An interview with a wedding videographer

Apr 8, 2020 | Wedding advice & ideas

I have recently been working on a new and exciting project whereby I have been interviewing different wedding suppliers across the wedding industry. I have been putting myself in bride/grooms shoes and asking all the questions I’d want to know the answers to if I were planning my own wedding. I have carefully selected the vendors I have chosen to interview and it was really hard to select just one supplier from each field of the industry, as over the years I have made such good friends with so many wonderful souls who I work alongside on wedding days.

To kick start my ‘An interview with’ series I got in touch with James Boyce who is an Essex based wedding videographer from Inline Film to answer my video related questions. I loved reading through James’ answers and hearing how things differ between photography and videography from a videographer’s perspective.

I first met and worked with James from Inline in 2018 on Lydia and Rob’s wedding day at Houchins. From first meeting James I knew we were going to get on great working together as we both have a similar approach to weddings. James captured the day as it unfolded in a very natural way, the video of Lydia and Rob’s wedding is beautiful and something they will treasure for many years. If you get a chance once you’ve read through the Q&A below I would recommend watching the full video at the end of the post and taking a look at Lydia and Rob’s wedding blog post. You will find it interesting to see how the film and the photos differ.

Thank you, James, for being involved in my new series ‘An interview with’ and for taking the time to answer the questions below. I know your answers will provide an insight into wedding videography to many couples planning their wedding.

If you are looking for your wedding videographer, do drop James at Inline a message and see if he is available to document your day.

Essex wedding videographer ‘Inline Film‘ answers your questions:

TELL US YOUR STORY

Inline Film all started with myself when I was around 13 years old. I found a love for “Aggressive” rollerblading. Throwing myself down handrails and stairs for fun. As anyone in this sport will tell you, filming is a huge part of everything you do. So I have had a camera in my hand since an early age. From there I found myself wanting to film a lot more than getting hurt so I created full films for friends instead.

This love continued and guided me through college and university where I studied media and film. When it was time to figure out what I was going to do as a job, me and a friend started a production company in the last year of university and formed Inline Film (Inline being the key reason I got into filming). We decided we would love to film documentaries and short films, but in order to do this we needed funding.

A friends father was filming weddings on the weekends as a hobby/job, and we thought well this is what we “have to do” in order to buy the kit we want. We filmed our first wedding for free, and the rest is history. We fell in love with wedding videography and found it was much more rewarding and challenging than we ever imagined. 

Further down the line, we parted ways due to personal aspects in life and I took full ownership of Inline Film, and I remain the sole director today. Like all others in the industry, we have evolved with the times, and tech to create the films we do today.

You would be shocked to find how many ex skaters/skateboarders now film weddings or are camera operators!

WHERE ARE YOU BASED AND WHERE DO YOU COVER?

We are based in Essex, but cover the whole of the UK. Mainly spending our time in the South-East, but travelling all over. We have our first destination wedding in 2021, as we decided we would push for this more in order to broaden our horizons.

After 8+ years of filming weddings, destinations never seemed to work out due to other bookings etc. But finally, we will have our first one in the bag and we can’t wait. However, the UK has so much to offer and could never imagine shooting more destination than home weddings.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT STYLES OF VIDEOGRAPHY?

In our opinion, there are 3 distinct types of wedding videography and then many subcategories of these. The first being “traditional”, a person with a camera, recording hours of footage, long takes, and a lot of movement walking around. This would then be put together as a long-form edit (2-3 hours) with a colourful saturated look (generally). 

The second style is “documentary”, this tends to take a more cinematic approach, covering the whole day but in short clips, with the view to put together montage sections of the day. The speeches and ceremony tend to get cut into the film throughout rather than one big section and the video tells the story of the day/couple. A colour grade is then applied to create the desired “look”, which tends to be what is referred to as the style of filming. 

The third style can be more diverse. But I will call it “short-form storytelling”. This is generally a more abstract view on a wedding day. Shooting minimal during the day, with the view to create a short 10-15 minute film focusing on creative shots and a feeling, rather than a candid view of the day. This tends to focus on the couple a lot, with the portrait sessions featuring more than the guests. 

WHAT IS YOUR STYLE OF VIDEOGRAPHY?
I would say our style is much more “cinematic documentary”. We focus on nailing the key shots during the day in a creative way, enabling us to provide this in its entirety. E.g. ceremony, we will have multiple discreet angles, so one camera can focus on the details for the highlight film, and the others can provide those extra angles for the long version of the ceremony. 
 
We are often told we were not noticed on the day, although we have conversations and chat with guests at every wedding we do. We focus on capturing short bursts of footage, interactions with the guests and family, and use music and narration to bring this all together in a montage of the day. Our main films are approximately 30 minutes long, and the highlights films being 3-4 minutes. On a typical wedding day, we can usually film around 5 hours of footage including the ceremony, speeches and first dance which make up a big chunk. 
IS IT IMPORTANT THAT COUPLES MATCH THEIR PHOTOGRAPHER & VIDEOGRAPHER STYLES?
I do think this is hugely important, not so much in the final output and look, but with the approach to the day. Without generalising, certain styles can point towards a certain way of working. This is just what we have picked up on over the years. The easiest way to explain this is if you have a videographer who creates more of a “traditional” style film. In order to do this they will be around the guests a lot, and with the couple most of the time filming long takes interacting with guests etc. This coupled with a candid photographer who likes to keep back and capture the more intimate moments could cause challenges.
 
We have found that this is all down to an individuals perception of what they deem themselves to be in terms of their approach to the day. Some who we would say are more of a certain style would actually say they are another. It’s hard to tell sometimes but couples generally seem to match styles quite well.
HOW DO YOU WORK WITH A PHOTOGRAPHER ON A WEDDING DAY?

We tend to let the photographer take the reins. As they have different objectives in some parts of the day. They will often be asked to take group shots and have people openly look at their camera. As soon as someone sees our camera the shot is ruined for our films. So this works well as they are often seen around the venue, whereas we stay hidden away. 

We love meeting new people, and we can honestly say we have worked well with all of the photographers we have met. Some you gel with more than others and make lasting friendships. This is the approach we take when meeting any new photographer, and at the very least it’s great to see the view they took on the day when you see the final result. 

HOW DOES HAVING A WEDDING VIDEO DIFFER TO WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHS?

We often get confused for the photographer on the day. However, we couldn’t be further apart in terms of what we bring to the table.

The main difference, apart from the movement, is sound. Images can play the same sort of role in bringing back the memory of a moment, or sections of the day. However sound brings people to life. A laugh, a joke, a voice of someone who is no longer around. These cannot be replicated through an image. Sound is very emotive, and accompanied with music (as we know from feature films) can make you feel a certain way.

Back to the obvious difference; movement. Seeing an image of your ceremony is amazing, and it’s easy to showcase this for everyone to see in your home. However, the closest we currently have to reliving a moment is having a video to view. You can see people in the background, their mannerisms, movements. All these details can only be relived from memories when looking at a still image.

Photography does indeed play a huge role in its own right. There are many things that can be captured more effectively with an image. Group shots are a great example, as it ensures every person present was documented. And of course the couple portraits, these live on forever, being able to easily share these with friends and family. Much easier than video, although this has changed massively in the last few years.

HOW LONG DO YOU SPEND EDITING?
Editing is a hard thing to put a time stamp on. We’ve roughly estimated that each wedding takes 5 full days to put together. Of course, if this was the case everyone would get their wedding back the following weekend! But of course, we do multiple weddings over a weekend, and weddings tend to be in the “season” when it is warmer in the UK. So we do tend to dip in and out of weddings filmed around the same time, as we get ideas and make changes throughout the process. 
 
One thing we are often asked is; “Do you know how you will put it all together before the wedding?” The answer is yes and no, we know the linear fashioning which we will put the order of events. But what we don’t know until the day is what is going to be said and how we will use that to shape the film. Every wedding is different, but most do follow the same timeline. Each shot we capture on the day we subconsciously know the sequence in which it will fit in the edit. 
HOW MANY CAMERAS DO YOU USE ON A WEDDING DAY?

We typically use 3 cameras at each wedding. We have two videographers filming all of our weddings, unless specified otherwise. So two main cameras and a third wide-angle or “cut away” angle. This ensures that if for any reason during the ceremony, speeches or other longer moments, we have multiple angles to choose from if one is obstructed. 

The other reason for this is back up. If a camera was to get damaged we can continue capturing the day with no issues. We also tend to have a camera in our kit that doesn’t come out of the bag as you never know when you might need it!

DO YOU WORK WITH A SECOND VIDEOGRAPHER? IF SO WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

We shoot all of our weddings with two of us. Obvious situations like preparations in two different locations dictate we have to have two videographers. We took the approach early on that it is much less stressful having two capable videographers there on the day. Simple things like being able to grab the kit from the church while the other captures everything happening outside, through to having those extra angles during key parts – it makes everything more streamlined. What comes with this is double the footage, so we tend to know our roles on each day and keep separate to avoid doubling up on the same shots.

The other key reason we have two is for security. We have a lot of equipment and it’s easier to keep an eye on everything with two of us. Although you would imagine that a wedding would be the last place for things to happen with your equipment, it does happen. Not to mention accidents, children and general wear and tear.

The final most important reason for having two videographers is that someone else can be there if the other is unable to make the day. We both travel separately and have our own full filming kits. All of our videographers run their own businesses, so are capable of shooting the day solo if required.

WHERE CAN WE SEE YOUR LATEST UPDATES?

Our website is full of great examples of our work. The time that we live in makes it so much easier to do quick updates on social media. So our most recent work and posts are on Facebook, followed by Instagram. These are just the most engaging platforms for video, and easily shareable for our couples. 

Want to see who else I interviewed in the ‘An interview with’ series? Read all the posts here.