Documentary or Cinematic Wedding Video Styles



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The art of editing cinematic wedding videos begins and ends with the skills of storytelling. A cinematic wedding video marries the cinematic look and feel of "Sense and Sensibility" with the tone and pacing of "Sex and the City".

All of the cinematic tools once reserved for Hollywood film studios are now available to skilled videographers and editors.

Large sensor video cameras, (like our 4K Sony FS5 cinema cameras and Sony NEX EA 50) plus interchangeable lenses, and professional post-production editing software like our Final Cut Pro, have all bridged the gap between the historically stodgy look of video and the cinematic wonder of film. In the ever-competitive business of wedding video production, stodgy is out and cinematic is in.

The post-production side of cinematic wedding videos - the final telling of a wedding story - the editing -  is where the art of the cinematic wedding videos begin. This editing is done with advanced Computer editing software such as "Final Cut Pro X", that we use, or other professional software, like, "Adobe Premiere Pro", "Avid", "Sony Vegas",  "Lightworks", and "Pinnacle Studio". 

Any other Software is not recognised as professional and may not give you the result you are looking for in a Cinematic Wedding Video - why take the risk?   

It is a good idea to ask your Videographer what software they use to edit with as it will give you a good idea of how professional they are. Watch out for those that edit with "iMovie", or "Movie Maker" (they are NOT professional software packages and will NOT give you the Cinematic Wedding Video result you are looking for)


Along with the software, you need to check the equipment that your videographer/editor is using for your cinematic wedding video production. The professional will be using a workstation (Apple MacPro) or at least a powerful desktop computer (Apple iMac) or Windows workstation. While laptops are powerful enough to edit a cinematic wedding video production, they tend to indicate that the editor may not be fully dedicated to the profession or may just be starting out. 

Ask your videographer what equipment they are using.

In any video, there are two basic elements of production: Image and Audio -  these are the basic practical elements of a video. Just as important as the practical, there are two somewhat abstract elements of production: tone and pacing.


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Combined, these four elements are the main components of cinematic storytelling and these are essential for the editor of cinematic wedding videos to understand.  

Your wedding video is the keepsake of a lifetime - they need to be edited by a skilled editor in post production process.

The Cuts, Transitions, Tone & Pacing 

These are where the majority of time is spent editing your cinematic wedding video masterpiece. While no step is less important than another, cuts, transitions, tone and timing quickly differentiate the novice from the most cinematically capable editor.

Edits or Cuts follow a few basic rules. 

Edits should be motivated, create continuity of action and story, and in general have a seamless flow. Cutting on the action is the most common type of motivated edit. However, motivated edits can also be created by elements such as sound, reaction and time. The continuous flow of motivated edits, avoiding jump-cuts and mismatched shots, is the goal of a cinematic wedding video editor.

While perfectly beautiful, tightly edited wedding videos are possible without the use of advanced editing and effects, trends in wedding videography are undoubtedly moving in the direction of the high-art. 


Vignettes, Masking and Mattes

These are the software's terms used for different effects. Vignettes provide softly darkened borders. They focus our attention, add a nostalgic tone, or look like classic vintage film. They are widely used in wedding effects. Added to soften the images and provide a little serenity, vignettes and weddings are a match made in heaven.


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Like vignettes, masks and mattes can be applied to remove unwanted elements or to create the coveted shallow depth of field look.

Lighting Effects

Lighting effects like lens flares, spotlights and flashes can easily be added to mimic lighting conditions not present in the original wedding footage.


image still taken from our videos 

Lighting, like colouring, creates mood, emotion and tone. The exciting flashes of camera bulbs, the always-cinematic lens flares of refracted light or the focus of a virtual spotlight are all lighting effects that can be added in post to great dramatic effect.


Time Remapping and Special Tools

Like the use of vignettes, time remapping is so commonly used by professionals in the cinematic wedding video. All great cinema has used time remapping as a storytelling device and it is particularly effective in cinematic wedding video production. Slow motion replay of special, emotional moments or the time-condensed replay of otherwise lengthy events and large groups are examples of the effective use of time remapping.

In addition to these mainstay effects and editing tools, there are many others that are used for their cinematic capabilities. 

 Here are just a few that we use in our edits to give a cinematic effect:

• The multi-camera editing window feature simulates live camera switching. 

• 3D image compositing turns two-dimensional layers into three-dimensional space creating dynamic 3D camera movement. 

• Motion stabilisation can mimic the sweeping, cinematic moves of a Steadicam, dolly, track or jib, without the use of heavy equipment.


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What is the Documentary Style of Wedding Video Production?


The Documentary style focuses on simply capturing the day, as it happens, in the order that it happens, without referring to cutaways of particular items or flash backs to previous happenings. This type of editing is most likely to retain more footage of the the day as it focuses on the content rather than just the "pretty pictures". The final result will be more content but less of the dramatic camera angles, musical or special effects. 



We can film and edit in either style. But, our "Full Edit" provides a combination of cinematic and documentary.  We focus on telling the story of your wedding day in a way that is dramatic, artistic and fun to watch without sacrificing any of the important moments of your day.  The final DVD will have your preparations, ceremony, photo session, reception entrance, speeches & toasts, and all other significant moments in their entirety but intertwined with those dramatic transitions and special effects of the cinematic wedding video.  

Our" Highlights" packages focus on using the cinematic tools to their best effect by increasing the emotional impact through use of slow motion and transition effects, saturated colors, creative camera angles and dramatic music.  It has that "wow" factor to tell your story in a unique and memorable way. 

image still taken from our videos

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