Melbourne-based videographer John Kurt creates heartwarming, touching and emotion-driven wedding films that have the power to transport couples back in time, allowing them to relive one of the most magical days of their life. He skillfully captures the quiet moments, the tears, the joy, the energy, the love and encapsulates them in a timeless video that becomes a cherished keepsake for newlyweds and their families. In a conversation with us, John remembers his first steps in the industry, talks about his creative approach and choosing music for his films.
Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you find your way into the world of wedding videography?
When I was a teenager I used to make home movies with my family’s camcorder. I just loved to capture things — holidays, birthdays, visits from overseas family. I’d also direct terrible home-made films and edit them all on iMovie. My sister was often the star. I loved capturing things on film. I connected with the format from an early age and it led me to studying film and television at university and then I fell into weddings and have loved it ever since.
What is your approach?
To be an observer. To document. I like to stay out of things for the most part and let the day take its course. I do offer guidance when needed but I feel the moment I start telling people what to do is the moment the video doesn’t feel authentic.
What do you love the most about filming weddings? What are your favourite moments to capture?
It’s a happy day, full of love and lots of emotions. It’s not often we get to spend a day with everyone we love in one place and I understand the weight of that. When the couple is able to live in the moment and aren’t worrying too much about the timeline, the photos, the cake…just soaking everything in and focusing on the love around them, it’s magic.
Which part of the wedding do you believe is a hidden gem for beautiful footage?
The congratulations after the ceremony.
Do you remember the very first wedding film you shot? Knowing what you do now, what piece of advice would you give to your younger self just starting out?
My first wedding was terrifying! The pressure can be very intense at certain times but you learn to adapt and trust your judgement and abilities. You can’t be everywhere at once but you can still capture amazing moments in the places that you are.
It’s easy to see what everyone else is doing in the industry and think that’s what couples want or that’s what you ought to do as well. My advice would be to focus on your own work. Focus on what you enjoy creating and what you would want to watch for your own wedding film. Stay true to your vision and a couple will connect with you and your work. There’s no need to please everyone.
Editing is such an art! How do you determine the narrative or flow when piecing together a wedding video?
For me, I try to keep things as restrained as possible. I don’t like wedding films that are over edited. My favourite wedding films are the ones you’ve seen filmed by a relative on an old camcorder. I try to find a balance that is still produced and put together but also gives a sense of nostalgia and authenticity without a lot of the bells and whistles. I like lots of space and letting a moment have its time on screen. I draw a lot of my inspiration from music.
How do you decide on the music for the wedding video? Are there any particular music styles or tracks that you love incorporating into wedding videos?
Music is and has always been a big part of my life. I grew up in a household where we had great music playing through the speakers. My family are all musicians and singers (including me) so it’s a big part of my life. It’s one of my favourite parts of creating a wedding film. It’s also one of the hardest. You learn a lot about a couple after spending a wedding day with them and I draw a lot of inspiration from that time. Lately I’ve been including a bit more jazz music into my films as I like that it feels timeless. I’m always leaning towards the timeless feeling. The great thing about a wedding film is that it can have many genres of music as a wedding day has many different stories to tell. But ultimately it has to feel organic and make sense to the day and the couple.
Do you have a favorite season or time of year to film weddings, and what makes it so special?
I love long Australian evenings with soft warm light in the summer. Even better when the reception is set outside when the sun is setting.
What are the top three things you'd suggest couples keep in mind when choosing the perfect videographer for their wedding?
Aside from your partner and photographer, you spend more time with your videographer than anyone else. So it’s important to set aside time to either meet them or set up a zoom call. Your photographer and videographer should also work well together. It’s a bonus if they have been proven to work well together in the past.
Lots of photographers/videographers have varying working styles. Some are more vocal on the day and others not so much. How they work will really impact how you remember your wedding day. Make sure you know what their approach is and if they match you.
Lastly, if you could film any celebrity wedding, who would be the lucky couple?