Darryl & Catherine

Vendors:
Hall: Willowbank Estate
Catering: Yellow Pear Catering
Hair & Makeup: Makeup Worx
Photographer: Brian Reilly Photography
Wedding Film: Solely Love Films
Officiant: Dean Kennedy
Rentals: Party Connection Rentals
Floral: Lush Floral
Performing Artists: Limestone Chorus

Jessica & Dan

Vendors:
Venue: Glen Drummond Farms
Photographer: Morgan Binek Photography
Wedding Film: Solely Love Films
Officiant: Ceremonies with TLC
DJ: Ruby Entertainment
Rentals: Party Connection Rentals
Floral: Kayware Events & Design

Jacqueline & Shawn

Wedding Videographers Niagara

Vendors:
Photographer: Caitlin Free Photography
Hair & Makeup: Eryn Shannon
Flowers & Decor: Lynne Krete
Ceremony: Roseville Estate
Food: Indulge Catering
Rentals: Tent Rentals
Wedding Film: Solely Love Films

100 Layers of Adventure

Eliza & Dan Wedding Anniversary

Eliza & Dan. Where should we start? These two contacted us over a year ago looking to book us as their wedding videographers. If you are wondering -yes- they are already married. For an entire year as of yesterday, July the 24th. It honestly feels like their wedding happened yesterday… How crazy is it that time flies by so fast?! We knew their anniversary was coming up, and we wanted to show these two how much we love them by creating this little anniversary gift for the two of them. We honestly live for people like Eliza & Dan. It is always, always always a pleasure meeting new couples, and especially when those couples are as genuine, earthy, kind hearted and awesome as these two.
Read More

We had soooo much fun filming their wedding (their video can be found here) and even more fun filming this anniversary video with these guys. It was kind of hectic trying to find time to put aside for this video, especially with the weather being all over the place (sometimes overhead clouds are not so great for video!!) so we had to reschedule the film days, probably like a million times haha. When we finally did have a chance to film with these guys, the day was absolutely perfect.

We started out with the interview portion, where we asked the two of them a bunch of questions about their relationship. We learned so many things about these two…. Our favorite fact being that their first date was at the Subway Eliza worked at after Dan finished Rugby, and Eliza bought a discount sub while Dan paid full price for his own. We laughed, so hard, so many times at this while editing the video. We then scheduled a day for the extra shots we wanted to get to form a storyline around who these two are as people and who they are as a couple.

The first thing we filmed was the tandem bike scene, where Eliza & Dan rode on their double seated bike with two beers in their basket to go off on a hot date by the running path. We made them ride back and forth probably about 20 times down the same path just to get those shots. And that bike is preeeettyyy damn heavy…. So those beers at the end were pretty well deserved. The next scene we shot was at the Ice Cream shop in Paris. I won’t mention which one, because the store owner came out and gave us $hit for filming there. It was kind of, really extremely awkward. But we made the best of it, and it turned out great regardless! We then headed over to the Paris trails and snapped some quick portrait shots before the two changed into their running gear and ran for us. At one point Brianne climbed into a tree just to get the shot she was looking for (oh the things we do for video!) We saw a doe and her fawn crossing the river in the distance as we crossed the bridge… And one thing we couldn’t help but notice was the look these two gave each other after looking for the deer the second time around. It was as if they read each other’s minds and knew exactly what the other was thinking. It was a moment that stuck out the most to us while editing this video. And Brianne is a pansy and cried the entire time hahah. We love filming couples who have a deep seeded connection with each other, and that is something we are always looking for when we film any couple together. We love to feel the love, catch my drift?

There is nothing more satisfying to us than pulling footage together of two people who are absolutely head over heels for one another, and when that connection is clearly seen even if it’s by showing each other a look like the way Dan & Eliza did on the bridge, it always hits us in the feels in the most perfect way. We are in it for the little things. And these little things always add up to big things for us as filmmakers. We love these two so much and we hope the rest of their lives are filled with so much love and adventure and every single little thing their little hearts desire forever and ever. Happy anniversary you two <33333

 

Vendors:
Venue: River House, Paris ON
Hair – Emily Ashton, Hilary Taylor and Elena Hall
Makeup: Shanelle Kan
Rentals: Pat’s Party Rentals
Decor: Now & Always Special Event decorators
Wedding Film: Solely Love Films
Photographer: Martina Wendland Photography
Flowers: Designs by Law
Music/DJ: Neil Harrickey

 

 

What you Need to Know Before You Search For a Wedding Filmmaker

In todays world, wedding planning takes lots of hard work, tears, organization, phone calls (and not to mention stress!) in order to create your fairy tale ending. Having to book so many vendors for your wedding day is not easy, and can take a very long time if you are looking for a specific and perfect fit for you and your future wedding day. Perhaps you are now looking into a potential wedding filmmaker to capture all the details of your day, but you are just not too sure exactly what you are looking for, how much you need to spend, or even how a wedding videographer works… Well, you have come to the right place! I am here to shed some light and demystify all (okay maybe not all, but a few things) there is to know about wedding filmmakers, what they can’t do for you, what they can do for you, and how they do it. Lets jump into it.
Read More

What is the budget you are working with?
First and foremost, you need to know the budget you are working with if you are looking into decent quality wedding videography. The reason why the words decent and quality are in bold, is because there is a huge difference between cheap and not-so-cheap wedding filmmakers. I am going to be completely up front here… You should be looking to spend from anywhere between $3000-$11,000 on a quality wedding filmmaker. And this is solely based on how much work, stress and time that is involved with wedding filmmaking, as opposed to just taking out a camera and aimlessly shooting. Bottom line, a wedding filmmaker can choose to charge the way they do because it’s a tough job. It really is. In some ways (quite a few ways) it can be more challenging to film and produce quality wedding films than it can be to just photograph a wedding. No, we are not downgrading the hard work that goes into wedding photography. A photographers hard work will not go unnoticed. But as a filmmaker, you need to worry about many more things than just  using your camera on automatic and pressing the shutter to get amazing pictures every single time. It’s more than just being able to slap your photographs in Light Room and batch process multiple photos at the same time to edit them all quickly. As a filmmaker, you need to know how to be able to cope with ample amounts of stress, both physically and mentally. In all honesty, if you are seriously considering hiring a wedding filmmaker, your budget should (in our opinion) prioritize the filmmaker rather than the photographer. If you are looking for quality film, you can’t expect that to come out of someone who charges $1000 for a wedding film.

But I can just book the student videographer I found for a lot less money…
Again, if you are looking for quality, you probably (most likely) will not find that with a student. If you are willing to sacrifice quality for a price tag, that is completely up to you. Just make sure that you weigh the pros and cons and decide from there. If you are sincerely looking to hire a wedding filmmaker who charges outside of your budget, unfortunately, from a wedding filmmakers perspective, you probably will not find much luck if you are looking for something that is under $1500.

What are you looking to get out of your wedding filmmaker?
If you are here, we assume that you have been on youtube or vimeo or perhaps even facebook, and have been inspired by a really visually appealing, tear-jerking, smile-inducing wedding film. You felt so much happiness watching a strangers wedding film and felt instinctively inclined to go out and venture into the world wide web to track down a wedding filmmaker you feel is going to make you a film that is just as awesome (or even better!) than the film that inspired you to want a wedding videographer in the first place… Stop right there. Before you go out and aimlessly contact all of these wedding filmmakers, you need to ask yourself exactly what it is that you want to get out of your videographer before contacting anyone. Every wedding filmmaker out there is not going to offer the exact same thing, the exact same quality, or the exact same price tag. Some filmmakers specialize only in short, 3-5 minute films, some only offer one package that includes full day coverage and a 12 minute film, and some offer multiple packages with different options. So let me ask you some questions first:

What type of product are you looking to have as an end result?
Are you looking to remember your entire wedding day, from the bridal prep to the ceremony and speeches in full raw detail? Are you only interested in watching a highly engaging film that includes music, and outlines the most important moments of your wedding day, and excludes anything that might be boring if you shared it with friends and family? Or, perhaps you are interested in both of these options?

Depending on the filmmaker, there are usually only a few options you can choose from when it comes to wedding films.  There are:

1.*The short, 3-5 minute Highlight Films that you see displayed on 99% of wedding film portfolios. Depending on the filmmaker, these films can range anywhere from 1-8 minutes long. 
Highlight films are suitable for those looking for short but sweet and to the point films that highlight only the essential and best moments of the wedding day. They are great for sharing with friends and family.
2.*There are the Ceremony & Speech Edits (raw footage, essentially), which includes your ceremony from start to finish, as well as your reception speeches. These can range from 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours long.
Ceremony & Speech edits are suitable for those who are wanting to look back on their wedding in full detail in the years to come. They are great for recollecting.
3.*There are Feature Films, which can run anywhere between 10-30 minutes, depending on the filmmaker. These films are much like Highlight Films, but longer.
Feature films are suitable for those who want something in between a documentary film and a highlight film, but want something that is still engaging. They are great for sharing with friends and family.

As mentioned above, it takes different strategies to film each different wedding video type. And depending on the type of package you are interested in, the filming strategies may or may not completely differ. What I mean by this, is if you are only interested in hiring a filmmaker to create for you a a 3-5 minute highlight film of your wedding day, the filmmaker is only going to “shoot what he/she needs.” This means that the filmmaker is not going to spend the entire day filming absolutely every single thing he/she sees during your wedding. The filmmaker is only going to film here and there, and capture only what they need for the highlight film. This means that if down the road you contact your filmmaker and ask them if you can also have the raw footage or a documentary film, you are basically asking your filmmaker to play Houdini. If a filmmaker is hired to create you a highlight film only, chances are there is no way for them to conjure up footage he/she just did not film to begin with. If a wedding filmmaker was to give you the raw footage if they were only hired for a highlight film, you essentially would end up with maybe 10 minutes of footage total, and that is including all of the bad, unneeded shots they potentially captured.

Depending on the filmmaker, these options may be offered at different price ranges and with different package options. You need to make sure you have a clear idea of what exactly you would like, and find a filmmaker that offers what you are looking for. Contacting a filmmaker who only offers highlight films and asking them to provide you a documentary film and the raw footage is not going to work out. There are different filming strategies for the different options as outlined above, which brings me to my next question…

How many hours does a filmmaker need to be at your wedding in order to create a great wedding film?
You may be wondering this thinking that a filmmaker can create a delightful highlight film out of, say, only 5 hours of coverage. First you need to think back on what you are looking to get out of your wedding filmmaker. When you imagine your highlight film, do you imagine you and your girls getting ready in the morning… Your fiance and his groomsmen putting on their suits and ties… Perhaps a first look, you walking down the isle and the tears rolling down your soon-to-be hubby’s cheek as he sees you for the first time… Do you envision some heart felt speeches being said, your first dance and maybe your guests having a good time at the end of the night? Well, to put this into perspective, assuming that you are having a traditional wedding with morning prep for a few hours, 30 minute ceremony, and a reception that lasts for 6 additional hours, there is no physical way possible for a filmmaker to create a highlight film for you with all of these aspects if you are only looking for 5 hours of coverage. Those 5 hours include the time your filmmaker is attending your wedding and traveling around from location to location, not solely the amount of time they are filming. If you are looking to have a great 3-5 minute highlight film out of only 5 hours of coverage, you risk sacrificing important details of your day depending on what time of day you would like them to start filming. Let me explain further using a typical timeline we would typically use:

9am – Start filming establishing location shots
10am – Finish location shots, drive to bride morning location
10:45am – Arrive at brides location, film makeup, hair, bridesmaids
12pm – Finish up with hair and makeup, drive to grooms location
12:30pm- Film groom/groomsmen
1pm – Drive back to brides morning location to get dress
1:30pm – Film dress
2pm – Drive to ceremony location for audio/setup
3pm – Film ceremony
3:45pm – Ceremony finish, start photography filming
3:45-5pm – Film photography session, leave for bridal entrance & lights set up @ 5pm
5:45pm – Bridal party entrance & First dance
8pm-9:30pm – Film speeches, dances, cake cutting, bouquet toss
9:45pm-10pm – Pack up equipment, leave for home

Using this timeline, you can see that there would be certain elements of the day that would completely need to be sacrificed should you only wish to have 5 hours of coverage, especially if there is a long distance to travel from location to location for each element. Essentially, for most filmmakers, a 3-5 minute highlight film is unrealistic in 5 hours of film time unless you are looking for a wedding film that has no audio other than music and snippets of your photography session and you putting your dress on. This would essentially be a pretty boring highlight film, unless you strategically made sure you cram in certain elements within those 5 hours that your filmmaker can use to pump out a decent wedding film, which brings me to the next topic…

What elements make for an amazing wedding film?
Content. Content content content. Wedding filmmakers looovee when there is lots of content to film. When we say content, we specifically mean little stories we can create from your wedding in the film in order to further your wedding story along. Some of these small stories include:
First looks
Some people choose to have these, some people choose not to have these. They are becoming increasingly popular as the years go by.
Letter readings/writings
We personally love these. They create an air of personality for the film and can easily shape the storyline into something very personal and captivating should the wedding couple choose to read out loud a letter their fiance wrote to them the morning of the wedding.
Gift exchange
These usually go hand in hand with the letter reading.
Personal Vows
These are our absolute favorite ways to unfold a wedding film. Personal vows speak volumes about the couple, about their story, and create the best best best wedding films.
Other events that take place before the ceremony…
If you go out for coffee in the morning, go for a run, go for a boat ride… Golf, lunch, breakfast… Literally anything you are doing in the morning other than getting ready is seriously gold and you should consider telling your filmmaker about these things should you feel like being recorded early in the morning. It really adds to the storyline, trust me. Something as simple as getting breakfast in the morning or even getting a hot shave can completely transform the film.
Heartfelt/great speeches said during reception
If all else fails, usually speeches are what a filmmaker relies on in order to further the story along. If you know someone is going to deliver an awesome speech, let your filmmaker know. They will appreciate it.

At the end of the day, does this mean that we need absolutely every single one of these elements in order to create a great highlight film? Absolutely not. All we need is at least one of these elements if you are interested in an engaging film. The more the merrier, however. And the best films are always the ones that have the most content to film. Think about it: If the only thing a wedding filmmaker has to film at your wedding is the photography session and your bridal entrance… Do you think it will turn out being a great film? Not really. This is why we don’t offer hour by hour coverage, but rather base our packages off of what we feel is in the best interest for our couples and their wedding day, which brings me to my next point.

What does it take to create a wedding film?
Most people have no idea how mentally and physically stressful it can be to produce quality films for couples. Long gone are the days where uncle Joe is called up for free to stand around on a tri-pod all day and “film” your wedding (no offense to all uncle Joes out there.) In all honesty, filming weddings is not as easy as pointing and shooting the camera, and especially with video, you don’t have the luxury of snapping hundreds of photos at once to make sure you have a perfect shot… So what exactly does it take to be a wedding filmmaker? Let me explain.

You need to be organized
If you are at all disorganized, you risk being late for very, very, verrrrryyy important moments that could potentially ruin your entire wedding film, and let your couples down. If you are even just 10 minutes late, the ceremony might start without you, you miss the bride walking down the isle, the vows, and the entire ceremony, potentially. This is bad news (thankfully this has never happened to us!) With that being said, you need to always be checking the clock, know the distances and travel times between each location, and plan your day ahead of time.

1. You need to physically be able to stand on your feet for more than 8 hours a day
Filming weddings is totally a workout. Depending on what you are filming for, you can expect to be standing on your feet up to 13 hours per wedding, not including the travel to and from a wedding. This is hard on the feet. And the back. And the legs. And the neck. And the mind, especially if you have to drive home for an hour and a half late at night after a 13 hour work day. Lord knows how many times we have almost fallen asleep on the road, which is why it is essential for some filmmakers to require a hotel fee (and rightfully so!) Filming weddings can be very physically and mentally demanding.

2. You need to be fast and mentally sharp at all times
You always need to be on the ball. The moments and the events that happen at weddings are very, very fleeting, and weddings tend to happen very quickly. If you miss something, you can’t just scream “CUT!” and expect everyone to restart and redo it all over again. If you are sleeping for just a moment, you risk missing out on very candid and important moments, gestures, words, and events that could have made a huuuuuuuge impact on the wedding film. This is why you may hear the term “run and gun” when it comes to wedding filmmaking. Essentially this alludes to the fact that you need to be very quick in the mind- always, always looking for those special moments – if you are a wedding filmmaker. This is the main reason why wedding films can be so mentally demanding. You always need to be thinking critically about something.

3. You need to always plan your shots
When you film weddings, you need to always think about the technical things that involve creating a memorable film and operating a camera in general. You need to always be thinking in terms of storyline, how you should film certain shots to portray it as best as it should be; you need to always be thinking about the audio, your exposure, your white balance, your framing, your composition, your lighting, what angles would make the couple look their best…. All of these technical terms occupy around 90% of the things wedding filmmakers (and photographers!) think about the entire wedding day. The other 10% is whether we are making you feel comfortable and relaxed or not, and being on time.

4. You need to pretend the stress is not crippling and agonizing
Everyone gets stressed, there is no denying that at all. Sometimes things don’t go as planned on the day of the wedding, and so you need to make sure you are able to solve problems right on the spot, and be able to handle your emotions. Sometimes you work with terrible photographers who don’t acknowledge that you as a filmmaker play a role in the wedding, and make it very difficult for you to co-exist when them. Sometimes your equipment gets stolen at the wedding, sometimes guests are a little too intoxicated and accidentally spill beer all over your equipment (this is why we have insurance). Sometimes the wedding day schedule is completely off time and you don’t have enough time to set up your equipment before the ceremony or reception… These are some of the many things filmmakers have to expect and potentially deal with at every wedding. Expect the worst and hope for the best, is what we always enter each wedding with, only because literally anything can happen, so you need to be prepared at all times. But you need to be able to always have a positive outlook, and have faith that everything will turn out well in the end. You need to always be able to solve these problems in the best way you can, because this is your couples wedding day. You can’t stress them out because you are stressed. That’s just not cool.

5. Editing
And then comes the editing…. Editing is a whooooolllleee different ballpark. Once you come home from a 13 hour wedding day, the work doesn’t stop there. You can find yourself spending another 10-20+ hours on the editing process depending on what it is that you are editing. You need to unload the footage and back it up onto multiple different hard drives, which in itself can take up to 5 hours to finish before you can even start organizing your clips into proper folders. Once you have everything organized, you need to sync up and then look through all of your footage to edit any of the unnecessary footage out. Depending on what you filmed for, this can take anywhere between 1-3 hours to do (or potentially even longer). This part isn’t even compiling the actual wedding film(s). This portion is just to compile a bunch of usable footage to then edit off of. The next part is the most difficult, especially if you are editing for a highlight film or a feature film with speeches and music.

To edit a highlight film or a feature film, you must first find music that suits the mood of your couples wedding day; a song (or multiple songs) that reflect who they are as people. If you don’t have a song that fits, it just will not work. You can find yourself spending up to 3 hours just finding one song that actually fits on either Marmoset, Musicbed or Songfreedom (you need to license the music, or risk being sued). You not only need to find a song that suits the couple, but something that gives you inspiration to move forward. A song that screams “pick me!!! I am the one!!” If you start editing to a song that just doesn’t work, you might find yourself editing for double the amount of time just to create something you feel is good enough to give your to couple. And you don’t want “just good enough”. You want amazing. Inspiring. You want something that screams “Eliza & Dan” or “Sarah & Jordan,” not something that is just barely good enough to slap online. That is not what quality wedding filmmakers do. Quality filmmakers spend much time and effort producing something that will be memorable, because it is not “just another wedding film.”

Once the song is chosen, next comes the story telling. You will then find yourself spending time deciding how you want to unfold the wedding story of so and so. Do you want speeches to underline the story of the couple? Do you want the personal vows to underline the story? Or perhaps there was a letter reading…. You need to decide what audio to use, and this can be tricky. You need to keep in mind the couple, their personality, and what they are specifically looking for in terms of mood and style. Is the couple romantic? Are they bubbly and fun? Are they emotional? These types of things you need to always consider in order to carefully select what kind of storyline you want to tell. Once you find the audio you are looking for, you need to pace it with the song, and then select the clips you would like to accompany the music and audio.Finding the right clips to be placed for the film is the second most challenging part of editing. At this point, depending on how you work as an editor, you may already know exactly what you want for each spot, or you might just fly by the seam of your pants. Editing the footage down to only what you will be using for the feature or the highlight can take hours. Deciding where to put those clips, and which ones to prioritize over others, can take even longer. This is why some filmmakers charge an additional $2-3000 just to produce a short, 3-5 minute same day edit. What normally would take a filmmaker 10-20 hours to complete in the comfort of their own studio, has to be sped up and jam packed into a short, stressful 4-5 hour time frame to show during your reception. This is probably one of the absolute most stressful things you could undertake in the entire universe, and is why we personally will probably never do same day edits ourselves.

Once you finally have all of your clips in place, by now the time you have taken to get to this point, including filming the 13 hour wedding day, is probably around 20-30 hours of work, of course depending on how you work as a filmmaker/editor. By this time, you are also probably fed up with listening to the music you have chosen for the film over and over and over and over and over and over again; you probably dream about the music, know every single octave and can recite the lyrics at the drop of a hat. By this time, you never want to listen to that song ever again in your life, so you mute the music to edit the next portion of the film.

The next part of editing is the fastest and easiest. If only making wedding films was as easy as color correcting your footage. Depending on how good you are at color grading, this part can take anywhere between 20 minutes to 2 hours to finish. Once you are finished with the color, you can make any final tweaks and adjustments with the video and you are ready to deliver, if  a highlight film was the only thing you were hired to create for your couple. If you were hired for a documentary film as well, editing this can take anywhere between 1-3 hours to finish, depending on how long your couples ceremony and speeches were. You have to re-watch the entire wedding over again, essentially, and edit it as you watch it 😉

At the end of the day, being a wedding filmmaker is really hard work. We hope this article sheds some light for you in regards to the topic, so you can understand the standpoint of a wedding filmmaker. Who knows- maybe this article will help you start your own film business 😉 Until next time, take care!