Videography vs Cinematography
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The words videography and cinematography are thrown around all the time these days, but what exactly are we referring to when we use videography vs cinematography?
You may be surprised to learn that they are two quite distinct things! Yes, videography vs cinematography both relate to recording and capturing footage, but that my friends is where the similarities end.
What is videography? What is cinematography? What’s the difference between cinematography and videography? Should we use the two terms interchangeably?
Continue reading this ultimate videography vs cinematography guide to find out the answers to all those questions and more!
What is Videography?
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According to dictionary.com, videography is defined as, “the art or process of making films with a video camera.”
However, typically when we use the word today we’re referring to the use of a video camera in order to capture moments and live events.
What is Cinematography?
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Cinematography, on the other hand, is defined by dictionary.com as, “the art or technique of video photography, traditionally used in movies, but also in the production of TV shows and other video content.”
Once again, this is not the most accurate definition. Cinematography can better be defined as the strategic planning, artistic direction, and artistic decision-making that goes into the process of creating a video production. Cinematography is also known as direction of photography.
Videography vs Cinematography: What are the Differences?
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Now that we know the definition of cinematography vs videography, let’s take a closer look at the major differences between them in the real world!
Videography vs Cinematography Difference #1 - What do we call the person who works in this field?
Someone who works in videography is called a videographer whereas someone who works in cinematography is called a cinematographer. A cinematographer is also commonly referred to as a Director of Photography (DP), depending on his/her exact role in the project.
Videography vs Cinematography Difference #2 - What do they film?
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Videography focuses on shooting live, unplanned events. Weddings, concerts, parties, conferences, school functions, etc. Any sort of live event that you want filmed is the job of a videographer.
Cinematography is all about films and television. A cinematographer can work on feature films, short films, scripted television series, and miniseries.
Videography vs Cinematography Difference #3 - How much control do they have on what is being filmed?
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In videography, you have no control over the events you are filming. Since everything is live and unplanned, your only goal is to capture the moments, not direct what is happening.
On the flip side, as a cinematographer you have complete control over everything. You are in charge of lighting, shot composition, the mood, the colors, and the camera movement. You work hand in hand with the director to paint the exact images and story you desire.
Videography vs Cinematography Difference #4 - How large are the teams they work with?
Videographers usually work solo or with super small teams. Normally one videographer is hired out for a project and if she/he thinks they need more cameras rolling and more hands on deck, they will bring on additional people as necessary.
Cinematographers are on the complete opposite side of the spectrum. They exclusively work in teams, oftentimes extremely large teams. If a director of photography had to control everything on a set by himself, no production would ever be completed!
Videography vs Cinematography Difference #5 - What does the final product look like?
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In videography, the final product is for the most part a summary or “highlight reel” of what took place at the event. Only the most important and exciting moments make it into the final video. On a side note, the videographer is ordinarily the editor of the video as well.
In cinematography, the final outcome is a film, short, or television show. A complete story is told from start to finish, and all the necessary shots will be included in order for the audience to understand the story. The cinematographer may sometimes work with the editor in post production, but normally not.
Videography vs Cinematography Difference #6 - What’s the ultimate goal?
The goal of videography is to capture the moments and atmosphere of an event, and transmit them appropriately to the audience. Additionally, the goal of a videographer is to make money for his business.
The goal of cinematography is to tell a story and entertain the viewers. They hope to create an artistic final video that will captivate the audience's attention. The cinematographer's goal is to create the work, not to make money. That is the goal of the production department.
Last Thoughts on Videography vs Cinematography
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So, are videography vs cinematography the same thing? NO! Should the two terms be used interchangeably? NO! As I’ve explained above, these are two very distinct pursuits.
Congratulations! Now you know the biggest differences between videography vs cinematography, and you can use the two terms confidently and correctly from here on out!