It happened by pure chance… In my early years, I was a prestigious writer of several lifestyle magazines in Moscow during the 90s. As the years passed, I started missing putting together good stories and exercising my creative writing side. Around 2002-2003 my best friend at the time offered me to develop the wedding video department within his photo company. We started, but I had couple of other projects going so it did not work. Several years later, my girl friend at the time asked me to re-do a movie for a client who was increasingly unhappy with their wedding video. Their video went through two different editors already. So, I did my own edited version of their story using their footage. It came out great and I remember how happy they were, laughing and crying watching it for the first time and thanking us. Right after that, I edited another wedding with the same results, and this how the whole story began. It was a lot of fun.
How long have you been in business
Full time – 10 years.
Overall – about 15 years.
On average how many weddings do you do each year
I used to do around 25 wedding movies each year, plus I supervised another 2 teams. But I was not happy with the quality and decided to do less for the sake of the final product. I shut down the multiple team business and today only offer our “Gleb Galkin Exclusive packages”.
I do max 10-12 weddings a year plus a few close to the heart Love Stories. But I stand behind every frame of each of my movies.
What is the one thing you love most about being a videographer
It’s a rare opportunity to be exposed to something wonderful and exciting that happens between two people. Others have to go to the movies to experience this magic. But in my profession this magic is like the air I breathe regularly. It’s great! And it’s an amazing life opportunity which I am very thankful to be part of.
Do you have a specific style?
One of my couples told me: You sell tears! That’s what you do! I think they nailed it!
I’ve been developing my style for years. I like my ability to create movies that flow easily and elegantly which makes them appeal and relate to feelings so easily. I try to capture my viewers from the very first frame and don’t let them go until the very end. I raise their feelings up and down, and get them ready for a climax near the end of the movie which guarantees joyful tears. It’s a great feeling to see people moved so emotionally by their own story – and it is their story… I am just a storyteller.
How would you describe your working style on the day?
It’s a mix of a deep listening and a martial art 😉
I don’t think people realize it, but the wedding day is a sequence of very unique moments within which, a lot of things happen. Any single moment a situation changes and every single moment there is a place, an angle, a lighting situation, a gesture, a pose, a smile, an emotion, anticipation and million other things which can be captured in a way that later on has a great potential to produce a strong emotional reaction in a viewer. I have to “feel the moment” and figure it out in split seconds as well as manage the work of two other people, since most of my projects are 3 cameraman projects, that often manage 5 running cameras at a time.
What are your favourite shots?
My favorites are those moments when clients let me see the depth of their true feelings for each other. These rarely reside on the surface. You can say – my favorite shots are those ones which I have zero control over. It’s something profound that happens on the other side of the lens.
Some people are very shy and it’s not in their nature to expose anything, especially their deep and intimate feelings. But with years of experience, I taught myself to see it through the camera and collect those moments throughout the day very carefully. These exact moments combined with proper music and knowledge of how to put together a good story, are the pillars of my style and my wedding movies.
I used to love staged shots, where I can control everything. But over the years I lost appreciation for them in the context of weddings. A nice staged shot takes time and demands to sacrifice a lot of other genuine moments that life offers amply on any wedding day. We still do a certain amount of staged shots. But for my movies I prefer a lot of those unique and genuine moments – so I concentrate on them much more. After 10 years I know those moments are timeless for my couples as well.
What are the biggest mistakes couples make when choosing their wedding videographer
Couples usually get overloaded with information about each and every part of their weddings and choosing a good videographer takes time. A couple needs to watch, in my case, a Full Feature Film, not only a trailer or a short, to be able to make an educated decision. Not every couple has this luxury and it’s completely understandable in our fast paced life. But those couple who do, are well rewarded afterwards with great memories captured in a very unique way.
What do you think distinguishes your work from others?
My Feature Films and Love Stories!
I mastered the format that for the lack of a better word I simply call “A Feature Film”.
Years ago, I started having an internal dialog with myself; what would be the movie I would be happy to create for my own wedding? I started looking around and every movie I saw had something lacking somewhere.
Then there were years of intense learning and importing different visual story telling techniques. And I started watching a lot of accomplished filmmakers and traveling to all the relevant seminars from the best wedding videographers and cinematic storytellers around the world. From that, I extracted a lot of little things I would love to have in my own movies and then figured out how to get them on the wedding day. At one point I started being very happy with the final results. I like my ability to create movies that flow nicely and effortlessly. It sounds simple, but it’s actually a very hard and challenging thing to do. I am sure my Feature Films have a unique timeless feel and many generations after will be enjoying watching these wedding stories.
What advise can you give to the 2017 Brides & Grooms
Take a look at what’s around and decide if having a good memory is something that’s precious for you. If your answer is – yes, than educate yourself. Don’t jump at the first nice trailer you see. Usually a wedding is an important milestone in life and there is no better medium to convey all that happened on the day and your life in a broader scale, than a well crafted Wedding Feature Film.
What are the video trends for 2017?
They are something old, something new and something borrowed. Pun intended 😉
Something new: Aerial shots become a new standard.
We started using aerial back in the winter of 2013 from the early days of do-it-yourself kits. Back then they were not as evolved as they are today. Much shorter fly times and flight setup time were too long for wedding days – it was very tough to use in the fast paced wedding environment, but we tried. We used it a lot for our Love Stories and it elevated them to an entirely new level. And we decided to find a way to use aerial in all our Wedding Feature Films. We invested heavily in a custom solution. The amount of gadgets that we bought to make it all work was twice the price of the drone itself, but it paid off in the quality and style of our movies. Having 4 years of aerial experience, today we are able to get amazing shots others can only dream of taking.
Today drones are much simpler to use and way more stable. Some have features such as obstacle avoidance built in, so there is little excuse not to use aerial any more. Like sliders and steadicams have become inseparable part of any wedding day and defined a standard look of the wedding movies at the time, aerial is next technology innovation in line to define the standard.
Something Old: Tell a better story.
The trend that was, is and will always be, is tell a good story. Shooting better stories becomes increasingly challenging, considering that everyone is now “smart phone videographer”… plus considering the amount of good video bits and movies that comes out every day. It makes it more and more important to craft movies that has substance.
Something borrowed: the use of client-shot video bits.
It’s not just the couple which are our clients any more – it’s the entire wedding crowd that is our client – because literally each and every person now takes videos and often these video bits are priceless.
In 2015-2016 almost 100% of my final Feature Films included some smart phone videos one way or another. Starting from remote interviews, skype sessions recordings, wishes from remote relatives, skits developed from video bits shot partially or entirely on guests smart phones and so on. It’s undoubtedly a growing and very rewarding and exciting trend in the industry. My advice here to both couples and professionals – benefit from it; do not exclude the power of video taken by friends, guests, relatives and anyone around you. There is a genuine power in it. Couples will treasure it for years and years to come.
Please provide any other information you feel would be useful for this blog about you and your services
Two years ago laVcinema pioneered a very interesting approach on the wedding market – CinePhotography.
Briefly what it is – you don’t need to hire photographers for your wedding day any more.
LaVcinema will shoot your wedding onto our 4K cameras and each 4k video frame is technically a legit picture which can be printed in perfect quality in your photo album or blown up to a 17”x22” print. And since we shoot in cinematic format of 24 frames per second, with 4K video we literally have 24 pictures each second from just one camera to choose from. Now, remember that that there are 3-5 cameras recording pretty much all the time…
We introduced new procedures and made changes to our shooting style in order to make it possible to build albums and slideshows in post-production to the level I’d be happy with. After the 2 full seasons I can confidently tell you that CinePhotography is a great technique for Weddings, since true capturing-the-moment now became technically available through shooting 4K videos. I am in love with it.
Take a look at our last year CinePhoto demo and decide for yourself.