Films That Make You Feel Things
Wedding filmmaking...you could spend a few minutes to hours online watching wedding films. More often than not you'll see videos and brands that tend to all look the same. Using the same type of music, same shots, same pacing and you might end up feeling like once you've seen one you've seen them all.
My goal is to create works that speak to the viewer. My goal is to craft the story, use compelling visuals, and spending time color-grading to treat the film, which makes the viewer feel something overall.
Have you seen or noticed that in the film industry (movies, short films etc) don't look like your iphone videos? Other than obviously not filming with cinema cameras, movies undergo a huge process that treats the footage. Manipulating colors, tints, saturation. All of this is intentional to make the viewer feel things. To create moods. Why should a wedding video be any different? Wedding films have transitioned from simply documenting the day into creative artistic works that almost make you feel like you're in a film however it is actually just a live event. This is actually pretty impressive if you think about it. Films have crews and a team to handle logistics, they set the scenes, they direct lighting and sound. For a wedding, you don't get to direct necessarily, the lighting is the lighting, one person handles camera operations, logistics, audio, lights, editing- this is a lot of work, a lot of variables that could change at any minute, yet the finished piece is one cohesive film that takes the viewer from beginning to end.
I decided I want my films to create a mood of sorts. I don't want my films to look like the next person's, because...what's the point of looking just like the other person? I want to stand alone, in an industry that so often replicates each other or imitates because "that's just what everyone is doing" I need to be different. I want someone who starts an 87 and Smith film to know it's from me 30 seconds into watching it.
I've often fallen into a trap of feeling like "would it be easier to just mirror what everyone else is doing?" There is this stigma that "high end" or "luxury" weddings have to be light and airy. We're told by the wedding industry "leaders" that if we want to succeed, we need to mirror the photographer. Most Luxury photographers replicate or photograph with medium format film cameras or at least deliver that look which means they want or somehow expect that as videographers, we also need to deliver that. I would argue that's not the case.
There is nothing wrong with the film photography look, at all. Actually in regards to video, if you can pull off the light and airy look, its actually quite impressive! Mainly because it's hard, very hard, to pull off. Video is captured differently than photo. Photo holds MUCH more information in order to edit and hold on to details compared to video. Only cinema camera's can really achieve that level of information and those are extremely expensive...we're talking anywhere between $10,000-$50,000 for just the camera body. Frankly, for weddings, it's rare to find someone who can invest in something like that.
What I'm trying to say is, video is a format and photo is a format. Each is and can be handled individually, and I would argue that they should be handled individually. It's OKAY to have a wedding with a light and airy photographer and a more moody videographer. Luxury weddings can be more than light and airy. Moody films have their place in the high end wedding market absolutely. Here are some leaders in the high end wedding industry, and guess what- they're moody because they focus on light, using it strategically, they color grade to make you feel something. This allows you to kind of travel and escape from reality and enter a new world where things are a tad different. Colors are a bit shifted, the use of dramatic shadows and light come into play and begin to play with the viewers eyes and mind.
These artists among others really showcase what it means to be an artist in the wedding industry. These films don't imitate the majority, these are the exception. I'm driven to become listed among them, to redefine what a wedding video can be, to get rid of expectations and encourage others to stretch the limits.
It's okay to mix your photography and video styles, it's okay to match them. What it comes down to is who you feel best represents you, who can tell your story best, who you prefer based on end product. Don't let someone else sway you into thinking you need it this way or that way, see ALL of the options, see what you like, book who you love.