The Modern Wedding Film
Christian Nachtrieb and Christopher Scesny of Brighter Lights Media put their own twist on traditional wedding videos, turning them into Hollywood-like films couples can share with family, friends, even Facebook. Here, they talk about why you should film your wedding and offer advice for camera-shy couples who want to capture and preserve their Big Day.
Why should couples hire a videographer in addition to a photographer?
Christopher Scesny: The most important reason is that you can get caught up in the moment, and things happen so fast that you may forget a lot of the little details. Photos are necessary, but videos can expand on the memories and help you relive the day. Plus, photographs can’t capture audio.
What questions should a couple ask when choosing a videographer?
CS: In addition to the basic questions such as what they cover, and what the cost is, people should treat the meeting with the videographers like a first date… Make sure you click because they are sharing one of the most intimate moments of your life with you so you should feel comfortable in their company. Then, that relationship will unfold into great, genuine moments.
What makes your videos unique?
Christian Nachtrieb: We definitely have our own style, but it all comes down to the couple that we’re working with. We could tell a story any way we want, but anything unique and special is going to come from each couple and how we interact with them. The rapport we’ve built with them flows through into our videos and makes them that much more natural. We work to capture each little emotion… we’re like sponges absorbing everything they say.
What is your advice for camera-shy couples?
CS: Christian and I are terrible on camera so we know what it’s like and we can really empathize with anyone who has that same fear… Every time we shoot a wedding, when we’re saying our goodbyes, one of the most common phrases we hear is, ‘I honestly forgot you guys were here all day,’ and that’s the whole thing we’re going for.
CN: Our films feel very cinematic, but just because they look that way, it doesn’t mean we ask couples to be movie stars for the day. We really just want to capture them in their element. People shouldn’t deter from having a wedding video because they’re camera shy. There’s always a way around it.
What can couples expect from you on-site?
CN: There is always at least two of us filming. One of us will always be with the bride and one will be with the groom. We want to be unobtrusive, like flies on the wall. We want to be more like a shadow, not in your face.
How do you coordinate with the photographers?
CN: Prior to the wedding, we always reach out to vendors and introduce ourselves because when the day starts it gets really hectic and you can’t always say a proper hello. We let them know how we work and ask if they need help with anything.
CS: The more you know someone ahead of time, the more natural it is and the easier it is to work together as opposed to going into it blindly and getting thrown into the mix. So, we’ll reach out to the photographers and build a nice rapport. Plus, being there with the photographer gives us the opportunity to bounce ideas off of each other. It always comes out better with more eyes, and with us all working as a team, as opposed to being two separate entities.
Do people still watch their entire wedding on film?
CN: We’re on-site for a minimum of ten hours getting all the big moments so we offer something with all of our packages called “live edits.” It’s basically a way to watch the whole ceremony, all of the toasts, and the special dances. But, one of the main reasons people come to us is for our feature films and our trailers. The trailers are quick, 3-5 minute pieces that couples can share on Facebook or with those who couldn’t make it. (Note: The feature film is a 15-25 minute version “that’s very easy to watch, almost like a movie,” Scensy says.)
What makes a great wedding video?
CS: For me it’s the atmosphere, the participation, and the mood. You want guests to have a good time. If you make everything high energy and build the mood, everyone will start participating and that will project through the rest of the night.
What is your favorite part of the wedding?
CS: I like the photo sessions because it’s fun to set things up and make these magic shots… It brings out the personality of the couple and you get to see them in a different light. Even though it’s kind of staged, there are so many creative shots that allow their personalities to shine through.
What is your favorite part of your job?
CN: We both have the same answer… it’s when couples get the finished product and they get back to us. It’s great to see your clients really happy.
19 Cambria St., Somerville, 617-229-5027, brighterlightsmedia.com.
Interview was edited and condensed.