So here is something new but something we hope to do more of on our education blog. On our regular blog we have a little write up for our couples looking for inspiration and here we want to give you a little bit of a technical insight into what we do for our fellow filmmakers out there, and those who are just a little bit curious.

In these we will share with you some behind the scenes pictures, how we grade the footage along with before and after pics, what thoughts we go through on the day as well as some other insights into the Minty way of thinking.

Lets start with the technical, what did we use to film this piece? The first thing we used was Danny and Julie but also our assistant for the day Simon. As well as those fine tools we used;

  • 1x Canon 5DMK2
  • 2x Canon 7D
  • Steadicam pilot
  • Slider
  • 2x Zoom H4N
  • Sennheiser G2 Wireless
  • Shotgun mics

We also use a selection of lenses. Just why we chose these lenses and for what we use them we will cover in a later tutorial.

  • Sigma 30mm 1.4
  • Canon 50mm 1.4
  • Canon 24-70 2.8
  • 2x Canon 70-200 2.8 IS

 

THE STORY

Let’s start with the story and why are things a little jumbled up. Wouldn’t it make more sense to just show everything in the order it happened? Could do and sometimes we do but sometimes we see a story we can weave in a non linear order like Pulp Fiction, just without the tasty burgers. In this one Julie had a lot of excellent audio from the speeches that would allow this piece to narrate itself. We all know what’s happening, it is a wedding after all, but using the vocal work we could raise some questions and provide some answers. The basic outline of this story is the groom and then the bridesmaid tell us a bit about the couples background, how they got together and how we all ended up here today. We then decided to show the climax, the walking down the aisle at the end, after we hear how we all came to be in this fine place. It’s often easy to time shift in another way. For example your watching the speeches and then the groom talks about how beautiful the bride looks so you cut to a shot of the bride looking beautiful. But this can often be a little jarring to watch. Sure the visual matches the audio description but the jump in time is confusing sometimes to the viewer. For this reason we keep the speeches visual simple and use the end of the speech as the cue to change the point in time.

 

THE LOOK

EVERY single edit we do is heavily colour graded, the key to good grading is to not make it too obvious. Each edit has around 6 or more filters/plugins on each clip to give it the final look that we are looking for. These range from our basic ‘minty look’ that we apply to the entire timeline of curves, broadcast colours, film grain, sharpen and 3way colour to the individual filters we use on each clip as needed. These are often levels to bring the brightness to a level we are happy with or a 3way colour to colour correct or give it a particular feel. We shoot almost everything slightly underexposed. This gives us something more to work with in the edit as once something is overexposed that’s it, game over (usually) but if it’s underexposed you can always brighten it and even brighten just the bits you want. More about this in a later tutorial.

But let’s take a couple of clips as an example. On the left, the straight from camera look. On the right, our processed look. Bear in mind we shoot with a custom picture profile on our cameras. Click each image for a full size version.

video colour grading before and after

wedding video colour grading before and after

Each one used levels to brighten up the image as needed. We shoot with our ISO at fixed intervals of 160, 320, 640 and 1250 as our max. This gives us the cleanest image as the middle ISO’s on these particular cameras tend to get quite noisy. So we prefer to brighten in post. We then applied a colour curve and took down the centre of the green curve just slightly. This removes the green tint this particular room was creating (we also used the WB shift on the cameras on the day to remove it as much as we could). Green is never a desirable colour to have in most productions and certainly not a wedding. It gives the viewer the wrong message. Also, notice how the broadcast filter with its luminosity limit set to 90% flattens the image slightly. This is great at removing those often huge differences between the light and dark parts of an image. This is particularly good at giving people a more even complexion and the illusion of working in a controlled lighting situation. In the second image the lights above Amy’s head are no longer much brighter compared to the rest of the scene and thus less distracting.

 

ALAN SUGAR

Wait what? A write up on Shugs? We wanted to include his lordship as he was a part of their day and an important person to the groom. It also never hurts to have a famous face in a clip :) The challenge was, the man is very media aware, even when getting sneaky shots on a DSLR with a 70-200 lens. As with all our shots we want the visuals to have gravitas, a reason for existing in our film. Shugs rarely smiled and I didn’t want to linger too long. So I continued filming others in the room who were smiling and enjoying the speeches until the moment he cracked a grin and then I seized my moment. In all seriousness, this is how it works with all people, most people are often aware of a camera. If the person you want to film isn’t producing any results try elsewhere and wait for your moment. We caught a cheeky smirk in the end.

That’s all for this behind the scenes and we hope to cover different subjects each time. Any questions then feel free to ask them below or drop us an email.

In our next tutorial we will be breaking down Jessica and Andrew’s film and why we sometimes choose to output in 2.39:1 instead of 16:9