Christopher Alexander is the founder and director of Zen Film Works and Visara Media. Zen Film Works specialises in capturing extravagant events for HNWI, royalty and celebrities around the world – the films produced are best known for their authentic and empathic qualities. The strengths of Chris and his team are their unique ability to capture then deliver the exact emotion and energy that has transpired during the day of the occasion that he’s shooting. The company packages this energy into highly cinematic and dynamic films that take the audience on an emotional journey and leave them breathless by the end. Chris offers bespoke collections and first custom options and experiences that meet the discerning needs of his clients and delivers a luxury service that is unmatched in the lifestyle industry.
The commercial agency, Visara Media, is a strategic video content agency that specialises in building empathic resonance between business and customer for goods and service suppliers directed to the high net worth individual. The company produces objective focussed video content for their clients and act as their strategic partner…
C&B: “Christopher, we’re aware you’re very accomplished and work with many of the top event organisers and luxury brands; does this mean you travel a lot – and how did you start out?”
CA: “Yes, we’ve been operating since 2012 and we’re now based in Paris, but these days we shoot half of our weddings throughout Italy. We also regularly shoot in the south of France, Provence, Greece, UK, Morocco, Turkey, Thailand, India, USA, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Istanbul, Mexico, Nigeria, Spain, Portugal and many more. No distance is too far and collecting memories around the globe makes life that much more enjoyable…”
“I started my creative life as an award winning product designer in Australia. My love for form, light and the user experience were great pre cursors to set me up for success as a film maker, which I began in 2012 in south west France as a surf film maker. As I was making these surf films I started to want more human connection and tell stories of celebration and relationships and that is when I started to film weddings in 2013…”
“Creating these films is where I found my love of telling deep and empathetic stories and found my unique strengths to deliver emotion through cinema. Catching these micro unscripted moments that most people miss, that are everything, is what I love to do, and I believe that as a result of experiences in my past, I am able to be in the right place at the right time and anticipate these moments and be ready to capture them in their raw emotional state in the best light and framing without intruding into the space at all…”
My passion for the art of storytelling through videography began early on in my career. I’ve always been captivated by the power of visual storytelling and its ability to evoke strong emotions. When I started filming weddings, I realised that it was a perfect canvas to combine my love for storytelling with the joy and emotions of the most important day in people’s lives. I wanted to elevate wedding videos beyond mere documentation and transform them into cinematic masterpieces that couples would cherish forever…”Christopher Alexander, Zen Film Works and Visara Media
“Building upon this experience, I would focus every year on something different to develop and hone to perfection. From mastering shadow, low light, details, camera movement, editing techniques, framing, sequences, story, colour, emotion, engagement and more, I’ve built a toolbox of skills that enable myself and my team to be able to capture any situation thrown as us in the absolute best way possible to deliver the results our clients are used to and expect…”
C&B: ”It sounds like you’d need to bring a large team together to produce the desired end result…”
CA: “Yes, I’ve an incredible team of creatives that bring their best talents to the table to create the world class level of quality climatic films and client experience that we aim to deliver every time. From our associate film makers and brilliant editors and content strategists, we have an amazing team that have become family and I couldn’t be more proud of each of them…”
C&B: “Which of the top event planners do you find yourself working with most often?”
CA: “We tend to see some regular faces when we turn up to our events and it’s always amazing to see these teams and individuals every time. I think being able to work with regular teams is great as everything is much more efficient and we all get along very well. Just to name a few, we regularly work with Alejandra Poupel, Roni Fleur, Nu Art, Sarah Haywood, Wedding Planers Monaco, Luxe Paris Events, Bell and Dhillon, Fete in France, Bastien Blanc Tailleur (see above and below)…”
C&B: “When it comes to filming a wedding, what do you believe are the most important elements?
CA: “Apart from the obvious factors such as composition, light, movement and direction, I think the other very important factors are empathising and resonating with the clients energy and the energy of the day. This way you will get a unique film every time that is exactly like the couple and their family. Another important factor is story, of course. There are so many factors happening so fast during a wedding that it is important to do pre planing and research into the events of the day so we can anticipate what is coming and be in the right place to capture the moments in that space as best as possible. This way we are able to build up a beautiful story of how the event transpired and deliver it as accurately and beautifully as possible. Making the couple comfortable in front of a camera is also very important; building rapport and trust is crucial to get authentic moments and saying ’just forget I’m here’ really works and the couple can just be natural and that’s where the magic and emotion lies…”
C&B: “Your wedding films are often described as having a luxury brand aesthetic. Could you explain your approach to achieving this unique style?”
CA: “In creating wedding films with an emotional luxury brand aesthetic, my approach is to draw inspiration from high-end advertising and fashion industries. I pay close attention to the finer details, such as composition, lighting, and framing, to ensure that every shot exudes elegance and sophistication. I also collaborate closely with couples to understand their vision and incorporate elements that reflect their personalities and the overall ambiance of the event. By using high-quality equipment and employing cinematic techniques, I aim to craft films that feel like a lavish advertisement, leaving couples with a sense of timeless beauty and luxury.
C&B: “What would you say have been your biggest challenges when filming an event?”
CA: “As a wedding videographer, every wedding brings unique challenges, from dealing with unpredictable weather conditions to working in various venues with different lighting setups. Additionally, managing time constraints and coordinating with other wedding vendors can be challenging. To consistently deliver exceptional results, I invest time in pre-wedding preparations, scouting locations, and developing backup plans for unforeseen circumstances. Effective communication and collaboration with other vendors help ensure a seamless wedding day experience. Moreover, my passion for the craft drives me to continuously improve my skills and stay updated with the latest techniques and equipment…”
C&B: “How do you establish a connection with the couples you work with, and how does this impact your creative process?”
CA: “Empathy is at the core of my creative process; from the initial consultation to the wedding day and beyond, I strive to build a genuine connection with the couples I work with. By actively listening to their stories, understanding their values, and empathising with their emotions, I can better capture and portray the essence of their love and commitment. This emotional connection becomes the driving force behind my work, influencing my shot selection, music choices, and editing style. It enables me to create films that not only showcase the events but also resonate deeply with the couple and their loved ones…”
C&B: “How do you find your clients, or how do they find you? This is really where any new story always begins…”
CA: “Our clients find us through a plethora of ways. Mostly recommendations from friends who have attended one of our events, they may have been at one of our events themselves, we also are recommended by some incredible suppliers such as photographers, wedding planers and wedding designers. Once they have reached out to us, we always jump on a call with them to make sure we are the right fit and to get to know a little about the, we then curate a bespoke collection of deliverables and services to align perfectly with their day and expectations. We aim to offer a luxurious and bespoke service throughout the whole journey…”
C&B: “Your other focus through your commercial company, Visara Media, is on luxury brands – which of those are your favourites, and why?”
CA: “I love to work with luxury and HNW catered brands – not so much because of the prestige, but their dedication to quality, innovation and customer experience. We constantly work with some of the most luxurious venues such as The Ritz, Shangri-La, Crillion and George V all in Paris; also, Villa Erba, Baliano, Balbianello, Astor across Italy, all the Heritage collection properties. And in terms of brands, we’ve worked with Bella Belle Shoes, Roger Vivier, Dolce and Gabbana, Gucci, Linley London and Alexander McQueen…”
It’s amazing to dive deep into some of the companies we work with and see the true passion they have towards developing the most perfect product…”Chris Alexander, Zen Film Works
WHAT SETS THE WORK OF CHRISTOPHER ALEXANDER APART:
Cinematic Excellence: Zen Film Works’ focus on creating highly cinematic films sets them apart. Their films have a distinctive luxury brand aesthetic, making them stand out as visual masterpieces that go beyond traditional wedding videography. By employing advanced cinematographic techniques, exceptional framing, and attention to detail, Zen Film Works elevates their videos to an artistic level rarely seen in the industry.
Emotional Storytelling: The team at Zen Film Works understands the power of emotion in storytelling. Their empathetic approach allows them to connect deeply with couples, capturing not only the events of the day but also the emotions and intimate moments that unfold. This skill enables them to craft films that resonate with viewers on a profound level, leaving a lasting impact.
Client-Centric Approach: Zen Film Works places great emphasis on building strong relationships with their clients. By taking the time to understand each couple’s unique story, preferences, and vision, they can tailor their films to reflect the individuality of each wedding. This personalised touch creates a sense of trust and confidence, ensuring a positive experience for every couple they work with.
Luxury Brand Aesthetic: Zen Film Works’ ability to infuse a luxury brand feel into their films sets them apart from the competition. They draw inspiration from high-end advertising and fashion industries, creating films that exude elegance, sophistication, and a sense of timelessness. This approach appeals to clients seeking a truly exceptional and artistic representation of their special day.
Continuous Innovation: Zen Film Works keeps abreast of the latest trends and technological advancements in videography. By continuously honing their skills and exploring new creative avenues, they stay at the forefront of the industry, offering cutting-edge techniques and breathtaking visuals to their clients. Consistency and Reliability: Zen Film Works has established a reputation for consistently delivering exceptional results. Their body of work showcases a high level of quality and craftsmanship,
Passion and Dedication: At the core of Zen Film Works is a genuine passion for the art of wedding videography. This passion drives them to go above and beyond to capture the most meaningful moments and create films that exceed expectations. Their dedication to their craft is evident in the extraordinary films they produce.
Attention to Detail: Zen Film Works pays meticulous attention to every detail, from the initial planning stages to the final editing process. They understand that it’s the little things that often make a big difference in the overall quality of a wedding film. By carefully capturing intricate details like decor, textures, and expressions, they enhance the storytelling and create a visually stunning narrative.
Collaborative Approach: Zen Film Works believes in collaborative storytelling. They work closely with the couple, wedding planners, and other vendors to ensure a seamless and harmonious experience on the wedding day. Their ability to collaborate effectively allows them to capture the most significant moments from multiple perspectives, adding depth and dimension to their films.
Innovative Editing Techniques: In the post-production phase, Zen Film Works employs innovative editing techniques to create captivating narratives. They carefully select the most compelling footage and seamlessly weave it together, complemented by the perfect soundtrack. Their editing style is dynamic, evoking emotions and keeping viewers engaged throughout the film.
Global Perspective: Zen Film Works draws inspiration from various cultures and artistic influences worldwide. This global perspective allows them to infuse unique elements into their films, making each project a culturally rich and diverse experience. Their ability to appreciate and incorporate different cultural aspects sets them apart in the wedding videography industry.
Strong Online Presence: Zen Film Works understands the significance of a strong online presence and utilises various platforms to showcase their work. Their well-curated website, engaging social media presence, and a portfolio that highlights their best films contribute to their reputation as one of the top wedding videography companies globally.
Industry Recognition: Over the years, Zen Film Works has garnered recognition from industry peers and organisations. Their films have won awards and accolades at prestigious film festivals and wedding industry events, further establishing their position as a leader in the field.
Client Testimonials: Zen Film Works consistently receives glowing testimonials from satisfied clients. Their ability to exceed expectations and deliver an emotionally impactful final product has earned them a loyal client base and numerous referrals.
Continuous Growth and Learning: Despite their success, Zen Film Works remains committed to continuous growth and learning. They invest in professional development, attend workshops, and collaborate with other talented artists to refine their skills and stay at the cutting edge of wedding videography trends.
Listening and Empathising: During consultations and interactions with couples, Deep Understanding of Couples: Christopher takes the time to get to know his clients on a personal level; he engages in meaningful conversations to understand their unique love story, their personalities, and the emotions that hold the most significance for them. This deep understanding allows Chris to capture the essence of their relationship and reflect it in the film. Chris actively listens and empathises with the couples thoughts, feelings, and desires for their wedding day; his genuine interest in their journey helps build trust and comfort, creating an environment where they feel free to express their emotions openly.
Being Present in the Moment: On the wedding day, Chris immerses himself in the celebrations while remaining unobtrusive. His presence is felt, yet not intrusive, allowing him to capture candid moments and genuine emotions as they naturally unfold.
Observant and Intuitive: Chris’s keen observational skills and intuition enable him to capture the subtleties and nuances of emotions; he recognises that it’s often the unspoken moments, the glances, and the tender touches that convey the deepest feelings. By being attuned to these details, Chris creates a film that genuinely reflects the emotional journey of the couple.
Crafting the Narrative: In the editing room, Chris curates the footage with an empathetic eye, focusing on the most emotional and meaningful moments; his goal is to tell a compelling and heartfelt story through the film’s sequence and pacing, evoking a strong emotional response in the viewers.
Choice of Music and Audio: Chris carefully selects music and audio elements that resonate with the couple’s personalities and the overall atmosphere of the wedding. The right soundtrack enhances the emotional impact and helps the viewers connect with the story.
Balancing Emotion and Artistry: While empathy is a driving force, Chris ensures that the film remains a visually stunning piece of art. The combination of emotional storytelling and luxury brand aesthetics creates a captivating and immersive experience for the audience.
Authenticity and Respect: The approach of Chris to capturing emotions is authentic and respectful; he understands the importance of portraying genuine emotions without being overly staged or intrusive. By allowing couples to be themselves, Chris captures the raw beauty of their love.
Customised Approach: Each couple and wedding is unique, and Chris treats them as such; he takes the time to understand the couple’s preferences, personalities, and vision for their wedding film. By customising the approach to suit their style and preferences, Chris creates a film that feels tailor-made for them.
Impeccable Planning: Before the wedding day, Chris collaborates closely with the couple and other vendors to plan the shoot meticulously. This includes discussing the timeline, identifying key moments, and scouting locations to ensure a seamless filming process. The thorough planning allows Chris to be prepared to capture every special moment.
Capturing Emotional Narratives: The focus of Chris is on capturing the genuine emotions and intimate moments that unfold throughout the day; by being discreet and unobtrusive, he ensures that the couple and their guests feel comfortable and natural, resulting in authentic and emotional footage.
Attention to Detail: Every aspect of the filmmaking process, from capturing footage to post- production editing, is executed with meticulous attention to detail. Chris ensures that every shot, transition, and audio element contributes to the overall beauty and cohesiveness of the film.
Elevated Editing: In the post-production phase, Chris applies advanced editing techniques to craft a compelling narrative. This includes seamless sequencing of shots, color grading to enhance visuals, and precise synchronization of audio elements. The editing process elevates the film’s cinematic appeal and emotional impact.
Incorporating Personal Touches: Chris integrates personal touches such as vows, speeches, and messages from loved ones into the film; these elements add depth to the storytelling and make the film feel even more bespoke and meaningful to the couple.
The profile of couples that choose to work with us are lovers of couture fashion and all things fine; they have a taste for quality and know what they want. They’re used to premium service and have a love of bespoke experiences; they’re romantics at heart and love to laugh and have fun…”Christopher Alexander, Zen Film Works and Visara Media