Here at Bridal Soup we’re always on the look out for new talent in all areas of the wedding industry. So we were excited to stumble across the beautiful work of VillaView Cinema. Wedding videography has moved forward so much over the past few years. New cameras and editing techniques have mixed with genuine creativity and vision.
VillaView Cinema is a video production company based out of Montreal, Quebec. Their style is very relaxed and they are masters at storytelling. Check out some of their work below and you’ll see their videos look more like movies than your traditional wedding film.
We caught up with James from the company to find out more about VillaView….
1. When did VillaView first begin shooting weddings?
We shot our first wedding video in 2009, not having ever seen one before. A friend had seen our commercial work and asked us if she could hire us for her wedding. We quickly explained that we had zero experience shooting weddings but she was very much convinced that we were the right people for her. We instantly fell in love with the challenge of telling a non-fiction story through documentary filmmaking but with the style of a feature film. To this day, we are still so grateful she gave us that opportunity.
2. What were your aspirations for the company when you began?
We wanted to be known as a company that puts its heart and soul into each and every film. Our goal isn’t to drastically increase the amount of projects we work on, but rather to improve drastically on each and every project we work on. We’re more of a boutique company; Mark and I own the company, we both meet with our couples, shoot the weddings and do the editing. We don’t show our couples a video we made and then send someone random to their wedding. Once you meet with us, you deal with Mark and I throughout the entire process. It’s the type of personal, quality over quantity, company we’ve aspired to be since the beginning.
3. How would you sum up your style?
Whenever we have new couples contact us about shooting their wedding, the first thing they tend to mention is that they love how real our videos feel. We always love to hear that because it’s exactly what we’re striving for. We look for natural, candid moments and let everything unfold naturally. Each wedding is different not only because the décor or location, but because every couple is unique. We look to translate that in the films we create so that it feels authentic to each couple. The biggest compliment we get is when a bridesmaid, for example, looks to the bride while watching the film and says “that’s so you”.
4. What challenges do you usually face during a wedding day?
A wedding day can move quickly and the moments can pass equally as fast. We’re about capturing those moments and our experience has led to overcome this challenge by being pro-active as opposed to re-active. We know when people are going to stand up to potentially block an angle, the best place to be during a first look, or the best moments to capture the mother of the bride’s reaction. It also means that we’ve had to be quick as well, and the equipment we’ve chosen to use has been selected in large part based on that criteria. All our gear is lightweight, compact, and delivers a high quality HD image in a wide array of lighting scenarios. Our approach is to “be quick but never rush”. We own a crane but it isn’t something we frequently use on weddings because it’s quite large and cumbersome. We would rather focus on capturing those candid moments and emotions, the things we feel are what make a wedding day special.
5. Are there any film makers who inspire you?
We’re big fans of the people over at Stillmotion, as well as the filmmaker Joe Simon. We love that they’ve helped change the way people think of wedding videos now. They’re extremely talented filmmakers, and we’re constantly inspired by their work.
I’d have to say our biggest inspiration however, comes from everyone and anyone who shows a passion for their art form or craft. We meet a lot of photographers and cinematographers and the conversations are always inspiring. Everyone’s always excited to share a new trick they’ve discovered or talk about a new lens that came out. It’s a passionate community and that passion is contagious.
6. What can brides do to help you to capture their wedding day in the best possible way?
The best thing a couple can do to help us capture their wedding day is to simply relax, have fun, and be themselves. If one wedding is wild and all about partying, then we create a film that will reflect that. Likewise, if another wedding is smaller and all the about the sentimental, intimate moments, then that couples film will feel reflect that as well. The more comfortable and relaxed our couples are, the more they tend to be themselves, and that leads to a stronger film that speaks to who they are and what their wedding day was about.
7. Got any funny stories from weddings you’ve covered?
We once had a couple whose limo broke down while we were out shooting photo location and we ended up having the bride in the passenger seat of our truck, while the groom and I sat in the truck bed going from spot to spot. The couple thought it was hilarious and loved the whole experience. People were honking at us and opening their windows at red lights to talk, it was a lot of fun.
8. How early do brides need to think about booking their videographer?
Depending on the popularity of their date, as early as 12-18 months before their wedding.
9. Where can we find you online?
10. From a cinematography perspective, what is your favorite movie?
We’re both big fans of Darren Aronofsky’s films and the way he puts story first. The cinematography in his films isn’t about having an extremely high production value, but about shooting in a way that fleshes out the emotion and feeling of the story. His film “The Wrestler” for example, was lit almost entirely using natural light and a handheld camera rig, the result is a film that feels extremely real and personal. They used a similar approach for many instances on the film “Interstellar” as well, especially the moments that took place on Earth, and the film has an organic feel to it as a result. Hoyte Van Hoytema was the cinematographer on that film and his philosophy goes hand in hand with our approach to shooting a wedding. He said “I would rather get something that’s less perfect but more real”.
Wise words. Thanks to the boys from VillaView for sharing their beautiful work with Bridal Soup. Check out their website for more clips.