HOW TO PREPARE FOR A GREAT WEDDING FILM
A Guide for Brides
1. What is planning for video and why is it important?
Feature films look good for a reason: they are planned to the last freakin' detail to look as such, shot by shot. But we are talking about your wedding day, not a film set. This means you'll only want to introduce a few nuances to your itinerary that will help your videographer capture a better footage and tell your story. When producing cinematic wedding films, content is king. This means videographer need footage to be able to cut and tell your beautiful love story. Everyone knows the horror stories of the 1990's and early 2000's of people having to sit and watch 60 or 90-minute long, boring wedding videos from a camcorder. While most professionals is beyond this, the concern for having content remains. Asking your videographer for an input on your schedule can make you you have a nicer wedding video without hassle and barely without noticing your videographer.
2. What if my videographer wants me to change my whole day itinerary?
If that's the case, this is most likely your videographer is a jerk. Or you have a really video unfriendly day. Lets face it; as much as we as videographers are control freaks and want to produce the best wedding video possible, the truth is that we also want things to be natural and spontaneous. The kind of suggestions a videographer might want to put forward are small tweaks such as; what kind of room should you have your make up done; or should you avoid noon harsh sunlight for your couple's session; or even, if you could stand in a given place for the speeches. Any major changes will change the feel of the day and most likely render it quite unnatural.
3. Have your hair and makeup done facing a window
Having your make up facing a window (while making sure your face is not hit by harsh light) is the best thing you can do for your videographer. Video cameras struggle with great differences of light and shadow. Therefore, facing a window your face will be evenly lit while producing while allowing for a nice, subdued background colour, that brings out your best features in a really nice, cinematic composition.
4. Let your videographer know if you are writing a speech. And your groom too.
Lots of brides these days give their own speech and a lot of them write it before they start the hair and make up preparation. If that's the case, have your videographer there to film it. It makes beautiful footage that can be used in the storytelling process. If your groom is having his prep filmed, then it's a no brainer: allowing him to handwrite his speech gives us more content to tell your love story in a cinematic way.
5. Allow time to setup
For our own peace of mind, we like to arrive early to scout locations and set up. However, during the moving parts of the day, our only option is to go ahead of you to set up: before you walk down the stairs; before you set off to the church, etc. Most of the time, 10 minutes it's all we need.
6. Have your groom wearing our microphones
Whether you are going with standard vows or with your very own personal ones you took time to write, we always like to have them. Because we capture a full ceremony, it's important to have clear sound of the couple and the groom is the easiest to mic up. Brides' dresses can be incredibly difficult to conceal a microphone on.
7. Avoid coloured lighting during the ceremony and the speeches
Coloured lighting produces a beautiful effect and provides with a great ambience. However, video cameras are many ages away from the capabilities of the human eye. Coloured lights produces a colour cast that's tolerable to the human eye, but impossible to get rid of in video footage. This produces a colour cast over clothes and skin tones, which is tolerable during more dynamic and fun parts of the day such as the drinks reception and the first dance and guests' dancing, but quite unpleasant during the ceremony and the speeches.
8. Say yes when your photographer asks for a gold hour shot.
During long summer weddings days the most beautiful light tend to exist right in the middle of the meal. Somewhere in between the end of the meal and the speeches. By that time photographers are kicking themselves to take the newly weds for a 5 minute walk outside for a couple of portraits. This can easily be done in between meal courses, of just before the speeches. Videographers are as much suckers for beautiful golden light as photographers, the difference is we have more content alternatives. Even so, there's a lot of cinematic content to be captured during a 5 minute outside.
9. If you do a sparkler shot make it big.
Tunnels with sparklers - as well as fire torches in gardens - that add a lot of cinematic atmosphere and interest to wedding films. However, because sparklers are mainly used when it's pitch dark, the footage will only look good if they're capable of casting enough light over the faces of the couple. For that reason, everyone needs to hold one and, sometimes, two sparklers each.
10. Ask your photographer to use flash moderately.
Photographers these days tend to use less and less flash. But there are cases there when it's really dark and at least some bounce flash is necessary. However, flash looks really bad and cheap in low light video scenes. It's like a linear burst of light in the video frame. For that reason, videographers tend ask photographers to allow for a few seconds' worth of footage without firing their flash. Most of them are courteous and they abide by the request. However, some don't. A request by the bride always carries extra weight and authority.