Paul Cook - Filming at The Barns

At The Granary Estates we build fantastic relationships with our suppliers as we work alongside one another to achieve the highest standards and the perfect wedding day. One of our 'Recommended Suppliers' Paul Cook is an outstanding Videographer who has now worked at our venue many times, producing stunning work, capturing our couples special day for them to treasure forever. Since shooting our Launch Night in March 2013, he has continued to support The Granary Estates and has become a trusted friend in the industry. 

In August, Paul was back at the barns to shoot the lovely Emma and Dave's big day. Here, Paul describes his thoughts on the day and gives us an insight in to how he executes his work, from the very first meeting to the end product.  

 

1. How do you approach working at the barns? Are there aspects of the venue that are hard/easy to film in? What do you like about the barns?


When you get to a venue for the first time there’s always 101 different things that you have to work out in the first 5 minutes; “where is the ceremony room, where can I store my equipment safely, can I store my equipment safely, which part of the venue will be best for couple shots, who do I direct these questions to?”. When I worked at the Granary Barns for the first time way back on the venue’s opening night, most of these were either obvious as soon as I walked inside, or answered within a matter of minutes by their super friendly and helpful team. Now that I’ve shot weddings and events at the barns on several occasions, I feel right at home as soon as I step inside. This is so important because it leaves me plenty of time to start shooting immediately, meaning more coverage of the couple’s big day, more time to get the best shots and sometimes even grab a glass of water before everything gets going!

The venue layout is brilliant; it’s picturesque yet practical, which lends itself perfectly to filming a wedding there. The way that the long walkway gets you from the Flint Barn to the Granary Barn is as fuss-free as it gets. No stairs, no awkward doors and plenty of space to move with or without equipment. The fact it is lit from just one side with the big, spacious windows looking out on to the garden is also just right giving a much more flattering light inside. The central garden and courtyard area is always a lovely place to shoot, with a great mix of shaded and sunny areas, and a nice amount of space for guests to spread out. It makes shooting the reception drinks and mingling much easier than a lot of venues where you find yourself squished into a corner trying to film in a tight space! The freedom to move around the garden means being able to approach it more creatively and this is where I’ll often get the camera gimbal out to shoot some nice, smooth moving footage of the day. The other thing that is always a treat when I shoot there is it’s surrounding fields and gardens. All throughout the year there is somewhere the photographer and myself can take the bride and groom for some really special couple shots. At Dave and Emma’s Wedding we were blessed with some beautiful summer evening light across the fields and through the trees so we made the most of it and captured some really beautiful moments.


2. What was your favourite thing about Emma and Dave’s wedding?


Emma and Dave’s wedding has to be one of the happiest wedding days I’ve filmed. Ever! The family and friends were all so welcoming and helpful and the couple were so smiley and excited all day it made our job easy peasy! When it came to editing, it was a challenge to decide on the best material for the highlights film – almost every shot had a big beaming smile or genuine moment of laughter.


3. How do you make the end product a ‘Paul Cook Production’? Do you have a ‘style’ or do you tend to let the couples and there personalities effect the editing process?


A lot of the style and look of my wedding films is about how we shoot it. It is always best to get it as perfect as possible in-camera and only make small tweaks and adjustments in editing. We shoot in a fly-on-the-wall, docu-style with a cinematic look. We achieve that by shooting on small but very high-end cameras so that we can capture a wedding in the highest possible quality whilst still being mobile, flexible and adaptable. Once we’ve shot everything on the day and get into the editing process, the rest of the style and look of the wedding film is created. This is mainly about editing pace (which is often determined partly by music choices made by the couple) and the colour grade. I like to give my wedding films a realistic look and feel with a good dose of filmic quality. The most important thing is getting the film to look ‘right’ and by this I mean make sure the colours of skin and clothing are accurate. Every bride will know exactly what tone of white or cream her dress is, so it’s important to try and retain that in the film!
Every cameraman and editor has their own style, things they like and don’t like, and I think the key to creating the best possible film is finding the right balance between what I think it should look like and what the couple want it to look and feel like. From the first meeting where we grab a coffee and chat about everything, I always make notes of the couple’s likes & dislikes. I ask lots of questions (some which seem trivial at the time!) to make sure myself and my second shooter can approach the big day with a clear idea of what we need. I like to pride myself on making wedding films as unique as the couple themselves. I only shoot around 10-15 weddings per year (despite getting close to 100 enquiries yearly) and that’s because I always like to give myself the time to focus on each wedding project on it’s own. I never edit 2 wedding films simultaneously because I think it’s important to stay focused on just one couple and one wedding day at a time.

 

Here is Emma and Dave's highlights video shot by Paul. To see more of Paul's incredible work, visit his website www.paulcookfilm.com 

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