Making the most out of your wedding film. When you get the chance to talk to us in person or through phone, there's a pretty good chance you'll see how passionate we are when it comes to filming weddings. In fact we try to help with pretty much anything that has to do with weddings in general because in the end, it produces better quality in your wedding film and this makes us happy!
If you are on this page, this means you consider your wedding film pretty important. You've gotten this far and we want to give a few general tips that we have found to be helpful not only for our mutual benefits but also for other vendors as well! We feel it is important for you to understand what to expect so you have better control in the situation if you happen to fall into any of these categories. It's not like you've mastered in getting married, it only happens once so do it right the first time :)
Keep an open mind, these tips and tricks are based on our own personal experience and how we feel about it. So if you don't like it, you don't have to accept it. It's YOUR wedding. But if you find it helpful, you are very welcome to use it :)
Know your wedding
This is important for both of you to know your wedding. Is it a destination wedding? Is it cultural? Elopement? Or perhaps traditional? What are the color theme(s)? Is it military or southern style or is it vintage/rustic? Knowing your wedding is the DNA structure of planning your wedding. Because when you know your wedding, your vendors will know too and this is a huge plus. Sometimes you'll learn what vendors you don't need. Ahem, cinematography is exempt this time :)
It's like saying, "I want a car" when there are Infiniti options (get it lol). Ok, so what kind of car do you want? Is it a convertible or jeep? Do you want heat seats with that, sunroof window?
What kind of wedding do you want? Be ready to spill the juicy details of your wedding!
budget before you FUDGE IT
This one is pretty big. But your budget will work with you waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better if you do this easy step:
Get a pen (or pencil) and a paper. Write down (starting from the top) what you both agree is most important vendor for your wedding. In most cases, it is the venue/location. Then work your way down. Is it cinematography or photography? Or is cake the next in the list Wedding Dress? Florist? After you are done and satisfied, then you will see a clear picture where to put your money first. Don't run around spending the money until later realizing you have none left for something that you consider more important, etc. This happens very often.
One mistake brides can make is to not see actual work. Sometimes a vendor could show you work that is not originally theirs or perhaps they are only showing you their best sample only and hiding the rest of the overall product. It's a small trick vendors can use against you. Ex. if your photographer(s) are showing you their 10 best random photos and not share a full sample photoshoot of the whole wedding day, there's a pretty good chance it's a red flag. It is possible they are starting out and you can be lucky if they are talented. Be sure it's a risk you are willing to take.
Get to know your vendor
I think it's pretty important to get to know your vendors. This will help both parties understand each other better and know what is expected from you and also bring extra kudos for you :) when you become well aquatinted, the results become better because your vendors want to please you and make the day of your life. This will also help you see if they know what they are doing.
It's good to have a wedding coordinator and/or planner if you have a good budget. But this shouldn't excuse you from getting to know your vendors yourself. When letting someone else mix the ingredient for you, have a taste and make sure it tastes the same as you have anticipated. If not, then correct it :)
HAVE AN AGENDA/SCHEDULE ready for vendors
It is obvious how important this is. We have had couples not being able to provide an agenda or schedule properly. Sometimes they just didn't even provide one!? And how are we supposed to know when and where to shoot on your wedding day then? And texting the address on the last minute doesn't count. It's just like your boss telling you to come to work but not telling you when and where. That's what we have to go through with weddings that lack organization! Don't be like that. It's ridiculous! This means you are unorganized if you cannot provide the final copy 2 weeks prior your wedding day and this causes unnecessary trouble. Lack of schedule/agenda will result poor quality to your overall wedding day. If you are too busy, then hire a wedding planner. Everyone is busy and no one has time to wander around trying to figure out what is going on at your wedding. I've heard numerous stories. One of my favorite ones was the couple lacked providing the details of the wedding. They only texted when and where. The video team ended up filming a complete different wedding without realizing it was the wrong wedding they were capturing! Only finding out when it's too late. No, this wasn't us. But even if it was, who's fault would it be?
Always ask questions if you have any! I don't know about other vendors but my wife and I love it when couples ask us questions. I mean that is what we are here for, right? One of the things Mercy and I noticed; the more questions the couples asked us, the better their overall experience and final product became :) it makes sense since this is one of the best ways to get to know each other. Everyone is different, not everyone has the same taste. Otherwise how else would we know your preferences?
Throw ideas at us. It could sound dumb to you but to tell you the truth this is how we come up with new concepts. Why? haven't you noticed each and every wedding film are uniquely different from one another? We avoid cookie cutter houses because we feel every wedding has their own uniqueness to it with a true love story. Sometimes sharing your background with us will help us think of something new. For example, if you watched Zhenya and Lily's wedding, there's a scene where all the guests wrote letters/prayers on a piece of paper, tied it to the balloon and released it altogether into the sky, going up to the heavens. Isn't it beautiful? If Zhenya and Lily didn't share about how they did that on their first date, then we would have not suggested to do the same with their wedding guests. First Look is another good example. It's becoming popular and everyone is doing it. It's getting saturated so why not mix it up? Switch the bride and groom role. Or perhaps trick the groom into thinking it was the bride behind to add some humor? If you are not keen to the idea of First Look, it doesn't have to be exactly first look but we strongly encourage something similar to add good content to your wedding film.
The More Content the better
It is key to understand that the quality of wedding films depend on the content of your wedding, not the cinematographer. If you hire the best cinematographer and have almost nothing done on your wedding day, what is there to capture for the cinematographer? Some brides do not even realize this until after it's too late! Spice up your wedding with all kinds of flavors. If the bridesmaids are sitting and waiting, what is there to capture? Who wants to watch them sitting there waiting? So have them do something fun! This is also a plus on photography side.
Bridal Prep, Father's First Look, Letter Exchange/Gift Exchange, First Look, Personal Vows in Ceremony or to each other during first look, Ring Exchange, First Dance, Toasts, etc. All of these are good content. We personally love first look and personal vows.
get excited and have fun!
Well duh! Who isn't excited when getting married? All couples getting married get excited. But not all show it. When you show your excitement to other vendors, it helps build that fire or spark. Your excitement gets us more excited too. It's a beautiful energy that is freely given so use it. This will definitely better the overall experience!
CINAMA TIPS ONLY
(...and sometimes photographers, well most times)
Visual, sound and lighting.
The key ingredient in making the most out of wedding cinema. Understanding lighting and manipulating it is important to give your scene a certain feel/look to it. We find natural lighting is always best. I used to say that audio is as important as visuals but I'm starting to believe audio is more important. Think about it, to have a story, you need a dialogue right? Visuals without dialogue is just art without a story. It's beautiful to hear the voices, emotions and expressions and it definitely helps guide you through the wedding film with satisfaction.
It's your wedding and it's your time to shine. Be sure to hire a professional makeup artist, not just good but professional! Why do we say this? Well first off, you want to obviously look beautiful. Second professionals know how to apply makeup correctly that will last even after you party hard! We've filmed many weddings and I cannot express how much satisfaction we get when the brides hire a professional makeups artist because this a plus for us cinematographers (and photographers) when we capture beautiful footage of the bride and groom. Also, we strongly recommend for the groom to also get a quick basic touch up. It's completely normal and mandatory in hollywood industry. Why do you think all the actors and actresses always look good, even in action scenes? We got to groom the groom, right? Don't make him look like he's out of his league on your wedding day lol and trust me, we have had those, sadly!
Bridal Prep (and groom prep)
Bridal preps scenes are always beautiful. We like to come in as soon as the makeup artist arrives. Bridal Prep is the neck of the body. Your wedding film needs to begin somewhere, and bridal prep is a good start. We also love using natural lighting so you might hear the term "kill the house" from us when we want the lights off in the house. We do this because the orange tungsten light creates that ugly discolor on your natural skin which to me looks unpleasant and secondly we want to avoid dark shadows under your eyes. This always happens when light is above your head.
We LOVE first look. It's an emotional moment we can capture between the bride and groom. We respect couples who do not wish to do first look only if they know what they want. You'll probably find yourself surrounded by vendors encouraging first look. That is because it is good content for photographers and videographers. This is also a good time to share personal vows to each other if you feel hesitant to do personal vows during ceremony. I mean c'mon, you're getting married! Open your heart to your other half and share that sparked love. It's genuine love and that is completely normal. If you have already been planning to do first look and personal vows, you already have our automatic excitement!
This is becoming an issue since technology is growing rapidly and iPads/cameras are becoming bigger and affordable. Avoid your wedding from being the victim of guests throwing their iPads out in front of your hired professional photographer and cinematographer. Seriously, this is annoying. We hate it when an iPad is blocking our shot right on the first kiss. This has happened many times to many vendors. Guests are not aware unless you have the host or officiant announce it before the ceremony starts. Or have a sign asking politely to keep the techs away until after the first dance. Watch the video below and you will see why we call them dangerous photographers, excuse my over exaggerated editing skills.
And to make things better, these couples are not even sure who invited this random guest with camera. So hopefully you get the idea? Yes? Yes? No? Then watch it again until it's a yes!
I still wonder what that purple shirt man did with that epic blind shot photo? I like to imagine he went to Costco and printed out himself a large canvas print and hung it in his living room with pride of his mad photo skills!
Yes we shot this wedding and yes we had another angle (thank God) that didn't have this dangerous photographer ruining their first kiss.