Nikhil & Priya
Client: We love your wedding films and would love for you to capture our wedding.
FilmAM: Thanks for the kind words, when are your events?
Client: We are having our wedding in the first week of November, are you free?
FilmAM: Let us check, yes that should be fine.
Client: Oh great, do you do overseas weddings?
FilmAM: Yes definitely!
Client: OK great, it’s in a Palace in Udaipur, Rajasthan.
FilmAM: Wow that sounds great!
Client: We want you to come out for a week, we’ll sort out the flights etc and we definitely want you to stay in the Palace with us. What do you think?
FilmAM: We’ve had worse requests! I’m sure we can work something out!!!
And so it started, an epic journey that eventually took three of our musketeers Tom, Dan & Tim half way around the world to Rajasthan to film the awesome wedding of Nikhil & Priya.
Just ask any of clients and they will tell you how obsessed we are about planning! Each client is assigned a producer and that producer will not only meet our clients a couple of months before the wedding to do location recce’s but also spend a lot of time finding out what that client likes and how they want their final film to look like.
Nikhil & Priya wanted EPIC! And so we started to produce mood boards and look for inspiration through film, documentaries, photos, skate videos and basically anything we could look to that got us excited.
We sat down with Nikhil & Priya and found out which of our films they loved the most and the reasons why. We wanted to produce a feature film which flowed throughout which stared with setting the scene in India through timelapses, establishing shots and observational filmmaking of Rajasthan and the fascinating people who lived there. The film would then move into the ancient Hindu rituals followed during their pre wedding events and the wedding itself.
It culminated with the reception and with guest testimonials allowing everyone to talk about what had meant the most to them during their time at the wedding in India. We had also planned film shoot’s to act as mood pieces throughout the various parts of the film and made sure we had transitional shots to link all of the relevant sections together.
For those who have seen this full feature film edit the response has been PHENOMINAL. But planning isn’t all about creativity, having shot lists and knowing the order of events. Planning is also about LOGISTICS.
It’s one of the main reasons we site visit beforehand. Where will we park? Where will we have our kit room? Where are the plug sockets? What is the best way to get from one part of the venue to another to make sure we can re-position during a bride and grooms entrance?
For this shoot we couldn’t site visit but we what we could do was RESEARCH and boy did we research! What did the venue look like? What were the best places to shoot in the surrounding area? How long would it take to navigate the city? Where would the sun rise and set so we could plan our time lapses? How could we make sure that the task of getting in and out of the country went without any hiccups? This last one was a big one!
For this, Manjas came into his own! His background in working in television and advertising had given him a lot of experience in this field. In 2008 he had been part of a team that had worked with Mazda for the release of the new Mazda 6 which involved a number of shoots in Europe and a great deal of pre-production.
We knew that we could not go to India on tourist visas due to the amount of equipment we were taking and had researched that business or journalist visas wouldn’t be valid and would incur a lot of awkward questions during immigrations and customs.
Therefore we needed what were called entry visas alongside letters from the client and representatives in Udaipur to state the purpose of our visit and a wedding invite with declarations that we weren’t in India for any journalistic reasons!
We also had to have carnets to cover our equipment and full international insurance for our kit and ourselves. We needed inventories of all of our kit with serial numbers down to the smallest pieces like memory cards and batteries. The purpose of this was so that when we left London all of our documentation was stamped by customs in the UK and we could clearly show that not only had this equipment been bought months/years beforehand and wasn’t intended to be sold in India (and hence incur huge import duty) but that customs in the UK would need to stamp these forms to state we had brought it all back!
This would mean that we weren’t open to over zealous customs officers in Mumbai who were potentially looking for some extra pocket money! We will never forget the look on their faces when we walked directly up to them, took out our forms and stared opening up our kit bags! Have never seen customs officers wave anyone through so fast in our lives!
We had an unbelievable time in India and we must thank Amar Patel from Reminisce Photography. We built up a wonderful working relationship with Amar and his fluency in Hindi was invaluable when trying to climb up places like the Monsoon Palace to get that amazing shot we wanted.
We hope you enjoy this EPIC short film from our time in the magical land of Rajasthan.
• Filmed using 4 Canon 5D MK3’s (all full 1080p High Definition)
• Lenses (Canon) – 24mm F1.4L, 50mm F1.2L, 135mm F2.0L, 16-35mm F2.8L, 24-70mm F2.8L, 70-200mm F2.8L IS II
• Hague K8 Jib & Steadicam Pilot Full Body Camera Stabilisation System
• Camera Support – Miller DS20 Fluid Head Tripods, Manfrotto Monopods & Cinevate Camera Slider
• Audio Capture – Rode NTG3 Shotgun Mic, Sennheiser Wireless Mics & Zoom H4N Recorders
• Edited using Apple Final Cut Pro 7
Below is a short teaser we produced to get everyone in the mood.