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Old August 17th, 2009, 10:54 PM   #1
First Wedding
David Barnett David Barnett is offline August 17th, 2009, 10:54 PM

Hi,

Here's a clip of my first wedding I shot. I'm still in the editing phase (working on the reception footage), but I wanted to post part of what I have so far. So I posted the pre-ceremony footage. The groom & bride arriving etc.. so it isn't really a trailer.

Shot on a Canon Gl2, edited in Premiere, music from Score20.com. That's about all. Oh yeah, charged very cheap, being that I'm new & trying to establish myself & build a reel/references.

Untitled on Vimeo


Thanks,

David Barnett
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Old August 18th, 2009, 09:25 AM   #2
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Hi Dave,

You did well for your first wedding shoot, you have one in the book!

I don't know if it was intentional but some of the shots started out of focus, there was some shaky movements as well.

All in all you did a good job for a first wedding.
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Old August 18th, 2009, 09:44 AM   #3
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I watched a third of it David. Enough.

Take a brave pill and read on. I'm probably telling you things you already know.
Give thanks you got paid anything.
Wobbles! So many, some of them MUST be intentional, but why?
Scenes held far too long. That sign! Many seconds out of focus.
Zooms that jerk, then zoom a bit more.
4:3
Long black bits.
in focus, out of focus, in focus. What's with that?
All the live sound lost / swamped.

Don't charge for your services just yet.

tom.
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Old August 18th, 2009, 10:03 AM   #4
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while I don't watch many clips I did try to watch this.
My take is similar to Toms.
First, get on a tripod or monopod and steady out better. Wile we all have some shakey shots (something happens and its BAM! Get it shakey or not at all) but there was too much shake even for me.

Second, out of focus is to sharp focus is fine but don't overdo it and make sure it makes sense when you do do it.

Third, shorten up some of the shots. The first shot lost my interest after the first few seconds. My rule is unless the shot has movement and or action to it, if it's on screen for more than 4 maybe 5 seconds, it's too long.

Fourth, some of the shots didn't add anything to the story. They seemed to be repeating the same thing you just showed. If the shot doesn't add to the story don't put it in.
Also a 7 plus minute preceremony is, in my opinion, way too long unless it's a trailer. Better to go shorter (1/2 the time) and tell the story with the best footage there is, than drag it out for the sake of using all the footage.

I know that everyine wants to use all the "great footage" we have but if we look at it with a critical eye, we see that some shots just don't cut it so cut it!

I could tell you had some very good ideas but the execution wasn't there.
Keep practicing, get the real shot on tape then do the "creative" shot but make sure you've got what you need first.
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Old August 18th, 2009, 11:20 AM   #5
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If you can trim this down to a solid 2 minutes, getting rid of anything blurry, shaky, wobbly, or repetitive...you might have a better response to this demo. Please keep in mind that adding slow-motion to a bad shot makes that bad shot stand out even more (final shot of bridesmaid entering while adjusting her dress is one example). If you're going for highlights, pick the best of the best. If you're going for a compressed opening, you might want to consider adding natural sound. If you're going to charge for your next project... I suggest showing them your work first.
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Old August 18th, 2009, 01:44 PM   #6
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If you can trim this down to a solid 2 minutes, getting rid of anything blurry, shaky, wobbly, or repetitive...you might have a better response to this demo. Please keep in mind that adding slow-motion to a bad shot makes that bad shot stand out even more (final shot of bridesmaid entering while adjusting her dress is one example). If you're going for highlights, pick the best of the best. If you're going for a compressed opening, you might want to consider adding natural sound. If you're going to charge for your next project... I suggest showing them your work first.
Thanks. The slow-mo was only used as a last resort, because the scene which I felt I really wanted (or needed) to use was only about 2 seconds or so. So I kinda needed to. As for "charging", I had replied to a posting on Craigslist from a bride who originally wasn't going to have it taped, then began to second guess themselves & they were basically looking for someone to only tape the ceremony, so they'd have it on file. I told them I would not only tape that, but put a full fledhged video together for them, as it'd be gainful experience for me. She was thrilled, so it was a win-win for us both.

I agree it may be a bit long, alot probably has to do with my first time, so in my future efforts I'll probably have faster cuts & a faster segment, but hey, I still like it.

Tom, not sure I get all you're saying?? Long black bits? just fades to black for a second, I like that style but myb I should look into whether others do or don't. Same with the focus, I like it but agree with others it was prob done too much, I realized when encoding as Don said 'Get the plain shot, then if you want also a creaive shot if you want.' I failed in the former. 4:3?? not sure what you mean since it was SD. I wanted to k.i.s.s alot & not try too much.. Live sound? I chose background music which I think is alot better. I agree the focus technique was excessive, mostly that's due to my first attempt & wanting to try it turned into doing it too much. As for the zoom, the first shot was unplanned, I hadn't even met the groom at that point when I was shooting the winery they were coming back from across the street at Wawa (7-11). So it was an unplanned shot & I just felt even with the jerkiness, I wanted to use it. I suppose I could have asked him to redo it, but wouldn't be a great way to introduce myself. All in all I used the tripod alot at the reception, as well as some handheld. The reason I didn't much in the pre-footage is again being a first time I just wanted to get everything, and didn't want to always be setting up & adjusting my tripod. All the shots were literally just me shadowing the grooms. I suppose I should've been more verbal and asking they frame & pose for shots. Oren as for the bride, after she arrived her foto session was VERY rushed, as they arrived somewhat late, and litterally 1 minute after the last foto they began walking the grooms Mom down the aisle. So yeah I was a bit limited on hers unfortunately, but thanks for pointing it out. Next time I'll have to just continually roll the camera on her & the maids.


Whatev, thanks all!

Last edited by David Barnett; August 18th, 2009 at 02:19 PM.
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Old August 18th, 2009, 02:47 PM   #7
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Tom, not sure I get all you're saying?? Long black bits? just fades to black for a second, I like that style but myb I should look into whether others do or don't. Same with the focus, I like it but agree with others it was prob done too much, I realized when encoding as Don said 'Get the plain shot, then if you want also a creaive shot if you want.' I failed in the former. 4:3?? not sure what you mean since it was SD. I wanted to k.i.s.s alot & not try too much.. Live sound? I chose background music
That's a better explanation from you David, and I agree, it looks like a win-win situation. It certainly increases your experience, and bouncing it off us folk here is a brave and very sensible thing to do.

Fade to black is ok as long as you don't stay there. There's no black bits in a real live wedding day, and a fade to white (and fade in quickly out of it) are more in keeping with the spirit of the day.

A focus pull is good too, but staying out of focus for so long smacks of you fumbling for the focus ring, even if you weren't. Your film cries out for an editor - someone divorced from the day, someone who will take what looks raw and hack it unceremoniously into a much faster paced experience.

Shoot SD by all means, but richer clients (who will pay you good money to record their day) won't come home from expensive honeymoon and turn on an old 4:3 CRT. So play with the GL2 but aim quickly and accurately for an XH-A1 and shoot 16:9.

Background music is fine, but live sound is by its very nature live, adding realism to the day and stopping everyone looking as though they're dumb.

I agree, don't get the clients to 'do that again' for your camera. But shooting a real-time event such as a wedding means being constantly on your toes, constantly thinking ahead into the next minute, 3 minutes, 10 minutes. Where should I be? What will (probably) happen next? What ND do I need flicked in? What w/bal setting should I select as I run through that door? Extrapolate human moves, plan ahead, be there before them, set up and ready to shoot.

And don't be afraid of sacrificing time to tripod the cam and spend a valuable 4 seconds levelling it; the resulting footage will be prime beef, usable from start to finish, and you'll be able to pick off the guests, employ differential focus and stay out of their faces.

Wedding films need a varied pace, closeups, details, dynamic range (in A and V), good clear audio that doesn't jar at the cuts and some imagination on your part, especially in the edit.

It will take 20 or 30 weddings before you're feeling calm and confident but don't ever relax - humans are unpredictable beings even within the constraints of a wedding day and you need to be dancing on your toes - all day long.

Good luck.

tom.
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Old August 18th, 2009, 04:37 PM   #8
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didn't want to always be setting up & adjusting my tripod.
Might want to try it any way. Even a cheap Matthews M25 tripod has a center ball adjustment to level the shot very fast. Darn handy to have.

I shot almost all my reception & prep footage on a DV MultiRig Pro because it is a tripod-free way to shoot footage. Yes it is pricy (>$500) but it is totally worth it.
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Old August 18th, 2009, 04:42 PM   #9
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Whatev, thanks all!
As the infamous "Red Green Show" says. . . . "Remember, I'm pulling for ya. We're all in this together!"

comments here are from people who have (mostly) learned the same lessons the hard way that you are learning. No offense is (usually) ever intended. Everyone wants to see great videos for brides so that the brides rave about their wedding video and so that more brides want a wedding video.

Our goal is elevate the industry, improve production quality for everyone, and be a "must have" service for the modern wedding.
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Old August 18th, 2009, 04:53 PM   #10
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Hi David,

thanks for sharing..it is usually growing pains with your first video.. also remember everyone here is trying to help you...

my 2 cents..
shots are often too long, shaky and the in and out of focus just didn't do it for me.
There is a certain leeway and context when it comes to all these things but with the song it just made it stand out...sometimes being simple and not trying to over-reach is the best approach

Regards,

Ken
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