The secret to getting a wedding film that will make your matron of honor jealous
And do it without stress or adding to the to-do list

Please note that we are no longer producing wedding films. We're sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

So you've decided to make it official and now you're looking for someone to capture your wedding day. After looking through countless websites, wasting hours on YouTube, and watching your friends wedding films you're asking yourself, "all of these videos look the same, is a wedding video even worth it?"

You have a suspicion that there might be something different out there, something unique, something authentic, but you don't know how to find it and you've got so many other items on your planning to-do list you're thinking about scrapping the video all together. But there is something in the back of your mind gnawing at you. Deep down you know that you'll regret not having a wedding film, but with so much to do you're simply stuck.

Imagine if you could hire someone to shoot your wedding film through your eyes instead of their own. Someone who can zero in on the most emotionally important moments of the day and almost read your mind without lengthy vendor meetings or complex shot lists. What if they could leverage a process that has been used hundreds of times to get to the essence of what matters most to you and create a truly unique and authentic account of your day without the stress and without any specific direction?

That would be awesome right? Well it turns out there is such a process and hundreds of couples have already stumbled onto the secret that got them a truly authentic wedding film without the hassle and stress.

The little known secret I learned

When I started shooting weddings for my first video mentor 20 years ago things were quite different, simpler you might say. There was essentially one videography style that everyone shot and it was what I cut my teeth on for nearly 14 years. At every wedding I would see tears, smiles, and embraces but I always felt like a hired hand paid to observe and document a super intimate moment and nothing more.

Consequently, every vow, every toast, every cake cutting became one giant collective memory in my mind where the couples expressions, tears, and names melded into a single faceless archetype.

It became increasingly strange to me. The filmmaker inside of me was screaming out, as if I was some sort of shop-a-holic that was condemned to endless window shopping because I could never find my way into the store. Indentured to always observe true human intimacy through a viewfinder but never grasp the breadth of it.

So at every wedding I looked for ways to understand better. To somehow get 'the why' behind the tears, or the nod, or the embrace. It was more than just the wedding, there were years of emotional decisions, heartaches, and victories that motivated everything playing out before my lens. I knew I was missing out and my work was suffering for it.

In 2006 I had the opportunity to shoot two weddings for family friends. We were never super close, but I was close enough to know a lot of the heartache and joys the families had endured.

When I shot their weddings I saw something different. I suddenly knew what to anticipate. When the toasts happened I knew to setup to get the right reaction shot because of a recent illness of the bride's sibling. I understood the years of courtship and the 'why' behind the groom's cake.

It was like I was inside of the store - not just window shopping for the first time! I could hear the music, feel the texture of the clothes, experience the smell of the store. But most importantly by being on the inside I understood why!

And that's when the quest began. How can I have this intuition with every couple without making crazy long shot lists and spending hours in lengthy vendor meetings?

While doing yard work in 2008 I began thinking about what motivates me in filmmaking. The technology fascinated me, and making beautiful images was rewarding, but it always came down to the power of the story, and not just any story, but the story of the everyman.

The movies, the documentaries, the books that inspire me are those of the average joe who is put in an extraordinary circumstance and someone triumphs because he had the solution within him all along.

Bam! That was it! Our couples... Their stories... Their circumstances... They were the everyman! They're in the extraordinary circumstance of navigating human relationship. They should tell their story!

So, while my quest for a different wedding video began as a selfish pursuit in the beginning, it opened my eyes to the beautiful stories that were laying just beneath the surface of every wedding.

With this discovery in hand we began building a format that would allow us to understand and share with viewers the deeper motivations behind the vows, the kiss, the tears. And that's when our insight process was born.

Since then we've created hundreds of amazing stories that have engaged and entertained perfect strangers, but more importantly have allowed our couples to remember the day the way they want to remember it - through their eyes, not just through our lens.

And here is where I'll rant for a moment about one of my biggest beefs in the wedding videography industry. There are tons of 'weekend warriors' who see wedding films as a way to 'pay the bills' until their 'real filmmaking break' happens. While not every cinematographer feels this way, they make up a large part of the industry. They're just more concerned with their gear and making a 'cinematic' demo reel. So much so that they've missed the simple but profound truth - every couple has an engaging story to tell. This isn't just wedding videography, these are powerful stories of love and commitment the very essence of what it means to be human. In other words it's compelling and deeply emotional filmmaking at its best.

But at the end of the day does the wedding video really even matter?

Discontent with the way their wedding day went down Michael and Shayzon decided that they would re-do their wedding in a future vow renewal. One of the things they decided to do differently was to hire a wedding videographer the second time around. Watch first hand as this bride describes what it's like to be on both sides of that decision.

Traditional vs. Non-Traditional

So the video is important, but more than just the video itself you need to find the right stylistic approach to match your style, and this is where it can get tricky.

There is a lot of confusion in the industry about the different styles of wedding videography and what distinguishes each from the other. I've covered this in other things I've written, so for now I'll just address those who identify themselves as non-traditional videographers.

Many videographers work hard to tell couples that they are non-traditional in their approach to wedding videography. They have the latest gear and a 'cutting edge style' that separates them from the rest of the crowd. But in reality when it comes to telling your story they, just like all of us, are confined to work with the material they have.

If the only content they have to craft the story are the events, vows, and toasts (ironically the toasts and vows are two of the most traditional elements of a wedding) how can they be expected to tell a much more nuanced story or do so from a non-traditional viewpoint? It's not their fault, they simply don't have the material to work with. Consequently they are locked into telling the story from their viewpoint because they simply have no other choice.

To illustrate what I mean take a look at this short clip from Craig and Brittany's wedding. We first cut together the segment in a more cinematic style. If we didn't understand 'the why' behind the story how would it look?

After that you'll see the segment as it appears in their story which is shot and edited in the insightful wedding film style. While non-traditional in it's telling, it's rich with authenticity and allows the viewer to see the event through the bride's eyes.

See what I mean, the insight style is much more powerful.

Without the insight process a videographer simply wouldn't fully understand the depth of relationship between the bride and her father, nor the significance of how she views the groom similarly to her father. This wasn't said in the toasts, and it wasn't in the vows. How would we have known why it matters without understanding the couples story?

We even were able to work in a little artistic flair by cross cutting between the groom (framed on the left) and her dad (framed on the right), visually playing off the idea of the mirror image that she talks about during the interview.

Additionally, we were able to tie together the reading about love to the events as they were unfolding. The act of Brittany's father giving her away to a man who promises to love her, is the perfect manifestation of what the reading is describing (selfless love). This is the difference between telling a story through the lens of theme instead of simply documenting an event.

While those thematic elements may slip under the radar for most viewers, it doesn't slip past the subconscious, which is why it feels so much richer, makes a strong connection, and most importantly conveys the authenticity of that moment Brittany felt when her dad was giving her away. Even a complete stranger can now experience that moment through Brittany's eyes.

How The Process Works

Before The Wedding: The Insight Process

  1. We'll schedule your appointment for our 2 hour on-camera insight interview. This laid back and conversational meeting is generally done at our studio roughly 4-6 weeks before the wedding, but we can flex on the time table (and location) for couples with a tight schedule or where there is out of town travel involved.
  2. Our most introverted couples will tell you that the interview process is a ton of fun. For about 2 hours we'll ask you questions about your relationship and get to know the story behind the two of you. We'll send you questions ahead of time so you can feel prepared, but in general they are just a starting point for us to begin our conversation.
  3. After the insight interview is wrapped we work hard to review all of the interview footage before the wedding day. We're looking for strong relational themes as well as emotionally relevant moments to look for on the wedding day.
  4. With our internal shot list prepared we prep our gear and assign insight tasks to the crew to make sure that no relevant moment is missed on the wedding day.

The Wedding Day: How We Shoot

  1. The three shooters arrive to the prep locations (one with the ladies, one with the guys, and one to the ceremony venue). We're capturing the action from every side so that nothing from your day is missed. Later you'll be able to relive what everyone else saw before the ceremony started.
  2. We'll mic the groom, the officiant, and usually the bride with hidden microphones to make sure we get the best audio of the vows and events leading up to the ceremony.
  3. We're already setup to shoot the ceremony and with the three operators in place we discreetly cover the ceremony in its entirety. We want your guests to focus on you, not on us, so we've spent years refining techniques that make us unobtrusive to your guests and still in the right place to capture all of the emotional detail.
  4. After the ceremony one shooter will capture the photos, another the cocktail hour, and the third will capture all of the decor shots in the reception space. Basically, if you spent money or time on it, we've got it covered.
  5. During the reception we're everywhere capturing the events as they unfold and the relevant reaction shots of your guests.
  6. And when it's time to say good night we're ready to capture those last magical moments when you two walk hand in hand from the empty reception space to your get-away car.

After The Wedding: Editing & Release Schedule

  1. While you're leaving for your honeymoon we've already started our 4 stage backup and cataloging process. We've spent years developing a custom software package that manages all of your footage ensuring it's safety, organization, and accessibility. We know that your footage is priceless so our intuitive strategy has no less than three backup copies that are in at least two geographically separated locations to keep it safe from theft, fire, natural disasters, or hard disk failure.
  2. Once your media has been cataloged, sorted, synced, and prepped we begin re-reviewing the insight interview footage and comparing it against the events of the day. We begin tagging shots that line up thematically with your story and our 4 stage editing process begins.
  3. Our first cut of your interview footage pulls out the most important thematic elements from your story and guides us through the event footage strategically.
  4. Music selection is done based on your preferences and what we feel is creatively appropriate to evoke the appropriate emotional tone for your theme and story.
  5. The rough cut of your story segment is completed and shelved for a few days. Over the years we've learned that watching an edit with fresh eyes gives us the ability to find things we missed and make a strong edit when we work through the second pass.
  6. After completing the second rough cut we focus our attention towards creating your story preview segment. This two minute segment is generally released about eight weeks after your wedding day and is designed to get your friends and family excited about the soon coming story segment.
  7. Once the preview segment is completed we hand it over to our colorist who uses industry standard color grading software to make every shots look amazing.
  8. After the color grade is completed the final sound mix is begun where we balance the music, the event audio, and the interview audio together to create a complete sensory experience when you watch your video.
  9. We then use custom designed media encoding presets to compress the video for optimal DVD, Blu-Ray, iPhone and web distribution.
  10. The preview segment is released on our website and we'll notify you.
  11. After we've delivered the preview segment to you online we set our attention back to the story segment. We'll complete a final edit and follow the same color correction, sound mixing, and media encoding process to deliver the story roughly 12 weeks after your wedding day.
  12. If you've chosen to add on a complete edit of the ceremony, reception, video booth or same day edit we'll master those segments and prepare them for your DVD and Blu-ray discs.
  13. We've invested hundreds of man hours perfecting our DVD and Blu-ray authoring process. From motion menus, to custom jackets and labels your finished video will look as good on the outside as the video does on the inside.
  14. Once your discs have been completed we run them through a 2 step quality control process where we watch and verify the entire disc to make sure everything looks as good as it's supposed to.
  15. After the QC process has been completed we'll ship your finished DVD, Blu-ray, and hard drive to you. You'll be able to shuffle through the chapters of the disc and even watch all of the footage that hit the cutting room floor on your hard drive.

Sharing The Story: Encouraging others with your strengths
(The last phase is completely optional, but most of our couples eagerly participate.)

  1. We'll check with you to make sure you want us to share your story online with other couples. If you give us the thumbs up we'll begin creating an additional segment called The Third Ring where we share the story behind your story on our YouTube channel. Thousands of couples have been encouraged and many marriages have potentially been saved because of the lessons our couples share with the world.
  2. Not only will other couples be helped, but you'll get an insider peek (a director's commentary of sorts) about how we crafted your story and developed your theme.
  3. We'll promote your story to thousands of fans and our ever growing community of followers. Who knows you might even become YouTube famous!

Atlanta Wedding Videographer - Our Favorite Venues

Wedding Video at The Georgian Terrace Atlanta Wedding Videography at Ventanas Jimmy & Rehana's Atlanta Wedding Videographers at The Georgian Terrace Marlon & Veronica's Videographer at The St. Regis Hotel in Atlanta