The Cinematographer

Photo: Danny Kim

Adam Forgione, Owner and Creative Director of Pennylane Productions

Do you think wedding videos will ever replace wedding photography?
Absolutely not. They’re completely separate art forms. They’re both necessary for an event as big as a wedding.

Necessary? How do you justify paying for both a photographer and a videographer?
The reason a client should have a feature film—we don’t refer to it as video, that sounds corny—is that it’s going to create emotion. It’s going to make them laugh and cry and get them a lot more emotional after it’s over and for the rest of their lives. We want to deliver an exuberant experience that they could never get from seeing photos in an album.

How did you become a wedding videographer—I mean, cinematographer?
[Laughs] I started out by editing my own wedding video, using amateur footage from my friends. I’m sure I’d be embarrassed to watch it now. But it was definitely the spark to create this business.

So how can I tell if I’ve found a high-quality cinematographer or a hokey videographer?
First thing is, you have to watch an example of what you’re going to get, in its entirety. If you don’t ask to see a whole video, most companies will plop in a demo of the ten cutest brides of 2010 and the most emotional weddings they’ve ever shot, and you’ll think, Wow, these guys are amazing! But then, your wedding is not all the cutest brides. It’s just you, and that’s that.

There are a lot of lame wedding videos out there.
There are a lot of companies that produce extremely mediocre work. It’s embarrassing. A lot of clients think, Oh my God, there’s going to be a big camera, with that light, and the video guy is so annoying and corny. They don’t realize that there are some companies that take it very seriously and can produce something cool. What we do is create emotion—you watch a piece and cry, and you don’t even know the people getting married. And when I put your family and your world in there, the emotion is tenfold. That’s what we want to deliver.

Do you ever get good blooper reels?
Those are hard. A blooper at a wedding is when the flowers are the wrong color and the bride is in the back crying. She might not want to remember that.

Good point. So what kind of unusual things do you do in addition to the feature film?
We do a same-day edit, which is a recap film played before the night is over. That’s the wow factor that really blows the guests away. We also recently did a seventeen-minute motion picture, with a film crew and an original screenplay for the bride and groom. It was all acted—they had to rehearse their lines for weeks—and we had five ten-hour days of filming. We showed it at the wedding. It was pure entertainment.

stay for the credits

“Ask to watch an entire video from beginning to end. If you’re bored, it isn’t the right company for you.”
Photo: Corbis Premium RF/Alamy


The Cinematographer