Wedding film – Telling a story within a story
Most people think of a wedding film as a videographer simply filming the day as it happens, and when he is finished going home and editing out the bad bits, adding music and titles and transferring it to a DVD. It’s all done in a couple of days.
There are wedding video companies offering this type of budget wedding video, and there is definitely a place for this in the market. Some couple just want a record of the day and don’t want to pay a large amount of money for it.
However, those couples whom want more than just a record of their day tend to aim towards the higher end of the wedding film market. Here, wedding films are more like the kind of feature films you see at the cinema, with colourful sharp visuals, ultra clear audio and professionally steady shots using sliders, steadicams and even cranes!
It’s not just about the visuals though, it’s about how they are all put together in editing to tell a story. For instance, you can film a shot of the bride putting on lipstick in front of a mirror in her room. This tells a story in its own right. But to define that story into its own little sequence you could have a wide shot of the scene, then move the camera close to get the close up of her lips as she applied the lipstick. The last shot could be of her finishing up in the reflection in the mirror. Just adding different angles like this to a story suddenly makes it all richer and with a more dramatic feel.
The whole story of the wedding is made up of many stories such as “The bride getting ready”, “The guests arriving at the church”, “The ceremony” etc. Each of these stories has their own little story sequences such as the bride putting on her lipstick as described above, or perhaps the bridesmaids helping her into her dress, at church the groom and best man arriving (shot in a sequence of shots rather than just one long continuous shot). All these stories within stories with help turn just a record of the event into a truly emotional feature film.
Then there is the whole story of the day to add on top of all these other little stories. The main story of the wedding. The story teller (the videographer) must decide what parts of the day need telling and what parts don’t have as much interest and can be cut. He needs to add the pace of the day, either fast and hectic, or slow and laid back. He needs to set the mood of the wedding, happy and joyful, or series and romantic, or more than likely a mixture of all these emotions depending on what part of the day he’s telling.
If he is making a shortform wedding edit then he needs to decide what direction he needs to go quite early, as the whole wedding film will be influenced depending on what direction he chooses to go. It can be scary stuff, but after spending a whole day with the couple he will have a feel of what kind of wedding film they would like.