Being an amateur in the genre, you might be convinced that shooting a perfect wedding video is not more difficult than filming a short movie. If so, think of it in these terms – just like a feature film, a video of newlyweds sharing their first kiss should entice the warmest of feelings; the only form with similar authenticity is a documentary, but even the greatest of docudrama cinematographers are rarely faced with the same problems as wedding videographers. Long before the final cut has been delivered, these artists are expected to capture a day and make it into a dream. A perfect one.
Fighting the Challenges
No bride and groom have ever wanted anything but. As a celebration of love, but also of hard work, a wedding day should be an excursion into a fantasy world that knows no troubles, hardships or mistakes. When filmed, such a day should be worthy of an Academy Award.
But there is the tricky part, as you’ve probably assumed – rare is the wedding where everything runs smoothly, and the number of possible hurdles only increases with a guest list. Apart from having to be everywhere at the same time and able to compose on the spot, before an actual creative video editing services even takes place, a wedding videographer often has to read the soon to be wedded couple’s mind, meet their exact, but seldom clearly expressed demands and, in addition to all that, work around the overly excited relatives and make them satisfied as well.
And that’s just our typical special day shutterbugs. Once they are employed for shooting a Kerala wedding, the plot starts to irretrievably thicken.
The Kerala Spectacle
Whatever you might believe, California hasn’t been The Golden State for quite some time now. All the shiny treasures have been pouring down to Kerala, and its wealthiest industrialists have no shame in collecting them. As a result, the Kerala wedding has become the controversial epitome of extravaganza, blatant lavishness and poor taste. As this cultural phenomenon continues to bewilder and provoke both the Western and Eastern public, the Kerala bridal silk only becomes more and more expensive.
First conceived in tycoon minds of the Kerala’s social crème de la crème, these lush wedding ceremonies have already become the most exorbitantly priced happenings in the world. Instead of the “event”, the word frequently used to describe these shenanigans of jewellery and golden armours, Aston Martins and elephants, 55 Crore setups and 30000+ guest list, is short and simply, the “show”.
And that’s exactly why Kerala nuptials have been so widely criticized – rather than the authenticity of human emotion, their purpose is to portray unnecessary falsehood and brazen opulence.
Broadcasting the Opulence
With all that in mind, just try and imagine how bizarre the Kerala wedding video might look! If not capable, simply google it! From rehearsals and preparations to the reception and ceremony, these events usually last up to three weeks and take place at a number of different venues, each of them redesigned and decorated by Bollywood experts.
For average filmmakers, such luxurious, long-lasting and overly crowded affairs are pretty close to an impossible feat. Aside from a pair of young, beautiful and richly embellished people, a videographer is to record all the grandiosity of both the bride’s and groom’s family mansions, the sparkling splendour of little details, the spectacle behind the gift-giving ceremony, flamethrower entertainment and, since money is not an issue, whatever else an extravagant mind can come to imagine.
Rather than a typical guide on how to shoot a wedding, Kerala newlyweds actually need an entire filmmaking crew, equipped with both cutting edge gear and mastery in the field. A challenging feat indeed. And what’s truly bizarre is that such an investment is indispensable – if not made into a picture show for all the less fortunate to talk about, would a Kerala wedding have any purpose at all?