Hey friends and fellow engaged couples!
Being recently engaged and thoroughly into the wedding planning process myself, I realize just how daunting this whole process can be. Not only are there a million vendors to choose from to create your dream wedding, but each vendors processes might have things "hiding" that you may not know about because of how much there is to take in at once. It's not that any vendor is trying to pull a fast one on you, but there might be things about the process that the vendor assumes is common knowledge, but it really isn't. For example, with creating wedding films, selecting music for the film is not as straight forward as it may seem! For this reason, I wanted to create a blog to help educate future brides and grooms about what the process of selecting their music to their film looks like. This of course is not a one size fits all, each videographer may have a slightly different method of selecting music, but this blog will serve as a pretty great rule of thumb of what to expect as far as music!
We can't use your favorite Ed Sheeran song...
Or any major copyrighted song for that matter. I've had this take many couples by surprise in the past, which is another reason for writing this post. I totally get it, you have one song that has been YOUR SONG as a couple for your entire relationship and now you want it to be in your wedding film. Unfortunately that can't happen, if you want to post this video on any sort of public platform like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram. These websites have copyright software built into them and will detect if a copyrighted song is being used. Most of the time the website will simply strip the audio completely out of your video (which defeats the purpose obviously) or they will take the video down entirely. Trust me on this, I have had countless personal videos taken down and flagged for copyright infringement. I know it doesn't make any sense, and if it were up to me I would of course LOVE to have your song in your film. Unfortunately these are the laws in place, and we have to abide by them until they are changed. The scenarios above are BEST case scenarios. Worse could happen and the record company could actually sue the wedding filmmaker for royalties since the he or she made a profit from creating the film with that song. This is a little less likely to happen if the video stays on a smaller scale, but regardless it is an enormous risk the filmmaker would assume, and thats scary.
THE STYLE MATTERS!
Not only is it illegal for us wedding filmmakers to use copyrighted content in our work, but often times the emotional feel and tone of the song are not appropriate for the film. This isn't a insult to the couple, it's just not their area of expertise. I LOVE eating cakes, but I wouldn't even begin to know what type of batter blends best to make a chocolate cake. I think that florals are a HUGE part of making a beautiful wedding, but I wouldn't have the slightest clue on what flowers she should use or what would even be in season! This is why we hire professionals that we trust to use their experience to deliver us the best end product. Every wedding filmmaker hand selects each element to your wedding film like ingredients to that cake. Each filmmaker will have their own style, and their body of work on their website will reflect that! My style happens to be very sentimental, romantic, and cinematic, so I choose songs of that style because it is what helps me best tell your love story. I spend countless hours searching through song after song to find the PERFECT song that matches the emotional feel of that day. Just because a filmmaker has a general overall style, doesn't mean the songs can't still be tailored to you. I have shot weddings in where the couple really wanted a faster paced upbeat song, and they were understandably pretty bummed about not getting to use their song they wanted. I looked for some songs that I thought matched their style as well as mine and they were ecstatic with the end result! As filmmakers it is our job to absorb that emotion and feeling of the wedding day in order to translate that into a film!
So where do we find the music?
Our only real option is to license music from websites like The Music Bed. This website allows you to comb through categories, genres and characteristics of songs. For example I could select, Upbeat, Beautiful, Romantic, Cinematic songs 5 minutes in length and it would give me results. It takes some time to find the perfect one, which is why I generally do it myself rather than have the couple do it. At times it can take up to a couple days to really determine the perfect song for the highlight film. However, all of that time is SO well spent and the end result is worth the time invested. Since filmmakers are able to purchase small licenses to create a film with the artists song, there is no need to worry about copyright infringement or your video getting taken down when all you're trying to do is share the day with your family and friends.
Music is one of the essential parts that makes up any great film. Whether that is a wedding film or something you see in the theaters, so much thought and consideration is done before the musical score is selected. Being in the passenger seat as I am now a client of a wedding film team for our very own wedding, I know it is scary! But just remember that there is a reason you chose who you did to create your wedding film and capture your big day. Trust them to work their magic and use their professional judgement in selected each and every piece that makes up your wedding film. Being a wedding filmmaker is such an enormous privilege and I can tell you we don't take our job lightly. In the end, we will capture and create something incredibly beautiful that tells your story in ways that you didn't think were possible. :)
Joshua Bryan Medlin
Here are some of my films I created with music from The Music Bed!
THE MUSIC BED: https://www.musicbed.com
THE FILM TEAM FOR OUR WEDDING: http://www.theater10.com/