Videography vs. Cinematography: What’s right for you?

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The advances in digital cameras have resulted in seismic shifts within the world of video production.

Whether it’s the increased accessibility to the general public or the steady decline in the use of film itself, there’s no denying the fact that the modern state of the industry looks much different than it did even a decade ago.

One aspect that’s yet to catch up, though? The terminology. 

At Chimaeric, one of the biggest initial hurdles we overcome with new clients is establishing a common vocabulary. The turbulence in the industry has resulted in outdated terms being used to reference modern practices. 

Take, for instance, the terms “cinematographer” and “videographer”. 

In the past, the distinction between the two was rather clear. A cinematographer was a professional who worked in the film industry, working with a camera crew to create a movie, typically using film. Meanwhile, videographers often were lone wolves hired to digitally capture smaller events like weddings.

These days, the difference in these terms is much less clear. Movies in theaters are shot digitally, and the gap in quality between studios and indie filmmakers has been considerably shrunk. 

So, if you’re a business looking to create a film, how do you know which role to look for?

At Chimaeric, we like to think of the two terms as they pertain to style. 

At its core, the term “videographer” refers to someone hired to capture. That’s not what we do at Chimaeric. We consider ourselves “cinematographers” because we are concerned with more than just what is happening. We’re concerned with why it’s happening and how we make the audience feel and understand that “why”. 

To us, the word “cinematographer” still represents filmmaking of a higher quality simply because of the expertise behind the strategy. These days, the term has much less to do with how a project is physically filmed (ie. digitally or on traditional film) and much more to do with the decisions behind framing, lighting, camera movement, and everything else that goes behind taking a project to that next level. 

We believe that when you hire a film production agency, you’re looking to accomplish much more than mere documentation. 

After all, you don’t want to just show something to your audience. You want to connect with them on a deeper level and motivate them to take action. 

Simply put, at Chimaeric, we are “cinematographers” because our projects tell stories that touch hearts and inspire minds.  

What will yours be?