These days, everyone can have an A-lister wedding film – two experts in capturing the glamour of your day explain how it’s done
The wedding film has come of age. There was a time when that wedding-day video was a bit of an afterthought, and it showed. Cheesy, poorly edited and not always flattering bride and groom, it didn’t even begin to capture the magic. All that’s changed with the advent of specialists who have the kit and the talent to make movies starring you that you’ll want to replay again and again.
One of the best compliments I get is when couples say that their guests didn’t even know I was there
Andrew Gemmell, founder of The Filming Business, is one of the most sought-after in the UK. Capturing the weddings of numerous A-listers over the past 25 years, he’s a recommended by many of our top wedding planners. He’s very clear about his role: “There is only one chance to get the filming right, no reshoots, so I focus on creating an heirloom that becomes part of your family history – something you will want to share with your children and grandchildren.”
Andrew gets booked up early and travels both within the UK and internationally, filming some of the most glamorous weddings in the world. While he carries with him the most sophisticated kit – sometimes up to 10 cameras and a drone – he prides himself on being unobtrusive. “We’re creative, but we don’t direct or interfere with the action. One of the best compliments I get is when couples say their guests didn’t know I was there”.
His kit includes time-lapse cameras, drones and – post wedding – sophisticated editing facilities that help him turn extensive footage from the day into something magical. He works with couples to ensure that he captures the details they want in there, although after 25 years he says he’s got an instinct for these things. “I know where to be to capture the important things, the narrative and drama of the day.”
For Heema Mandil of Pinch of Love Productions, drama and energy is central to the films she creates. With a background in fashion filming – notably at Lakmi Fashion Week and with leading designers such as Sabyasachi – she brings the same flair to wedding films, using music and superb editing to ramp up the drama and heighten the romance.
One thing you must bring out is the emotion and the love – you are capturing someone else’s story
Heema has an international crew to call on and says each film is unique. “We are a team effort and I work with colleagues in London, India, Croatia and many other locations.” While fashion and glamorous lifestyle events remain an arm of the business, glamorous weddings are also a speciality, and something very different. She says: “A wedding is dynamic and you can’t be everywhere, but you must mark the important moments. One thing you must bring out is the emotion and the love – you are capturing someone else’s story”.
Like Andrew Gemmell, Heema will sit down with the couple to discuss their wishlist for the day and also understand and plan around the structure of the wedding. “If it’s an intimate wedding in a secret place, we need a different approach, and equipment, to some of the larger weddings I’ve filmed. If it’s an Indian wedding it might be a three day event with 2,000 guests and that takes a lot of careful planning.”
Heema and Andrew both recommend that your wedding film is planned in from the start – Heema suggests sitting down with the filmmaker around six months ahead of the day to work out all the details. She also says you need to consider the music. “It’s crucial to avoid royalty problems and we can advise couples on this. Music is central – a key way to ensure the film works seamlessly, tells the story of your day and can be shared with friends on social media.”