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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old October 21st, 2007, 12:44 PM   #1
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2nd ever wedding - please be gentle

Hi All

Well, the time has arrived for me to post my first highlights video for critique, this is only the 2nd wedding ever that I've done, and am hoping I'm on the right track. Still lots to learn with regards to handling color correction, shot selection etc etc, I have basically taken all of my inspiration for this highlights from this forum and the wealth of knowledge and creativity that exists within it, now I ask for your feedback. It was shot with Canon XH-A1 edited on Adobe PPro CS3. I look forward to your responses (good or bad, I'm a willing student). You may just need to copy this URL into explorer bar as not sure if it will present as a link, here's hoping.

http://www.viddler.com/explore/preciousvoices/videos/2/

I would like to say a big thank you to Mike Overson, who has generously offered to host my video, in the interim I have found this site, quality seems fair.

Mike, if you are still keen to host the vid, I would be interested to see the comparison, as still looking at web host for same.


Cheers
DS

Last edited by Darren Smith; October 21st, 2007 at 12:52 PM. Reason: forgot to thank Mike for his generous offer to host
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Old October 21st, 2007, 01:08 PM   #2
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You're most certainly on the right track Darren, and I really enjoyed watching your wedding montage. I really wanted you at elbow so I could keep stopping the film to say things such as

Why include the sunrises? They seemed somewhat out of place (beautiful though they are) and stopped rather abruptly.

You had some odd framing at times. I didn't mind the burnout in the last shot, but oh, how distracting are the things going on in the LH side of the frame.

The bridesmaid walks R to L and there's a near jump-cut in the dissolve to her (or perhaps a clone) doing the same thing.

Like your rock steady tripod work - well done. Register signing was lovely, but you cut just after someone had entered frame left, and did this again later. More fine tuning on the timeline needed, as sudden movements like this draw the viewer's eye.

Good song. I liked the differental focus you use, and the low shots in the grass - nice imaginative work for a second wedding, and I guess you've been a stills photog before this? Bet the couple are pleased.

tom.
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Old October 21st, 2007, 01:11 PM   #3
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Darren,
Just curious, this is a short (3:30) recap of the pre and ceremony (and nicely done BTW) My question is. Did you provide this to the client or is it a produced sample? What all did you provide to the client besides this nicely edited short?
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Old October 21st, 2007, 02:37 PM   #4
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My (hopefully constructive) criticism:

First clip 0.20-0.25 - you'll need to be quicker with anticipating your pans - the couple are on the left side of the frame, walking out of the left hand edge for a considerable duration.

If you're going to try and hand-hold a camera completely still for some clips - you won't manage it, and the tremors will distract from an otherwise beautiful series of still clips in that last half minute in front of the landscape. This sequence could have been so cinematic, except for those tremors, which give the game away and shout "low production values!". So use that tripod, or some form of support, even if it means lugging it about.

1.46-1.56 - I have to agree with Tom: I don't think these clips of the two bridesmaids and then bride+father works as an effect. Looks like a jump cut with dissolves, and doesn't attain the magical effect you were probably going for. Also with Tom: watch those last minute guests' entrants into the frame edge!

2.23 don't think this clip works (drape across half the frame). It's so short anyway, I didn't take it in, until a repeated viewing.

Be careful with dissolves - the outgoing (stationary) clip sometimes starts to zip pan away before it's disappeared, and conversely on other occasions, the incoming (stationary) clip sometimes hasn't settled before it appears.

But... in summary: I wish my second wedding had been that good. Glad you're not in my area to compete! Already a standard better than many, and with the potential to become really impressive.
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Old October 21st, 2007, 04:44 PM   #5
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Thanks guys for your feedback, I'm very appreciative of your comments, and you have highlighted a number of things that did not even occur to me, so thank you.

Tom...I guess the point of including the sunrise was more for the couples benefit, it was the sunrise on the morning of their wedding day, so it probably has more meaning for them, I wanted to include it for that reason only, I do take your point though, it does feature more in the full length version.
I'm not quite sure what you mean by odd framing? I know what you mean about the burnout shot at the end, it was the photographer's camera coming into frame, if I was to keep that sequence, how would you overcome it? maybe enlarge the frame and move it to the left, I'm not sure how that would affect the resolution, I am open to suggestions there.
The bridesmaids shots, they are different girls but yes, looking back on it again, it doesn't really work that well, it was also difficult to shoot because of all the light and shade, which was blatently obvious in the bride & father walking past shot.
I take your point with regard to the people coming into frame, honestly I did not even give consideration to that before so will take it on board with future editing.
Finally, I have no previous stills experience and only family handycam stuff, so thanks for the kind words, I am hoping to create a point of difference about the style of video I produce, I know it will come with time and practice, practice, practice and then some.

Terry...I did include this highlights clip in the final product, which consisted of a 35 min main video, and a 10 min "behind the scences/uncut" video which highlighted some of the funnier moments of the day. I'm kind of hoping to use the short as a sample as well, so back to the editing room for some touch-ups as offerd by the other guys.

Martin...Cheers for the feedback, the pan in the opening shot, your right, I bit ordinary, but I really wanted to use that clip on the premise "beginning with the end in mind" and I thought that summed it up pretty well.
I know I really need to work on the stability issue, it didn't help that we had a really strong breeze blowing, so thinking about it now, tripod would have been the way to go.
The drape shot, yeah you're right it is a bit out of place, I was trying a different artistic angle, maybe it didn't really work.
Dissolves, I'm trying to cut down on how often I use them, I had a look at the first video I did and way too many, and same problem you have highlighted, so will pay more attention to these in future.

Thanks again for all of your feedback, I really want to give this video gig a real crack so your comments are all valid and very much appreciated.

Cheers
DS
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 03:21 AM   #6
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Good point you raise about the sunrise - that it's special to the couple's day. I've been back for another look at your film and it really does show you have a budding flare for this game. And good on you for taking the hits so bravely, young man.

As to the 'odd framing', take a look at the scenes at 1:35, 1:40, 1:44, 2:04, 2.55, 3:00, 3:03, 3;17, 3:20. All thses show 'too much sky' such that there's lots of frame space above heads yet you've cut people off at the knees. The 3:00 shot cuts through her chin - ug!

There's a bit of a white balance clash for two scenes starting 01:29. It's 'softly-warm' up to then, and it suddenly goes cold.

Liked your fade to black before the groom. I like dissolves in a piece like this (but not in the main film though). So why not dissolve at the white flowers? And there it is all softly dissolving away after they've got married and bang, a sudden cut.

I really liked the windy start and that fact that you'd used multiple viewpoints throughout the film.

Here's one of mine, and you can tear it to shreds! It seems to have been stretched wider by the host site for some reason, but here's a tom wedding in 4 mins:

http://blip.tv/file/434910?filename=...airsDay207.wmv

tom.
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 03:36 AM   #7
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Ok Tom

I see what you mean, again more things to consider with the next shoot.

Checked out your vid, lots of dissolves like you said, something I'm conscious of trying not to make every transition a dissolve, to me it depends a lot on the music and if that style of music suits or warrants the "slowness" of the dissolve transition, fair enough. Really liked the mood of your shoot, not too serious, which is good, and your close-ups are great. I think a lot of the time photographers (here anyway) really focus on the seriousness of the occasion and are yearning for that perfect shot, and can sometimes overlook the lighter side of the whole process. IMO video gives the opportunity to capture more of those moments.

Now I'm just rambling, sorry.

I look forward to my next shoot, thanks again Tom for the feedback, more is welcome should anyone else feel generous enough to offer.

Cheers
DS
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 01:47 PM   #8
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Wow

Now that was a great clip. Great work Tom

Gary
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 04:42 PM   #9
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Darren I really didn't mind the nnumber of dissolves. What bothered me about the disolves was the speed of them. Most of them seemed a bit too fast for the pacing of the slow melodic song. If get rid of a few of them and you slowed the others down more to match the pacing of the music, then it won't look so jarring.

As for the edit itself, I thought that it was nicely put together.
Except for one thing.

I wanted to see less of the ceremony (which was most of the song) and more of the recption. Why not only include your best shots from the ceremony, which would get rid of some of your jump cuts, and add more of the reception in, intros, first dance, guestes dancing etc.

Or you could use the ceremony as a base for your clip and bounce back and forth from ceremony to prep, back to ceremony, to reception, back to ceremony etc.

Basically do a bit of time shifting to the piece, using the ceremony as a point of reference (importance), and the rest of the day's clips to show the ceelbration around it.

Just a thought.
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 04:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren Smith View Post
I would like to say a big thank you to Mike Overson, who has generously offered to host my video, in the interim I have found this site, quality seems fair.

Mike, if you are still keen to host the vid, I would be interested to see the comparison, as still looking at web host for same.
I apologize for being so late in getting this up. I have listed a link below for the video. The page isn't very fancy as I just wanted to get this online for you quickly. I'll try to spruce it up a bit later. I've been so busy over this past weekend that I didn't have a chance to put it up or even watch the entire clip. From what I have seen it looked rather good. I'll post up my comments soon.

http://www.endlessimagesutah.com/Darren.html
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 05:38 PM   #11
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Thanks Michael L

It is great to get another viewpoint, as I watched it again, I agree totally about the ceremony part, it does consume a lot of the song, I would love to have more of the reception, but I only stayed until they served entree, so did not get the speeches dancing etc, have some table shots but lighting was not that great, will have another look at some of that footage and should be able to include some of it anyway.
At this stage I struggle with the concept of the ceremony as a base, only from the point of view that I would not know how to get the right balance and if the clip looked too disjointed, I guess my plan at this stage is begin with the end in mind and then tell the story in chronological order. What you suggest is a great idea, I guess I just need to build my confidence up a bit more with my editing and experiment. Unfortunately time is my major problem at the moment as I'm sure a lot of you will attest. Thanks again for the comments Michael, I really do appreciate you taking the time to make some suggestions.

Wow!!! Mike O - the clip looks so much better, thank you.

I think that has convinced me to look at getting a basic webpage up and running. With regards to lunarpages...I'm just wondering how it might go on a support level for international customers, also how do you rate them for downtime, have you had any problems with them. For the price it is hard to beat particularly if you look at some of our Aussie providers, bandwidth is only about 15Gig/month for the same price. Not that I expect that I would get flooded with hits, but wondering if that is going to be enough. Any thoughts??

Cheers
DS
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 05:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren Smith View Post
Thanks Michael L
Wow!!! Mike O - the clip looks so much better, thank you.

I think that has convinced me to look at getting a basic webpage up and running. With regards to lunarpages...I'm just wondering how it might go on a support level for international customers, also how do you rate them for downtime, have you had any problems with them.
Glad I could help out Darren. If you want to send me a higher resolution clip that would be fine too. In regards to Lunarpages I have yet to encounter a problem. I haven't seen any downtime yet, nor have I had any complaints from customers. The bandwidth and storage are more than adequate for my needs, which is why I'm more than happy to host things for others who need the space. I'm not exactly sure about international service, but I think it would still be fine based on what I've seen so far.
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Old October 30th, 2007, 05:50 PM   #13
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As nice as the sunset shots looked, I think there were way too many of them. Starting at 0:30.. you could do with maybe just one shot of the sun and the fence...
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