Lights, Camera...Love!

By Emily Blasik | Make Favorite

Photo Serendipity Photography

You take your seat in the hushed movie theater. The lights go down and you feel the pulse of anticipation that comes before the opening credits flash onto the screen. You reach for your sweetheart’s hand, and wait for the magic to begin. 

Sitting down to watch your wedding film should feel exactly like this. And the video of your once-in-a-lifetime occasion should deliver all the emotion, action, scenery and spectacle of a great cinematic work. Choose the right filmmaker for your special day, and you’ll enjoy the movie-watching experience of a lifetime, every time you watch it.

Say “Yes” to Film

Even though the traditional art of still photography remains a permanent fixture on the list of wedding-day must-haves, there’s a reason why videography is the current generation’s favored form of media: Video transports the viewer back to a particular moment in time, in a way that nothing else can. Filmmaking is all about capturing the emotions associated with the things and people you love, with the actions you are engaged in. Watching a film or video is a fully immersive experience, and a significant way for you to truly relive the past.

“When it comes down to it, there’s nothing that can replace hearing the crack in your spouse’s voice as they say their vows to you, and watching tears stream down their face as you gaze back at them,” notes Aaron Tharpe of 31 Films, who understands the value of each wedding detail. “There’s nothing that can stand in for real moments and thoughtful speeches from your closest friends and family, but finding a wedding filmmaker who will personalize and tell your story,” he notes, might just be the next best thing.

If your strict budget has you considering forgoing videography, you may want to reconsider. While many couples allocate only the last bit of their budget to videography, they may end up paying the price. Booking an inexperienced wedding videographer at the last minute, just because that person is the only one available or is the only provider you can afford with the remainder of your once hefty wedding budget, may result in a video that does not do justice to your event. So do yourself a favor and do your research before making the final call. Chances are, at least one videographer’s wedding video highlights will move you to tears and make you long for your own.

Personalize & Perfect

The high-end technology, heavy-duty equipment and advanced editing software that are available to professional videographers today means that wedding videos are blowing up the market. You can experience your whole wedding day over and over again in a variety of different styles, including traditional or short-form videos, and cinematic- or documentary-style films.

Some videographers favor an unobtrusive, documentary style, while others are experts in cinematic flair with very high production value. No matter what your videographer’s signature style, he or she should be able to tell a story, not just show an event. So when you are viewing sample videos before booking your filmmaker, look for elements such as natural audio, slow motion, aerial cinematography and vintage lenses, which can bring depth and texture to the narrative of your wedding.

To ensure that your videographer is capable of delivering a film you’ll be thrilled to watch and share with friends and family, make sure the person actually shooting your big day has the skills and technological expertise to get the job done. “You need to ask, ‘Who is shooting my wedding? How much experience does that person have? What kind of equipment is he or she using?’” advises Zia Ahmed of Aventography Photo & Video. “It’s unfortunate, but some companies will hire a first-time videographer at a low pay rate, and tell them to go out and shoot. But an experienced videographer will know positions—where to stand.” They’ll also know how to shoot in a low-light environment, which is the case with most weddings, so that your wedding film is not grainy, and footage is smooth and steady.

In the end, the best videos are the ones that tell a complete story, says Tharpe. At 31 Films, “We try to balance cinematically beautiful ‘capture’ and meaningfully documented moments,” he says. But he does add that his company values the moment over the shooting technique. “While we always want our clients to be visually engaged, we know that a well-told story will hold their hearts and attention much longer.” You are the star of your own wedding video, after all, and it’s your story that deserves to be told.

Go for a Show

With so many exciting videography options available, you may want to look beyond the basic wedding film.

One particularly exciting advance in technology is the advent of drone videography, which involves a remotely controlled device shooting footage while hovering over the action below. But be aware that drone technology has its own risks—particularly in indoor environments where low ceilings and surrounding walls present obstacles to the device, and falling drones present a risk to guests. To overcome these, Aventography recently developed a proprietary “aerial footage” technology, which allows the videographer to get a bird’s-eye view, without the risks of a remote-control drone. “Everyone loves it,” Ahmed says.

Another video twist is to incorporate film into your actual ceremony or reception, says Tharpe, whose company offers several creative ideas to do so. “One of our favorite ways to make film a part of the experience is through our ‘Lovestory’ films. In these, we have a conversation with the couple—about how they met, what they love about each other, and what they see in their future together—and mix it with beautifully personalized engagement sessions that range from fun to romantic.” 

Whether you want to show your film as an introduction to your rehearsal dinner, in the middle of cocktail hour or to kick off your reception, it’s a fantastic way to share your history as a couple with friends and family. On top of that, 31 Films will include a same-day edit of your wedding day into the original Lovestory, to create something truly special. “The result is a completely unique and individualized wedding film, that the couple and their guests will never forget.”

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