REAL ADVICE FROM A REAL INDUSTRY PROFESSIONAL
We had the pleasure of picking the ever-active and innovative brain of LEAP Weddings' own Jack McClain. In case you haven't had the pleasure of working with the LEAP crew, they're of the dive-on-your-knees-to-get-the-perfect-shot kind of videographers that every bride and groom is on the prowl for. Read on below to figure out how to spot a killer videographer, look your best on film, and even keep the romance alive when a stampede of Santa-Con enthusiasts turn up on your wedding day....
For first-time planners, do you have any rules of thumb to help separate the men from the boys when it comes to selecting a videography team? Any suggested questions to ask?
In my opinion, the most important element in hiring any vendor for a wedding day is to hire people that will honor the experience of the bride and groom and their guests as the most important priority of the day. It doesn't matter if the most amazing wedding film is created if it is done at the cost of negatively influencing any one person's experience. Bottom line - if the bride and groom are not having fun than I am not doing my job.
As a camera-shy person myself, I know I can sometimes come across as uncomfortable on video. Is there a trick that you pass along to clients to help get over that hurdle, and ensure a more natural, fun cinematic memory?
As a camera operator, I feel as awkward pointing a camera at someone as they may feel being on camera. There's an element of acknowledging that common bond which can serve to "cancel-out" any fear. But, more importantly than any of that is to establish a good rapport with the bride and groom before their day. We accomplish this by meeting with the clients in person a few weeks before their big day. This offers us an opportunity to fully dissect the itinerary for their day and to gain a sense of trust amongst everyone
At Green Line, we've accidentally discovered that musicians tend to make great DJs. Would you say that your musical background has also somehow informed your shooting/editing aesthetic?
My musical background has played an enormous role in shaping my approach to documentary/wedding filmmaking. Being able to improvise is crucial because, as much as i may know about the itinerary for the day, something is always there to surprise me. Being in the right place at the right time is the name of the game and the only way to do that is to be aware of my surroundings. I relate this to playing music because, being a member of a band, it is important that everyone is listening to each other and working as a team rather than trying to be the star of the show.
A few of the impossibly picturesque shots by LEAP Weddings.
After working hundreds of weddings and events, I feel like I've seen it all (Mark Twain impersonators, Drag Queen Kicklines, Star Wars Wedding Processionals, etc.). Can you tell us about one of the funniest or most unique events you've filmed?
On a few occasions, we have arranged "first looks" to take place on busy public streets and, immediately after the bride and groom see each other, something spontaneous happens. One time it particular, a mess of 30 or 40 people dressed as Santa doing a bar-crawl walked by our bride and groom while the B&G were making out during their first look. [See video below at ~1:00]. It was completely unpredictable and hilarious. The best part is that we caught everything on film and were able to weave it into their wedding film.
See if you can spot the white-bearded wedding crashers at 1:00 in.
Another unforgettable moment captured by LEAP!
As a new dad, are your kids going to have the best home videos of all time, or will it just be all the more fodder to embarrass them with at their pre-prom get-together? Or have home videos become an antiquated concept in the onslaught of social media?
I must admit that the majority of my home videos are captured on my cell phone. Children can be hard to predict so having my "real" camera on-hand is generally not the case. I feel like the quantity of videos that I capture is an average amount compared to the majority of people that I know with kids. It's too easy to pull out a phone and grab hilarious slo-mo footage or to capture all the many times that my three-year-old breaks out into song. The one thing that I enjoy more than anything is sharing photos and videos instantaneously with my family via the family sharing function on iCloud. I get to see updates from all my nieces and nephews every day and it feels great to be connected with them.
As an aside, I can't help but imagine myself sharing the father daughter dance and giving speeches at the weddings of my two girls. I have certainly imagined a recap video of their childhood that could be played at those events as well. We'll see if they give me permission when the time comes.
Are you working on any passion projects at the moment?
I am currently working on a video for an organization in Kansas City called BoysGrow. They are an organization which focuses on educating intercity youth on agriculture, woodworking, entrepreneurship and a number of other skill sets. This is a passion project for me because I value the importance of understanding agriculture and the food that we eat but also because BoysGrow is an all-around good organization and I look forward to telling their story.
Non-video related question: What is the song you never get sick of hearing these days at events? (Or what song do you wish the DJs would play more of?)
One of my favorite songs/performances of all time is Stevie Wonder's version of "We Can Work it Out," by the Beatles. I know it's not a new song or anything, but hey... I'm old fashioned. It is super danceable and who doesn't like Stevie Wonder?
Want to work with Jack and the LEAP Weddings team? Read more HERE!