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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

 

 

My preferred Style of Filming

 

 

wedding film at knowsley mannor

 

Movement 

Wedding Videography has improved considerably in the past 10 years and it needed to goodness when I look at my Wedding Video -which is not very often! – I cringe. The reason? Apart from the fact I look about 15 years old, it’s just how cheesy and predictable the wedding video is. That was 1991 ok what did I expect! But fast forward to early 2001-2005 and still, Wedding Films were very formulaic and predictable. Fast forward some more to 2010 and we see an evolution has taken place, Wedding Films have improved considerably! (not all of them ;). The Buzz word among Wedding Videographers is; ‘High Production Value’ – what is that I hear you ask? Well, many Wedding Film makers mistakenly think that the more Hollywood Film like their wedding video is the more interesting it will be to watch. They think by employing the use of hi-tech gadgetry like Gimbals- Drones- Sliders and Cranes that their wedding film will look like a ‘real movie’ but the question I think we as videographers should be asking ourselves is; ‘what type of movie do I want my films to look like? More importantly, what type of movie do the couples I am seeking to attract want their wedding film to look like?

While I see a huge improvement in the quality of wedding videos I can’t help notice a trend that can make many wedding videos look all alike. The trend I see is the over use of Gimbals, sliders and Drones. When used selectively and sparingly, yes they can add an element of movement and change of pace to a wedding film. However, when one shot follows the next with a slider movement or gimbal shot or repetitive shots of Birdseye like drone footage -it can take the viewer away away from what’s happening in the frame and more importantly the people in the frame- the couple. The result? We then inadvertantly draw attention to ourselves.

 

Static Shots

On the other hand static shots force the videographer to fill the frame a bit more creatively and cause the viewer to focus more on what is happening in the frame rather than the camera man that’s filming the scene. I think many videographers fall into the trap of trying to impress fellow videographers more than the couple, who let’s face it are the stars in their own film. Static shots also make the videographer think a little harder about the ‘story’ element in the film. Rather than relying on Blockbuster Movie techniques and movements the videographer has to think about what is happening in the frame. The question I often ask myself is; does this particular shot help me tell a story?  When I say ‘story’ I don’t just mean the overall story of the wedding day but I am also talking about  the ‘story’ within a story! For example the interaction between a Bride and her mother during Bride prep- it might be just a look, a touch or a tear. A few well chosen shots creatively edited together can tell the ‘story’ within a story. This is one reason that in my style of filming and editing I limit movement and keep the majority of my shots static I want my viewer to be full drawn into the frame. Wes Anderson is a master of this technique because the thing that characterises is his Films is his use of framing. An excellent example of this is his 2007 short film ‘Hotel Chevalier’- the opening scene of the Hotel reception which looks to me to have been shot on a 35mm lens is a perfect example of his use of static shots where the viewer can’t help but be drawn into the film. The result? You become intrigued by the character in the film rather than the film- does this make sense? I want my couples to be the characters in their own films that the viewer is drawn to- so it all about the couple and not the videographer.

 

My influences

Ok, I admit I am unlikely to become the next Wes Anderson, but I’d rather be taking my inspiration from someone like him than just other Wedding Films. I think by studying Directors like Wes Anderson, Woody Allen, Stanley Kubrick and other Film Makers that produce character focused films, we are far more like to produce something that is both creative and artistic. There are just a few Wedding Film makers that I do take inspiration from who in my opinion are not running with the herd and doing something a little bit differently, they are; Phillip White, Daniel Armitage and Alejandro Calore. Go check out their Films.

 

Final thoughts…

The more gear you take to a Wedding the more weighed down you will be and the net result will be that while you are faffing trying to get your Gimbal balanced or your Drone to take off you will have missed some golden moments never to be repeated but hey you can console yourself with the thought that your Wedding Film will have some cool Drone or Gimbal shots!  🙁

 

Here is a recent Film that is more about the couple and less about gadgets: https://vimeo.com/256972780

 

Paul & Chantal’s Highlight Film from julian on Vimeo.

 

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.

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.