Thursday, January 15, 2009

Snap! and Chat with Videographer Dave Bettencourt

Trish, Melissa and I had a fun time hanging out with our friend Dave the other day and learning a little more about his booming business and unique style. Dave is funny (dry and witty - not goofy -silly), artsy, funky and down to earth. I fully expect to be walking the red carpet someday on the way to one of his big film premiers. Pretty smart of us to make friends now right before he really hits the big time right?!

"I want to be the Oliver Stone of wedding videos... just without the controversy and conspiracy theories..." says Dave.

It's easy to see that Dave has a unique style and vision. He started his own business in 2002 after a few less than successful attempts at working for other videographers in the industry. Apparently they weren't really down with Dave's creative genius or fresh approach. Well, no matter- a new business was born and brides all over Rhode Island started having really cool wedding-movies instead of your run of the mill wedding-video.

Dave went from shooting about 5 events per year to the 40+ events that he does now.

Hey there's me... the roving reporter. Tell us a little bit about film verses video Dave...

"I started shooting film at weddings about two years ago. Not too many videographers do it. I really enjoy it and my couples do too. It's cool, it has a different look and feel. I shoot with super 8 and 16mm film cameras. Super 8 is like the great scratchy old home movies, film school students love to use it. 16mm is still used by professionals, it's got really good colors... it's like playing Atari... it's cool again. I shoot film at almost every wedding now, it's my calling card and helps me stand out from the throng. My style is laid back and documentary, I really just like having fun."

How did Dave get into film making?

"Well, my grandpa used to shoot super 8 movies all the time- but I don't like to say that I got my skills from him because he shot everything from the hip! He'd hold his camera at his hip and just start shooting. All of the movies are at this weird waist level. I don't know if he thought he was a cowboy or what..:

Disclaimer: David Bettencourt does not use the from the hip shooting technique made popular by his grandfather.

Seriously though, Dave is really knowledgeable about all things movie... He is a graduate of film school from BU. "For 9 years of my life, I made a living as a movie projectionist- pretty much if you went to the movies between 1994 and 2001, I was the one showing it to you. Basically, I spent a lot of time in the dark by myself."

Awww... poor Dave. We are so glad you've come out and joined us in the light!

Outside of his endeavors in wedding video, Dave has also had several really successful personal projects. He made a film called "You Must Be This Tall" which is a history of Rocky Point Park.

It premiered at the Stadium Theatre in Woonsocket and got 5 stars in the Providence Journal.

His latest movie is called "On The Lake" and is a story about Tuberculosis, love stories from a sanatorium at the turn of the century. This film premiers February 13th at the Stadium Theatre.

His latest project is a film about the punk rock band Neutral Nation.

That's Dave's mom in the photo below, she's posing in the photo booth at Rocky Point Park.

We actually met Dave through Melissa (snap girl). Melissa worked at a comic book store with Marisa (Dave's future wife). Apparently Dave would come in to the store to visit and one day was browsing around the Star Wars action figures... Marisa said "How come you don't look at me like you look at those action figures?" Dave said, while holding Luke Skywalker with detachable hand, "Because your hand doesn't come off." And the rest is history...

Dave's turn around time (a big question from a lot of our clients) for wedding video is about 12-14 weeks. If he shoots film, that slows him down a little because the process is a lot more involved- worth the wait if you ask me! He loves to use good music in his videos, not "Fly me to the Moon" like everyone else uses... "I like to use as much Rock n Roll as possible... the Kinks, the Beatles, etc. etc."

Does he get specific requests for the "look" of the video?

"I had a bride ask me if I could make her video look like Kill Bill - that was weird. I had another bride ask me if I could make it look like the wedding stories on TLC, I said sure... but your guests will all have to stand behind my crane." (see what I mean about dry and witty?)

What do Dave's clients get? A relaxed, 90 minute documentary style film from their wedding day. The DVD has menus, chapters, and scene selection. They also get a 3 to 5 minute film highlight.

Oh and don't underestimate the value of having a quirky, witty creative genius at your disposal the day of your wedding. You never know when wedding film history might be made!

(think red carpet).

Get in touch with Dave to do your video at:

Dave- thanks for chatting it up with the snap girls! You were a terrific subject- and very photogenic too!

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