Ivor of Props Studios Interview

Image by Richard Oses

Loved chatting to this cheeky chap, all about fantastic service, quality cinematic films and snapping ankles.

Have a read or listen to the audio.

Check out the awesome highlight film after the interview. Lots of great points from Ivor, a wealth of experience ready to invest in your day.

Interview: Ivor of Props Studios

Dan: So here I am with Ivor of Props Studios. We’ve known each other for a while, haven’t we?

Ivor: We have, yeah. A couple of years. 

Dan: Yeah. We’ve shot a few weddings together. Different locations all over the place. But yeah, mostly so. Oh, no, we did Bristol, didn’t we? Not just Southwest.

Ivor: Yeah, we’ve been up and down. Yeah.

Dan: So this is a little interview, So people can find out about you and your work and how you work. But I thought it was interesting initially, as an intro because I wanted to come up with some questions. So naturally, lazy as I am, I went to AI to get some questions, but then I put in, I asked, AI described the wedding film company Props Studios based in Wales and it came up with this. Props Studios is a wedding film company based in Wales that specialises in creating unique cinematic wedding films for couples. The company is known for their creative approach to storytelling and their ability to capture the essence of a couple’s love story in a visually stunning way. That pretty much sums you up, that .

Ivor: I do. You know what, I couldn’t have written it better myself, when I put together my website and I tried to sort of explain what we do and who we are, which is really hard when you are a video creator and then you have to switch to another media like writing, it’s quite hard to describe yourself.

That’s a good indication of what we do. You know, we do take a lot of time to learn about the couple and their journey and what’s important to them. Because that way we can make a film that’s tailored specifically to what they want to see from their day and, and parts of the story they wanna see.

So that’s a very accurate, description. In fact, I might copy that and put that on my website.

Dan: Yeah, you can have that. So, where can couples find you first? 

Ivor: So, we’re on Instagram, although, we haven’t posted that much purely because last season was just so busy, we’re on Facebook and obviously you can find us online http://www.propsstudios.co.uk.

Dan: I wanna know, because obviously I deal with photography side and I ask couples certain questions, but what kind of tips would you, or just the main tip that you would give to couples that are looking for a videographer or what to kind of expect from their wedding day?

Ivor: I think if people are looking for a videographer, you have to sometimes put pricing aside. It’s the same as when you’re looking for a venue, and you could look at four or five, maybe 10 different venues and each offers something different. And then eventually you’ll find the one in your walk-in and there’ll be something about it, that just clicks and connects.

And it may not be the cheapest venue, or may be the most expensive, but you have to find what fits you as a person. I think it’s the same when you’re finding a wedding supplier. So if you’re looking at, people’s work, don’t necessarily just focus on the prices that they charge.

Yeah. Think about what you are gonna want from. , whether that’s photo or whether that’s video, what sort of look you’re gonna want, how long you want the film to be. Also it helps once you get to find out what that person is like. So rather than just necessarily looking at their work, find out a bit more about them. I like to do calls in my couples. 

Dan: Yeah, absolutely. 

Ivor: Yeah, to sort of tell you a bit about who I am and what my approach is and, and what sort of things they can expect from me. And it gives them a chance to ask questions. People who are getting married, very rarely have they ever been married before.

So they don’t really know the processes, how things are gonna happen, when things happen, how much stuff costs. We’re always there as being sort of industry leaders to, help guide people through their journey. So I’m often helping them find other suppliers are often in suggestions about, what happens on the day and, that just comes from our experience.

You know, the more weddings you do, the more you get to understand the procedures or how things work. 

Dan: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I know from my experience, when I’m having inquiries from couples, it’s some of them have come to me through like recommendation as imagine you get a lot through recommendations as well.

Ivor: Yeah. A lot of our work does come from recommendations to whether that’s other photographers or venues. But I’m very transparent about the type of person I am and what can they can expect. Because there’s a big thing about me being the personal touch because that’s how I structure my films.

You know, it’s very personalised in terms of what they want and they realise that when they book my company, they’re booking me and for those reasons 

Dan: Yeah, because we’ve got that… that special creative power. 

Ivor: Yeah. You know as a wedding creative, you have you have to sort of take the reins in terms of how you’re gonna shoot and how your edit’s going to be.

And as much as we like to have, input from the couples, we sort of, we ask them to put their trust in us. About how we’re gonna deliver the product. But when we meet with them, you know, we’ll ask them about certain things that they may not want to see and, and certain things that they want us to focus on.

And it gives us a better idea of when we’re shooting on the day, but more importantly, when we’re, when we’re editing, 

Dan: oh, it’s all about that personal service. Definitely. It’s all about being our personal service. Because if, some things for couples are important and some things aren’t as important, but you know, whether it be, aged relatives or bringing their dog to the wedding, or they want to get, married on top of a cliff or, they want those epic sunsets. It’s definitely great to find out what’s important to them. 

So how long has Props Studios been in business for?

Ivor: So, we’ve been shooting now for just over six years. We originally started just offering a drone video. The client that, that booked us, when we met with her, she said, you know, can you just film the wedding? So we already had all the equipment because in my other job before I moved over to this, I was producing content for phones for you.

And they also, doing stuff for my mates, riding bikes and stuff like that. So had all the equipment to do it and just figured, yeah, well we can, we can figure it out. We can learn how to do that and how weddings work. so that was the first film that we created and then I just had a love for it and I just fell into it and I thought, this is what I want to do.

So completely changed careers from retail management to shooting weddings, and haven’t looked back since. It’s been a great journey. Obviously Covid was a bit tough not having weddings to shoot when it’s all you’ve known for the last few years, but last year arrived with bang. We shot more weddings last year than we ever did.

We always plan to take on 30 or so weddings a year, clearly, because we don’t want to be a high volume brand. We don’t want to be shooting too many weddings. We want to make sure that every person gets that personal touch. So 30 is our, our limit, but we did 53 last year. which was, which was tough.

Dan: You, you did look very tired in most of the time I saw you, to be honest. 

Ivor: Yeah. I mean, weddings are, they take a lot out of you because you invest so much time into, the couple and in their day and each day, its 12 hours, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but you’re constantly on your feet and you’re constantly on guard just looking for those little moments that you don’t want to miss and, and you know, the couples may not even realise stuff is going on, but you’re constantly on the lookout for stuff that you want to capture. 

Dan: Yeah. I love those little things like kids playing with kids, playing with bubbles, bridesmaids, messing around.

Ivor: Yeah. Just those, there’s those tiny moments that, that you miss in the blink of an eye, but means so much to the couple when you present that back to them. 

Dan: So, they’re not gonna be around to see that all the time, you know? No. They’re gonna be wrapped up in, wrapped up in their day. . so in all your years of being Props Studios and doing wedding videography, you must have a funny story or two to share.

Ivor: There’s lots of funny stories I’ve got, whether I can share them or not, It’s another thing. I mean weddings are a strange animal because people are obviously enjoying themselves. There’s alcohol involved. So some people may do things they wouldn’t necessarily do when they, when they haven’t been drinking, but, I guess one of the funny things I find it funny is that shooting a wedding and, stepping back with a couple, I didn’t check my footing and tripped over, twisted and snapped all the ligaments into my ankle.

I hear this like snapping noise, which I thought was the twigs that I’d stood on. Ooh, it turns out was the ligaments of my ankle. Of course, being a professional, I got straight up and pretended that nothing was wrong, when it was… clearly all over my face. The bride was a nurse so she could tell straight away that something was wrong.

I didn’t know exactly what happened, but I was like, yeah, I’m all good. We’d already finished the shoot. That was literally the last shot of the, of the day. I was like, you guys head back to do your first dance. I very, very slowly sauntered back to the venue, to go set up for first dance. I had a wedding the next day, which my wife had to drive me to because, I couldn’t move my ankle.

So, I managed to do it the entire day, on painkillers, and it was probably one of my most favourite days shooting that day because the couple was just great. Everything fell into place. It was like a dream venue, like a fantasy because It had a moat and everything around it.

But, the week before I’d also dislocated my shoulder. So I was running with a dislocated shoulder and torn ligaments all on my right side, which is the side I hold my camera on but we absolutely nailed it. My wife and I, it was a great film. One of my favourites still, and that was like four or five years ago when we did this, but yeah, I guess I found that funny. And it’s a story that I can actually share without getting anyone into trouble. The sheer amount of effort though, going into a day, just shows you that, it’s not something easy, that kind of person that is creative.

You want them to shoot your day. 

So it would almost be unfair for you to kind of get someone to cover you, even if you could still walk and that sort of thing. Admittedly in a hell of a lot of pain. Yeah. But go in there, just shows, the actual commitment to that couple, but once, you built that relationship with a couple, a lot of times people were booking me two years in advance and we keep in contact from the date of the first booking right up until the day and, and even afterwards, they’re booking me for me, not necessarily the films that, that I create.

They understand that I’m the only one that works within it. Myself and my wife will be shooting it. I’ll be editing it and I’m involved in the whole process from start to finish. So to bring someone else in may throw a spanner in the works. I’ve never had to, luckily enough had to do that. I’ve shot a wedding with the flu, full up a flu, but you can’t let people down.

You know, certain suppliers, maybe if it’s a, I dunno, something like a sweet cart or, a chocolate fountain. If they don’t show up well, they’re unable to attend. It may not ruin the day, but when you’ve got, when you are responsible for preserving those memory you can’t be calling in sick.

Oh, no. No matter how bad you feel. Absolutely. You’ve, you’ve got a responsibility to deliver and, and make sure that those memories are captured. So yeah. Unless I’m on my depth bed, I will be at a wedding filming. It hasn’t happened yet. Nothing stopped me filming yet.

Dan: Nothing’s stopped you filming? Well, yeah. No, we’ll find something. Maybe . So on this little series of interviews, who do you think I should speak to next? 

Ivor: There’s so many great suppliers in the industry and people from, you know, venue decorators to wedding planners or photographers. It’s hard to pick just one person.

I think it’d be important to maybe, I think the next person would be definitely be something like a wedding decorator. Okay, so Be Our Guest, I forget the lady who’s based in Swansea, that like at the top of their game, very popular in the industry. Cool. Because that, that’s a big thing when you, when you’re choosing a venue, you could go to a venue that’s all dressed, and you would know exactly how it would look on your wedding day, or you could go there and it’s a blank canvas. Depending on the type of personality you are, I would walk into the room and not be able to envisage what it would look like on the day. I would have to see it dressed. Yeah. And wedding dresser is a response for a big part because that is the whole look of your day.

The theme, the centre pieces, the flowers, the colours, everything can bring it all together to make it look. So, if I suggest anyone, maybe Claire at Be Our Guest in Caerphilly. She’s been doing it a long, long time. She’s really passionate. What she does she absolutely loves what she does, she’s very, very popular. She’s got a great team behind her, its a family business. Her son and her daughter both work within the business. and I think she’d be a great person to speak to.

Dan: I will get in contact with her. Well, thank you very much, Ivor. 

Ivor: No problem. 

Dan: I’ve enjoyed it.

Ivor: It’s been great.

Dan: We tried to be, we’ve been quite polite, aren’t we?

Ivor: Very politically correct and polite.

Dan: So let’s keep, let’s keep it that way and end on a good note . but yeah, thanks very much. Cheers.

Ivor: No problem.

Dan: Bye.

You can find Props Studios at www.props-studio.co.uk, on Instagram @propsstudios and Facebook at www.facebook.com/propsstudios

Props Studios Photo & Film
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