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Old August 23rd, 2014, 04:32 AM   #1
2nd Wedding: Feedback Would Really Help!
Craig McKenna Craig McKenna is offline August 23rd, 2014, 04:32 AM

Hi All,

I posted my first wedding film here around May. Since then, I've shot two more weddings and this is the first of those two. On this day, I lost sound on my main camera (recovered it by shooting in auto mode for speeches (GH4) and continued to use manual focus - but struggled with the auto exposure during the speeches (with a big barn door letting loads of light shine over the B&G - I now know that the fault was due to shooting in VFR mode).

The film itself was going to be one song in length, but I felt that I had too many shots that were going to miss the edit - I won't be doing a long edit - this is it basically, along with the ceremony and speeches that are finished too.

I shot the film for free, but really want someone to say that it's a worthy wedding film... in some ways, I think it is... in other ways, I think I have a lot to learn.

There are still a few tweaks that I need to make, like stabilising some of the footage and cropping the slider shot of the Bentley, as one of my new feet appear at the bottom of the frame... but apart from that, I'm all ears...

Password: 310714

Any and all feedback will be appreciated!!!!!

E.g. Which shots did you like in the film?
Which shots need work?
Where are my strengths (if any!)?
And where are my weaknesses (List as many as you like - it all helps!)?


Again, I owe most of what I have been able to achieve to this forum and Creative Live... thank you again.

Craig

Craig McKenna
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Old August 24th, 2014, 04:40 AM   #2
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Re: 2nd Wedding: Feedback Would Really Help!

It's a worthy wedding film (in my opinion).

Random comments:

-- opening vow shot -- was this an unmanned camera? Framing isn't to my taste, but I reckon you'd probably agree, since your framing was good (in my opinion) for the rest of the video.
-- opening montage of shots is great, and bridal prep coverage generally was good -- really liked the slide in towards the dress
-- loved the car slider shots at 1:55 and 2:00 (latter especially... and I'm curious what was involved in getting that -- did you have to wait there very long?)
-- 2:14 -- nice slider move of interior of church, but needs levelling? I know it can be tricky.
-- 2:19 -- awesome shot of nervous groom. One thing that makes the shot interesting is that the groom is slightly lower in frame than normal, though it's still a balanced composition. Main problem with the shot, and with the processional shots, is the tripod in the background
-- Main shots that need work throughout the video was anything shaky. Example is bridal entry at 2:31. Of course, people have different standards of how shaky is too shaky.
-- 3:55: loved the confetti shot and the shallow depth of field.
-- 4:09: tilting down the building: doesn't feel like the camera movement arrives at any frame, showing the whole of the building.
-- 4:19: guest coverage. Think about sticking a wider shot in here, to give viewer a sense of space and how things are positioned relative to each other.
-- 4:26: timelapse is cool, but, to be honest, feels out of place -- too frantic; doesn't match music or fit in with calmness of other shots
-- 4:59: is that strobing in the lighting? Doesn't seem to be present in the other shots, so perhaps you changed shutter to correct for it?
-- 5:07: nice moment when the guy pokes his head out the wall; glad you caught it
-- 5:10: wide angle shot of guests; I reckon you could correct rotation and stabilise it a little bit
-- 5:23: I appreciate that you took the effort to get down to the girl's level, rather than shooting from an adult's point of view
-- 5:37: to be honest, I found your cake shots inspirational; I've never shot a cake like that -- I'm always square on to it.
-- 5:43: liked your pan from their faces to the knife (I usually go the opposite direction). I think I may have made the same comment on a previous video of yours?

Thanks for posting it!
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Old August 24th, 2014, 10:07 AM   #3
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Re: 2nd Wedding: Feedback Would Really Help!

Thanks Adrian!!! Huge help as always!

In response to your comments:

-- opening vow shot -- was this an unmanned camera? Framing isn't to my taste, but I reckon you'd probably agree, since your framing was good (in my opinion) for the rest of the video.

Thanks... unfortunately, it was a manned camera... I had the best men (two of them) to the left of me, stood up and blocking any shot there... then the photographer was directly behind me and there was a fire exit door directly next to him, which I wasn't allowed to block... so basically, I couldn't move the tripod anywhere else... so I just basically shot at them... placing them to the left of the frame. The registrar then positioned himself next to me... so he wasn't even near the bride and groom... I didn't quite understand if that was the norm? Either way, I was also armed with a 150mm equivalent prime (on a monopod), but as I'm shooting the wedding for free, they stated that they didn't want me to be intrusive. When I shot them with the 150mm equivalent prime (75mm M4/3 lens) the groom looked awkward and seemed to feel the camera on him, so I reduced that camera to not being used, as it was more important to ensure the groom was happy. I didn't like the framing either though, you're right and it's another reason why I think I should get a 35-100 (70-200) lens for next year, rather than shooting primes throughout a wedding, which is harder as you probably know.

-- opening montage of shots is great, and bridal prep coverage generally was good -- really liked the slide in towards the dress Thanks!

-- loved the car slider shots at 1:55 and 2:00 (latter especially... and I'm curious what was involved in getting that -- did you have to wait there very long?)

Thanks! I really liked the one where it pulled up alongside me too. So, I'd arrived at the venue from the bride's mum's house about three minutes before their arrival. It was a pretty epic drive into the venue, and I knew they were particularly fond of the Bentley (they seemed to love cars), so when I got there, I positioned the 75mm with the GH3 on my monopod at the side, about 15 yards in front of where I left my GH4 with the 25mm (I think) on my slider. I shot the initial shot with the 75mm, then left it and the monopod against the fence and ran back to switch on the GH4 and then captured the pull back of the shot. I'd practised this already with another car that was heading up the drive when I'd initially got the idea (but was slightly worried that it would be run over by the car), but it seemed safe(ish). So when it arrived, I set it to record and pulled back. All in all, about a four minute part of the day...

-- 2:14 -- nice slider move of interior of church, but needs levelling? I know it can be tricky. Is there anything I can do in post to fix this??? I knew at the time that it was not level, and spent the best part of five minutes trying to get it to level (I'd bought new feet for my Duzi slider, and I couldn't get it perfect). The floor was so off centre, that it became a real struggle and I felt embarrassed that I couldn't do it, as the singers at the venue were watching me do it too... I had practised using them, but not on such uneven floor - something to practise in the future.

-- 2:19 -- awesome shot of nervous groom. One thing that makes the shot interesting is that the groom is slightly lower in frame than normal, though it's still a balanced composition. Main problem with the shot, and with the processional shots, is the tripod in the background

Would you recommend a different placement of the tripod somewhere? I was really pleased to have a full-coverage, unmanned camera at the back, but realised that it did damage some shots at the same time. I put the monopod high for the shot down the aisle, just incase anyone blocked my view (I'm only 5ft7"). So that's the main reason for the groom being lower. If I shot this again, I'd use a longer focal length so I could capture the bride's walk more intimately.

-- Main shots that need work throughout the video was anything shaky. Example is bridal entry at 2:31. Of course, people have different standards of how shaky is too shaky.

Definitely - going to stabilise all monopod shots!

-- 3:55: loved the confetti shot and the shallow depth of field. Thanks!

-- 4:09: tilting down the building: doesn't feel like the camera movement arrives at any frame, showing the whole of the building.

I had a bit of a worry towards the end of the day that I hadn't captured the venue well enough. So I did some really terrible shots of the venue, trying to omit the crowd of people who were already there... this was a mistake and I also needed to be elsewhere, so the shots of the venue were rushed and as a result, poor. If I left it a little longer in the film, maybe it will seem to arrive more? I'll have a go... thanks for the tip!

-- 4:19: guest coverage. Think about sticking a wider shot in here, to give viewer a sense of space and how things are positioned relative to each other.

I'll see if I have one - thanks. A part of what I'm noticing with my wedding films so far, is that I'm not changing the focal length enough, because I'm constantly thinking about capturing people, rather than the venue. Of course, the venue is in my mind upon arrival, and the the preps I'm trying to capture other details... but after that, I think I'm too focused on events, rather than the buildings and other details that I could work on... I need to develop this part of my filming, and to some extent, I think shooting with two zooms would help greatly (12-35 and 35-100 (24-70 & 70-200)), so I think they're going to be my next investments, along with a stabiliser to take myself from a fixed point and adding more movement.

-- 4:26: timelapse is cool, but, to be honest, feels out of place -- too frantic; doesn't match music or fit in with calmness of other shots

You're right. Would you take it out? I think I was so pleased at having a timelapse shot, that I never considered the music - except with the tie in to the opening of the door and the revealing of the couple afterwards.

-- 4:59: is that strobing in the lighting? Doesn't seem to be present in the other shots, so perhaps you changed shutter to correct for it?

This was my faulty GH4!!! (Which turned out not to be faulty!) I had it set to a VFR (Variable Frame Rate) and as a result, I lost my audio and thought that the GH4 had lost audio in Movie Mode altogether... so I had to shoot on auto exposure in Manual mode (which retained audio), but manual exposure didn't work in this mode... it was a major headache and completely directed my mood from about 2:30-3:00pm for the rest of the evening! I still stayed in high spirits and was thankful that I still had audio (especially with the VideoMic Pro going) but I was disappointed at the ugly exposure caused by the open window behind the bride and groom... I could have fixed this with manual exposure, as you're aware, but I couldn't at the time and despite fiddling with the camera for 30 minutes during the dinner part of the day, I was unable to fix it. I have worked on the shot in post, raising the exposure and crushing the blacks (I think it's called - when you reduce the shadows)... but banding was present, as you noticed. It was a terrible venue to shoot at for the speeches, as they'd completely filled it with people... no room for my Sacthler Ace's... I had to squeeze between two tables, one with my camcorder on - which needs to be replaced, as it's so inferior to my GH cameras... and the other with my GH4 and lack of audio... I was really unhappy at this point, as I felt that I'd let the couple down and was also a bad person! Which might seem OTT, but at the time, it was hard to remain in good spirits... I just felt like it must be something simple to fix, but I was unable to do so...

-- 5:07: nice moment when the guy pokes his head out the wall; glad you caught it Thanks - thought I was going to miss it... but had just about enough focus to cover him when he lifted his hand.

-- 5:10: wide angle shot of guests; I reckon you could correct rotation and stabilise it a little bit

Still unsure how to fix rotation in film... I will try to find out by searching Google.. thanks!

-- 5:23: I appreciate that you took the effort to get down to the girl's level, rather than shooting from an adult's point of view Thanks!

-- 5:37: to be honest, I found your cake shots inspirational; I've never shot a cake like that -- I'm always square on to it.

Cheers... to be honest, it was quick thinking and hoping that ended up cutting together nicely... I had the monopod tilt shot... moving from the bottom to the top of the cake... then, because I wasn't inspired by the shot, I did three quick ones from the corners of the bottom and middle tier, then a top shot... took all of ten seconds, but if you like it, then it's a good way I guess of capturing the cake quickly and well - and something that I'll repeat in the future! Thanks.

-- 5:43: liked your pan from their faces to the knife (I usually go the opposite direction). I think I may have made the same comment on a previous video of yours?

You did - thanks! That's the reason I shot it the same way, and also the reason I'll continue to ask for feedback and hope that people will be kind enough to watch and comment - getting some positives about different shots leads you to wanting to get the same shots again! Hopefully, I'll continue to get better with feedback and learning from other films here...

Thanks a lot though, Adrian! Feedback like this is priceless... helps me to get better and better... although I was unable to get feedback between my second and third film (latter yet to be completed/posted!), I think from self-evaluating the second film, I was able to shoot the third better... I'm really hopeful that the next one will come across well... here's to hoping though, I guess.

Thanks again, Adrian!!!
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Old August 24th, 2014, 05:40 PM   #4
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Re: 2nd Wedding: Feedback Would Really Help!

-- Re fixing levelling in post -- hopefully you've been able to Google the answer! Easiest fix is to rotate the image, then scale it up, but obviously there are limits to how far you can scale up before things start to look dodgy.

-- Placement of rear camera: you could offset it slightly to the left or the right, so it's behind the guests. There would be trade-offs: its composition wouldn't be as square-on and balanced, and you might have to find some way to get it high enough to look over people's heads.

-- Timelapse: your call whether it goes or stays, but it's a cool shot in itself, and is a good way to transition to start of reception.
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Old August 25th, 2014, 08:53 AM   #5
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Re: 2nd Wedding: Feedback Would Really Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian Tan View Post
-- Re fixing levelling in post -- hopefully you've been able to Google the answer! Easiest fix is to rotate the image, then scale it up, but obviously there are limits to how far you can scale up before things start to look dodgy.

-- Placement of rear camera: you could offset it slightly to the left or the right, so it's behind the guests. There would be trade-offs: its composition wouldn't be as square-on and balanced, and you might have to find some way to get it high enough to look over people's heads.

-- Timelapse: your call whether it goes or stays, but it's a cool shot in itself, and is a good way to transition to start of reception.
Thanks Adrian - I'm going to have a go at levelling my shots and stabilising the footage now...!

Interesting about the rear camera - what do you do?

I think I'll keep it now, but consider the tempo of music for the future... I still have a long way to develop my skills... I'll keep trying to learn though.

Thanks again, really helpful post and sorry for the essay that followed! Hope some of it was helpful - if you read it at all! I think I have a tendency to be thorough! :/
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Old August 26th, 2014, 09:40 AM   #6
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Re: 2nd Wedding: Feedback Would Really Help!

I've now made all of the changes necessary and believe that it's ready for delivery - excited!

If anyone would like to comment, hopefully you'll see smoother footage, saturation boost, levelled shots etc...


Password: 310714

Thank you for your help and comments, Adrian!
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Old August 26th, 2014, 12:51 PM   #7
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Re: 2nd Wedding: Feedback Would Really Help!

I think she'll love it. It does feel more polished to me, and it also feels like you somehow packed more shots into it.

Couple more comments:

1:26: dropped frame (one frame of black)
3:58: dropped frame
4:45: the applause from the audience: fade it out rather than simply cut it

Final shot: have a think about it. It's alright as is, but only issue is that there's a slightly awkward sort of incomplete tilt-down that feels, very briefly, like you're looking at her butt! Or maybe you're looking at his hands on her back. Now, you could cut that tilt out, and go to a cutaway or alternate angle or jump cut or something, but the trade-off then is that the cut would interrupt the flow of the shot. Anyway, just thought I'd mention it...
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Old August 26th, 2014, 02:55 PM   #8
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Re: 2nd Wedding: Feedback Would Really Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian Tan View Post
I think she'll love it. It does feel more polished to me, and it also feels like you somehow packed more shots into it.

Couple more comments:

1:26: dropped frame (one frame of black)
3:58: dropped frame
4:45: the applause from the audience: fade it out rather than simply cut it

Final shot: have a think about it. It's alright as is, but only issue is that there's a slightly awkward sort of incomplete tilt-down that feels, very briefly, like you're looking at her butt! Or maybe you're looking at his hands on her back. Now, you could cut that tilt out, and go to a cutaway or alternate angle or jump cut or something, but the trade-off then is that the cut would interrupt the flow of the shot. Anyway, just thought I'd mention it...
Thanks Adrian! Your comments have really helped.

I'll go back and check those three things and fix them - thanks!

As for the final shot - I agree that it might have been slightly lazily added and left - a sort of - "ahhhh the final piece to the jigsaw... the dances!" type of moment. Also, I totally realise that it looks like I'm going down to shoot her butt!!! I was going down to go to the bottom of her dress and tilt up... but then he seemed to do something different with his dancing, so I held still and then he lifted her up! Haha. Terrible that that's how it looks!

I'll have a look at finishing it in a different way... but the film was sent today by post - hopefully they don't think the same as we do about the final shot! Thanks very much for your input though, and the DVD I sent today is just for them to preview the film - I can still change it - I haven't added the speeches and ceremony to the disc, it's just that their Internet is terribly slow and I don't want them viewing it jumping around... would ruin their first viewing.

Thanks again - I'll let you know what the bride says! :D
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Old August 26th, 2014, 03:19 PM   #9
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Re: 2nd Wedding: Feedback Would Really Help!

I think it looks great Craig, especially considering it's your second wedding and you are shooting with dslr's. Can I ask which camera was used to shoot the aisle sliding shot at 02:12? Is it a omd-em5? If there is one thing you need to be more careful about next time is your focus, if you are unsure about keeping focus on a object moving towards you it's better to close down your iris so your dof increases and always double check your focus when shooting static objects, dslr's can be very unforgiving when it comes to focus, it will stick out like sore thumb when viewed in hd on a large screen.
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Old August 26th, 2014, 06:36 PM   #10
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Re: 2nd Wedding: Feedback Would Really Help!

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
I think it looks great Craig, especially considering it's your second wedding and you are shooting with dslr's. Can I ask which camera was used to shoot the aisle sliding shot at 02:12? Is it a omd-em5? If there is one thing you need to be more careful about next time is your focus, if you are unsure about keeping focus on a object moving towards you it's better to close down your iris so your dof increases and always double check your focus when shooting static objects, dslr's can be very unforgiving when it comes to focus, it will stick out like sore thumb when viewed in hd on a large screen.
Thanks Noa!

No, the aisle slider shot was with the GH3 or the GH4... I was interchanging between them both so much that I don't know now which one was used - but I think it's the GH4. I do have footage from my EM5 for that wedding (just a static shot from the other side of the aisle). In the following wedding, I positioned it on the floor facing the aisle... it worked brilliantly there... either way, I'll supply you with the footage if you wish?

Recently, I went on a Stag Do and shot a range of drinking games / a bit of sight seeing on the EM5 so I've used video on it a lot more since we first talked about it... after using it a bit more, I think:

1. The IBIS is insanely good. It could take over your 12-35mm for the preps, as I don't think it provides any jerkiness whatsoever... you'd have to decide how much better this is though and whether it's worth it... and I still don't think the codec / footage is as good as what the GH cameras provide.
2. I found not being able to change my exposure frustrating at times once I'd hit record.
3. I'm reserving final comment as I still need to review the footage - more than happy to supply it to you though once I'm finished! It's my go-to travel camera for photos... I love it for stills... the sensor's ability to shoot in low light down to like a tenth of a second and still get sharp results is a joke. Amazing stills camera. There were rumours that the EM 1 might be receiving a significant update for film, including much better codecs and the possibility of 4K at Photokina... but I seriously doubt the latter. Surely Olympus HAVE to take video more seriously with their follow up to the EM1 and potentially, the EM5 - which must be due an upgrade within the next year or two! If they equalled the GH offerings, they'd absolutely kill Panasonic off with the 5-axis IBIS!

If you're asking because the aisle shot didn't look as good as the other shots, it's had a filter on it to level it by 2 degrees, it's been sharpened using a Final Cut Sharpen filter and I've placed a Neat Video filter over it to reduce noise.... so it wasn't the best shot to begin with. I've explained this earlier in the thread, but I was basically panicking as I couldn't level it properly on the tiles that were wonky... and as I became a bit embarrassed at how long I was taking, I quickly shot it and left! :/

Thanks Noa! I think my manual focusing improved on this wedding, as I had some terrible shots in my first wedding - completely missed focus sometimes... but I also realise that I'm way behind in perfecting the manual focusing too... sometimes, I get overloaded thinking about exposure, composition/framing, focus, stabilisation etc. and because I'm not shooting regularly, I feel rusty when approaching the wedding day, even if I practise in my own home... I know that you're right though, I should increase my depth of field... I think I'm plagued by Ray Roman's advice when shooting for a short cinema style film, when he stated that you just need 1-2 seconds of footage in focus... once you've got that, you've nailed it... but I think he is also running other cameras and nailing it elsewhere too, whereas that's my main shot and I should nail it by closing the iris, as you say and probably as he would advise, if he was solely speaking to me alone.

Do you find pulling focus difficult? I find it much easier with focus peaking on the GH4! But if you have any tips, I'd love to hear them!

Thanks for watching it, Noa!
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