A lot of times when someone wants to book our services, they are confused about which style of wedding videography should they go for. Most of our potential Clients ask about Modern Wedding Cinematography or Cinematic Wedding films. Some also consider the option of having a Traditional Videography done, either for their parents or other elderly members in the house, or they wonder if that can be a substitute for a Wedding Film. Very few couples who approach us for their wedding have a clear idea about the different Wedding Videography styles that we offer, so that prompted us to finally make this post “Traditional Videography vs Wedding Cinematography”.

People always ask us what is the difference between these broad-based classifications; traditional wedding video production and cinematic wedding filmmaking.

A Cinematic Wedding Video is telling a story. We do this through a mix of speeches/interviews, images, and music. The film is shot differently as the Cinematographer will shoot in high-quality short clips. This is because they are shooting to tell a story, not just document every single minute of the day. Lighting, angles, narrative storytelling, and editing are the distinguishing features of this style. A video like this will have a cinematic feel with more dramatic shots. After the wedding, the footage will be edited together to tell a story.  How the end result will be, also depends a lot on your venue, decor, lights, hex code of wedding theme color, the guests, and eventful celebrations. Something as seemingly insignificant as poor or unrealistic time management is also likely to affect the quality of photo/video production big time.

A Traditional videographer has a typical video camera usually shoots continuously. There’s less creativity involved besides documenting everything that’s being done. There’s no storytelling involved and it doesn’t give you those emotions you would get from a Cinematic Wedding.

Prices of filming can vary depending on your requirements – it can be determined by how sophisticated you want the end result to be. If you’d like a Bollywood production using multiple cameramen and the use of drones, all this really does take time and skill, not to mention hours in the edit suite to make it look as spectacular as you envisaged. 
Therefore the cost of your wedding video/film literally depends on what you want from your wedding video/film. The main factors that make up the price are shooting on the wedding day, prior research, personalization, editing, equipment, human resources, and music.

|| watch our pre-wedding photography ||

In Wedding Videos and Wedding Films, we offer the following services,

Wedding Videography
Traditional Wedding Videography

Wedding Films
Standard Cinematic Wedding Film
Documentary Wedding Film
Story-based Wedding Feature Film
Alternative Wedding Film

There are some secondary filming services that we offer, like pre-wedding films, wedding reels, same-day edits( that involve) fast-paced production and high-pressure delivery, etc, but that calls for a separate Blog.

Traditional Wedding Videography

Traditional Videography is best summed up as a longer, more “as it happens” style of wedding video. It is usually very comprehensive in nature. There is no storytelling involved in the videography process and neither there can be any inputs while editing the video. There is no emotional connection that can be seen in traditional wedding videos. This one is the least expensive and also the least creative. It is usually a bulky video master camcorder-like camera in a static position, with continuous recording of the rituals, thus unable to take into account surrounding moments of spontaneity, beauty, details, and other artistic elements. (The team does not plan the Video in advance and starts recording as rituals start at the venue.)

•      Very straightforward edit with all of the footage delivered in chronological order, with background songs.

•      Long, possibly non-creative shots.

•      Basic quality image.

•      No movie-style movement or action shots.

•      There won’t be a storytelling final document.

•       Almost exclusively uses wide-angle shots to capture as much of the event at once.

•       Finished video will be on the longer side and include almost everything shot that day.

Wedding Film

Filmmaking is in the eye of the creator.
Films have a more diverse media palette: For instance, we can use movement, changing lighting, music, sound effects, dialogue, and more to bring much greater depth to the memory of the couple’s wedding day. Wedding Filming involves producing shorter, more creative wedding clips which tell an emotion-charged story mixing in visual and audio sound bytes from the day. The production values are much higher than in the traditional video. The footage is usually more cinematic in nature, i.e. smooth camera movement and fewer static shots. Whether capturing an in-between emotional father-daughter moment or the beautiful bride hugging her beloved pet before leaving for her husband’s home, a good wedding cinematographer weaves a story from each moment and creates a fairy-tale wedding movie out of it. For a cinematographic production, the art and science of motion-picture photography involve all aspects of realizing the vision and the artistic creativity of the director (that’s us) and/or client (that’s you!). To this end, it can involve which lens and lighting choices we make, as well as what filters and the specific camera action operators will be taking.

·       We’re going to document the day from a movie-like, artistic perspective.

·       The cameras will be small and unobtrusive.

·       We’ll be using modern film tools such as Steadi-cams/Gimbals, sliders, aerial drones, and other advanced devices to capture unique footage.

·       We’ll be able to record speeches and other audio stories with high-quality filmmaking equipment; this allows us to later narrate the wedding feature in a creative style.

·       Instead of just a one-man team behind a bulky video cam, we use multiple cameras to capture the ceremony from various angles.

·       Deploying a cinematographer on the job, means the film captured will look more movie-like (this is called a shallow-depth-of-field look). It results in smooth camera movement and the feeling of high production value.

·       Rather than basic event coverage, cinematographers opt for narrative-style or documentary-style “short films” or “story videos”.

·     We capture a lot of great shots throughout the event, such that it is hard to pare down the selections in the editing process.  The editing style for your cinematic film will emphasize the story, thus much more work goes into the editing (could be 80-100 hours of analyzing several terabytes of data, sorting, music selection, and editing versus 10 hours for a traditional wedding video), just to make an expanded film of 20 minutes. Unlike videography, the cinematography crew is quite big with a number of camera people and editing professionals. As the wedding cinematography involves a storytelling process, it is shot accordingly from various angles keeping the story or the perception in mind. While editing, all the effects are combined and interwoven to come up with a great wedding movie that you finally get to see.

Standard Cinematic Wedding Films

For Standard Cinematic Wedding Films, the team does not plan the Video in advance and starts recording as rituals start at the venue. For the client, the finished edit might mean a montage set to an uplifting piece of music.
But for us, it’s a carefully assembled narrative illustrated by the very best visuals from your day.

|| A few of our wedding films ||

The Documentary Wedding Film

The Cinematic Wedding Film and The Documentary Wedding Film will both be shot using similar equipment and will both use almost the same post-production technology. 

The principal difference lies within the conceptualization of both. The Cinematic film is made with the available footage of the live event. 

But for the Wedding Documentary, the difference lies in the way it is shot. The number of crew members at the back end is many more. We start with an extremely personalized approach and complete scripting and story-boarding for the film we are about to shoot. We also try to maintain a minimalist approach throughout.

Our Documentary Wedding Film team is made up of storytelling wedding photojournalists who create an intimate documentary style of work, incorporating the real happenings and raw emotions in the family. We have carefully adapted our approach that analyzes everything about the day-the structure, the people, and the details.

In order for that our mode of work also differs reasonably from usual teams and it requires us to work really closely with the couple and the family and stay at the venue throughout the events. Clients also, need to commit time to us and co-operate with us completely in this, filling in information or stepping in wherever necessary with your valuable inputs. Also how you treat the creatives is of utmost importance as it totally reflects in the work.  If the relation is completely on the Transactional angle between a client and a Service provider, the fun element will go missing. Basically, we wish for the couple to open up with us completely and be absolutely relaxed and just be who they are with your family or maybe a friend.
The preparatory phase from our end also involves seeking the venue management, light gaffers, and event stylists into consultation.

We will try to get as much content as possible from the two of you and your family, most of it will include the preparatory phase, behind the scenes, informal discussions, micro-stories within stories, unfolding of emotions, and all of this work stretches way outside only the specified event rituals. 

Though we do not prefer taking stilted shots, some instructed footages are an essential part of the film. So u might need to comply with our requests for that. For the most part of the event though, we follow very much a fly-on-the-wall guerilla-filmmaking journalistic shooting style, capturing natural reactions, without having to pose people or ask them to do anything except enjoy the day. A journalistic-style wedding video relies on the scenery and people to allow the story to unfold organically. It focuses on the natural reactions and unplanned moments as they happen. 

 A good Wedding Documentary is going to involve multiple high-end cameras, multi-point lighting systems, operators, drones wherever necessary and exceptional audio including wireless microphones wherever needed. It would also require additional equipment for stabilization and effects. The filmmaker may also offer creative direction and ideas to the couple. Post shooting, there are days of editing sifting through a large volume of data, to edit even a 2 to 3-minute of a crisp highlight film, and sound engineering and color-correcting afterward.

|| small highlights ||

Exclusive services like the usage of licensed, originally composed songs come at an additional cost. So does the color-grading of the film. Or adding typography and customized animation.

Story-based Wedding Feature Film

For a romantic and intimate Story-based Wedding Feature Film, we are also likely to include a lot of Wedding Blooper outtakes that might play at the end of the video as the credits roll, fun Confessional Video booths, or incorporate a Marryoke ( for which we need to deploy more crew members). ‘Marryoke’, is the wedding karaoke, with the wedding party miming different parts of the couple’s favorite song.

Our key approach in making a Story-based Wedding Feature Film revolves around the concepts of real movie-making. The element details include shot divisions, angles, lighting, filters, and transitions like what you would see play out on the big screen of a cinema. It’s about listening and observing closely and recognizing when those emotional moments are happening.
For e.g when we watch a movie conversation, we see camera positions that represent the viewpoint of the person listening. we do not place our camera high-up if the listener is seated), movements representing moments (In movies the camera movements echo what’s happening. A conversation seated in a cafe is virtually static, while an action scene is often shot in quite a messy style with lots of camera movement. It helps to bring the audience into a scene, and while making a wedding film we incorporate the same techniques into a wedding. We also use concealed high-end micro-recording microphones to record conversations, because unlike in movies we cannot control the ambient sound and there is no scope for dubbing the scenes later on.

Alternative Wedding Film

If you’re the creative type, you might like an Alternative Wedding Film. Our crew needs to be a little higher in number and more involved in the day, and you may get directed a bit more in order to get the coolest shots.
This style of wedding film is mostly for quirky or unconventional people, artists or adventurous, fun and rad couples, and boho people who write their own narrative and doesn’t want a scene-by-scene retelling of their event. These kinds of films are usually fine art visual poetry. They are edgy, fast-paced, funky, modern, raw, and authentic, and involve the usage of alternative music, have highly creative and unusual edits including multiple exposures, light leaks, abstract visual elements, extremely creative edits with unusual cuts, and color-grading.

It takes months to finish editing an hour-long Wedding feature film. A shot that lasts 30 seconds on the screen can take hours or even days to prepare for or edit. The art of real cinema is to create the moment, whereas wedding filmmakers, have to find the moment from several terabytes of data of a live event. A good wedding film will record the experience in a cinéma vérité-style so that you can remember details long after the first blush of wedded life has passed. A great wedding video will enable you to relive each moment of your wedding and re-experience the emotion of the day. It takes a professional’s eye and experience to plan shots and yet still capture the spontaneous celebration, and then to select interesting angles and work with the light. Since no artist can paint a masterpiece handcuffed, it is equally necessary that the couple and the family are invested and involved as much as possible in our common goal of great storytelling.

The audience of a wedding film is the couple and their families and friends. To this audience what they are watching on the screen is not a movie or a story, but something more intimate: a memory. And make on-the-go decisions on what would be entertaining to watch after the wedding and what would be sentimental to view in many years to come. There needs to be the right balance between the emphasis on the “story” and the “narrative”.

Feature Image: Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

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