What Would They Know? Kara & Brad Melick of Way Up High

by | Cinematography Wisdom, What Would They Know?, Wisdom


Ms Polka Dot
Way Up High

As I see more wedding stories unfold on Polka Dot Bride, I am reminded time and again, that standing right next to a photographer should be the cinematographer. A cinematographer brings to your day a completely different way of seeing your wedding. Kara and Brad of Way Up High embody the spirit of this – with the team’s ability to capture in moving images the little details and emotions of the day. A film will compliment the photographer’s images, but there is nothing like bringing alive the emotion in the voice of the bride’s father, the groom pledging his love, or the shimmer of the light on the gown as the bride moves across the dancefloor. It’s these seemingly little things that you will love being reminded of, in the years to come.

What inspired you to start a cinematography career?

I have always loved film and knew from a very young age that I would be involved with it somehow. I studied film at university and worked in the industry for many years until I took some time off with my two beautiful children. Getting back into it has been wonderful!

Way Up High is a cute name for a business – why this name?

We wanted a name that was a little different and reflected the way we feel about everything we do. Way Up High refers to always striving to reach for better results for our clients and for ourselves. Oh, and we do live on a mountainJ

How long have you been a cinematographer?

I have been filming things since I first picked up a camera at Uni and my skill set since then has grown! I now wear many hats in this business, from cinematographer to sales person, editor to counselor, admin chick to wedding guru (after so many years in this industry I am an encyclopedia of wedding know how!). Way Up High has been up and running since Jan 2015 and we have been really happy to have been so well received.


What do you especially enjoy about making wedding films?

My passion is actually editing. I love being able to translate those special moments into a story, giving them meaning and knowing that this memory will be treasured forever. I also love that every wedding is so different and everyone has such a unique story to tell. This is what I love about film in general, that there are an infinite amount of stories just waiting to be told.

Does a cinematographer ‘see’ (and capture) the details of the wedding day a little differently than a photographer?

Absolutely. We are all about movement and sound. There is nothing quite like hearing the emotion in peoples voices and watching tears roll down facesJ

How do you ‘know’ what makes a great film shot? Is it instinctual?

We believe great footage comes when our couples are relaxed and natural. With this in mind, we tend to blend into the background on the day.

Do you use a ‘fly on the wall’ approach to your filming, or do you plan everything in detail?

We certainly do a lot of planning but there is also a lot of thinking on our feet to get the best light, the best sound and the best shot. In terms of our interaction with the couple on the day, we keep it to a minimum, allowing the events to unfold naturally.

Do you have two people filming on the wedding day, so that you don’t miss a thing?

Generally we do have 2 people filming on the day, but as every wedding is different, we try to accommodate.


How would you describe your film style?

Natural, relaxed and very personal.

What is the process when a bridal couple contacts you to talk about filming their wedding? How do you get to know their particular style?

I tend to ask a lot of questions about their wedding (mainly because I really love weddings!!) and I find out who their photographer is. This really helps us to understand our client’s personal style and we try to reflect that in the way we film and edit.

Do you offer packages? What is your most popular package, and what does this include?

We do offer packages as a guide because everyone’s wedding is so different! Most couples go for our “mid range’ package at $2800 which includes 8hrs of coverage, a beautiful Wedding Film and the Complete Footage from the day.

Do you travel to film weddings?

So far our weddings have been local (Southern Highlands, Sydney, South Coast) but we would love the opportunity to film in far flung places!!

Creatively, where, and doing what, makes you feel most inspired?

Beautiful design, be it in nature, architecture, fashion, graphics, photography… I love it all!! I think that may be another reason I love what I do so much – I am constantly surrounded by beautiful things. I am also very inspired by words.

In what ways do you regularly challenge yourself creatively with your film work?

I have to say, I watch A LOT of wedding films. I love seeing what others are doing in the industry, and trying new things.


You live in a stunning area of NSW. What do you like to do in your leisure time?

We feel quite blessed to live in the Highlands. We have Sydney on our doorstep if we ever need a city fix, the South Coast’s stunning beaches a short drive away and the ski fields are just that little bit closer now J Generally our weekends (if we are not working) are spent watching our kids play sports, going to the markets, bushwalking, or keeping warm in front of the fire!

A favourite place for a honeymoon or short break is…..?

We are both snow bunnies so spend as much time in the Snowy Mountains as we can over winter. Summer usually sees us squeeze in a trip to Byron Bay, as I grew up on the North Coast and have lots of friends still there. It is a truly special place J

Thank you Kara for sharing your story. To find out more about Way Up High visit the website.

Headshot courtesy of Way Up High. All films from Way Up High.


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