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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old June 23rd, 2003, 10:34 AM   #16
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Curt when I video a wedding I make it a basic documetary of the day and after the main shots at the reception, cutting cake and all that stuff I leave. I tell them that up front.That is what alot of wedding photographers do too. I think after the main stuff has happened they don't really want cameras pointing at them anyway and if they do they will pay extra. Videotaping a wedding can be a pain and like Glen said you only get one shot at it. But then again it's not bad money and for someone just starting out it's a way to get some exprience.
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Old June 23rd, 2003, 11:08 AM   #17
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I agree with Bob, however some of the "main" shots occure LATE into the night. The wedding this saturday was a good example. Reception started at 5 but the formal introductions of the bridal party , ect didn't start till close to 6:30 (after "coctail hour"). And the cake cut, we had to wait till darn near the end of the night till they did that. At that point we had gotten the toast, first dance, parents' dances, regular (fast) dance footage, bouque and garder, and guest interviews done for over an hour before they even started getting ready to do the cake cut. It goes along with the job I suppose. Some businesses charge on an hourly basis- we don't. We charge a flat fee and stay as long as we need to get the shots we need. Maybe we should go by the hourly basis- If we did I'm sure we'd net more profit beings 99% of weddings never go exactly on schedule. ;)
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Old June 23rd, 2003, 11:24 AM   #18
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Glen I just watched your video I think it was great, good cam work, good timing.

I have a few questions.

1 Do you start your wedding movie (I call them movies) with a montage or doses that take place later.

The reason I ask is that I started with a montage recently the couple loved it but they wanted to come at the end. It seams they felt that it gave away the drama that builds up to the first kiss.


2 Do you go into documentary mode or is the whole thing dreamy.

I have done both and I really canít decide which one I like best. I usually end with some type of montage unless it is just a real cheap wedding. (Cheap as in how much I am getting paid. I have done weddings were the photographer gets $2500 and I got paid $350. I donít do that anymore.)
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Old June 23rd, 2003, 11:50 AM   #19
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Ron, I'm glad you liked it- thanks.

1. That particular clip WAS the beginning of a recent wedding video. I usually do start with an opening montage, saving some good sceens for later. Unless a client is very specific as to the pacing and the placement of certain footage and montages I go with whatever I feel best fits. Most of the time couples don't know what they want beings they haven't been exposed to as many weddings and wedding videos as the average videographer.
Is this something the client told you after the fact? If so there's really nothing much you can do other than periodicaly giving them a call to run it by them before continuing the edit.

2. Depends on what the clients ask for. Some prefer the video journalist style while other favor heavily the dreamy montages set to music. Usually clients prefer the latter. For example the wedding you saw the clip of almost the entire wedding was done in a series of montages, however not quite like the one you saw with the soft focus and all. The only natural audio/non-montage style footage is the vows, formal entrances to the reception, toast/blessing, and bridal party interviews. The rest and I mean everything was one long string of musical montages- even including her walking down the isle. I ran it by the bride, of course, before hand because I liked the way the montage of the church was comming out and wanted to extend it throughout the ceremony. The bride sounded excited and asked that I continue the montage, and that hearing the natural ogran music, "Here comes the bride" wasn't necissary. I really liked how it came out- very dramatic. I really should execute disgression calling it all montages because by definition that could mean lots of random shots sewn together. I guess calling them slow sequences would be more appropriate- because the only actual "montages" I use are at the beginning for the opening (like you saw) and the highlight montage at the end with shots going throughout the entire day- like a recap. Depending on the package I also incorporate the traditional moving photograph picture montage, and bridal party credits which is very popular, kinda like the beginning of a sitcom.

Regarding pricing- yeah I learned real quick not to under-charge my clients. Afterall it's dozens of man-hours behind the computer capturing, editing, encoding, and authoring. If I break it down after the money is divided between me and my partner I only make roughly minimum wage- though it's still worth it because I do enjoy editing quite a bit and I only get better. I look forward to progressing my shooting and editing skills to such a degree I can start aiming at a higher demographic of clientel. For example "www.momentsinmotion.com" charges $10,000 for their top package. Probably higher than any wedding videography business I've seen in town or on the net! However their work is absolutly top notch. Granted even top notch work might not get them gigs charging such an absorbanent fee however I'd have to assume they are located in a higher income area and appeal to the demographic of clientel than can afford to spend such an amount on your services. Heck, I'd rather do 4 weddings a year @ 10k a pop than 40 weddings @ 1k. Though like I said I'm a far ways off from making that bold of a step in pricing...lol, I'd have to live in Beverly Hills to warrant that sort of price-tag.
So yeah that's a very important thing to keep in mind. Know what your clientel is willing to pay- never undercharge. Your work will speak for itself and your pricetag should fit accordingly. On the same token, obviously, always offer 110%. Always go above and beyond the competition. Thus the prime reason we don't charge an hourly rate- we stay however long it takes to get the shots we need at no additional premium cost. Clients are always appreciative of that.
Oh and I hear you regarding the inexpensive packages. If someone is only willing to spend, say, $500 then I wouldn't spend hour upon hours designing carfully timed montages to music, with lots of video effects and rendering time. However it is nice to offer a baseline package so that you can still appeal to couples that simply can't afford the higher priced ones. Besides a lot of "professional" wedding videographers do very cookie-cutter weddings by default and you pay their premium for it.
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Old June 23rd, 2003, 01:40 PM   #20
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Glenn I try to get with the wedding photographer and alot of them don't want to hang out all night. If you get a good one then they will direct things so the shots happen pretty fast. Now if I was charging $10,000 I'd stay all night with the bride and groom!! But I'm new to the business so I charge alot less.
I do like your montage idea. On the last wedding I did I took some of the video I didn't use and editted it then put it to music. They really like that part of the video. My main goal in a wedding video is to show what happened on their wedding day and to make it move along so they can show their friends, family the video and not bore them to death.
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Old June 23rd, 2003, 02:51 PM   #21
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Glen yes when the groom saw the montage it confused him and he just couldnít understand why he was seeing the end before the wedding even started.

I told him that it was just something I was trying out then I moved it to the end of the movie and he loved it.

Sometimes you can be too creative I guess.

Anyway after that I started calling the bride and groom and having them come in to my studio and watching the movie straight from my computer.

If they have any comments about it I can fix it and then when it is delivered it is exactly what they want.
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Old June 23rd, 2003, 03:02 PM   #22
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Bob I know what you are saying about the photographer they can be a lot of help or a real pain.

I try to get with them as soon as they get there introduce myself and let them know that I am easy to work with.

In not so many words I let them know that I also am on the job.

In my contract I make it the bride and grooms responsibility to let the photographer know that they expect cooperation from the photographer and the videographer to work together.
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Old June 23rd, 2003, 03:58 PM   #23
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<<<-- Originally posted by Ron Little :
Anyway after that I started calling the bride and groom and having them come in to my studio and watching the movie straight from my computer.

If they have any comments about it I can fix it and then when it is delivered it is exactly what they want. -->>>

Oh man- I couldn't do that! It'd ruin it- the best part about delievering the final product is that they haven't seen any of it yet....and that it's a complete suprise. Though in your case I can understand how it could have been helpfull.
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Old June 23rd, 2003, 08:34 PM   #24
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Glen what doses it ruin?

I have a nice office with a big screen TV we kick back, watch the movie and I get to see how they react to what I have done.

I think it helps me tweak my style.

Actually most of the time they love it and I have a cam handy so they can do a testimonial for my work. The testimonials go over well with other couples who want to see some of my work.

My wife and I enjoy their reactions so much that we are building a new edit bay that includes a viewing lounge complete with a kitchen for refreshments.
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Old June 24th, 2003, 11:10 AM   #25
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Doses anyone shoot weddings in 16x9 mode?
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Old June 24th, 2003, 12:15 PM   #26
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I know of a few videographers from other forums that do. If your interested I can link you to some of their work- it's absolutly amazing. Hence the fact they can charge in the upwards of 5-8k a wedding.
www.cmvideography.com is one of them.
His work is by far the best I've seen from a wedding videographer online! His work inspires me!!

As for me I've never done so beings I shoot along side of a XL-1s and our 16x9 modes are quite different. The DVX100's is just masked to 16x9, not true anamorphic. Though I'd still love to shoot a wedding in that mode. I like the composition of 16x9. Seems easier to frame things up and make the composition more interesting.

Regarding showing the video to the client prior to delievery isn't actually a bad idea. It ensures they get exactly what they want out of the video and shows them that you are very flexable and receptive. I thought you might have meant you'd periodically show them sequences as you were editing. Maybe you meant you show them the tentative finished product and ask if they need anything tweaked. It's great for customer service however it scares me at the possible prospect of getting a bride that keeps changing her mind.
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Old June 24th, 2003, 03:21 PM   #27
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Glen,

Most WEVA videographers do not allow the B&G to have any say in the final video. Mainly, I'd say, because of the opportunity for the BFH to keep on changing stuff forever.

I like to give them the final cut and then disappear. Always get compliments. I change my style a little bit with each wedding but mostly documentary but with a bit of dreamy editing. I always try to have a somewhat fancy opening that is done in After Effects.

Few brides in my neck of the woods have the $ for the fancy weddings and coverage. They are happy just to have the whole thing on tape.

I always shoot 3 cameras if I can.

1 main at the rear and locked down.
1 roaming for cutaways
1 behind the officiant if possible. I get great B&G footage that way and the 3rd camera footage (a small PC110) is easy to integrate as PIP or cutaway.
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Old June 24th, 2003, 04:50 PM   #28
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Mike, yeah that was my exact concern regarding going about it that way.
Speaking of After Effects- what sorts of effects DO you do with it in regards to wedding videography?
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Old June 24th, 2003, 05:20 PM   #29
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I use it for the photmontages. A lot of control and I can reuse the layout and move things around for another wedding if I wish.

I've now done three wedding videos where the first thing you see is a picture of the facility (these were wineries, etc.) which zoom-swaps with a slide-up of the wedding invitation. Then I cut a 'hole' in the invitation with a mask to show the Bride and Father walking in. Frequently, since I've done all my weddings outdoors, the background isn't that great but by default is included in the shot. Or they walk down a veranda surrounded by 'stuff'. I sort of tunnel them through that with the mask.

Sometimes I'll do some complicated masking with something made in photoshop.

All of my titles are made in Photoshop or Illustrator and frequently dropped in to AE when I want to spin them or do something special. The 2.5 D aspect of AE works well here. Also I can cast a light beam through colored glass/windows onto another surface that has the titles or I can cast light through the titles and onto another surface. With fog I can even get that light-beam through the dust motes effect if I need to.

Once in a while I'll try for a lumikey effect in AE but RexEdit normally does it better. Really good for those times when the windows get blown out. I just lumikey them away and replace them with a still or a video loop of the same scene with the exposure set for the windows. A little bit of masking and I have a good exposure both inside and outside.

The last wedding I did (am editing now) I covered the Shower for both the Bride and Groom. Starts out with a shot of the moon that night with rings circling the moon. The plane of the rings makes them go behind the moon (they are tilted back about 44 degrees). The rings slow down and reveal their name which stops bottom dead center. The other words, which are at about 75% opacity are make one more revolution and stop top dead center and as they do so, come to 100% opacity, partially obscured by the moon. Then both text strings start to rotate slowly so you can read them in motion. They read: Ron & Julie . . . Are gonna get married. As they continue to rotate the Shower invitation rises to cover everything.

Kitsch but they will like it a lot.

This is a second marriage for both and they are very casual about the whole thing. The marriage ceremony was short and the party was the real celebration.
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Old June 24th, 2003, 05:28 PM   #30
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Charles, RFLMAO!! That's not what that says...

Any weddings are hardwork just liek everyone has said, but what isn't? I must admit it is not as rewarding as I thought it would be, but it can be fun.
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