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Old September 4th, 2013, 03:09 AM   #1
My first few.
Will Warr Will Warr is offline September 4th, 2013, 03:09 AM

This summer, I've shot a number of wedding videos, a couple of which I'm dead happy with, and others, not so... I tend to offer the client different prices depending how many sections of the day they're after, dividing the day up into Preparation, Church, Reception and Party. Here are a couple of my favourites... Would be great to hear what people think. Since joining this forum, seems like people aren't keen on slider shots, which I have used a lot of.

Rip 'em apart, but remember, I'm very new to this.



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Old September 4th, 2013, 04:40 AM   #2
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Re: My first few.

Firstly let me say that my style is documentary, completely different to yours, so I will comment on the technical aspects. I watched the Kif and India video all the way through, but haven't watched the other one.

The general idea of cutting on beat with the music is a tried and tested format, although some of your cuts are too quick to appreciate what the scenes contain in my opinion. The glider shots are possibly overdone at the start, although again that is a matter of taste. The main problem for me, is that you do not appear to be in control of the camera for much of the video! You have chosen to go down the route of using a DSLR for your work, with a lot of shallow dof shots. That would be fine with the right shots, but there are so many, particularly groups of people, where one person is slipping in and out of focus whilst the remainder are totally out of focus. Shallow dof is best used to highlight and focus on a particular moment or subject, and just doesn't work when you are panning around large groups. Also on the subject of focus, pulling focus from one part of a scene to another, to highlight particular points is fine, but often the whole scene is completely out of focus for a moment at the start, which just looks like poor focus. Poor focus is also prevalent in your dance scenes near the end.

There are also many shots that are very unstable handheld, often with poor focus at the same time. You really must use a tripod or get much better at stabilising your hand held technique.

I feel that you have probably more experience with still photography, as there are some basic errors in your video construction, where you have lost visual flow. for instance, shots at the pub, where you use a number of fades to black which would normally indicate a change of scene or time. but then you come back to what appears to be the same place and time, just a different shot. These sort of changes would be better covered with a dissolve/crossfade. There are also jump cuts where the same people from one shot are suddenly jumped into a different group of people. Either a crossfade or cut away to another shot first would give better flow.

Finally, one of the most important points to me, irrespective of the technical issues, is that this is a wedding, yet there is absolutely no sound of vows, speeches, laughter and fun, just pop music. Good highlight videos are usually a careful balance of music and original sound, and in a highlight of this length, absolutely essential to convey the story. Otherwise, it is just a series of beat cut images.

Sorry if I sound hyper critical, but you asked for comments :-) So to sum up, you have some great ideas and some good footage, spoilt by a number of technical and visual flow issues. I would seriously suggest using your DSLR for special shots, at least until you are able to handle focus problems better, and add an easier to use video camera with a deep dof for major group and general shots. Use a tripod even when it is awkward and you think hand held is working well. Research and watch other videos to gain a better idea of visual flow, use of transitions etc.

Nevertheless, a good start and you obviously have skills and a good eye that will enable you to improve very quickly, particularly as the issues that I see, are mostly related and comparatively easy to overcome.

Good luck with the weddings and I look forward to more examples.

Roger
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Old September 4th, 2013, 05:16 AM   #3
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Re: My first few.

Roger,

Thanks so much for your response, it means a lot. That type of constructive criticism was exactly what I was after. You're so right, quite often with the pressure on the day, the camera takes me for a ride, hence why lots of my shots are shot far too wide & as a result are out of focus.

As for the unstable shots... I often find the small steadicam / flycam that I own more trouble than it's worth. What's your view on the DSLR shoulder rigs for film jobs like wedding videos?

Thanks so much for your time, will make sure I send across my future videos!

Will
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Old September 4th, 2013, 06:48 PM   #4
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Re: My first few.

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Originally Posted by Will Warr View Post
Roger,

Thanks so much for your response, it means a lot. That type of constructive criticism was exactly what I was after. You're so right, quite often with the pressure on the day, the camera takes me for a ride, hence why lots of my shots are shot far too wide & as a result are out of focus.

As for the unstable shots... I often find the small steadicam / flycam that I own more trouble than it's worth. What's your view on the DSLR shoulder rigs for film jobs like wedding videos?

Thanks so much for your time, will make sure I send across my future videos!

Will
Hi Will,
I'm really not the person to ask about DSLR shoulder rigs as I just don't feel that a camera built primarily for stills is the right tool for me for wedding video. My 2000 + weddings filmed over about 30 years have all been filmed with video cameras. I feel that apart from the excellent lenses, DSLR cameras have too many downsides for the low profile documentary style that I do.

I did recently buy a Panasonic Lumix FZ200 to use alongside my video cams, for both video and quick stills. I often do both stills and video at weddings and use a DSLR for stills only and the Lumix is a good bridge camera to cross over between the two. I always use a lightweight tripod, even in difficult circumstances as there is no substitute for stability and even a good shoulder mount is not necessarily going to be stable in many circumstances. I also use a tripod dolly for smooth floor gliding shots and a small glidecam that I am still getting used to, having used a folded tripod as a rudimentary stabiliser until recently.

Spend as much time as you can using your camera under different circumstances, getting used to fast settings changes, quick focussing etc until you can do it instinctively. Get total control of your camera under all circumstances and you will make big improvements in your wedding work. Also think about the style of finished video that you are aiming for and have some sort of plan of what shots you will need to achieve that.

Roger
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Old September 4th, 2013, 07:34 PM   #5
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Re: My first few.

Hi Will

Sadly too many people try to use a stills camera handheld and expect the same results as a video camera but it's a totally different animal!

Sure a decent shoulder mount rig will help a lot but as Roger mentions something that you never have to worry about with 3 chip video cameras is the biggest trouble maker with DSLR's and that's Depth of Field.

Most new DSLR users need to get over the fact that all footage must be half out of focus to be "cool" It might look cool but the bride might not see it that way ...sometimes it's just as important to stop down on your DSLR so your subjects are indeed in focus!! Very few brides want the back half of the bridal party all blurry. It was the first thing I had to get into my thick skull when I moved over to big sensor video cameras!

Use a stedicam sparingly at most but you really need heaps more practice .. I have a full vest/arm rig and I only will use it for maybe 30 minutes of the whole wedding...I have probably been using it for 10 years now and trust me, I still suck at it!! If it's your rig of choice just put in LOT'S of hours of flying !

Otherwise your overall ideas are really fresh and interesting...I can see you going a long way as your shots are innovative ...just clean up the technical side a side and you won't have any issues

Chris
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Old September 4th, 2013, 10:24 PM   #6
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Re: My first few.

One more thing...Shallow DoF is the mst unrealistic thing around. What do your eyes see? eyes have tremendous DoF. A shot here or there when it help tell the story shollow DoF is fine but IMO too many use it far too often and it takes away from the story.
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Old September 4th, 2013, 10:43 PM   #7
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Re: My first few.

Hi Don

Couldn't agree more! For some reason a lot of videographers fight to get the focus as shallow as possible where quite often the bride's face is sharp but her hair is blurry. I probably spend more time now with big sensor cameras making sure at least my subjects are sharp. It does add eye candy to romantic shots of the couple but it does tend to get overdone and shooting with a big sensor and an F1.4 lens (and probably a speed booster as well) doesn't give you more than a couple of inches of sharp focus.

To a lot of shooters it spells "cinematic" but quite often the bride in her own simple mind will purely want to know why her images are fuzzy!

Chris
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Old September 5th, 2013, 04:24 AM   #8
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Re: My first few.

Cheers for the comments guys. Going to have to stick with the DSLR for the forseeable future, but will definitely bear it in mind that shooting wide open isn't always the right answer.

Would be great if you could post some of your favourite example work so I can see what style of videos you put together.

Thanks a lot, keep the comments coming.
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Old September 5th, 2013, 06:46 AM   #9
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Re: My first few.

I use DSLRs, but I haven't used a shoulder rig, but a good monopod is a life saver. It's easy to maneuver and you can get creative shots with it.

We use a monopod during the prep, bride entrance and reception. It's the most use stabilization tool that we use.

This is what we use:
Amazon.com: Manfrotto 561BHDV-1 Fluid Video Monopod with Head: Camera & Photo
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Old September 5th, 2013, 06:47 AM   #10
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Re: My first few.

I don't post clips Will for a number of reasons
1) I don't require or seek feedback
2) I don't post post my client's private weddings on the internet
3) My documentary style is usually at least 90mins frequently longer
4) Documentary style is usually of little interest to non family and friends
5) My internet connection is too slow to upload any decent length of footage.

Apart from that no real reason :-)

Roger
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Old September 6th, 2013, 02:43 AM   #11
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Re: My first few.

Will,

I watched the first three minutes of the first one. (Sorry i'm a busy man!)

And to be honest, I find it hard to fault.

Thing is, theres always things you can point out to other people. And people on here will love doing it.

But personally I only give crit to people I think are struggling to get 'there'. I think you are already 'there'. Not perfect, but few of us are.

Everyone on here could give plenty of crit on each others work. But when you get to the standard you and I and most others are at, the best person to crit your work is you.

You will know looking back at stuff what i is less than ideal.

We all develop as we push ourselves.

If I were you I wouldn't ask others for crit, because sometimes people speak to you like you are lesser. Probably unintentionally. But your work is better than OK. I'm sure your clients are very happy with it.

As for shallow DOF, my rule is, if theres plenty of light and theres a crowd of people, shoot wide and keep more in focus. For detail and beauty shots, get as shallow as you like and learn to control your focus ring well!

Just to recap, you are clearly accomplished enough to be your own critic. Its called fine tuning your product. We all do it as a gradual evolution.
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Old September 6th, 2013, 02:49 AM   #12
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Re: My first few.

Just watched a bit more, loving the Two Door Cinema Club track in there! I'm from NI and followed those boys when they were 15 playing gigs at youth clubs. Makes me proud!
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Old September 6th, 2013, 04:44 AM   #13
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Re: My first few.

Some people post clips for information, some to show their work and some to show off. Will posted his video and specifically asked for comments and suggestions as he pointed out that he is very new to wedding filming. I think that in view of his request, it would be unfair to him not to point out areas where improvements could be made or alternative possibilities offered.

Will clearly has some great ideas and generally implements them well, with his work being perfectly acceptable to most couples, but some areas may benefit from some technical input., One of the strengths that I have found with this forum is that most experienced people are happy to freely offer advice and alternatives when asked, without belittling the poster and I think that Will has responded very positively to the constructive criticism and the spirit that the responders intended.

Roger
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Old September 7th, 2013, 07:32 AM   #14
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Re: My first few.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive McLaughlin View Post
Will,

I watched the first three minutes of the first one. (Sorry i'm a busy man!)

And to be honest, I find it hard to fault.

Thing is, theres always things you can point out to other people. And people on here will love doing it.

But personally I only give crit to people I think are struggling to get 'there'. I think you are already 'there'. Not perfect, but few of us are.

Everyone on here could give plenty of crit on each others work. But when you get to the standard you and I and most others are at, the best person to crit your work is you.

You will know looking back at stuff what i is less than ideal.

We all develop as we push ourselves.

If I were you I wouldn't ask others for crit, because sometimes people speak to you like you are lesser. Probably unintentionally. But your work is better than OK. I'm sure your clients are very happy with it.

As for shallow DOF, my rule is, if theres plenty of light and theres a crowd of people, shoot wide and keep more in focus. For detail and beauty shots, get as shallow as you like and learn to control your focus ring well!

Just to recap, you are clearly accomplished enough to be your own critic. Its called fine tuning your product. We all do it as a gradual evolution.
Cheers for your kind words Clive. New to these forums so not really too sure how it all works :s

Hey ho, i asked for crit, i got crit! I do agree, I'm my own best crit, but, I do feel being self employed for a year or so now has made me a little stale, and need an outsiders view on my videos.

Thanks a lot for the support and your messages!
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Old September 8th, 2013, 06:54 AM   #15
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Re: My first few.

Well you did ask :- )

Where is the ceremony coverage??? I watched the 1st video all the way through. There didn't seem to be anything from the ceremony what so ever. Likewise the 2nd video other than the processional. There don't appear to have been impossible restrictions during it as the photographer is in full view shooting it from the front at 7:09

I'm struggling to understand how you can make a wedding video without the wedding. Well you did ask!

As with Roger I reckon that not including any audio diminishes the product a lot. Surely you could have got a lav hidden on the groom at the very least even if filming was prohibited. Likewise at least some audio from the speeches. I think they were using a mic to a PA so a recorder near a speaker may have worked fine. Maybe you have all this in a long-form version.

I didn't find the unintentional camera movement as distracting as other posters have done. Perhaps we get too hyper-critical on here as we always have an eye on what the next $$$$$ stabilising device might do for our work. Likewise the missed focus. They seem to make a virtue of missing focus on Dragons Den :- )

As Roger I'm not a fan of short-form or even medium form on their own (they are an easy sell but I don't believe they do the clients any favours in the long run, + even more boring and predictable to anyone other than immediate family than long-form traditional). But at least you kept it in chronological order and avoided that horrendous mixing of audio and video from different parts of the day that seems de rigueur elsewhere :- )

Pete
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