Wedding Highlight Films – the main event, not an afterthought
Our wedding package is built around the wedding highlight films. 5-ish minutes in length, they are far harder and more time consuming than any other part. French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote in 1657;
Je n’ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n’ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte.
Which roughly translates as;
I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter.
It’s a quote which has been revised and paraphrased by many over the years but the essence is there – to make something short does not mean you do less work, it means you do more. Trying to distil an entire wedding down into five minutes is an intense process.
A “highlight” (I’m still trying to think of a better title) should tell the story of your day in five minutes, allowing anyone who sees it to not only see all the elements which went into it but to also be immersed in the sense of the day, to understand your “story”.
Story sounds like a pretentious term, I’ll come back to this in a minute. David McGinty from Walnut Wasp did a great wee insta-story recently where he talked about the extreme difficulty that wedding filmmakers have in finding the unique story for each couple in a day of filming which will probably follow the same format as 99% of other weddings i.e. bride and groom get ready, travel to venue, get married, drinks for guests, couple shoot, speeches, cake cutting, dancing, etc.
So finding your story; I will only find this as I watch and rewatch the footage.
Your story develops from the combination of many minor elements; the setting, the personalities, the gifts, the heirlooms, the tears, the nerves, the styling, the content of speeches, the choice of readings, the ceremony structure, etc, etc. Every choice you make will have been done with great care and attention and that gives one very strong indication of who you are, but the context you don’t control, the subconscious, the instinctive, that also offers an insight.
Even once this is found, through listening to all the spoken content time and time again while viewing the b-roll footage, the process of assembling a highlight is a long and tortuous one. I don’t operate to a template but generally I will follow a rough chronology as it helps to reflect the day anyway i.e. peaceful mornings building to a huge release of energy and vitality, usually on the dancefloor. I’ll usually start with what are termed “establishing shots”, which pretty much do what they say on the tin; establish the context or scene. From there, I tend to follow instinct, but each shot should work with the next, either tonally, contextually or in movement. I don’t want jarring cuts and will employ a range of transition techniques to make clips move into one another smoothly. This can take an age for a 5 minute film containing 100s of clips.
The time it takes for me to get it to what I feel is acceptable to send to clients is probably far longer than most wedding filmmakers. I don’t claim this to be negligence on their part, rather an annoying pendanticism on mine. I am sure that I could assemble the clips for a wedding highlight in pretty much any order and couples would love seeing a distilled version of their day. But I’m not being paid to make a slideshow, I’m being paid to put everything I have into creating a highlight film which truly reflects your day.
This large and completely unstructured waffle essentially tends to one thing; highlight films, like rare malts, diamonds etc are more valuable for being distilled, under pressure. My wife and I had someone film our wedding and though we have watched our half hour edit maybe ten times, and the ceremony and speeches maybe five (in 4.5 years), we have watched the highlight well over a hundred times.
So we will always lead with the highlight as our main service and the rest of the package as extras and we hope you enjoy the results. If you would like us to put ourselves through the ringer on your behalf, get in touch today.