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.