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

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Old May 30th, 2008, 09:44 PM   #1
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Giving a "cinema" look for wedding:

Hello guys.

I would like to know if there is anywhere I can find material for study about giving a cinema, or film look into wedding video.
I not talking about "that" film look (24p, 35mm, etc..) I talking about editing, framing, camera techniques, angles, etc...

Is there any kind of information on web that fits my requests??

Do you know any?

Thank you so much!
wedding videography
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Old May 31st, 2008, 12:37 AM   #2
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What kind of film?

There are lots of directors and they all make different kind of movies. Woody Allen compared to George Lucas compared to Peter Jackson. Pretty different stuff.
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Old May 31st, 2008, 06:35 AM   #3
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I personally learn from movies. Study films that have excellent cinematography and editing. There is tons of films out there so no point listing them but sit down pick a film you like and work out how the shots flow together. Still the best way is to go out there and shoot, pick a scene from a film and see if you can replicate it. Its amazing how quickly you learn things.
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Old May 31st, 2008, 07:34 AM   #4
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There is a lot of discussion concerning this all over this board, but one aspect rarely mentioned is (or at least not mentioned enough) is depth of field.
Shooting in 24p or adding film effects in post is great, but I think the most noticable and practical tehnique for a film look is using a shallow depth of field.
I learned this by simply watching movies, and was reinforced after reading articles on why film guys hated using digital video. The main beef was not resolution, but how the lenses worked with the camera. They simply could not get the same depth of field they were used to with thier 35mm rigs.(sorry to over-simplify a complicated issue, but I'm not smart enough to get into all the details).

So, my vote is watching movies as well. I always try to picture where the cameraman is standing in every scene.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 01:48 AM   #5
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We shall not discuss 24p and 35mm since they are already heavily discussed in other threads. I personally think watching more movies and try to focus on the technical aspects helps you in framing your subjects. Another neglected aspects when it comes to wedding is lighting. It is the lighting which give your scene a dynamic cinematic feel. Watching more MTV helps too when it comes to editing wedding highlights.
With interesting framing + good lightings + 24p + 35mm + color grading, I think most wedding video are able to achieve the cinematic feel.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 09:11 AM   #6
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I would agree with Kenny,

A HUGE part of filmaking is focused on lighting and good lighting. Most of the time lighting determines how armature your shots will look like, positioning a window close by, proper exposure and an correct white balance, all these elements factor in the look one would achieve in order to get the Hollywood style and look some of us try to obtain.
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Old June 7th, 2008, 11:30 PM   #7
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perspective! when in nyc, my girlfriend and i were in times square at 3am or so and a guy that looked just like spike lee was shooting video on top of a 6' a-frame ladder.
me: "omg thats spike lee!"
gf: "noooooo!"
me: "yea it is. shooting video at 3am on the top of a aluminum a-frame ladder is totally something i could see spike lee doing"
gf: "omg. i think you're right!"
so after working up enough courage to approach a working spike lee, we were sadly disappointed to find out it wasn't him. turns out the guy was with the company that produces hell's kitchen. he was testing perspectives ahead of time so that they would have a solid plan of attack for camera placement. depth of field and background for each shot could be assesed before the show and they could pick the angles that gave them the best results. he even used my girlfriend and i for a few minutes as human stand-ins for the contestants to just depth of field and angles. no spike lee, but a cool guy nontheless and had plenty of knowledge and expertise to share with total strangers harassing him at work.

like stated above, study movies and productions that have the look and feel that you are going for and then ask yourself, how did the DP accomplish this shot? take your theories and test them ahead of time on your friends and family and then apply the techniques you used that gave you the results you like to your production. if you can visit the venue prior to the event, do so with your camera and a stand in and try different perspectives. study, replicate, practice and preparation are key components in acquiring footage like the big boys.

dolly's, cranes & jibs are a lil' extreme for your average wedding production. a steady stick, glidecam &/or a harness rig however are not. with practice, you can replicate a lot of the same smoooooth movements and transitions of perspectives that large productions use to set themselves apart from the average video product, but at a small fraction of the price.

in my opinion, combining these aspects with the right "film look" technics such as filters & plugins in post, 24p, etc. will give you that closer to movie feel. hope my thoughts help! cheers!
-john c.
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