up to date. Instagram has really helped us connect – and stay connected – with clients and industry colleagues, so we focus our attention on this.” Of course, it’s not all about a defined wedding style and savvy marketing – you have to be able to competently carry out the shoot under extreme pressure of time and changing light. You cannot be messing with unnecessary kit. The Wedding Filmmakers’ best advice is to simplify your approach and master the basics of documentary filmmaking, before investing in gadgets like gimbals and drones. Adam says: “By focusing on composition and utilising the available light to your advantage, you can produce amazing imagery with just a single camera and prime lens.” Audio is often overlooked, so taking the time to capture clean dialogue and ambient sound makes your work stand out. “We use a combination of Sanken COS- 11D lapel mics attached to TascamDR-10 recorders to capture audio during the ceremony, alongside a Zoom F6 recorder plugged directly into a sound desk to capture the speeches and entertainment at the reception. We also use an on-camera Rode Videomic Pro and Sony TX650 recorders to capture general ambient sound throughout the day. There is no room for error, so we try to have backup recordings wherever possible,” adds Adam. However, minimising the equipment you take to a wedding can prevent decision overload and force you to think more creatively. “We use Manfrotto 190XPROB tripods and XPRO monopods, a Zhiyun Crane 2 gimbal and Mavic Pro drone. But when the guest count is over 1000 people, we do hire a larger team, including dedicated jib and drone operators, to capture the grandeur.” These shots add to the production value, but it’s essential to always get oustanding images, as the best moments are often completely unplanned. “Rather than sticking to a fixed shot list, we prefer to capture the day organically as it unfolds. This means being observant and ready to anticipate moments before they happen. This is arguably the most difficult aspect of
“By focusing on composition and utilising the available light, you can produce amazing imagery”
As the couple capture hours of footage at each wedding, they also have to be mindful of bit rates. With experience, they’ve found settings that offer a good balance between image quality and file size. “On the A7S III, we use XAVC-S codec, shooting UHD 4K in 10-bit 4:2:2 at 200Mbps. On the A7 III it’s the same, except it can only do 8-bit 4:2:0 at 100Mbps. The post-production with wedding films is extensive, so keeping the process simple helps us deliver to the couple in a reasonable time frame.” Finished edits can vary depending on the type of wedding and the couple’s preferences, but the most common offering is a three- to five-minute highlights film, a 25-30 minute feature, and real-time multicamera edits of the ceremony and speeches. They often also produce a 60-second teaser film, cropped vertically for Instagram in 1350x1080. Everything is delivered digitally via a platform called Mediazilla. “Physical media has a limited lifespan, so we have found this to be the best way for our clients to future-proof their films. It also enables easy sharing with family and friends via a beautifully presented private portal,” says Adam. Filmmaking is a great industry to work in – especially as weddings are now hotting up following lots of Covid-based cancellations. And the pay is good, too! Adam concludes: “The weddings we film vary significantly in scope, so we tend to price on a bespoke basis. Our fees can range from a few thousand to five-figure sums, depending on the filming required and the crew size.” That does sound like a good business to be in!
the job and can take many years of practice to master,” explains Adam. For weddings, there are essentials you need to capture, such as the ceremony, speeches and the couple’s first dance. For these crucial snapshots, The Wedding Filmmakers utilise a wide-angle safety camera, allowing them to be creative with the additional cameras, without the worry of missing a moment. Using kit that is portable, quick to set up and intuitive is key for event filmmaking, as carrying heavy equipment slows you down, can be exhausting and may cause you to miss shots. Adam recommends mirrorless cameras, which have a compact size, but still shoot high-quality visuals. The duo use Sony A7 III and A7S III cameras for their compact form factor, amazing low-light performance and IBIS. “A large camera can look intimidating, but the Sony cameras enable us to blend in and capture emotional moments in a very intimate way,” says Adam, whose lenses include a Samyang 14mm T3.1 cinema, Voigtländer 40mm f/1.2 primes, a Zeiss 85mm f1.8 Batis AF prime, a Zeiss FE 16- 35mm f/4 and Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master zooms. “For each scene, we try to capture a mix of wide, medium and close- up shots for maximum choice in editing.” The team deliver in 4K and often use some slowmotion. Adam says: “We have experimented with Log profiles in the past, but moved away from that to capture the look that we want in-camera. We use a modified version of Andrew Reid’s EOSHD Pro Colour V.4 profile, giving us a warm, relatively contrasty image straight out of camera, as well as sufficient dynamic range for most situations.”
PERFECT SLICE Portable LEDs are useful to boost lighting, for something like a wedding cake in a dimly lit corner
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