Ya’ll are lucky today….
The reason for your fortune is that we have Joe Minasi on the blog today, one of our absolute favorite wedding film creators! Every time we are asked about videographers, he is on the very short list we send out in response. Working with him on Karina and Christians wedding in Puerto Rico changed the way I felt about videographers. Instead of just follow us around and filming what we lined up during portraits or details, he was an active part in creating the final results, and it felt like we were ALL a part of a dynamic creative team… because we were! I cannot even tell you how good that felt.
Now… meet Joe!
Tell us a little bit about your path to filming.
I started making movies when I was in 5th grade and by high school I made a two-hour horror film that my friends keep talking about over 10 years later (seriously, they were watching it a few days ago!). I knew that filmmaking was something I wanted in my future and so I went to The School of Visual Arts in Manhattan to study film production. While at school, I crafted a variety of shortÂ films, which went on to win film festivals around the United States. My thesis film is actually up online for everyone to enjoy (Click here). It was such a great feeling sharing my hard work with audiences and it was with thatÂ same feeling that I got the idea to share my talent with couples getting married.
So let’s clear things up. What is the difference between videographer and cinematographer?
Both terms mean basically the same thing; except cinematographers are more related to narrative style filmmaking while videographers are more related to events and smaller gigs like filming a band or something. In the wedding industry, I think the term videographer has become very dated, especially with the advancements of DSLR cameras. In order to professionally film with a DSLR camera, you need to have the knowledge of how to use different lenses, focus, have the right stabilization equipment, lighting etc. You basically need to have a lot of the same knowledge as a cinematographer. Most people who still call themselves videographers do not use DSLR cameras and in fact some still dont shoot in HD they just use a basic point and shoot camera system. Cinematography is also the art of telling a story through images, and that is exactly what I love to do. I don’t just shoot a wedding to get the job done. I want to tell the couples story and create a beautiful film about the best day of their lives. Some people might say its just a marketing technique to use a fancy word like cinematographer but that is my profession and I have a degree to prove it. The funny this is, I probably lose a lot of work because most couples areÂ searching for wedding videographers and not wedding cinematographers. But I like to think it attracts couples that want a higher level of creativity and artistry in their film.
What kinds of things do you look for and what do you tend to gravitate to on a wedding day?
I look for the real moments. Those precious seconds of a father crying with her daughter right before she walks down the aisle. A kiss between a couple that onlyÂ my camera sees. A child sneaking a taste of the wedding cake. I want real moments. I rarely tell couples to do this and that and I NEVER restage anything. The only time I might give a little direction is if I am doing something artistic with the couples location and I need the shot to have a certain feel or look. Other thatÂ that I leave it to real life and let the couple be themselves. Aesthetics wise I tend to gravitate towards direct, strong lighting preferably natural but sometimes artificial can work in the right ways. Shadows, silhouettes and lens flares are allÂ my best friends while shooting a wedding. I love the drama light can create and you will notice in all of my films the strong presence of light. Maybe its because my first word was light but it just think it makes everything really beautiful.
What’s your favorite part about a wedding day?
When it is over. No I’m totally kidding. My answer is very similar to the last question about what I tend to gravitate to. I love when I get that perfect shot that maybe no one else saw. I always try and film the couple outside during those golden minutes of sunset when everything is sparkling and warm and it just makes for the best romantic shots. Personal vows are always great to get as well. So please couples, write your own vows. They really make my job very easy and plus the more I cry while editing them, the more you will when you watch them. I also enjoy the first dance and the food and I mean the food that I get to eat. I dont film people eating.
(Here he is helping us set up one of my all time favorite dress photographs.)
I think its invaluable for sure, but why do you believe that couples should invest in a wedding film?
The fact is you are going to want a wedding film. You might not want one right now, but you will after the wedding. 100%. No question at all. YOU WILL REGRET NOT HAVING ONE. Wedding photos are a must have and are amazing in their own right, but a film is different – it moves and makes noise. To me, theres no better way to relive that day than watching it unfold again right before your eyes. It is a priceless item to send to family and friends and Ill even put it on one of our memory vaults to last you a few hundred years. It is just an invaluable piece of your wedding day that everyone should have.
What’s one of your tips for a bride who is having a wedding film made on her wedding day?
Ok I have two tips here “ one for the bride looking for a wedding film company and one that has already booked us. Lets start with the bride still looking. Find a company that makes you feel something while watching their films. Dont just look at how fancy the camera work is. Take a second after the film is finished and see if there is a tear running down your cheek. Or maybe you smiled a few dozen times. I welcome you to explore my work and actually feel something fromÂ my films. Listen to the way I use music and sounds. Pay attention to my use of nature and location. Some companies dont even film the exterior surroundings of your location.. but I believe all these aspects help you feel the emotions of the wedding day and help to bring you right back to each and every moment. Now for the lucky bride who already booked us, I have two words: Trust me! Even more so, trust all your vendors! Youve seen the flowers, watched the films, looked at pictures, tasted the cake now trust that each vendor can deliver whatÂ they make a living doing. Remember, no vendor wants to make a bride unhappy. One of the biggest distractions on a wedding day is having a family member or worse, the bride, constantly micromanage every shot I take. It takes away fromÂ the real, natural moments that I am already capturing. So read reviews, watch my films, ask questions and know that on your wedding day I am trying to createÂ the best film I have ever made!
Any place in the world that you are itching to film a wedding at?
It would have to be Paris or India. Both would be ideal. Paris for a romantic love story and India for my love of filming Indian weddings. There is so much magic in both locations.
Favorite Breakfast: Eggs Benedict
Favorite Book: Books turned into movies
Favorite Vacation Spot: Antigua or Los Angeles depends on my mood.
Here is a highlights film from the a wedding we all got to work together on, Karina and Christian in Puerto Rico:
Visit his website: www.josephminasiweddings.com