The Artistry and Heart Behind Wedding Filmmaker Chase Daley’s Cinematic Creations

Imbued with the hues of personal narratives and set to the rhythm of heartfelt melodies, Chase Daley's wedding films transform fleeting moments into timeless treasures.

Chase Daley Filmmaker

With his signature blend of creativity and genuine warmth, wedding filmmaker Chase Daley turns each celebration into a lively and memorable heirloom. Read his interview to learn more about what sparked his initial interest in filmmaking, his advice for new filmmakers, and how he finds the right music for his work on Musicbed.

Musicbed: What sparked your passion for filmmaking or storytelling? 

Chase Daley: I’d say the biggest thing that sparked my passion for filmmaking was my grandparents—they were full of stories and would paint a picture so well. I was always so captivated by hearing the things they experienced in their lifetime. As I grew older and they passed away, it’s the one thing I carry with me, that’s helped shape me and create that passion for filmmaking and storytelling. I never thought I would be a filmmaker and photographer, or anything like that. 

I grew up a painter. I was a painting major and then switched to graphic design. I’ve always been a creative, but I never thought that filmmaking was attainable. The cost of entry a long time ago, when I was really interested in it, was just too expensive, and now it’s so much more affordable. I shoot on the Sony FX3 which is my main camera. It’s still expensive, but $5,000 to be able to get into the space is nothing. 

Being able to share other people’s stories through my lens is something that I’m super grateful to be able to do. It all started when I was younger, paying attention to other people and listening, and being able to experience a lot of unique things throughout my lifetime. I’ve traveled to a lot of great places, and experiencing those different moments and diverse people has really helped me want to continue sharing more stories because everyone has a voice and it’s important to find something you connect to. We all have the human experience, and that’s the one thing we have in common. I think that people really love human connection. And if you can weave a story in there, it’s going to help them feel seen. 

What keeps you motivated and creatively inspired? 

My Family, no question. My family has been my biggest inspiration in starting this journey. I lost my job in 2020. The company where I worked as a creative director had sold and I was forced to figure it out. My wife was pregnant and we were expecting our son in October of 2020 – I lost my job in August. So I had to figure something out. I’d always wanted to do this and I’d always wanted the ability to be my own boss. My wife had a good state job with great insurance and she said, ‘You know what? You have to do this. You just need to go for it.’ She’s been my biggest supporter and that’s always been something that’s kept me going. 

When I meet couples to work weddings, I always tell them ‘I’m vetting you just like you’re vetting me.’ Most importantly, they have to be cool enough for me to leave my family on the weekend. I don’t have to shoot your wedding. I don’t have to shoot your event or create your projects if you’re not cool enough, because my kids and wife take precedence. I only get so many weekends with them all together because they’re in school throughout the week and we’re all working. So, yeah, my family keeps me motivated and creatively inspired to keep going and always have my ears to the table and to be listening for the next thing that I can tell a story about, or meeting the next couple that trusts me to document their big day. It means the world.

Chase Daley taking photo of couple on wedding day

What makes a story visually appealing? What role does music play in storytelling? 

For one, I’m a huge color theory nerd. I went to school for art and color theory, and so now one of the things I get compliments on the most about my work is my color. Because I’ve spent years and years honing that skill in other mediums, painting and digital media. Color makes a huge difference in overall color grade. 

Also the kind of editing you’re doing. I’m known for my fast cuts—I edit heavily to music, specifically my wedding films. That’s what really helps make it visually appealing because it coincides with audio.

For me, music is at the forefront. It helps push the story. It helps create ebbs and flows. Specifically in a wedding film, I create a dynamic experience and capture the whole day, but I don’t force it either if certain things happen. You have to have something to work with and tell an authentic story. At least that’s my goal. So, music is always at the forefront. I pay attention to the couple when I get to know them to find out what music they enjoy listening to. I pay attention to the day of the wedding and how it felt emotionally—if they had a playlist that’s a huge help for me. I’m just trying to find a song that can help push the story along and create that raw emotion when there isn’t necessarily dialogue that’s doing so. Music is everything for what I do. 

What elements do you think are essential for crafting a compelling story? 

Conflict, for sure—that’s the biggest one. And the hardest part about weddings is creating conflict because you don’t think of conflict on a wedding day. But everyone has conflict, it doesn’t have to be negative. It could be something a couple overcame, a hard time in their life or relationship, or going through a pandemic together. My wife and I were married in November 2019, right before the world completely shifted. And we jumped right into being married and being around each other all the time working from home, finding out we’re having a baby, and almost starting a new business—all at once. So, you know, that was pretty intense. Couples go through similar things, so finding those little moments that may be trivial now, but moments that were difficult to handle that they overcame together—that’s really special. So I think that’s one of the biggest elements in crafting a compelling story: connection. It’s that payoff that we’re all looking for in films—and wedding films specifically—focusing on that is no different. So that’s probably the biggest element for me. 

How important is music in your work? 

As I mentioned earlier, music is everything. For one, I’m a musician. I’ve played music since I was 13-14 years old. I play guitar, drums, piano, and sing. So when I started working with and using Musicbed several years ago, it was a game changer because the roster quality was different. It didn’t just sound like the typical vanilla, boring music. It feels special and curated. Because I’m a musician, I edit a lot of those songs. So many times I’ve had artists I’ve used in films ask, ‘Where’d you find this version of this song?’ And typically I created it myself—I edit, add music, loop, splice, cut, paste, copy—all that fun stuff. And then I adjust it to create my own story from that audio that best fits the couple. So music is huge. I’m unleashing a new add-on for my company this year, and delving more into offering something that isn’t offered in the wedding industry right now. I’m excited to share more about that later. But it’s all around audio and creating a unique, compelling experience for couples, specifically in weddings, that hasn’t been done before. 

What advice would you give other filmmakers just starting their careers?

Focus on the story above all else, and stop worrying about what someone used to create that piece of content that you love and how they did it. People are just obsessed with that. So stop obsessing over the settings and every piece of gear that you think you need. What’s really important is to find what works for you and let the story in front of you help create the decisions you make creatively. At the end of the day, just make something and then wake up the next day and make something else, and then make something else again. Just always keep creating. But really focus on the story and good, clean audio because that makes a huge difference as well. But, the story above all else. And then everything else just falls into place, and you’ll evolve a lot quicker, and you’ll be happier with the quality of your work at the end of the day. 

How do you balance pushing boundaries creatively and delivering what your client wants or audience wants to see? 

I’ve gotten to the point now in my career that I’m attracting the kind of couples that I want to work with. One of the biggest goals for me when I first started this business was how can I get those couples to find me. Once you start creating that content and it starts to speak to and resonate with people and they want that work for their own wedding, then it makes it a lot easier so that you don’t have to have those boundaries. You don’t have to compromise your work and creativity because someone else wants something. 

When I meet with couples, sometimes they’ll ask if they have a say in the music used and I tell them no. And the reason being is that I want the couple to feel something very new, exciting, and different. When they see their film for the first time, I want that song to be theirs. And they don’t have any predisposed idea of what that song means to them. They don’t have any connection to it already. And that’s why I’ve never used the same song twice in my 50-60 wedding films I’ve done. And it’s because of that.  I want the couples to feel like it’s theirs, like they own that. That’s their special song that told their story. And if the couple was collaborating more and they were giving me input, it wouldn’t hit the same and I don’t think it would be as special. And to this day, I’ve never had one couple say that they didn’t like the song. That’s the one thing people constantly like, they love the color, the music, the audio, and sound design that I offer which is just above all so impactful. And so I think to the point now, I don’t have to compromise. I’m delivering what my clients already want, which is really, really special and I’m super grateful for.

What is the most challenging aspect of being a filmmaker? 

Always feeling like you have to do something better the next time. That’s a lot of pressure to put on yourself, especially if you’re a perfectionist. When you put yourself in a time crunch or you put yourself in a situation where you have to create, some beautiful things can happen. But I think being someone who is definitely a perfectionist, you’re always a little worried. At least I’m a little worried. “Is it going to be as good as the next one?” And I think I try to shift that mentality away for my mental health so that I’m not so concerned with that, but I’m more concerned with the product and delivering to the couple. Which it’s unique to them, so it doesn’t have to be better than the last because it’s just different. I let that be the driving force behind not getting too caught up in that mindset. Being a business owner is tough, but, I’m always innovating and listening and being a good person. Everything else falls where it needs to be. 

What’s your favorite project you’ve worked on? 

Well, I’ve done a lot of wedding films, but they’re all different, which is really cool. Chris and Bill quickly became a favorite couple of mine long before I filmed their wedding. On their big day, they decided to exchange private vows and whoa. I mean, was I in for a treat. Witnessing those very raw and emotional vows was magical. And it changed the course of my career and how I approached and filmed weddings. Their film relies heavily on those moments described and the vows themselves and I’m forever the most proud of that film for telling Chris and Bill’s authentic story free of fluff. They didn’t want to do it in front of their guests or their audience because it was really, really special and really difficult emotionally. I’m beyond proud of that film. 

How do you search for music on Musicbed? What are some tips you give other filmmakers to search on Musicbed? 

Well, I search in keys a lot because of certain vibes I’m looking for. So whatever the music is, I try to look for the key. Sometimes I’m looking for beats per minute, the tempo, to feel how it’s going to feel from the pacing throughout the day. Find the vibe that you’re looking for. I mean, Musicbed has so many different tools that help in that process. But a lot of times I’m finding songs that are in the same key or that are a specific genre that I’m looking for. I like that you can hone that in by adding multiple genres. That’s super important. And that just makes all the difference. So definitely use all the tools available to find the best match for you. 

Why do you utilize Musicbed in your work? 

Musicbed is the best service that I’ve used. I’ve tried so many different licensing sites and Musicbed curates the most high-end roster of artists. And you can tell that they pay attention to the subtleties and the details in their music because you really do get the best of the best. It’s like the cream of the crop and there’s nothing like it. I’ve been talking so highly of and speaking so highly of Musicbed for years now. It means the world to me to partner with a brand that cares about the people who use their product and their service, and the people who create for them. Treating those artists well is super important. There’s a reason y’all have the best of the best. So that’s why I use Musicbed. My couples deserve the best, so I work with the best. 

Explore a curated playlist of Chase’s favorite songs to use in his wedding films—all immediately ready to license for your projects only on Musicbed.