaking process starts with an idea that then transforms into a script. Later, a casting director cast actors for the role. After that comes set designers, costume designers, sound men, makeup artists, and others depending on the project. 

A filmmaker must be visionary, able to work under pressure, and have the mentality to work in a team. Communication skills and decision-making ability are two major plus points in filmmaking. 

Filmmaker discussing their ideas with producers

 

  • Film Production 

Film production maintains everything from fixing the budget to handling the logistics. It includes all the technical and practical work that comes even before casting.

Film producers hire crews, allocate the budget for each sector, and be responsible figures for any needed funds. Location setup, miscellaneous expenses, organizing different sectors, etc., are critical responsibilities during film production. 

Producers are responsible for making schedules as well. The production team controls all these, including the starting and ending time of shooting, expenses for food, electricity, and vanity. 

 

What is the Difference Between a Video and a Film?

Just like videography and filmmaking, video and film are words with different meanings that are often misinterpreted. Some characteristics distinguish films from videos, so let’s look at them. 

 

  • Film 

Films are narratives that are played on screen. Either fictional or driven by a real-life incident. It has a beginning, interval, and ending following a storyline. High-end cameras and expert sound and editing panels work behind films. 

You can categorize films into different genres. Horror, comedy, action, science fiction, documentary, short film, thriller, historical, and biopic are all types of films. Films usually run for 1.5 to 3 hours. However, shorter-length films (short films) are also a category. 

Artists from various sectors come together in films. They explore different human emotions and capture people’s minds with exceptional direction and storytelling. Remember the iconic sinking of Titanic? It took everyone into an emotional rollercoaster. That is a classic example of world-class filmmaking. 

Behind the scenes of- The Traffic (2024)

How to Identify a Film?

  • Script
  • Direction
  • Narrative Structure
  • Acting
  • Cinematography
  • Post-production (editing, sound, VFX)
  • Release and Distribution

Examples of Some Most Renowned Films:

Inception, Home Alone, The Exorcist, American Beauty, Schindler’s List, etc.

 

  • Video

A video is shorter and a compilation of previously recorded clips. These are recorded using any camera, including mobile phones, webcams, DSLRs, camcorders, or analog videotapes. There are no strict rules for video recording. 

Thanks to the rise of digital media, videos are now not limited to home or for personal purposes. There can be different types of videos, such as entertainment, educational, marketing, wedding, behind-the-scenes, and lots more. 

The reels we see on Instagram and the videos we view on Facebook Watch, TikTok, and Vimeo are all video examples. Even the Netflix shows and TV series that you watch are a type of video. Videos are more personal and informal. 

A vlogger is recording videos for his vlog

How to Identify a Video?

  • Shorter-length
  • No story or narration
  • No restricted resolution
  • No theater release

Examples of Videos:

Web series, personal vlogs, wedding videos, training videos, etc.  

 

Videography Vs. Filmmaking: One Over Other

If you’re someone with an interest in videography or filmmaking but need to know how to start, here are some beginner tips from Hollywood’s celebrity director, Gus Van Sant. 

Gus Van Sant with *name the actors* Behind the scene of Good Will Hunting

 

Tips for Filmmakers

  • Start with a good script.

You know what they say: every good film starts with a good script. The script is like the foundation of the building. The stronger you build it, the better your movie will be. Make sure your film has a great storyline with well-developed characters. 

Emphasize all the sections of the film rather than only one part. Build an intriguing beginning and keep a steady flow of the story till the end. 

  • Learn the Technicalities

No matter which field of filmmaking you work on, you need to have a basic understanding of the whole process. From camera, lighting, and sound to planning a budget and assembling a team, learn the technicalities of the job. The more you know, the better you can arrange and understand the filmmaking process.  

  • Stay Flexible

Create a timetable that suits everyone onboard rather than making people adapt to your schedule. This keeps your crew pleased and helps you gain maximum off your scheduled routine. 

Capture shots from different angles instead of focusing on one camera. Wider shots will give you enough options during editing if the shot doesn’t seem too good during post-production. Try to find easy solutions to complex problems.

Since filmmaking requires teamwork, understanding different people’s opinions and maintaining communication will take a long way.  

 

Tips for Videographers

  • Plan 

Since videographers usually work individually or in small teams, it is important to prepare everything beforehand. Plan your shots before the event; you can carry a notepad with the required instructions. 

Listen to your clients and propose your ideas before the event to avoid confusion. Visit the venue before the big day and look for photogenic places. You can even discuss with the decorators and arrange photo booths, selfie stands, and staging areas to get better shots.  

Get all your equipment ready. Charge the batteries and prepare your lights, cameras, mikes, and lenses. If you are shooting in an open space, get permission from appointed authorities. 

Image of a candid videographer

A videographer on the shoting set

  • Lights, Camera, Action

I know videography does not always require directorial instructions, but what’s the harm in saying right? Jokes apart, shooting techniques do influence your videography in both positive and negative ways. 

Using the wrong equipment or a misfit shot can jeopardize your entire video. Use a tripod and understand the science behind lighting. For day shots, utilize the natural light. If not, use the appropriate lights to complement the frame. 

Wedding video tips include taking candid shots of your client instead of too many posed clips. This rule applies to anniversaries and birthday videography as well. Candid shots are appropriate even for behind-the-scenes videography. 

  • Technicalities

Gain complete control of your camera settings. Understand the different features and setting options. White balance, frame rate, ISO, aperture, shutter speed, and resolution all impact the final result of your shots. 

Post-production of the videography is also crucial. Add background music and color-correct the clips to enhance the viewer experience. 

 

Final Word

Videography and filmmaking are like two peas in a pot. It isn’t like one is better; both need equal dedication, creativity, and perseverance. While filmmakers may control what they record, videographers shoot live, requiring even more expertise. 

They only get one chance to capture real-life events, whereas filmmakers can cut, improvise, edit, and create the perfect shot. Both require the camera technique, using different lenses and ensuring smooth shots. 

While the difference is subtle, choosing between videography and filmmaking is your call now. So note down the essentials and get the camera rolling. 

 

FAQs

Are videographers filmmakers?

Yes, videographers can be considered filmmakers. They capture and produce videos, similar to filmmakers, though typically on a smaller scale and often for specific events like weddings or corporate functions.

What is considered filmmaking?

Filmmaking involves the process of creating a film, including scripting, shooting, editing, and producing a finished movie or video. It encompasses everything from narrative films to documentaries and includes pre-production, production, and post-production stages.

Is video editing a part of filmmaking?

Yes, video editing is a crucial part of filmmaking. It involves arranging and modifying video footage to create a cohesive and polished final product, adding effects, transitions, and sound to enhance the story.

Is cinematography the same as videography?

No, cinematography and videography are not the same, though they are related. Cinematography refers to the art and technique of film photography, focusing on aesthetics and visual storytelling in movies. Videography typically involves shooting and producing video content, often for events or smaller productions, with less emphasis on cinematic techniques.

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