Neon.Ballroom – José Santos
Before I write anything about the film itself I need to mention that Jose Santos has been a great inspiration for my work. His films have opened my eyes in way that made my completely change the way I think about wedding videography. Watching the films made by Jose is simply a visual journey into his own universe.
Did you ever watch a movie that was so captivating, intense and visually astonishing that made your heart stop for a second? But when you were to tell your friends what the movie was really about you had a hard time finding the correct words? Well that’s how Jose’s films make me feel,
and you know what? I love that feeling. He told me that: “I do not consider myself as a storyteller so neither my videos nor video-concepts have that in mind. I think my instinct always leads me to recreate a wedding video into a visual and emotional experience.”
That’s where Jose Santos shines the most. The Neon Ballroom is far beyond original – it sets new standards and boundaries to all wedding videography. In this film you will not find a chronological approach that concentrates on the venue, bride’s dress, speech or even the story per se; but you will be taken by force and against your will into a surreal universe, where the choice of cuts, color correction and use of music will slap you straight into your face and yell at you:” wake up, it was all a dream”
The whole film is a combination of hand held or semi-static tight shots ranging all the way from chokers up to cowboy shots, only exception being the few drone shots along with the street/train footage.
There are many ways how you can frame your subject but the right choice of lenses and distance can really make the viewer experience more. With all those tight shots you get the feeling that you are right there with the couple almost feeling their touch and breath. When you are almost too close, Jose cuts the film with a drone shot to give you a little break and space to inhale the film better. All in all the cinematography is not complex or technically difficult but is right on point
and emphasized by the amazing edit and sound design. Isn’t it the hardest to master?