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Old August 8th, 2007, 06:41 PM   #1
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Bat Mitzvah Shoot - Any Advice?

I'm being contracted to shoot my first Bat Mitzvah. I've done lots of weddings, but never one of these. I'd love to get input from any of you who have done them, and especially any tips on editing one. Thanks!

fyi - I did a search for "bat mitzvah" but only found 3 posts that were all basically irrellevant
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Old August 8th, 2007, 08:06 PM   #2
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Well have fun ;-)
I love all the screaming running 14 year olds ;-(
Shooting it depends on the venue. IF the mitzvah is in a temple (some are not-most are-the temple is whereever the torah is) anyway if it's in a temple you MIGHT be relegated to the rear of the sancuary sometimes behind a curtain which at first sounds bad but it really isn't so bad because there is a lot of movement thru out the temple when the mitzvah and family carry the torah thru the temple so go wide follow them as best as possible and hope for the best. I found bringing my tripod up as high as possible and using a ladder works really well. Also you might be able to plug into the sound system right there. A lot depnds on how religious they are. Remember there is Reformed, Traditional, Orthodox and Hassidic but if they are Hassidic you wouldn't be taping anyway and even some Orthodox don't allow. Reformed are just that. Religous but with a lighter touch if you will.

The party after can be wild - lots of Hava Nagela-and get lots of footage of the parents and grandparents dancing with the Bat Mitzvah girl (Bas Mitzvah if a boy). Then get the usual dancing of the kids. Watch yourself carefully-2 things can happen. 1) especially the boys like to get in your way (well the lense anyway) on everyshot. They think it's cool. Be careful when you tell them to get lost. I had a father come to me once and yell at me because I told his son to please stop getting in my way. He thought he owned me. After about a 3 minute converasation he found out he didn't and he also apologized for talking to me in a very rude obnoxious manner. But I digress. The other thing to watch out for is all the 14 year old girls. If you stay too long on 1 shot of any one of them they might think you are " one of those people"-don't laugh, I know a guy that that happened too and all he was doing was taping some dancing of a group of girls for about 20 seconds.
Watch your extra gear, some of these kids think nothing of going over and playing with stuff that's not theirs.
As for editing the ceremony really should be long form :-( I know it's a drag but to the family THATS the most important part when the Rabbi is speaking, when the mitzvah is reading when the family is reading it's ALL important. Remember a mitzvah is a passage into another part of life. It is when the young girl is considered a young woman and therefore very important.
The party afterwards well once the "open dancing" begins I have always cut that pretty much like a wereception. The family dancing stays in it's entirety but when it's just the kids slice and dice baby, slice and dice.

It's really not as hard as it sounds and actually many I've done have really been fun even for an old codger like me.
HTHs a little---oh yeah, bring ear plugs! ;-)

Don
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Old August 9th, 2007, 02:13 PM   #3
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Thanks Don. I am filming in a synagogue (sp?) and was told I would have to stay in one spot in the back, although I was told I might have to get off the tripod for the Torah part. I'm covering a luncheon afterwards, but not the party the next day (I have a wedding already), so I don't have to worry about covering dancing.

The father did request a long form, unedited presentation of the Bat Mitzvah. I was thinking of adding a short intro segment to the beginning with shots of the synagogue from outside and in. What kind of music do you think would work best for that? Any ideas?
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Old August 9th, 2007, 04:00 PM   #4
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Ok then you just saved yourself some "real fun" at the party. For the Mitzvah depending on how far back you are you might be able to stay on the tripod and frankly I would try to as when the family is walking around with the Torah it's thru out the temple from front to back and circling around the entire congregation.
As for editing I've used something a bit more dramatic maybe something you might use for a wedding day highlight. Try to stay away from the sounds of today. Other than that it should be a pretty easy edit-mine have always been if only because you don't have to worry about making it "work" as we do with weddings. Lay it off and burn it ;-)
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