7 Lessons The Royal Wedding
Taught Filmmakers

By Elliot Grove

Like them or not, the Royal Couple focused the attention of up to 2 billion people on their wedding day. As a spectacle, it is my opinion that it was an unrivalled event.

What can filmmakers and stroytellers learn from the Royal Wedding?

1. The importance of pre-production

Like a filmmaker, the producers of the Royal Wedding had a huge number of logistics to deal with. The organisation of the parades and processions, the actual service itself, and the Royal Household's guest list created enough potential hazzards for even the most organised of events. Not to mention the accreditation of some 8,500 journalists.

Because it was so well planned the actual day went without a hitch.

2. The importance of the script

No show, be it theatre, movie or in this case a state occasion can maintain interest without a clearly thought out and entertaining script or running order.

Because the entire day was so well timed the day remained entertaining.

3. The importance of the story

What made the Royal Wedding work for me was how it was humanised. There were several moments when the Rayal Wedding became universal:
- the walkabout the night before
- when we saw the dress for the first time
- when we saw how tightly Kate's father was gripping his daughter's hand
- when the ring didn't quite fit
- those 2 kisses

Because the Royals are not afraid to show that they are people after all, and because the story of their wedding touched a cord with the entire crowd, each individual was able to connect intimately with this most universal story.

4. The importance of sound and music

Any great theatrical or cinematic experience is made memorable by the sound and music. The voices of the ministers and Royals perfectly miked, The ministers spoke in well measured tones abd acocunted for the accoustics of the cathedral. And the music for the event, from the processional fanfares to the actual choices of hymns and choral pieces perfectly suited and enhanced the event.

Because the sound and music were so well executed, our experience of this event was memorable.

5. The importance of the art department

Granted the Royals had a lot of expensive props and wardrobe to work with, but there were touches that delighted and surprised me:

The white gloves of the bobbies, and the trees in the cathedral seemed to be spontaneous gestures that greatly enhanced the production values of this show. And at relatively minor cost.

6. The importance of the audience

The Royal Wedding is not without it's detractors. This surprises me, for the day, unlike a political or athletic event, had no losers.The Royal Wedding organisers considered the audience. Passing out programmes on the streets of London, huge screens in the parks and Trafalgar Square were great touches.

Because the Royal Wedding planners realised theirs was a hybrid event of state occassion and religious ceremony, they took care to satisfy all the different expectations of the audience.

7. The importance of the budget

No one ever has enough money, and I am sure that each element of the Royal Wedding was priced to the penny.

Even the Royal Wedding had to rely on friends and relatives to play the key supporting roles, and grandma and dad's cars were pressed into servie too.

Fade Out:

I know you are wondering what an independent film festival has to do with the Royal Wedding. But wouldn't you like your next movie to be seen by 2 billion people?

Now, why are you reading this when you should be out making or writing your next movie?

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About Elliot Grove

Elliot GroveCanadian born Elliot Grove founded Raindance Film Festival in 1993, the
British Independent Film Awards in 1998, and Raindance.TV in 2007, the Raindance Postgraduate Film Degree in 2011 and Raindance Raw Talent in 2013.

He has produced over 150 short films, and 5 feature films incuding his latest feature film, Deadly Virtues: Love.Honour.Obey. He has written eight scripts, one of which is currently in pre-production. He teaches writers and producers in the UK, Europe. Japan and America.

He has written three books which have become industry standards: RAINDANCE WRITERS LAB 2nd Edition (Focal Press 2008),  RAINDANCE PRODUCERS LAB (Focal Press 2013) and 130 PROJECTS TO GET YOU INTO FILMMAKING (Barrons 2009). His first novel THE BANDIT QUEEN is scheduled for publication next year.

Open University awarded Elliot and Honourary Doctorate for services to film education in 2009.
He is regularly interviewed. Here is an interview for Canadian television

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7 Lessons The Royal Wedding Taught Filmmakers