Every artist has a manifest. Mine is to create films you guys, as a couple, want to watch and love to watch. I know, it looks simple. But there’s nothing else I want from my films. I want them to stand on their own as films, but what really makes me happy is when a couple comes back to me (as many have said) saying they absolutely loved their film and having me was one of the best decisions they’ve made. It’s likely to look pretentious or smug to some, but that’s how high I set my bar. I only hope to achieve it.
I don't see myself like a wedding videographer, although I sometimes call me one for practicality's sake. Wedding professionals go to crazy lengths to stand out; many colleagues call themselves wedding cinematographers or wedding storytellers or even visual storyteller. I like to think myself as a filmmaker: indeed, I think, shoot and edit my films as a one man band. In that sense, it’s a personal project through and through. I like to treat every wedding differently and film things because they tell a story - not just for the sake of it. No, I on’t go out of my way to film auntie Jenny’s cake, unless it’s really important to you. Of course, I have a pricing brochure, but each film I do is a commission that's different from any other. My films are my take on your love story and your love story is by definition unique.
I don't do traditional shots. I shoot whatever helps to tell the story. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a history buff and I love traditional things; a good traditional church wedding in the countryside, opening with a Jerusalem hymn is something that really speaks to me. But that doesn’t mean I do the same old, cheesy shots that have characterised wedding videographers since the 1990s. What makes me point the camera at things is the stuff that makes you guys unique; your story and all the emotions around them. I shoot what's beautiful. What's important to you. What makes cinematic sense. Of course I do cover ceremony and speeches and all the main bits and the odd detail, but I leave the traditional, “has to be photographed” shots to the photographer.
For this reason, I cannot say how your film is going to be before having shot the wedding. You can have an idea from my former films, but I can only start to visualise it as I go through the day.
The films I produce are not documentaries either - that much even Uncle Bob could do. For me, good light and visuals are paramount. It doesn't really matter if you capture every-single-thing if it doesn't look great.
A final word to say sound, for me, if more than half the picture. It drives the story forward. When I say sound, I say broadcast-quality sound. Most of us can go on watching somehow flawed footage, but bad sound is an instant turn off. Therefore, everyone who speaks with purpose (vows, speeches, toasts) is mic'ed up, including the bride. Sometimes this involves some extra work to make it really unobtrusive with the wedding dress but it's all worth it.
If you’ve read this far, you’re probably really interested, which it means it’s likely I’ll be at your wedding. It’s only fair I disclose a few facts about me:
I used to be a legal adviser for the banking industry
Every Friday, I bake bread and pizza at home
When I’m not shooting or editing, I practice field archery at my club in the woods
I moved to Britain from Portugal with my wife 4 years ago and we love it here
My favourite dessert is sticky toffee pudding but I’ll be as happy with a slice of carrot cake
I have never successfully flamed a Christmas pudding