Cinematic Wedding Videos

Ben McElroyBlog

Not all weddings are “Cinematic”. There are specific things to look for. Including the following.

  • Story Telling
  • Imagery
  • High Definition
  • 24 Frame Per Second (FPS)
  • GlideCam
  • Professional Microphones
  • Multi-camera
  • Pre-Interviews
  • Editing Techniques

First and foremost behind every great cinematic wedding is good story telling.

These types of wedding videos require a certain level of “corporate video” pre production. Just like a corporate video these types of wedding videos require research and scripting to a certain extent.

Formals349The production company needs to have a game plan. Most cinematic wedding have interviews or narration. The interviewees need to have the right setup questions to yield great answers. A skilled producer should write a list of pre-wedding questions that capture emotions and compassion. Once the correct answers are given they are generally overlayed on the wedding footage and are edited in an elegant way.

Cinematic wedding also require great imagery. Shot composition and subject placement within the frame must adhere to industry rules and standards. The videographer needs to have a good eye and someone that pays close attention to detail. Talent from the film business and television are some of the best for the job. They have been cultured to capture shots that will bring to life feelings and emotion.

Some technical aspects of cinematic wedding videos are the use of pro video tools. High Definition cameras in the last few years have endured a huge surge of innovation and hype. Prices have allowed consumers to buy up “HD” cameras at a huge rate. However this has also made it affordable for want-to-be filmmakers to use low quality equipment for business. High-end production companies generally spend anywhere from 25-50 grand to get set up with the right equipment for video production. Video resolution is key. Most affordable cameras shoot in 1080 but there’s a big deference between 1080i and 1080p. I wont go into detail in this entry but all HD is not a one-size-fits all.

Another way to judge cinematic weddings is the frame rate. In Hollywood there’s only one frame rate they use for television and movies. This is twenty-four frames per second (24p). Good cinematic weddings use this frame rate. It gives the picture a more natural look and takes away the home video look. Another great tool for videographers is a Glidcam. It’s and ingenuous tool that keeps the camera balanced when you walk or run. It is basically like mounting your camera on a gimbal. They use them in  movies and TV shows. Pro audio is essential to any cinematic wedding. Even if there’s great shots and nice editing, if the video has poor audio the whole piece will suffer. Make sure to have wireless audio during the ceremony. Also, make sure to have the videographer patch into the soundboard at the reception to capture all the speeches in perfect clarity. Shooting your wedding with multiple cameras can be great. WeddingBW1533Especially during the ceremony when you have both the bride and groom. It’s nice to have one camera on the Bride and the other on the Groom capturing both sets of emotions. It also comes in handy during the reception. One camera can capture cocktail hour while the other camera captures the formals. It’s just a great idea to have two cameras if you can afford it.

Pre-interviews can be fun and exciting. Capturing the essential people such as the Bride & Groom and the parents talking about how great and exciting their wedding day is going to be. These interviews make for interesting editing and tell the story of the wedding day.

One of the most popular cinematic editing techniques is a wedding highlights video or a “movie trailer” of the wedding day. These are generally filled with nice aesthetic detail shots of the bride and groom throughout their wedding day cut to music with special effects. Music is another way to add real production value to your wedding video. Not just popular music but good quality music from a music library. Music helps to move the video along and sets the mood and tone for certain scenes. Special effects can also add to the value of a cinematic wedding. The use of black&white filters, color correction, soft focus and other filters can really add to the overall look of the video.

Hopefully this gives you an idea of what to look for when searching for a cinematic wedding video. If you have more questions feel free to email me at