Revolutionizing Wedding Videography: The Narrative Mastery of Filmmaker Justin Porter

Uncover Justin Porter's innovative narrative style in wedding videography, his favorite projects, and how Musicbed amplifies the emotional depth of his films at JPM Weddings.

Wedding Filmmaker Justin Porter

Texas-based filmmaker Justin Porter’s narrative, documentary-style approach is changing the wedding videography game. Read more about what keeps the JPM Weddings founder motivated, his favorite projects to date, and how he uses Musicbed to find the right music for his films.

Musicbed: What sparked your passion for filmmaking/storytelling?

My love for filmmaking started with Vine. You know, the “thing” before Instagram and TikTok. I was obsessed with creators like Zac King, Woody_theGreat, King Bach. I loved how they could create funny or interesting 15-30 second skits. I started making my own and quickly blew up amongst my friend group. That made me want to create more and, like most of us do, I turned to YouTube for education. I came across Film Riot and remember binging their videos for hours a day. I got obsessed with editing and cutting because I saw how the “magic” was made in post. This passion grew daily, literally, and eventually made me want to write. Filmmaking isn’t something I just kinda like—it’s who I am. I love planning, producing, filming, lighting, editing, audio, mixing, set design, all the various problem solving ideas, camera rigging… Okay, you get it. I LOVE IT.

What keeps you motivated and creatively inspired?

I find my motivation from watching TV or movies/docs. Now as a filmmaker known for making reality-tv wedding films, I love to binge reality shows. I challenge myself to think of what the directors may have asked the people to go do in a cut scene or maybe what question was asked to get a specific answer in an interview. The idea of dissecting someone else’s work really excites me. Creatively, it’s a challenge that can’t be done enough. I feel as if it not only inspires my own work but it helps me sharpen my own skills. Spotting unique camera angles, movements, queues, etc. 

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

Music is often neglected in the world of wedding filmmaking. It’s an afterthought but I believe it’s the most critical part to making a scene or film feel complete. The wrong song can easily derail the tone of the scene. It can also change the way the dialogue was to be perceived. Music truly makes a film feel complete and honestly when done right, you don’t even notice. It blends seamlessly with the story rather than taking away from it.

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

A compelling story is done by having a character who people can connect with. I think subliminally, every film ever made connects with someone in some way. Our films are about love but I want to display this couple’s unique journey to finding it. Their journey can be inspiring to someone else walking the same path as one of them. Because of this connection, it pulls in the viewers and makes them want to watch.

How important is music in your work?

Music is what sets our films apart in the massive wedding space. We don’t just use “songs”. The music equally shares a role and fits the theme that we are going for in the film. Sure, it’s love but some stories have deeper moments than others. When this happens you have to find a song that can go just as deep as the story.

What advice would you give other filmmakers/creators who are just starting their careers?

My advice is to be obsessed with storytelling. It’s easy to get googly eyes for the newest camera and shiny new gimbal. Truth of the matter is none of that matters if you can’t tell interesting stories. Gimbals don’t help you ask better interview questions or direct moments with your talent. Obsess over the fundamentals of storytelling and then and ONLY THEN, should you invest in gear to help you polish the rough ends.

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

Pushing boundaries and being creatively fulfilled is what it’s all about. My clients want an amazing story, no matter what it takes. If I had to sacrifice being creative for the client, it would destroy the joy I had for filmmaking. 

What is the most challenging aspect of being a filmmaker/creative?

For me, the most challenging aspect of being a filmmaker is trusting myself. I’m blessed to have social channels with thousands of support but imposter syndrome sinks in at least once a week. I don’t think there will ever be a day that it goes away but it for sure gets the best of me at times. It’s so easy to compare yourself to the next creator, director, editor, etc.

What are some of your favorite projects you’ve worked on?

I’m not just saying this because I’m a wedding filmmaker but my favorite projects are the weddings I film. I pour everything into them and I walk away creatively fulfilled. That’s something that not many filmmakers can say. I love being able to connect with families, learn about a couples story, and have complete UNCAPPED creative freedom. It truthfully is the best work but it isn’t for everyone.

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

Musicbed’s collection is massive. One of my favorite ways to search is by BPM (beats per minute) or by the key. In a past life I was a musician and sometimes still play the piano. I’m very swift on chords and chord progressions so sometimes I’ll search a mainstream song I like, find the key it’s in, and search for songs that match that key in Musicbed in the same or similar genre. It’s not perfect but it helps so much. 

Why do you utilize Musicbed in your work?

Music is everything. You can’t skip out on any aspect of filmmaking but if you had to cut corners, it shouldn’t be in the soundtrack. Musicbed’s collection is the closest to mainstream sounding music that you’ll find for license use as a wedding filmmaker. There’s just not a better place to find music for your films.

Explore a curated playlist of Justin’s favorite music to use in his wedding films—all available to license only on Musicbed.