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Old October 17th, 2007, 10:53 PM   #1
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Italians getting hitched!

Hey all,

Here's a bridal preparation for you to check out if you have time.

http://www.nosmallroles.com/josie.wmv

Enjoy the Montreal Italian accents, and the double kissing we stole from the French. Same couple that wanted the Sopranos spoof I posted before.

Any feedback is always appreciated.
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Old October 18th, 2007, 02:54 AM   #2
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Hi Vito,

Thanks for sharing - okay, I've got lots of feedback so here goes:

- Add music that enhances the video with emotional support; tell a story through multiple modes, including video content, shots, pacing/editing, color, light, and music (rather than starting music at 00:50, bring it in right away and duck it 20dB except during guest dialog)
- Add some slow motion shots; promote the audience drama
- Adjust color balance (a bit light, try color saturation and/or balance on blue warm card)
- But when you move indoors, reset the white balance (everything looks yellowish)
- Use lavalier or shotgun mic (avoid interference)
- Generally, keep glamorous wedding-oriented material (cut "get outa' here")
- Make shots/transitions work together; at 00:23 dissolve to white, 00:24 pan down on building, 00:25 Limo drive by, 00:29 house number, 00:30 back to Limo (camera wobble)
- Pan camera sloooowly 00:36
- Move camera position to avoid background blowout 00:38 (can't see guests)
- I liked the beginning of the reveal shot at 00:48 but the pace was too quick and reveal came to... photographer? Oops, dissolve past obstructions to bride
- More background window blowout at 00:50
- Very nice MOB and bride at 00:53 (blowout is tolerable here); capture much more of this, or at least do slo-mo in editing - focus on your money $hot$
- Nice extreme close-ups at 00:55-57; again a bit too fast and consider panning rather than dissolve to black
- Beginning at 00:59, you started a nice shot sequence; however, some were quickies and others more than twice as long (bridemaids) - also, the editing wasn't consistent (some cuts, other dissolve to black, white, etc)
- Awesome bride shot at 1:05!!! I loved the blowout on her veil. Again, I wished for more, but it went to 2 second ECU of bride's face with quick pan from her eyes to talking lips (blanked by music). Hang big time on important shots...
- Wow, that bride's maid is a hottie! Great job panning/framing as she walked by you - these shots make the critique worth it! If only I had her phone number <wink>
- No need to move on the nice flower shot; keep it steady, use the dissolve
- Oh-oh, at 01:15 the bride is blown out big time :--( Even worse, the key light is coming from below, giving a hard appearance that makes one look older and harsh (not exactly what we are trying to do)
- At 01:18, 01:20, I see your technique seems to be set camera point then quickly pan up or pan down; there's a place for these shots in a dramatic movie but it's sure different in a wedding video
- The reflection shot at 01:29 has promise but instead of bridesmaids, do a close up of bride and pan from mirror to bride (close up or ECU)
- On that note, add some establishment shots; begin wide, go medium, close up, medium, close up, ECU, etc
- I'll refrain from repeating above comments on rest of video
- Very nice dutch angle at 01:45 - well done!
- Perfect pacing/editing from 01:40-02:02; very cool
- Awesome pan from photographers to bride and bridgesmaids at 02:02-05
- Interesting over the shoulder shot of cameraman and bride at 02:19
- Good dolly through the stairs; too bad it finished with more window blowout (perhaps you can close the curtains next time or change camera angle, reposition subject, etc)
- Until you get a glidecam, try to avoid moving camera up/down stairs and speeding up motion at the same time (felt like a wild roller-coaster ride)
- I was confused at 03:17; I thought the B&G along with best man were driving off and waving goodbye, but next shot shows more of bride (apparently left behind). Even if that was the sequence, it's best to put the shot at the end of the video to improve mood and give the audience a sense of closure. This is one of those times we want to remember we are cinemaphotographers first, photo-journalists second. The shot will fit nicely after shot of bride and FOB saying "you better not be late!" - another excellent money shot!!!
- Include a shot of bride driving away, keeping continuity and adding closure.
- Re-edit or add music so the final sequence doesn't end without music
- At 03:23, I suggest you cut this shot; it doesn't seem to enhance the closing video with the overheated bride fanning herself in the background with an blownout, out of focus bald head approaching her - or could this be an inside joke I'm missing?

In summary, it's clear you're incorporating some good videographer techniques and are on the road to success. And if you only wish to focus on three things, my suggestions would be:

1. Slow down the camera movement and pace of edit sequence - allow the audience to enjoy the moments (after all, we set the stage)
2. Practice to improve your color balance/saturation and lighting, especially the blowout problems
3. Send me a PM of the hottie bridesmaid! What a looker...

Happy trails, Michael
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Old October 18th, 2007, 03:35 AM   #3
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It's really late as I post this so take it with a grain of salt, but . . . I enjoyed the editing and pace and I wasn't really bothered by anything. Again, I'm dead freaking tired, so who knows . . .
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Old October 18th, 2007, 07:52 AM   #4
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Wow, Michael, that was detailed feedback beyond anything I expected. Thanks very much for taking the time.

Much of it I agree with, some I don't, and sometimes it was just the situation that dictated what happened.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Nistler View Post
- Add music that enhances the video with emotional support;
The music I added was the song she chose. Not much I can do about it.

Quote:
(rather than starting music at 00:50, bring it in right away and duck it 20dB except during guest dialog)
Well, the video you saw is actually pulled out of the larger sequence, so the beginning (the groom speaking) and end are part of other sections. We just finished hearing a different song, so I like to put dialogue or something to avoid just crossfading into another song. And the church shot at the end is the beginning of the ceremony sequence.

By 20db, do you mean peaking at -20db? That seems awfully low to me.

Quote:
- Add some slow motion shots; promote the audience drama
Not sure what you mean. There are lots of slow motion shots. Perhaps you would like to see more?

Quote:
Adjust color balance (a bit light, try color saturation and/or balance on blue warm card)
I will admit that white balance is always a challenge on a wedding shoot. We are continually running around indoors, outdoors, in front of windows, etc. The colour balance changes constantly. It's hard.

Quote:
- But when you move indoors, reset the white balance (everything looks yellowish)
The yellowish hue is there on purpose. I've boosted the saturation, added blue in the shadows, and pumped the contrast and gamma a bit. It's a look I lke, but it's not working for you!

Quote:
Use lavalier or shotgun mic (avoid interference)
Are you referring to trying to get better audio from the groom and bride outside? What would you suggest in general? I used to put my shotgun on for the preparation shoots, but it's better for outside, and not as successful inside, but I don't have time to be putting it on and off as I run around. Perhaps I'll try again.

Quote:
- Generally, keep glamorous wedding-oriented material (cut "get outa' here")
Really? I loved that comment. Thought it was cute.

Quote:
- Make shots/transitions work together; at 00:23 dissolve to white, 00:24 pan down on building, 00:25 Limo drive by, 00:29 house number, 00:30 back to Limo (camera wobble)
Not sure I understand. This sequence doesn't work for you, you mean?

Quote:
- Pan camera sloooowly 00:36
The tilt down to the two girls? Agreed.

Quote:
- Move camera position to avoid background blowout 00:38 (can't see guests)
This is a tough one. You make a few comments about the blown out backgrounds, and I agree with you. But the photogs are always placing their subjects in front of windows, because it give them a nice result with their flashes, and we get screwed. Often I put my light on, but it's pretty weak in comparison to the sun...

Quote:
- I liked the beginning of the reveal shot at 00:48 but the pace was too quick and reveal came to... photographer? Oops, dissolve past obstructions to bride
We actually put our photographers in the video a fair bit. We're all on the same team, and I treat it as part of the day. I know that others avoid putting them in the video at all costs, but it's a matter of taste, I guess.

Quote:
also, the editing wasn't consistent (some cuts, other dissolve to black, white, etc)
Depends on how you think. I don't like to use too many of the same transitions in a row. I find it boring.

Quote:
- Wow, that bride's maid is a hottie! Great job panning/framing as she walked by you - these shots make the critique worth it! If only I had her phone number <wink>
Yeah, she's pretty! Nice people, too.

Quote:
Even worse, the key light is coming from below, giving a hard appearance that makes one look older and harsh (not exactly what we are trying to do)
Looking at it again, I agree. Nice comment.

Quote:
- At 01:18, 01:20, I see your technique seems to be set camera point then quickly pan up or pan down; there's a place for these shots in a dramatic movie but it's sure different in a wedding video
I think there's a place for it in a wedding video. But I have to agree with you that I'm doing too much of it...

Quote:
- I'll refrain from repeating above comments on rest of video
So I'll refrain from making excuses for the rest!

Quote:
I was confused at 03:17; I thought the B&G along with best man were driving off and waving goodbye, but next shot shows more of bride (apparently left behind).
Maybe it's not the same where you guys are, but here, with Italian weddings (and some others), the groom always makes a stop at the bride's house on his way to the church. He gets out, says hello to the guests, and usually has champagne with the bride's father. Then he goes to the church to wait for her.

Quote:
- Include a shot of bride driving away, keeping continuity and adding closure.
Would love to have done that, but we had to leave before she did...

Quote:
In summary, it's clear you're incorporating some good videographer techniques and are on the road to success.
Thanks for all your great comments, for taking the time to be so detailed. Extremely useful to me!

All the best,
Vito

PS. I'll try to get the bridesmaid's number for you. She's single...
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Old October 18th, 2007, 09:32 AM   #5
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I like the use of nat sound and the intimacy it provides to the viewer. It's something I don't do often, but I almost always like it when I see (hear) it. My personal style tends to be a little more detached, but there's something about the documentary style that I've always liked. I hope you don't mind me assigning a style to your work, but that's how I see it and I'm saying I like it.
I don't have many criticisms. Sure, it can be polished a bit and tweaked here or there, but keep doing your thing and exploring your own style.
Trust me, I'm not just blowing sunshine up your tail pipe. If I saw something egregious (other than the music which you already explained away) I'd tell you.

Michael,
You sure leave some detailed critiques... it's not a bad thing, but maybe we need to find you a girl... maybe the bridesmaid you have eyes for.

*EDIT*
Found something to comment about.
Maybe try pulling in some nat sound durring the "when a man loves an overused song" portion of the video. It would help round out your style (tired of that word yet) and give the whole thing a little more cohesiveness.
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Old October 18th, 2007, 10:15 AM   #6
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I agree with Michael on the colors. My personal feeling was it was too yellow in tone. I understand trying to get a "warm" feeling but it wasn't warm to me it was just yellow. Her dress was a bit blue instead of white due to the CC. I think the style of video fits the B&G's personalities so it goes well. Not all couples would go for this, but you obviously can read your clients well.
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Old October 18th, 2007, 12:53 PM   #7
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Rehi Vito,

And thanks too for receiving the critique so positively - I really enjoyed the video.

*** I'll try to be less cranky responding to your feedback (I should be able to take push-back, too!) Warm Regards, Michael

Quote:
The music I added was the song she chose. Not much I can do about it.

*** The music was great - my suggestion was that we begin our videos with music; if need be, we can copy and paste music to lengthen the track.

Quote:
By 20db, do you mean peaking at -20db? That seems awfully low to me.

*** Indeed, I meant drop the entire music bed by 20dB. I'm doing a director's commentary on a musical play as we speak and 25dB was right for me. But if you find 10dB is enough for a brief sound bite, that's fine - nothing sacred about 20dB.

Quote:
Not sure what you mean. There are lots of slow motion shots. Perhaps you would like to see more?

*** I noticed by your post you just reviewed a wedding trailer and I'm sure you noticed how it started out sloooowly, pacing the music. I don't think it's a matter of the quantity of slow-mo's as long as the final product is one that enhances elegance and elicits a positive audience emotional response.

Quote:
The yellowish hue is there on purpose. I've boosted the saturation, added blue in the shadows, and pumped the contrast and gamma a bit. It's a look I lke, but it's not working for you!

*** If you (your B&G and others) like it, go for it. And perhaps it's just an internet render problem.

Quote:
Are you referring to trying to get better audio from the groom and bride outside? What would you suggest in general?

*** Oh, I'm surprised your shotgun picked up so much off-lobe environmental noise - sorry. Agreed, we often don't have time to wire a lavalier; in some situations, a hand-held wireless mic will help.

Quote:
- Generally, keep glamorous wedding-oriented material (cut "get outa' here")
Really? I loved that comment. Thought it was cute.

*** Then definitely keep it, especially if the B&G will enjoy it!!! Capturing the B&G's candid/positive emotional responses are priceless, but we must know our clients. In the last Dave Williams Editor Shootout, (only) one of the entries included a cut where after the ceremony the bridge retorted somewhat sarcastically, "I need a drink!" In the context of otherwise beautiful wedding video, it didn't seem to fit and made me wonder if it said more about the editor's sense of humor than the essence of the bride.

Quote:
- Make shots/transitions work together; at 00:23 dissolve to white, 00:24 pan down on building, 00:25 Limo drive by, 00:29 house number, 00:30 back to Limo (camera wobble) Not sure I understand. This sequence doesn't work for you, you mean?

*** Err, the sequence seems disjointed. So if the theme is transportation, go from one limo shot to another without the interceding house number - it doesn't fit and will confuse the audience, making them wonder, "gee, what is the cameraman/editor trying to say here?" Ditto on the pan down of the building, or at least to me it seemed like B roll cutaways were being added as fillers that didn't support the theme of the movie.

Quote:
You make a few comments about the blown out backgrounds, and I agree with you. But the photogs are always placing their subjects in front of windows, because it give them a nice result with their flashes, and we get screwed.

*** We could have an entire thread on this topic, but I'll limit my comments:
1. Zoom in tight to avoid the blowout
2. Work at angles instead of straight on shots
3. Politely ask for equal time, don't let the photographer monopolize the show
4. Bring a portable reflector to bounce light onto subject's face (a bystander will be happy to hold it)

Quote:
PS. I'll try to get the bridesmaid's number for you. She's single...

*** Oh-oh, maybe I should reconsider... Weddings are running $30K these days - I'd have to say goodbye to my weekly UPS/FedEx deliveries of video/audio toys, wouldn't I? Maybe I should stick with my trusty pupster!
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Old October 18th, 2007, 04:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Nistler View Post
And thanks too for receiving the critique so positively
Well, the idea is to get some useful criticism, not to have my ego stroked.

Quote:
It's a look I like, but it's not working for you!

*** If you (your B&G and others) like it, go for it. And perhaps it's just an internet render problem.
I've adjusted the colour a bit because of your and Zach's comments, but it's true that it looks different in the internet render. I've added some grain as well, but I don't see it at all in the wmv. The bride asked for a "60s" look, whatever that it, so I've messed with it because of that. From your responses, looks like I have more tweaking to do.

Quote:
Oh, I'm surprised your shotgun picked up so much off-lobe environmental noise - sorry.
No, no. You were right. That was the on camera mic. My question was more do you think I'd be better off using my shotgun even though I'm running in and outside all the time? Which one would give an overall better result in your opinion?

Quote:
*** Err, the sequence seems disjointed. So if the theme is transportation, go from one limo shot to another without the interceding house number - it doesn't fit and will confuse the audience, making them wonder, "gee, what is the cameraman/editor trying to say here?" Ditto on the pan down of the building, or at least to me it seemed like B roll cutaways were being added as fillers that didn't support the theme of the movie.
I've adjusted a bit. Tell me what you think. Here's a new version:

http://www.nosmallroles.com/josie2.wmv

Quote:
*** We could have an entire thread on this topic, but I'll limit my comments:
Nice ideas.

Thanks again, Michael. You've been very generous with your time.

Ciao,
Vito
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Old October 19th, 2007, 04:50 AM   #9
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Hi Vito,

I continually get time-out errors when trying to view your new clip - maybe tomorrow I'll get a better connection to your ISP. As far as mics go, there isn't a perfect solution so as long as you're aware of the consequence and clients are happy with your product - go for it. But be sure to compare the quality of your audio against other wedding posts here and elsewhere - you'll see a considerable difference in audio fidelity and far less interference, so be aware of the limitations of your current configuration.

Good luck on your video, Michael
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Old October 19th, 2007, 07:42 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Michael Nistler View Post
I continually get time-out errors when trying to view your new clip - maybe tomorrow I'll get a better connection to your ISP.
Hmmm...it's working for me this morning. Perhaps it was still uploading when you were trying to access it.

Thanks for the tips and your time.

Cheers,
Vito
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Old October 20th, 2007, 12:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vito DeFilippo View Post
Hmmm...it's working for me this morning. Perhaps it was still uploading when you were trying to access it.

Thanks for the tips and your time.

Cheers,
Vito
Rehi,

Okay, your ISP server is working fine now (must have been down for maintenance late last night). The video is, well - what can I say? I one word:

MEGA-AWESOME!!!

I couldn't believe you could pull off so many improvements in one edit - totally cool :--) Your second edit had so many improvements it literally gave me goosebumps watching it - seriously. The difference in editing technique is day and night - cudos, you the man!

From here on, it's mostly the picky stuff that has far less "return on investment" for editing time spent tweaking. But if there was one single thing to tweak, I'd recommend continuing the music from 00:40-01:20. The 20dB ducking was fine while the groom was talking but when you removed it entirely, it kinda gives the audience the feeling like the party is over (after the last dance). So I recommend just continuing running it low until you come on big-time with her favorite song - God, I loved the song and the pacing! And if you had the luxury of making the video a tad longer, I'd recommend extending the timeline for some of the opening shots (pans, toasts, etc) - just to add elegance/pacing/cinema effect.

Very exciting video Vito - she's going to love it!

Michael
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Old October 20th, 2007, 08:31 AM   #12
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Wow, Michael. That's great feedback. I'm glad you liked the changes. That's why I asked for critique in the first place. To make it better!

If you are not too bored, I'm going to post the photoshoot...
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