We always push ourselves to look at things differently, try new techniques, and approach every project we take on with a different perspective. It’s this philosophy that allows each wedding film we create to have a distinctive look and feel — a vibe and aesthetic reflective of the couple and the voice they lend their film. And while it’s easy for wedding videographers to take on a style-over-content approach, we feel that our doctrine pushes us to think of our stories and characters and how our style strengthens these elements.
Betsy and Henry’s film is the culmination of this ideology.
There were a few aspects of Betsy and Henry’s day that were fundamental to their story: their very emotional vows, the traditional Chinese wedding rituals, Mandarin culture, the coming together of their families, and Toronto’s Queen St. West, the street where Henry grew up, where the couple now lives, and where their wedding took place.
From before the wedding day, we knew their personal vows would be intimate, emotional and the driving force for the narrative. We also knew that Henry would be reciting “By Heaven”, a Yuefu poem, in Mandarin for Betsy. Now our traditional approach for vows is to shoot them with a Canon 135mm (a telephoto lens), but when we tested the shot while setting up for their ceremony, it rendered the scene in an overly dramatic way — a complete disconnect with what we had envisioned and how we had shot their day so far. So we took a risk and decided to shoot their vows — the most integral part of our story — on a couple of 35mm lenses (relatively wide angle) and we couldn’t be happier with that decision.
The result might not be something that the viewer visually picks up on, but it’s definitely felt. A 35mm lens on a Canon C100 results in roughly 50mm, the focal length closest to how the human eye perceives the world. So as you watch their ceremony, you feel as if you’re in that scene standing next to Betsy and Henry, sharing in their intimate moment. A feeling we capture again as Betsy walks down the aisle and we follow from the front of the space until that last possible step, and again when we shot their speech on a 35mm lens, and once more as we sway with them in their first dance — in what seems like a private moment (which to the couple, it totally was), but then reveal their guests watching in the distance.
It was a film of many firsts for us, but the reward is a completely immersive wedding film with its own visual language.
But technical approach aside, it was really Betsy and Henry who made it all possible. Completely at ease within their day and with each other, their love and genuine excitement to be together emanates from every frame. It’s from this excitement that the title of their film originates. We don’t speak Mandarin but Henry’s surprise poem resonated with us. The line “forever without end” captured the elation with which they greet their new lives and the cultural aspects of their day perfectly.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Blush and Bowties and Coriander Girl who transformed the rustic spaces of The Burroughes into a beautifully ethereal celebration. Every second of this film looks as beautiful as it does because of their hard work.