Volume 1: Highlights. Pre-Ceremony. Same Day Edit ($90; $160 with Volume 2)
Volume 2: Ceremony. Post-Ceremony. Reception. ($90; $160 with Volume 1)
Joel Peregrine is an industrious sort of fellow.
His wedding work is, simply put, beautiful. His business acumen is, without a doubt, best described as shrewd. And his personality is very open and generous. And as a regular contributor to www.videouniversity.com's Wedding and Event forum, I've watched Joel grow in each of these areas.
His Wedding Videographer's Resource Series comes in two volumes, each featuring vanity offerings (as described in the July edition of Continuing Education, a collection of finished product, usually award-winning material presented without much fluff or fanfare--see Continuing Education: Watson Videography's Tutorial and Sampler Pack). There are more samples packed into these two volumes than I could keep track of. Each, alone, worth the price of admission.
But education is more than just pretty pictures, and the lack of instructive (rather than merely illustrative) content is always a potential issue with releases in the vanity category. Turn on the Commentary Track, and listen to Joel describe, shot by shot, what techniques he's using, not only in production, but in post as well. For example, a waitress he blurred out to add depth of field to a specific shot.
Another nice thing is that Joel will frequently reference what equipment, music, and software he uses, including which filters and effects. During the Preparation segment, Joel offers advice about using quotes, as well as anecdotal suggestions about creating a clean soundtrack for your productions.
Shooting almost exclusively handheld, or with a monopod, Joel offers, "I'm using the viewfinder. What that allows is another point of contact between you and the camera that keeps it steadier. You've got your hands on each side, you've got the foot on the ground, and you've got your eye on the eyepiece. You're forming a very solid base to keep that camera steady."
This is just one example of the solid information that is provided on Volume 1.
The real amazing stuff comes on Volume 2, in which Joel shoots four camera ceremonies. Solo.
You read that right. By. Him. Self.
In his first ceremony example, he explains exactly how he moves, changes cameras, turns a four-camera shoot into something resembling a seven- or eight-camera shoot. The only concern I had would be the obtrusiveness of continually moving from one camera to the next on both sides of the church.
One thing that I felt was missing is a chapter dedicated exclusively to the equipment that Joel references throughout the video. On many occasions, he'll talk about specific equipment and say something like, "If you email me, I'll send you the information." I found this to be keeping with his generous nature, but inefficient use of the DVD medium, where a simple slideshow at the end of the disc could provide much of the information. But this is a minor issue.
The biggest drawback I found was in navigation. For example, on Volume 1, in the Highlights segment, there are six different clips (nearly 30 minutes worth) and no way to get to each one quickly. Ideally, these would have been encoded with chapter stops at least at the beginning of each clip. This is a problem in each of the segments on both volumes, and results in an inefficient reference source.
In the end, I have to rate The Wedding Videographer's Resource Series as a solid buy for any event videographer, especially if you are looking to cut down on some of your labor overhead.
Whitefish Bay, WI