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Cinematic Wedding Films // Defining our Style

Updated: Mar 5

Why call them cinematic wedding films? Why not call it what it is, a wedding video? Read on to find out the reasons why we label our films and style as cinematic.


My Background

At Oakland University I double majored in Communication and Film Studies and Aesthetics. At the time this major was not offered so it was an independent major. That meant I took a bunch of film classes and kind of created my own major. It was awesome. I took classes on New Wave Cinema, Musicals, Documentaries, and Screwball Comedy. Each class/genre introduced me to differnent filmmaking techniques and movies I’ve never seen before including Singing in the Rain and Moulin Rouge. My favorite class was Screwball Comedy, with Bringing up Baby being my favorite movie. Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn in the same movie about a tiger. Fun fact: That movie was kind of remade with Barbara Streisand and Ryan in What’s up Doc?

Katie Simopoulos, Owner of 97 Films Detroit Wedding Cinematography

photo credit: Adventure & Iceland Elopement Photographer- Zakas Photography


As you can see I’m very passionate about films, especially films from the 30s-40s. After getting my bachelors degree I thought I wanted to get a Masters in Film Theory. I took a Romantic Comedy class at Central Michigan University. I absolutely loved that class. I’ve never watched a romantic comedy the same way since. I’m sure you’ve probably heard me say meet-cute, a must have in the romantic comedy genre.

How does my background in Film Theory apply to wedding films? And what makes a good wedding film?


Story

A good wedding film needs a story. It needs reasons on why you’re going from one place to another. When I’m editing for each shot I ask “Why is this shot here? Is it necessary to the story?” As long as the shot is helping move the story forward I keep it in. I try to keep the story in a linear format going from preps at the beginning to dancing/reception at the end. You may think it gets repetitive or that we follow a template. Not at all. It’s the little moments throughout your wedding that makes your film yours.


Voiceover

We might use a voiceover from your ceremony either a quote or two from your officiant, a reading, or your vows. We always try to use a quote from your speeches. We cross our fingers as we’re filming the speeches that someone will say something sentimental or inspirational. Or hope they sum up your love story.


Music

We license our song from various music sites. Sometimes we get lucky and find some mainstream music that goes well with your wedding. We usually lean toward unknown instrumentals. And there’s a reason for that. When you watch your wedding film we don’t want you to have hard Ed Sheeran’s Thinking out Loud for the 1,000th time and now you’re sick of hearing it on your wedding film. I try to find songs you have never heard of and now that song is yours and you only hear it when watching your wedding film. It becomes your song.


Footage

Our goal is to capture all of your guests (well as many of them as we can- the dance floor and cocktail hour is the best time for guest shots). When filming weddings for so long you begin to recognize the important moments (the moments couples ask to see after a wedding; or moments the couple didn’t even know happened but so glad it was captured). I have a sort of checklist when adding these moments in your wedding film (because sometimes our tripod won’t be set right away so the shot is a little shaky; or our white balance is set for a certain room and we didn’t have time to change it when turning the camera away from the window or light). I value the moment over the steadiness or color of a shot.


There’s so many times you’ll see in movies where an actor will have a full drink and in the same few seconds they cut away and then cut back the glass will be empty. Editors will argue that acting trumps the sequence of liquid in the glass. I’m sure you’ve always wondered that!


Our Wedding Films

It’s not just one thing that makes a wedding film cinematic. It’s a balance of footage, music, story, and voiceover. And the biggest factor in each of those is the moment. How will our bride and groom value the voiceover of their officiant announcing them as husband and wife? What about their best man hoping the wind is always at their back? We want you to want to watch your wedding film years after your wedding. So it’s a good thing I’m inspired by films by the 30s. They’ve already passed the test of time. And there’s still so much to learn from the early filmmakers of the cinema.


Detroit Wedding Cinematography 2019 Recap Film

Wedding Cinematography: 97 Films


Watch our wedding films. See what I mean about our cinematic style. And if you’re getting married this year I’d love to chat! I promise our films will allow you to relive and reflect on everything that made your wedding day the best day ever!


Check out these other blogs to learn more about 97 Films:


Detroit Wedding Cinematography // The 97 Films Couple

Wedding Cinematography or Wedding Videography... What’s the Difference?

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