A Movie Producer’s Technique for an Unforgettable Wedding Video

Nowadays, when you rent a DVD to watch in the comfort of your home, you can usually count on a “Special Features” section, where the movie producer includes a “back story” or “making of the movie” featurette. This same “back story” technique can easily be added to your wedding video to add a fun, “up close and personal” touch, in playful contrast to the formality of the wedding ceremony. And it doesn’t require any out of the ordinary time or effort.

The main focus of the back story should be pre-wedding, on-camera interviews with the bride and groom. The wedding rehearsal is a great opportunity for these interviews to be tape recorded.

Interview the bride and groom separately. They shouldn’t be allowed to listen to each other’s interviews. You want their comments to be an entertaining surprise when they view the finished video.

Conduct the interviews in a quiet space with adequate lighting. Make sure there are no harsh shadows and/or “hot spots” on the person’s face or directly behind them.

If you are relying on the on-camera microphone for the interview, you will have to move the camera approximately 5-6 feet from the subject. Set your camera/tripod at eye level, and then zoom in or out to compose your shot.

Using a hand-held microphone, however, will give you the discretion to compose more complex shots by increasing your camera’s range and flexibilty.

Set up a slightly off-center, head shot wide enough to include their upper torso. Be sure not to cut off the top of their heads…or conversely, don’t have tons of empty space above their heads.

Once your shot is set up, resist the temptation to zoom in or out.

You will get better interview results by having the bride and groom direct their answers to you as you stand or sit off to the side of the camera. Try to be conversational so as to put them at ease.

The only time that they should look directly into the camera is when you ask them if they have anything they’d like to say to their fiancée.

Here are some suggested interview questions:

“You’re getting married tomorrow. How do you feel?”

“When did you know that _________ was the ONE?”

“How did you two meet?”

“What are you expecting from the wedding tomorrow?”

“Is there anything you’d like to say to your bride/groom tonight?”

You can also come up with your own questions. You are only limited by your imagination.

Before you begin rolling tape, it is very important to instruct the bride and groom to restate the question in their answer.

Example: Question:“How did you two meet?” Answer: “We met in a sociology class at the university…

Question: “What are you expecting from the wedding tomorrow?” Answer: “Tomorrow I’m expecting…

Explain to them that their answers need to be complete statements that makes sense all by themselves since the audience viewing the edited videotape will only hear their answer and not your question. Restating part of the question in their answer helps to avoid getting responses that don’t make any sense.

Also remember to keep your questions short. Short questions get long answers. Long questions get short answers. Don’t be afraid to ask them to elaborate on any point that seems incomplete.

At the end of the interview have them each look directly into the camera and blow a kiss, Next, have them pretend to catch a kiss,
looking into the camera. And, of course, don’t forget to tell them to, “smile.”

Using this movie producer “Special Feature” technique will not only make your wedding video unforgettable, but exciting and fun as well!