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Snowbird Wedding Films - EPIC Training

Wedding Cinematographer Training - Way Beyond The Basics

I want to talk about how we teach our cinematographers to make the footage that they capture EPIC.

Heroic and impressive in style and quality.

We break down the word EPIC I’m training Wedding cinematographers , to help define our extra details we require that make our film that extra bit personal and special.

We do this training to teach all our cinematographers to think differently about their role in capturing people special days. Approaching each day with open eyes to the challenges and opportunities that it brings.

So E of the word EPIC is for everything.

You want to be aware of everything happening throughout the day and the order of events.

First thing to do is have a chat with the venues event organiser or toastmaster to gain as many details about things as possible. It important to approach the day with fresh eyes it’s great to have the experience of being a wedding videographer for hundreds of weddings because you can use that to get the sound right the camera settings right to be in the position early it’s great that the experience. But you want to see everything on the day you wanna see what’s different about the day. Also listen closely to what the bride, groom and organisers are telling you for clues about what’s important for to you capture form their point of view. If the bride mentions particular things that she has planned or organised then these will be especially important to capture on film. If you don’t have this quick chat some important little details to her can easily go un-captured, as they might e as small as hand written name tags on flowers or gifts etc.

P is for perspective

What perspective are you going to tell the story from your role as the filmmaker is the storyteller so how are you going to tell the story. You need to spend some time thinking about the people watching the final films and how you are going to tell them the story of the day.

This is an important step to really immerse the people watching the film. We often tell our videographers to start off the day capturing “behind the scenes”. An empty venue with setting shots and moving onto the bridal details and preparation and then the groom arriving . This is all stuff the average wedding guest will not get to see on the day itself. Then you move on to giving everyone watching a VIP front row seat (from multiple angles). of the big moments and then during the drinks reception and quieter times take a back seat approach and capture allot of natural reactions of the friends and family enjoying the day.

We teach all our cinematographers the Perspective approach as it really gets them to change the way they think about going about capturing the day and for keeping things interesting.

I is for initiative.

The power or opportunity to act or take charge before others do.

This ties in nicely with the preparation before and at the very start of the day. But when things don’t happen as expected that have the power and confidence to go off plan and make things work (or even work better) than before.

You need to make sure you are in the perfect position for all the big moments before other people are there. This will enable you as a camera operator to stay unobtrusive, rather than rushing to capture a shot!

C is for (true) cinematic,

The art of telling a story that complements the day.

That moves us onto the I which is for Interesting. We encourage our shooters to follow a variety of shooting styles throughout the day to complement what is happening around them. Too often a camera operator wants to capture fancy moment shoots all the time when it really isn’t needed. To keep things interesting it is important to let the action unfold in front of you and to only use movement when it adds to the story. We love slow cinematic moving shots, drone shots etc but we emphasise that the film should be about the day and what cinematic techniques complement each moment.

We teach our cinematographers when movement is needed, when close up and crushed backgrounds can work. When it is good to shoot an overview and when its get to capture shots right in the middle of the action. Keeping things interesting is mostly the job of the editor, but the camera operator is responsible for the footage on the day and needs to provide the editor with a complete set of shot options to help tell the story in a captivating way.

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