Why I went to the UK’s first Wedding Filmmaker Retreat


A couple of weeks ago, I went to RISE, the UK’s first wedding filmmaker retreat. Attended by 75 wedding filmmakers, RISE was a 3 day event down in Cornwall featuring two full days of talks and workshops on everything to do with wedding videography: from marketing, to shooting, to editing. As I’m sure you can imagine, the tickets for this didn’t come cheap, but it was an investment that I didn’t hesitate to make, and that’s for two reasons.

Wedding Filmmaker Retreat RISE

1) The Education Element

As someone who has only been a wedding filmmaker for a couple of years, I still feel I have a lot to learn. I’m really happy with how my films have progressed and improved since I began filming weddings, but I don’t think it’s ever possible to know too much. Being able to see how other people shoot and edit weddings was an invaluable experience; not only did it affirm that some of my own methods are worthwhile, it also gave me some new ideas and tips on how to make my films better. Even seeing other people’s work that I didn’t like, and hearing about others’ approaches that I don’t agree with, was useful, because it helped me to focus and consolidate my own approach to wedding filmmaking.

There was also definitely an element of inspiration to RISE. As you shoot more and more weddings, I think it’s easy to get into a bit of a routine and to lose a bit of that focus and passion you once had. But being stuck at a Cove for a few days with so many talented filmmakers was incredibly inspirational. Three full days hearing people talk about what they do, seeing others’ films, and discussing our different approaches left me feeling eager to dive into filming my next wedding.

Wedding Filmmaker Retreat RISEA talk from Pixel about moving away from established trends.
Wedding Filmmaker Retreat RISEPhoto courtesy of Jennie Breame from Unique Visuals – www.uniquevisuals.co.uk

2) The Social Element

Being stuck at that Cove had another, unexpected effect too. I thought I was going to RISE for the education element; I wanted to make my films better and learn from others. But the biggest benefit for me was in fact the relationships that were made there. 

Wedding Filmmaker Retreat RISEPhoto courtesy of Jennie Breame from Unique Visuals – www.uniquevisuals.co.uk

Being a wedding filmmaker can be a lonely job – I mostly shoot weddings alone, and the rest of my working life is spent editing them (again, alone). RISE provided an opportunity to socialise with a lot of talented filmmakers – some I knew already, and some I didn’t. It was a chance to talk to other like-minded individuals about an industry that I’m sure my friends and family are tired of hearing about. I can honestly say I’ve come back from RISE with a long list of people I can now call friends, and while that’s good for me from a social aspect, it’s also good business sense; forging these networks means that I’ve also come away with a list of people that I’d trust to work with me on a wedding day, and to turn to if – worst-case-scenario – something (illness or otherwise) prevented me from being able to shoot a wedding one day.

Wedding Filmmaker Retreat RISE

When I reflect back on RISE, I remember the workshops, the presentations, the 3am chats about the best way to record ceremonies… but mostly I just feel inspired. There are so many of us in this industry, and everybody has their different take on it. I feel like I have a clear sense of what my take looks like, and I’m excited to refine that over the coming season.

2019 wedding season, let’s go.

Wedding Filmmaker Retreat RISE


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