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Old May 5th, 2004, 11:46 PM   #1
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Shooting a wedding...16x9, Frame Mode, 4x3..?

Hi,
I am shooting my first wedding on Saturday. I have done much reading and planning ahead of time, but I came up with a last minute question. I was thinking of shooting to make three videos:

1. The entire wedding, ceremony, vows etc. in its edited entirety.
2. The recpetion, dancing, toasts, eating, and crazy family stuff.
3. A shorter video of the prep, some bride and groom stuff edited to music. Mostly slow motion (this would be the classy/emotional video)

So my question is, for which of these videos should I shoot in a 16x9 and frame mode for a more classy look? Should all videos be the same?

I thought that shooting in regular interlaced 4x3 would give the video more of a personal feel (kind of a "homevideo" feel). Whereas shooting in 16x9 with frame mode might give the video a more professional movie-feel.

I know I should ask the bride and groom what they want, but I want your opinions first. What have you done?

Thanks a ton.
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Old May 6th, 2004, 06:35 AM   #2
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Frankly in 20 years of weddings I've only asked a B/G 1 time what they wanted and that was only because it was my daughter and son in law about 8 years ago.
Mixing styles like that can be fine but there is no real formula to it. Obviously the ceremony would probably be very straight forward, even I do that (except I condense it as I do everything else, but thats a different thing)- for your creative aspects, opening sequence,highlite package, prep...have some fun, get creative but PLEASE remember that just because you CAN do something (an effect or whatever) doesn't mean you HAVE to do it. One of the things I see today is far too many people using every effect they have just because they have it. The effect needs to be seamless in the story telling and keep in mind you are telling their wedding story, so what I'm getting at is don't use any effect that doesn't add to the story and don't forget also, that any effect you add doesn't have to run the entire length of the video.
Sometimes less is much more. It's a feel thing.
Good luck to you on your 1st wedding,
Don B.
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Old May 6th, 2004, 02:51 PM   #3
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If you shoot in a true 16:9 mode, that could give you trouble, because it will be distorted unless played back on a wide screen TV.
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Old May 6th, 2004, 04:03 PM   #4
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For my wedding shoot:

Canon XL1: Frame mode all the way in 4:3. The trick is allow some "breathing" room above and below the subject area so that you can "simulate" 16:9 in post. If not, use your editing program to re-center your clip. I use Adobe Premiere 6.5 on a P4 system and Matrox RT2500.

The final product contains the following sequences: (Your mileage may vary <grin>)

1) Quick recap of the rehearsal done in sepia and simulated 16:9 and edited to music. Regular and slow-motion here. About 3-4 minutes here.
2) Opening title sequence: Animated titles using their wedding invitation card
3) Growing up picture montage (around 30 photos) done in the pan and scan style edited to one song. About 5 minutes.
4) Love story (optional). This is where your creativity comes into play. About 5 minutes.
5) Preceremony stuff such as at the Bride's house documenting her getting ready (do all sorts of crazy angles here as well as closeups). Get ready for emotional moments. More creative stuff here. Edit to slow music (slo-mo) About 5 minutes.
6) Church - standard stuff here. Check with Bride and Groom if they want full coverage (Mass, readings, etc.) I shoot with 2 XL1s (either side of the couple) and 1 Sony PD150 (locked down and off to one side at high angle (great for cutaway shots). We hardly move in the church during the ceremony (be as low key as possible). Wireless mic on groom. No lights. Everything handheld with Image Stabilization set as you need to anticipate people (and PHOTOGRAPHERS!!!) getting in the way.
7) Park/Photo shoot. (5-10 minutes edited to music). Regular and slow-motion here. More creative stuff. One Xl1 handheld and the other one on the Glidecam V16 (me)
8) Reception (About 10-15 minutes of heavily edited stuff. How much dancing can you watch? Except for Greek weddings) Choose one good dance song and creatively edit using footage from other dances. Keep all speeches, toasts, garter, bouquet toss, cake cutting, first dance, father/daughter dance, mother/son dance.
One Xl1 handheld and the other on Glidecam V16 (me)
9) Honeymoon photo montage. About 5 minutes edited to music and using pan/scan techniques.
10) Highlights of the day (10 minutes). This is where you really show your talent!!! Slow-motion. Church ceremony in black+white and just the vows. Grab the best stuff from above and chose one great piece of music and edit it to it. This piece you may want to put on a separate DVD/tape. We sometime give away copies of just the highlights to the weddng party and family (free advertising). You can even use this as your demo ...
11) finally .. the end credits ... and don't forget your name.

All in all it takes me about 40-55 hours to edit.

Now when I say be creative, I don't mean go and start using all 10,000 of those flying transitions that comes with your <enter favorite editing software here>. I avoid cheesy affects and all.

But creative from chosing well frame shots, short edits and time the transitions to the music. Believe it or not, I only use dissolves and straight cuts. Sometime I will use the odd fade to white or quick "bump" flashes timed to key moments in the music.

Most of the comments we get back is what film camera did we use because it looks more like a film than "video". Again it comes back to using closeups (minimize depth-of-field), steadiness of the shots, editing style, and of course using Frame mode doesn't hurt either.

The product comes on 1 DVD and is the length is from 1 to 2 hours.

Whew sorry for the long response, I hope this helps and good luck ...

One more thing, keep your eyes on the upper right frame to ensure you are rolling!!!! Have extra batteries and tapes ....
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Old May 7th, 2004, 02:11 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the help guys! I will be shooting in Frame Mode with the 16x9 guides on my GL2. That way I can choose to 16x9 it in post if I decide it is best.

I almost never use those flashy transitions in any of my videos(infact I can't remember even using them once). I stick to straight cuts and dissolves. This is my first wedding, but not my first professional video.

Thanks for all the advice!
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Old May 7th, 2004, 03:04 PM   #6
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I don't do weddings but have shot a very few for friends and clients whose kids get married. It's nerve-wracking and, in my opinion, best left to the guys who know how to do that kind of thing. The best advice I can give you is...never let the mother of the bride make eye contact with you. A perfectly nice, kind, sweet, loving woman can become a raving lunatic when she is in a mother-of-the-bride mode.
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Old May 7th, 2004, 04:30 PM   #7
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Good advice Bill, but I think in this case I am safe, as the mother of the bride happens to be my grandmother.

Thanks!
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Old May 7th, 2004, 05:08 PM   #8
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I wouldn't count on it--twice the mother of the bride was my wife. First daughter's wedding, I had to suffer through it. Second one was in Chicago, so I didn't show up till the day before the wedding and the mother-of-the-bride syndrome had already passed by then.
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Old May 7th, 2004, 06:11 PM   #9
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Norman,
Do you do any seperate mic'ing of the officiant,
musician, or readers?
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Old May 9th, 2004, 10:11 PM   #10
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I use only one wireless on the groom. I also keep my XL1 standard mic on to get the sound from the environment. The officiant is loud enough to be picked up by the groom's mic or the camera on-mic.

During the post, I blend the sound from both the on-camera mic and the wireless. When the groom/bride are syaing their vows, the sound from the wireless takes precedence over the camera on-mic.
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Old May 10th, 2004, 11:56 AM   #11
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Hi Scott

How did the wedding shoot go this past Saturday?
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