Monday, April 11, 2011

Save the Date: Best of the Best

You guys know I'm a save the date video fan, and I do love watching them.  From the boring crap to the professionally crafted, I love seeing couples express themselves as they invite their guests to share their special day.  Every one is unique and, to me at least, cooler than a traditional STD.

I've been looking at more save the date videos than usual lately, and I wanted to share with you a few that I think are truly exceptional.  You know, besides mine.

Because there's an awful lot of crappy, boring STD videos out there that might mean something to the couple but don't mean much to anyone else.  The following videos transcend the "Hey look, you're on TV (or YouTube as the case may be)" excitement that most STD videos rely on to interest their audience and actually captivate complete strangers.

Jeff and Erin's EPIC Wedding Trailer needs no introduction, and since I've already posted it as the inspiration for mine, I'll just say that this is by far the best STD video I have ever seen.


My love for Tom and Eva's Wedding Invitation may be primarily based on my film major background and love of silent films.  Nonetheless, I've seen others like it, and none capture the same level of quirky, cute, and funny simplicity.  Plus, it's short, a trait most STD videos need to acquire.

The Invitation is professionally done.  Well, the first two are professionally done also, but this one is really professionally done.  As in, most people can't make a computer-generated animation STD video.  Still, it's very cute.  You may want to watch their proposal video first though.

So, what do all of these videos have in common?  Professional help.  Maybe that's what it takes to know what can captivate an audience and what is just too personal.  And obviously, the professional production looks a lot better.

But if you want to make a save the date video and do not know any filmmakers, there are some things you can do to make it interesting without professional help.

1.  Have a plot:  That is what interests me most about all 3 of these.  There is a clear idea behind them, they explore the idea, and it comes to a conclusion.  You don't have to have a distinct plot, just an easily discernible idea that you can develop.
2.  Film outside:  One of the hardest things to overcome without professional editing is the way a film looks.  No matter what you're doing, you need as much light as you can find, so do it outside on a sunny day, and it will look so much better.
3.  Go silent:  It's really difficult to cut out background noise without help.  Making a silent movie and setting it to music helps avoid any problems with noise you might have.  If you must have dialogue, do it in voice over.  You'll get less static in the background.
4.  Stop motion helps:  As I said in a previous post, one of the best ways to make a save the date video look good is by using stop motion animation.  If you do this, keep it short and simple, and make sure you'll be able to have good lighting.  I'd still do it outside if possible.
5.  Keep it short:  This is probably the most important thing you can do for a home-made STD video.  People get bored easily.  They get bored a lot more easily if what they are watching has low production values.  Keeping it short helps keep their interest through the whole film.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again:  I love these videos.  I think it's such a cute and creative way to invite people to your wedding without spending much money.  Nonetheless, you don't want to bore your guests, so following these tips will help you make a STD video that people will want to watch over and over even if it's not done professionally.

And of course, your guests will love a video that illustrates your personalities.

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