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Old October 28th, 2014, 04:06 PM   #1
Ceremony on the lake front
Robert Benda Robert Benda is offline October 28th, 2014, 04:06 PM

I just finished editing our latest 15 minute video, this one with a ceremony right at the water's edge at their lake cabin. This was actually a destination wedding for them. This was in Minnesota lake country and they are from Nebraska (500 miles away).

I've never had this sort of trouble with the sunlight, and we made some mistakes with exposure as the cloud cover changed and we didn't adjust. I also failed to bring our filters.

Some sound issues too. During the groom's talk to the camera there was someone sweeping just outside the cabin window. For her's, it was silverware sorting.

Despite that, it might be my favorite of the year because of how they came across on camera, and his dancing later. For a big man, he had great footwork.


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Old October 30th, 2014, 02:40 PM   #2
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Re: Ceremony on the lake front

What was your shutter speed? Also 24 fps?
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Old October 30th, 2014, 02:50 PM   #3
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Re: Ceremony on the lake front

We shoot 24fps. We try to stick with shutter speed 50. On a bright sunny day, we're most likely to roll our shutter speed up, rather than changing anything else.

At a different outdoor wedding, I think I had a shutter speed of 200/250 for most of the day, for instance, since I don't have filters for all my lenses.
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Old October 30th, 2014, 05:02 PM   #4
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Re: Ceremony on the lake front

That's what I suspected. Much of the footage looks a bit choppy and has a distinct stacado feel. Most of the time, this look is reserved for chaotic and intense moments intended to make the viewer feel a bit anxious (think of the opening scene in Saving Private Ryan).

Try picking up a set of step down filters to you can use the ND filter on multiple lenses. This will help keep proper shutter speed and also help you control DOF.
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Old October 30th, 2014, 06:00 PM   #5
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Re: Ceremony on the lake front

Thanks for the tip, Kyle. That will be key for in December, when the snow will bounce all that sunlight like the lake did. Well... if the Sun is out...
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Old November 4th, 2014, 07:33 PM   #6
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Re: Ceremony on the lake front

Hi Robert, liked your use of natural audio again.

One random comment: I really like your locked off tripod shots, free of the swaying that monopods always have -- interview with the couple, fountain, boats. There's definitely a lot to be said for well-composed, calm, perfectly stable shots, in terms of adding to the mood of a wedding, as opposed to the continual movement and focus adjustment that many videographers do.
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Old November 4th, 2014, 07:50 PM   #7
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Re: Ceremony on the lake front

Thank you, Adrian.

I really like tripod shots and try to stick with moving shots when they're useful - like when the dancing opens up.

Similarly, I have found I really like tight close ups during vows and the 1st dance. Moments of quiet intimacy.
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Old November 6th, 2014, 07:12 AM   #8
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Re: Ceremony on the lake front

Woah, I was inspired to make a 5 minute trailer for this wedding, too and emailed the couple yesterday afternoon.

In 12 hours its gotten 100 views already. Very nice.

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Old November 6th, 2014, 09:17 AM   #9
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Re: Ceremony on the lake front

Hey Robert, is that 100 views on facebook?
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Old November 6th, 2014, 10:32 AM   #10
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Re: Ceremony on the lake front

The choppiness of the video was a bit distracting. How did you encode for Vimeo? 24p isn't usually that staccato. Make sure you have backup audio. People will overlook the occasional video flub, but bad sound will kill the mood faster than a tornado at a carnival.
For the ceremony, I'll use at least 3 sources. Wireless on officiant, recorder on groom, and a tap from the DJ or PA system. It's saved my bacon more than you can imagine.
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Old November 6th, 2014, 11:30 AM   #11
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Re: Ceremony on the lake front

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Davis View Post
Hey Robert, is that 100 views on facebook?
Plays on Vimeo. No idea on Facebook since I didn't post the link, she did. (157 now). Later on I'll get some stats on completions versus starts. Mostly I'm just really happy that it got such a reaction. Our longer videos usually get 80-150 plays in the first week or so, with it looking like 2/3 watch the whole thing. I don't usually make a 5 minute trailer.

Oren, this is one of the last weddings where a lens issue,, though I'm not sure if that's the part you are referring to. It may also be a mistake referred to earlier: no ND filters on this day and so we ran high shutter speeds during the ceremony.

I use Sony NLE. If you have any codec recommendations, I'm all ears. I've been trying a few different options for online posting.

Curious why you bring up sound? Other than outside noise during their talking, we didn't have issues. Wireless mic on pastor, pocket recorder on groom, hidden pocket recorder near them, and on camera mics. For speeches, DJ refused to let me plug into the mixer (screw that guy), and even though we asked to get a heads up before speeches, we were very much caught off guard by their starting - we weren't in place at all. Usually I would tape a wireless mic to their handheld to get good sound. Wasn't an option here - on camera only.
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Old November 6th, 2014, 12:01 PM   #12
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Re: Ceremony on the lake front

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Plays on Vimeo. No idea on Facebook since I didn't post the link
You have your stats visible on vimeo, something I would hide for the general public (can be done via your profile, settings and advanced and then scroll down to preferences), as far as I could see you don't have any facebook embeds so all traffic is with a direct link, if it would be a facebook embed you would see in those stats, not sure but I think when you place a vimeo link on facebook it embeds automatically.
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Old November 6th, 2014, 01:40 PM   #13
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Re: Ceremony on the lake front

Not sure if we were referring to the same video. If you listen critically to the edit (close your eyes), you'll notice the following:
1) High level of background noise on B/G interviews that could easily be tackled with noise reduction or some EQ.
2) Bride getting her makeup done, very high noise floor. White noise that makes it sound like a waterfall is right behind her. Not sure what mic you're using, but it's not working for you, or your levels were set too low.
3) handling noise (bride photo session). The bane of any on-camera mic without isolation. Look into an iso mounted mic or something like the RODE video mic.
4) Clipped audio on the priest. Either your levels are set too high, or you are using a recorder with terrible AGC. Set levels manually if you have that option. Most priests speak fairly loud, so you should account for headroom. A clean recorder will have a bit more room to bring up the signal without adding too much noise. Clipping and distortion can't be fixed.
5) Wind noise on the reading. Did you have a foam wind cap on the lav mic? I'm guessing no.
6) Toasts were terrible, strictly on-camera mic gives you lots of audience and very little of the toasts. I suggest getting a Bogen magic arm and clamp or portable mic stand, mounting a Zoom H1 or similar near the PA and then you don't have to worry about the DJ's permission. A good DJ knows that he is part of a team. If he won't let you plug in, take him over to the B&G and let him explain why.

Sorry if this sounds harsh. I've learned more from my failures than my successes, and if you can improve only one aspect of your audio per shoot, you'll make an even better impression with every movie.
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Old November 7th, 2014, 06:26 AM   #14
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Re: Ceremony on the lake front

Im not too sure about your clients but if I showed anyone that film the first thing they would say it why is it all so jerky , i found it too hard to watch with all the jitter. Did you accidental hit your shutter speed really low?
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Old November 7th, 2014, 08:57 AM   #15
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Re: Ceremony on the lake front

Thank you, Oren. I'm not a person who has a problem with constructive criticism. Some of these mistakes I've already started working on.

I was, in fact, using auto levels on the pocket recorder and will not be anymore. Similarly, the wireless I use for the pastor(s) will have some more head room. I always check my levels with them, but now I check it against myself - loudly. You'll notice that after the opening, I got his volume under control a bit more.

I've also learned how to secure the lapel mics much better. Wisely, I have a clause in the contract that says if they won't let me mic the groom the way I want (I had a bride refuse a visible mic even though its a MatchStick mic) then I'm not responsible.

We've also picked up a couple of Rode DeadCat windmuffs. We're just getting too many outdoor events to not have them.

I also didn't learn the trick of taping my wireless mic to the DJ's handheld until after this weekend of filming. Since I have 3 pocket recorders, I may also start putting one on the best man or other VIP at the reception. Never again will I believe anyone when they tell me I have time before the toasts start. This was the 2nd wedding this kind of thing happened: we check in because we have other shots to get, they say, no, the speeches won't start for a while, and all of a sudden, we hear them start.....

At the ceremony, my strategy is now: wireless on pastor, pocket recorder (I set levels) on groom, pocket recorder at lectern (for readers), and another hidden somewhere or on a singer.

//favorite tip might be, when using pocket recorders, always have the person say their name, the name of the couple (if its not the groom) and the date when you first hit record. Easy to know what wedding it belongs to then.
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