After many run ins online and tons of Instagram and Facebook chatter, I finally was able to meet up with Keith Betters a few weeks ago while visiting Texas. It was already getting late as we hit up a Chili’s to finally meet face to face. It wasn’t two seconds before we were chatting away. We looked up and it was almost midnight! We closed the place down and still had more to talk about! He was my insta-friend. My brother from another mother. One of the best human beings I have met and I am super excited to share him with you. He is truly talented and has a heart of gold. I hope we can work on a film together in the future- Holy Cow! :) Everyone, meet Keith. He is one legit dude.
PHOTOBOOTH RENTAL- Excel Photo Booth
Dallas/Fort Worth, TEXAS
Yo and Hello! I’m Keith Betters, a cinematographer/videographer based in the greater Dallas/Ft. Worth area. I am the owner of a wedding film production company called Inspired Effects. We specialize in creating timeless, cinematic & cutting edge wedding films. We really try to tell the story of love and matrimony with a whole bunch of creative awesomeness thrown in. We have been in business for 4 years and have loved every single minute of it!
Something about myself, not having to do with film?
Well, being a native of the Dallas metroplex, I’m a huge Dallas Cowboys fan! HOW ‘BOUT THEM COWBOYS!!! I actually used to cry when they lost when I was younger. Ok, and maybe a few times as an adult too! It’s cool though, I’ll always have those glory days & 5 Super Bowls.
What am I most proud of?
At this point in my life, I am most proud of my 8 year marriage to my beautiful wife Renee Betters. We got married at a young age and struggled through the trials and tribulations that any young married couple would go through. However, we have made it this far and continue to learn one another. We continue to keep God first, and through him we grow closer together.
What’s in our bag?
We are an all dslr shooting team. We shoot with two(2) 5Ds and a t3i. Our goto lenses are: 1. Canon 24105mm f4
2. Canon 50mm f1.4
3. Tamron 2875mm f2.8
We also utilize a plethora of other tools to achieve our favorite style: motion. We fly with a Steadicam Merlin and slide with a Konova 39 inch slider. We say no to static shots! There is a time and a place for them but we really try to incorporate tracking shots whenever possible.
Where do I get my inspiration?
From several sources actually! However, from a film industry perspective, I like really big films and great cinematography. Michael Bay is my all time favorite director! He is all about tracking shots and his films are very big aka epic! I fell in love when I saw Bad Boys when I was 12. As far as wedding cinematographers, I’m inspired by Marrone Films of Montreal. They are really great story tellers, and their production value is just out of this world. There are plenty other wedding videographers who are great as well, but when I see Marrone’s work it just gets me super motivated and inspired.
Where do I go to learn more about film?
It’s really a culmination of different mediums. I probably learned most of what I know from online tutorials. Vimeo and Youtube have been an integral part of my development as a cinematographer. I also learn a lot from shooting and experimenting, especially when it comes to lighting and composition. I watch movies and tv shows to see different techniques as well. I always try to utilize them in different ways than the way I saw them implemented.
If I could go back and change one thing as a beginning filmmaker?
I really wish I would have switched to dslr earlier than I did. I made the switch in early 2011, however the 5Ds came out in late 2008/early 2009. I feel when I switched I had a lot of catching up to do. But of course, everything happens for a reason so I’m cool with how it all played out. I probably couldn’t afford a 5D at that time anyways, so it would have been just a dream.
Biggest challenge on wedding day?
TIME! We find time (or the lack thereof) the biggest challenge on wedding day. It’s not all about the volume of time but in how the time is structured & allotted. The execution of the itinerary and the efficiency of everyone involved makes the biggest difference! I have done weddings where we were there for 10 hours, but feel like we didn’t get all the shots we wanted. However, we’ve been at others for only 8 hours and got all the shots we wanted and more! Time management is critical to wedding day success for everyone. It really is a team effort!
5 Things Brides should know about getting the MOST out of their wedding day film!
1. Find a videographer that you are comfortable with and fits your style/needs
2. Make sure to pick a venue/locations that can provide the visuals that you want
3. Allot ample time and structure it accordingly for the photographer and videographer to get the shots they need. Have a planner/coordinator to keep it on track.
4. Communication with the creative team before and throughout the day is crucial to wedding day success. If times change or plans change, please let us know! We are flexible!
5. DO A FIRST LOOK! First looks are great for the moment and emotions, but they also add a ton of functionality to the day as well. Weddings where we do first looks normally flow smoother and make some of the best wedding films.
What advice can you give future wedding film makers?
Understand yourself! Know what you like doing, what you don’t like doing and how you learn best. I’m a doer. I have to do something to understand how it works. If you work better by understanding theory and the process of filmmaking, then maybe traditional school or vocational training is better suited for you. If you know yourself and how you learn and what your strengths and weaknesses are, then you can expedite the process and shorten the learning curve.
What advice do you give wedding film makers on perfecting the art of working with wedding day photographers?
It really starts in the consultation with the bride and groom. I always tell them what we need and ask them to let the photographer know as well, so they know what to expect on wedding day. I also ask for the photographer’s information and try to touch base with them prior to the wedding.
On wedding day it’s all about attitude & communication! I try to go in with the attitude that we are a team working to give the bride/groom some awesome moments. Ultimately, they paid for both, so I know its important to them that they receive both great photos & video.
Your videos are very cinematic! How do you attain this feel in your films on wedding day?
It really is a total process from start to finish. It starts with the bride and groom buying in to the idea of a cinematic film. Some shots we have to stage, some things we ask them to do over if we didn’t capture it right the first time. You have to remember: its a film! It’s very difficult to to get everything right in one take. However, location makes a big difference. The time of day we shoot is another factor. Sunset is just more romantic/cinematic than high noon!
I would like to take time to give Kathryn Swilling, the lead editor at Inspired Effects, a shout out for being flexible and conforming to our style of editing/producing. That’s not the easiest thing to do when you are a creative being yourself. But she tries new techniques and pushes the envelope, which I definitely appreciate.
Slow motion and speed ramping are two techniques we use to add a cinematic vibe to our films. Frame rate is probably the biggest factor. We shoot at 24fps (frames per second) which is standard for movies and film production.
What are your goals for the future?
Just to be become better at everything I do. Be a better husband, a better brother, a better friend, and of course a better filmmaker. It’s hard for me to be content, so I’m normally consumed with learning and improving my craft. Oh and last but not least: I want to shoot more across the
globe. I would love to shoot weddings across the United States and in other countries as well.
WOW, I just love this guy and I know you will to. Head over and friend him NOW! It is always important to know good people. Thank you Keith for POP’n in! We look forward to watching your business continue to grow. And we are so excited about our weddings with you up here in New Jersey!