1st Wedding - some results - Critiques very welcome at DVinfo.net

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

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Old November 25th, 2007, 10:09 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Kent UK
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1st Wedding - some results - Critiques very welcome

Hey guys

Well many thanks for all the help and tips for my first wedding, I can see how a second camera would calm things down a bit and make the process a little less stressful. It really was a hard days work I have to say and I slept very well that night. The wedding went well on the whole although light was a problem from after the church onwards and the reception was quite dimly lit although I managed to pick my shots and not go above +6Gain. A low light setting on the XL2 I'd set up for wildlife stuff cetainly helped.

Anyway I'm 75% through the edit and I thought I'd post some results, I haven't done the montage yet but this is the 'outside the church' and 'photo shoot' section, I think I'll drop the music in places to let the audio come through. All thoughts and comments welcome.

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Old November 25th, 2007, 12:00 PM   #2
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Coulple of things I would change if it were me... for your next wedding

1) Get off the tripod! I used to do the same thing, but you have so much more creative freedom and you can get so many better angles when you don't use a tripod. I only use tripods now for the ceremony

2) On many of the shots, you seem to be almost centering the faces right in the middle of the screen, try putting the top of the subject's head at the top of the screen in the viewfinder. I used to do this also, its an easy habit to break. I found that turning off most of the displays on your viewfinder make it easier to see what your video really looks like

As far as this video, I think a few of the shots are a little too long, but then again, it sorta fits the music in the slower areas. Maybe a few more cuts for the faster parts.

I liked the colors a lot. Some might say its too cold for a wedding, but I really like them. It really captures the feel of the day since everything is overcast. I also liked the music. Coldplay?

On the shot of the dress, the tilt up with her standing outside, it was held a little long on the start, other than that I think it turned out well. I like the fade in/out on the cars driving up... I liked the shot of the groom/groomsmen doing the dance thing running towards the camera. I liked the shot of the little girl running up to you... would have been cool if she ran past you or something. I love the colors in the cu of the VW bus logo at the end, and love the shot of the reflections in the bumper.

I think its definitely good for a first video.... wish my first wedding turned out this well.
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Old November 25th, 2007, 12:12 PM   #3
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Only having done a few family weddings, I watch these wedding videos on this site more for getting a feeling of the culture the weddings are reflecting. Yours certainly passed on the feel for the culture.

Meantime, I'm thinking that in the future you will do tighter zooms on the main characters in some shots, isolating on the main characters-- especially the bride on her day ! From what I can see of the successful wedding videographers, they concentrate on glamorous shots of the bride in particular to build a word of mouth reputation.
Chris J. Barcellos
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Old November 25th, 2007, 03:55 PM   #4
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Hey Nick, thanks for the critique.
The first 3 minutes are completely hand held fella, so not sure what to say about that. The rest is about 70% tripod because the photographer was doing his thing and it was easier to stick on the tripod. Your point is noted though.

Can you point out a few of the shots your refering too, I can see exactly what you mean on the very first one, but it would help me to analise if you could point out a few others.

I know what you mean about a few shots being slightly too long, its mainly due to not wanting to cut the music track and to be honest I'd edit out another 30secs if it was shorter. However I'll go back through my footage and see if theres anything else to cut too. - Yep it is Coldplay

Chris - Yeah I'd have liked a bit more of the bride, but the light was fading SO fast, it was literally going dark at the end and the photographer unfortunately got most of the attention....I need to be a little tougher next time :)
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Old November 25th, 2007, 05:01 PM   #5
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hey mat, i was hoping to have a chance to spy on your wedding debut.

i would say that your edit and your camera work need more dynamism, the first 2/3rds is mostly long and medium shots that kind of resemble each other, composition-wise. i felt restless, about halfway through, and i think it was just a feeling of redundancy. more close-ups, more just mixing up your shot type in general, you need to move us in and out of the action.

what makes a good wedding video is the sense of intimacy created with the people involved.

i can see where those hand-held shots resemble tripod shots, but the point of hand-holding is to add movement/dynamism, and also to take your POV places where a tripod cannot reach, so get in there with that camera, man! otherwise, you might as well be on a tripod and get a steadier shot. about 2/3rds of the way in, you bring us more into the scene, right around the time the cars pull in....

those are nice car close-ups, especially with the bumper reflecting the wedding vehicle, but but you have more close-ups of the VW than you do of the people...should be the other way around...

one-camera shoots are stressful, for sure.

you seem a little tentative here. just pretend the people are lovely bewhiskered sea lions lying on the beach, and then you will want to get that camera up right up in their faces (a little UWOL humor for you)....

i mean, there's a baby present! how much easier does an appeal to raw sentiment get?? that was a lay-up, for sure!
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Old November 25th, 2007, 06:59 PM   #6
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I have to admit, that's some good steadiness for handheld! I honestly thought most of that was tripod.

...But like Meryem noted they resemble the tripod. What I really tried to say was to rotate the camera about 30 degrees one way or another so its not always level with the horizon, especially when you're doing some closeups, etc. I just recently started doing this and it really makes a more dynamic picture. You should be able to get a mix of these shots and some "flat" ones even with one camera. I usually get 3 or 4 shots of the same thing at different angles so I can mix and match so to speak.

I've got a video I'm putting together posted in this forum somewhere if you want to look at the different angles I'm referring to... forgive my laziness to post a link ;) It's only a few days since the last post so should be listed on page 1

There were a lot framed close to the center, try 0:04, 1:02, 1:41, 2:00 for some examples... 0:28 is how I would frame subjects

After watching your video again, I like how you shot between the two men around 0:41
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Old November 26th, 2007, 05:57 AM   #7
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Hey Meryem. Its funny you know, I'm always critiquing the uwol players on their levels of detail and here I go not following it with people........bah pesky humans! Point taken duly noted, to be honest I wrote up a plan/shot list before I did this and it had it written in there but I guess in the panic I was 'filling up' on the safe stuff. Also the couple were really funny about being too 'Obtrusive'! The groom wouldn't let me mic him up in the end so I had to rig it on the lectern that was next to them.

Ahhh drat so you can spot the fact I used to be a air cooled v-dub fan then...hmmmm, well it was such a different aspect to the wedding that I thought it would be good to feature heavily.

Nick: Thanks for those refs, I will check them out but I do know what you mean, I was watching the TV last night and thinking about what you said about framing and I certainly do have a tendency to frame head towards or just above middle....see this is why I love critique so much!

Good points guys, many thanks. Next time this stuff will be added for sure.
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Old December 1st, 2007, 10:27 AM   #8
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for big-budget movies handheld is a look. But for weddings it's about mobility more than anything.

Mat, when you say handheld you mean holding in your hands? No stabilizer device. If so you have exceptionally steady hands.
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Old December 1st, 2007, 02:23 PM   #9
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Yep completely hand held with no stabilser. Well apart from the lens IS that is.
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Old December 1st, 2007, 02:57 PM   #10
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I, too, would notice your shots seem to be centered high. Keep in mind that faces should be about 2/3 up the screen. Great music. I thought the very first shot was a bit long, and to me it looked too much like they were posing for a picture. That's fine, but there's a point when you realize they wouldn't smile that big and for that long naturally. Did you slow the video down during some parts? (I especially noticed during one handshake) For the most part, that looks great.

I noted that one shot after they got out of the car was very long. It's the one with both of them, showing their rings near the flowers. I'd suggest you take the shot up to their faces faster.

Those are my suggestions, but you did a great job! Kudos to you and your hard work!
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