I just started my own website, http://www.jamesleefilms.com.
When introducing myself through the website (and when approached by clients), I say: “my name is James Lee, and I’m a wedding filmmaker.” Why not ‘videographer,’ you ask? I like to distinguish myself from the old-fashion point-and-shoot-and-smack-it-together style wedding ‘videos’; instead I try and focus on telling a story, by crafting a carefully edited 25-40 minute cinematic wedding film that captures the emotions of the day.
Specifically, my style as a storyteller is to employ more of an “emotional truth” approach than literal truth.
A literally true documentary of a wedding day is essentially recording the day as it happens. The sights and sounds, the music, the full 30 to 40 minute ceremony, all of it shot and edited to pretty much re-cap the day. I think this is what many people who don’t get wedding videos think all they are. For many people, including me, this is boring.
An emotionally true wedding film is one that has the power to evoke the same feelings and emotions people had that day, regardless of who is watching. I would have clients watch clips of wedding films from total strangers and being crying, laughing, etc. The emotion of the day was conveyed in such a way that most people watching would be moved.
Below is a sample of a wedding film highlights I shot and edited for Wonton Creations last June:
Do you know the couple, Sophia and Ben, personally? Did you feel, at least temporarily, the emotions of the day that Sophia, Ben, and the people who participated in the wedding may have felt? If so, our job was completed. Of course, I’m not saying this is perfect. Conveying emotional truth “truthfully” is a challenge I face every wedding. What drives me then, is that I have found personally, that telling emotionally true stories are more exciting and fulfilling for me as a filmmaker.
Each wedding is a story begging to be told. And wedding films are the opportunity to relive that story forever.