Cinematic Wedding Films: A Guide To Wedding Videography | Matti Haapoja | Skillshare

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Cinematic Wedding Films: A Guide To Wedding Videography

teacher avatar Matti Haapoja, DOP/Filmmaker

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (49m)
    • 1. 1 INTRO

    • 2. 2 Course Summary

    • 3. 3 Whats Your Style

    • 4. 4 Equipment and Gear

    • 5. 5 Lighting

    • 6. 6 Composition

    • 7. 7 What I'm Looking For

    • 8. 8 Post Processing

    • 9. 9 Ten Bonus Tips

    • 10. 10 Your Done!

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About This Class

This course will teach you how to make emotional cinematic wedding films from beginning to end.  We will take a look the style of your wedding film, equipment, camera settings, lighting, composition, song choices, editing and color grading.  By the end of the course you will have amazing insight and tips on how to make high-end cinematic wedding films.

Meet Your Teacher

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Matti Haapoja



I'm a Director and DP from Finland based out of Toronto, Canada. My passion is to inspire people by telling stories through cinematic, documentary style film. And I want to teach you how to do the same! I've worked with a variety of clients such as Nike, San Pellegrino, Energizer, Foresters, Visit Norway, Visit Finland, and Matador Network.

I also run a Youtube channel called Travel Feels that I post travel films, tutorials, product reviews and behind the scenes videos.

If you have any questions feel free to message me and I'll respond as soon as possible.

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1. 1 INTRO: Hi, my name is Mattie Haapoja and this is the Cinematic Wedding Films course. About five years ago, me and my brother started a wedding videography and photography company called Heart Visuals. We've been lucky enough to travel around the world making these films. People often ask me what kind of cameras am I using, what lenses, what kind of stabilizers, what lens filters, what settings am I using. So I thought I would make a course on everything I know about wedding film making. In this course, we will learn about the style of your wedding film, equipment, and settings, how to work with light and composition, what to look for in each section of the day, editing, song choices, color grading, and much more, all with the focus of making the most cinematic, emotion-filled wetting film possible. Whether you're just starting out or you're an experienced wedding film maker, there's something for everyone. So join me on the Cinematic Wedding Films course. 2. 2 Course Summary: For this course, we're first going to talk about the style of your wedding film. Then, we will dive into the tech or camera gear that I use and what the best settings are. We will take a closer look at everything from cameras to lenses to stabilizers. Next, we will explore how to get cinematic images using light and composition. After that, we'll go through the wedding day and what I'm looking for in each section of the day. Then, we will step into the post world going from converting footage all the way to color grading. Lastly, we'll take a look at ten tips for shooting weddings. Hope you enjoy. 3. 3 Whats Your Style: What's your style? Whether you've just booked your first wedding film or you've been in the industry for years already, it's important to stop and think, "What's my style?" For our wedding films, we choose to do a documentary, cinematic style highlight film, edited to amazing music. That's it, plain and simple. We don't even use any of the speeches. The reason why we don't use speeches in our wedding highlight films is, we like a faster paced edit, that's a little bit more exciting. We find that using speeches forces it to be a little bit more slow-paced, plus not to mention, you really have to rely on getting an amazing speech each wedding and that isn't always the case. This also allows us to capture the whole day with just a one man crew and still get everything we need to make a beautiful cinematic highlight film. We like to stay very stealthy, like a fly on the wall or a ninja. This means that we don't intrude on the couple's day too much and we also get really natural, candid shots, which is really what you want to get. Luckily, you don't have to think too much about finding your style. I find that the more you shoot, the more wedding films you make, your style just comes out naturally. Once you've figured out your style, shoot intentionally for that style. The most important thing to keep in mind whether your style is like ours, without speeches or whether you include speeches, is to remember that you're telling a story. The wedding day is all about the couple, not about the venue or the dress or the cake and especially not you as a filmmaker. It's first and foremost about the couple. Even couples will often forget this and they'll ask you to really make sure you get all the details. I guarantee you after a 10 years, most of the details of the wedding will probably go out of style but they'll be really thankful if you focus the video on them and their story and all the emotion of that day. That never gets old and this is really the key to making a successful wedding film. It's all about telling their story. Whenever I shoot a wedding, I tried to capture as much emotion throughout the day as possible because even a one-second clip of an emotional moment, will bring back tons of memories for the couple and it'll also spark something and people that weren't even there. Really, my goal is to make the day look like the most amazing epic day ever. So, whenever the couple watches the video, they can look back and say, "Man, those are really sweet day." One of the best indicators that I've succeeded as a filmmaker is when I've sent them the wedding film and they reply with, "We couldn't stop crying while watching in", or even better yet when complete strangers watch it and say they cried. So, remember, don't go too crazy with the details and if possible incorporate the couple into the shots with the details. This way you're killing two birds with one stone. The couple is your story, so do everything within your style to accomplish telling that story. 4. 4 Equipment and Gear: Now that you know the style of your wedding film, let's nerd out on the tech for a bit. For a typical wedding day, my gear consists of a Panasonic GH4, Sony a7R II, Metabones adapters, Sigma 18-35mm F1.8, Canon 16-35mm 2.8, Canon 70-200 F2.8 IS, Zeiss 50mm 1.4, Canon 85mm 1.8, ND filters, Tiffen Black Satin Filter, glidecam, and a monopod. That's a lot of stuff you might think. But for most of the day, I'm actually just on the GH4 with my Sigma 18-35mm on it. This is a great combination. I used to shoot with a Canon 5D and then I switched over the GH4 and then later added on the Sony for its amazing image and low-light capabilities. I'm sure I'll change cameras within the next couple of years and you might be shooting on a different camera but all the same principles apply. So, why did I choose these cameras? Well, the GH4 is a really great camera for weddings. It's small light, it's cheap, it has a great battery life and it has a really nice 4K image. But Sony a7R II is also a really nice camera, especially in low-light conditions. I love shooting with this camera during the reception when usually the light is very limited and the camera does great. It is a little bit expensive, especially if you go with the Metabones adapter but it's a great camera to have. It's also really important to have two camera bodies. In the beginning, I used to only shoot with one camera body and this is really sketchy because if something happens to that one camera body, you're pretty screwed. So, if you have two camera bodies and something happens to one of them, you're okay, you can just keep using another camera for the rest of the shoot. As I mentioned, I like to use the Metabone Speed Booster Adapters. This allows me to use all my Canon lenses on both the Panasonic GH4 and the Sony a7R II. This way I also don't have to carry around two different sets of lenses, one for the Panasonic and one for the Sony. It's really convenient for wedding films. The Metabones Adapters are a bit more pricey but definitely worth every penny. Now, let's look at how to make sure you get the most cinematic image out of your camera. First and foremost, make sure you're filming in 24 frames per second. This is the most cinematic frame rate that you can shoot on. You can shoot in higher frame rates but make sure then imposed, you're putting it back to 24 frames per second. Virtually all Hollywood movies are filmed in 24 frames per second and this really gives it this cinematic look that we're all used to. So, this is a must. You got to film in 24 frames per second. As you both cameras in 4Ks so I can re-crop or stabilize the footage in post. Also, both cameras just do much better in 4K versus 1080. For the Sony, I like to shoot an S-Log two picture profile and then GH4, I choose the Cine D picture profile. This provides me the most room and post to grade later on, where the footage really comes alive. I also like to set the GH4 sharpness to minus five. I find the GH4 is just too sharp and it really gives this video vibe, instead of the filmic cinematic quality that we're looking for. Shutter speed is really the amount of motion blur that's an each frame. The lower the number, the more blur there'll be. If you put it to a higher number, there'll be less motion blur. Typically, you'll keep your shutter speed at double whatever the frame rate you're shooting in, which is usually 48 or 50 if your camera can't do 48. There are exceptions, you could go for a more dreamlike look and use a slower shutter speed or if you want a more chaotic or intense look, you could use a higher shutter speed. But typically, keep it up 48. It's good to know also that as you change the shutter speed, your exposure will change. But this really isn't a good way of changing exposure as you're changing the look of the image as you change it. Aperture changes the depth of field or the amount that's in focus. A lower aperture or a smaller number will give you a shallow depth of field, whereas a higher aperture or a larger number will give you a deep depth of field. Typically, you want to shoot a lower aperture. This gives you a nice cinematic depth of field and it also really highlights whatever you're focusing on, separating it from the background or the foreground. But there are exceptions to that also. Sometimes you need whatever is in foreground and background to be in focus and this is when you would use a deep depth of field or a higher number aperture. A lower aperture will also help a lot when you don't have much available light. That's why it's really important to have lenses that are at least f2.8 or faster if you can. Definitely, try to shoot at lower apertures, so you get that beautiful bulky and keep that cinematic style. ISO simply changes the sensitivity of your sensor or basically makes it brighter or darker. The downside is, the higher the ISO, the more noise you'll introduce. So, test your camera and see where the limits are but usually you want to keep the ISO as low as possible. There are definitely times you're going to bump the ISO but try to keep it as low as possible or at least within the limits of your camera. Every camera has a different threshold where the ISO is just too high, too noisy and it just doesn't look good anymore This is really important to making cinematic images. Make sure you also keep your eye on the white balance. White balance is something that often gets forgotten and it can really mess you up in post. If it's daylight, choose the daylight setting or 5,500 Kelvin. If it's tungsten lighting which usually indoor lighting is, use the tungsten setting or 3,200 Kelvin. If you can't control the light and you have both tungsten and daylight, try to split the difference and select 4,300 Kelvin. Auto white balance can also work but it can make your post-process a little bit more tedious if it keeps changing the white balanced by a little bit all the time. If you choose one setting, that way one scene will all stay the same looking. I sometimes use the auto white balance setting when I'm filming in the reception during lets say the dance or somewhere where the light's changing often and I can't be changing the white balance all the time. Another key piece of equipment or ND filters. Make sure you use ND filters, especially when you're shooting outside so you can keep that cinematic shallow depth of field without having to break the 1AD rule under shutter speed. I like to use variable ND filters because they allow you to change the amount of ND that's being applied really quickly and easily just by spinning the lens filter. This is a must for documentary type shooting like weddings, especially if your cameras don't have built-in ND filters. I also like to use a filter called the Tiffen Black Satin Filter. This is another little bit of my secret sauce for how to make my images really cinematic. It just keeps the image a little bit more organic, softens up the mid tones like skin tones a little bit more while still keeping the sharpness and detail. It also helps to blend the highlights a little bit, especially when things are blowing out. When you're looking to buy a filter for your lens, make sure you buy a larger size like a 77 millimeter thread filter so you can use it on all your lenses. Just buy a large size and then you step up rings for each specific lens. The step-up lens cost very little so it will save you a lot of money, rather than buying three or five sizes of the same filter. The lenses I really like to use are the Sigma 18-35mm on my GH4 and the Canon 16-35 on my Sony. I like to use lenses that are really fast. These are typically lenses that are f2.8 or lower. This allows you to get that nice shallow depth of field. I shoot 95 percent of the day either on the Sigma 18-35mm 1.8 or the Canon 16-35mm 2.8. Because it allows me to get those wide shots when I need it but also go in for the closeups. I also like to use the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS, especially because of the image stabilization. This really helps when I'm on the Monopod and I'm trying to get those close-ups in the church or during the reception for the speeches. The other lenses I carry are more just for backup or in the case of really low light situations. Lenses like the Zeiss 50mm 1.4 are really great for when there just isn't enough light. Let's look at stabilizers. It's really important to use stabilization. Nothing takes you out of the story faster than shaky footage that you can barely see what's going on. I like to stay light with my gear, so I only take along a Monopod and a Steadicam. I have the same Manfrotto base plate on both the Monopod and the Steadicam, so I can quickly switch from one to the other. Sometimes, I'll also set up one camera on the Steadicam so it's ready to use right when I need him. Invest in a good Monopod like the Manfrotto Monopod and make sure it has the feet sticking out of the bottom for extra stability. A Monopod is really great because it allows you to get tons of shots really quickly and you barely have to adjust anything whereas a tripod will take you a lot longer to set up and move around and it's clunky and big and heavy. A Monopod is a must for wedding films. It's really a great tool and I can't stress that enough. For the Steadicam, I have a Glidecam 2000, which is a great way to add movement and excitement to your films. You could also use an Electronic Gimbal but I like the idea of a Steadicam because it just always works, you don't have to worry about it breaking down on you in the middle of a shoot. Balancing a Steadicam can be a little bit tricky, so make sure you go through it even the night before so it's pretty much set up or in the way you're going to use it the next day. The way I balance my Glidecam is first put on the camera with the lens that you want and make sure to take off the lens cap as this will affect the balance. Then take the Glidecam and put it horizontal. Let it go and see how long it takes to get to vertical. It should take about two seconds. If it's a lot faster or slower, adjust the height of the bar, then put it on a table or anything flat and pick it up. See which way it's tilting, then simply adjust the camera on the plate to the opposite direction of where it was tilting. Keep doing this process over and over again till it's balanced. Once you can pick up the Glidecam and move it side to side without a tipping, then you know you're balanced. Try and shoot with a nice wide angle lens on the Steadicam. I like to use the Sigma 18-35mm or the Canon 16-35mm. This also helps you to get those wide sweeping shots and then also get tighter and do small movements. The most basic Steadicam move I find, is to just circle around your subject keeping the same distance so you keep your focus. This is a really nice way to add some movement and excitement to the shots. It's a great way to cover details or group shots or any other subject really. Another move I like to do with the Steadicam is to get focused on the subject, then step back a few meters and then walk forwards to that same position. This way you get a nice sweeping motion towards the subject and you end up with perfect focus. Following a couple walking and talking can also be a great way to get cinematic footage really easily and quickly. Just ask the couple to walk and talk about anything they want. The key is for them to look really natural for this to work well. So that's my gear. 5. 5 Lighting: Aside from camera settings, there's a lot of things you can do to get an even more cinematic image. I think the most important are lighting and composition. In order to get beautiful cinematic images, one of the most important things to look at is light. I don't carry any lights with me on a wedding day. So, when I first get to a location, first I right away look at what kind of lights there are. If you have big windows in a room, that's a huge bonus. So, if you have the choice always go for the big windows. For example, when the bride and groom are getting ready, if there's one room with no windows and one room with a lot of windows, I would almost always go for the room with the windows if you have the choice. Also placing the bride or groom in front of a window is a great way to get soft light, which is really flattering. When you get to a location, try to stick to one color temperature of light. So, for example, if you have windows and then you have ceiling lights that are tungsten, try to cut out the ceiling tungsten lights so you're not mixing both the daylight, which is more blue, and the tungsten, which is more orange. However, there are exceptions to this. Sometimes you might want color contrast. You might light your subject with a big window and then have tungsten lights in the background, so the background room looks really warm compared to the subject. But in general, try to stick to one color temperature and turn off all those tungsten lights if you have nice big windows. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is, if you have a big soft source like a window, use that as your key light and shoot in that direction. If you only have a really harsh strong light, like let's say, midday doing portraits outside, then use it as a backlight. Backlighting with a harsh strong light can really pop your subject and really make them glow. It also gets rid of all those harsh shadows that they might have on their face if you were shooting with the sun directly in their face. Another great tip for backlighting, when it's too dark to get a good exposure on your subject is to try to look for lights in the background to silhouette your subject with. This works really well during the reception and dancing when it's usually really dark, but there's strong lights coming in from the background. If you're outside shooting portraits during midday, like it often happens, and you want some soft light, just find some shade. That's a really good way of getting nice soft light and getting away from the harshness of the sun. For a while, light scared me. I just didn't understand it or see it in a way that I could use it properly. But when you get into a space, just pay attention what kind of lights do you have to use, how can you modify them, and what's the best way to utilize those lights. Light is something that you really just have to learn to see over time, and it gets easier and easier to find that beautiful light or modify it. 6. 6 Composition: We should also look at composition part of it. I won't go too deep into theory of composition because there are great tutorials online, and you can go check those out. First of all, we can talk about rule of thirds. This is a really simple technique of just placing your subject in the intersecting points of the thirds. For some reason our brains just really like seeing things placed in the third, and this is a really simple technique to use for great compositions. I also like to have the thirds marker overlay on my LCD screen just so it keeps my mind thinking about the thirds, and also just helps me to place the subject exactly in those intersecting points. One of my favorite things is to look for leading lines. Lines are everywhere, whether it's roads, or the lines on a brick building, or pipes on a ceiling, there's lines everywhere. These can be reused really well to really point to a subject. Compose your shot in a way where the lines are pointing exactly to where you want the viewer to be looking at that moment. Triangles are also a really nice way of composing. For some reason our brains just really liked seeing triangles, and it's important to notice also that leading lines often create triangles. Triangles are a little bit harder to look for and spot, but often we're composing just naturally in triangles. Naturally occurring frames are another great way to compose. Our brains really liked things neatly organized, and a frame within a frame is a great way of accomplishing them. It really draws the viewer in and makes them right away wonder what's in that frame. Whether it's a door, or an archway, or a window, there are a lot of great ways to use frames to give your subject a nice border. Composition is so key for making beautiful wedding films, but it's something that you really have to look for and train your eyes to see. Knowing what to look for though is half the battle, and soon enough you'll see beautiful compositions all over. 7. 7 What I'm Looking For: So, I thought I would go through each section of a day, and tell you what I'm looking for, or what I'm aiming to capture. It's good to have something in mind that you're looking for in each part of the day, especially when things get hectic and chaotic, so you don't miss those shots that you really need. During the makeup and getting ready stage, I often shoot a little bit too much. I find that, I'm little bit nervous still, because I haven't captured much, I'm filming too much. So stop and think, what do you really need to capture? Usually I like to get a few shots establishing each location, and where the film is taking place. Get a few shots of the bride and groom each hanging out with their friends, putting on their clothes, and a few beauty shots. That's all you really need. During the prep stage, I usually just stay on the mono pod. I like to keep it simple, so that later on I can build the excitement throughout the day. Like I said earlier, for the beauty shots, use a big soft source like a window. It's a great way to get flattering images. If possible, I highly recommend doing a first look. It's a great way to get really nice footage, and I find that the couple reacts a little bit more during a first look, as opposed to walking down the aisle. I think it's just nerves, and everything that's going on during the ceremony that, the couples don't usually react quite as much. The first look is a great way to get the couple more relaxed, and that will really show in your footage throughout the day later on. When you're staging the first look, make sure you get the first reaction from the groom, because that's not something you can redo. Everything else like the bride walking up to the groom, or however you do it, you can reset and redo pretty much as many times as you want. Just make sure you get the original reaction from the groom. As a one man shooter, the ceremony is really where you want to stick to your sure shots, and not to go too creative or crazy. So, stay on your toes, and go in with a game plan. My game plan usually starts with me on the mono pod, at the front of the chairs, across from the groom. This way I can get a nice shot of the bride walking down the aisle, and I can also get the reaction of the groom. After that, I'll usually go and take the wides, especially down the aisle, remember the leading lines. Then I'll switch to a zoom lens and get some nice close-ups of both the bride and groom, the efficient and the parents of the bride and groom. Then I switch over to the glide cam, and I usually get a few wide shots with movement, but then I just go and wait for the kiss. This is the most important part of the day, so don't miss it. After the kiss, I'll usually stay in the aisle and wait for the couple to walk down. I'll lead them down the aisle, usually with the photographer right by my side, so we're not getting in each other's way. The portrait session, really depends on the photographer for me. If I find that the photographer is really good, and has a similar style to me, I'll usually let them set up the scenes, and then I'll just go in and get my own shots. If the photographer style is totally different from yours, make sure you're getting your own shots, because in the end, it's your responsibility to get those perfect shots. A great way to get the couple to act natural, is to tell them to smile and just talk to each other. I find this works really well, and I rarely ask the couple to look into the camera. Again if you're doing portraits at midday, and it's really sunny, make sure your back lighting. This gets rid of those harsh shadows on the couples face. When you're on the steady cam, walking and talking, shots can be a great way to get natural, cinematic looking footage. Just make sure you get it from walking behind them, in front of them, and from the side. This way it gives you all the options you need and post. For group shots, I like to stay on the steady cam. I tell the group to just talk to each other and give me laughing smiles. Then I'll walk with the glide cam across the whole group, and this way you really get these fun exciting group shots, instead of those boring ones that nobody wants to see. The key to portraits is really just to get as many natural-looking shots as possible. For me, the reception is all about emotions. If you see somebody laughing, or crying, you better be in there and getting that. This will make the perfect ending for your wedding film. This is really the only goal I really have for the whole reception. Of course, I get all the speeches and the stuff that you need to get, but really the motion is what you want to capture. The Sony A7R2 is a really great camera for reception, since usually there just isn't enough light in those venues. You can boost the ISO, and it'll still look great. Remember, don't film people eating. Nobody wants to see people eating, it just doesn't look flattering, and it's not good footage. Don't film it, you're not going to use it, stop it. Actually, you should be eating while a couple is eating. If you're not eating while a couple is eating, then you're going to be missing something later on when the couple is done and you're still eating. There are a few shots that I like to get regardless of the wedding, one of those is the walking and talking shots, but I also have a signature shot at the end of each film, where I get the couple to stand a little bit of part holding hands and looking at each other and then I tell them to kiss. These usually gets a really nice kiss, and not one of those snobbery gross ones. So, it's a great way to end your film with just a nice moment, and it's also a really nice way for me to switch into our ending graphic. So, make sure you're thinking about what those key shots are for you throughout the day. Especially the ending, really makes sure what that signature stamp is, to really make you stick out from the rest of the wedding films. 8. 8 Post Processing: The excitement and the fun and the stress of the wedding day is over, and it's now time for post. Everything from your editing style to your song choice, and even your color grade can really help to make you different from the other wedding videographers. So, really take time on post and do it well. The first thing I like to do is to start converting my clips to progress. This way I can do other stuff at the same time, while they're converting. Now, I convert to progress so it's easier for your editing program to deal with the footage, and also it'll handle grading and post much better. I like to use a free program called mpeg stream clip, which you can just download from the Internet, but you can also use Adobe encoder. There's also different formats of progress and they have different qualities and different file sizes, but I would do a minimum of progress LT, but just to be sure I like to do progress 4-2-2. While your footage is converting it's the perfect time to look for a great song. This is a really crucial step, and in my style it's probably one of the most important things to make that cinematic emotional film that I'm looking for. Typically I will choose the song myself, but sometimes I'll give the wedding clients a few different songs to choose from. In order to figure out what song fits best for that particular wetting film, I'd like to take all my footage and place it in a timeline, and then take a look, and then also think about the feel of the actual wedding day, and that'll give you an idea of what song will fit best for that couple in that video. I like to choose upbeat and happy songs that just make you smile and feel good. It's really important that the song has a good arc to him. There's times of build-up there's com sections and a lot of energy. I like to choose songs that have at least two build-ups, and that really helps with my editing process which we'll talk about later on. But, a song that doesn't really have any arc and just the same the whole time, that we'll get boring really fast. Try not to choose those kinds of songs. For my music, I like to use the website and also These websites offer really affordable licensing, but also they just have really great music. Searching for that perfect song can take a really long time even hours sometimes, but don't rush this step. This is really crucial to building the motion of your film. For editing, I like to use Adobe Premier Pro. It's a really great program, but it also just works really well with After Effects, which is where I like to do my color grading. First, it's good to make sure you're nice and organized. Create folders for your footage, project files, sounds, renders, or whatever way you like to organize things. Do the same in the Premier project. I like to take all my footage and drag them to make a new sequence. Now, I shouldn't 4K, but I actually edit in 1080 and finish in 1080. To make things even more cinematic, I like to make it an anamorphic aspect ratio. You can do this by changing the values of the sequence settings frame size to 1920 by 8017. You will need to resize the clips after changing the aspect ratio. You can do this quickly by finding the right size on one clip, and then copy and pasting the attributes to the rest of the footage. I will then separate the different sections of the day, and include both cameras in each of those sections. This is a good time to duplicate your sequence, and start with an edit sequence. This way if you made a mistake, and you delete some footage you can easily go back and choose the right footage from that section of the day. So, let's bring in the song and start piecing together the edit. For my wedding films I like to edit in chronological order. Some people will throw in one section before or another, but I like to keep a chronological. The only time I break this rule, is with portraits. I'll put portraits in anywhere after the ceremony section. I also don't like showing the bride too much in her wedding dress, until we get to that first look or when she's walking down the aisle. That way there's some anticipation and something to look forward to later on. I like to take a look at the song and figure out where the critical parts are. when does it change from the verse to the chorus, when is there a slower softer section or where the build-ups are. This helps me then to figure out how long each section of the day should be. For example, if there's 30 seconds from the beginning of the song to the first chorus, I know that I have thirty-seconds of make-up and prep footage before I go to the next section of the day. So, I begin by adding in some establishing shots that tell the viewer where the wedding is taking place. Then I have my prep shots and usually by the first chorus, I'm jumping into this ceremony section, and usually almost straight into the bride walking down the aisle. After this, I'll have more clips from the ceremony and maybe a few portraits. The second big buildup or the second chorus usually is where I'll have the kiss. After the kiss, I'll use you throw in a couple of really nice portraits, and then have them exiting down the aisle. After this there's usually a room for a couple more portraits, and then I'll get straight into the reception. Often there's a quieter section in the song later on, and this is where I'll throw in a couple more portraits, and then after this is where the motion really begins. For the final big buildup make sure you're editing at a fast pace, and having a lot of those emotional moments like the laughter or the tears. For the ending, I like to use my signature shot of the couple kissing, and then I'll go straight into our Heart Visuals Animation. Once you have your edit finish, make sure you watch it over a few times. Usually, there's a few sections that are a little weird or a few cuts that just don't work. Change those up, and then you're ready for the color grading. Once I feel good about the edit, I'll separate the different camera footage in different tracks. This will help when you're bringing it into After Effects. I duplicate my sequence again, and this sequence will be for sending to After Effects. You could also color grade in Premier Pro if you wanted to, and there's nothing wrong with that. But, I just find I have a lot more control and aftereffects plus there's a lot more plug-ins that you can use for color grading in After Effects. To send your footage to After Effects. We can select our whole timeline, and choose replaced with After Effects composition. This will open up After Effects, and bringing our whole timeline with all the footage. When you separate the tracks and premier they are also separated in After Effects. So, you can quickly grab all the clips and make a new composition or pre-composition with those clips. In After Effects, I like to do a pre-composition of each of the different cameras. That way I can have adjustment layers that affect all the different clips of that camera. I like to use vision colors impulse lots as a starting point. They're like presets and they're a really great way to start your color grading. They really make your footage look cinematic. There's lots of options in the impulse slots and each slot has a different version depending on what camera you're using. Using the Cneon conversion luts, will give you even more options for looks. In order to use this Cneon luts, choose a Cneon lut, and then add the Cneon conversion on top of it. So, you actually have two different luts on top of each other, and make sure they're in the right order. First the actual lut and then the Cneon conversion on top of it. Once you've found that perfect look, I usually turn down the opacity of the adjustment layer. This way you're not overdoing that look. Sometimes if you have it at full power, it'll mess with things like skin tones just a little bit too much for my taste. The look by default is pretty strong and usually it can be a little bit too much. So, turn it down a little bit. Then I would like to use a great plug-in called Colorista III. It's made by red giant, and it does cost a little bit, but it's definitely worth. It's a great way to change exposure color balance and contrast. I add this to all my clips and I'll actually go through each clip one-by-one making sure the colors look good, the contrast matches, just to keep that continuity throughout all my clips. It's important to know also that as you change something like contrast, you're also changing the saturation. So, it's a lot of finessing going back you might change the shadows, and then you might have to up the mid tones a little bit or you might turn down your highlights, and then you might have to bring up the mid tones. Everything affects each other. The key is to keep going back and forth till you have a beautiful image. Take your time with color grading. This is where you can really make your footage come alive. So, let's go through an example of how I would color correct an individual clip. So, we can start by adjusting the mid tones, highlights, and shadows to get the right exposure and contrast. Looking at the clip, we can also notice that the white balances off, and it's just overall to blue. So, let's go into the highlights and change the color away from the blue on the highlights color wheel. We can do the same in the mid tones, and really you're just going back and forth making small adjustments until it's just right. Here you can see the before and after. Here's another example. First, I'm going to add a little bit more contrast. So, I'm going to bring down the shadows and bring up the mid tones to bring out his face a little bit. There's also a yellow tint to this image, I think it's coming from the sun reflecting off the walls of the room and bouncing into his face. So, I'm going to move the mid tones and highlights away from yellow. Then I'm going to make some fine tuned adjustments, and here's the before and after. So, that's how I would color correct each clip of the wedding film. Make sure the contrast and the color stay the same going from clip to clip. Then I'll switch over to the next composition or the next camera, and I'll do that same process all over again, using the same luts but just for that camera. I thought I've mentioned a few things that I'm looking for when I'm making a look. First of all, I like to have real blacks. There's been this trend of having these faded blacks, and I think that's going out of style. So, I would have some real blacks have that contrast. Also with highlights make sure they're not blowing out too much. This is a giveaway of a cheap camera, and it's also the exact opposite of a filmic or cinematic image. Colorise the most important thing is to keep your skin tones natural. Go through each of your clips, and if they look too orange or too magenta or too green, make sure you adjust those so they look just right. We could spend hours on color grading, and I'll probably make a color grading course later on, but let's continue on. After I'm done color grading, I'll export a progress 4-2-2 file. Usually there's a few mistakes are things I want to change, so I'll go back and change those clips, and export another one. Then I'll import that 4-2-2 file into Premier Pro, and line it up with my timeline. Now, it's time to export your wedding film from Premier Pro, and make sure you're using high enough quality settings so your footage really shines. Choose H2-6-4, and you can match your clip settings. Then select render at maximum depth. For bit rate settings, choose the variable to pass. Then choose a bit rate setting between 20 and 25. Also check the box used maximum render quality, and then you're ready to export. After you've exported the film, watch it over a few times and make sure you're not missing anything. There could be something wrong with the export or you might have missed something fine that you just didn't see before, and then you're ready to send it to the client. 9. 9 Ten Bonus Tips: Lastly, let's go through a bit of a recap and throw some tips. First, don't shoot too much. When I first began, I just shot way too much, and that makes the post-processed a really big headache when you have to sift through hours and hours of footage. Shoot only what you need. When you're shooting a wedding highlight film, you really don't need that much footage, you just need the right footage. Tip number two is, will you use the shot? I do this a lot when I'm filming, I ask myself, "Would I ever use the shot and then edit?" If the answer is no, then I'll stop filming right away. If it's yes or maybe, I'll keep going for a little bit longer. This helps save a lot of time and post and you're left with only the best clips that you'll actually use. Tip number three is to stay light and fast. It's tempting to take a lot of gear but it's really going to slow you down throughout the day. Take backups but take only what you're really going to use. Tip number four is to keep it natural. Try to get as many natural-looking shots as possible, especially during the portraits. Don't make them do weird or uncomfortable poses that they would never do in real life and make sure you get those candid shots. Those are the most natural shots that you're ever going to get. Tip five is to take care of the sure shots. These are the shots that are the must haves. Don't go crazy on these or try anything too creative, for example with a kiss, just make sure you get it. Tip six is to get creative and beautiful shots. Other than the must have shots, I'm always trying to experiment with new camera angles and movements to try to make the film as beautiful as I can. I do this in the free time between the must have shots. Tip seven is getting emotions. I think this is really key and probably one of the most important things to get an amazing wedding highlight film. You really need to get those laughing and crying shots and without this, you're really missing the essence of the day because a wedding day is such an emotional day. A good tip with getting genuine reactions is to set up your camera to the right settings, and then wait for them to react, and then point the camera at them. A lot of times, people were camera shy once they see that you're filming, and they just won't act natural anymore. Tip number eight is to practice. The more you practice, the better your films are going be and the more confident you'll be in your wedding films, so practice, practice, practice. Tip number nine is pretend you're a ninja. Remember that the wedding day is not about you as the filmmaker, but it's about the wedding couple. So, don't be too big of a distraction or too intrusive, especially in those important moments like the ceremony. Tip number 10 is to be ready. Make sure you have all the necessary equipment you need including two camera bodies, so you don't get screwed over halfway through the day. But remember that good gear helps, but it's all about your approach in the end. There's always a way to make a situation look beautiful. So, find that way. So, there you have it. Those are my tips for making a beautiful cinematic wedding film. 10. 10 Your Done!: Remember that it's all about the couple and the emotion of the day. Learn and practice all the technical stuff so that you don't have to think about that throughout the day. It just comes naturally and you can focus on composing the right shots, and looking for the right light, and making sure you're not missing any of those important moments like somebody laughing or shedding a tear. Always be aware of what's going on around you so you don't miss those amazing moments. This will really take your wedding films to the next level. My brother and I always laugh at the fact that the wedding videographer and photographer, end up spending the most time with the wedding couple out of anybody, and most of the time, you don't even know the couple. So, this means you have to be a really good person to work with. So, it's absolutely important that you make the couple feel comfortable and relaxed. It's not normal to have cameras pointed at you all day long, so help with that, talk to the couple, be cool to them, and get them relaxed with the cameras. If you're causing the couple unnecessary stress, you're failing and it's going to show in your footage. So make sure you do your best in that regard. So, thanks for joining me on this course. I hope you learned a lot and that you're able to incorporate some of these things into your own wedding films. Good luck and enjoy shooting