When I first got into professional video production, I decided to shoot weddings (as most aspiring video entrepreneurs do) to pay the bills. I would just do it until I could make “real” videos. But, something funny happened along the way. When I showed our first wedding clients a 7-minute highlights clips, they laughed and cried within those seven precious minutes. It was then I decided that I would use my gifts as a filmmaker to help strengthen marriages and enrich people’s lives. Our Silicon Valley-based boutique studio quickly grew to become one of the highest paid studios in the area. That was the birth of what would become my company Cinematic Studios.
Seven years later our company has evolved into a new media marketing agency where we focus now is on using film and video production combined with social media to help our clients market themselves. However, I still personally enjoy producing wedding films and take a number of referrals a year from past clients, colleagues, and friends. I have such a great deal of respect and admiration for the true filmmakers in the wedding filmmaking industry. Throw away any stereotypes you may have had about wedding “video.” And, despite the popularity of Jill and Kevin’s wedding entrance (which now has over 16 million views on YouTube), even THAT is not what true wedding filmmaking is about.
No my friends, today’s wedding filmmakers are breaking new ground and are producing pieces of art that look, sound, and feel like any movie you’d see on the silver screen. Names like Jason Maganua, StillMotion, Kevin Shahinian, Joe Simon, and many, many more are using everything from 8mm and 16mm film, to steadicams and jibs, to 35mm adapters, and Canon 5D Mark IIs to create true cinematic artistry.
The quality and caliber of these productions have reached such a new height, it’s caught the attention of indie camera gear manufacturer Zacuto out of Chicago, IL. Zacuto produces a webisodic series called FilmFellas where Zacuto co-owner Steve Weiss has a conversation with three other filmmakers at a dinner table. Each set of guests is a cast. The first three casts had your standard independent filmmakers and online media producers speaking on everything from film school to online media distribution. After his wife showed Steve a video by Joe Simon she found online, Steve (who early in his career also started out in weddings) was blown away.These were not your grandma’s wedding videos. (These weren’t even the wedding videos Steve was making back in the day).
That brings us to today, with the launch of FilmFellas Casts 4 and 5, dedicated to wedding filmmaking. The casts are comprised of: Joe Simon, John Goolsby, and Kristen*, (Cast 4); and Cast 5 is comprised of Patrick Moreau, Kevin Shahinian, and yours truly. It’s an honor to be included with such incredible artists.
Our respective episodes will air every week and alternate. Cast 4 starts sometime today. The first episode from Cast 5 will be next week, August 12; and so on.
If you want to know what’s really happening in the world of wedding filmmaking today, tune in to FilmFellas.tv and find out. (I’ll naturally be posting the episodes here too).