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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

 

 

drone footage for a wedding film

To Drone or not to Drone?

Is Drone Footage Necessary for a Wedding Video?

When Rob & Bobbie asked me to film their wedding in Carlisle on Sept 1st 2017 I had decided that this was going to be the first wedding film I would create that included Drone footage. I chose this wedding to incorporate drone footage for two reasons;

  1. firstly the couple had asked specifically for it
  2. secondly the location the couple had chosen for group photo’s was absolutely stunning!

Capturing Stunning Scenery

Carrock Fell in the Lake District is so stunning you can imagine Brave Heart or some other epic cinematic masterpiece being filmed there. So you can imagine my excitement in having such a backdrop to one of my wedding films! Thankfully the weather was kind to us and apart from it being a little bit breezy we had a nice bright sunny autumn day.

Using a Drone when filming a wedding definitely has it’s pros but also some cons. Firstly Drone footage can add that real cinematic feel to a wedding film and give the wedding film that
larger than life feel. When we are watching a movie we are probably not aware just how often drones are used to get a particular shot or set a scene.

Offering a Cinematic Wedding Film

I decided with Rob & Bobbies wedding film that I didn’t want to overdue the drone footage but wanted to interweave it subtly into the film without it being too much. I think I managed to achieve that quire well, but you judge for yourself and see the highlight version of Rob & Bobbie’s wedding film here: So yeah drones can make a wedding film look ‘cinematic’ and we at Julian Voigt Wedding Films are always looking for way to create a wedding film with that cinematic feel and quality to it. But utilising gadgets- like drones in my mind are like seasoning- best used sparingly or they can ruin the dish!

So we have talked about the pros of adding drone footage to a wedding film but as mentioned earlier here are a few cons to think about. Having more equipment to think about the videographer is naturally a little more distracted and there is a very real danger that while the videographer might be sorting a drone out ready for launching to capture a single shot or moment he may be in fact missing other real moments that once gone cannot be re-captured. In other words; in an effort to capture one great shot to make the wedding film looking great we could be missing five very real moments in the wedding day.

Getting Distracted

Generally speaking the more equipment that the videographer has to worry about the more real moments could pass him buy while he is distracted with gadgets like drones. Also launching a drone means that the pilot has to secure the area and make sure that the safety of any people nearby is paramount! Having this year taken my PFCO Drone Pilots exam(and thankfully passed) I can tell you that a lot of advanced planning and checks have to be performed before a Drone can even take off.

On the day I filmed Rob & Bobbie’s wedding and was preparing to launch the Drone at Carrock Fell I was immediately surrounded by excited children all wanting to have a look at the Drone this was followed by a few anxious parents asking some questions about safety.

Conclusion

So yes while we will be offering Drone footage to our couples going forward for our wedding films in 2017 we will be firstly briefing the couples on exactly what is involved by launching a Drone close to a lot of people and also informing them of the additional cost we have to charge to add drone footage.

All in all my thoughts are thus; I don’t think you do not need Drone footage to produce a stunning wedding film that has a cinematic feel but yes when used sparingly and artistically drone footage can really enhance a wedding film. More here..

Julian Voigt Wedding Films Beeston Manor

Beeston Manor the Location

Samantha & Paul’s Wedding at Beeston Manor in Hoghton near Preston was a particularly nice wedding to shoot. Paul & Samantha asked Julian Voigt Wedding Films to shoot their wedding and we made sure we arrived nice and early to shoot Bride prep. While the photographer was busy taking photo’s I headed outside to the grounds to get some establishing shots. It immediately struck me what a lovely location Beeston Manor is set in. Surrounded by fields and gentle slopping hills it has that ‘away from it all’ feel about it.

Early Autumn Day

The quietness around Beeston Manor is immediately refreshing. It was a lovely early Autumn day and the trees were just starting to change from green to that lovely autumn gold. I always try to get a real feel for the day, time of year and surroundings where the wedding is taking place and capture that in the Wedding Film because there is usually a very good reason the Bride & Groom decided to choose that particular location and also that particular time of year to get married.

Award Winning Wedding Venue

Beeston Manor I believe is family owned and they have won awards as a Wedding Venue 2017 & 2018. I think one reason this is a popular wedding venue is it’s ‘get away from it all feel.’ Set in such quiet and picturesque surroundings it an ideal place for the Bride & Groom to get immersed in their wedding. I found the staff very helpful as a videographer. Sometimes I find when it come to  Wedding Videography in Manchester you just have to get on with filming the wedding and picking up on when and where everything is taking place and often certain venues are so pre-occupied with Wedding (understandably) that if you ask a question or need some help in can be a challenge getting an answer- that wasn’t the case at Beeston Manor, I found their staff very friendly and helpful.

Typical British Weather

It looked like a very well organised operation- which when you are getting married is exactly what you want!  On the day we filmed Samantha & Paul’s Wedding the weather took a turn for the worse by mid afternoon and the photographer and myself were a little anxious about getting group shots etc. We in fact managed to dodge the showers and get what we needed but what really helped was being able to use the room the ceremony had taken place in as a make shift studio. The end result, well you can check that out here:

For anyone wishing to check out Beeston Manor as a Wedding venue you can check their website out here: www.beestonmanor.com/

Wedding Videography

Ofcourse if you are looking for Wedding Videography at Beeston Manor then look no further than Julian Voigt Wedding Films. Please be assured that we approach every wedding we do as a truly unique project and even though we may film a wedding at the same location more than once, no two wedding films will ever be the same.  Julian Voigt Wedding Films strive to create a truly unique wedding film with the essence of the couple running all the way through it, because as our motto say’s ‘It’s all about the emotions’ we focus on the unique experience of that couple and their loved ones. For more info about Julian Voigt Wedding Films visit: http://julianvoigtweddingfilms.co.uk

 

The advent of the 1 minute Wedding Film!

Sometimes a Short Clip can Say More.

Less can be more. Yes we create feature length Wedding Films -30 minutes and these films certainly document the day events well but I am a great believer in quality over quantity, let me explain. Sometimes couple ask for a 1 hour long wedding film and I explain that they really don’t want that. Why? To create an hour long Wedding Film would mean that most of the film would be boring! Modern Wedding Films are like movies in that the editing style requires clips of no  longer than 3-4 seconds in duration. This creates a film that is engaging to watch and holds the viewers interest.

Capturing a Moment

The next time you are watching a classic movie and you get to a part of the film where something is happening- the story is really beginning to unfold start to count the shot lengths, I bet you they won’t be any longer than 3 or 4 seconds sometimes if things are really happening maybe just 2 seconds in length! Now consider this;  to make a Hollywood Film that is about an hour and a half long how long do you think it takes to film? I’ll give you the answer it usually takes around 12 months. So, if it takes 12 months to film and edit a movie that will keep you engaged for the hour and a half that it runs how much footage can a videographer shooting a wedding capture in just 1 day! Yes you could keep the camera rolling and easily get an hours footage but the question is; would it be engaging to watch?? No!

Cinematic Wedding Films

Wedding Films have come a long way in the past 10 years and many can truly be described as ‘cinematic’ – that means that they are film like. So, to create a cinematic style wedding film quality is definitely more important than quantity. During a typical wedding day shoot I capture around 300 3-4 second clips which are edited together to create an engaging wedding film- I want the couple to tell me that couldn’t stop watching their wedding film, if i hear that I know I have done my job well.

In fact I have no started offering all my couple with my full feature package four different wedding films for them to keep;

  1. The full feature 30 minute Film   
  2. A Highlight 3-4 minute version for sharing on the internet
  3. An un-edited version of the ceremony & speeches and now
  4. A 1 minute version which is perfect for Instagram and other Social Media.

When I began creating the 1 minute version I was surprised just by how much you could actually fit into a 1 minute film-  yes you wouldn’t just want a 1 minute film of your wedding but as part of a larger package of films it fits in perfect and just goes to show that quality trumps quantity. Here is an example of a 1 minute Wedding Film taken from Kris & Jenna’s Wedding video in Manchester at Victoria Warehouse;

Manchester Wedding Film 1 minute from Julian Voigt on Vimeo.

So for all those who choose our Full Feature package for £995.00 you will get;  1. 30 minute feature film    2. Highlight version 3-4 minutes    3. Un-edited film of the ceremony & speeches  4. A 1 minute Instagram film, read more.

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!

man-camera-taking-photo-photographer

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.

Wedding_video_taken_in_Manchester

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.