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Old December 1st, 2010, 10:25 AM   #1
Michelle & Roberts complete (ish) wedding video
Andrew Prince Andrew Prince is offline December 1st, 2010, 10:25 AM

Hi all,

Just looking for constuctive criticsm, thoughts and general meanderings on this little collection of clips that make up my latest wedding video.

The video was shot using a Sony Z5E and Sony FX1E. Edited on Premiere Pro CS5 with Magic Bullet Looks. I shot in 1080i and rendered out to 1080p for YouTube.

Carillon Video: Professional Videographer for wedding videos

Thanks. :-)


Regards,

Andrew.
Professional Wedding Videographer and Wedding Video Production Services in Bolton, Manchester and all over the UK

Andrew Prince
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Old December 1st, 2010, 02:49 PM   #2
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Andrew,
I'm new at this, so take my recommendations with a grain of salt. IMO, videographers job is to conceal the fact that we are behind the camera. If you look at movies (and maybe your not trying to be anything like a hollywood movie), you only see zoom during special effects. It creates an emotion in the viewer, just like transition, that need to be used correctly. The other thing I see on other videos is the dynamic range of the footage. The shot of the sky leaves the foreground black. So at :36 maybe pick either silhouette or blow out the sky, but doing both seems like something went wrong. For some reason I feel like the objects should have been filmed stationary and movement added to the shots where people were talking. Be mindful of backgrounds. At a wedding I would be hiding graves. Also at 5:40, the guy is undressing that woman with his eyes. I've got footage where the groom is doing the same thing, I'd leave it out. At 6:29 the lady picks her butt, stick a crossfade and hide it. Same with pulling her bra up at 7:30. Any clips at the ceremony?
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Old December 1st, 2010, 04:04 PM   #3
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Hi Andrew.

I watched the arrivals section and would like to help with my opinion, but first I would recommend that you use vimeo to host your online clips.

The video to me has all the hallmarks of someone just starting out in the industry although I could be wrong! There are countless zooms which is not desirable and detracts the viewer.

There is no real meaning or cohesion to shot selection and at times it feels like you are just experimenting with different techniques to see if it works! I would recommend not trying any walking camera movements without some form of stabilisation there is too much wobble evident.

I can see that you have relied on the cameras auto exposure and there are times when it is obvious. There is also some washed out images where the camera has overexposed in auto settings.

The music seems to be wallpaper music and just added with no real mix with live audio.

Sorry to sound so negative but this is how I see it. I would recommend mastering your camera in manual mode. Hope you take this as constructive. All the best.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 05:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Fiske View Post
If you look at movies (and maybe your not trying to be anything like a hollywood movie), you only see zoom during special effects. It creates an emotion in the viewer, just like transition, that need to be used correctly.
Hi Greg,

Thanks for your message. I take your point about the zooms (I think you mean when I zoom in as opposed to having the shot composed zoomed in?). In these shots, I wanted to use both the wide and the close shot and I didn't quite have enough footage to chop out the zoom. It's only a rough cut so I may well change some of these shots.

Quote:
The other thing I see on other videos is the dynamic range of the footage. The shot of the sky leaves the foreground black. So at :36 maybe pick either silhouette or blow out the sky, but doing both seems like something went wrong.
Yes. I take that point also. It's most noticable on the shot when I follow the flowers over an arch above the church gate. I need to correct that shot or replace it.

Quote:
For some reason I feel like the objects should have been filmed stationary and movement added to the shots where people were talking.
I'm not sure what you mean by this? By objects, do you mean static objects that I have tried to inject movement into by moving the camera for the duration of the shot? For people talking.... I am not sure how I would add movement without the camera wobbling all over the place?

Quote:
Be mindful of backgrounds. At a wedding I would be hiding graves. Also at 5:40, the guy is undressing that woman with his eyes.
I never thought about the graves thing and I didn't notice the guy looking at the woman. I'll have a look for that shot and see if I can get rid. With regards to the graves though, the whole photo shoot at the church took place in a graveyard and I don't really know how I would have got around that?

Quote:
At 6:29 the lady picks her butt, stick a crossfade and hide it. Same with pulling her bra up at 7:30. Any clips at the ceremony?
You sure have an eye for detail don't you? :-) I'll have a look for those shots and see what I can do.

I have the full ceremony done but it's way too long to upload to YouTube, which is why I haven't bothered. Why do you ask?


Kind regards,

Andrew.
Professional Wedding Videographer and Wedding Video Production Services in Bolton, Manchester and all over the UK
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 05:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John De Rienzo View Post
Hi Andrew.

I watched the arrivals section and would like to help with my opinion, but first I would recommend that you use vimeo to host your online clips.
Ah.... now I always wondered why people use Vimeo over YouTube? What's the reason? I see no problem with my website using YouTube other than the adverts it places on the video. This wasn't a problem until recently when I changed the music I was using.

Quote:
The video to me has all the hallmarks of someone just starting out in the industry although I could be wrong! There are countless zooms which is not desirable and detracts the viewer.
I wouldn't say I was just starting out. I think this is my seventh wedding, but it's a young (and part time) business. I already touched on the zooms in the previous post, but the short version is, it's a rough cut and I didn't have enough footage to use the wide and close shot and still be able to cut out the actual transition from wide to close.

Interestingly, I looked at your website and whilst I can't actually view your videos because they're blocked on the nework I am currently on, I did notice that your bottom package price is significantly more expensive that my top package. Are we in different markets? I am not saying that I purposefully compromise the quality of my work based on price, but there is surely a difference between a 650.00 wedding video and a 2,000.00 wedding video?

Quote:
There is no real meaning or cohesion to shot selection and at times it feels like you are just experimenting with different techniques to see if it works!
I'm not experimenting. I simply build my edit from a chronological shot list and then swap various shots around to avoid obviously silly continuity errors and shots that just don't make any sense. If there is an area I struggle with when editing, it is trying to work out which shot goes where, to get a flowing story. I guess this is something that starts right at the shooting stage but I don't think I have enough experience to be able to visualise a final wedding film at the shooting stage. I am just trying to cover every shot so that I have options. I would love to know how others do this. But then, I bet you could write a book on it!

Quote:
I would recommend not trying any walking camera movements without some form of stabilisation there is too much wobble evident.
I'm with you there. Interestingly on your website you list Steadicam and Glidetrack in your features list.... I merely dream about such things! :-)

Quote:
I can see that you have relied on the cameras auto exposure and there are times when it is obvious. There is also some washed out images where the camera has overexposed in auto settings.
Correct. In actual fact, I use the auto exposure often in places where events are fast moving. If I am static (ceremony for instance) then I lock off the camera. I'm also very concious of brides in white dresses throwing the auto exposure all over the place when they get out of cars for instance, so I sometimes switch to manual when I think that will be obvious. I'm still learning camera skills and I simply don't feel confident enough yet to drive a camera on full manual and get all the shots I want / need. I compromise by putting up with the occasional shots that are under or over exposed because I know that the rest of my shots will be useable in some way. My recurring nightmare is loading all my footage onto my edit box and finding that it's ALL crap because I made a single major error.

Quote:
The music seems to be wallpaper music and just added with no real mix with live audio.
Yes. I didn't choose the music. Not sure what you mean by 'no real mix with live audio' though? I put the live audio in the video clips whenever I could, which is most of the time. Are you saying you think the levels need tweaking to balance them more effectively? Or something more fundamental? The only clip which doesn't contain live audio for most of it is the first dance and the reason for that is the DJ was horribly distorted - not my levels.... his levels.

Quote:
Sorry to sound so negative but this is how I see it. I would recommend mastering your camera in manual mode. Hope you take this as constructive.
That's not a problem at all. If I didn't want negative criticism, I wouldn't have posted my work. Your message is precisely what I was looking for. So thanks for that. :-)

Strangely, no-one mentioned Magic Bullet Looks. I am so paranoid that I am overdoing it with MBLs on every shot. I guess it's subtle enough then?


Kind regards,

Andrew.
Professional Wedding Videographer and Wedding Video Production Services in Bolton, Manchester and all over the UK
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 05:50 AM   #6
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Hi all,

Just double checking on this zooming thing.... When you say zooms are bad, you're talking about one shot which is wide, then zooms to close?

I'm making the distinction because I figured it makes more sense to split it into two shots - one wide and then one close? That's allowed yes? :-)


Kind regards,

Andrew.
Professional Wedding Videographer and Wedding Video Production Services in Bolton, Manchester and all over the UK
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 11:23 AM   #7
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I don't think your package price should dictate the quality of your video. You just need to understand the limitations of your equipment and work around it. I don't have a flycam yet, but I shoot at 1080 and use software stabilization in post, and drop to 720. I get the shot, but make some sacrifices until I can drop $500 for a blackbird. The guys that have been doing it for a lot longer should inspire us, and instead of making excuses, we need to figure out what its going to take to get there. That doesn't necessarily mean dropping money onto the problem.

Andrew, yes the wide to zoom shots. Maybe those shots are better served with a pan using a fluid tripod (which should be a bare minimum equipment to do a wedding gig). A zoom is jarring to the viewer. That feeling is better utilized in a special effect for a horror movie, when you want to convey a feeling of dizziness. Same with rotating the camera to shoot the alter, it gives a feeling of playfulness that would probably be reserved for something other than a conservative wedding. When things are used out of place it makes the footage look like your experimenting with techniques (maybe this is why the experimenting comment came up).

Its tough making inanimate objects look interesting on video. The dslr guys have it easier cause we can make the DOF interesting and just shoot the object. Maybe a $100 slider? I think more HDV guys will have to chime in on this, cuase I only have DSLR experience. I haven't seen enough HDV video but maybe those "set the location shots" only take up 10 seconds of the footage?

I only was able to watch the first video, hence my confusion about the ceremony. The bride was beautiful, btw. I'd practice with manual, I think we need to be comfortable with that before we start charging for gigs? Maybe start hunting for others you could second shoot with so there is not as much pressure? Good job on the MLB, I didn't notice it on the first video, so I would say you've got that down. Every time I try to use it I just make my footage look worst.
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Old December 3rd, 2010, 05:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Fiske View Post
I don't think your package price should dictate the quality of your video. You just need to understand the limitations of your equipment and work around it.
That's precisely why I said I don't purposefully compromise the quality of my work based on price. However, it stands to reason that a videographer charging 650.00 isn't going to produce the same product as one that is charging 2,000.00. If they did, then we would all be charging 650.00. Or 2,000.00.

I don't do those super smooth and slow walking shots because I don't have the gear for it.

Quote:
I don't have a flycam yet, but I shoot at 1080 and use software stabilization in post, and drop to 720. I get the shot, but make some sacrifices until I can drop $500 for a blackbird. The guys that have been doing it for a lot longer should inspire us, and instead of making excuses, we need to figure out what its going to take to get there. That doesn't necessarily mean dropping money onto the problem.
I've not really looked into stabilisation either physical or software based, yet. I'm not making excuses. I am simply learning as I go and I haven't yet got as far as stabilisation in any form. I guess it's something I should seriously look into over winter. There aren't very many wobbly shots in my videos overall. I think the videos on the website may have a shot or two that are wobbly, but it's a rough cut. I'll probably change those shots before delivery.

I haven't looked at one of these Blackbird things yet. You're saying they're $500.00? So that means I could probably get one for 300.00 in the UK? Now I am instantly wondering where my time, effort and cash is best allocated.... Learning and implimenting software based stabilisation, with all its compromises, or throwing 350.00 on a new piece of kit and learning how to use that to get it right at source (ie when I am shooting it). Most of a wedding project for me is edit and post. If I can cut down (I certainly don't want to be adding to it) the time I take on post, I increase my profit. I'm seriously going to think about this. :-)

Quote:
Andrew, yes the wide to zoom shots.
I'm still not clear on exactly what you mean with this zoom thing. I always thought it was okay to cut from wide to close but not to zoom from wide to close? When you're talking about my videos you seem to be saying there are lots of wide to close but there aren't. There are lots of cuts from wide to close, but not a lot of zooms. Which are you talking about?

In other words....

One shot that starts wide and physically ZOOMS to close is BAD.
One shot that starts wide and then CUTS to close is GOOD.

No?

Quote:
Maybe those shots are better served with a pan using a fluid tripod (which should be a bare minimum equipment to do a wedding gig). A zoom is jarring to the viewer.
Now I am really confused. Doesn't take much! :-) How does one replace a 'wide to close zoom' OR 'wide to close cut' with a pan?

I have a fluid head tripod. I use it quite a lot, but not for some shots in a fast moving photoshoot. The style I am shooting is more run and gun.

Quote:
Its tough making inanimate objects look interesting on video. The dslr guys have it easier cause we can make the DOF interesting and just shoot the object. Maybe a $100 slider?
I have recently been looking at these sliders. From what I can tell, they are a track that you mount on a tripod and it allows you to move the camera smoothly from one side to the other. I haven't seen any footage shot in this way so I can't say I know what effect they are used for, BUT thinking purely theoretically and logically, it wouldn't make much difference? They're only a couple of feet wide aren't they? I could understand the massive effect you could get with a ten foot slider. Maybe I need to look at this more closely?

Quote:
I'd practice with manual, I think we need to be comfortable with that before we start charging for gigs?
I'm not sure I agree there. Of course, I want to get fully proficient with my equipment and I will do that. But, the features of the camera are there to be used. If a shot can be got with auto focus switched on or auto exposure then by all means use it. I certainly don't shoot on full auto all the time. I only use some auto features when I am in a rush or running and gunning.

I'm certainly not going to stop charging for my services. I have to make a living. I have zero unhappy customers and most of my customers tell me my videos are great. I think it's important to remember the videos I posted are rough cuts. I literally finish a sequence, export and upload and move onto the next one. I'll be going through the entire wedding DVD and correcting many points before delivery.

Quote:
Good job on the MBL, I didn't notice it on the first video, so I would say you've got that down. Every time I try to use it I just make my footage look worst.
Thanks. I am still really paranoid I used too much MBL. It certainly puts my render times into the stratosphere! Not sure what you're doing with MBL if you're making your footage worse though. All I did was take the 'warm spot focus' preset and modify it. I removed the soft focus around the edges and turned down the spot exposure. Then I added auto shoulder to the very end process so that it pulled the RGB graph back into acceptible limits. Sometimes it still blows things out a bit and I have to compensate. Essentially, all I am really using of the original 'warm spot focus' preset is the RGB curve, with slight vignette around the corners. Looks okay.... but I am still paranoid! :-)

Thanks for the feedback. :-)


Regards,

Andrew.
Professional Wedding Videographer and Wedding Video Production Services in Bolton, Manchester and all over the UK
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