As I stare out of my fifth-floor hotel window over beautiful Rome, I am deeply moved. I can see the duomo of St. Peter's, the largest, most famous, and most magnificent basilica in the world. Within its walls lie works of art (including Michelangelo's Pietà), covering almost 2,000 years of history. It is truly a magical place, and what a phenomenal location for a wedding video. Perchance to dream!
Beholding all this beauty has inspired me to write an article about what the perfect wedding video might include. Unfortunately, every wedding cannot be filmed in Rome; however, if there were no budget constraints, this is how I would visualize the perfect wedding video.
As far as production is concerned, we still prefer to remain unobtrusive, so no dolly or cranes would be used on the wedding day. I would, however, use multiple cameras in strategic positions during the ceremony, and have a separate sound technician mix the audio from several mic sources.
During the reception I would probably use a total of three cameras, two to capture the action and reaction shots, and the third camera to capture unique and artistic footage. The third camera operator, for certain shots, would also use a Steadicam sporadically throughout the day.
I might mention at this point that all video would be shot in High Definition at 24 frames per second to give the cinematic film-like aesthetic I really love.
I would open with a segment incorporating some radical 3D, probably a progressive variation of our DAPA (Digital Animated Photo Album) sequence. See www.boulevardvideo.com for an example. Music would be contemporary and hip. Overall, a very distinctive, upbeat beginning.
This would segue into a "He Said/She Said" segment. The bride and groom would record this in our studio on a separate day. Here the couple would relate their story of how they met, how the first date went, leading up to the proposal. Their story (though the same) is typically told very different from one another, and the scenes are short concise and juxtaposed against each other.
I would professionally light these scenes, and use a dolly and dolly track for some very slow camera moves, which would add a really high-end production value.
I'd continue with the brides pre-ceremony segment, set to music, but with a voice-over from the bride (given after the fact, in the studio) revealing her thoughts and feelings during these moments. Next we repeat the same process, but feature the groom. No clichéd slow motion or Enya music for me. Just great visual eye candy and creative stylish editing that never leaves the viewer bored.
At this point, rather than move ahead chronologically, I would begin the ceremony with the final words from the officiant, "You may now kiss the bride," followed by the kiss and some of the recessional, and would then segue into highlights of the first dance at the reception, and then return to some of the vows at the ceremony, etc.
This fits into our "Timeshift" edit option, which presents a non-chronological view of the event. Strategically placed shorter scenes are edited together to give a unique perspective of the day.
Throughout the ceremony and reception segments I would also add bride and groom voice over reminiscing thoughts and feelings, where I felt they were appropriate.
Some of the segments would also include a dance montage, whereby several upbeat dance sequences are condensed to a shorter music video. Another segment would include a dinner montage which includes candid shots of guests socializing, as well as the honorees visiting tables and interacting with friends and family, all set to music.
I would ideally end the wedding movie with a montage of highlights presented in an "old movie reel" fashion, with flickering, dust, scratches, and vignetting.
I feel the appropriate length for this movie would be between 25 and 40 minutes in length. It would be presented on DVD and would have very high-quality custom artwork, designed by my graphic design team. Currently there is no delivery system for HD DVD for the consumer, but it is just around the corner and I can promise you I will be waiting.
So how much would all this cost the client? Let me recap:
The $14,999 Dream Package
- HD 24 Frames Three-camera
- Multiple-camera Ceremony
- Three-camera Reception Steadicam
- Custom Sound Design for Ceremony
- Timeshift Edit
- "He Said/She Said" & Epilogue Segments
- The DAPA (Digital Animated Photo Album)
- Flashback Ending
As I continue to stare and daydream, the sun goes down over the Vatican, and I realize that this is the way I should do all my weddings. But then reality sets in as I remember what the market will bear. Soon enough, though, I'll drift off to sleep, perchance to dream some more.