• Ron Saunders Jr

The Evolution of The Wedding Video

Remember your first car? It did it's job, but it didn't look that good, it didn't sound that good, and it had to be yours to love it.

Thats pretty much how I feel about the wedding videos being produced today. Of course that isn't the case for all of us, there are always exceptions to rules, but I've seen enough to know that many will relate. So for this journey I'll provide a diagnostic of what's not working with the current model and reveal how we at 'Cinema-Styles', build a

video like the luxury automobile, of your dreams.

The Sound System

The first thing your suppose to do when you slide behind the wheel of a car your interested in purchasing is not check the mileage, inquire about accident history or quibble about the blue book value because none of that really matters. The proper protocol is to insert key, find some tunes and turn them up. Sound is half of your video experience and it's more important than you may realize. What I am hearing when I watch most wedding vids is; audio that was captured poorly to begin with, no tuning or equalization for the speakers voices, redundancy in song selection, no added sound effects and a final output that was not mixed or mastered. The reason for this is that most videographers are limited in their knowledge of live and or post audio production. The result is they slap a song under images they shot and the most important day of your life is now a music video.

At Cinema-Styles we realize that we can't tell your love story without your voice, so we invest heavily in professional audio and run all our films through post audio processing. I can feel a bit like Oprah Winfrey on a wedding day because 'You get a mic, you get a mic & you get a mic!' but thats whats needed to add a narrative component to a video. In addition to mic'ing the groom, officiant and any other important members of the event, we tap the sound systems for the ceremony, toasts & speeches. Our primary cameras are fitted with external mics for higher quality sound and we bring out a boom mic and wind screen for high quality audio recorded in indoor / outdoor environments. All of this glorious sound capture is later synced to the video during post production. We search high and low for the perfect sound track per film, add custom made sound effects, then tune, mix and master it all for optimum quality. When you press play on one of our films the only question is; turn down for what?

Look - Color - Feel

Safe in the knowledge that your premium audio will keep you rockin' on road trips & traffic jams you can now step out, walk around the car and kick the tires. Your automobile can be viewed as an outward representation of you and your style. So before you buy, you need to make sure that the look, color and feel of the ride is a good fit for you. I watch a lot of wedding videos and I'm often very critical of what I see to include; non cinematic frame rates, poor angling & composition, a lack of visual storytelling, no post color work, very short content and most importantly little to no structure or direction. When a movie is over and you see the credit list, it can be quite clear that it takes a lot of skilled professionals to produce a film. Now your wedding video isn't the next summer blockbuster but it still requires a certain level of technical acumen to produce professionally. Quite frankly most wedding videographers are at the amateur hobbyist level, with no official training or are photographers learning to shoot video.

At Cinema-Styles our approach to shooting weddings is vastly different. So different, that we cringe at the word videography and present our service as 'Boutique Wedding Cinema'. For what it's worth I am an award winning independent filmmaker with degrees in Radio Broadcasting and Television / Film Production. We take the same techniques used in making movies and apply them to producing our weddings films.

To achieve the look, color and feel of a film we start with pre-production. I think it's important to know the movie your trying to make before you show up to someones wedding. A robust questionnaire for story development and quality communication with our couples are key to their films overall success. Before their big day we have scouted the location and prepared a shot list for every step of the event.

On the day of the shoot we rise with the sun and arrive early because I want every shot I can get. Multiple cameras are setup for full ceremony coverage. The crew is kept small so I can keep a low profile and capture images discreetly. Cinematography is the hallmark of my style, I am constantly looking for the best light to shoot in and the best angle to shoot from. I am careful but also never afraid to embrace a little danger for the perfect shot.

When its time to edit, I do not just cut clips and deliver. Our post production workflow is thorough. I match all shots for continuity, fix imperfections in composition, run the footage through color correction and then a color grading process, the audio is tuned, visual effects are adjusted and credit sequences are included. Our movies come out the oven and not the microwave.

The Wrap Up

You need a license to drive & you need a license to be married but you don't need a license to shoot video. As a professional that provides services to this industry I feel it's my responsibility to educate others. It takes a lot to create a great wedding film or video but the times, they are a changing. Technology is advancing rapidly in this arena. This generation is growing up with affordable access to high quality cameras and software. They will have every chance to be better filmmakers than those that came before them and I can only imagine how the wedding video will evolve in their hands. However, until that time comes, I'd like to invite you to sit behind the wheel of one of our luxurious custom wedding films, they look beautiful, sound incredible and are designed to withstand the test of time.

Check out our flagship wedding film 'Forever Yours' and see more

"Boutique Wedding Cinema"


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