The amazing cinematography work of 24 Frames Studio from China is well known worldwide. With wedding couples followers from many countries across the globe, they are the creme of the crop in their field, delivering high-end wedding cinematography that wow millions. But it’s not all about the product: the service, and the commitment of Team 24 Frames bring, to make your wedding film the best it can possibly be is a definite plus in the industry because you can’t go past personal service, and these guys love what they do ! Today we talk to 24 Frames Studio founders about their brand and what inspires them to continue this wonderful journey.
La Bride: Let’s welcome Cai Jin, Zhang Tu and the 24 Frames team! Thank you for joining La Bride Expert Insight Series. Can you share the growing story of 24 Frames? How did the business come about and what does the name imply?
Cai Jin: Making wedding films for the past ten years passes by in a blink of an eye. Every frame slips by akin to how movies cling to a part of our brains. 24 Frames is a terminology for the 24 pictures within every second, creating a film. Since the beginning, we vowed to deliver our best to these wedding films. Establishing 24 Frames came naturally as if it was destiny. We never treat our devoted clients lightly and when this earnest work attitude kicks in, naturally we deliver the best work.
The happiest moment is felt when the final edit comes to life, with our large fan base, the work often receive great response from the public through social media. It brings about an inner satisfaction that is indescribable.
Zhang Tu: In my opinion, everything buds from an interest. A lot of people solely assume that we saw a good business opportunity and jumped on the bandwagon. I was still in my uni during my first shoot back in 2004. My business partner Cai Jin invited me to shoot a friend’s wedding then. After the event, we took a look at our footage. Since we were still studying, we had that ‘researcher’ mindset. After a closer glance, we realised that they were better ways to deliver and more room to improve. This ignited a desire to create from within, causing an irreversible reaction. We continuously take part in wedding cinematography and improve along the way. When our works are better off, naturally we gain recognition and reputation, and popularity was not a worry if you have the quality. As the interest flourished into a passion, this simple intention became a part of 24 Frames and it grew into motivation for each film. Our hard work became fruitful in the presence of passion. I guess you could say we establish a feeling for it.La Bride: 24 Frames covers a vast range in the field of wedding cinematography, and your work is highly regarded by clients and the professionals around the world, especially for Chinese wedding cinema. What is your tip for success?Cai Jin: There is no tip that guarantees success. Karma works its way. With due hard work, comes great results. Till today, we dare not consider ourselves successful. I believe success derives from how many couples we helped attain a memorable wedding and how many team members reap their share of the reward. The journey is still long and we cherish it as we go along.
Zhang Tu: Actually, skills, composition, and beauty only make up 40% of the total work involved, or maybe less. Most of the time, it depends on the cinematographer and editor’s eye for detail and their take on the story. A monopod, a tripod, a few cameras and an ariel shot does not assure a good film, most importantly, you need to know what you want to shoot and what you plan to express. To achieve this, you must gather experiences daily and learn how to appreciate a better life. To do this with ease, self-realisation should be incorporated into the work. Success might be far off. However, this job does give you spiritual feedback. If you are willing to prioritise emotions, you can get a good shot anytime and through the happiness radiated, you get to be part of it, enjoying its positive vibes.
La Bride: For destination weddings, your weddings span different locations all across the globe. Many readers are interested. Can you explain a little what destination wedding cinematography is about? What’s the difference between a destination wedding shoot, and a local wedding video shoot?
Cai Jin: A destination wedding is where couples head overseas to take beautiful pictures. The landscape overseas is sometime extraordinary. A destination wedding is also an egocentric desire. Couples would like to use this opportunity to travel around the world. Although it is tiring, it is worth the hassle. Shoot video overseas is actually quite similar to a local one, the hardest part lies outside the videography itself. You got to handle all the problems you faced while producing the film alone, thus training various abilities of your own. Most couples nowadays long for their hometown wedding film to be in the same edit as their overseas footage, intersecting and interlinking. Emphasising emotions, you could start with real weddings as the base, reviving the whole love process. Truly a wedding film in a sense, it is the essence of a couple’s love story.
Zhang Tu: Everyone should be familiar with real wedding videos and destination wedding videos. These two have a similar concept built on love. However, a normal real wedding is a true art documentation, while a destination wedding film requires a little more crafter change in its storyline. So, we would have a script editor to write out the script. And the cinematographer becomes a director in the initial stages, taking on several tasks. Beautiful views and cultural aspects of an overseas shoot can set off the imagination, creating a beautiful piece of script.
La Bride: Your team always post a status when you are producing a destination love story film. If a couple reads your posts and decide they too want a destination experience, how would you recommend they prepare?
Cai Jin: For those who are interested, you should get some skin care beforehand. The wardrobe is the key as well. A good wardrobe wins. Do communicate with your videographer and provide information as understanding creates better results. Destination shoot could be tiring, but fear not, as experiencing more is always a part of life.
Zhang Tu: I recommend couples to get in touch with us as soon as possible for communication. By telling us their love story, we could deliver a script faster and fix on suitable dates for the video production.
La Bride: 24 Frames has helped many celebrities in the past to make great films about their weddings. However, most of your clients might not be a skilled actor, will this affect the video?
Cai Jin: Our skilled team have good communication skills. They will set up many discussions prior to the shoot, obtain the trust through friendship, allowing the couples to be more relaxed. That is why I can proudly say that even though you have bad acting skills, 24 Frames can metamorphose you into an actor.
Zhang Tu: This is not an issue. We focus on natural emotion. Besides chasing the beauty of it, we allow the couple their daily habits and their usual sense of humour. This reduces the stress, allowing a natural effect to emerge.
La Bride: In your opinion, what is required in a good wedding cinematography?
Zhang Tu: The view and culture. Not one could be missed. However, the most important subject should be the storyline and its emotions portrayed. After striping off the glory parts of a wedding video, we hope that this film still manages to leave a beautiful memory for our clients.
La Bride: Destination shoots are all set overseas, in LA or maybe London or Europe etc. How does your team choose a destination wedding spot? Do you all liase with the related sectors and vendors overseas?
Zhang Tu: For now, we focus on camera angles and the spot itself, seldom do we liase with vendors overseas.
La Bride: How long does a destination shoot take?
Zhang Tu: Usually around three days. Initially, 2-3 days are taken to prepare beforehand as we need to search a suitable location for our couple.
La Bride: Regardless of the beautiful, top quality work you deliver, 24 Frames have yet to cease in taking steps ahead. For the future, what are the short term and long term plans for 24 Frames?
Zhang Tu: 24 Frames brings positivity and documents blissful and touching moments. Due to its reputation, we are widely known in the field and out. Many clients also became lifelong friends. We enjoy what this job brings.
As for new steps, we created a new brand Oneday Films a year ago. This brand focuses on documenting important milestones in life. Whether it is a birthday, a new license, a proposal, a graduation or even a family tour, everything small could be given a special ceremony, and a story could be told from here. That’s the whole purpose of Oneday Films. Images are fleeting moments, videos are about the vibrant colours in life. When you age, these memories become a part you look upon fondly, as if it resurfaces. It is definitely an important thing.
Cai Jin: We have just created 5 sub brands. 24 Frames for high end weddings, Matchmax for mid range ones, Oneday for everyday achievements, Er Lu Academy and 24 Global travels. Under the influence of 24 Frames, these brands expand as well. A good brand stays and time endows a certain intangible value to it.
La Bride: Thank you very much Zhang Tu and Cai Jin for your exclusive views and insights shared with La Bride audience. We look forward to the great leap ahead with wedding cinematography industry under your leadership, thank you.