Sarah Pendergraft says she fell into
wedding filmmaking after meeting
her husband Rick while working in
local TV news—she was a reporter
and he a sportscaster. “When planning our wedding, like many, we assumed wedding videos are all boring
and crazy cheesy, but two co-workers of mine convinced us to hire a
colleague who shot weddings on the
side,” Pendergraft explains. “After seeing our highlight, I turned to Rick and
said, ‘We could do this, and we would
LOVE doing this.’ A few months later,
we shot our first wedding.” The pair
launched PenWeddings in 2009, and
since then have received awards for
sound design, demo production, love
story and bridal artistry.
What’s your advice for those trying to grow their filmmaking
Stay true to your own personal style. Don’t try to be a hipster if that’s not genuinely who
you are. If you want to build your business on intimate events, don’t strive to work “
platinum weddings” just because you think that’s what you’re supposed to do. Craft your work
based on what speaks to you, and you will likely attract clients with similar personalities,
and your business will be better because of it.
Don’t take on more than you can handle. As our business has grown, I’ve really had to
learn how to say no to projects or events that we technically were “available” for, but we
knew it would mean stretching ourselves too thin. It’s very hard in the moment, but looking back, I don’t regret any of those decisions...and I do regret some times that I said yes
and shouldn’t have.
What is one thing you’ve learned over
the years that has stuck with you?
There is no “one right way” to make a wedding
film. Early on, I thought all wedding videos were
supposed to look a certain way and utilize certain specific techniques. When I got involved in
online event videography forums my eyes were
opened to the fact that there are many different styles of wedding videos out there and you
don’t have to do things one way and one way
only. That’s when our business really started to
Course: “More Than Moving Pictures, ” Wednesday,
March 5, 3:00 p.m.-4: 30 p.m.
Overview: This class is dedicated to “ear candy”—
mastering audio for film.