Film & Video Production Blog

Wedding Video Manchester: Top 5 First Dance Songs 2015

Are you a bride about to be married in the exciting year that is 2015? Struggling with ideas about what signature track should be for your first dance? Then let us at Cosmic Joke, the Manchester wedding video production company help you decide by looking at the top first dance songs 2015.

1. Sam Smith – Stay With Me

Sam Smith’s popularity is ever on the increase, the male Adele with the Grammies to boot! With his beautiful almost angelic voice swaying through the dance floor, you and your partner will get everyone crying before the song’s out!


2. Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud

We’re pretty convinced that anything Ed does could be classed as a top 5 first dance song 2015…the boy can do no wrong and this song seems perfect for the opening dance! Like Sam Smith, he’s a good British singer/songwriter rep and we love that! Plus…if you choose this, then you technically have a dance all ready for you to learn straight from the video. Ballet anyone?


3. Ellie Goulding – Love Me Like You Do

The only female on our top 5 first dance songs 2015 list, we thought that this might be a sure fire set winner for this year’s weddings. Not only do the lyrics fit beautifully to your wedding soundtrack, it also happens to be the official song for the one and only Fifty Shades of Grey film out this year. Why not record your wedding with a backing from the most alternative chick flick the world (or at least all women who’ve read it) has apparently been waiting for?!


4. John Legend – All of Me

No matter what John Legend sings, he emanates love and beauty with his amazing soulful voice. This is one of his latest and it’s definitely going to be part of many a bride’s top 5 first dance songs this 2015. Any song that has lyrics such as…

Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections
Give your all to me
I’ll give my all to you
You’re my end and my beginning

is always going to be popular with a newly wed couple that have just vowed to spend the rest of their lives together through thick and thin and with anything that’s thrown at them! We’re not going to lie, it’s the most exciting song to pair with your happy wedding footage, but it’s soppy and romantic and that’s key for some!


5. Tom Odell – Grow Old with Me

The ultimate first dance song of 2015 surely with lyrics like these? I like to present myself as modern woman, independent and capable of doing whatever, but the idea of my other half telling me that he wants to grow old with me…it melts me every time. I can only guess I’m not alone in this sentiment and as a result, something that poignant will surely be a winner for many a first dance this year!


So…if any of our top 5 first dance songs 2015 take your fancy for your wedding video, or if you’re wanting to know more about our wedding video services, then please get in touch with us here – we’d love to hear from you and share your special day, however you choose to soundtrack it!

Wedding Video Manchester: Alternative Wedding Videos

Wedding videos are slowly becoming a key staple in any bridal preparations…still not a must like the flowers, the dress, the venue or the photographer, but all the same, there is a rise in the amount of brides who choose to have video documentation of their special day. But things have vastly changed from the original, shaky and very cheesy 80s style wedding video! As a wedding video production company Manchester, we want to show you how alternative wedding videos are the way forward and will definitely make your day even more special!


1. Mixed Medias

As alternative wedding videos go, this is one of our favourites! It can all be done after wedding and you can still retain the ‘normal’ footage, but it’s good to get experimenting! Think nostalgic home movies, grainy, red tinted footage and image that in your wedding video. It’s like heaps of nostalgia heaped into your film without going back years and years to create it! It’s trendy and it’s fun and the end result is beautiful!


2. Save-the-Date Videos

If you’re not wanting to be too experimental with the special day video, then another way to have some fun is with a quirky save-the-day video. Not quite what you were thinking when we said alternative wedding videos? Well it can still feature heavily in your wedding package! Including a save-the-date video can feature on your final video to show your journey as couple from engagement right through to your first dance! And this video can really have your personality stamped all over it! It can be funny, serious, short, long, black or white or full of colour – it can be a scene recreated from your favourite romcom or something that ties in to the overall theme of your wedding. The possibilities are endless and we’re here to help make it happen. And then spread it wherever you like with the click of a button!



3. Cinematic Styles

At Cosmic Joke, we pride ourselves on being filmmakers, not just wedding videographers…therefore creating beautiful cinematic videos is our forte! We have all sorts of tricks and tools that will help create a truly alternative wedding video that will capture your special day, whether it be dramatic angles, mixing black and white with colour shots, adding a film grain, slow motion shots, even a staged dramatic embrace between the bride and groom…Bogart and Bacall eat your heart out! With an experienced filmmaker behind the camera, you definitely won’t be disappointed with the end product!



4. Same-Day Edit

As far as alternative wedding videos go, this one is exactly as it sounds – we shoot your video throughout your day, from walking down the aisle right through to your first dance and then whilst you and your guests continue to party on the dance floor, we get to work and put the highlights of your day together as a preview. A sneak peak at what the real thing and a cheeky addition to your reception entertainment!



5. GoPro Cameras

For those not familiar with GoPros, they are a unique pocket sized high-definition action camcorders, often used in extreme-action video photography. Not sure where they fit in your classy wedding?! Don’t worry, they’re so incredibly versatile and small that they can be placed virtually anywhere without being seen and capture anything you want! This could be on a drone flying above your wedding party or hidden in your bouquet of flowers, on the groom’s head or even the vicar’s…anywhere! The possibilities are endless and it gives you a perspective of your wedding that a videographer couldn’t even dream of capturing without the aide of some serious swish kit!



So…if any of these alternative wedding videos take your fancy, or if you’re wanting to know more about our wedding video services, then please get in touch with us here – we’d love to hear from you and share your special day, wherever it may be!



Post Production Manchester: Importing R3D Files into Premiere Pro CC

We here at Cosmic Joke love music videos. Watching music videos, making music videos, dreaming about music videos…

Most recently we had the pleasure of filming a music video for The Dunwells latest single, We Are The Lucky Ones. The band wanted a video that matched the sincerity of the song, a video that told a story of hope and triumph through adversity. So we brought them out pitch, about a young boy obsessed with swimming who, against his fathers wishes, pursues his dream of competing in the local swimming competition (stay tuned for our Production Blog coming soon!)

Still from music video from Post Production Manchester Importing R3D files into Premiere Pro CC blog

As the music video is entirely narrative based, we knew we needed to film it with cinematic qualities in mind. As a result, we got our hands on the new Red Phantom, capable of shooting in 4k resolution and at 100 frames per second. With this weapon in our arsenal, it meant we could capture the swimming shots in wonderful slow motion.

Still of Red Camera from Post Production Manchester Importing R3D files into Premiere Pro CC blog

But as the Notorious B.I.G once said, “Mo Money, Mo Problems”, and so it was important for us to ensure, prior to shooting a single frame, that the workflow would not suffer.

For those who don’t know, Red cameras create footage in a format called R3D files. These files are very large in size, and have a particular file structure. In their own words, R3D files “…seamlessly auto-segments into 4gb files”. What this means is this: to ensure that the files the camera creates are compatible with partition limitations on HD’s (such as FAT32, which only allows 4gb files or less to transfer), the clips will split into multiple files. So for example, if you’re shooting a dialogue scene which lasts a couple of minutes, you’ll find the clip has been split into multiple pieces automatically.

Screen grab of segmented clips from Post Production Manchester Importing R3D files into Premiere Pro CC blog

Whilst this is great for moving the footage around, it can be a faff when it comes to actually getting the clips into editing softwares and editing them. Thankfully, we found a workflow that suited importing R3D files into Premiere Pro CC.

There are many ways to import footage, easily the most popular way is to hit Command I and select the files/folders you want to import, or imply drag it straight from the operating system window. Doing this with R3D files, however, can create a mess, as it’s bringing in all the information as it appears on the operating system (that is to say, clips that have been segmented due to length). This results is multiples of the same files being imported, a general lack of order within the bins themselves. The last thing you wanna do after shooting, dumping and logging your footage is to have to THEN manually go through it all within Premiere Pro CC.

Still of messy clip bin from Post Production Manchester Importing R3D files into Premiere Pro CC blog

Thankfully, theres a simpler way, and it’s by using the Media Browser. The Media Browser is a way of accessing you entire operating system info, including external HD’s, from within Premiere Pro CC itself.

Still of media browser from Post Production Manchester Importing R3D files into Premiere Pro CC blog

Once more, because it’s reading from the point of view of Premiere Pro CC, it automatically acknowledges what date it needs to bring in, and what it doesn’t. As a result, if you navigate to where you R3D files are, you’ll find that it ignores all the excess metadata clips, and instead registers them as one solid clip, just as if you’d shot it on a DSLR.

Still of clips in media browser from Post Production Manchester Importing R3D files into Premiere Pro CC blog Still of Imported clips from Post Production Manchester Importing R3D files into Premiere Pro CC blog

Lovely isn’t it? We love when a plan comes together.

Special probs go to this guy for showing us how it was done! Stay tuned for another blog about shooting the music video for The Dunwells, and click here to check out all our previous music videos.

Wedding Video Manchester: Wedding Video Extras

As any Manchester wedding video company will know, it’s that time of year when all of the requests start coming through for wedding videographers. Dozens of very lucky engaged couples get in touch, asking about services and what we can offer them to make their day extra special! There’s lots of us out there, so why do we think we at Cosmic Joke are a cut above the rest??

Simply put, we provide the best of both worlds…we’re filmmakers AND we’re documentary makers…put them together in the form of an excellent male and female team and you’ve got yourself a cinematic document of your day! Not just your average wedding video…something a whole lot more top notch! Still not convinced?! Then let’s discuss our top 5 wedding video extras that we have to offer…these will set your video a cut above the rest we promise!


1. Bride and Groom Preparations

This is one of our favourites for sure! It’s all about the detail: the veil draped over a chair, the dress hanging up, waiting to be put on, the blushing bride sharing her last few single hours with her best friends, laughing over endless glasses of champagne! The list goes on!! There’s something very special about being allowed into this intimate part of the day and sharing in the electric atmosphere amongst the bride and groom and their closest friends. Be assured, like with our all our wedding video services, our wedding video extras like this will never be intrusive, but rather just help others share in the exciting early hours of your special day.


2. Guest Messages

This is always fun to do, for everyone involved! Every bride always says how fast the day goes and what a blur it is – you spend all your time going from guest to guest, giving your thanks and yet it still proves difficult as everything else is going on as well! Speeches, cake cutting, first dance – it’s an endless blur! But don’t forget that your guests want to speak to you just as much and can appreciate your being stretched thin! So this wedding video extra is perfect! Guests have the opportunity to speak to the camera, leave a message, tell a joke, sing you a song or even just say how much they loved the day! We can make it extra special, set up a little booth with fairy lights, the lot and give that little bit of an extra something special! As the night progresses, the funnier the messages become! This extra is definitely a must, especially if you’re planning a large guest list!!


3. Aerial Filming

This is something of a new phenomenon that’s snuck in over the last year or so thanks to the ever increasing popularity of cameras such as the GoPro. For those not familiar, it’s a pocket-sized camera that packs a lot of punch! It can go underwater, on the front of a bike, on someone’s head – pretty much anywhere!! For your wedding, it offers something that little bit different…left in the hands of a capable and fully qualified drone operator, we can now film your wedding from up above, a real, genuine bird’s eye view! See parts of your wedding you never dreamed possible, all without having to lift a finger! And don’t worry, the GoPro might be little, but shoots at fully HD quality and so will blend seamlessly with your other footage! As wedding video extras go, it’s a little higher on the cost spectrum, but we can assure you it’s money well spent and is definitely on trend right now!


4. Different Formats

Don’t be put off by any technical speak – this is simple and once again, you don’t need to do thing, we do it all after the ceremony in the comfort of our edit suite! I’m sure we’re not alone in having a distant relative out over in Australia or an old auntie that emigrated to America back in the 50s (not that common an occurrence we grant you, but relatives do come from far and wide!) and more often than not, it’s just not possible for them to make it over to your wedding due to costs or other commitments or even the stress of travel. So if they can’t make it to the wedding, why not bring the wedding to them by sending them a DVD of the whole thing! And this is where we can help and make use of our boring filmmaking knowledge!! In a nutshell, different countries require different technical specs and we can sort all of that out without you having to worry about a thing! So Great Auntie Mary over in Colorado need not miss out on a thing!!


5. Engagement Videos

Something of a new wedding video extra, engagement videos are definitely a product of social networking – well we like to think so anyway! Forget the traditional save the date in the post, send out a video announcing it! Even if your invitees aren’t on Facebook, they can probably still access emails or even Youtube. So why not make the most of it and really announce your engagement and upcoming wedding in style?! It could be just a standard message to camera, inviting your nearest and dearest…or you could go that extra step and base your video on your favorite film style for a completely unique look. All you need is us and our skills, and of course you and your partner, and the result is something very memorable that can be sent to family and friends or even posted on your wedding website.


So…if any of these wedding video extras take your fancy, or if you’re wanting to know more about our wedding video services, then please get in touch with us here – we’d love to hear from you and share your special day, wherever it may be!



Music Video Manchester: 5 Best One Take Music Videos

Music Video’s are a stable of Cosmic Joke’s diet. We love making them, love watching them, and generally just being all consumed by music videos. As a result, we know a thing or two about what makes a video unique, and one take music videos are among our favourite.

So sit back, relax and enjoy Cosmic Joke’s rundown of our pick of the Best One Take Music Videos!

1. Kiesza – Hideaway

Beginning with the most recent, Kiesza’s music video for her smash hit Hideaway is pretty much perfect. With enough 90’s style denim to occupy the next Blur reunion, it’s chock full of youthful energy. The dancers add vibrancy to the rather bleak landscapes, and the video ends with the classic she-gets-back-in-van-that-she-arrived-in trick. All of course, in seamless one take.

2. Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy

From the most recent to the originator. All one take music videos owe a debt to the pioneering Unfinished Sympathy by Massive Attack. The genius of this music video lies not in the performer, but in the background action. As Shara Nelson walks purposefully and directly down each street, she seems to attract a number of strange characters; a homeless man here, a parent and child there (Pay special attention to a man with no legs pushing himself around on a skateboard).

3. Taylor Swift – We Are Never Getting Back Together

Flipping straight back to the mainstream, Taylor Swift cottoned on to the one take music video trick with We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together. Shot completely in a studio, and utilising some impressive set and design work, Taylor Swift charms her way through what could easily have been a mess. As it is, it’s a beautifully cheesy romp.

4. Radiohead – No Surprises

Back again, to a classic. You may not think that looking at Thom Yorke’s face uninterrupted for nearly four minutes would be appealing in ANY WAY, but Radiohead’s No Surprises proves you wrong. Shot entirely in close up, Thom Yorke’s head is enclosed in some sort of fish bowl, slowly filling up with water. During the breakdown during the song, his head is completely submerged, and finally when the final chorus comes in the water is drained. It’s actually Thom’s desperate gasps for breath that convince so much, and make it so entertaining (*Cosmic Joke do not employ sadists, we promise*).

5. OK Go – Needing/Getting

If Massive Attack we’re the pioneers, OK Go are the masters. Pretty much all their music videos are shot and designed as one take, but their music video for Needing/Getting takes the biscuit. Featuring all the band members in a rally car, lead singer Damien Kulash then drives them through a route featuring hundreds of instruments, all tuned to a single note, that when struck with sticks protruding from the car, string together to create the melody of the song (to which the band sing along to in the car). Unlike most one take music videos that strive for effortlessness, this one revels in it’s ruggedness, and wears it’s DIY nature on it’s sleeve. Touche’ OK Go, touche’….

So there it is, our pick of the Best One Take Music Videos! Click here to watch a playlist featuring all the videos mentioned in this blog. If you’d like to contact us about making a one take music video for you, you can find info on our music video page.

And as always let us know whether we’re wrong! And if you liked this blog don’t forget to share!


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Cosmic Joke Ltd
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113 Pollard Street
M4 7JA
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