I used to think there was 2 types of wedding video. One is the type that everyone is familiar with, where a video guy shows up with a large camera and a blinding light planting himself in the middle of the ceremony then gives you the tape. The other is the wedding videographer that films artistically and edits a video or "film" for you and it is like a music video. Common marketing language for this type of videographer is "Cinematic" or "Wedding Cinematographer".
But as I've grown in this craft and grew as a storyteller, I realized I fall into the third category. I fall into the wedding filmmaker category. What separates a wedding video from a wedding film is a distinct story. Many videographers that edit highlights will claim they "tell a story", but to be quite honest and blunt, video footage edited over a song where half of it is footage of flowers and overhead drone shots is not telling a story. In order for compiled video footage to become a story it has to make sense as a whole from start to finish. Within the overall story are smaller stories that are noticeable and has a clear start to finish.
The approach to wedding filmmaking, in my opinion, is quite simple. We are no different than the filmmakers that make documentaries you see on Netflix or any of your favorite streaming services. We don't go to film a wedding to film and event. We are filming a documentary of one of the most important days of a couples life. We have to pay attention to the relationships and interactions that play out throughout the day. Not only the relationship of the couple, but the relation ship with their friends and family. We record the audio of the ceremony and reception speeches to implement into the film to help tell the story. We film with intent. We set up and compose shots not just for art, but to create or bring back the emotion to the viewer.
We ask ourselves questions as we are filming such as, "How is the bride feeling? How is the mother of the bride feeling? How can I set up this shot to authentically convey the feeling of how the mother of the bride feels helping her daughter button her dress?" Then during editing, "how can I color grade this shot to help the emotion, what part of this musical score can I use here to help the emotion, what part of the vows or speeches can I use here to help the emotion, and how does this scene fit in with the rest of the day?" We ask ourselves so many internal questions producing each and every wedding film. We are in a constant state of problem solving. In the weeks and months before editing the final film, we are constantly thinking of how to craft this story as authentically, beautifully as possible, and also works as a true reflection of the couples love and individual personality.
Wedding filmmaking is documentary filmmaking. It is storytelling. Footage without story is just video.
As an engaged couple to be married, ask yourself... do you want just motion photographs, or do you want your story told?
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Many times during my consults with potential wedding couples inquiring about wedding filmmaking they tell me they are not sure what questions to ask. Sometimes they are asking the wrong questions... With that said, here are the following questions you SHOULD ask...
1) What is the name of the wedding videographers that will be filming my wedding?
If the wedding video company you are talking to does not know the name of, AT LEAST, the primary videographer that will film your wedding... RUN. Why? Because they are a volume videography company that hires random shooters (at times VERY last minute) to show up and film your wedding.
2) How many videographers will be at my wedding?
You want at least 2 videographers at your wedding. Don't get me wrong, 1 videographer can get the job done, but the video will be better with at least 2. Believe me, I've solo shot many weddings before.
3) Can you send us links to 3 wedding films NOT featured on your website?
First off, let me tell you all of my films are on my website. I want my couples to do their due diligence before hiring me as their wedding filmmaker.
Many other wedding videography companies only post their "featured" films, or the ones they think are their very best films. But the question is, are they consistent? If they film 20 wedding a year and only showcase 5, how are those other 15? You want to see that your wedding filmmaker can consistently deliver great films no matter the wedding budget, culture or location the venue takes place!
4) Can you send us links to films you produced 3 years ago, 2 years ago, 1 year ago?
You want to see progression. Whether it be the cinematography, image quality, colors, editing flow, and/or storytelling abilities, you want to see improvement throughout the years in your videographers skills. Seeing no change in a videographers portfolio year to year indicates complacency and lack of passion. Filmmaking is an art and as an artist we are always looking to become better and better at what we do. Their is no end to this journey. If a videographers work is stagnant or their edits seem templated, they don't care enough.
5) WATCH THEIR FILMS
The films speak for themselves. NO MATTER HOW MUCH THEY CHARGE. Regardless of how well their website is designed or who recommended them, WATCH THEIR FILMS. Some videographers have great marketing and websites, some wedding videographers are good friends with your photographer or planner that recommended them, but their work may not be the best for you. WATCH THEIR FILMS!
#weddingplanning #weddingplanner #Weddingvideographerquestions #weddingvideographer #weddingcinematography #weddingvideography
Here is a little family Christmas film. Merry Christmas to all, from my family to yours.
Most people out there know Desmond Dennis and Destinee's wedding from Desmond's musical performance video we filmed that went viral. It was featured on various difference social media outlets as well as TV. Desmond's performance of "Can You Stand the Rain" by New Edition was amazing. But it was not quite as amazing as their entire wedding day. Here is their full wedding film.
A few weeks ago we traveled to Galicia, Spain to film a wedding.
As always, traveling is always a challenge, yet alone traveling with video camera equipment.
Thankfully, we always pack light. We were able to bring three camera bodies. 2 Sony a7III and 1 a7RIII. We had a multitude of lenses including a 70-200 GM. We had 2 tripods, 3 Came-tv Boltzen lights and 3 light stands as well as 1 DJI RONIN-S gimbal and a Zhiyun Weebill Lab gimbal.
All with just two carry-on Nanuk cases and 2 backpack personal items for 2 cinematographers.
Here is the sneakpeek from the wedding!
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What an incredible wedding it was at the Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington DC.
It was my first ever wedding where I had the amazing opportunity to do a full SAME DAY EDIT FILM for the bride and groom.
For those that don't know, same day edits are films 3 to 5 minutes in length that are edited and premiered on the same day of the wedding during the reception.
Nhu Thuy and Alexander were amazing and understood the work it would take to be able for us to capture their day and to be able to produce a film worthy of their love story to premier the same night of their wedding.
I cannot thank my team enough for helping me pull this off.
We filmed their amazing day starting at 9:30am. I began editing as my two assistants took over filming at around 5pm. The video premiered at 9:00pm during the reception.
@kinpix Kin Hulamm is a beast. Dude is talented, has high energy, super creative, and has an incredible determination to get the shot when we absolutely need it. He has been huge in pushing me to get better and better in my craft. Hopefully working for me helped push him the same way he has pushed me.
@purpuhl_media RJ Goodwin... This dog can film. Point blank. His work in automotive films speak for itself. He was called upon somewhat last minute. He is also creative and can get the shot on demand.
Truly an honor to collaborate with the finest of creatives. No .. we aren't world renowned filmmakers, but we have the drive to create, push ourselves and eachother, get better and better each time we film, and that is what makes us great. It is the journey.
This has been such a gratifying and humbling experience.
Below is the REACTION of the bride and groom watching their wedding film and the film itself. Enjoy!
Washington DC | Maryland | Virginia Cinematic Wedding and Event Videographer / Cinematography
Oxon Hill Manor - 9/22/2018
We had the honor of filming this beautiful wedding at Oxon HIll Manor.
They got ready at The Mandarin in Washington, DC. Being a wedding videographer in the Washington, DC, Maryland, Virginia area provides us with the privilege of filming at many different venues. Farms, Hotels, Mansions, and Vinyards. The Oxon Hill Manor provides a little bit of everything in one location. Combine the amazing venue and the beautiful personalized details of Erika and Shayan's wedding, it was not difficult for us get the perfect shots.
Every wedding is different, and for this, we used 35mm and 50mm lenses for most of the day. 85mm and 135mm provided the telephoto reach. 16-35mm lens provided extreme wide angle and the standard 70-200 was used for ceremony. Cameras used was a Sony a7III, Sony a7RIII, and Sony a6500.
9/15/18 - Leesburg, VA
This wedding was beautiful. This was our first time at Faith Like a Mustard Seed Farm in Leesburg, VA. With Hurricane Florence threatening all week, the weather turned out PERFECT on their wedding day.
This was filmed with Sony a7III and Sony a7RIII cameras.
Lenses ranged from Sony 35, 50, and 85 prime lenses.
TAGS: Wedding videography, Virginia Wedding videography, DC wedding videography, MD wedding videography, Maryland DC Virginia Wedding, Wedding Filmmaker