CONGRATULATIONS ON YOU CREDITED BY FLS. DID YOU ALREADY KNEW THIS WOULD BECOME A SPECIAL FILM WHILST SHOOTING IT?
We both knew when we first met Jacqueline and Liam that it would be a pretty out-there film because they are a very high-energy couple. These guys were not shy and unafraid to say what they do and don't like - in their words they told us "we prefer upbeat or moody, definitely nothing sappy.... I swear we love each other, but just not in an intrusive/overly intimate way".
This also isn't a film where there are amazing locations, stunning mountains or perfect light and we didn't have the luxury of shooting outside of the wedding day, so we're that little bit extra happy with how it's turned out - you don't need the stars to align to create a memorable wedding film and sometimes that's too easy to forget.
TELL US ABOUT BOTTLEBRUSH
We're Andrew (Cinematographer) and Grace (Editor) of Bottlebrush Films, we live in Melbourne, Australia but travel all over the world
We met at Film School and fell into weddings by accident about 5 years ago now. Bottlebrush to us is an excuse to travel to new places and meet fun and amazing people all over the world (plus we love working for ourselves - a happy goodbye to 9 to 5). Before this Andrew worked as a TV Director and Grace as an Editor at an International Advertising Agency cutting TV Commercials and other short form content. We both quit our jobs to live this adventure full time and Bottlebrush was born! We also drink a lot of wine - the wine bit is probably all you need to know about us really.
WHAT PART OF THIS FILM IS YOUR FAVORITE AND WHY?
ANDREW: For me the launch into the dance sequence that started at 2:55 when Liam says to their friends and family 'Enjoy the night and fucking dance your asses off!' and boy did they party! The music builds so incredibly here, so Grace worked hard on the edit to really build what you see with what you hear in terms of both pace of the cuts and with what is actually happening within the shots, specifically using only dance footage with heavy beats (clapping/drum beats etc) to enhance the build of the music. It's such a great section and always hits me right in the feels! The girls were already having a dance party in the morning when I arrived to shoot bridal preps and after getting to know Jacqueline before the wedding I wasn't at all surprised. I love how Grace decided to cut the morning dancing in simultaneously with the night time reception dancing.
COULD YOU DESCRIBE THE EDITING PROCESS?
GRACE: I had a really good idea of what I wanted to do with the edit before going into it so it was pretty straight forward (plus I was excited as hell to create this film because the bride and groom we're freakin' awesome humans). I cut on Adobe Premiere and colour graded this in Premiere also, and all the post audio was done in Adobe Audition. Process-wise I go through all the speeches first off so I can get an idea of what music I'll be needing (I find it hard to decide on music without listening to speeches first). I then create the 'skeleton' which is just lining up speeches to that music, which can often take me longer than the actual edit part that follows - I get story obsessed, I like to have the speeches flowing perfectly against the tunes. The song itself had clapping in it which gave me the inspiration to have actual clapping + tapping on those beats throughout the edit - which I've done before but never to that degree, so to say it was fun to create would be an understatement. The rest of the process is pretty basic - I drink a few beers, edit the things and have a good time
WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST STRUGGLE YOU HAD TO OVERCOME DURING THE WHOLE PROCESS?
Not pissing our pants with excitement! - that part was pretty hard.
OKAY, THE QUESTION EVERYBODY ALWAYS ASKS….. LET’S GET THAT OUT OF THE WAY. WHAT WAS IN THE KIT-BAG DURING THIS WEDDING?
Sony A7sii - my main camera
Sony A7si - backup camera
Canon 5D III and intervalometer for timelapses
Zeiss 50mm 1.4
Zeiss 35mm 1.4
Tamron 70-200mm 2.8
Canon 24-70mm 2.8
Benro Travel Tripod and Monopod
2 Tascam DR-10L units and assorted cables for audio recording
WAS THERE SOMETHING YOU LEARNED DURING MAKING THIS FILM?
ANDREW: For me I learned that no matter how much I try and predict what Grace will do in the edit I'm still constantly surprised and amazed. I also learned to go with the flow and how quickly I could pull focus on the fly after Jacqueline, her bridesmaids and her mum decided to strut straight at me and eyeball the camera 'Big Little Lies' style! Half those shots were shaking so bad because I was laughing my ass off!
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS STRUCTURE OF STORYTELLING/EDITING?
GRACE: For myself nothing is more important than telling a couples story as honestly as possible, and to tell a great story all these elements have to be in sync - the right speeches with the right music, well paced and timed cuts to that music, clear audio and a colour grade that brings together the whole energy and vibe of what that wedding day was, not what we wanted or needed it to be. Jacqueline and Liam are not super intensely romantic people who felt the need to pour their hearts out on their wedding day, they wanted their wedding to be a party so I made sure the film reflected that as best I could. We love the romantic couples also but the fun is in creating films based on the individuals so that's just what we try to do. I also made an effort to break the mould with this film in terms of storytelling/speeches - it's easy to use a couples 'how we met' story or a few romantic vows where they promise each other lots of different things, but Jacqueline and Liam are honestly the most quick witted people we've met, so I didn't want to use anything too traditional in the storytelling which is why I opened with the best man's joke and mainly used speeches with a good punch line. Even Liam talking about the crowns and throwing back to the ceremony I really love, it gives it a better sense of real time and reality when the people on the wedding day talk about the day as they experience it. Also I like to keep films balanced if I can - if i'm going to use a speech from the groom's family than I feel it only fair to have speech from the bride's family. Weddings are mostly about family and friends for us (otherwise we'd all elope) and I'd personally dislike receiving back my wedding film without shots of my close family in it.
HOW DID THE PROCESS OF CHOOSING A SONG WENT?
GRACE: So we have our couples fill out a music section on a pre-wedding form we give them, asking what music they love / hate / their favourite artists / genres - whatever! These guys had mentioned they loved 'Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats". Hadn't heard of them - looked them up - first song I heard by them blew my mind - very gritty, rock/blues sound. I'd already picked Jacqueline and Liam/'s wedding film song from The Music Bed before hearing Nathaniel Rateliff and was tossing up if they'd be into it or not, so when I heard him play I couldn't believe it was essentially the same sound as the song I'd tagged for them. Awesome. Totally on the same wave length and cemented the song choice and that was that.
WHAT OR WHO IS YOUR INSPIRATION, IN GENERAL?
GRACE: For myself my inspiration stems from music, I absolutely am a huge music nerd, I've got vinyls coming out of my ears and constantly get goose bumps when I hear any great music really (it's a weird reaction!). I could rattle off a lot of old artists but I won't bore everyone with that list - I do really love Lana Del Rey's music videos they're incredible as well as music video's by BORNS (go give some a watch). My dad always says music keeps you young and I'd have to agree.
IS THERE SOMETHING MORE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE ABOUT THIS FILM?
GRACE: In particular I wanted this film to look like one giant retro neon sign because to me Jacqueline + Liam are the human version of what a neon sign would look like, so inspiration for the cuts and colouring literally were based off this neon signage they had at their reception (along with the colour palette of their wedding - purple, blue, yellow). Tinting footage is a pretty old school thing to do (almost retro) so it was super fun to tint the odd shot here and there just to give everything a bit more colour (I wanted to punch people in the face with colour).
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