Add some movie magic to your wedding film

Devoted to the cinema experience? Meet the filmmakers who’ll turn your silver-screen dream into a small-screen reality

Wedding after wedding, the film has become increasingly integral to the experience, often just as much so as the photography. And why not? Technology has come on leaps and bounds and with more avenues than ever to show off a video (Facebook spamming springs to mind), it’s no wonder that wedding filmmakers are being fawned over. And what’s more, they have skills, skills inspired by guess where? The cinema! Use them to your advantage.

Firstly, make sure you understand the distinction between film and video. “My love of film is what compelled me to name my company Strawberry Wedding Films rather than ‘Videos’,” admits filmmaker James Hood. “Now the terminology has changed and more people are looking for a wedding film rather than a video.” Repeat after us: video = dodgy VHS buried in your parent’s attic, film = artful, thoughtful representation of your big day.

Secondly, recognise that what works in cinema might not necessarily translate to a wedding film. Case in point: Quentin Tarantino. “As you might have guessed, I am a massive film lover but I wouldn’t say my taste in films is necessarily translated into our wedding work,” laughs Kelly Yuill at YPod Wedding Films. “I’m not sure there are many people who want their wedding looking like a Tarantino movie!”

For James, however, there is always something that can be taken from a director’s work. “I love how Tarantino’s films are non-linear,” he says. “That’s something I want to explore more of with our new project, the Strawberry Cinematic Package. We will be doing pre-wedding shoots with the couple  and sending out questions to the two of them beforehand so we can really tell their story. It will be storyboarded, just like in the movies!”

A filmmaker is only as good as his tools. “What makes a film look cinematic is partly to do with the use of equipment to replicate a similar movement, such as stabilisers, sliders and lenses that allow us to create a certain depth of field,” explains Kelly. “With our stabilisers, we are able to move around smoothly, for instance, filming while walking with the bride and groom, which draws the viewer into the scene more than if the camera was static on a tripod.” We’re on the edge of our seat!

James agrees that equipment is essential. “We’ve spent around £7,000 on new lenses and equipment,” he says. “I’m particularly excited about getting started with our set of 4K and anamorphic lenses, the latter of which is what JJ Abrams used in the new Stars Wars film.”

Editing is also key – ask your filmmaker how they plan to tackle your footage. “There are lots of different techniques that can enhance the cinematic feel,” says Kelly. “Colour grading can add a lot of style, tone and emotion and can give a film a natural or more vintage look.” Hollywood, here you come!