Welcome back wedding film gurus and talented Nu Bride Ambassadors, Jo and Apos of Urban Cinematography to answer everything you need to know about wedding films, such as; if you have a photographer to capture your wedding day, do you really need a videographer too?
Plus Jo and Apos have been kind enough to share some super helpful Do’s and Don’ts, tips to help you plan ahead and get the most out of your wedding film!
Over to you Jo and Apos!
Are wedding videos a luxury?
Can we simply ask, what do couples have left after their wedding day (except their own memories of course)? Photographs and Film.
Photographs capture a moment in time and its a great way to look back on the day. But they can’t capture an emotional moment in its entirety from start to end, with sound.
Films can capture so much more, breathtaking scenery unfolding, a rolling tear, a heartwarming vowel.
Many married couples enjoy hearing the thoughts and wishes (testimonials) from their loved ones recorded on film as well. A film is by far the best way to preserve and relive your wedding day. That’s why lately we are seeing couples spending and putting more value on their wedding film over their photography.
What’s the difference between a cinematographer and a videographer?
Complicated question, but the short version is: cinematography is more like cinema, and videography is more like the 9 o’clock news.
Cinematography prioritises quality over quantity and is more like a short film than a straight recording.
One thing that a lot of video people have obsessed about for a long time, is how to make their videos look more like Hollywood. But it’s only in the last few years, since the introduction of DSLR cameras, that the gap has really been narrowed, partly due to improved cameras and affordability. You can get a descent DSLR camera for about £3K including a lens. A movie camera like an ARRI could cost in excess of £100K! (Nu Bride: Holy Moly!)
Wedding cinematography is the art of using video, audio and music to tell a story as opposed to simply recording an event from beginning to end.
Unlike videographers, cinematographers do not record an entire event non stop. They capture small moments, more like photographs to tell a story, to relate to the couples personality.
Also the difference between videography and cinematography is that of a different look. Cinematography is more characterised by smooth camera movement, good quality sound, and the feeling of high production value, use of tripods, dollies, rails, cranes, stabilisers etc.
It’s very difficult to do a decent cinematic film with just one camera operator; that’s why we are seeing couples with very high expectations, turning the wedding film into a full production, where we have meetings regarding shoots, scripts, sound, lighting usually with a quite large crew.
Wedding cinematographers shoot more like photographers, running around to get shots from different angles, and trying to record beautiful images. Also, multiple cameras are used for recording, to add interest and meaning.
And we shouldn’t forget the different editing style cinematic films emphasise on the story, and colour grading work goes into the editing.
Traditional wedding videography could be edited in 10 hours; cinematic films are more like 40-80 hours worth of editing.
If we have already booked a photographer, do we need a videographer too?
The question every couple should ask is do you want a film of their wedding day? Do you want to see yourselves, friends and family enjoying themselves, dancing to music, cracking a joke. Do you want to hear your wedding vows? Do you want to see yourselves in twenty years or so?
Will you regret not having one?
How can I tell I’ve picked a great cinematographer for my wedding day?
Always make sure whenever possible to meet your cinematographer / videographer. If that’s not possible, speak to them on the phone or Skype.
It’s not just about how well someone shoots or edits a wedding, it’s also about personality, how someone interacts with others, how helpful or knowledgeable someone is.
Speak to them and get a feel for them. You will be spending your wedding day with them and if you don’t like them, or you get a bad vibe, look elsewhere! Never compromise on a feeling.
How can couples get the most out of their wedding film?
1. Please just forget the camera is there.
2. Try not to see the camera as a nuisance.
3. Just be yourself. Be as natural as possible and don’t worry about how you will look.
4. Have fun with your cameraperson, they will get better results for you if you are both happy and them too.
5. Oh and make sure your videographers are well fed and watered! Shooting weddings can be a long day on our feet – we need fuel to keep our energy up and yo help us produce the best work for you.
Always talk to your supplier and make sure from the beginning that you are both clear with what your expectations are. They will either agree that it’s reasonable, or steer you in the right direction and make helpful suggestions.
We would also suggest, if budget allows, to have a small engagement (video) shoot, before the wedding just to help you feel at ease in front of the camera. I find with most things in life it’s the unknown that makes us feel nervous so having a shoot will make it feel like second nature on the day
Trust your supplier, they have an awful lot of experience when it comes to possible problems or challenges that can occur, logistics and common mistakes that you probably hadn’t even thought of.
Can you film during the ceremony?
Absolutely. Even though we will need permission from the vicar/registrar and venue/church beforehand. There might be limitations as to where we are allowed to stand or film, but we do arrange this well in advance directly with the venue and / or celebrant with the couple’s help of course.
Is it possible to have sound from any live music we have on the day, captured in our wedding film?
Yes it’s possible. As long as you get permission from any performing artists at your wedding.
We have external microphones that we use, as extra to the microphone on the camera for better sound quality.
It’s worth noting, you will also need a dedicated camera set up for capturing footage from any live musicians.
Tips for couples to work around grumpy vicars or guests who don’t want to be filmed?
Always talk with your vicar and make clear that you would like to have your ceremony filmed as it means a lot to you. Be specific and be assertive when you talk to them. If they are impossible to deal with and not accommodating consider using someone else. We worked on a wedding where the couple decided to change vicar or church, because they didn’t want to allow filming.
As for grumpy guests, you can leave this to us! We never film guests that don’t want to be filmed! But usually we get them on side by the end of the evening. Humour is a wonderful tool. (Nu Bride: You charmers, you!)
Do guests need to sign a release form to be filmed?
Not the guests, but if the couple thinks there might be a problem, they should mention on their invites that there will be filming on the day. We work on high-profile weddings, where we were given instructions for certain guests not to be filmed or included in the film beforehand.
Highlight video – v’s full wedding film?
The highlights clip is generally offered in addition to a full wedding film. It captures the best moments of a wedding day put together with music. It has to be short, so it can be interesting and entice the spectators to want to watch more. The highlights clip is the one couples often choose to share with friends and family online.
We often separate the full wedding clip in multiple sections so its more interesting to watch i.e: ceremony, reception, speeches etc.
Do’s and Don’ts
Do go with your gut instinct when you are booking someone. If your first choice is a bit more expensive, find ways to rework your wedding budget to accommodate it.
Don’t chew gum! Chewing gum and smoking looks terrible on video. Also, request that your wedding party do not chew gum too, mints are ok.
Do act naturally. Try not to react to the presence of the camera.
Do always read and sign a contract. Always question anything you think is not correct.
Do ask if the videographer has Public Liability Insurance and don’t be shy to ask to see a copy of it. Your venue / ceremony venue may ask to see a copy of it too.
Don’t leave it until the last-minute to book a wedding film. Summer weekends especially, get booked up early. If you have already left it late it’s still worth a try, but booking as early as possible will give you the best choice of wedding videographers.
Don’t book on price alone. Editing a great video takes a lot of time and you get what you pay for!
Don’t worry about feeling self-conscious. You’re already the centre of attention and there’s so much else going on that you probably won’t even notice the cameras on the day.
Do see the video as an investment. The flowers, the cake, the dress, the suits and so many other details you’ll have spent so much time and money on, are just for the day, but video lasts a lifetime.
Do choose a company who can give you what you want, for example, their style of filming, editing and finished product.
Do research and watch their films to make sure you are happy with what you’re paying for. You must have a connection watching their films. We always love it when people cry watching our previous films!
Do speak to the videographer, tell them what you like or don’t like, if you have ideas however crazy, tell them about them, discuss your requirements in detail.
Do ask your chosen wedding film-makers who is going to be filming on your wedding day. There is no point meeting or talking to one person and having someone you have never met before turn up at your wedding.
Do ask about delivery times. Editing takes a long time and some companies take over a year to deliver! (Nu Bride: NOOOO! I thought 3 months was long! Readers – A year is simply not acceptable – the average turnaround time in the UK market is 2-3 months)
Boom! So there you have it!