The Sharp Shooters: Jeff Brouillet and Amanda Gosselin of ReadySetFilm
Jeff Brouillet was always a bit of a video nerd—at least that’s what his business partner and soon-to-be wife, Amanda Gosselin, says. Constantly behind the camera, Brouillet offered to film a friend’s wedding on a whim almost seven years ago. “I went overboard. I thought about what was possible and bought a ton of equipment,” Brouillet says. “It blew up into a career really fast.” Now based in Worcester, Brouillet and Gosselin share the lens at weddings across the globe, creating powerful films that highlight the most meaningful moments of each couple’s big day. “The best part of our job is making new friends,” Brouillet says. “For us, it’s always about the people.”
How do modern wedding videos differ from those of our parents’ generation?
JB: Up until six to eight years ago, most wedding videos were shot in a linear way. The day was edited in order. Now we use different elements to tell the story. Instead of opening the video when the festivities begin, we might start with a shot of the venue, along with a speech that introduces the couple and their story.
AG: Today, videos are a lot shorter, and they have more of an impact. Some of my older cousins have these 60-to-80-minute wedding videos that you don’t necessarily want to watch the whole way through. Now you can get an entire view of your wedding day in three or four minutes. You can show it to your friends and family more than once, and they’ll still be excited to watch it.
How would you describe your videography style?
AG: We try to be as unobtrusive as possible. It’s important to capture the moment without putting yourself in the moment. We want to be there, but not be seen. I think that allows us to put together something that is really personal, with candid moments that are authentic versus manufactured. Never on the wedding day will we ask a couple to reenact things.
What does your basic package include?
JB: We give all of our couples a full-length version of the ceremony, their toasts, and their formal dances. We put them together in real time—almost as if you are watching it live on TV. It has multiple camera angles and live audio. In addition, you get a three-to-four-minute signature wedding film that tells the story of the day. Those are what couples are most excited about.
There’s been a lot of buzz around “same-day edits.” Are they still a popular option?
JB: It’s our coolest feature. We can shoot a three-to-four-minute film on the wedding day, and then show it to the newlyweds and all of their guests at the reception. We have had couples tell us it was their favorite moment of the entire wedding day. It gives them a few minutes to sit back and soak in the whole experience.
How should brides and grooms select a videographer?
JB: Watch a lot of samples, and go with your gut feeling. It’s very emotional—the wedding day itself and watching the video after. If you don’t connect with a videographer’s previous work, then it’s probably not a good fit for you.
What planning happens before the big day?
AG: We try to get together with the couple over drinks or dinner. We may not talk extensively about their wedding day; we’re more concerned with getting to know who they are as a couple. Then we get in touch with planners and ceremony and reception coordinators to find out the timeline in advance. But we have to be prepared for things that will arise that weren’t planned—it’s a live event.
What would you say to brides and grooms who don’t think they really need a videographer?
AG: You should look at your wedding video as a film that you’re going to pass down to your children and your children’s children. I would give anything to see my grandparents, or my great-grandparents, at their wedding. I think it would be a really neat look into where I came from and the love that they shared.
What’s hot in wedding videography right now?
JB: It’s really popular to do aerial shots. We use quadcopters: tiny little remote-control helicopters. We usually arrive early and get shots from above of the setting and the location. The technology has come a long way, and the quality is incredible.
When editing, how do you decide what to include?
JB: We build off moments that have dialogue, like the vows and speeches. Important highlights of the day are typically always going to be included—the first kiss, the first dance, the moment the bride walks down the aisle, and the moment the groom sees the bride for the first time.
How did you two meet?
AG: We met when I was 12 and he was 14. I became friends with his sister, and I would be at her house and ask if Jeff was going to be there. He was always the cute older brother. We lost touch for 10 years, but then we ran into each other at a wedding that I was in and he was filming. We’ve been together ever since.
Jeff Brouillet and Amanda Gosselin share pointers for a silver-screen-worthy wedding video.
Don’t assume that your venue allows filming. Check if there are restrictions regarding film and photography in advance, especially if you’re having your ceremony in a church.
Do ask your hairstylist and makeup artist to set up their workspaces near a window. Traditional incandescent lighting produces orange tones and dark shadows under the eyes on camera. Your film and photos will look better in natural light.
Don’t plan your ceremony for sunset. If there are any schedule delays, you may end up getting married in the dark. Instead, hold it several hours before sunset. You’ll still have time to get shots in as the sun goes down.
Do tell your videographer what moments are most important to you. Speak up about your music preferences or custom décor that you are excited about, and family politics that he or she should avoid capturing on film.
Don’t ask your videographer to walk around from table to table to do guest interviews. It’s a trademark of a bad wedding video. Instead, have him or her set up an area off to the side where guests can freely walk up and record their messages.
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