Indian wedding cinematography 1 – worth the price?

Post titled Indian wedding cinematography 1 – worth the price? – by Amrit, co-founder ShaadiGraPher

In today’s age of super-active social media, most of us already know what wedding cinematography is. Those not sure can watch the above trailer that we recently made (it is sentimental towards the end – so many would be brides may shed a tear or two if they watch it).

Isn’t the beauty of these trailers enough to prove that every wedding does deserve a movie like treatment? May be it is, but then these movies cost a bomb, don’t they? And that’s where some of us wonder – is it worth the price?

The starting fee for Indian wedding cinematography is around 1 lakh rupees a day (you can always experiment with newbies who might be willing to do it for even 50k if you are lucky). And then there is no upper limit really; some people are known to have spent over a crore to get the right movie made of their wedding. The question is, should ‘you’ go for wedding cinematography when you get married? More than that, is it worth the price? We asked this to some of our clients for whom we have created cinematic wedding films over the past years. Based on their responses, let us give you 3 main reasons why we feel that as long as you can afford it, getting a cinematic wedding film made is money well spent!

Indian wedding cinematography – why is it really needed?

1. Without a wedding-film, a couple may never truly realize what really happened in their own wedding!

Nishtha, who lives in Australia, had come down to India in December last year for her wedding and had invited ShaadiGraPher to create a cinematic movie. She tells us that “for the bride and groom who are experiencing a thousand and one emotions, meeting hundreds of guests and not to mention going through rituals upon rituals, it can be hard to have any sense of anything that is happening. But wedding cinematography provides the perfect recollection of memories where you can sit back and watch everything, and in most cases laugh and say ‘did that actually happen?’ or ‘did we do that too?’

Cinematic wedding film trailer from Nishtha’s wedding

Darshita, the first bride for whom we created a movie, has similar opinion herself. “When you are getting married, you are in the act, and not a spectator. So you really don’t know what’s going on”, she explains. And this is one of the primary reasons, why Indian wedding cinematography is so precious for the couple themselves than for anyone else. You can always save on money and just get regular studio-valas to shoot everything in a drab and lengthy and non-artisitc fashion, but then would you rather revisit your wedding like a badly made Durdarshan serial or an A class Hollywood production, that’s a question that you need to ask yourself.

2. It’s beautiful. So you can watch it again and again. And again.

“We knew we didn’t want a typical wedding video with shehnai music , but something which was fun, captured emotions, captured the tradition without making it boring”, shares Darshita. And like her, most people want or like a cinematic wedding movie for its visual appeal and the ability to bring out a story, a message, or an emotion – areas in which traditional videography utterly butterly fails. “The primary reason for a cinematographer (or good wedding video) is to tell the story behind the scenes.. to provide a connect between the viewer and the content on the screen.. to help the viewer ‘feel’ those moment, and relive it again and again.. to showcase the people and their relationship..”, says Sharath – Darshita’s husband.

A ShaadiGraPh of Darshita & Sharath from their wedding in Ahmedabad

indian wedding cinematography

Also, this is probably the closest you are going to look like movie stars! “It’s the only film in your entire lifetime where you play the lead :)”, Darshita acknowledges.

3. Pay once, enjoy all your lives

“Wedding cinematography lasts for as long as you keep going back to it. The actual return per Rupee spent lasts a lot more. So, even when you can’t fit in to your wedding suit, or have that 4 layered cake that you kept in your freezer, you can always turn the albums and watch your wedding film whenever you want to”, Husain justifies hiring a wedding cinematographer. We had attended his Walima held in Hyderabad, and made a cinematic movie from it. “Wedding cinematography is perhaps the only sure-shot way for a couple to capture their memories that can actually last a lifetime (especially when those memories become a little hazy)”, he adds.

Nishtha has almost similar views about the value of wedding films. “It is almost the only thing (other than a marriage of course) that you walk away with after your big day! The outfit, the jewellery, the venue or destination in most cases only last for that day but capturing it in a beautiful cinematic style video makes it last forever”, she reflects.

What it means is that, if budget is a constraint, then rather than have a 3 day function, cut it short to 2 days and from the money that you save by doing that, get a movie made from those 2 days. Because these 2, 3 days will be gone and the only thing that you would be left with, would be the pictures and the movie. Do you think that makes wedding cinematography worth it? We leave that to you!

In a follow-up article titled Indian wedding cinematography 2 – choosing the right cinematographer, we shall discuss some of the important considerations that go into making sure you end up with the team that does justice to your vision, your love and to your money! And to end this article, let us leave you with a trailer of a sweet wedding that we attended in Hyderabad.

Keywords: Indian wedding cinematography, wedding cinematography in India, cinematic wedding film

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The author

I started ShaadiGrapher.com in the spring of 2012 to experiment with wedding photography. Prior to that, I studied at IIT Madras (2003-08) and worked as a business consultant in PwC for four years. Since 2014, I have also been making documentary movies on a variety of subjects and issues (3minuteStories.com). Phone: +95525 89252 Email: amrit@shaadigrapher.com To get quote for wedding photography / cinema, please provide city, date and approx duration of all the functions. I am location independent and shoot across India - without any additional charge for travel.