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William Gaff, Washington, DC Vendor: Videography Website: Human Story Films About Me: Welcome to this conversation about wedding films. I am a filmmaker of course, but also a son and a husband and a father. In addition to those things, I consider myself to be a storyteller. However, my love for stories started long before I ever picked up a camera. Through the years I have come to believe that story is really the breath of life. I hope that these blog posts encourage the conversation not only of how great wedding films are made, but also, and maybe more importantly, why they are made.
About William Gaff @ Human Story Films

Hello Everyone!

February 2nd, 2009 @ 6:12 pm by William Gaff @ Human Story Films

I would like to start off by thanking Mrs Bee and the pro bloggers for giving me the chance to participate in Weddingbee PRO! It really is a great honor.

I am a wedding filmmaker and I truly love being able to do that for a living. My style would most likely be considered documentary. I do, however, draw inspiration and storytelling ideas from other wedding filmmakers who shoot with many different styles. To me, it is more important to tell the story of the day and the story of the couple in the most compelling ways possible. Whatever type of style or approach is used to achieve that, is fine with me.

So with that in mind, I would like to propose the following format for my time here at Weddingbee PRO: In every other blog post, I would like to introduce a different wedding filmmaker, each with a different style. I will show an example of this style and ask the filmmaker to tell us how their approach to filmmaking results in something that their brides and grooms want to watch. Then, I will invite comments from readers about how this approach makes them think about wedding films and the importance of the wedding film genre.

To start things off, I would like to begin with my approach to wedding filmmaking. My focus is on the characters and the story. I try to create a portrait of who these people are at this moment in time, using interviews, real time footage and the natural sound from the day.


About Jennifer (An Excerpt from the film Everything) from William Gaff on Vimeo.

I think that, while not everyone has to like my films, the ones who do seem to say the same thing — they want the story of the day told in an honest and compelling way. They want to be able to look back at this day and not only remember how it looked and how it sounded, but also how it felt.

I would love to hear what you think about this topic. Thanks for listening and take care!

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20 Responses to “Hello Everyone!”

1.
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Miss D'orsay

Welcome! I love your work, I can’t wait for your posts!

 
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ahhmee

I love your work =). Btw, what is the name of the background music that you used in this clip? Thanks!!

 
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Mrs. Avocado

I actually think that the film style you show is sometimes harder to do than what is becoming “popular” in the wedding videography industry. It’s difficult to capture sound without noise, to deal with lighting in so many different situations, to piece together the clips to tell a story without having it look cheesy. I think your work is beautiful, and when the children of your couples watch their videos they will really be able to say “I know what my mom/dad looked, acted, and sounded like on their wedding day”, and I think they will appreciate that.

 
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Mrs. Sea Breeze

I love this clip for its realness and honesty. Too often we try to emulate what we see in the movies and while those kinds of wedding videos are eye candily gorgeous, they represent a fantasy more than something that actually happened. Something tells me my kids will appreciate seeing the dorky side of me than the perfect portrait side - that’s what I’d love to have been able to see of my parents’ wedding. I’m looking forward to seeing more of your work and learning more about other videographers’ different approaches!

 
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William Gaff

Thanks so much for taking the time to watch and to post. It is very much appreciated.
Some great points are raised and I am so glad to hear that the real and honest portrayal of people on their wedding day appeals to you.
For me, that is the most compelling type of story to watch and to hear. We see such a steady flow of forced drama of reality tv and cookie cutter romantic comedies, that a little raw storytelling feels refreshing to me. I am by no means unique when it comes to this style. There are many great filmmakers both in wedding films and mainstream films who’s style I emulate.
I would love to hear about some more of the “less than glamorous”, funny and even awkward stories from your wedding days. That is where the real humanity of the day is hidden. To me, that is the story worth hearing.

 
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Mrs. Bee (message)  117 posts, Blushing bee

welcome william! you’re proof that wedding videos are not all totally cheesy! :)

 
7.
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John Moon

Hey Bill…you know your work is always inspiring to me. I had a discussion with a photographer today and we had this discussion about keeping images and wedding cinematography timeless. Setting aside the way people are dressed and how they look, it is important to remember that it is family and friends that make the wedding day special. We as filmmakers have many tools at our disposal and having stunning shots are all well and good but the true heart and timeless element is embracing the relationships that are spread all over the wedding day. And our ability, yours for sure, is to be able to sprinkle a little bit of that in the film. I believe that everyone has an interesting story. If you are breathing, you have a story. Not so much for the benefit of the couple, although they love it, for me it’s knowing that their children will someday watch it and relive that brief moment in time. A quote I heard recently from a minister at a wedding said this, “Don’t loose out on the story of who you are.”

 
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Joth Riggs

One element that really stands out in Bill’s work and in many of today’s modern wedding filmmakers’ is the ability to not only capture the real emotions of the day, but to bring them to the forefront with storytelling techniques that allow those watching to share in the experience as if they were there. Very nice work indeed!

 
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Laura Moses

Hello ladies,

You are indeed fortunate to have Bill among you sharing his work and his thoughts. He is an extraordinary filmmaker and human being.

Mrs. Avocado,

Your point about children getting to know their young parents though their wedding film is well taken. Additionally, I love Mrs. Sea Breeze’s thoughts about having her kids see her “dorky” side. : )

Today’s better wedding filmmakers work extremely hard to provide viewers with a real sense of who their clients are. That’s one of the benefits of having a videographer filming when the couple is getting ready. These intimate moments - with the closest of loved ones - allow filmmakers to establish the personalities of the couple and provide the foundation for building their story.

The savvy bride will need to be proactive in finding a progressive wedding filmmaker. There are amazingly talented video/film artists all over the world and in every state. But they are definitely in the minority. I don’t think it’s necessarily beneficial to take a giant list of questions to a wedding filmmaker. Just watch their work. If it speaks to your heart and touches you emotionally you’re on to something. When it works, it’s magic … and you’ll know it. : )

With my warmest regards,

Laura

 
10.
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eggplant

Wow, I’ve not seen your approach to cinematography in weddings before! How refreshing and genuine. :-) I can’t wait to learn more. Welcome!

 
11.
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Steve Zugelter

Bill’s work is incredibly inspiring and he is a very valuable asset to the wedding film community. His style is fresh and truly captures the moments and emotions of the day. Building on what John Moon said, we can create stunning shots and sequences, but without story it all falls flat. Bill has the incredible gift of being able to weave the two together in a very real fashion.

 
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Miss Piglet

Admittedly, I have no clue what wedding videography entails. I’m so excited to see you on WeddingBee, and can’t wait to hear and see more!

 
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Kristen Turick

I can’t tell you how fortunate you are to have Bill’s voice on here to provide education and inspiration alike. He is an invaluable voice in the wedding filmmaking industry. Since I first laid eyes on Bill’s work, he has personally driven me to push my own work to the limits of storytelling and beautiful imagery. As mentioned by others already, STORY is one of the most important aspects to portray in a wedding film. Without it, it’s ultimately just a representation of the wedding day. But with a carefully thought out and executed story behind the visuals of your wedding film it can deliver a true and real experience that transports you back to all the emotion felt on that day for you and your generations to come.

 
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Miss Quiche

This is incredible! I would love to have video like this for our wedding. It’s all so…real! Not that other videos aren’t, but you know what I mean.

Looking forward to more!

 
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Zoe

Wow! I love how “raw” your films are. It’s such a totally different side of wedding videography that I’ve never seen. Can’t wait to see more! :)

 
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Sage Hall

Bill,
I am inspired every time I see your work! As a fellow wedding filmmaker, I am so happy to hear the positive comments from everyone on here. Bill is certainly one of the best and it is wonderful that people are able to see what wedding filmmaking has evolved into!

 
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working brides

Awesome start William!!! Can’t wait to see ya tomorrow :)

 
18.
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William Gaff

Thanks everyone for the great comments. I am so glad to see some of my favorite wedding filmmakers commenting too. I would love to hear an ongoing conversation between these people, other vendors and brides. Very exciting stuff!!

 
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Doug Puckett

Bill
Its great to see some one of your caliber on this site. I hope many brides-to-be will be inspired by a true wedding story teller

 
20.
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Jason Magbanua

Beautiful, honest work as always Bill!

Congratulations on being part of The Bee!

 

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William Gaff @ Human Story Films
William Gaff @ Human Story Films William Gaff, Washington, DC Vendor: Videography Website: Human Story Films About Me: Welcome to this conversation about wedding films. I am a filmmaker of course, but also a son and a husband and a father. In addition to those things, I consider myself to be a storyteller. However, my love for stories started long before I ever picked up a camera. Through the years I have come to believe that story is really the breath of life. I hope that these blog posts encourage the conversation not only of how great wedding films are made, but also, and maybe more importantly, why they are made.
 
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