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Old August 20th, 2007, 03:05 AM   #1
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What you do with hymns/songs at service

I'm just asking how all you good people deal with hymns/songs at services.

I have edited four weddings so far (I'm in the final stages of the last of them at the moment) and and shot three. In the first two I edited, I turned the video white more or less during the hymns but so the shot could just be seen through the white, and overlayed each verse as it was sung.

There were two reasons for doing this.

1 The couples had chosen the hymns and thus they were a significant expression by them in the service, thus I wanted the words to be seen.

2 The video during the hymns was substandard for a number of reasons and not worth showing, though worth hinting at.

For future weddings I plan to try and have the front camera very slowly pan across those at the wedding because it is a time the cameras do not need to be on the couple or the wedding party, and during which those in attendance could be seen on film without missing any action. I've already discovered that faster pans are terrible.

But...at the same time I want the words on screen also.

I wonder if anyone here has faced this same issue - must have - and if so how you have dealt with it. By the sounds of it, some simply skip the hymns, but I don't want to do that.

What I want to achieve is both the words on the screen and also the guests. I've wondered about a line at a time of the hymns across the bottom of the srceen so that the majority of the screen is reserved for seeing the guests.

Suggestions, experience, or currect practice would be appreciated.
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Old August 20th, 2007, 03:44 AM   #2
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I allways record them with my Zoom H4 and use them afterwards as any other regular song during editing, I only show the highlights of the actual singing though as I don't consider it something that should be shown all the way. I do have an extra music cd that I supply with all the songs recorded by my zoom so the couple can listen to them again on a cd player.
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Old August 20th, 2007, 05:56 AM   #3
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I film all the hyms and all the way through, shooting the first and last verses with a pretty stationary camera. In the middle verses I pick off people in the congregation, pan up and down from the ceiling rafters, get closeups of the b & g and so on.

On the edit I only ever keep the first and last verse (and have never ever been asked for more). I spice up those two verses with all the varied shots I've captured in the interveening verses, and often (although it won't be lip-synced) congreation shots cut in well, and perfectly in the chorus lines.

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Old August 20th, 2007, 12:28 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
I only show the highlights of the actual singing though as I don't consider it something that should be shown all the way
Some couples (and 300+ guests might disagree). I always assume the B&G chose their music for a reason and it's not up to me to decide whether it's good, bad, too long, etc.

But I know how hard it can be to find footage to fill a 5 minute croaking of Ave Maria while the B&G just stand and stare at their unity candle. I've found a certain degree of comfort in supplying both a short form ceremony (10 minutes) with an instrumental sound bed and by also providing a full ceremony with all their natural music selections intact.
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Old August 20th, 2007, 12:40 PM   #5
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I know how hard it can be to find footage to fill a 5 minute croaking of Ave Maria while the B&G just stand and stare at their unity candle.
I used to shoot copious amounts of b-roll stuff (flowers, exteriors, stained glass windows etc.) just for this purpose, just to be able to cut away from the B&G after a short while with a series of slow cross-fades. Anything is better than five minutes of the two of them looking awkward (fifteen seconds or so of the two of them looking awkward will usually suffice).
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Old August 20th, 2007, 05:46 PM   #6
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Some couples (and 300+ guests might disagree). I always assume the B&G chose their music for a reason and it's not up to me to decide whether it's good, bad, too long, etc.
The past 3 years I never had a couple asking to film the hymns completely, I think it has to do with us Belgians having other traditions in that matter. In fact they are very happy when I give them a plain cd with the full music on it and just use some highlights from the hymns in the wedding dvd.
If I would get a client that wants me to film the hymns compelete they must tell me in advance as this is discussed in our very first meeting, but I never had someone asking for it.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 11:50 AM   #7
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I try to use quite a bit of teh music that is played througout the day in the video. This includes hyms and such. Although they hyms and ceremony music will not be used in real time as it happens, but rather as background music throughout the ceremony. Yes including the vows.

I find that having additional music audio in the background adds a nice layer to the video itself and enhances it.

Also, the couple generally take great strides to plan every portion of the day, including selecting the music. So incoorperating the music in the video where ever I can only adds to the realilty of the piece.
Also it saves me time from having to seach for music to use later on during the edit.

BTW, I generally edit in a medium to short form journalistic style, and try to incoorperate a small amount of light time shifting throughout the video. So an hour long ceremony would be cut down to about 20 minutes anyway and compress all of the important elements into small chapters.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 06:17 AM   #8
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While it seems few include the hymns real time in the service/ceremony video, for what it's worth I'll tell you what I've done in my latest wedding to include the words of the hymns.

Just within the safe area at the bottom I have put an relatively narrow opaque bar across the screen which has a colour gradient on it, darker bottom to lighter top, with appropriate light colours drawn from a clip that screens behind it.

Then on this bar I have put the words from the hymn/song, two lines at a time (though all on the one line). The text is in a dark colour drawn from a clip behind the bar. The colours are chosen so as to match the tones of the clips.

The bar and the first words of the hymn pop up as soon as the words are begun to be sung, and then the words are replaced with the next lines as soon as they start - the bar stays till the end of the song. At the end of the song both the bar and the words fade out over a second.

The clips behind, which change to the music, are of the couple or the guests singing, etc.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 06:20 AM   #9
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smacks a bit of sing-along-down-the-pub to me. :)
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Old August 27th, 2007, 06:30 AM   #10
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I have no idea what a sing-along in a pub is like but I do know the words of the hymns chosen at the weddings I have filmed are serious and chosen for their content by the couple and because of the relevance of the words to them. Thus they are a very important part of the ceremony.

If the service is simply a formalistic ritual/performance/bridal show time that a couple go through with little input from them into such things as the hymns, then I guess the importance of the hymns in the video may be less. I have been to such weddings.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 07:07 AM   #11
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I have to agree with Tom, here - hymn lyrics onscreen smacks rather too much of karaoke to me. Hopefully you don't use a bouncing ball!
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Old August 27th, 2007, 07:54 AM   #12
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That's fine...every man to their own...
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Old August 27th, 2007, 08:47 AM   #13
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Hopefully you don't use a bouncing ball!
What if he does? If his clients appreciate it, I can't see what's wrong with adding text to read the hymns.
As I see it it all depends in which country you live in and what traditions you have.
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Old August 28th, 2007, 03:44 PM   #14
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heck

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What if he does? If his clients appreciate it, I can't see what's wrong with adding text to read the hymns.
As I see it it all depends in which country you live in and what traditions you have.
1/2 the time it is hard to understand the words sung by untrained singers because no one enunciates properly so it just gets garbled together.

But like others said. this is is the kind of thing that is up to the clients taste. if I felt that they put emphasis on it when I was interviewing them, then in it goes. fortunately I have never had complaints about how I handled the musical selections.

one wedding had a long song and I used it as an opportunity to do a Ken Burns section from photos of her moving her stuff up to his place the previous week. They loved it.
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