So, exactly where do we start with this blog post?!

Apologies in advance (not only for my grammar) as this is a long one, but be sure to stick with us!

Firstly, this wedding was filmed and edited by Razor Blade Media’s Founder, Josh Churcher. The video was shot entirely by him, operating as a single, self-shooting film-maker, as opposed to our usual full crew.

As such, we thought it was best if this blog entry was written by the man himself.

So how did this all begin? Kate got in touch with me about a year ago whilst I was abroad filming, where she was recommended through one of my previous clients. The owner of a fantastic restaurant in Lymington, click here to find out more!

I was immediately intrigued to know more and knew this would be the destination of destinations to film at.  The excitement kicked in! We had arranged a meet up upon my return; however, we didn’t get a physical meeting for a while as Kate & Seb were snowed under running their business Burrow & Hide. Likewise, I was fully immersed in wedding season. That said, they had seen my work and were impressed enough to book me! I was truly grateful to be chosen and humbled that the they not only appreciated my film-making ability, but trusted me to fly out and capture their special day – even though we hadn’t met in person yet.

We finally got a meeting arranged in Lyndhurst which is only a few minutes from me in The New Forest, and I got to find out all about the plans. Although at this stage most of the finer details were still to be arranged, but nonetheless it gave me a sweet taste of what’s to come and I was blown away. Seb won’t mind me saying but I think he also got the exact date mixed up which we were laughing about and something I would say myself.

Having spoken in-depth to Kate and Seb, I got a really nice feel about the type of finished video product they wanted but the couple were also laid back and down to earth – to the extent of which – I had a relatively free rein to be creative.

It is certainly a smooth-sailing process when you are on the exact same wavelength as your clients.

8 months on, and I find myself up at 4am heading to Heathrow to catch my flight! Running on excitement with my kit all packed, I successfully get through airport security with all my equipment and checked onto the plane. Time to relax!

On arrival into Pisa airport, I was greeted by Tim (Seb’s step dad) who took me, the makeup artist Samantha, Rich & Lily the photographers and some of the other guests to Borgo Stomennano (I will link to their various professional websites at the bottom). The drive through the Tuscan hills was amazing and it was at this moment I knew what a treat I was going to have filming here. I perhaps felt a few nerves – mainly because I was so eager to do the best job possible and live up this huge occasion.

We turned into Stomenanno and was confronted with a long driveway, lined with huge trees. It really is amazing!

On arrival we were greeted by some of the immediate wedding party and was given a grand tour. All I can say is WOW! I was already planning shots in my mind and could already imagine how the final edit was going to look.

Indeed, this is how I like to work and made early inroads as far as plotting the shooting, editing and film-making itinerary in my head. Shots and shot-selection aren’t random; they are created and filmed to storyboard not only the day, but my edit.

By having a clear, fluid structure like this in place – it enables me to work seamlessly and deliver the best-possible content for my clients. In addition, it also ensures my editing process – which is obviously a crucial element – runs like clockwork given I know exactly what shots I have.

I was offered a beer which I couldn’t turn down and sipped away with a pool view overlooking the Tuscan countryside. Bliss. Kate’s brother Nick kept bringing me a top up which was a nice touch (despite me refusing another) what a guy.

 

It was then back to Borgo Gallinaio which was a few miles away, were I and most guests were staying. This venue is just as incredible, and I took the afternoon to chillout by the pool and get some dinner!

The next morning, I set the alarm for 4.30AM and jumped on one of the venues available mountain bikes, armed with all my camera gear and headed down the road to the wedding venue. Albeit in the dark, with no lights or helmet (don’t do this guys be safe). I barely had to pedal for 2 miles as it was all downhill and started regretted my choice to cycle as I knew I would have to go back in the boiling heat, uphill. Luckily for me I got a lift back later that morning with Kate & Seb and Tim kindly dropped the bike back on Sunday morning! Legend.

I began filming around 5.00AM and used this time to capture all the time-lapse and drone footage you see on the extended highlights film. Any professional will tell you that filming during the early morning or before sunset is where you get the best footage (also known as golden hour) as the light is at its softest which makes everything far more cinematic. When people watch my videos, I want them to be blown away, and I hope I did just that. All I can say is how incredible it was to see everything during sunrise, what a way to start.

The rest of the day I relaxed at the pool with many of the guests and met some great people. Namely the Webb family, Mandy & Julie. Later that evening I said I would capture some of the black and white party, which was a fantastic idea to get the wedding guests mingling. There was fresh wood oven pizza, dancing and plenty of booze. Kevin and Kate also did a speech which set the weekend up with some heartfelt words. It also gave me an opportunity to understand more about the happy couple and the story behind the relationship.

After every filming session I usually stay up a few hours after I finish to re-charge my kit, re-organise and back up all the footage so nothing is lost. Extra care is always taken to ensure no mistakes are made. Lost footage is not an option.

The next morning, I woke up, grabbed a black coffee, ate a tonne of Nutella and got my mind ready for a great day.

I took some time over breakfast to pre-plan my ceremony setup and go through the edit in the mind. There is more to think about as a single videographer as you must plan your shots, so you don’t miss anything and there are limitations with kit due to the size and weight. Video is also different to photography in that you must also think about capturing audio as well as the imagery itself. Imagine watching a video without audio, it’s a massive part of the viewing experience and the emotion you feel. On the day itself I walked over 30k steps according to my watch and didn’t stop until 2am the next day! It is hard graft and I barely stopped. We did get to sit down to eat with Ben (the wedding planner) and his staff to try the amazing food. We actually ate what the guests did which is unusual on a wedding shoot, and it was without doubt the best wedding food I’ve ever had as a worker!

The morning of the wedding itself was relaxed and I pottered around capturing lots of things, although the weather looked very temperamental. I still got all my thunder shots which I think worked well in the final edit and I was lent a helping hand by Kevin who held an umbrella over my kit, and had a good long chat. We must have spoke for a good 30 minutes and got into some great conversation. If you read this Kevin, keep in touch!

Early afternoon the thunder began, and I could sense some tension and I did my best to assure Kate & Sandy that it will all work out fantastic and that the golden sun would come. I usually get lucky with golden sun and I wasn’t wrong this time. Positive mind, positive results. I am a big believer in this attitude. You get back what you put out.

For the rest of the day I was flat out capturing everything from bridal prep, to pool parties, all the way through until the final hours.

I even managed to squeeze in extra drone footage of the group shots and the evening party, whilst operating my main camera simultaneously. Whoever said men can’t multi-task, this is undoubtedly a myth! I would usually employ a second operator to do this, but due to not having one here as they were also filming back in the UK on the same day, I did it myself. A nothing missed approach meant I could capture multiple angles of the same scene by working two cameras at the same time. These changes enhanced the viewing experience, enabling the viewer to see both reactions and memorable moments from different angles. For example, during the speeches, Seb’s reaction to Kate walking down the aisle, in addition to the father’s first look.

I said my farewells around midnight, got onto the coach back to my room and fell into a slump on my bed (after a shower of course). Again, my ritual of re-organising and backing up footage began, and I couldn’t resist a cheeky look at the footage. I got to bed about 2am although a lot earlier than some of the guests who kept the party going outside until around 4am. You only live once and I would have done the same!

The next day I filmed some of the BBQ which was a relaxed event, with some Oscar Awards for “best in categories” which I think was an amazing touch and, if I tell the truth, may do similar for my own wedding in three months’ time! great idea guys! There were a few amazing surprise announcements and then before I knew it I was on the way to Pisa airport thanks to Ryan (who by the way did a stellar job on delivering the ceremony) alongside Samantha the makeup artist. Ryan was nearly late for his flight as he was trying to help Sam and I check into the Amex lounge on his behalf, due to the fact we were at the airport a few hours earlier than planned. I really appreciate the effort Ryan, and glad you didn’t miss the flight check-in as a result!

Monday morning, I got right into the edit and basically didn’t move for three days, spending 12-hour days getting my teeth into the edit until I had the bulk of the highlights in place and a short teaser to release onto social media. The following few days were spent doing the finishing touches to the colouring, audio adjustments and making separate videos for the full-length ceremony and speeches. I decided to edit a longer feature film than originally booked, as a nice extra for Kate & Seb and also as a thank you from me personally for the fantastic opportunity to film here. I also see this as a chance to showcase more of the footage I took for potential wedding couples and for film makers alike to experience what I did. I think this wedding warranted the extended highlights and I couldn’t imagine fitting in 3 days of filming into a short film. The viewers needed to see the entire experience and journey. I had originally planned to film a behind the scenes of the entire trip, but on the wedding day realised I had bitten off more than I could chew and I didn’t want to miss any moments for my own personal gain. I will be making one specifically for the drone filming though so keep an eye on that, as I had plenty of time at 5AM to talk into my camera!

In conclusion, I had a fantastic trip, met some great people and took some footage that I will find hard to top. Most of all, I do what I do as there is something magical seeing the final edit and how happy it makes my clients. There really is something amazing about a video that cannot always be captured with a still. Seeing the emotions come to life in front of you brings back the memories and it’s something that Kate, Seb, their family and friends can cherish forever.

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Thanks again to the Castang’s and from all of my team and I we wish you all the happiness, health and prosperity for the future.

#castangsamore #razorbladeweddings

For further enquiries and to watch more of our works please navigate to weddings via our portfolio section or click here

Location – Borgo Stomennano

Planner – Ben of Italy Weddings

Make Up – Samantha Marchant

Dress – Suzanne Ville from Anna Bridal

Photography – Lily Sells Photography

Guest Residence – Borgo Gallinaio

Burrow & Hide