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Old August 3rd, 2013, 12:55 PM   #1
Wedding highlights video open for review (XF100 and 6D)
Derek Neustaeter Derek Neustaeter is offline August 3rd, 2013, 12:55 PM

My wife and I have recently started our own videography business. I have shot and edited weddings for family and friends over the years and decided to really get into it. Its something we can do together and we love it! We are shooting with an XF100 and 6D and are learning to make the two compatible, especially in low light situations where color and noise can be a bit of a problem with the XF. This video was shot freehand, before i aquired a shoulder brace for the 6D so you may have to excuse a slight shake here and there! That problem has recently been solved!

Any comments and suggestions are appreciated!


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Old August 3rd, 2013, 03:49 PM   #2
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Re: Wedding highlights video open for review (XF100 and 6D)

Derek,
First off congratulations on getting into the most cut throat end of the business possible.

Put on your helmet for the incoming.

That said, on this forum are some of the BEST wedding shooters I have ever seen.

They make me so glad that i got out of the business when I did. The talent, the time, equipment and effort is far beyond any of my aspirations when I was in the business.

While many no doubt will, I don't think that you are ready for critique just yet. I think you need to learn and explore your equipment intensely in every possible scenario, over and over. You need to develop some synergy with your (wife) second shooter.

More so I would suggest you just watch over and over the many wedding videos you see posted by some folks on this site, which are some of the best in the business. Watch the techniques and then develop your own style from those techniques.

The thing that strikes me most about wedding video's today is that they are a bombardment of "beauty shots" I did not see any beauty shots in your video.

Keep working at it...You will have a bright future in this wonderful business!

It would be interesting to know if this Is the only source of income for you and your wife?
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 04:38 PM   #3
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Re: Wedding highlights video open for review (XF100 and 6D)

Quote:
That said, on this forum are some of the BEST wedding shooters I have ever seen.
Did I hear someone call my name? :D

I think the video started great the first 30 seconds but went downhill from there, the shake wasn't that much of an issue, the out of focus and blown highlights shots where. The best looking shots I saw in that video where the ones from the xf100 when everyone was leaving the church at 03:52 and was in big contrast with the 6d shot. The xf100 had balanced color, good exposure and good focus while the 6d was overexposed and out of focus.

The editing could use some trimming as well, the signing of the register e.g. was dragging on too long. For a highlight not much is happening that can keep the attention, like I would expect some more prep shots or from the evening part with some speeches.

Most important advice I can give you is to learn to master the 6d better, a shoulderbrace, tripod and so on is a start but are useless if you can't get the focus and exposure right. A dslr in general is very difficult to handle and a real hand full in run and gun.
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 05:04 PM   #4
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Re: Wedding highlights video open for review (XF100 and 6D)

Thanks Noa, this is only the second wedding i've shot with the 6d and the lighting was a big challenge as it changed a lot from back to front. The 6D is quite a handful, the stabilizer helps to have hands free to focus but the shallow DOF is hard to work with when the aperture needs to be so low. The 6D is great for B-roll but during the ceremony find myself wanting the XF back!

This package was a ceremony only with no prep or reception which can make it difficult to keep the video interesting for 4 minutes. A lot of our potential clients in our area fail to the importance of a good wedding video and the price that comes with it. All pay thousands of dollars for a photographer and think 800 is too much for a wedding video. I know we are not to the level of many of you on here but every wedding we shoot we have achieved better results and hope to continue on the course!
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Old August 4th, 2013, 05:05 AM   #5
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Re: Wedding highlights video open for review (XF100 and 6D)

There was a battalion of soldiers back from a tour of duty marching in perfect order and step, past the cheering crowds. That is is all but one soldier who was clearly out of step with all the other polished and immaculate guys. A woman's voice rang out from the crowd above the general noise "Look, there's my son, he's the only one in Step!"

Well Derek, I'm that soldier, out of step with just about everybody else here, so please don't take offence at what I am about to say.

You ask the question that couples will pay thousands for a photographer but why do they bulk at $800 for a wedding video. Others confirm that it is a highly competetiveness business and clients can be difficult to find and seem to be wanting to pay as little as possible. To me, the answer to your question is glaringly obvious, why would a couple want to pay thousands of dollars for a music video set to clips from their wedding?

You have said that you and your wife want to build a business together filming weddings, which is what my wife and I do as our main income. (This is my 30th year of producing wedding video) However you have entered this competetive business, having been heavily influenced by the style and equipment of most videographers here who admit that times can be challenging.

What you have shown, is a piece of Romantic (?) music set with some clips from the wedding, with some very brief original sound. Lots of out of focus footage, popularly called shallow depth of field, camera shake and burnt out footage. All taken with a camera designed for still photographs, in common with a large proportion of wedding videographers on this forum. All of the emotion of the day is missing, along with the laughter and the atmosphere, the girl singing and just about everything else that makes a wedding a once in a lifetime experience for the couple.

Unfortunately, it seems that the fashion is to make 'Wedding videos' that appear like pop videos or film trailers, using all the techniques displayed in those styles, such as shallow DoF, glide cams, dollys, music etc
to produce something that has visual impact but has little to do with the wedding. If people were lining up to book these videos at photographers prices, then I might see the commercial point, but THEY ARE NOT!! It has been pointed out ad nauseum that probably less than 10% of weddings have a video.

The fashionable highlights video could be just as easily cobbled together with the photographer's still shots, using pans and zooms at the editing stage and overdubbing some sound clips and music. It makes me think that most current videographers come from a photographic background and just don't get video. It's not something that I would pay out big bucks for.

A wedding in my opinion, is a once in a lifetime experience for most people, it involves high emotion, many different activities and moments, emotional speeches and words and most importantly, family and friends gathered together, perhaps for the first and perhaps only time. It doesn't matter whether people on this forum feel that the speeches and people laughing and joking are boring and that nobody wants to sit through that. They are wrong, as that is exactly what family and friends do want, they want to relive the events that happened too quicky to take in on the day.

The skill in capturing those events is not by using lots of equipment and special techniques, but by looking and listening to everything that is going on around you all day. The emotion and drama are already there, so taking it all out and replacing it with clever shots and soppy music may look pretty, but once seen, it will be chucked in the drawer with the photo album.

A whole day cannot possibly be captured in a few minutes of footage, any more than watching a movie trailer will save watching the movie. The cop out of course is to give them the raw footage of the ceremony, reception and speeches, as though it is of no interest. In my opinion, that is exactly where the interest is, in the little things that go on to show people's personality, emotion and humour. My videos are always over 90 minutes and I struggle to keep them within two hours quite often. I have never had any client say that their video was too long or boring in about 2000 weddings, although I have had many ask if I had any extra footage. By all means do an additional trailer video, but learn how to put real skill and emotion into your main event.

Finally, your footage was mainly handheld footage shot with a stills camera that you had difficulty in keeping in focus and getting the exposure right. On the other hand, I saw a perfectly good video camera on a tripod, with presumably your wife operating it, that would have given much better results. If you insist on using an unsuitable stills camera to video the most important day of someone's life, use it as the B Cam for arty shots, but use the stable full depth of field video camera for what is was intended - shooting video.

Just as a footnote, over the last 12 months, I have shown my work to many potential clients on viewings, with the general response being that it is the first time they have seen what they actually want. I have a 100% suuccess rate over that period, with viewings to bookings.

I'll now don the tin helmet and flak jacket for incoming, but remember that I am a voice in the wilderness and it is just my opinion. :-)

Good luck with the venture,

Roger
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Old August 4th, 2013, 05:34 AM   #6
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Re: Wedding highlights video open for review (XF100 and 6D)

Hey Derek, it was mainly the shake that worried me. I didn't think focus or exposure were awful. In fact, because most of the video was fine (in my opinion anyway), I'm sure you can see any out-of-focus or overexposed bits and don't need them to be pointed out.

I enjoyed the video. Please keep posting.
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Old August 4th, 2013, 07:41 AM   #7
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Re: Wedding highlights video open for review (XF100 and 6D)

I guess I also better put on the flak helmet!

I totally agree with Roger and I really cannot see the reasoning behind trying to show off clever rack focus and shallow DOF on a day where the whole emphasis should be about the bride and not how masterful and clever the cameraman is with his tools.

Sure, I totally admit it is a skilful bit of work and looks very cool and so called "cinematic" but for me that's not what I would want to see if I was a bride at all. I want to see me and my bridal party, the emotion and hear my vows when I say them. For me it would be memories I can cherish many years from now because that was how it really happened.

Then again I don't make wedding films that make me look good. I make a documentation of the day that portrays exactly what happened and when it happened.

My apologies if that doesn't impress but that's my concept and probably Roger's too.

As a work of art to show off the skills and effort of the cameraman it excels, there is no doubt about that but wedding films/videos/movies shouldn't be about the cameraman it should be about the couple.

Chris
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Old August 4th, 2013, 08:17 AM   #8
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Re: Wedding highlights video open for review (XF100 and 6D)

I fully agree with Roger and Chris. What Chris said and I quote" I make a documentation of the day that portrays exactly what happened and when it happened" apply to my videos as well and that is the reason I will never shoot a video with a DSLR camera. I am not Steven Spielberg nor George Loukas nor JJ Abraams, I am just Stelios showing what happens with center actor the bride!!!

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Old August 4th, 2013, 08:29 AM   #9
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Re: Wedding highlights video open for review (XF100 and 6D)

Hi Stelios

My Sony's are actually DSLR's in a video body (EA-50's) as they have the APS-C sensor ...you can quite easily use a DSLR or big sensor camera for normal video without going crazy on DOF. I shoot with mine as if they are normal video cameras and they do well.

BTW: I delivered my Greek wedding done last Saturday to the bride's mother and she loved it!! I just used my main camera on the couple from the front of the Church (sort of back to front) but had to be on my toes and watch when the father went up front to talk. I covered cutaways on the 2nd EA-50 and then to cover me for the bits where I had to swing the 1st camera around I had a GoPro up on the balcony.

Thanks for all your advice over the last month

Chris
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Old August 4th, 2013, 11:32 AM   #10
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Re: Wedding highlights video open for review (XF100 and 6D)

There is nothing wrong with documentary style, it was my weapon of choice. I would not doubt that you will find a bride here and there that would truly prefer documentary style shooting. But by and large, if price was not a concern cinema style shooting would win hands down.

So rather then knock the cinema style, what I always did was look at the people who were doing the best work and what they charged, and focused on becoming a better sales person so I could make top dollar in my chosen style.

Last edited by Pete Bauer; August 5th, 2013 at 07:30 AM. Reason: removed flame / ad hominem
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Old August 4th, 2013, 01:01 PM   #11
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Re: Wedding highlights video open for review (XF100 and 6D)

'If price was not a concern cinema style would win hands down' Who says? There is no evidence to support your assertion, certainly not based on the fact that 90% of weddings don't have a video at all. I would support the theory that if a show of hands was taken on who produces cinematic shorts rather than full length documentary, cinematic would win hands down. Are you also suggesting that a short cinematic trailer video will cost more than a documentary style? Sorry I don't agree with that either.

Perhaps the OP can be encouraged to consider wider options than just jumping into an already saturated style by researching carefully. Extremely well carried out work in any field doesn't guarantee sales even if you were always able to command top prices for your work in the past.

Roger

Last edited by Pete Bauer; August 5th, 2013 at 07:34 AM. Reason: ad hominem
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Old August 4th, 2013, 01:04 PM   #12
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Re: Wedding highlights video open for review (XF100 and 6D)

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Originally Posted by Al Gardner View Post
Derek,

More so I would suggest you just watch over and over the many wedding videos you see posted by some folks on this site, which are some of the best in the business. Watch the techniques and then develop your own style from those techniques.
Or not. Wedding videos, even good ones can be saccharin laced compilations that to me seem harder to watch as the production values increase. Maybe set your sights higher and study romantic films and pay particular attention to how music is used to heighten emotions and how it otherwise stays out of the way. Watching this video I felt completely removed from the ceremony because the soundtrack excluded most of the dialogue. The speeches, the vows and comments are what will cause repeated viewings, not a dominating pop music track. The only thing that makes this type of shoot unique are the people involved on that given day.
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Old August 4th, 2013, 02:05 PM   #13
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Re: Wedding highlights video open for review (XF100 and 6D)

I would be one of those cinematographers. Except that for me, when starting, it never occured to me that the cinematic style trailer would stand alone. I only ever saw it as an add-on.

I deliver footage of the full ceremony and speeches (multicam) and footage of guests and the first four dances.

I pretty much do exactly what Roger and others do, except I also do a cinematic highlights trailer on top. (Because I can!)

For those that say, it has no dialogue etc... - well the rest of the DVD is where you find that.

The Cinematic trailer serves its purpose.

And guess what - people book because of it. End of argument right there. Unless you want to start a campaign telling brides why they only think they want something but you can set them straight.


-----------

Now to your video.

You are aware of the shake. I would advise taking the lack of freedom on the chin and going for tripod. If you want somewhere in between, get a Manfrotto video monopod like the 561B. Like others have said, watch the exposure.

One more thing nobody has mentioned. You are getting flicker/banding. This is because of the frequency of light coming from the church lighting. You can remove or minimise this by choosing a different shutter speed.

You were clearly limited by it being only the ceremony. I quite liked how you switched up the scene order. Its something I never can be bothered doing, but it shows creativity.

I thought the opening 30 seconds was right up there.

But please, no more handheld.

I look forward to seeing more!
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Old August 4th, 2013, 02:17 PM   #14
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Re: Wedding highlights video open for review (XF100 and 6D)

A good sensible post Duane and one I wholeheartedly concur with. Another point that is worth mentioning, is that all the short forms posted on this forum (and there are many) are only of relevance to this forum. Most of them show good techniques and editing skills, with many eliciting glowing reviews from members including me on occasion. This encourages others to aspire to that same level of ability and skill, but in the real world can often lead to a specialised appeal only.

I filmed a wedding three weeks ago where the speeches totalled 45 minutes, full of family references and jokes that meant absolutely nothing to me. The idea of uploading that to this forum is laughable as it would be completely boring and pointless to members. However I delivered the finished video to the couple two weeks later and they both laughed and cried through the speeches as the references and jokes were very personal and emotional to them.. So the point I am making, is that what we see on this forum may show great skill but is not necessarily indicative of what Brides want.

I know my views are only shared by a few, but I really believe that cinematic short wedding video is a luxury item in terms of importance for outlay. I would compare it with the couple having a portrait painted, a lovely piece of art, but something that only a limited number would be prepared to pay out for. On the other hand, I see a documentary of the day as being the only way that the couple will ever see what their wedding day was actually like, and a must have record of their day to keep for many years. I find the documentary style very easy to sell to a couple when I visit them to show what it is all about and how much detail is captured.

I enjoy viewing cinematic style videos as much as anyone and have no problem with people producing and selling them, but it is not the answer to the small video take up in my opinion.

Roger
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Old August 4th, 2013, 02:30 PM   #15
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Re: Wedding highlights video open for review (XF100 and 6D)

Clive, I also totally agree with your post, as the cinematic highlights as an add on, is a great way for the friends and those who don't know the family to see a short version, and also as a promotion tool for those that don't need to see the detail of other people's weddings.

It is something that I have considered adding to my own service, as it covers what I see as the long term value of a wedding video and the impact and fun of the cinematic short.

Roger
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