Your wedding day should be one of the most unforgettable days of your life. But the celebratory drinks at the afterparty may have other ideas. Thankfully, with the trusty wedding video, couples can now preserve their special day forever.
With Valentine’s Day approaching, you may be one of the many couples who are reliving their special day by converting their wedding tapes to digital formats. In this article, we will dive into the origins of the wedding video and how it has become the home essential for every married couple.
Home Movie Genesis
The introduction of 8mm and 16mm film made shooting videos vastly cheaper, smaller, and more accessible. The film cameras were specifically designed for amateur filmmakers to use and began a new phenomenon: the home movie.
During the 1930s, motion pictures were still associated with the theatre. The idea of an established genre of ‘Wedding Video’ was still unheard of. Thankfully, as technology improved and cameras became smaller, families began filming special occasions with their 8mm or 16mm film. Wedding videos were restricted to 4-minute clips as film reels had to be reloaded after this time. Furthermore, wedding videos’ novelty was limited to wealthier families who could afford the camera and film reels.
The Rise of Super-8
The beginning of professional wedding videography came with the introduction of Super 8 film cameras in 1965.
Super 8 set out to remedy the many quality issues present in the existing 8mm film cameras. They utilised pre-loaded film cassettes rather than reels. This meant that those who were not gifted with dexterity or finesse (like me) could load new films with ease. Subsequently, wedding videos became longer in length; the video’s quality was higher in low-light settings, and weddings could be recorded with sound! The latter feature being introduced in 1973.
As some budding videographers’ general skill level improved, people began offering wedding video production as a paid service. A more convenient option for some – instead of forcing a family member to stand behind a camera while everyone else enjoys the occasion!
Wedding Videos Become Truly Professional
As the home video market grew exponentially, so did the development of new technology. Wedding videographers continued to use Super 8 until the early 1980s when JVC introduced a compact camcorder recorded onto a VHS-C tape. It could be operated by one person and changed the filming of home videos from Super 8 film to the VHS tape.
Wedding videography was now establishing itself as a genuine market. This resulted in the formation of various local and national organisations of videographers. Wedding videos became a mainstay in popular culture, and many families possessed documentation of their special day.
However, the videos lacked the fanfare and pizzazz of wedding videos we see today. This is because analogue media was restricted to a few hours of filming, and videographers did not have post-production technology to edit the films. The videos were simply a point and shoot of the bride and groom.
The 1990s brought a boom in digital technology and with it came a swarm of digital cameras and post-editing equipment. This was fantastic news for wedding videographers who could film hours of footage of the wedding day and edit it to a tidy two-hour video.
The DSLR camera development began a whole new evolution of professional wedding videos as videographers developed their own style of filming and editing. Bride and grooms also had more of an input in how they would like to preserve their day. The couple could now decide on the style and budget of their film:
This is the most common form of wedding videos. The videographer would document the entire day from the morning preparations to the ceremony and reception. This video style aimed to remain faithful to life and required simple cuts to keep the video concise.
This form was better for those on a smaller budget as the videos were more concise and once edited were under an hour of filming. It is essentially a montage of your best bits of the day. This video style is likely to include some more complex editing but is very versatile to the couple’s needs.
The name gives this one away. A cinematic style of wedding video is when the videographer can turn their tech dial up to 11 and flaunt their skills. This style can manifest itself in various ways and uses effects like slow motion, transitions, and emotive music.
The production of cinematic wedding videos was especially sought-after in the ’90s when editing was a practice mainly reserved for industry professionals who had the kit to create special effects.
The Modern-Day Videographer
In the present, many weddings are filmed on phone cameras owned by guests. Instagram filters are created for guests to use when posting on social media and are invited to create a joint video album documenting the day’s event.
Thus, professional wedding videos use a cinematic style that aims to tell the couple’s story. They tend to be shorter than the traditional VHS wedding tapes and use high-tech equipment (like 4K cameras, Steadicam rigs and drones) to show off the location, wedding outfits and decoration.
At Digital Converters, we can preserve your wedding video forever by digitising your wedding tapes and reels.
If you want to gift your wedding tape to your partner for Valentine’s Day but are pressed for time, why not buy them a Gift Voucher from our store?