Capturing the table-top magic

Victoria & Andy's wedding: a film-making case study

How we captured the wedding day and the guests’ special moments, condensing them down into 8-, 4- and 1-minute stories.

In a nutshell…

Nat Macrae Photography kindly invited us to act as his second for his wedding shoot. Nat had seen our previous work and suggested a video to Victoria, who was planning a small, intimate and special wedding day.

We worked with Victoria to plan a montage that was faithful to the events, captured the surprises for the guests and act as a reminder. It was a success for the following reasons:

  • Nat was happy, presenting our video to Victoria

  • Victoria followed up with a lovely testimonial, which you can read below

  • We were happy as we felt we captured the impact in both the longer 8-minute and shorter 1-minute versions of the video

A little bit about Nat Macrae Photography

Nat is one of our champions, so when he asked to work with us, it wasn’t a hard decision. He’s also a talented photographer, able to capture the moments that we love to portray in our work, so there was good existing synergy. Nat is based in Derby like us and runs his local photography business (Nat Macrae Photography) from home, again, like us.

If you’re looking for wedding photography in Derby, you can find out more about Nat and get in touch with him via nathanielmacraephotography.wordpress.com or www.facebook.com/nathanielmacraephotography.

Victoria approached Nat as a local wedding photographer in Derby with Morley Hayes as the venue, so overall it was great to keep everything local.

The before

Given that video wasn’t on the cards up until relatively late on, our job was to demonstrate the value of having a moving record of the day. Nat suggested video to Victoria, who hadn’t even considered it before that!

As you know we hadn't anticipated having a videographer at our Wedding Celebration and on our photographer, Nat's suggestion we arranged to meet you to discuss ideas.

As such, our brief was firstly to complement Nat’s photography and secondly to capture particular moments (among the footage of the day overall) that perhaps better lent themselves to video format

The after

Capturing the small, intimate moments

Given that Victoria didn’t have a ‘problem’ that needed solving (in the usual sense that people write up these sorts of case studies), we took our usual approach of capturing the small, intimate moments of the day that make it special.

To the external observer, they may not seem much, but this is the beauty of being a guest and being able to live the day again via a video.

An example of this is that Victoria wanted to set up a surprise for one of her bridesmaids.

She wanted to capture her bridesmaid’s reaction when she encountered an (welcome) unexpected guest.

Rachael planned and pre-empted this, positioning herself to be able to capture the moment.

Most will be oblivious to it, but to those involved, it makes a difference and is a meaningful memory.

Good planning unlocks creativity

The key to unlocking the moments that make a great video is in the planning, so Rachael met with Victoria for a thorough planning session beforehand at Cafe 42 at the Derby Arena (velodrome). Good planning helps provide a strong framework for the creativity. It’s not something that necessarily ‘just happens’, which might sound counterintuitive.

You filled us with confidence that it would add to the day and that you would be able to capture the highlights and details rather than having a simple record of the day.

So what?

Sometimes with projects it’s not about units sold or enquiries generated; people want something to treasure and have the satisfaction of a smooth, well-executed experience.

Victoria and Andy’s feedback was that the result of the day was something that they will be able to look back on for many years. Part of the satisfaction too was the delight in encountering moments that they may only have been half-aware of that have now been weaved into a bigger tapestry.

Here's what they said in full:

Dear Rachael, on behalf of Andrew and I, I wanted to thank you for the superb video that you have put together for us. As you know we hadn’t anticipated having a videographer at our Wedding Celebration and on our photographer, Nat’s suggestion we arranged to meet you to discuss ideas. You filled us with confidence that it would add to the day and that you would be able to capture the highlights and details rather than having a simple record of the day. On the day, you were totally inobtrusive, working in the background with Nat, we were never self conscious about being filmed. The final result was just fantastic, seeing our Wedding Day captured in cleverly edited scenes which blended together to provide the best bits in one continuous film. We loved it! Thank you so much, many of our friends and family have now seen this and have been totally blown away by your work. This is a lovely keepsake of our day and just makes us want to do it all over again!
— Victoria & Andy

Surprises

Overall, this project went very well, and the proof is in the reaction of Victoria. In terms of surprises or things we have taken away:

Ripping off the plaster

It may surprise you to read this, but ‘ripping off the plaster’ is one of the big challenges to video work. You do a full, tiring day of shooting, and it can then be tempting to sit back a bit. The trouble is, the longer you leave it between shooting and editing, the harder a project can become, and you can lose motivation.

By sitting down to review the footage and make a little start fairly soon after shooting helps keep momentum high and provide a chance to distill some of the creative ideas. This is definitely something we will be keeping an eye on in the future!

Long versus short

To date, we have mainly focussed on short, impactful videos, optimised for engagement on social media. This has meant videos no longer than one minute (59 seconds in the case of Instagram).

Because Victoria had requested a longer version of the day, this required a bit of adjustment, as clips can be longer and the storytelling unfolds in a more unhurried way.

Overall, we really enjoyed producing the longer (8-minute) video, which actually well suited a wedding day, with its important transition points between service, wedding breakfast and evening function.

Soundtrack challenges

To let you in further on the production side of things, one time-consuming element is finding a suitable and sympathetic soundtrack, as this provides quite a strong lead to the theme and feel of the video.

As part of our video package, we choose a premium Soundstripe soundtrack for the video, but it can take quite a bit of trawling to get the right one that suits the mood of the day right down to the ground!

Doors opening

Happily further opportunities for wedding video work have opened up off the back of this project.

As mentioned above, our video are normally business-focussed, but the way we capture small details and human moments suit weddings really well, so we look forward to seeing how this line of work develops.

And you?

If you’d like to find out more about our video work, do check out our filmmaking page or do get in touch with Nat Macrae (Photography) if you’ve got a wedding in mind.

We offer not only wedding videos, but also short, lifestyle videos for businesses that capture their audience’s attention and elicit a response - perfect for marketing objectives.