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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