Solutions to Video Needs - Near and Far


In 1992, we started a video service for the San Juan Islands. Élan Video is the business that we set up to carry out hundreds of projects, such as:

• Weddings
• Lectures
• Sports
• Graduations
• Insurance Documentation
• Legal Proceedings
• Stage Productions
• Transfers
• Oral Histories
• Video Biographies

We have completed many projects, large and small:

• San Juan and Orcas Island Theatres
• Public Schools
• Skagit Valley College
• Churches
• Businesses
• Realtors

• Town of Friday Harbor
• San Juan County
• Sherriff's Department
• Prosecuting Attorney's Office
• Board of Commissionersbusinesses and realtors, for the Town of Friday Harbor, for San Juan County—the Sheriff, the Prosecuting Attorney’s office, the Board of Commissioners.

We have provided the official filming of both the Senior Graduation and our High School football team for the last few years. We have supplied footage for television stations in Seattle and Florida, and our videos have gone all over the country and abroad. We have video taped weddings locally and throughout the Northwest, even edited weddings conducted and filmed in other states.

The variety and complexity of the work has helped us to expand our capabilities and to successfully complete any kind of assignment. We enjoy working with people, customizing our projects in response to the individual clients, and introducing our distinctive style and creative touches with "élan" (momentum and enthusiasm).



Our Approach

Most brides and grooms want a complete record of their wedding day, and we provide long-form coverage for them. We also offer the option of the short-form, which includes quick highlights.

Actually, what we do most typically—and best—is a wedding video with our style but also with what you want, within your budget. We want you to hear and understand the different options, but the final decision is yours. We encourage you to communicate with us early, clearly, and frequently—at the planning stage—and to visit our studio. Only then will you be reassured that on the wedding day, we’ll go about our business in an organized, efficient, and discreet way (one compliment that we get quite often and that we love to hear is that we did our work discreetly and non-obtrusively).

We use digital equipment—in the field and in our studio on San Juan Island: 1, 2 or 3 cameras and a computer-based editing setup for post production. Using the footage that we captured on the wedding day, we build a video narrative with a beginning, a middle and an end.

Our Wedding Packages and Prices

The options described below are based on a charge of $65/hr for filming and $75/hr for editing, and include set-up time, up to 6 hours at the event, all the editing, as well as transportation and 3 copies of the final edit. We, of course, welcome the client's input.

Our prices vary—the nature and extent of coverage being the determining factor. General pricing is shown below, please call us at 360-378-4961 or 360-378-8565 to get at specific quotations—we'll email you the answer.

1-camera wedding - $ 550 and up
Simple filming of the ceremony, a bit more, minimal editing. Complete filming & editing of all events.

2-camera wedding - $825 and up
Filming & editing of everything

2-camera ceremony - only $790 + -

Weddings for less than $500 - these are still possible, call us to find out how.

The in-camera edited wedding - $450 and up
No post-production (studio) editing, just a carefully prepared taping with 1 camera. If, later on, you decide on a studio-edited version, there is an additional charge of $250 to $500.

The through-the-years video - $150-$400
We can project, at the time of the reception, a short (5-10 mn) video of the bride and groom growing up and becoming involved in the relationship. We build a soundtrack for it—combining music (your choice) and separate interviews of the bride and the groom. This is often a very popular mini-event, usually scheduled before the guests sit down to eat. If you need it, we have the necessary equipment.

Note: The difference between "studio editing" and "in-camera editing". In a fully-edited video (studio editing), the filming is extensive (2 or more cameras), a bit more spontaneous, and the editing in the studio is thorough and meticulous—and includes the building of new video sequences—such a photo montage set to music to start the video, or a slow-motion sequence at the end. On the other hand, the unedited video (in-camera) involves 1 camera, a more carefully scripted filming and no studio editing. Well executed, both approaches are attractive, both have their merits. It’s your call!

For extra charges and payment schedule, please call us at 360-378-4961 or 360-378-8565.

Some Features of the Wedding Video

You decide what goes into your wedding video, but without specific directions we usually include most of the following features:

The filming of the rehearsal the rehearsal dinner the photo session the ceremony the receiving line the toasts the garter toss the bouquet toss the cutting of the cake the First Dance and other traditional dances sound bites (well-wishes, words of advice...) from guests

The post-production editing of a photo montage, a slow-motion recap, a short reception video, a love-story sequence (after review), videotaping done by guests, and a credit roll

Note: On Audio & Video We work hard at capturing good video and good audio. We use digital cameras and take along extra mics—and sometimes extra lighting. A minimum amount of lighting is required to obtain clear video. Also, a relatively quiet spot is needed for recording guests' sound bites. As a result, we’ll want to talk about the site of your wedding.

You've read our information, you've contacted us: now what?

After your initial contact, the following sequence is set in motion:

  1. Information and Profile: Our Studio points you to our packet of information, plus a "Wedding Profile"—specifics about your wedding and what you expect of us.
  2. Estimate of Fees: From the information above, and from your visit to our studio and/or e.mails or telephone conversations, we arrive at an estimated fee.
  3. Agreement/Contract: A summary of what you asked us to do and the conditions under which we'll work together.
  4. Signed contract and deposit: After reviewing it, you send it to us signed, along with the suggested deposit: this guarantees our mutual commitment to work together.


The Wedding season may represent an unusually intense period of activity for us, to the point where we seem to do nothing else. But in the span of a whole year, clients call us to cover many other kinds of events...



Anniversaries (for instance, the 10th anniversary, recently, of the founding of the Friday Harbor chapter of Amnesty International)

Life Celebrations

Family Histories


Video Biographies (sometimes known as Tribute Videos)



The Documentation of Processes Such as the preparation of 12 DVDs of the training sessions at the end of the construction of the new Waste Water Treatment Plant for the Town of Friday Harbor, or our "lending a hand" to the videotaping (a production of Westsound Video, from Orcas Island), of the Washington State Ferries construction of the new ferry dock in Friday Harbor, etc.


We film, edit, transcode, dub. We build soundtracks and voice-overs. We put presentations together (and can project them with our own equipment), we transfer just about anything to video. We do consulting for clients' video projects. Occasionally, we rent out equipment—and even arrange time on our equipment in our studio, etc.


Special events—weddings, reunions, anniversaries, life celebrations, meetings, family histories

Art exhibits, lectures, readings, sermons

Sports events, graduations, real estate, insurance documentation

Legal depositions, stage productions, promotions, documentation of complex processes

Local history, instructional, how-to, training, demonstrations

General Services: Pricing

Pricing is based on:

  1. An hourly charge for filming ($65/hour) and editing ($75/hour), and
  2. the specifics of the editing—complexity, extent of the editing, late changes in the project, etc.

General Services: Specific Quotes

Weddings, parties, dinners, etc.

  • Nonrefundable deposit: $100+
  • 1-camera, no editing: $500+
  • 2-camera, editing: $825+
  • Additional copies $15 (VHS) $20 (DVD)
  • Re-edited copies $25+
  • Other possible costs: shipping, extra filming and/or editing, off-island locations


  • All popular formats: VHS, VHS-C, 8, Hi8, DV, DV-CAM, DVD in any direction / No copyright-protected material
  • $10 or $15 for the first hour, plus $5 per additional half-hour

Dubbing in bulk: 100+ copies

  • Dual charges: dubbing to VHS tape, or to DVD
  • 1-20 copies $10/$15 each (add $5 for next half-hour)
  • 21-50 copies $5/$7 each (add $2 for next half-hour)
  • 51-100 copies $2.50/3.50 each (add $1 for next half-hour)
  • 100+ copies $2.10/3.10 each (add $1 for next half-hour)

Repair of broken cassettes (VHS)

  • $17 to open/close the shell & repair/splice the damaged tape.
  • It is often advisable to avoid re-using the damaged tape and to recopy it to a fresh tape—add $20.

Transcoding to and from foreign formats
NTSC (US, Japan, etc.), PAL (Europe, the World), SECAM (France, Middle East, Russia, etc.)

  • $20 for up to an hour of material, per cassette
  • $5 for each additional hour

Transcoding to DVD: $25 for up to an hour of material

Editing camera footage

  • $75/hr, plus cost of material and labeling
  • Typically, when dealing with material shot by the client, the client has to submit a "paper edit"—a list of instructions and segments to be assembled.

Transferring film, photos, slides to video

  • Basic charge is the same as for Editing above
  • 15-.20 c a foot of film
  • $3-$5 per photo or slide
  • Extra copies of the final video: $10-20 each

Other services—rental of equipment, booking of studio time, etc:
Call 360-378-4961 or 360-378-8565 for details.


Producing the Long Project

Elan Video is a production company that is willing to work very closely with the client. Unusual access to our studio is possible—even the rental of studio time for the client wishing (and showing the capacity) to work directly with the equipment . Not for the faint of heart !

The Production of a lengthy project...

Our estimate of the cost of a Long Project comes from the estimates at each of 3 stages—planning, filming, and post-production. (Note: What follows is particularly true for rather elaborate projects, carried out over a period of weeks or months. For simpler projects, certain steps actually take place simultaneously, which results in disproportionate but welcome savings.)

Planning / Scripting / $50 per hour

  1. Concept Design
    A series of conversations/meetings with the client to determine the nature and scope of the video--details being outlined in a written document, subject to revision by the client. No firm price is estimated until Concept Design is completed.
  2. Draft Script
    Usually Audio first, followed by Video—timed correctly. Submitted to the client, subject to revision by the client.
  3. Shot List
    An organized list of the video segments and underlying audio, grouped by locations, with equipment details and daily assignments.

The first stage is the most time-consuming and expensive, even though it is done at a lower hourly rate.

Video Capture / $65 per hour

On location, the daily work consists in systematically going through and executing each shot of the Shot List. With a well-thought-out concept and quality Shot List, this need not be time-consuming or expensive. In fact, the filming can, for certain events, be not much longer than the event itself, or the demonstration of the process being documented. Even though filming is done at a higher rate, it can be the least expensive item in the budget. 2-10 hours

Post-production / $75 per hour

Back in the studio, all the footage is logged and organized. Video and audio processing are dealt with. The editing is carried out.

Before a final Master tape is recorded, a couple of rough-cuts are usually prepared for the client’s perusal and revisions—small changes, within the parameters set originally in the Concept documents.

Additional Expenses

The charge estimate of a Long Project includes, in addition to the above expenses, 3 other charges related to travel time and time away from the studio. [Weddings, which can be elaborate enough to enter the Long Project category, have extra charges of their own.]

  • Travel Expenses (at cost) - flight, car rental, gas, meals, hotels;
  • Filming Expenses - tapes, equipment rental, etc.
  • Travel Time - $25/hr

[Example for an upcoming production: estimate travel time of about 20 hours for the round trip—ferry to Anacortes, then to SEA-TAC, plane ride to Baltimore, car ride to shooting location, ride back to airport, plane ride to Seattle, car to Anacortes, ferry ride to Friday Harbor]


We are linked to Web sites that are chosen to help you with various aspects of your special event.

Directions to our Studio on San Juan Island
Our Studio is located only a couple of miles from Friday Harbor. Please call us, and we’ll email you road directions.

Out-of-state clients who have never traveled to our community will find the Washington State Ferries web site of great use, and will understand how to go from where they live to where we live.

The FH Chamber of Commerce has gathered a very wide array of information about San Juan Island and Friday Harbor, as well as lists of merchants for brides, on its web site.


You can also see the San Juan Island Web Directory.

The Lopez Island and Orcas Island Chambers of Commerce web sites are worth a visit, as well.

The Visitors' Bureau in Friday Harbor also supplies very good information to visitors on the San Juan Islands—accommodations, entertainment, lodging, services available, etc.

The Sanjuansnavigator is a boaters web site for those plying the waters of the San Juan Islands.  Local knowledge generously supplied by experienced island boaters is free and gives you the "ins and outs" of cruising these waters.  Full color VHS and DVDs are available, as well:  they make the perfect gift for your boating friends.  Produced by Elan Video studio and Marty Garren, author of the venerable Pocket Guide.


Specials and Promotions



Our Video Library

You can order these 2004-2006 videos (DVD or VHS)

  • Charlotte’s Web
  • The Laramie Project
  • Under Milkwood
  • Song and Dance
  • Jacki Altier-Roth
  • The San Juan Singers’ Messiah
  • Chamber Music San Juan’s Concerts

FFAQ              Fairly Frequently Asked Questions

Some of you have asked questions of interest to all.

Does Elan Video supply the raw footage on demand?

We almost never do, and when someone inquires we always wait after the event, after the editing, after the distribution of copies to discuss the request.  The couple of occasions when we did hand out the raw footage, we worked up a separate agreement--2 aspects of which are that the original tapes are sold at a premium price (up to $100 per tape) and that the client is then free to use them as they wish (including a re-edit).

Camera footage is a significant potential source of income--that is why we part with it only after careful deliberation. 

Is it preferable to record on DVD-R? or DVD+R?

In our studio, we record exclusively on DVD-R discs—it guarantees playback on just about every DVD player, which includes your PC or you Mac.  More compatibility problems on older machines.

Duplicating to DVD+R is also a very viable way of duplicating to DVD, but there playback compatibility seems to be less than 100%, although it must be said that if your player was bought recently (particularly Panasonic or Pioneer), then it will surely playback anything.

Our duplicates are very faithful reproductions of the Master DVD, and they play back quite reliably.

Can Elan Video handle the transfer of videotapes (whether they are VHS, 8-mm, Hi8 or DV) to DVD?

Yes.  This is one of our frequent activities.