After your wedding day has long passed, your pictures from your day will continue to tell your story for years to come. Not only can your pictures be the storyteller of your day, but having a wedding cinematographer will only enhance your story. I met an amazing wedding cinematographer earlier this year at a workshop in Connecticut. Every time I see her films, I’m immediately drawn into the couple’s story. Today, please welcome Marie Canieso of C&W Productions!!
Tell me a little about you and your business I’m Marie Canieso the principal producer, cinematographer, director, and editor of wedding documentaries. The first paid gig I had was when I was a Media Production undergraduate student at Quinnipiac University (Hamden, CT) in 2003. That was actually my first paid job. I got $250 plus a buffet dinner to capture a beautiful wedding at the Aquaturf in Southington, CT. I was familiar with the venue because it was where I had my senior prom two years prior. I started filming weddings in high school but let’s count that as “learning experience.”
The business bug bit while earning my MFA in Design and Technology from Parsons the New School of Design (New York, NY) and planning my wedding at the same time! I was learning about business plans, branding, marketing, and delivering business presentations in the midst of booking vendors, designing my invitations, programs, and website, etc. The hardest vendor to book for me was video. First, I was hesitant in having one for my wedding because I’m more of a “behind the lens” kind of girl. However, I saw the value of it the day my sister dug up our parents’ wedding VHS. I am such a tech hoarder that I still had a working VCR in 2011. I watched their wedding video, not that I hadn’t seen it before, but it was different since I was seeing it again through a bride-to-be’s eyes. Although it was still quite silly with the long dissolves, the cheesy 80’s dance pop instrumental music track that didn’t make a lot of sense, and ridiculous star wipes from one shot to the next. I laughed out loud when my mom held her dress over her, turned and stopped halfway, then staggered a bit before my mom resolves her turn then POOF, she’s somehow magically wearing her dress. Amazing effect! Haha. Yes it was silly, but I saw my favorite aunt as an 18 year old applying make up on my 20 year old mom. I heard my dad’s voice as it broke up a little when pledging his life to my mom. During the reception, I watched my parents dance as a young man and a woman. I heard boisterous laughter and I immediately recognized to belong to my grandfather who was no longer with us. I cried. With tears still in my eyes, I propped open my laptop and googled wedding videographers.
It was disheartening to find that the style of wedding videography I wanted was way above our budget and since it was a last add-on we settled for the traditional wedding videography consisting of one man and one huge standard definition camera with an obnoxious bright light that I’m sure made it tricky for our photographer. We got all the raw footage with the intention of editing it myself, since I am a professional editor. Sadly, I simply never got around to it.
Although, even after our wedding in October of 2011, I did not stop visiting the cinematic wedding film sites and one day, my husband says, “I wish we had cloned you so you could have filmed our wedding.” With my husband’s support and encouragement, I went for it and built my business in 2012. I did some research and found that many couples are usually booking videography last minute or they simply don’t see the value of having their wedding captured on film since photography covers it. Then I found that just as I never got around to editing my own wedding video, many couples don’t see themselves sitting and watching 5+ hours of wedding video. There would be a lot of fast forwarding and it’s not as effortlessly accessible as pictures in an album or online. That’s when I thought about what I do at work. I’m a video editor for ESPN and I am used to taking a 4-hour baseball game and editing it down to a 2.5-minute highlight. The highlight is what a bride and groom can pull up on their computer or even their smartphone as easily as a still image.
How do you select the music for your films? I ask my bride and groom to provide me the title and artist of 5 songs that is significant to their relationship or songs that they like. I then edit their highlight to the song and include it on their DVD for personal use. Currently, my website showcases highlights with commercial music but my aim is to use license free music or licensed music that I purchased when showcasing it online. My clients will get the version of their highlight that has the music of their choice for their personal use only.
Do you work along with our photographer to capture our day? I love working with other artists! I’m a wedding photographer myself and know about time constraints of the day. I try to make everything as smooth as possible by being the clients’ photographer’s second eyes. We capture video while she/he is posing you for your portraits. I don’t require a separate filming time the day of the wedding. I work hand-in-hand with your photographer. I may, however, try to borrow the bride and groom for 5 minutes or so to capture close ups or shots that I saw when the photographer is busy capturing your images.
Do you offer a variety of packages? I offer packages for every budget. They are all fully customizable as well. I love to sit down with my future clients to get their story and discuss with them the package that will best fit them.
We are planning a sparkler exit from the reception, can you film that as well? I offer a full coverage package where the bride and groom set the start and end time. This would be a package I’d suggest for weddings with special exits. As a filmmaker, I love capturing great video and a sparkler exit is what we in the business would call the “money shot!”
How far in advance do we need to secure our date? Many couples wait for the last minute to book videography when it comes to vendors. It’s usually a wedding expense that some couples do without. I’ve had last minute bookings and by that I mean 4 weeks before the big day! I wouldn’t have booked in such a short time but I fell in love with the couple! So we hurriedly did their “get to know you” session, which is a short engagement photo/ and film session with an engagement interview (this is free if you request it with some packages). To answer the question, I can accept booking 2 years in advance, like many wedding vendors, but I can comfortably accommodate bookings 8-12 weeks prior to your big day!
What’s your style? I practice a documentary style filmmaking. We try to be as unobtrusive as possible and try to blend in as much as possible. We try not to go too crazy with large equipment so your photographer doesn’t have all of our stuff in your pictures. The most important part of having video is capturing the sound so while the on-camera microphone can capture these natural sound with no problem, when it comes to your vows we have a wireless microphone strapped to the inside jacket of the groom to pick both the bride and groom’s audio clearly. Additionally, if the time allows it, I like to take a family member or a good friend to the side and interview them to get raw, emotional sound bytes, which I use to narrate your story. I’m always thinking as a producer before the wedding. Though there isn’t a written script of your day, I know what to collect film and audio-wise that will ultimately tell your story the best way when I edit everything together.
What is the turnaround time? The final delivery of your DVDs can take upwards of 90 days after your wedding. This gives me ample time for editing, effecting, titling, rendering, processing, and packaging your memories. When your highlights are finished, they are posted online within 4-6 weeks after your wedding date.
Check out this beautiful film produced by Marie!
Thank you, Marie!!
To find out more about Marie, you can contact her here:
203-804-6291 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
website: C&W Productions
For the most current package pricing please visit my Wedding Wire profile.