Then you are in the right place.
Because today I am going to share with you one of my experiences of covering a Chinese Wedding in Singapore, but with a twist – the groom is Indian and this brings quite an interesting end product of the wedding video.
As a bride and groom to be, you know your videographers are going to be walking around with expensive equipment and lots of experience, but you perhaps you would like to know more about what actually goes on.
Let’s Do this!
One of the most challenging projects due to the time constraint, the need to create something out of nothing.
This is the Same Day Edit or otherwise known as express highlights for a standard Chinese wedding celebration in Singapore. This video was shot in the morning, starting at 6am, ended at about 12pm, and screened on the same day at 8pm.
I was lucky that the amazing couple, Su Rong and Ramesh allowed full autonomy for the creation of the video, down to the song choice. It required alot of trust handed to me, to be able to create something not only they will enjoy, but their guests will enjoy (you are creating an express highlights video for your guests after all!)
I’m proud to say that I had very good feedback about this video from the couple, and their families coming up to me during the wedding dinner complimenting me on it. But allow me to dive deeper into the “why”.
There’s a lot of thought process that goes behind creating a wedding express highlight video.
Instead of taking a mishmash approach of just covering the event in chronological order, there should be an element of story telling behind it. I already had the picture in my head on how I should craft the video, before I even shot it. A good story means requiring the need to narrate the video, so that the audience feels comfortable watching the it. This is when the advantage of having a bridesmaid/bestman who is comfortable to speak in front of the camera, is crucial. However not everything is fine and dandy, and you can see that the bridesmaid in the beginning of the isn’t really a natural host ( but she did great enough!) Same goes for the bestman during the ride in the car.
That is when it is up to me, to gain the trust of the person who is narrating, to allow him or her to be fully himself/herself. I enjoy getting to know people first before sticking a big fat camera into their face.
Another thing about crafting a great story means having some sort of conflict in the video and leading the audience to show how the conflict was resolved. It doesn’t need to have massive drama element like those you see on reality tv. For this video, the conflict comes when the bestmen were facing multiple challenges to overcome before the groom, Sumesh was able to see his wife, Su Rong. If you are doing your own home video project, you can implement these techniques as well!
In regards to technical aspects, I wouldn’t say this is one of the best videos I have created. I tried to do too many things like capturing crucial scenes like the tea ceremony and the bride unveiling in too many angles. And I’m the first to admit that my knowledge in the technical aspects of the camera, back then, was very minimal.
I was also working alone and tried using too many equipments (a steadicam, a slider and a tripod) and it was certainly a risk as anything could have happened that would allow me to miss the shot. None of the equipment shared the same base plate, so I basically switched the base plates around, even in the middle of the tea ceremony, imagine that! This is when having two videographers for your wedding is crucial, to avoid missing out on any crucial moments. The main videographer will be covering a wide angle, or everything that is happening around him. The other roving videographer, captures the closeups, and this is what seperates a good wedding video from one that a relative or friend will shoot – the ability to have multiple footage to be edited during the editing process.
In this case, I knew I needed to do things differently, being a solo videographer, to be able to tell the story better. And I was lucky it paid off. All the crucial moments in this video were never rehearsed and I was glad that everything came out the way I envisioned it.
I’m only writing this blog 5 years after it the video was created, in light of the couple’s 5th year anniversary in November. We still keep in contact once in a blue moon, and it feels great to have made new friends along the way.
I look forward to creating memorable stories and I still do take up wedding video projects from time to time, so if you would like to get in contact with me, feel free to send contact us so we can discuss your wedding plans in greater detail.