5 Wedding Filmmakers’ Advice for Navigating the COVID Era

Not only have the lives of wedding filmmakers been upended during the pandemic; but the countless couples who were to be married this year as well. Yet even in the midst of uncertainty, there have been encouraging lessons to be learned from this year.

To say this year has been tumultuous would, at best, be an understatement. Covid-19 has radically changed the meaning of “normal” for society at large. Things have shifted swiftly—and frequently—from interpersonal dynamics to business processes to the creative industry.

Among those impacted are the wedding filmmakers we work with. Not only have their lives and businesses been upended during the pandemic; but the countless couples who were to be married this year as well. Even in the midst of uncertainty, there have been encouraging lessons to be learned from this year. Take it from Kathryn Majic of BLNK films who told us: “Our jobs are more meaningful than they’ve ever been! The coolest thing I’ve seen within our industry is love prevails, always.”

We spoke with five wedding filmmakers to hear what this year has looked like for them. Read on to hear the highs and lows of capturing love’s beauty during a year that’s felt like a battle for just that.

Mayad on Adaptation & Collaboration

With 14 years’ worth of wedding films under their belt, the team at Mayad Studios had to learn to work in new directions this year. Their plans changed overnight, but still led to positive takeaways—and new opportunities.

“We have to admit, [the beginning of the year] was rather crazy. Everyone was on their toes to quickly adapt to the situation. Within the first month of lockdown we were able to launch Mayad Live, our Livestream coverage package; and on the succeeding month, we were able to launch Mayad Basics, our intimate wedding packages. Both of these new services catered to the ‘new normal’.

In recent years, we were too immersed in our respective works and our processes were in place. But the pandemic has brought about kindness, compassion, and empathy within us. Even though it seemed a bit shaky at times, it’s a reminder that we are always rooting for each other.”

Listen to our curated Romantic Playlist to inspire your upcoming wedding edits:

Jay and Mack on Using Downtime to Branch Out

Once couples began postponing their weddings, destination filmmakers Jay and Mack had to step back and look at the areas they could improve upon in that very moment. It’s a testament to their organizational processes that they used this season to grow, wherever possible.

At first, it was nice to have a moment to rest and reset. But with more time on our hands, we were also able to spend more time growing the education side of our business. We’ve been doing quite a few online educational sessions, and recently with the states opening up a little bit more here and there, we’ve been able to resume our individual workshops as well. Not only that, but for the first time in probably a year or so, we were able to completely knockout our backlog of edits.

The biggest things we learned through the process were to not put all your eggs in one basket and to always have multiple sources of revenue. Despite not being able to shoot weddings for a little bit, I (Jay) kept my job as a nurse, and am so grateful I did. Without it, we for sure would have had to made a lot of lifestyle changes and adjustments.”

KEJ Productions on Making the Best of It

Like so many of us, the team behind KEJ Productions didn’t anticipate the societal effects of Covid-19 to last as long as they have. Through prolonged uncertainty, they’ve had time to rest—which has given them time to reflect on how to handle things moving forward.

Owning a business takes over your life and often leaves little to other passions. We started projects we weren’t able to do when our business was full steam and filming every other weekend. Although everything came to a grinding halt, the slow down has been refreshing for us. We’ve spent more time outside and in the sun. We’ve had more lazy Netflix days than we could have asked for. And the real winner – this is the longest we’ve been out of backlog since 2015! (laughs)

We know it’s hard, but serve your couples ferociously. 2020 may be one of the hardest years for your business and 2021 may be the busiest year of your life – thanks to postponements – but we think it’s worth it. Your couples may be going through an extremely tumultuous time and the film you provide them and their family could very well be the best gift they receive this year. You’re providing heirlooms, capturing people free from hurt, free from pain, free from fear, free in love, free in joy, and in family. This is the power of film. Pour into your craft and share it with your people.”

Get inspired for your next busy season with KEJ’s curated Musicbed playlist:

Bottlebrush Films on Putting Others First

From the perspective of the Australian duo living in Melbourne, Victoria, at the heart of one of the strictest lockdowns in the world, this year has been about remembering what’s truly important for Bottlebrush. From business relationships to family and friends, it’s all about putting others first.

“We still had quite a bit of post-production to get through, so we’ve been in full Groundhog Day mode – editing, going for our 1 hour walk, sleeping, rinse, repeat. But that’s actually been a huge positive and has allowed us to finally catch up in that area of our business. We’ve had more time to do podcasts and interviews and have become more active in that area. It’s great to connect with new people and see so many creatives launching educational content.

A crisis brings out the best and worst in people, and you can decide what this pandemic will bring out in yourself & your business. Put your clients first and they’ll put you first. Try not to approach postponements and cancellations with a negative attitude—yes, this sucks for you and your business but it’s hard on your couples too. Weddings are such a personal thing so approach it with understanding and do your best to accommodate the people who put their faith in you. The wedding industry as we know it is changing, so just use this time as a chance to reinvent yourself and try something wild—experiment with your music choices, create a biopic of yourself for your website, do something out of your comfort zone!”

Begin experimenting with your own music choices, with Bottlebrush’s curated Musicbed playlist:

BLNK Films on Love Prevailing Over All

In the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, owner and director of BLNK films, Kathryn Majic, thought it would all blow over in a matter of weeks. When that proved to not be the case, she had to remember to focus only on what can be controlled—how you respond to the circumstances.

“My immediate concern was my couples — how they were feeling and where their minds were at. Like so many things in life, you have to focus on what you can control, and that’s exactly what I did.

Over the last few months, you know what the coolest thing I’ve seen within our industry is? Love prevails, always. Our jobs are more meaningful than they’ve ever been! Be it through finding unique and intimate ways to elope, live streaming ceremonies, or simply seeing the value that video offers, I feel so fulfilled being someone who can offer such an irreplaceable gift to couples and families. Beauty is flooding through the seams with BIG, irreplaceable life moments, and although it may look different, it doesn’t mean that it’s not happening.”

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