Llechwedd Slate Caverns pre-Wedding Film & Photography scouting

When I was asked to make a wedding day film at Llechwedd slate caverns in Blaenau Ffestiniog, North Wales, I jumped at the chance.

From their site:

“Llechwedd Slate Caverns of Blaenau Ffestiniog is part of a living, working slate mine that has been active since 1836.

“We have 2 spectacular underground tours to explore the underground world of the Victorian Slate Miner. The temperature in the mines is about 54F throughout the year, making the caverns ideal for your family day out come rain or shine.”

I visited the director there, a man called Dave, who showed me the cavern where the wedding will take place and helped me figure out the logistics of filming there.

We took a tram down a few-hundred feet underground, and not surprisingly it’s quite dark and wet!

However, when the tours go round the caverns are lit up and they look spectacular. We went to the main cavern, where there is an underground lake, and I checked out the lighting.

The lighting is actually not too bad, especially during the ceremony itself, when the bride and groom will be lit by a couple of large lights, as well as candles and smaller lights.

I shot this short clip to see how it would come out:


There is then the opportunity to take some photos and footage near the lake, which is lit by coloured lights which reflect in the water.

I also plan to film the guests doing some of the tour. Because the ground is uneven the easiest thing to do will be handhold the videocamera and shoot it documentary style (usually I’d use a tripod).

The acoustics are good and I don’t foresee any difficulties recording sound. There is a water feature next the lake, so I may use a wireless mic here, although it might not be necessary to get a good audio feed here anyway.

One concern is it might be quite a bit wetter in December, when the couple are getting married, and this could damage my camera. However, either an umbrella (hi-tech!) or a casing should be sufficient to protect it.

The couple are also hiring a red double-decker bus to ferry guests to and from the caverns, another great feature that’s a bit quirky and different – I can’t wait to edit the film!

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