When I (DJ AJ9) first met Anthony Gardner of AGinc. Video Production at Christine and Greg Beers’ wedding reception at Windows on the River in Cleveland, Ohio, where DJ Tony and I were providing disc jockey, master of ceremonies, and uplighting design services this past August, I was immediately struck by his playful spirit. Anthony is the kind of person who’s very enjoyable and entertaining to spend time with, but he’s also extremely professional when it’s time to get down to business (two traits that I look for in really strong wedding professionals as the skills that make them an extremely strong asset to a wedding production team from a pure customer service standpoint. After all — like their photographer — a bride and groom spend ALL DAY with their videographer, and what kind of people do you want to hang out with all day?!).
I could tell from the conversation and from his attitude that Anthony was very talented — he spoke with confidence and passion about his craft with a little twinkle in his eyes and a keen sense of quiet pride in his work — but I was BLOWN AWAY a few weeks later when I received a link to the trailer for Greg and Christine’s big day (just see for yourself, below!), but I want to offer a little bit of commentary on this video before I let you have it quite yet:
On the surface, this trailer is fantastic; I know you’ll enjoy it, and most of you readers weren’t even there that day! On the surface, it’s a great example of what anyone might like for their wedding trailer to look like. However, just beneath the surface, it gets even better; it becomes more than just a really well-shot, well-edited piece of film, but an absolutely masterful distillation of a particular perfect day that I happened to witness.
So, what is it that’s so great about this video? Well — some of the content and detail that Anthony thought to include in it is just so subtly stunning on a private level that brings a viewer who happened to have been at the event right back into that day’s magic, and I can’t think of higher praise to give to the creator of a lasting memento of your wedding day. That’s exactly what we want our wedding video for — to press “play” 20 years later and immediately be transported back to that day. From including two songs in the reel’s soundtrack that not only move well with the visuals but that also have special significance to the celebration to his affectionate handling of the editing of the couple’s private moments of amusement and delight to his inclusion of voice-over audio of their vows — I give this interpretation of Greg and Christine’s wedding day five stars!
Great Job, Anthony! (Ok, people: NOW you can watch it. There’s an interview with Anthony and some other videos down there, too! And after watching several of his reels, I’m now equally impressed with his versatility of style as I am with his work on the Beers’ wedding!)
Something New Entertainment’s DJ Anna-Jeannine “AJ9” Herman: What first interested you in videography?
AGinc. Video Production’s Anthony Gardner: I actually started out with my dad’s old camera and my friends rollerblading. I went around filming them and eventually purchased a computer to edit all the footage and from there out, I just loved videography and editing. I then went to school for it and started up my business and my love for it just keeps growing.
DJ AJ9: How long have you been videographing weddings?
AG: I have been videographing weddings for two years now, going into our third.
DJ AJ9: How would you describe your videographic style?
AG: I would say we have a cinematic video style. We like to make each video very unique and different from the other. Too many wedding videos look similar with basic shots, so we like to use lots of movement and unique angles to really set our videos apart from others.
DJ AJ9: What do you enjoy most about being a wedding videographer?
AG: I enjoy being at weddings in general, it is always a good time and it is one time that everyone seems to be happy. It can be stressful at times to make sure to get that “one good shot” but it always pays off in the end. I also love using DSLRs for video and have people pose for a photo when I am filming them. We always get a good laugh from that.
DJ AJ9: What is the most important consideration couples should make when hiring a videographer for their wedding?
AG: I would say choose a videographer based on their style. Everyone knows what they are doing, couples shouldn’t have doubt in that, but some want a very basic video to have something to remember the wedding and some want a very unique video that they will cherish for the rest of their lives and that others will always remember after watching it, which is how we like to make our videos.
DJ AJ9: What are some ways that couples can prepare for their wedding day to help ensure better videos?
AG: They should make sure that they aren’t “camera shy.” We get couples that love having cameras around them and get great shots with them, but we also get couples that can act scared of the cameras, which can ruin their video. We try to stay out the way as much as possible, so people don’t feel uncomfortable, but sometimes for certain shots we have to be close or direct them in a certain way and it can make or break the video.
DJ AJ9: What’s your favorite “must capture” moment during the day?
AG: I always like to get the groom’s reaction as the bride is walking down the aisle. Everyone is always looking at the bride and the groom’s reaction can go unforgotten and brides always love to see the reaction on video.
DJ AJ9: What’s the question I’m not asking you but you wish I would, or What’s the question that clients usually don’t ask you but you wish they would?
AG: If we like to party? (laughs). If clients ask us that, we know it will be a fun wedding because everyone will be having a great time, which always makes for a fun video to watch after the wedding. Also, if they ask us to party with them we can get even more great footage because we can get in close and make the video feel like you are there with them.
DJ AJ9: What do you look for in a great DJ and what are your DJ pet peeves? How can your DJ “co-workers” help you, hurt you, or irritate you throughout the day?
AG: We have worked with a lot of great DJs, including you. I like a fun DJ that gets involved with the wedding. Most will help us out with the schedule and make sure we are ready to get the shots before they do the event, which is always a great help for us. One pet peeve is when a DJ will play one style of music all night or they don’t try to get people to dance. I think if a DJ is having fun, dancing around, talking to people, and attempting to get more people to dance, then everyone will have a good time and be more willing to get up and dance.
About Anthony Gardner: I am 23 years old with a degree in video production and art. I have been working with video for about 10 years now. I started out with video of my friends and I rollerblading, I took a few classes in high school for the school’s television show, then went to college for video production. From there I knew I wanted to do this for a career. I started off with a couple sports highlight videos for my high school, which made me realize I could start up my own video production business. I did sports videos for a few years through college, then got into music videos, commercials/promos, short films, weddings, and more. From there I just kept growing and my love for this job kept growing, even though I wouldn’t really call it a job when I am doing something that I love.
About AGinc. Video Production: I made AGinc. Video Production when I started doing sports highlight videos. I started it to have a name with the videos. Then, I realized I could really make it a business and do so much more with it. I stuck with the name and made a website and business cards and it has been growing ever since, hopefully it continues to grow as well. I started working with a friend from school, which we did a few projects together. Then I met another partner of mine, Sean Grevencamp, which owns Seanie G Productions. We have been working together for about two years now and work on all our videos together. We hope to keep getting our name out there and continue this as our full-time jobs and hopefully get even more partners to work with us as we grow. We both love what we do and take lots of pride in every piece we create and we always welcome new clients so we can make a piece that can be truly unique and valuable to them.