Afternoon Lovely Peeps! Hopefully you are all recovered from your chocolate hangovers by now unless you are still munching away like me!
I have been very excited about sharing today’s Festival Brides Love supplier with you all. Lemon Tree Film House joined our festival wedding directory last year and ever since I have been hooked on their filming style. Beautiful, unique, fun and engaging, pretty much every time I watch one of their films I find myself either teary eyed or smiling from ear to ear. They really do a great job of telling the story of each of their weddings and capturing the love between their couples which is exactly what you want from your wedding film.
We asked Shaun & TJ, the brains behind Lemon Tree Film House, a bit about themselves and why they think a wedding film is such an important aspect of your day….
Tell us a little bit about yourselves?
We are, above all else, best friends. We laugh together all the time, we basically do everything together, if we spend a few hours apart we miss each other like crazy, we say “I Love You’ literally a hundred times a day, seriously. I hope this doesn’t sound gross because it is the absolute truth. We are so lucky to have each other, to make a living working together and to absolutely LOVE what we do – don’t get me wrong it’s darn hard work too but a day doesn’t go by where we don’t take a moment to appreciate just how privileged we are.
If you had the chance to go to any music festival, which one would it be and why?
One of my best friend’s Bobby is an incredible musician (writer, singer, banjo, guitar and harmonica). He tours all over the place and although I’ve seen perform him in the UK I would absolutely love to see him performing in the US or on one of the festival boat cruises!
What made you decide to start Lemon Tree Film House?
Honestly? We kind of just ‘fell’ into the wedding industry. We were living in Christchurch, NZ 7 years ago when we got engaged ourselves. Earning in NZ dollars at the time but trying to save for our own Australian destination wedding was proving impossible so we decided that we needed to earn extra cash. Shaun had always had a passion for film and is completely self-taught and he’d taught me a fair bit over the 3 years that we’d been together at the time (now going on 10 years – wowzers!). I already had a passion for anything media related (I totally aced my Media Studies A-Level when I was 18 btw), have always been a bit of a film buff and coming from a super dramatic family (as in actors and singers on stage not just dramatic, although they are that too) I’ve just always known how things ‘should look’ on film and on stage. So earning extra money for our own wedding using our film skills just seemed like the obvious plan. Weddings in particular was my (TJ’s) idea and I think it simply popped into my head because I was a bride-to-be myself and all I had in my head was weddings! We were soooo nervous on our first wedding job but by our second we absolutely loved it! When the gorgeous couple couldn’t stop raving about their film we just knew that we had found our calling – it was, and remains today, the BEST feeling ever!
Tell us about the different wedding packages you offer? Do you offer a service that helps couple pick the right film package for them?
Absolutely. Having ‘done’ this gig for 7 years now we have tailored and refined and amended and altered our packages again and again but the current format of our film packages has been in place for a couple of years now as they offer options for everyone. That being said, our most popular package (and the one we love editing most) is our ‘Extended 8-10 Minute Highlights Package’– 8-10 minutes gives us plenty of time to tell each couple’s unique story without ‘cutting’ the ‘good stuff’ to fit into a standard length highlight film.
What makes your wedding films stand out from a crowd?
They’re authentic to each individual couple’s character and wedding day. We use a mix of cinematic and vintage-inspired film and editing techniques to put across the dreamy feeling felt by couples on their wedding day in a way that won’t ‘date’ like an 80’s home video shot by your Uncle!
Our focus, above all else, is to tell each couple’s unique story faithfully, so we never ‘set shots up’ so to speak. From what we hear that is pretty rare with cinematographers and is probably one of the reasons photographers recommend us so often; because we’re super easy to work alongside, don’t ‘stage anything’ and are super easy-going so blend into the background and make everyone relaxed and comfortable on camera. We want every couple to watch their film back and barely notice the technical elements of what we’ve done because they’re so engrossed in reliving their day, wondering what they were laughing at one moment and in tears (happy tears) the next. So there’s no ego with our work, it’s about the feelings we can evoke and the stories we can tell not “hey look what we can do”.
Many couples view a wedding film as an unnecessary expense but why do you think it is such an important aspect of their day?
We are in the very lucky position (albeit we worked hard to get here so luck only plays a part) that 100% of our couples choose us because having their wedding captured on film is AS important (and fairly often, MORE important) to them as photography. In fact, at least 50% book us before their photographer. I’m positive though that there are thousands of couples that do still view wedding film an unnecessary expense and that’s fine too. After all, it’s YOUR day so do it YOUR way. To us, when we got married, having the memories captured in both photography and film was way more important to us than any other part of the day so we scrapped the wedding cake, guest favours and spent next to nothing on flowers (we chose single wild flowers in antique vases, bottles and jars) in order to save a few bucks and put it towards our photography/film. In the end the things we scrapped weren’t noticed at all but our film is still a talking point with our friends and family today, our little girl has watched our wedding film in awe, we celebrate our anniversary by watching our film and one day our grandchildren will watch it too… that’s invaluable… to us anyway.
If our couples were to book you for their wedding, what sort of service can they expect?
We don’t just film a couple’s wedding day…. We’re also that extra set of eyes that help them with the personal touches and the advice–providers who give them the confidence along the planning process to celebrate exactly how they want to… pushing the boundaries to make sure their day is a reflection of them as individuals and their relationship together. We’ve had such great feedback from our couples that our advice was invaluable and that they were so pleased to take it on board. We take on a maximum of 40 weddings a year so that we have plenty of energy and passion for each couple and their big day… it’s not just a numbers game for us.
Being married and madly in love ourselves we are genuinely passionate about making sure to do other couples’ love stories justice with our films. Being married also means that we are so honest (sometimes brutally) with one another and value each other’s ideas that we don’t have to ‘sugar-coat’ our critiques. We will re-edit and re-edit until BOTH of us (a male and female perspective is invaluable) are 100% happy with every film so that helps too!
What are some of your favourite memories and experiences from previous weddings/couples you’ve worked with?
I don’t even know where to start! Our favourite weddings are those with killer speeches! We love hearing them on the day and we love being able to use them to tell the couple’s story through their film. As for experiences though… I have to say that being flown by helicopter up to the top of snowy mountains in Queenstown New Zealand for the photoshoot time was pretty unbelievable. This year alone we’ll be filming in England, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji so no doubt we’ll have be making more incredible memories and experiences doing what we love – and how humbling to be flown all over the place. Seriously lucky.
What’s is the best piece of advice when it comes to choosing a videographer?
Well this advice applies to photographers too actually. Make sure you genuinely LIKE them (as well as their work of course). You’re going to spend more time with your photographers and videographers than anyone else on your big day so make sure you can laugh and chat with them as a friend not just a ‘worker’. It will make your day much more fun and you’ll be way more relaxed which will show throughout your film and photos.
Finally, what’s your life quote/motto?
Laugh and feel gratitude every day because there is always someone worse off than you.
Big Wedding Film Love