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Old August 27th, 2015, 10:47 PM  
25,000$ vs 2,500$ Video - lets get a critique going so I can improve
James Palanza James Palanza is offline August 27th, 2015, 10:47 PM

So I got into a little debate today about whether a supposed 25,000 dollar wedding video was worth that much money. (to me, in my opinion) Said fellow decided to find a video of mine and publicly link it saying "here is a 2k video vs a 25k, see the difference?" Super professional, I know.

Anyway, this got under my skin in that I want to improve and its not always possible by just looking at your own work.
So in the spirit of improving, I'm going to link one of my best "only 2k budget" videos. Feel free to point me in the direction of some things I could improve on - whether its technique, direction, etc.

Oh and 30p I guess is for novices, as I'm told as well.
I surely don't want to " Keep being average and. striving for mediocrity. " as I was told to do so.




Last edited by James Palanza; August 27th, 2015 at 11:19 PM..

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Old August 29th, 2015, 04:46 AM   #16
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Re: 25,000$ vs 2,500$ Video - lets get a critique going so I can improve

Am I the only one who thinks the audio levels are misjudged where the voice comes in?
For $25K I would ask for a remix. :-)
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Old August 29th, 2015, 09:08 AM   #17
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Re: 25,000$ vs 2,500$ Video - lets get a critique going so I can improve

Colin, I agree, the audio in the $25K video is not good. The edit was also very generic and did not drive the "story". Again, it is nothing more than a quick cut travel commercial. I also thought the color grading was not done very well. If I were to really pick apart that video it would be a long list. This, again, is coming from the perspective of producing a narrative movie. The $25K video is not story telling. There is no connection between the shots and the dialogue. There is no subtext to what we are seeing and what is being said. A simple example of this is at about 1:30 where the words are "we share a connection, where Heaven meets earth." If this were being made like a "movie" The close-up of there hands holding, followed by a long shot of the sky and ground would have mad sense. Instead, we see a medium wide of the couple with tons of space between them, followed by a CU of running water. That shows no connection or understanding of how to evoke emotion in the viewer. There is nothing driving the view to a better understanding of what they are seeing and hearing.

I've worked on productions ranging from $2500 to $250,000. I can say that it is pretty easy to spend $25K on a well thought out production. But, that would mean that I'm bringing in a 5 ton grip trucks and have a good size crew. My editor, colorist and post audio people would be industry regulars and I'd probably elect to shoot on an Arri with some nice Zeiss or Cooke glass. Now, does it make sense to have a 20 person crew at your wedding, only the B & G can decide that. But, if they wanted it I'd definitely be willing to do it.
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Old August 29th, 2015, 11:28 AM   #18
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Re: 25,000$ vs 2,500$ Video - lets get a critique going so I can improve

Lol if some one paid me 25k i'd produce a master piece no problem.
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Old August 29th, 2015, 11:45 AM   #19
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Re: 25,000$ vs 2,500$ Video - lets get a critique going so I can improve

Reminds me of the time I was getting married and I said to my faince...

"Hey hun, look at this guy, he's $2,500. Pretty good right? But then I saw this guy. I'm not sure now... should we just throw another $22,500 into it and do it right??? No regrets. YOLO"


True story.


And I bet it happens ALL the time.
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Old August 29th, 2015, 07:44 PM   #20
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Re: 25,000$ vs 2,500$ Video - lets get a critique going so I can improve

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Palanza View Post
Said fellow decided to find a video of mine and publicly link it saying "here is a 2k video vs a 25k, see the difference?" Super professional, I know.
On the guys website who made the video there is a trailer where the groom is led into a stadium blindfolded by his bride and then the surprise is that the family is called to run from the sides to the center of the stadium where the couple was standing, this again was staged but the guy focussing on the couple for their reaction had a serious focussing problem because it was very out of focus. The footage was used because he seemed to have no other choice. So it appears that he is capable to produce 1500 dollar looking videos as well. :D

The thing is, he might have sold that video for a lot of money as well, including the totaly out of focus footage.

The comparison that was made between your video and his makes no sense because his was totally staged and probably shot over more then 1 day, I see in his videos when it's not staged it becomes mediocre so it's all up to setup time and then it's not fair to compare with a run and gun weddingvideo.

Give me that location and the resources and time I need and I will make a video that looks the same, the only thing I would not be able to is to sell it at 25k.
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Old August 29th, 2015, 08:28 PM   #21
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Re: 25,000$ vs 2,500$ Video - lets get a critique going so I can improve

It all about marketing and as Noa says staging everything. Let's face it, there is no way you would accept a video that you have paid 25K for where the photog is in the shot or blocking a camera so it HAS to be carefully staged and choreographed much the same a when you see a wedding ceremony in a Soapie .. shots are perfect as they again are not only staged but also perfectly lit too.

Still I wouldn't mind making 25K to shoot a staged wedding. I wonder if they had a "real" wedding after the staged event???
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Old August 29th, 2015, 08:31 PM   #22
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Re: 25,000$ vs 2,500$ Video - lets get a critique going so I can improve

Quote:
I wonder if they had a "real" wedding after the staged event???
Yes, I"m sure they had that with probably out of focus footage as well. :)
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Old August 29th, 2015, 09:44 PM   #23
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Re: 25,000$ vs 2,500$ Video - lets get a critique going so I can improve

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.. shots are perfect as they again are not only staged but also perfectly lit too.
I actually was actually very unimpressed with the lighting in the video. Again, unmotivated lighting. Many of the shots are actually poorly light. The sequence of shots starting at 4:45 is a good example of something I wouldn't accept. Between 4:45 to 4:49 they are supposed to be the same scene from different angles. It starts out as a silhouette, the next shot the two are simply underexposed. He probably set his levels so that the white clothes wouldn't blow out. But the people are not exposed correctly. Then it jumps to what appears to be correct exposure. If that was his artistic choice it makes no sense is is simply distracting. Especially if everything is staged I would expect quite a bit more thought out lighitng. Sorry if I'm seeming harsh but it really burns me when someone tries to pass off work as so much better than others and really it is not that good IMHO.
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Old August 30th, 2015, 01:32 AM   #24
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Re: 25,000$ vs 2,500$ Video - lets get a critique going so I can improve

I shot 30p too. I can tell the difference between 24p and 30p. Most people cannot. And for someone say it's only professional to shot 24p, that's just ignorant.
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Old August 30th, 2015, 05:24 AM   #25
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Re: 25,000$ vs 2,500$ Video - lets get a critique going so I can improve

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Originally Posted by Gabe Strong View Post
That's kind of the idea behind these 'elopement destination' videos.
A totally 'non traditional' wedding.
If "elopement destination" means having your wedding video completely scripted and acting the entire time when someone calls "action!" then I wouldn't call this a weddingvideo anymore. Everything in the video that was shown was fake, there is no real emotion at all, except for that 2 seconds which didn't fit in. But it seems some people are willing to pay a lot of money for it. It actually compared more to the photoshoot part of a wedding day, the part where the photog stages all poses to make the couple look at their best.
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Old August 30th, 2015, 06:58 AM   #26
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Re: 25,000$ vs 2,500$ Video - lets get a critique going so I can improve

To come back to James question how to become better, I personally find American weddings much easier to shoot then Begian one, had to do one several weeks back and the ceremony part was so easy with one camera on each side and one in the back and with clear instructions to me and the photog from the bride to stay away from the podium where the couple and bridesmaids where standing. In Belgian ceremonies everyone stands in an almost circle making it almost impossible to shoot like was done at that American wedding.

To me it looks like there is more controll to get great shots like the headshots James got during the vows. To become better you need to analize the work of known videographers, what they do is not so difficult though it does require having 2 cameramen with equal skill and by using the same equipment. The video from pacific pictures is not necessarily a bad example eventhough it's "fake" but the compositions he used look great. You need to develop an eye for interesting cameraangles, you can put a camera right in front of a persons face and ask them to say anything or you can set the camera up much further away, like below random example I found, it's a picture taking with a photocamera but just to show what I mean: http://www.bigweddingspeech.com/wp-c...-speech-bw.jpg

It's not only the "story" you are trying to tell but finding the right images to match with what's being said and finding a composition that creates interest, never go for the obvious but try to find ways to make a shot look epic.

Just look as much as you can how the big guys do it and borrow from them and then change a bit to turn it into your own style.

I am personally a fan of Velare's work, it's the way they visualize, the sound, the feel. I find their work superior to Pacific pictures yet I"m sure they are not able to charge 25K for it, so that last part comes from being a good business man being able to sell reading glasses to a blind man :)
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Old August 30th, 2015, 10:15 AM   #27
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Re: 25,000$ vs 2,500$ Video - lets get a critique going so I can improve

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post

Give me that location and the resources and time I need and I will make a video that looks the same, the only thing I would not be able to is to sell it at 25k.
Haha Noa you've already posted videos better than that $25K travel destination infomercial.


Seriously tho I agree you really cannot compare the two. Secondly, didn't the OP say the shooter travelled as well?

Right there if he's including a second shooter & assistant/3rd shooter for several days, both airfare & hotel/expenses for numerous days could be around $10k. So it's possible its more like a $15K wedding. Maybe the budget included things like renting the boat/locations, a day spent just on those drone shots & the entire 2nd half day/evening spent just for the sunset shots (setting up) etc. It could be more like a $10k wedding videos after all the bells & whistles. Its good, not mind blowing tho. Think of a real estate agent, those who sell multi million dollar homes are not as a whole overall "better" than those who sell more common homes, it's just a different workflow & connections you must have and circles you run in.
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Old August 30th, 2015, 10:41 AM   #28
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Re: 25,000$ vs 2,500$ Video - lets get a critique going so I can improve

You can't compare the two. Kevin Shinhenian is one of the top guys in the industry. :)
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Old August 30th, 2015, 11:15 PM   #29
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Re: 25,000$ vs 2,500$ Video - lets get a critique going so I can improve

Well, I definitely got more insight here than I did elsewhere. Yeah I was pretty heated that my work was being looked down on due to what I charge. I think its pretty offensive and unprofessional to do to anyone.

In regards to the videos - I agree they have their own style and with a wedding in such a paradise I can see why they would want such a focus on the setting.

I think people need to realize just because a wedding video had a high price tag attached doesn't mean its beyond the scope of something they can do. If you really look at the video, most people here could get a lot of those shots. When you have a huge budget and lots of TIME and PLANNING these videos become much more possible to do. No offense to Kevin Shinhenian, the videos an amazing wedding video but I mean these aren't some high end movie setups where it costs 50k and a week to prep for. Of course the grade is well done and its edited well but.. If you want to drool over some crazy movie shots and sequences, go watch the Dark Knight and post some screen caps.

I think the real skill here is the foresight and experience to plan to get some of these and to put it all together. The entire package comes together well. Like I said though, people are not getting the opportunity to produce work like this because their business model doesn't support it. Trust me, if we all had two days instead of 10 hours with our bride and grooms on a tight by the minute schedule, toss in a tropical paradise and drone and a fking sailboat, I'm sure our videos would look a lot more "high end" too.

****I do think certain people's heads are getting a little big in this market and I'm not afraid to point it out. Dear lord, I wish I had saved the argument and what some of these people were saying. Seems like if you get more than 6k for a wedding video you start to think your Christopher Nolan LMFAO***

I think a good dose of humility is in order for some people. It really blew me away. I would like to point out that Kevin Shinhenian actually isn't the one who called me out. It was some other guy linking his work. I'm sure Kevin Shinhenian is too busy prepping and planning for his next mega wedding to really give a crap what some random people on the internet are saying.

Anyway, I dont think anyone can put a price on something, it really depends your market and a certain minimum amount of skill. I'm sure there are handful of people out there who the same cirumstances could come up with something similar. I'd like to hand Taky Cheung the same budget and equipment and I bet he would make something similar.

And if its a million dollar wedding +, 25k isn't all that much to those rich people... so a major win for that business marketing, thats for sure.

Thanks again for all the thoughtful posts. If anything, all the drama just made me even more motivated to continue producing work and upping the production. Sooner or later I'll be posting from a tropical island myself!!!
I think what is really impressive is when someone is able to make such a beautiful video out of a not so picturesque wedding. Thats when your skill really shines.

Keep hustling guys and don't be afraid to work for a living regardless of what the guys say who rode the video market monopoly for the last 5-10 years.
We all have to start somewhere :)
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Old August 31st, 2015, 01:16 PM   #30
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Re: 25,000$ vs 2,500$ Video - lets get a critique going so I can improve

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Originally Posted by James Palanza View Post
****I do think certain people's heads are getting a little big in this market and I'm not afraid to point it out. Dear lord, I wish I had saved the argument and what some of these people were saying. Seems like if you get more than 6k for a wedding video you start to think your Christopher Nolan LMFAO***
Yeah, it does feel like they couldn't break into the film making industry so they do wedding videos and dress it up as some sort of high art cinema, but hey if they can make a living of it, then fair play to them.
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