As a wedding photographer, I’m constantly asked if I can also shoot video, and I always say no, even though I wish I could. While I love quality cinematic wedding films, most of the wedding videos are cheesy tapes consisting of bad audio, lame transitions, and awkward interviews with relatives. I never want to create anything like that and can’t support that type of wedding videography. The truth is, many of the videographers I work with are either very professional, but there work leaves little to be desired, or they are “arteests” that insist on jumping into everyone of my shots to capture the perfect moment (which I end up missing).
With all that said, last Summer I worked with a video duo that blew me away both with their professionalism and creativity. Jim and Amy of Abominable Productions took a soggy wedding afternoon and turned it into a cinematic masterpiece that they were able to edit overnight and show on the big screen the following day for the reception. The two were never in my way, helped me move my gear during a flash monsoon, and truly captured the magic of the day in a way that complimented my photography rather than competed with it. A few days ago, I sat down with Amy to find out what makes a great wedding film.
Tell me a little about Abominable Productions. Why did you decide to make wedding films? What’s your background?
Jim and I started collaborating in college where we were studying video production and art respectively. Shortly thereafter we formed and filmed mostly dance and theatrical productions. We got part-time jobs editing weddings for large cookie-cutter companies, which did not satisfy us creatively. It was then that we realized there was a need for stylish, well-produced wedding films.
What is it about videography that inspired you to do this professionally?
We just wanted to make really great stories through the medium of video/film. Filming weddings gave us that outlet while allowing us to be innovative and artistic as well.
What makes for a great wedding video?
We feel that a great wedding film is one that not only looks and sounds exceptional, but one that captures real and authentic moments. It focuses on everything from the important events to the smallest details. It’s one that captures and showcases the personality of the bride & groom without fitting them in to a formulaic video.
What differentiates a traditional wedding video from more modern cinema-style videography?
Traditional wedding videography is usually just a straight-forward documentation of your wedding day and it’s focus is typically just on the important events. The intention of cinema-style videography is to draw you in and make you feel like you were a part of the day—even if you weren’t there. Cinema-style videography uses all the tools and techniques used in a Hollywood film, just on a much smaller scale. Even though cinema-style wedding films are shorter than traditional style videos, their creativity, content and stortytelling can leave a more lasting impact.
Why should a couple consider hiring a videographer for their wedding?
Because once a moment is gone, it’s gone. You’ll never be able to hear your vows again or relive your maid of honor’s toast—unless you have it on film.
Finally, what advice do you have for couples looking for a videographer?
Don’t choose a videographer without seeing samples first. Sure the samples should look great, but make sure to pay strong attention to the audio because that’s what is going to drive the film. Are the vows and toasts clear? Are they used in a way that helps tell the story? You want to hear ambient audio as well. For example, when you see people laughing, you should hear it too. These are some of the components that make a great wedding film. Here’s what she had to say.
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