Love, smiles and videotape
Bart Garton has filmed the 24 Hours of Aspen, the Disabled American Veterans’ winter trips to the Rocky Mountains, the U.S. Ski Team and a couple Winter Olympics.
Call him a softy, but he still likes weddings as much as anything.
“So much fun energy happens at a wedding,” he said. “Everyone’s happy and glad to be there.”
Garton has been filming weddings for 18 years. The technology has changed, but the mission hasn’t. Get everything on film. His wife Lulu handles a second camera to make sure they have everything covered.
To complete the package, he’ll put together a montage of the bride and groom as children and growing up.
“We customize each wedding. There are lots of differences in each one. I’m still waiting for an underwater wedding,” said Garton, an avid scuba diver and underwater videographer. “We make them all special. We don’t want them to be routine.”
Every wedding is different; there are no formulas. There are elements common to each one, so Garton sits down usually with the bride and her mother ” who often don’t know what they want ” before the wedding to figure it all out.
Usually it goes right. Sometimes it doesn’t. Like the time a pastry chef fussed because he didn’t want his cake on display all day because it would melt. He put some icing on a fake cake for people to look at until it was time too roll out the real one, except no one rolled out the real one. When the bride and groom went to cut the cake, it was cardboard.
Technology has changed, but the etiquette has not. Don’t get in the way of the photographer or the crowd. No lights. Keep it uncomplicated. If you need to get a shot, get in and get it, then fade back into the crowd as quickly as possible.
“Cameras now are so small and can work in such low light,” said Garton.
When the ceremony is over and the reception is swinging, the videographer will set up a camera for folks to come by and record a greeting, well wishes or anecdotes. Sometimes the metaphors get a little colorful. The videographer and the bride decide later exactly how colorful they want their film to be.
“It depends on how much booze is flowing,” Garton said. “Sometimes someone will drop a couple F-bombs. I just call the bride and groom and we figure it out.
Garton prefers to keep his business small. He does the whole thing from beginning to end.
“It’ll always be me who does your wedding,” he said. “Some people hire other guys to do the actual work for them, but they can’t possibly care as much since it’s not their business and their livelihood.”
Garton’s film career goes back to the days of super 8 movies. If you don’t remember life without MTV, you probably don’t know what that is. Consider yourself lucky.
Still, Garton and a couple of his Aspen High School buddies used super 8 to make his first film.
“We did it over the summer. We had a ski chase, a car chase, and the good guys won.”
His buddy went to USC film school. Garton attended Stanford and studies mechanical engineering. About 20 minutes into his chosen career, he decided he’d made a bad choice so he went back to video.
“I always had an eye for it. II started working with a local community channel to figure out how to do it right.”
Lulu was selling ads for the station and Bart was shooting the commercials. They shot dining guides, real estate, community events, almost anything they could capture on film.
It’s still the way they do business.
“No job is normal or usual. There is always lots of variety. I love weddings just as much as sports or being underwater.”
For more information:
e-mail Brandon Garton at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 970-926-2837.
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