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wedding videos

Why a Wedding Film should tell a Story…

Paul & Chantal’s Story…

Paul & Chantal contacted me late November to see if I was available on New Years Eve to Film their wedding at The Villa in Wrea Green Lancashire.  They had come to me via a recommendation from Heather Rigbye a great Photographer that I had had the privilege of working with on a wedding a few months earlier. As I had no weddings booked for the 31st of December I said yes. Where possible I always like to meet with the couple who’s weddings I film before the wedding day to get to know a little something about them and their story-  I say ‘story’ because that is essentially what I am looking to create in the wedding film an element of story- how they met, fell in love and the proposal.

This is something I always look to build into my wedding films. The first ever wedding film that I shot in Manchester for Kris & Jenna had that story element in it very soon into the wedding film you see kris talking about how he met Jenna on a night out in Manchester at The Venue. Many wedding videographers do not include the story element in their films and this was something that I as a relatively new wedding videographer on my first wedding shoot in Manchester wanted to incorporate right from the beginning.

 

Get to know the couple…

I met up with Paul, Chantal and Paul’s Mum & Dad at the Villa a few weeks before their wedding and very quickly it became apparent that Paul & Chantal’s story was a particularly lovely one. Paul and Chantal took their time getting to know each other as friends first over many months and from that close friendship love blossomed. Listening to both Paul & Chantal talk about each other reminded me that a strong marriage is built on more than just physical attraction alone that there also has to be a deep bond of love respect and admiration for each other and that was certainly evident with Paul & Chantal.

I really do feel it’s a very privileged job that I have not just documenting their Big Day but helping tell their story. This I feel is my USP a story driven element to the wedding film. I achieve this firstly by getting to know the couple by listening to their story, I then get to know who in their lives are an important part of that story because they will need to feature in the wedding film too. For example, June, Chantal’s grand mother was very close to Chantal being almost like a mother figure to her and so it was important that there was an element of that very special relationship in the Wedding Film.

Talking with Paul it became apparent just how much his Mum and Dad meant to him and just how much he admired his dad who he referred to as a “a legend” in his speech. If those elements are missing from the wedding film then I think the film looses it’s heart and becomes just another wedding video. When I started my business Julian Voigt Wedding Films I wanted to create wedding films that were a little bit different than the typical wedding film that focuses more on the details and less on the couple in my mind the couple are the wedding film. 

Getting to Know You.

Yes it does take more time to get to know the couple who’s wedding film you are going to create and yes in some circumstances it’s not always possible to meet in person, yet I believe that chatting to the couple on the phone or via a Skype call is at least one way that the videographer can get to know some of those yes personal details that help make a great story. To view the highlight trailer film of Paul & Chantal’s wedding click here: https://youtu.be/bukJzm1H7pk

To see more examples of my wedding films with a story driven element visit: http://www.julianvoigtweddingfilms.co.uk

 

Manchester Wedding Videography

Julian Voigt Wedding Films covers Manchester, Cheshire, Lancashire and beyond. If you live in or around Manchester and are getting married soon then the absolute best way to document your day and remember it forever is with video.

Read: Why get Married in Manchester

 

 

manchester wedding venue

Why get married in Manchester?

The Manchester of my childhood…

Manchester of the mid- 19th century wanted to show the world that is was more than just a skyline of chimneys referencing it’s industrial heart but also show that is it also very much a City of Arts & Culture. For me growing up in south

Manchester in the 1970 & 80’s was a truly culturally diverse experience. Just a mile from my home was the famous ‘Curry Mile’ home to some of the best South Asian cuisine outside of India & Pakistan. Platt fields park just opposite St.Ives road where I grew up

holds many a fond memory of summer festivals and reggae bands pulsating till the early evening. Ham sandwhiches with piccalilli washed down with ginger beer while listening to Bob Marley covers in the park take me back to a happy time where days lasted forever and we seemed to get scorching hot summers-  yes even in Manchester! Manchester very much has a musical pedigree from Oasis to Take That, The Hollies and even the Bee Gees all had their start amongst the red brick streets and grey skies of Manchester. Two of the best Football Clubs in the World hail from this damp City-  Manchester United and Manchester City-  being on the blue side of Manchester I remember many a wet Saturday afternoon in the Kippax stand with my mate Alan clutching a free bottle of Milk that we were handed as we moved through the turnstiles. In those days Man City were mostly in the shadow of their rich and glorious neighbours – the ‘Red Devils’- how the tides have turned!

It’s Media Pedigree...

Manchester has always had a rich Television history- who has not heard of Coronation Street? Now that the BBC have moved from London to Manchester and we have the new Media City no doubt it’s media prowess will grow. I find as a Wedding Videographer Filming in Manchester there is no shortage of imagery and icons with which to give a nod to the home of the couple who’s wedding I film in and around this City of Culture. In fact, setting up a camera and tripod in the City centre of Manchester is hardly greeted with a sideways look by most passers by as cameras are everywhere in this great City as are bands singing there hearts out.

Oh yes and the food…

Apart from the Bands, TV and some famous Art Galleries Manchester can rightly be called a City of culture for its many and diverse cultures, which leads me to one of my favourite things about Manchester that I love – the food!  Yes you can get it all here! West Indian- to Pakistani- Vietnamese to Chinese, Ethiopian to Kosher deli’s and restaurants, I have always thought of Manchester as a mini New York- you just can’t help take a bite.

Getting Married in Manchester?

When ever I get the opportunity to film a wedding here I know that finding great ‘B’ roll to establish the film as a ‘Manchester Wedding’ will not be difficult, in fact, I have to be careful not to make the wedding film all-out Manchester and of course more about the Bride & Groom. Looking for a Manchester Wedding Videographer? Look no further than Julian Voigt Wedding Films

Manchester Wedding Videography

Here’s a Wedding Video that we produced for a lovely couple last summer- Kris & Jenna at the iconic Victoria Warehouse. This wedding video captures that raw suburban industrial vibe:

If you are looking for a wedding venue that’s a little bit different then check out Victoria Warehouse:  www.victoriawarehouse.com

Read; 3 things every bride must know planning wedding

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‘Less Cheese and More Sauce’

Creating a Truly Unique Film

We offer various Wedding Film packages to suit all needs and budgets; for example some people are just looking for a Highlight Wedding Film to capture the essence of their Big Day while other couples want a more feature length Wedding film will full professional audio coverage of the ceremony and speeches- Julian Voigt Wedding Films strive to make each and every film we create a truly unique film to that couple- we don’t believe in ‘off the peg’ films and we are always looking for creative ways to tell the couple’s ‘story’ and to make sure that our wedding films don’t become formulaic.

Not just the usual Wedding Video

No doubt we have all sat through boring wedding films that follow a set formula – those films usually go something like this;

The opening shot shows the groom usually with his best man or ushers waiting anxiously for the arrival of his bride, cut to a scene of the guests arriving and that can go on for a while because some videographers mistakenly think that every single guest should be shown in the finished film. Next, cut to more scenes of the anxious groom looking awkward not knowing what to do to with himself. After that there are usually the shots of children playing or running around until finally – you guessed it, the Bridal cars arrive and here are the Bride’s Maids. Next the video usually cuts to more shots of the anxious groom now looking a little more relieved at the imminent arrival of his Bride. Cut to a scene of the Bride arriving in the Bridal car and next the Bride wrestling  with her dress in an effort to exit the car elegantly all of which the Videographer captures on film (eek) The the Bride, once composed,  links her father’s arm and the scene cuts to her walking down the isle and I am sure you can predict the rest of the film 😉

A more Creative Way of Documenting the Day

Now, I am not saying that a good wedding film maker shouldn’t look to capture those type of shots but what I am saying is, he should document the day a little more creatively. If you watch any of my films you will often see that,  first of all no two wedding films are the same and my films do not follow a strict chronological order- for example they may start with the groom not dressed in his groom’s attire but rather looking straight at the camera totally unaware that the camera is on and that he is being filmed. I will often do this to capture a genuine candid moment that is not staged. This is one reason I work with small cameras because I like to film people when they are not aware that they are being filmed. To see an example of this have a look at Kris & Jenna’s  one minute Wedding Highlight Film here:

Manchester Wedding Film 1 minute from Julian Voigt on Vimeo.

It’s the little things that Capture the Emotion

What happened here was I had arranged to Meet Kris (the groom) on the morning of his wedding at around 9am at Victoria Warehouse in Manchester to talk about the video were going create. I got him to sit on a chair with my camera set up on a tripod facing him talking about where I was planning a future shot;  but just before we started filming (for real) unbeknown to Kris I hit the record button and captured just a brief moment that in the finished wedding film in a mere 3 second clip but it adds a whole different dimension and ‘real’ feel to the film. I believe that capturing moments like these will tell the real story of the Bride & Groom’s big day.

So, I often tell the couples who are asking me about the sort of wedding films I create-  it’s ‘less cheese (formulaic) and more sauce (real flavour)

 

manchester town hall wedding venue

The Pursuit for the Perfect Wedding Venue in Manchester UK

The cornerstone of a spectacular wedding is indeed the venue of your dreams. After your wedding date has been fixed, the very next step is to select the perfect venue for your big day. It will not be wise to randomly choose anything based on someone’s suggestion. In addition to that, there is no need to get inspired by a fancy Instagram post that is only rich in filters and does not go along with your imagination.

The Quest for a Perfect Wedding Venue

Before you head in the outside world to look for wedding venues, make sure that you are clear about the kind of setting you to want to have and how much you would like to spend on it.

Wedding Venue Selection

This phase includes the very initial stages of thinking and organizing your cluster of thoughts about you desired wedding venue.  

Here’s what you are supposed to do:

  • Define a Budget
  • Select your Wedding Clan
  • Define a Style
  • Types of cuisine
  • Would it be a fairytale wedding or a traditional one?

After that you have decided all this you can start your search for a wedding venue. Who knows one of them might be just what you had always dreamed of!

Take a look!

Town Hall Manchester

Location:  Albert Square, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M2 5DB

For those of you who have always wanted a grand lavish wedding should book Town Hall Manchester right now!

This place is an ideal wedding venue in Manchester known for its exquisite ambience. Not only this, it is located in the centre of the city with state of the art design and magnificent architecture.

Sheridan Suite

Location: 371 Oldham road Manchester M40 8RR

In case you intend to plan a grand party then Sheridan suite is your place to be.

This place offers both in-house and outdoor catering. The best part is that the event planners here have expertise in arranging English, Asian and Jewish Weddings so they know how to undergo preparations for different cultures.

Midland Hotel

Location: 16 Peter St, Manchester M60 2DS

Many of you might not be fond of spending thousands on one single event. If that’s the case, look no further!

All those People who aspire to create an intimate affair with only close friends and family around; the Midland hotel provides a warm and courteous suite that has enough space for all your guests. Along with that, people who are on a budget should keep Midland hotel in their list of cheap but superb wedding venues in Manchester.

The Lowry Art and Entertainment

This unique and enthralling wedding venue is indeed a paradise for people who want to go for a sophisticated wedding event.  

Known for its unmatched hospitality, this place has some of best catering services one could ask for. This place is quite suitable for those how do not admire fancy chandeliers or expensive decors.

Wait, there’s more: All the party animals can rock on the dance floor and later enjoy the scrumptious cuisines.

Final Thoughts

The fact is planning a wedding itself is a huge work. During this phase of your life, you cannot just go by the book and be at peace with yourself. You have to make sure that every single task in your checklist is completed way ahead of time. Not to mention the items that you forgot to mention on the list. To learn more about a quality wedding film go to Manchester Wedding Videography

If you got lucky and found the wedding venue in Manchester you were looking for then congratulations, one half of your wedding fiasco is sorted out. Rest assured the other half will be completed without any hurdles as well if you not only make a pre-preparation sketch but also have a plan B, in case things go out of hand.

 

image of man filming a wedding in manchester

Wedding Videographer explains Filming style

Once I had decided to Film Weddings as a career change I then spent a considerable amount of time looking at what others were offering in terms of Wedding Videos, particularly companies near and around me in Lancashire and the Greater Manchester area. One thing I noticed straight away is that the overall quality of Wedding Videos has gone up considerably in the past 20 years. I think back to when I got married back in 1991 and we paid some guy to film our wedding and I seem to remember it cost us about £250.00 back then, which was a lot of money. The video that we got was about one and half hours long and to be honest quite boring! I don’t blame the chap because that’s what a wedding video was back in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

What you got was this epic long VHS film that had awful audio and awful white balance- I think our faces had a green hue on them. The videographer set up his tripod and rolled the film and it just kept rolling – that was ALL the ceremony ALL the reception with very little editing. Whereas today, Wedding Videographers are little filmmakers- that’s partly due to the advent of Youtube in the past 20 years, why do I say that? Because Youtube has sold us on an idea that- anyone can be a filmmaker anyone can be a content creator!  Add to that, the digital revolution that has given us cameras with a small form factor that we now can get broadcast quality video images out of a camera that is DSLR sized!

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These I believe have led to a revolution in filmmaking on a budget. Yet now we have Wedding Films that are like Hollywood movies (not all of them 😉 Wedding Videography still hasn’t managed to shed is 1980’s/1990’s persona. Wedding Videographer’s are thought of as 1980’s inspired camcorder welding VHS delivery by friends of the family that shoot your wedding and as a result of that having a Wedding Film made, is still relatively low down on the Brides lists of wants- usually just above the chocolate fountain.

Choosing the style for Julian Voigt Wedding Films wasn’t difficult. I decided from the beginning that my Wedding Films would have the following elements;

  1. Be Cinematic -Film Like 24 FPS etc
  2. Capture Emotions- this to me is what a good wedding film maker should be looking to document- yes the bridal details, the dress, the decorations, the venue, the cake, what the mother of the Bride is wearing are all important elements but they will go out of fashion and I want the couples who’s wedding I film to be able to look back on their wedding film in 20 years and re-live those precious moments through watching a wedding film that captures how they actually felt on there wedding day-  that will never go out of fashion!

How do you capture those emotions?  By remaining stealth like and  unencumbered by unnecessary camera equipment.  The more discreet the videographer can be the, more likely he is to capture those candid moments and it’s those candid moments that make a good Wedding Film.

julian voigt filming a wedding

How I got Started in Filming Weddings in Manchester for a Living

How does someone at age 47 suddenly find themselves filming weddings for a living? Well in my case it’s an unusual story. I grew up in Rusholme Manchester just off Platt Lane very close to the famous ‘Curry Mile.’  The smell of curry was a daily treat and it’s no coincidence that I developed a love for all South Asian cuisines. From a relatively young age, I had a desire to cook and the food that I was most interested in- you guessed it curry!  I had made it a sort of mission to try every curry house down Wilmslow Rd- Manchester’s famous ‘Curry Mile’ to find the best curry. I then would ask the waiters and Chefs for recipes but as you can imagine they were somewhat reticent to share their secrets recipes with a 16-year-old. Fast forward about 25 years and here I was with my own Indian Takeaway cooking the food myself and a Youtube channel teaching people how to cook Britain’s favourite food- Curry.

Making Youtube videos requires a modicum of camera knowledge of which (back then) I had none! While people loved the recipes they would often complain about the dodgy camera work or the lack of clean audio, hence I decided to sharpen my camera skills and invest in better equipment. I enrolled in a few DSLR Film Making courses and yes you guessed it gave myself a Youtube education in all things related to ‘film Making.’  Now equipped to make professional quality videos I started visiting restaurants in and around Manchester doing reviews on their food-  the owners were quite keen for the free publicity and I had interesting video content for my youtube channel. I visited the Chapati Cafe on Wilbraham Rd in Chorlton Manchester, I visited the famous Kabana in city centre Manchester and filmed interviews with the owners and chefs. Before long I was becoming viewed as an authority on good south Asian cuisine.

However, what I loved about my new found role the most was the video work! I loved the creative process of filming and editing and I had discovered that I had quite a knack for it. It wasn’t long before I started thinking; “Could I make a living with my newly acquired skills and camera gear?  I started thinking about avenues I could go down to market my video production skills. First off I decided to merge my knowledge of all things curry with my video production skills and I developed online video courses in South Asian cuisine. That went well and a lot signed up for the online courses. From that, I came to be viewed even more as an authority in south Asian cooking and was invited to sit on a panel of so-called experts on a TV show called; ‘Channel S’ and lend my opinions on the so-called ‘Curry Crisis.’

After some time I started thinking about how I could leverage my video production skills in an altogether new direction- a non-curry related direction. Go Video was born. This was a business I created that offered video production services to businesses in and around the North West, helping them market their products and services using video. I did some work for local companies in and around Lancashire I even produced a short film- very short for ‘That’s Lancashire’ TV about a local author who had overcome depression by writing poems and skipping.  Once you start professional films making it’s not long before the subject of wedding films will come up- which it did. I had already,  in thinking about routes to market when it comes to video production contemplated Wedding Films and if I am honest thought;  “no I really don’t want to get involved in making wedding videos..”  My reasons?  I honestly thought they would be the most stressful filmmaking experience ever! And contemplating the possibility of mucking it up and ruining the video in some way was frightening and with weddings, there is no second shoot!

However, cut forward about a year and my daughter is getting married and asks me to bring my camera to the reception and get a few shot to cut together a little video- which I did. So here I was a month or so later editing a ‘Wedding Video’- my daughters and as it came together I remember thinking- “hey this might not be as difficult as I had first thought?”  After finishing the video and watching her and my son in laws emotional reaction to it I was hooked! I thought how could I get a wedding to film?

I approached the Wedding Dresser who had helped out with my daughter’s wedding and asked if she knew any soon brides to be that would like a FREE wedding video, yes FREE because I wasn’t comfortable at this stage charging somebody for something I had hardly any experience with. My plan was to just do a couple of freebies- I ended up doing 5!  After filming and editing five weddings I knew;  one I could do this and two I wanted to do it.  Julian Voigt Wedding Films was borne.

wedding_video_in_manchester

Helpful Videography Techniques for Weddings

One thing I have learned shooting wedding videos is that you need to get ‘establishing shots.’ Establishing shots help set the scene of the video. For example many couples getting married often get the ‘all in one venue package’- that is, The Bridal party, the ceremony and reception are all in the same place. This has it’s benefits and challenges for the wedding filmmaker. The benefit is that you don’t have to travel from the brides home to the ceremony venue then onto the reception venue all of which takes time,  and more worryingly you can run into hiccups like traffic jams, loosing the wedding party or car breakdown issues,  all of which could be a nightmare situation because on the wedding day it’s all about time and schedules and as a wedding videographer you basically have ONE SHOT to get those takes- the bride getting ready, the brides maids, the first look of the father of the bride etc etc.

The Ceremony

Then you have the ceremony- the walk down the aisle, the look on the grooms face as his bride approaches- the look of the mother of the bride and other close family members. The videographer has once chance to get those never to be repeated moments.

So all in one wedding packages where the bride gets ready, gets married and celebrates that marriage during the reception in the same place can make the job of the wedding videographer a lot  easier and a lot less stressful. The challenge however, of the all in one package weddings is getting those beautiful and interesting shots. For example the wedding I filmed at Victoria warehouse in Manchester, everything happened all under one roof which was great in one sense but as the bridal party didn’t go to a beautiful park or gardens to have their photo’s taken we had the challenge of finding those beautiful and interesting  shots in the venue itself.

Getting to the Venue Early

What I did was to get to the venue early- in this case Victoria Warehouse in Manchester Stretford and to go around the venue looking for interesting things to shoot. In my case when I was wondering around around Victoria Warehouse I noticed a few things- a shipping container with the words ‘Box Office’ above it. I thought that would make a great 2 second shot in their wedding film- which it did of course.  Then there was a beautiful wooden sculpture just by the entrance to the reception  which was illuminated by red and green spot lights- that appeared in the wedding film. Then as i wondered round some more I noticed one feature that stood out about the venue was it industrial past still preserved in the iron work in the venue- hence I took Kris and sat him on a chair facing backwards and interviewed him in front of the camera talking about how him and Jenna first met.

The Manchester Vibe

This worked really well because one we had very little natural light coming in through the window to Kris’s right which created a mood in the film- perfect for the wedding film we were looking to create. Also the sound we got worked really well because this was a large factory like environment it had an echo and that again added to the whole ambience of the wedding video and the whole Manchester suburban vibe. So in short,  my advice to anyone shooting wedding films is this; look around you, get a feel for the environment the wedding is taking place in, note why it is that the couple have chose this venue and then work with it.

As a wedding film maker you cannot deliver an off the peg wedding film-  rinsing and repeating the same old cheesy formulaic wedding film- in a nutshell;  You gotta go with what is! You can check out Victoria Warehouse as a

Wedding Venue here: http://www.victoriawarehouse.com

Read more here..

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Wedding Video at Victoria Warehouse in Manchester

Jenna & Kristian booked me to film their wedding at Victoria Warehouse in Manchester.

Victoria Warehouse is an incredible venue for a wedding and when I first arrived there on the morning of August 12th 2017 I didn’t know what to make of the location. Here I was at  this completely unique hHotel with a strong flavour of it’s industrial past. It is atmospheric to say the least. Built in the 1900s, the flesh and bones of Victoria Warehouse has stood as a symbol of this city’s industrial strength and innovation for around 100 years.

The first thing that struck me as a Videographer was just how stunning Jenna & Kristian’s Wedding Film was going to look but at that same time I was feeling was panick stricken when I saw just how little natural light was present in the area where the ceremony was going to take place. The couple had opted for a candle lit isle and I knew immediately that using video lights such as panel LED’S was going to be a big no no primarily because they would spoil the effect given bythe candle lined isle.

Now as I was shooting with the Canon 80D which is a crop censored camera my light gathering ability with this camera was limited. I remember thinking at the time, I wish I had the Sony A7sii which would cope in such low light with no problems at all, anyway, I didn’t have that luxury and was a couple of hours away from the ceremony  beginning and had to think fast! I decided to use my prime fast lenses for the majority of the shooting keeping the aperture fully open while at the same time cracking up the ISO as far as I could before the picture quality became unusable.

I knew there were third party plugins I could use with my editing software that would remove the grain in the footage created by cracking the iso so high and decided then and there that’s what i would have to roll with. Even though the natural light was practically non existent,  the addition of more candles in the ceremony suite at Victoria warehouse was encouraging and I was faintly optimistic that I might in actual fact pull this off!

It was a typical Manchester cloudy day that threatened rain so the first thing I did was decided to get some establishing shots of the outside of Victoria Warehouse and the buildings near by. The impressive 1900’s red bricked building towers immensely in the Manchester Sky line and it was looking at this impressive sight that made me think; “I know what I need to do to capture this in an artistic way,  create a time-lapse.” The opening scene of Jenna & Kris’s Wedding Video is of Victoria Warehouse standing majestically against the steely grey Manchester Sky line and the clouds wipping by in the  typical time lapse effect created in camera. This opening scene of their wedding video really creates a mood that will serve the rest of the video well. After bringing the footage into my editing suite I immediately felt inspired to edit the rest of the film.

Here it is:

Julian Voigt Wedding Films first Wedding Filmed at Victoria Warehouse:

A Manchester Affair from Julian Voigt on Vimeo.