Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m Ben; I live in a gorgeous spot on the south coast of Cornwall with my girlfriend Emily and Cat with a severe identity crisis called Monkey. A few years ago I funded my way through university by filming weddings, qualified with a 2.1 as an ‘Environmental Health Officer’ (definitely not as interesting as it sounds…) then realised that in the process I’d become a much better wedding film maker than I had EHO.. This lead to the birth of Foster Filming, which i’m proud to call my full-time ‘job’.
How did you learn your craft?
I guess i’m self taught. In the beginning however i did receive a lot of help from a close friend of mine, google. Then as soon as i had a grasp on the filming ‘basics’ my passion, combined with more and more experience lead to the growth and progression of my technique and story telling ability. The thing i love about this is that i’m always learning, testing concepts or techniques, some work, some do not.
Can you describe Foster Filming and what you do?
Foster Filming specialises in creating films of a couples wedding day. My aim is to capture and bottle the ‘essence’ of the day, so when people watch the film, whether they were there or not they can feel it, that is, the energy and emotion of the day. Then for those who were there, they can relive it on demand for the rest of their lives. Pretty cool hey. It’s no secret how I do this, I simply capture the incidental moments, not necessarily just the obvious stuff, as it’s those moments which hold true meaning and emotion. I then piece together these beautifully composed moments to tell the story of the day in film. I’m a firm believer that equipment is irrelevant as I’m pretty certain that I could apply my style and passion for storytelling and create a wedding video that a couple would treasure forever with the camera on a phone. Although, don’t worry, I won’t use my phone. I film with Canon DSLR cameras and lenses, and as you will have seen the quality is superb and they are just so tiny. They allow me to become somewhat ninja like in my approach, as the only way I can achieve beautiful natural footage is if I remain unobtrusive, watch my films – everyone looks comfortable; That’s because I mingle in with the wedding, pretty much just a guest with a camera, lets face it, it’s your wedding, not a Hollywood production, I strive to have the least visual impact on the wedding as possible.
I am a self-confessed people watcher. People are fascinating. Stick me in a room with a camera in my hand to document the interaction between 150 people dressed to the hills at an occasion as joyous as a wedding and I’m happy. I love to be able to give couples the gift of being able to relive their wedding for the rest of there lives. Also as a filmmaker, weddings are a blimin tough nut to crack with every one being different, and so many variables which are out of my control to keep me on my toes. It’s exciting stuff!
What are your inspirations?
I guess music, it is something that i hold close to my heart. My musical journey started when i was in a band in my early teens, we were kind of like a prepubescent McFly, and in fact before we were distracted by girls and puberty we were doing pretty well, with tracks being played on radio 1 and mentions in national newspaper. I love the way is which a song can articulate an emotion in a way which words alone cannot. You may have noticed that i use this in my films a lot. I guess that’s why i love soundtracks so much; often i find that the combination of tracks on a soundtrack can be just as much of a story than the moving image itself.
What do you do when the wedding season is over?
Every year i get a few months of downtime during the winter where i may only shoot 1 or 2 weddings. This bodes well with my passion for snowboarding, i like to try and get a week or 2 in every year, there is literally nothing else like it. Ok, maybe skiing is a bit like it. Then i tend to spend the rest of the winter thawing out in front of the wood burner at home, very much reluctant to move.