The wedding business. Boy oh boy… As a musician / photographer / film maker I have such a passion for creating stuff. From doing a low-budget music video to mid to high budget weddings and even now and again writing a song and recording it. They all have good and bad parts about them but as long as you love what you do and create the best content you can, you will love working. 95% of my work are wedding films. I love to be a part of someones big life changing day and design them this beautiful Hollywood style feature film. Feature film? well they average from 20-30 minutes in this world. What? yep. Well now think about it. You hangout with people for 10 hours, shoot clips through out the day, travel, set, up, break down, set up and break down again, you really only have maybe 3 hours of footage depending on how many cameras you have running.
I have been in this business in a few different ways such as a DJ, photographer and film maker over the past 18 years. I think the hardest and most rewarding is making a film. You need to really educate your clients about your product before they book you. Times are different today and some people still think that you’re gonna make them some 2 hour video. Cinematic videos are nothing like the old days. Out of the 2-3 hours of footage things end on the old cutting room floor as they say. Just like a tv show may film for five 15 -18 hour days and you get a 44 min tv show. Same with movies. Hollywood features can be filmed from 2 months to 3 years depending what the film involves. For wedding films to have a nice flow and be interesting to sit back and watch with out boring yourself and the people around you only needs to be 20-30 minutes. All the great keep moments, key parts of what the guest say. You have the length of a TV sitcom to tell a great story. Hey Seinfeld did it every week about nothing! you can do it about a day at a wedding.
As much as every wedding is the same, they are different. Each couple has their own personality. You can’t just make someone comfortable in front of a camera and spit out a detailed monologue about their life together. Some people want to do it and others want nothing to do with talking on camera. Is what it is. Your job is to make a beautiful film any way you can. You ever hear that a picture can tell 1000 words? well you have 24 pictures a second helping you tell this story! Sometimes when a couple doesn’t want to say anything you can maybe luck out and get a great officiant and use their words. Many times they have met up with the couple and learn about them and put together a whole back story you can use as voice over.
Well now you have all this great footage. what do you do now? Get cutting! I have this love hate relationship with editing and it has nothing to do with editing. I fight my computer most mornings till it feels like working or I’m yelling at it because It some how deleted half my edit. BUT, that put aside I put a lot of work in to post production as that’s where the art and magic is. I film in C-log, canon log, that’s a very flat image with a lot of range from the shadows to highlights. This gives you around 12 stops of control when you film like this. Yes, its more work in the end but its worth it when your work looks amazing. This is how its done in Hollywood. Film flat, color correct, color grade and some effects like light flair. Then Music selection. This is always crucial. A song selection can kill you! Use correct relevant music. These days I tend to stay more on the cinematic side, instrumental mostly (piano, strings, drums) sometimes a good song with vocals if I can also find the instrumental version. I like to no I can cut in and out of the vocals when needed. But a song needs to move you. Like every song and movie they need low points and high points. I try hard to find one song that has it all, and I do at times, other times I need to get 2 or 3 songs. It all comes down to the mood. Many times I have to edit songs to loop something or get to the climax faster. You do what needs to be done to get your video where is needs to be. Below is a little look in to post production. don’t forget about Foley! whats that? Foley is the reproduction of ambient sound such as foot steps, doors, clapping, wind any of that stuff. It is recorded with high-end equipment and edited back in to your film so that you can control all the sound and mix everything proper like you would a true movie. This will keep all your sound clean and fully mixable. When you filming a live event like a wedding audio can be a nightmare so we do everything we can to keep it clean and perfect.
As for editing, I mostly keep my story line normal. Im not a big fan of this time jumping for the most part. I like my stories to be like I’m watching a real movie. Start, middle and end. I find it a bit hard to follow when you are at a rehearsal dinner, then bride walking down the isle, then the grooms getting ready then to first dance back to the vows at ceremony. Some people love it but its just not really for me. Just creative what you love and what feels good for you. Good Luck!