Rupy + Murali's Same Day Edit

Every so often when capturing Indian weddings you have to be cognizant of how a couple's romance or love for one another mixes with the religious traditions and rituals of the event. To truly appreciate Rupy and Murali's love for one another, we suggest you watch this video the whole way through. Love, simply put, crosses all boundaries and brings people together. 

Be sure to tell us what you think in the comments below. 

Magic Hour Photoshoots or Doli?

 Magic Hour right before Pani Verna

Magic Hour right before Pani Verna

Here are some thoughts regarding the layout of an average punjabi wedding day and its structure.

When it comes to punjabi weddings, its important to note which traditions are native to our culture and what traditions we have borrowed from outside sources. Especially when it comes to filming and shooting these traditions. For example, filming of the morning prep is something we adopted from the western tradition. However, traditionally companies have simply focused on getting shots of the the accessories and make up—we've started to shift the importance onto the family members themselves, capturing candid moments as they unfold. Knowing that this part of the wedding day was adopted from the west means we have more time to creatively get involved. Parts of the wedding that are unique to our traditions, such as the ceremony, doli and pani verna are pretty much filmed as is to preserve their culturally integrity. 

It use to be that you could get an entire punjabi wedding from morning prep to reception done in one day. But as we adopted more and more traditions from the west (and became unwilling to shed traditions of our own) our weddings have grown into a two day (sometimes three day) affair—and that's not even including the constantly fluctuating number of pre wedding events!

We adopted speeches, the ring exchange and the photoshoot from the western tradition. The speeches and photoshoot adding to the length of the weddings themselves. The rest of this talk, as the title suggests, will be regarding photoshoots and how we can improve upon them. 

 Afternoon photoshoot (notice the background blowing out a bit, as the harsh light makes it difficult for propper exposure, in this particular photo we have the subject sitting under a shaded tree so as to correctly expose for them, you may notice photographers using that technique often at events). 

Afternoon photoshoot (notice the background blowing out a bit, as the harsh light makes it difficult for propper exposure, in this particular photo we have the subject sitting under a shaded tree so as to correctly expose for them, you may notice photographers using that technique often at events). 

Now, traditionally, the photoshoot has been done after the wedding and before the doli. While there may be many logistical reasons for this (easier getting family photoshoots done right after ceremony, provides a break in the action etc) it isn't exactly the best time for a photoshoot. Punjabi weddings usually end sometime in the afternoon, when the sun is directly above our heads casting harsh light downwards over the eyes.

As our past clients have noted—we like to take our casual photoshoot in the hour before and after sundown. There's a term for this time of day within photography circles—magic hour. 

 Afternoon photoshoot with overcast conditions.

Afternoon photoshoot with overcast conditions.

Magic hour simply yields the best photos, especially from a lighting perspective. The sun isnt as high up in the sky, its level with the sky line and the light isnt as harsh, so it provides for soft, evenly lit photos without the harsh shadows. So with keeping that in mind, we propose some changes to the structure of the wedding day that would make for stunning wedding day photo shoots. We think it might even help with the timing of events but we dont realistically expect everyone to adopt these changes! However, if our logic makes sense to you (and you happen to be one of our clients) feel free to bring this up with us. Overcast weather works much in the same way, as clouds obscure the harsh light and provide a natural, blanket soft box. owever, overcast weather often brings with it the chance of rain!

 Magic Hour under normal conditions with clear skies

Magic Hour under normal conditions with clear skies

 Magic Hour under normal conditions with clear skies

Magic Hour under normal conditions with clear skies

In our opinion, after the wedding, the family photoshoots and any group pictures should be taken care of at the gurdwara. Then, instead of heading to the photoshoot location where alot of time is wasted in getting everyone organized only to take photos in harsh lighting—we think it would be beneficial to carry on with the day and head to the doli at the brides house. With the Doli taken care of, one has the option of doing an extended photoshoot and the pressure of being "on time" is gone so it makes for a much more casual, relaxed shoot. Also, by virtue of the timing, we are shooting in better light! One could conceivably go ahead with the pani verna and leave the photoshoot for the end of the day if need be but we like the idea of ending the day at the grooms house—so we wont mess with tradition too much. 

 Magic Hour during this Doli also provides for stunning flares that our top-end lenses capture better than cheaper-end glass. 

Magic Hour during this Doli also provides for stunning flares that our top-end lenses capture better than cheaper-end glass. 

Now, with the doli being before the photoshoot, many girls might be worried about their make up after going through that emotional gauntlet, or even just being in the right mood for a photoshoot. To this we don't really have an answer, we acknowledge that this may be a potential drawback. However, we have noticed that more and more Doli's are becoming happier events—still emotional—but in a different way and its a welcome change. Regardless, let us know what you think? Should we not fiddle with "tradition"? Are things as good as they're going to get? Or are you down with playing around with your wedding structure to get the best possible photos and film? 



Imitation is the Greatest Form of Flattery: Thoughts on our Industry

Now that we are heading into our fourth year of business, we are finding that more and more of our clients are coming to us because of our unique and fresh take on Indian weddings; however, were also increasingly finding examples of other companies who, either through great imitation or blatant theft, try to mimic our work. So without naming any names, we simply hope to educate our fans and our potential clients on what separates us from the rest of the pack. Why does it take us as long as it does to produce videos. And the process we go through for each client. You have to keep in mind, all of us at Rosette Films started off as filmmakers first. So a lot of this conversation is going to take place in the context of filmmaking and not necessarily wedding videography.  

First and for most, for any film, be it a Hollywood blockbuster, Bollywood masala film or a Rosette next day edit, the producers have to deal with the triangle of production. On each end of this triangle, the producers are balancing 1) The Budget, 2) The Quality of the film and 3) the amount of time it takes to produce, film, edit and distribute. These three aspects are interrelated such that you can only ever have two of the three while sacrificing the other.

If you want an amazing looking video, and you want it at a cost-competitive price point from what other vendors are offering you, and you want it filmed, edited and distributed within a few months of your wedding—it's simply not possible. We as producers have to take into account that a Quality product, at a Cost-Effective price point is going to take Time to deliver. 

Similarly, A Cost-Effective price point and a relatively quick Turn-around Time results in a loss of Quality in the final edit. Keep that in mind if a vendor is promising you the world at a price point you can't honestly believe.

Likewise, a high Quality video, filmed, edited, and delivered in a short Time will simply not be Cost-Effective. The producer's would have to pay a lot more to get it done that quick for that level of quality. 

Ofcourse! Their are ways around this! But cutting corners isn't exactly our style. The key to our Quality of video is Originality. Simply put.

Other companies may develop "cookie-cutter" shooting styles, or editing techniques to shorten the turn-around time. However, over time, one loses the Originality of vision if every wedding edit starts to look the same as the next! There are other companies still that may even straight-up steal techniques, shots, and ideas from elsewhere. And again, with those companies, their work becomes derivative, losing Originality.

Here at Rosette Films, we have been proud to produce content from day one thats been unique for all of our couples. And we have amassed quite a library of videos and photos that displays this commitment to originality. Often imitated, but never duplicated, we are careful to ensure we don't end up copying our own work and fall into the cycle of cookie-cutter videos. But we hope you realize that their is a lot of unseen effort that goes into a majority of our edits. 

The above video was put together by two shooters who communicated constantly throughout the day to get the exact shots they wanted. The song was selected by a photographer who wasn't even working their event (We've established a very collaborative, team oriented way of editing). And two different editors went over the video to ensure its impact. Not to mention that the couple (Raj and Poonam) we're very open with what they had in mind, and they trusted us to take their ideas and make something of them—never interfering with the process and allowing us creative freedom (Thank you!). All of this has to happen from the time we get the footage at night so that it's ready to play at their morning reception, effectively making this a Same-Day edit.

Now, believe me, that the majority of the time spent on this edit was away from the computer. The producers spent time meticulously going through countless songs. At one point we even considered the theme to gladiator, but because we're very industry aware (we know that that particular score has been used by a few different local companies) we abandoned that train of thought almost as quickly as we suggested it. In reality, the production for this video began the moment our photographer came in with their casual photo shoot images. 

Our photographer's routinely get into the process of editing videos because we have created a collaborative environment in which to work with. So a simple same-day edit, in reality, took weeks if not months of prep. And we went through this process with all of our clients for last year, ensuring they recieved edits that would be unique to them.

As a result of our commitment to originality, the video went viral. Garnering hundreds of thousands of views, being ripped and uploaded by other users—we've now lost track of how many people have actually seen this edit. 

As we slowly shift our eyes to bigger goals. We hope that we leave a lasting legacy on the punjabi wedding industry—and hopefully—the wedding industry at large! Getting recognized by the BC wedding awards this year for our work was truly rewarding. But seeing other companies now jump on our bandwagon and try to produce more emotion-driven content, that's the really rewarding bit. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. 

2014 BC Wedding Awards

Last night was somewhat of a milestone for us after being in the wedding industry for so long—Actually, its only been 3 years since we first began! But it's felt like a long time coming! We were nominated for a BC Wedding Award in the major category of Best Wedding Videography. Not only where we competing with the best vendors in the south asian market but the best vendors in the entire BC wedding industry. And though we didn't win the award, we are quite happy to be the only south asian wedding film company to be among the top three nominees for the prize. It was truly an honour to be recognized for the work that we have been doing. 

4 years ago when we were first began playing around with the idea of starting a wedding film company, we had alot of ideas regarding the creative direction of our videos. We wanted to ensure that we remained culturally honest; yet, we also wanted to be on the forefront of cultural change. Punjabi wedding videos back then consisted simply of shots edited to the beat of a song, typically the popular hindi song of the summer. Events didn't transition seamlessly into one another and there was no attempt at narrative structure as the live audio was completely muted for the duration of the video. Consequently, our company was among the first ones to use actual punjabi songs, ardass (prayer) and live audio (from events like the Doli) to enhance the natural narrative of a punjabi wedding. We we're among the first to play around with the weddings stylistically with non-linear edits and the introduction of western music such as Hip Hop and EDM. Over the years, what started off as our honest documentary or "home video" approach to shooting has become a refined and stylized "film-like" approach to not only shooting but editing, sound design and photography. 

We are proud to be the best wedding film and photo company in the south asian wedding market. And we dedicate our nomination to our continued fan support and our brilliant team of photographers, cinematographers and editors. 

And with that! We would love for you guys to have a look at our award winning video! The next-day edit for Suprine and Raj's amazingly fun wedding! We cant wait to follow up with their completed feature edit in the future! Stay tuned, and as always, tell us what you think.

— Bikram Bal & Gurinder Singh