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Sachtler On-Set: Secrets To Memorable Wedding Video

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From the bride walking down the aisle to the moment the groom places the ring on her finger, wedding cinematography is all about capturing moments. But for award-winning destination wedding videographers, Kissing Gate Films, they've built a reputation for delivering epic, cinematic films that seem to transport you to a special moment in time.

From aerial timelapse footage to set the scene to slow motion clips of the wedding dress billowing in a plush, manicured tree, Kissing Gate's films marry once in a lifetime moments with the fairy tale quality only an expert could plan. In fact, it's the reason couples around the world choose Kissing Gate Films for destination wedding videography.

Ben Marlow, Creative Director and Founder at Kissing Gate Films, said: "We love cinematography. We love making music videos, short films, promotional films, and others, but what we love even more is coming back to where it all started – weddings. It's where we feel at home, and we reckon it's what we do best."

To capture once in a lifetime moments, Marlow and co-founder Kate Addison, use Sachtler tripods and monopods. Designed for shooters on the go, Sachtler tripods and monopods are lightweight and offer buttery smooth pans and tilts, which ensure that Kissing Gate's footage is always high quality whether the video is in real time or whether the frame rate is slowed down.

We caught up with Marlow to find out more about his approach to and what he keeps in his kit.

Your wedding and party videos are very memorable and unlike anything that I've seen. Where did you get the concept for shooting wedding videos like this?
Event cinematography is very off the cuff, and I tend to embrace that. So instead of wondering whether I've covered every little aspect of the wedding or party, I concern myself more with how I can best cover the event in the most creative way possible. I'd much rather spend my time getting one amazing shot rather than ten average shots.

How long does it take and what kind of planning goes into your work?
Wedding cinematography can take a while to complete yet the turnaround time is a lot quicker. Our larger weddings can be in the editing stage for up to four weeks. Our events need turning around within a day so working long into the night the same day as the shoot is not out of the ordinary. Arming yourself with as much information as you can get will always stand you in good stead. Research is impossible since we work all over the world, but Google helps out a lot with that to get an idea of locations, among other things.

What's in your kit and what, to you, is the most important aspect of the kit?
For what I do, our tripods need to be light, so I use the Sachtler Ace with the Carbon Fibre legs because the quality is outstanding. I'm never without my Ace with my Sony FS5 rigged up. It's a perfect solution to maintain a steady handheld shot while still remaining mobile.

We also use small quadcopters for aerial shots and the CAME-TV Optimus gimbal is on every shoot. For audio, we use Zoom recorders and Rode Lavalier mics. We also use little Manfrotto Lumimuse lights that are brilliant since they kick out good light for such a small frame. We often need to light very dim rooms, in which case we'll strategically place a couple of the new Litepanels Astra Soft LED panels to throw some really good quality light into a scene. For monitoring, we use SmallHD monitors – great picture quality in a compact unit.

What are your top three tips for an upcoming filmmaker/wedding videographer?
Master the art of filmmaking before going out and spending thousands on drones, gimbals, sliders, and whatnot. I've always been a firm believer that all good filmmakers should be able to go out with just one lens and a monopod and be able to create something beautiful without the need for extra pieces of gear. Second, never be afraid to try new techniques. As filmmakers, the most important thing is to keep pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones.

And finally, always do your best to acquire good audio. Our wedding films are hugely reliant on audio to drive the story, - intertwining speech with visuals is what keeps our films engaging. I have a simple rule: if your audio isn't great, don't use it. It will drag your production down.
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