Love on Film

By Natasha Garber | March 14, 2017 | Make Favorite

Photo: Ama Photography & Cinema
Location: The Corinthian

Rather than a last-minute addition to your budget and vendor lineup, a wedding videographer should top your priority list, along with your photographer and venue. Why? The reason is simple: Nothing tells your wedding story, in all its motion, color, music, unexpected moments and magic, like a film of your once-in-a-lifetime occasion. But don’t take our word for it—listen to top Houston wedding filmmakers, who share their experience and expertise in creating, viewing and loving the one movie in which you and your beloved will always play the starring roles.

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.

Anna Boyter, owner of Bear Hands Media, adds, “Motion captures emotion in a way that complements classic still photography so well. We all move in a certain, particular way, and we each have subtle idiosyncrasies that are an essential part of our being. The way we look at our parents, the way we wait impatiently, the way we lean into each other in love. It used to be the case where people would fit in videography if there was room in the budget. But we’re finding, more and more, that it is an essential part of the wedding plan.”

Another sense to which film appeals: our sense of hearing. “I think a really good wedding video really expresses the feeling of the day,” says Trae Stanley, producer for Sage Films, and a lead producer for Lakewood Church, where he plays a significant role in producing videos and advertisements for preacher Joel Osteen. Not only can you see “tears roll down cheeks, and grandparents laughing or crying,” Stanley says, but you can also “really hear the day—the voices of your friends and family. That adds a strong sensory aspect to your wedding memory.”

Personalize & Perfect
The high-end technology, heavy-duty equipment and advanced editing software that is 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.

Boyter notes, “We use top-of-the-line cinematic film cameras for our films…but we find ourselves actually ‘looking back’ a lot more as technology continues to advance. We find vintage lenses are going to capture the light and tones with more dynamic layers, and bring in that dramatically dreamy aesthetic we live for in filmmaking.” To that end, “We scour the ends of the Earth for vintage lenses that offer a very special aesthetic that will draw a viewer in to experience a film in a much more engaging way.”

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.

“Our most popular add-ons include ‘Just The Cheers’—that’s where we send a filmmaker out to capture just the speeches from the rehearsal dinner. That kind of intimate setting is where we tend to capture the most uninhibited and natural speech moments,” Boyter says. “Our couples also love our ‘Trailer Edit,’ which is a new offering for us, where we provide a ‘sneak peek,’ edited within two weeks after the wedding day. It’s a fun way to keep the excitement going and share these first glimpses of the wedding film!”

For Sage Films, voices joined in song are yet another way to capture the happiness of the day: “We love doing sing-along videos, where someone picks a song, and a group of guests sings along, karaoke-style,” Stanley says. “It lets guests be silly, they don’t have to think about it when they’re doing it, and it’s so enjoyable to watch later.”

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 incorporate 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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