One of the questions that comes up all the time when I’m meeting with new clients is “What’s the difference between Documentary and Cinematic style wedding films?” It’s one of the things that makes the process of choosing your wedding cinematographer harder than it should be. But it’s still a very important question. Here’s a couple quick definitions:
Documentary = simply capturing things as they happen.
Cinematic = using available and artificial lighting to catch the feel of the scene, filming from different levels, using more than a tripod, getting great audio, telling a story, getting different angles of the same scene.
Your wedding is arguably the most important day of your life so it’s a good idea to understand these differences and decide which style you want.
I myself find pros and cons with each. For example, Cinematic shooting is beautiful but can miss out on the details and little moments of the day because it takes such an overview of the day to get those great shots. Documentary style might get all the motions and details, but misses the grand beauty and feel of the day. I believe you really run the risk of not “feeling” the film once you get it after the wedding. I decided long ago to shoot my wedding films as Cine-Docs™. I know what you’re thinking…”Great, another new genre.” But it’s really just a good, healthy balance of the two styles.
I love nothing more than challenging myself to capture your day – from bride and groom preparation to the cutting of the cake – in ways that keep your interest as well as helping you relive the emotion of the day. Whether it’s excitement, nervousness, joy, and even impatience or stress. That balance is, to me, the best thing I can deliver to my clients.
When doing your research and watching all the samples that are out there, ask yourself if you’re seeing and feeling that balance.