Little Black Book: Wagtail Productions
Here at Revelry Towers we're big fans of wedding videos, to be honest we don't think they always get a fair rep, often they're a last minute addition to the day or people think they're a bit cheesy. Now don't get as wrong, a certain level of cheese does exist in the videography world but we work with some brilliant suppliers who actively avoid this.
We first met Ayla at a wedding fair a few years ago and then worked with her on a styled shoot to mark the launch of Pride, Prejudice and Zombies. Not only that we think she's so good she's doing Susie's wedding, that's right, you heard it hear first - Wagtail Productions is officially Wedding Planner approved, so let's meet the brains behind the operation.
Tell us about your background, how did you get into wedding videography?
I started in photography. I have always been obsessed with taking photographs, even as a child. I studied art and photography at college and uni. Video started to creep into my work, subtly at first. For example, I made a sound track to accompany the viewing of one of my photography exhibitions in London.
I then worked in the film industry as a Camera Assistant. I worked my way up, starting on independent films, then music videos, TV drama, commercials and big budget features. I finally got to fulfil my dream of working on a Bond movie when I did Skyfall. It was, ironically, on that job I decided I needed to make a change. It's really thanks to my experience in the film industry and the wonderful people who trained me that Wagtail Productions is where it is now. There's not a single shoot where I haven't drawn on my experience. It was a truly fantastic time in my life, but the bigger the film, the bigger the crew, the more disconnected from the camera I felt. I wanted to go back to just me and my camera and be in control of my own projects.
I took a break travelling around Europe. I drove from London to Rome solo and spent the summer as an Au Pair for 3 incredible children in Venice. You can't be in Italy and not be inspired, and this is when the filming started. I was au pairing for the most beautiful family. Their lives moved me. I felt I needed to film their every day moments, the innocence and romance of a childhood by the Italian seaside. The family had such joy from the film I made them. I must admit, it's the reactions that make what I do so addictive. Before I knew it, I was back in the UK making little films just for the love of it which lead to my first wedding booking.
How would you describe your film style?
Wagtail Productions works with a huge range of styles. That super 8mm vintage look, classic cinema, stop motion animation, split screen fun, reportage, whatever suits the couple's day. We look at each project with fresh eyes and really get a sense for who the couple are during our pre-wedding chat. Everyone’s wedding has such a different feel, and we want to capture their essence and tell the story with those tiny real moments, such as a look or a touch.
What sets you apart from other wedding videographers?
We are regularly told two things by our couples at the end of their wedding day: “we didn't even notice you filming” and “you feel like part of the family now”. Our approach is to be discreet on the day, but still get those cinematic shots. When the couple and guests are relaxed, the result is a natural and authentic film. We avoid cliches. You won't see sweeping shots of shoes on windowsills in our films haha.
What’s the best thing about the wedding videography industry?
I love the willingness of other videographers to share tips and to help others improve.
And, because we want to be balanced here, what’s the worst?
Videography in the UK is way behind the USA when it comes to recognising the importance of having a wedding video and including it in the budget earlier on. You really do get what you pay for: it's that simple. Many couples who book us say they didn't think they wanted a video until they saw one of our films because they associated it with awkward cheesy shots. I hope it's not long before videography gets the kind of recognition that photography already has.
And finally some top tips, what makes a great wedding video?
Hire a videographer whose style you love, and trust them to do it. If you ask them to change the way they work too much then the result won't be like what attracted you to hire them in the first place.
Communication is key. Tell them what is important to you before the day and about all the details, such as readings and key family members. Then relax and have patience while they take care editing your beautiful film.
I have more tips for a great wedding video over on my website: