Ian and I were very excited when Bakersfield Life Magazine called us to do an article about our business. We grew up in Bakersfield and also started our business there, so it seams fitting. Each year Bakersfield Life dedicates a part of their edition to weddings. They cover everything from wedding planning to catering. From photo booths to real couples’ wedding proposals (including our clients Kristen & Ross who are getting married later this year). We were lucky enough to be a featured business! (And it’s even more exciting, as this is our first publication to feature our own photos!) This article is all about our business and our philosophy behind wedding films. This is a fantastic article about what we do was written by Gene Garaygordobil, I’ve posted it below in case you wanted to read up on us. And of course, some images of the article in print! Flip through the gallery and enjoy!
Watching a wedding film from Couture Motion takes you away from whatever you were doing just moments before, and pulls you into the emotion and experiences shared by the happy couple on-screen.
To say it’s like no other wedding video you’ve ever seen is an understatement. The highlight film is more like an extended Hollywood feature film trailer, leaving you wanting to run out to watch the entire motion picture.
And that’s exactly what Megan and Ian Swanson want you to feel. They recreate the wedding day for not only the couple, but for everyone who watches. The film serves to tell the journey the couple went through, including the love story leading up to that special day, as well as moments of the wedding itself.
Megan and Ian have a very interesting story, themselves. They met as high schoolers acting in community theater in Bakersfield, despite the fact Megan went to school at Stock- dale High, and Ian attended West High.
Both attended Cal State Fullerton, where Megan got her bachelor’s in fine arts in musical theater, and Ian received his bachelor’s degree in directing. Then, Ian went on to Columbia University in New York where he received his master’s in film. Meanwhile, Megan was acting on a national tour.
While both lived in New York City, Megan developed a love of photography, and Ian followed his passion for filmmaking. During that time, Ian landed a job filming a wedding.
“I thought it was an interesting way to create art, while providing value for people,” he said.
Soon, the couple began to film together, finding it a good way to merge their passions.
“We create pieces of art that matter to people,” Ian said, sitting at his desk in his downtown Bakersfield office. “We sought to create a film for each couple, really to recreate the experience for them, while telling the story the couple went through, and allowing them to relive it,” he said.
They are quick to point out they are not videographers. “We consider ourselves filmmakers,” Megan said. Ian said they treat each job as if they are creating a film.
Wedding films should be watched and cherished for years to come. The wedding films they create do just that.
In addition to the highlight and feature films, they also offer other films to add to your collection such as the love story, the interview featurette, the full ceremony fea- turette, save the date films, thank you films and many more.
“One of our most popular and signature film elements are our interviews,” Megan said. “We sit the couple down individually and interview them about their relationship milestones. With these memorable stories of how the couple met, fell in love, and got engaged, we interweave the interviews with the material we film on the wedding day, in order to provide a prologue of sorts to the wedding films.”
“We also offer a love story, which is a more elaborate set of interviews intermixed with footage of the couple enjoying a slice of life Saturday together,” she said. “This love story is filmed and delivered before the wedding and often shown during the rehearsal dinner or right before the couple’s grand entrance. That way, you can get everyone invested in the couple’s special day,” Megan said.
The Swansons only do 15 to 20 wedding films a year, because sometimes the relationship with their clients can last for a year or more. And 90 percent of the time, it’s just the two of them who will be filming a wedding, although sometimes a third shooter is involved.
Their clientele ranges from small intimate weddings to huge affairs, such as one the couple shot in New York at a private estate castle.
“We go all over the place, and do all levels of events,” Megan said. “We stylize to each couple.”
When the Swansons started their business in October 2009, they started to focus on weddings, but have also done small family documentaries, and have slowly broadened out to other things, Ian said.
Although they moved back to Bakersfield to launch their business, Ian said as far as clientele goes, it’s not strictly Bakersfield.
“We just did one in Mexico,” he said. The couple has filmed many in Central California, New York City and even Minneapolis. As a matter of fact, Couture Motion did only one wedding in Bakersfield in 2011.
Couture Motion also offers wedding photography.
“We have hybrid packages for our clients, so that they can get photos and video from our company,” Megan said. “It has become increasingly more popular with our clients.”
Despite their feature-film caliber wedding films, the couple actually has a low-key, style blend of documentary and narrative film.
“Our main focus is the experience,” Megan said. “We don’t want to get in the way of the couple on that special day.
“We don’t carry a whole bunch of equipment and lights,” she said. “And sometimes, they actually forget we are there.”
Megan said they are not limited to weddings, and will basically do any kind of film.
“We recently went out to South Dakota to film a family that just began saying, “I love you,” to each other. Apparently, they had never said it before.”
Those kinds of stories make it necessary for the Swansons to become intimate with their clients.