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


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Old December 12th, 2007, 08:52 AM   #1
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How do best demo shots fit in to delivered product?

Hello all,

I've mostly been reading postings here, and I appreciate all of the experience and wisdom folks have shared here. We've been doing wedding videography since this past summer; working at it part time, we'll have completed our tenth shoot this weekend.

I feel that we've improved our quality on a number of fronts, but we have a lot of learning yet to do. One thing that's really impressive us the quality I'd some of the flying/floating shots in some of the demos on this group, apparently made using Glidecam/Steadicam or the equivalent.

One thing I haven't figured out though is how these shots I see in the demos fit into final products for clients. They seem much more suited to a short form (eg a five minute video) than a long form (a sixty minute 'light edit' of the ceremony and reception); you can't be 'flying around' all the time, can you? Or, can you? If this kind of video is your major deliverable, what else are toy delivering?

On a related note, we really emphasize being as unobtrusive as possible; is this something that just gets sacrificed when doing stabilized work?

Thanks!

Todd
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Old December 12th, 2007, 11:51 AM   #2
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Todd:

These type of shots in my opinion really shine in a long highlight but thats not to say that those same shots cannot be incorporated into the main video during the bridal or groom prep or during the photo session. If you don't want to use a stabilizer then I would make sure to utilize a wide angle lense and some fisheye, hold your breath and keep steady. If possible, do several takes and then slow it down a bit in post. This will not be as smooth as a Steadicam...Glidecam but it will add value to your video.
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Old December 12th, 2007, 12:25 PM   #3
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I've only roamed during the ceremony twice and both were outside weddings with plenty of room to spare. I've seen someone (can't think of who right off hand) who will partially follow a bride down the aisle with his stedicam, but I don't know anyone personally who runs around with a stedicam in a church during the ceremony. I've wanted to for quite some time but don't know how to do it tastefully.

If I'm in a setting where I do have the freedom to roam with my stedicam then we have 2 other cameras covering the ceremony for the traditional shots while I'm goofing off, trying to get something different. I love to work that way but again, I don't have the nerve to try it in an actual church.

For most ceremonies I stay somewhat mobile by using a DVRigPro unless the church has strict rules that prohibit any type of movement. This allows me to get mostly stable shots from a variety of locations and leaves me the freedom to shift around the occasional tall groomsman, overly bushy flower arrangement, or move to a new location to cover readers/singers/whatnot. It's not as good as a true tripod, maybe even a little worse than a monopod, but you can't beat the freedom it provides. I just wish it was rock solid stable at full zoom. It isn't.

So yeah, to answer your original question, for us, the roaming camera at a ceremony is usually not used for the full length ceremony edit (maybe a shot here or there) but rather to add a little hollywood to the recap/reprise/highlights/whatever you call them.
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Old December 12th, 2007, 03:13 PM   #4
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I have seen Patrick Moreau follow the Bride down just a bit...very good effect.
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Old December 12th, 2007, 04:42 PM   #5
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John,
That's the name I couldn't come up with. Thanks.
Wonder where he wanders off to after that?
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Old December 12th, 2007, 09:54 PM   #6
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It depends. Do YOU want to be seen?
Or are you there to document the bride and groom?
Are you getting the attention you should not be getting?

The point is that what you see in demos, is usually the best of the best of the best bits. Considering what you're seeing is usually 3-5 minutes from an 8+ hour shoot, its pretty easy to get these kind of shots and make them work for a demo. However, for a longform edit, there is a place where these can go, and its perfectly viable to include these within "normal" shots.

To be honest, above the artsy stuff, there MUST be an aire of consistency throughout the piece.

Ive seen work which on the outset looks like gold, only to be bitterly disappointed when it comes to the real world stuff (i.e. actual ceremony, and real world elements like table shots etc) simply because the shooter loses themselves in the art. Yes the art is there, but without the Archive, the Art means nothing.

Do not forget, that we are working with motion picture.
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Old December 14th, 2007, 02:55 AM   #7
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Hi Todd,

I'm moving at almost every event. It just takes a lot of practice to be 'interactively unobtrusive'. I've found that I must be keenly aware of all surroundings, close and near. I'm almost exhausted at the end of an 80 minute Catholic mass, for example, because I feel like my eyes and ears are monitoring so many people and details constantly as I attempt to move through the church (relatively) unnoticed. There is a good deal that is physical but the toll on the mind is the greatest once you get used to the lactic acid burn.
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