Why We Enjoy Filming Weddings
World renowned photographer and film-maker Philip Bloom states on his Blog, that he won’t shoot weddings because it’s too much hard work. There is a bit of a stigma attached to filming weddings in the film industry because of the work involved and the pressure to capture everything perfectly (let alone the editing.) Admittedly, our first season of weddings was a learning curve and we often felt like we were playing catch-up with the running order of the wedding. Now, our objectives on a wedding day are to remain as calm as possible, do as little running or heavy lifting as possible, whilst making the best wedding film possible. Accomplishing these things have made filming weddings enjoyable and the key is in the planning.
Our hero shooter, Felix said it best - we get to arrive at a perfect setting with a full set of film kit and we get free reign to plan and shoot the best, most creative shots possible to help tell the story of the day. One of the most rewarding things is when a member of the team gets a great shot and we all gather around to watch. This is inspiring and encouraging for the whole team! We enjoy seeing everything we have filmed come together.
How We Feel About Marriage
The short answer is we love marriage! The slightly longer message is... at the start of a wedding ceremony, the celebrant will make a statement of purpose. It talks about man and wife giving each other strength, friendship and healing and is a sign of unity and loyalty. It talks about society being enriched and strengthened by marriage but also how the weight of marriage is a serious responsibility to take on. We think marriage is an amazing thing and it is always an honour to capture it. The way two families come together with such joy is so special. It’s all about the love.
Photography or Videography?
If you could only pick one.
Wedding films have only come into trend in recent years and they are becoming more and more popular. However most would choose a photographer over a videographer if they could only choose one. Is this purely down to tradition? Whilst we adore photography and are always snapping away, something Kitebox has always felt is that wedding videography should come first. A wedding film gives you many things that a photograph can’t - it gives you sound, which means vows and speeches come to life. Film gives you a feeling of moving through a space, which is key! We can track you down a corridor, follow your wedding car down the road and capture confetti pouring over you. A wedding film gives a realism to expressions and faces beyond just one moment, which means you can sense anticipation and more emotions are captured. It also provides pace - the speed of the cuts, the music behind the footage gives a feeling to everything! Our thinking is that you go to a cinema to watch films but would you pay to watch a slideshow of pictures? There is a lot to be said for photography and it is an incredible art - it freezes a moment and there is something magical about that. And of course, you can put a wedding photo right on your wall to look at every day! Whatever you choose, we will put our all into capturing your wedding day.
Wedding Videography and Photography Packages Explained.
Here's the reasoning behind each Kitebox package.
We have been refining our packages over the years; looking at what works, what is logical, digestible and what is cost effective. We made the decision to include the full wedding ceremony and full speeches within each package because these are the parts everyone wants to watch back in full. The edits are fast paced and while we can fit a good chunk of the ceremony in, adding an hour of speeches and ceremony to an edit just doesn’t work for many reasons: rendering time, watch-ability, share-ability.
The Short Film:
This is the option to go for if you are on a budget. There will be one main shooter with the optimum kit for single shooting. The edit will provide you with a highlights film from the day and is perfect to watch back again and again - it’s great for sharing online too. Within this edit, you have the option of overlaying speeches from the audio on top of the visual.
We have found that this is the optimum length of wedding film - long enough to include key sections of the ceremony and live highlights from the speeches but short enough to share and watch back quickly on a rainy day. We have found that the shorter edit gets watched more regularly and is less likely to stay packed up in the loft. It might be that you’re having a bad day and need cheering up, missing family, or just want to look back on one of the best days of your life; having something that you can quickly access and get a full feel for in your lunch break at work, or with a quick cup of tea is perfect! With The Classic, you get a minimum of 2 videographers for the day. If you feel like there is a lot to capture, we can bring more!
This sits at around the length of a sitcom, which is no coincidence. There was a time we offered longer videos than this, but the rendering time and styling time was not realistic for a 1 hour wedding film. It made a lot more sense to condense the speeches and ceremony and also have a separate version. The difference between this and The Classic is that each part of the day is elongated so where we have had a cut a shot short because of time, we can include a longer, more fulfilling shot. We can include more footage of your guests, more drone shots, give more time to your first dance, to ceremony readings, details, the evening celebrations (you get the picture). The length of the film still allows for quick watching back - that is, quicker than having all 10 hours of footage on a tape with a half an hour of watching uncle John dance. The edit is tight, well paced and will definitely entertain. You also get more of a journey as you can fit in multiple songs that fit each segment of the day. We can work through the timing of your edit with you and talk through which songs might fit best.
This gives you the best of everything and for just a pinch over the price of The Feature. We also thought it would be nice to have a film teaser while you wait for your longer videos to finish processing. This teaser will be designed to fit in a square or landscape format for Instagram and Facebook or wherever else you choose to share (You might just want to keep it to yourself!)
The Kitebox Photography Package
We wanted to keep this simple! 2 shooters cover the angles without overcrowding your wedding (you can opt for one if you would like). Although the package states we take 300-400 photos, we have always exceeded that number. This easily covers of all the little details, 'framers' from your couple shoot, and all of your guests! This is a number that comes out very organically and is realistic to give appropriate editing time to. It just works so well! We do not yet provide a book - this is because we felt you should choose the photos to go in the book yourself. As well as this, pricing for wedding photo books varies so vastly that the right price for one person might seem too cheap or too expensive for another. We are happy to pass on recommendations!
Slow-Mo video Studio:
You have probably heard of photo-booths being hired for weddings, which is a lot of fun! We have put a spin on this, merging slow motion video with the idea of a guestbook. We will set up a studio with lighting and a backdrop and bring props and streamers. All your guests have to do is stand in front of the camera (one at a time or in small groups) and do something entertaining involving movement and we will cut all of the shots together into one guestbook edit. Popular favourites include slo-mo wobbly faces, dancing, slapping, kissing, chest bumps, dirty dancing lifts, popping streamers and silly string, rugby tackles, the list goes on. Needless to say, it provides heaps of fun for guests (and you can watch back your clip in live slo-mo.)
If you have a trip planned for your honeymoon, this is one to consider and comes highly recommended by everyone who has chosen this. We send the GoPro action camera with you on your honeymoon to film your trip of a lifetime. You send the camera back for editing and we will condense all of the magical footage into a slick, entertaining edit for you to share and watch back as much as you like. It is absolutely worth doing!
Want something more? Try The Epic:
The Epic might be the package you are looking for. We will hire out 2 cameras that have been used on the most recent Hollywood films, with cinema lenses to make everything extremely future proof, filming above 4K quality with camera rigs to match. This package is truly epic and definitely one for the movie lovers. Also included in this package:
- A separate drone pilot with a heavy duty drone
- Post wedding shoot (trash my dress/put it back on style shoot at a location of your choice, including underwater or up a mountain.)
- Personalised theme song with lyrics inspired by your story (can be as cheesy or as cinematic as you like in ANY genre.)
- Ongoing pre-wedding consultation to help you plan your wedding to make the most of your wedding film.
- Honeymoon+ package (You take our stabilised cameras away with you, and we’ll edit the footage when you get back.)
- Location and logistics scouts to find the perfect scenes and views.
- Engagement video and engagement photo package.
- Slo-mo video booth.
- Guest messages.
- Time lapse specialist with time-lapse edit.
- Fireworks couple shoot.
- Any selection of edits you’d like.
- Same day edit.
- We’ll also throw in our tip top photographers.
You could probably define some of team Kitebox as camera geeks. We keep a constant eye on new cameras and new camera gear that will make our end product better. We have a set of cameras with different strengths and capabilities - some with better low light performance, some with great slo-mo capabilities and some that just produce lovely looking footage. Speaking of lovely looking footage, our ‘A’ cam is a compact cinema camera, which makes everything look very filmic and everyone look like a movie star. We can shoot a whole wedding in 4K but we would have to sacrifice having slow motion for this (unless you opt for the Kitebox Epic package).
We have an extensive lens kit for each camera, with super fast and sharp glass that produces crisp professional results. Our zoom lenses allow us to get candid close-ups without interfering with the atmosphere.
Rig-wise, we have some heavy tripods for the ceremonies and speeches. We also use a 3 axis electronic stabiliser, which is just incredible for getting flexible cinematic shots, some camera sliders, a non-electric stabiliser in the event of rain, a 10 ft extension pole for establishing shots or crane shots and an electric skateboard for any fast tracking shots. Then of course, we have the drones, which enable us to get footage like never before. We have chosen relatively small rigs with discretion in mind. We often get told that we were not noticed all day but our results make it look like we were front and centre.
For sound, we use top of the range microphones (both stand-alone and on camera) and we use these in the most discreet way possible. We avoid clip/tie mics because of the time it takes to mic someone up and feel like it adds pressure to an already nervous best men!
Lights have proven to be very useful for us if a room is a little dark. The lights we use are discrete and don’t take away from the atmosphere of a candle lit dinner for instance, but they just add enough to create some highlights and bring out skin-tones.
These flying electronic beauties have been superb tools for us over the past years. They allow us to set the scene, capture venues, track cars, people, and horses, and take group shots anywhere we like!
For all venues, we need permission to fly a drone there. Some venues completely ban the use of drones so it is good to check before. We have ‘Permission for Commercial Operation’ for our drones, which is issued by the CAA. We are trained, well practiced, and fully insured. Let’s fly!
Ideas To Make Your Wedding Extra Special
We have witnessed some really stand-out ideas both for wedding films and wedding photography and thought we should most certainly share them with you! Starting from the morning preparations:
- Gifts and letters. When the bride and groom write each other a letter to open on the morning of the wedding… this is so sweet to capture but also, it calms nerves and affirms why the marriage is happening. Once we saw a groom receive a classic car as the bride’s wedding gift. Needless to say he was over the moon! It was a joy to film.
- Gents get a round in! A round of golf that is - or any activity to relax the groom on the morning of his wedding. It also adds a fun aspect to the wedding photos and wedding films.
Horse and cart/boat/helicopter. Any way to make an entrance.
Quiz in the order of service. Planting a quiz (about you as a couple) in the order of service is a great way to get your guests to start interacting straight away when they get to the church. You can run through the answers at the reception over some food.
Self-written vows. This is so romantic - there won’t be a dry eye in the room.
A performance during the signing of the register will keep everyone suitably entertained.
Bubbles. Give bubbles to your guests on the aisle and to add to the joy, send them soaring as you exit the church. Beautiful! We also noticed that fewer people were concentrating on using their smartphones and just enjoyed the moment with this.
Modes of transport. It might be a vintage london bus, a ferry, or a tractor and trailor, your guests will love the experience and so will our cameras!
Feed the guests asap! We have found time upon time that everyone gets hungry really quickly, right when the group photos are happening. The result is a hangry uncle Harry. If your guests are fed and watered, this will show in your photos and create an energetic atmosphere.
- Games. Giving the kids (and grown-ups) something extra to do will help to create a host of fun memories at your wedding. This might be football, swing ball, a frisbee, croquet, miniature golf, go-karting, bowls, horseshoes, sack races, rounders and the classic Giant Jenga.
- A touch of Magic. We have enjoyed watching magicians wow and puzzle wedding guests while they wait for their food. This is a lot of fun and a great contribution to the wedding film.
Guest messages. Some guests feel under pressure if a camera man comes up to them and asks them to leave a message. What works really well is a camera set up for people to press record in their own time and private space to leave a heartfelt message for an authentic guest messages video. You could also pass around one of our self stabilising cameras and we can edit the messages together for you - in keeping the relaxed feel.
A sing song! We have seen some wonderful sing-song lead by talented friends and family members. Also some surprise musical renditions to entertain over supper. One moment that stands out for us was an accordionist and a soprano singing on a boat - couples were holding hands and families were clinging together in a moment that was nothing short of perfect.
Photo booths and slomo booths. This provides endless fun for you and your guests and creates memories for everyone.
Fingerprint guestbook (see Google)
Confetti cannon first dance - amazing for photos and your wedding film.
Flash mob/mannequin challenge. Everyone will remember this forever!
Fireworks - you can’t go wrong here - launching some rockets to mark the occasion feels really special bringing awe and wonder.
Lanterns. Both flying lanterns and floating lanterns are equally romantic. Have your guests make a wish or a prayer as they launch their lantern into the night.
Sparklers - As you exit at the end of the night, line your path with sparkler wielding guests. This is an inexpensive way to creative the perfect atmosphere as your guests wave goodbye and watch you drive away as newly weds!
Social media - a hashtag for the day is a wonderful way to see the pictures your guests have taken. If you like Snapchat, you can get a personalised geo-filter for your wedding location, which is a lot of fun and a great way to make, share and keep memories.
The Kitebox Team
Kitebox is a small company with a key set of highly talented individuals, who are all passionate about film-making and photography.
Team spirit is something we like to focus on and the way we gel and work together is really important. If we can encourage and support each other, laugh together, and spread inspiration (with some healthy competition), then our work will reflect that.
Instagram is our main output of recent work so go there! It’s image based platform and tagging system is perfect for Kitebox, where images are what we make! We are also on Facebook and Twitter if they take your fancy. If you want to find our showreels and other video examples, have a look at our Vimeo page.
What else does Kitebox do?
Kitebox specialises in capturing events and producing commercials. We can be involved from the planning process to develop viral concepts for brands. Alternatively, we can jump in for the filming and anything post production.
We have also been involved in short film production, music videos, real estate and drone work.
One aspect that makes our products special is our capability to produce ‘in house’ backing tracks and recording commercial music. This enables us to perfectly shape the mood, craft the music to add dynamics and drive the given film forward.
How to Have Fun on Your Wedding Day
This is a surprisingly tricky topic to broach. We want you to have fun, your friends and family want you to have fun, and understandably you want you to have fun. But it can be difficult; you have put so much time and effort into planning your day, this can add pressure for everything to go perfectly. This might be worrying about timings, about extra costs, about your guests enjoying themselves, about spilling something on your wedding dress, or about rain! Albeit difficult, our advice would be to hold your wedding day as lightly as possible when it arrives. Let other people handle problems (whether it is a wedding planner, designated family member or a team of ushers.) Other advice is to remember essentially what the day is for - to marry the person you love, and to celebrate that. Join in! Kick your shoes off and lead the sack race, grab that rounders bat, run through barley fields even if it is a little muddy (These examples are being used because one bride in particular had the time of her life and she did all of these things on her wedding day… and it rained until 3pm.) If you find this particularly difficult, think of 5 things that would really spoil your day, and designate a few people to make sure those 5 things don’t happen. Then relax! The show will always go on - if the timings go late (this happens all the time) the caterers might be a bit miffed but they will deal with it, as will the band, DJ, Photographer, your guests. These things happen and it’s okay. If you are enjoying yourself, your guests will most likely be enjoying themselves! If you spill something on your dress, it might come out but hey… you don’t have to worry about wearing the dress again so if it stains, it stains and hopefully you can look back and that will turn into a memory of the day that you can laugh at. Rain happens so it helps to have a contingency for a garden party wedding. If the majority of your guests are English, they will know what to do in the event of rain. Rain actually also makes for lovely cinematic footage and can be used to shoot the most romantic pictures.
Top Tips for Best Results
These are some tips that are by no means essential but might be helpful to consider when planning your wedding!
Bridal preparations space and location. If you are getting ready outside of your home, or a family home, choose an Airbnb or hotel room with nice bright light and open spaces as there will be lots of people moving around. This will also help you make-up artists and stylists. It is also good to think about the outside space if you would like some photographs before you depart for the ceremony.
Keep all locations as close together as you can - this will allow for the photographers and videographers to capture both the bride and groom’s morning preparations and get to the ceremony in good time.
Decide whether you would like pictures of your guests arriving or your dress reveal as it may not be possible to have both. Sometimes the photographers can split up, which works if you have space for them in a car to get the church.
Take the aisle slowly. Your flowergirls and bridesmaids should also pace themselves as the videographers and photographers will have more time to get images of each of them. It will also allow for anticipation to build and for your guests to see you in your dress for the first time.
You might not have a lot of choice with churches or ceremony venues but if you can, pick one with space for a tripod at the back and a clear view down the aisle. Room to move is a dream for us and a pocket of space at the front for a second camera. The lighter the venue, the better!
Organise someone to liaise with the Photographers and Videographers. Ideally this would be one of the bridal party or someone with a timetable of the day. The purpose of this is to check the photographers and videographers are present and ready to record before a key moment of the day commences.
Take the confetti slowly - enjoy it but don’t race through it. It is also good to check that the photographer is present and ready before you start. Your wedding photography and videography team will be less likely to fall over backwards if you are not running at them (this has not happened to us yet) but also, confetti is more likely to fly into your mouth and eyes if you are running through it. We have an instagram post on best results for confetti HERE.
Book in time slots for hair and makeup checks.
Set strict time with your couple’s shoot and allow time for a later ‘golden hour’ shoot.
Use your couple’s shoot as a time to debrief from the wedding, enjoy each-other and relax - this will make for the most natural looking pictures and will take unnecessary pressure off of the shoot, allowing you to effortlessly shine in front the cameras.
Go broad with your group shots rather than having lots of little ones. It often helps to announce a running order of the group shots at the ceremony venue, while everyone is together. This will keep everyone happy - you will be standing still for less time, your guests will be ready for their moment to shine and the photographer won’t be running around looking for missing persons.
On the note of announcement, a master of ceremonies is actually very helpful and well worth having if you don’t have an usher with a booming voice. Failing that, a block rocker speaker and a microphone is a valuable item to have on a wedding day. We often bring one with us, where appropriate.
Activities for guests helps to add variety to your wedding photo selection and wedding film.
Having your group photos later in the day will allow for better light and less squinting. We have mentioned this before, but if you feed your guests a little something between the ceremony and their photos, smiles will come more easily!
Allow some time for the golden hour for a shoot - if your venue has trees or hills around it, the sunset time might not be realistic so be sure to check if the venue gets a sunset!
Use the drone for your full group shot - this will allow it to be completely unique as it eliminates the need for a photographer to hang out of the only high window or climb a ladder. Also, the site of the drone in flight makes everyone smile and wave and is exciting for children, so the results are excellent. You could put your venue in the backdrop of the picture!
Plan for the MC or announcer to make sure the photographers and video team are ready and recording before announcing you in - this can go for any part of the day.
Speech times are sometimes before the meal, and sometimes after. If light is a factor, it may be beneficial to have them before but this might be painful for hangry uncle Harry.
Our top tip is to position the key people (top table and speech givers) somewhere where the light will hit their faces. This is ideal for photographers. Plan for the speech givers to stand in one location with good light as the wedding film team will have a microphone and cameras set to that one position. If they are all around the room, recording sound and getting perfect angles is very difficult because the speeches will lead into each other very quickly.
Have light sources on the tables - even a soft candle at eye level will add vital light to help the photos come out that little bit better. We avoid using flashes as it can be distracting so any natural light that our camera sensors can suck in is a bonus!
Put a time limit on speeches (particularly for the best men!)
How to cut your cake. The photographer will position you for best results - it might feel strange but just have fun with it and if you fancy it, cut a slice and eat it.
- With your first dance, you can either go for a slow and romantic vibe - try to forget where you are and focus on each-other. Some go fully choreographed but if this is too much for your groom to handle, practicing a few spins and twirls before the day won’t hurt (and might be quite fun)
The Editing Process
For Kitebox Wedding Films:
Once we have filmed your wedding, we have a set process for your footage.
Firstly, we categorise your footage and place it on an editing hard drive, then back up that hard drive file so it is in at least 2 places at all times. The amount of data we capture is hundreds of gigabytes so this takes some time. We will also compile the music and any other audio at this point.
We then start logging each camera - this involved choosing the best shots in chronological order from each of up to 6 cameras. This can take up to 2 days. If you are having custom music, this will be produced while the logging takes place. The producer will have a feel for the wedding and can either write something that matches the wedding feel, produce something in a style you like, or a cover of a song you like (either instrumental or with a vocalist).
Once this is complete, all of the good footage is imported into the editor (for those of your who are interested, we use Premiere Pro CC). We choose a title sequence, then make 3 or more sequences (or timelines). The first is for the Ceremony, where 2-3 cameras and the separate audio will all be synchronized. Then we have another sequence for the Speeches and do the same. The third sequence is for your wedding film, where we will line up and colour code the footage according to the section of the day (bridal preparation, establishing etc). This alone takes half a day to 1 day because the footage takes time to import.
The music will be lined up and mastered to give us an idea of how the edit will flow and if we have enough audio content for the given length of wedding film.
We can then start building the narrative with the footage! This is the most time consuming part, and it can take 2-4 days depending on the length of the wedding film.
After a first draft is complete, the whole Kitebox team will review the footage and make any tweaks (fresh eyes on a project helps a lot). Once the final video is lined up, the video is graded (styled). We give a choice of different styles and have learnt and developed different ‘looks’. These are not preset filters, as these do not allow for the flexibility we need. The grading process takes 1 - 2 days. The choice of style is important as it can enhance or emphasise your colour scheme. We take a lot of pride in this stage of the process as it is often an intricate skill. The grading also involves matching white balances, and making shadows, highlights, mid tones, skin tones, all consistent. Any graphics will also be added at this point (title sequence etc)
The audio mastering comes last just incase something needs to be moved around or added at any point prior. We have excellent audio mastering software and our sound producer makes sure there are not glitches and everything flows nicely.
Progress Tracking: Trello
Track the progress of your booking and post wedding production with the Trello App. We store all of your preferences on the app so any one of our editing team can access it and makes notes for you to see. You can look at the app and see exactly where we are in the editing process and most importantly, when your wedding film is finished!
Music is highly valued here at Kitebox HQ. Your wedding film is driven mostly by a backing track so we think it is important to get this right. The music can affect the pace and feel of the whole wedding video and choosing might be a daunting task. Thankfully we’ve done this before so we can help! There are a host of options from your favourite commercial tracks to a cover, to a completely original wedding score, written and composed by us. This means we can make your wedding film peak and drop in the appropriate places - a quiet romantic moment in a secret garden needs a different feel to an epic drone sequence. Put in as many suggestions as you like and we can work together to find the best fit for your wedding film.
Styling and Colour Pallets
Let us know your wedding colour scheme, suit colours, dresses, flowers, ribbons etc and we can recommend a style that will fit or come up with a custom look for you.
Some of our ‘grades’ will shift colours to make them look more cinematic - this is what happens in almost all films you watch. Have a look at the grade options and see the description for what they do with the colours.
- The Kitebox Classic
- Cinema Grade
- Asia Grade
- The Fairytale
- Black and White
We have a few options for you! With our wedding films, because you might want to make a change or two, the first look you have will be online. You can opt out of this if you would like to - just let us know. We can upload to a hidden Youtube Channel or our favourite, Vimeo. Vimeo allows you to have either a private link where you have to click the specific link to play the video, or if you would want to watch on a smart TV (the video app is available on most smart TV app stores) we can send you a numeric code to access your video. Our videos look fantastic on a nice big 4K screen! You can also download your video from Vimeo. Our turnaround time for wedding photos is 6 weeks or less and for wedding films, 8-12 weeks.
Hard copies of wedding photos and your wedding films can arrive on a memory stick or DVD. With the hard copy file on the memory stick, you can write this to DVD, upload it online yourself, or store it on a device. DVDs take us a lot longer to process because of writing times, art work, printing and materials. We have a range of DVD options - £100 for 5 laser engraved disks or £30 per DVD copy.
Privacy and Security
We believe that us putting your wedding videos all over our websites and social media cheapens them. Essentially, the video is yours and we only ask to use elements of your wedding film for our show reels. Your wedding is a special and intimate day with close friends and family and it is up to you where you share it and who you share it with. We also know there are often children at weddings or individuals who might not want their faces to be in the public eye - with that, we believe there is a need for us to be sensitive.
None of the information you give us will be shared with third parties and is all password protected on the highly secure apps we use.
The Booking Process and Form
We have curated a custom booking form so that everything is covered and you’re not left wondering! To book, send us an email and we will pass on the booking form password to you once we have confirmed that the date is available.
If you have any questions about anything you have read, please do get in touch with our team.
We are super friendly and even if you don’t book with us, we would love to give you any help or advice we can.
T: 01273 777877