We take our time
One thing we often see advertised and truly marvel at the ability of companies to produce are same day edits.
The idea of filming a wedding, which usually finished for me at 10pm, then in a dazed state sitting down and sifting 2 x full days of footage, and bringing that to some sort of coherent edit, even without captured sound, is as impossible a concept to grasp as understanding how the pyramids were built.
We’re not fast in delivering our content. No point in denying that. Our clients wait a long time to get the goods but, thankfully, they have generally found it to be worth the wait. Firstly, we don’t film for the edit,. we film constantly and let the footage tell us what the edit will look like. That is the downside of not operating to a template. If I knew that I would piece a highlight together from a sliding shot of shoes, a pan on a dress, two angles of make up, etc then I could just shoot those shots and be done. But I don’t control the actions and composition of the people involved in a wedding, I film what is there. So I might see a great composition which juxtaposes well in the edit with a another shot which my second shooter is shooting, or that I haven’t even shot yet. A classic example of this would be the transition I used in Malcolm and Nicola’s wedding. I filmed the shot of Nicola because she was well lit and her profile was highlighted beautifully. Only when looking through the footage shot by my second did I see that, with a bit of adjustment to scale and position, I could mirror their profiles (which is partly why I use an anamorphic aspect ratio too). It’s also a good example of how I choose seconds – I want someone who has a similar eye to me. That James saw this composition with Malcolm is what made this shot possible. Then it was just a case of tinkering in post (layering the clips and stretching cross dissolves over them, which is a lazy way of key-framing opacity).
Even this is an example of why I take so long to produce work – I could save myself about 5-10min of work on this one transition alone if I just put a straight cut in. People might have still appreciated the juxtaposition of the two matching scenes, but by taking the extra time, I can really serve the narrative. That sounds pretentious, but the feel of this wedding was so ethereal and absolutely about the two individuals and their love for one another in an intimate context that having a split second scene where we see two people, each getting ready but taking a moment to look out of the window, looking to the other location (suggestion here being that they are wondering about the other) was incredibly valuable in adding an important drop of content to the “story”.
The double exposure above probably lasted all of 1 second but given that there are about 300 seconds in a highlight film, the consideration of every single second means that I can build a unique film, which truly reflects the specific feel of that couple’s day. So when I say that we distill your day down and bottle it, this is what I mean. Every drop is precious. Every drop takes a long time to produce.
This is just one example of why I could never produce same day edits.
The other is that I need time away from a day to help me get the feel of what it was. I observe, at about 100mph, the entirety of your wedding day. I see everything and many moments will be spectacular and more dominant in your conscience than others, partly through chronology and partly through personal enjoyment. There is a phrase in creative pursuits – “kill your darlings” – which as ghastly as it sounds just means cutting your personal favourite shots if they don’t serve the story. At Will & Ashlynn’s wedding, we had a lovely photoshoot up on the hillside surrounded by deer. Ashlynn even held a baby deer. It was spectacular and unique but … it really had very little to do with their relationship or their wedding day. So, this shot didn’t make the half hour cut;
Actually, it might have done, but only as a single frame less than 10th of a second long. The point is that it would have pulled people away from the flow of the highlight, largely because of how cute the baby deer is. By taking time away, just as an artist will half close their eyes to obscure the detail in a subject in order to properly see tonal values, the fuzziness of time means that the fun but less integral elements fade into the background of my memory somewhat and I am left with a general impression of what their wedding was about; the tempo, the ambience, the primary emotions, the role of the guests (as a block entity). This means that I can jot down some notes about key structure and then have that as a reference when I start watching 200gb of footage and listening to all the readings/speeches/service/ etc.
We each have our own process and I am hugely impressed by my peers and what they do, especially if they can produce same day edits, but I’m afraid my work will always take a bit of time in the maturation. But then, I hope, if this is to be your record for the rest of your lives, a few extra months is a drop in the ocean.
If you’d like to spend the many months after your wedding in a state of eager anticipation, drop us a line to book us today. Just don’t ask about same day edits.