Iris Cinema // New York
A Letter to the Bride:
I know the temptation is to go to the film clips and see what we do, but I'm going to ask you to hold off. I'll try to make it worth your while. Our old copy was very flowy, but it really said nothing. After that, I tried to write a technical introduction. Too dry. There's so much depth to editing, that one letter just wouldn't do it justice, much less explain what makes us different. Instead I'm going to try to talk about the substance behind the video without talking about editing itself. If you do ever want to talk about editing though, I'll be as pleased as punch. Just ask.
Here's the thing. There are going to be about 10 true moments, plus or minus a few, during your wedding. I know it doesn't sound like a lot, but it will be. What's even more surprising is these moments aren't usually the big things, like the first time you see each other or the big kiss. Those are important - don't get me wrong. But that's not what lets you feel like you're reliving the day. The moments are going to be small, idiosyncratic things that tear through the day's veneer to show very real, but very beautiful and simple truths. They're subtle. In fact, you're not even going to know that they're moments when they take place. But they will make all of the difference. They will permeate the entire video.
It will be things like a trip to a hot dog stand, playing with your hair piece, a groom who doesn't want to dance, or an anxious glance out the window on the way to ceremony. They're moments that can't be scripted and won't be planned, and no one will know how important they are until they see it on screen. I remember a groom picking up some hot dogs for his new wife after a long photo session and the two of them smiling as they sat and ate. He even offered a hot dog to the photographer and me. All of this made the final cut. It demonstrated that he was thoughtful and attentive, both to his wife and others. It showed that they were real people in the middle of a day, and not just participants in schedule. We can even tell it was a hot day. All of this creates a moment of definitive reality that shows life going on, and that's what lets you relive the day. These moments stir the memory and stimulate thought. They take you back.
There was a bride playing with her hairpiece that she had hunted down for weeks, and her video shows her playing with it and putting it on. If we had cut this out in exchange for something that seemed "deeper," we would have lost a detail that was important to her. When we see her later in the day, we don't just see a piece of decoration in her hair. We see a bit of her joy and care for the day. Such things change the meaning of the video in small ways that add up to big things. And the groom who didn't want to dance? Well, he had a great time dancing later. And it makes us all the happier to see it, because we were just a little worried when he didn't seem to want to.
All of these things are the foundation of storytelling, and this is what we do. We capture those types of details and comb the footage so we can give them context and meaning. Without the right footage, there's nothing to show. Without the right editing, there's no meaning in what we see. Done right, though, and the details and moments will transport you. It is the difference between documenting what happened and documenting what the day felt like. And you won't really see this just by a highlight video, since highlights are largely about style. By all means, do watch our highlights to get an idea for our style, but give us a call and set up an appointment for the substance. It'll be worth the time.
Spencer, Principal Editor and Videographer
Take a look at our blog on wedding video and related
subjects. Some highlights:
...a student asked one question over and over that really stood out. Specifically, she asked whether what she was doing was right. To her frustration, I would usually say “Maybe.” I showed example after example, but the question never went away, until finally, I realized that the problem...
...I thought I'd try to expand the definitions. Here are the four categories I'll try using: romantic, artistic, documentary, contemporary.
Ways to look for something a little deeper in your wedding video.
It is something that we will understand, and yet we won't know why. It's hidden behind the scenes, because elegance is about thoughtful reduction, and how can we ever perceive reduction?