When I was first contacted by Caz I was on holiday, getting ready to go out for tea with my family. The message popped up on my phone and I answered it quickly - that stuff is important to me.
On returning from holiday we had arranged to speak, and we ended up on FaceTime. It was a great conversation, I immediately got this positive feeling talking to her. Like talking to someone you have known for years - but this is the first time you have spoken. I think those who know Caz will relate to this.
Moving forward to the day. More July rain was jeopardising the outdoor ceremony at Wentbridge House Hotel, I really can’t get my head around the weather this year! After introducing ourselves to the bridal party; I made my way downstairs to set up for the ceremony while Lyndsey stayed with the girls to capture the build up.
There was the usual ceremony build up, but as Lyndsey was with me I tried a different approach to filming the ceremony. Lyndsey filmed from the front whilst I stayed with the bride, and this meant I could follow her into the ceremony - this added a great dynamic, one that I had been waiting to try since I got my handheld camera stabiliser. As I was at the back of the room and I was concentrating on filming I didn’t get to totally take in the vows and the vibe. After the ceremony there was a very relaxed gathering on the lawn outside, the weather had dried up just in time for the grounds at Wentbridge to provide a beautiful backdrop for the photo’s.
By the time we were filming the speeches I was listening intently to the things people were saying. It was clear that Caz and Ross had not had an easy ride, and that their overcoming of hard times was making this day even more special than a typical wedding. There was no time for me to find the context of this though, filming the speeches wasn’t as straight forward as some weddings. Simon the best man provided the guests with a half an hour performance and masterclass in best man speech giving. It was the best - best man’s speech I have ever seen, the finale was a rendition of Californication by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, but with adapted lyrics which had the crowds (sorry - I mean guests) roaring with laughter and singing along to the chorus.
At this stage I had really started taking note of the interactions between people. Lots of real, genuine hugs, embraces, pats on the back. There was a real appreciation for everyone being here together today, and believe me not every wedding feels like that.
Guests gathered and talked in the lovely outside patio area while the room was turned around for the evening do. The sun was out, it had turned warmer, it was like it was July! At around 8pm the cake was cut, there was an uplifting newlywed dance, and an emotional father daughter dance, then guests immediately began dancing to the Black Eyed Peas’s ‘Ive got a feeling’. It was a perfect way to round off a great day.
I didn’t get straight on the edit, I was still finishing another film and I always try to stick with one project at a time if possible. By the time I started putting this one together I felt like I was missing out on a key ingredient, and I was struggling to find a starting point. Luckily an old friend from school was one of Caz’s bridesmaids, so I got in touch with her to find out exactly what Caz and Ross had been through.
So now I was looking at the footage and listening to the words spoken on the day in a different way. I started to feel their emotions, and I admit there were several occasions where I had to fight back the tears whilst making this film.
From a filmmaking perspective it is not technically the best it can be. I chose shots not on artistic merit, but on what they brought to the story - and making this film helped to solidify my mind on what type of wedding films I want to make in the future. I want to focus on the story, because people are far more powerful than a technically pretty image.
On a personal level Caz and Ross are two of the nicest people you will ever meet. They have really inspired me, even though we have never really spoken with each other at length I have spent over a week with them, watching the happiest day of their lives, so I feel like I know them pretty well now! They have reminded me why I want to help people tell the story of their wedding day, and I feel fortunate to have been involved in their day.
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