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Old June 1st, 2008, 11:18 PM   #1
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SDE discussion revisited + bride in an Alpha Romeo

After all of the discussion about a highlights clip vs and SDE that has gone on over the past couple weeks, we decided to try and make our latest SDE more like a highlights clip.

Reading through the threads and comparing some of our different clips, we came up with three main things to focus on;
1. strong focus on storytelling with all portions of the day included, even the reception (thanks Travis for that comment)
2. color grading would be much tighter overall
3. try to work in much more natural audio and voice overs throughout

I think we ended up doing a pretty good job moving more towards our highlights look, but I would love some feedback. For this couple, Julia and Phil, I'm not too sure what I can do with their highlights now.

FYI, the Alpha Romeo footage was done with me chasing the car down the road with the steadicam- not something I would suggest on a hot day when you still have a full SDE to cut.

Thanks for checkin' it out:

http://stillmotionblog.com/?p=463

Patrick
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 03:12 AM   #2
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I've only had a chance to watch it once, and I just got back from filming 3 days on an out of town wedding so my eyes are pretty much burned out. So I'll watch it again later and see if I can give any constructive feedback.

That said, I thought it was beautiful. The color grading you guys pull off is amazing, and the creativity in your shots was very good as always.

I have to say I'm impressed you were chasing a car with the steadicam. Funny thing is, I was doing the same thing this weekend. When the couple left the resort to head out on their honeymoon, I chased the car down a hill with my Merlin. My shot didn't turn out quite as good as yours, but I was also fighting a breeze and my back was pretty much fed up with me since I had shot with the Merlin attached all day (I even had to do the ceremony handheld because there was no room for a tripod). I'm sure the vest helps you a lot with the back issues.

Anyways, you guys inspire me as always. I actually changed up my shooting routine this weekend to get more creative, which prompts a question. How do you guys balance setting up creative shots with capturing what is actually happening? I'll give an example.

During preps with the bride I had some ideas for shots with the rings, shoes, etc. But I had to have my camera on a tripod for the shots, and I had to set each of the shots up to take advantage of light, background, etc. In other words, it took several minutes any time I wanted to try something out. In the mean time the bride is getting her hair done, and putting her makeup on, and interacting with the other girls. I struggled to find a balance between covering those activities and shooting my creative shots. How do you guys do it?
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 04:14 AM   #3
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Hi Patrick

I have been considering this debate and would like to say a couple of things about SDE vs Highlight. Your style of editing has a lot of juxtaposition of the story so maybe when you do both an SDE and a Highlight, the highlight can go back to more of a chronological story telling with maybe jump ahead of time, like a "flash forward" to moments during the piece and then this would be two very different edits.

So I feel the Highlight generally is the full circle of the day vs SDE which doesn't always get the full feel of the day, you don't get to see the joy of the speeches and quiet moments later in the night etc and even maybe in the rush of editing on the day miss a good moment. Thats why I think SDE's could be all of the best shots that are linked together really well while Highlights can be more of a story because there is generally a beginning, middle and an end.

My editing is somewhat traditional but if I do find a link in the story between certain parts I will cut them together. Most of your highlights really capture that well but this particular one seemed a little bit disconnected, although I do feel that has lots to do with the couple, how much of their connection translates onto what you capture and for an emotional song like that seemed a bit distant. But I think maybe a choice of different song that might work better with the style.

Maybe the next phase for you could be to perfect shooting styles between and SDE and a Highlight. ie. High impact shots vs more emotional moments, so really make a point of difference between the style of the two products.

But Patrick, I would like thank you for continually submitting your work for review on this forum. Its great that you are really always pushing the envelope, and I find all your work very inspiring and educational for me. :)
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 07:45 AM   #4
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Hi Patrick,
Great job as usual! The coloring was tight all around and the piece didn't seem to lag one bit for me. I love the location with the cobblestone and rustic Italian look. The pictures alone must be superb. I find the out of focus to focus to be exciting as I am trying to quickly guess what shot you have framed before it comes into focus, just a little game. Great combination of moving and still shots as well. It looked as though you weren't allowed to film the ceremony from the ground though or you guys do a great job of hiding. Overall a great piece and I bet it was good to do one at home for a change.

Jason
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 09:33 AM   #5
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Hi Pat!

Really nice clip! Very stillmotion! ^_^

Just would like to ask, why is there minimal footage of the ceremony? Is this because there are many restrictions on shooting inside churches there? How long did the ceremony go?

Sorry but i'm just not that familiar with ceremonies outside the Philippines. ^_^

Btw, what laptop do you use for editing? Specs? :D
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 10:01 AM   #6
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I liked the extra natural audio at 01:07 and 01:30 (not referring to the vows) and think it might benefit from going even further then that. Most of your clips I have seen are very visually oriented but with more extra background audio it 'lives' more. (hope you understand what I mean :)

The rest was, as usual, really great. Must say that eventhough I never have been a big fan of your very fast moving glidecam shots as they make me dizzy but the shot with the dance and the paper falling out of the air was breathtaking.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 11:25 AM   #7
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Man Patrick...how did you find the time to do all the color grading in that short period of time. I love how some of the colorful footage was backlit. Looked like a lot of available natural light. I have to say one of the things I have noticed recently is your in camera transitions, which I am going to try. I really like how you use the things at hand to create the effect instead of trying to do it in post production. It always stands out as stunning work. I think this piece would easily stand as a highlight.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 12:02 PM   #8
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Patrick - great work as usual!!! How are you doing these new transitions with the camera panning fast from one subject to another? do you simply use a "push" transition with some blur applied or is it the actual shot? great work and love all the new fresh ideas.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 12:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
How do you guys balance setting up creative shots with capturing what is actually happening? I'll give an example.

During preps with the bride I had some ideas for shots with the rings, shoes, etc. But I had to have my camera on a tripod for the shots, and I had to set each of the shots up to take advantage of light, background, etc. In other words, it took several minutes any time I wanted to try something out. In the mean time the bride is getting her hair done, and putting her makeup on, and interacting with the other girls. I struggled to find a balance between covering those activities and shooting my creative shots. How do you guys do it?
Thanks for the comments Travis. Balancing everything out is a huge proposition and something that we continually refine. A couple big things for us would be 1. always be efficient, know what is happening where, what you want to shoot, and how long it will take. Give yourself a time limit and don't exceed it. Something like the rings, we could shoot for hours (and have) but you have to keep everything else in mind like you mentioned. So, I would often shoot a couple minutes of the hair then give myself 10 min to shoot the dress, then come back and get more of the hair.

The real key though is how much trust and respect our couples have with us and that gives us a level of freedom that really lets us do something new every time without worrying about having to get anything in particular. So, should we miss the hair entirely to get an amazing ring shot, no feelings would be hurt.

Patrick
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 12:13 PM   #10
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Peter,

I think the timeshifting versus linear storytelling is certainly something that could be used to differentiate an SDe vs a but I find that we use both styles for both types of clips depending on the couple and the feel of the footage. I would say that either style, especially timeshifting since it involves more though, would be more refined in the highlights.

I like your idea of the shot differentiation, we just need to figure out if we want to offer an SDE and highlights or just leave it at one. I'm not too sure there is an added value to having both unless the couple wants a more MTV style SDE which is just high impact, and then the highlights could be much more reflective and timeless.

Patrick
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 12:25 PM   #11
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Jason,
Glad you like the out of focus work. I think the steadicam work is great for dancing and photo-sessions but for the rest, the static approach is generally much more fitting. In covering it that way though, we try to bring more energy to the footage with heavy use of focus, depth of field, whip pans, snap zooms, and much more edgy composition.

Hiding is also something we are working a lot on- glad you noticed it.



Raphael,
Glad you enjoyed it. I hope it wasn't too too slow for you guys.

The ceremony was Greek Orthodox which involves a lot of singing by both the officiant and a cantor. It can be similar to wedding you might do but mostly everything is sung. This wouldn't be a typical wedding for us, but we do do several of these every year. That is part of why their is minimal footage and I also try to gage how many people are at the ceremony as well as the reception and use that to vary the amount of ceremony shown. The more guests that are at both, the less footage we use of that a part as I find that has a larger impact. It is also a bit of a workflow issue as we put a lot of the photo-session in and that ties up our importing when we don't have much time left.

As for a laptop, we are mac based and I'm using a 17" macbook pro dual core 2.6 with 4 gigs of ram and a 1920 x 1080 screen.

Thanks for checking it out.

Patrick
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 12:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Most of your clips I have seen are very visually oriented but with more extra background audio it 'lives' more. (hope you understand what I mean :)

The rest was, as usual, really great. Must say that eventhough I never have been a big fan of your very fast moving glidecam shots as they make me dizzy but the shot with the dance and the paper falling out of the air was breathtaking.
Thanks for your input Noa. I agree about the audio. I try to really avoid forcing it too much and including things just to get more audio in, and so I am looking for key emotional moments or sound bites that help tell the story. Certainly something we have a strong focus on working into our SDEs.

It was a lot of work to get the confetti to even happen so I knew I had to make the most of it. The funny thing is, he popped that thing off really quick and I didn't know until they were coming down so I really had to just start the move and go.

Patrick
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 12:34 PM   #13
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John,

It really is just about practice and experience. Last year or even 2 months ago I couldn't come close to this amount of color work in an SDE. Mike is starting to get into the SDE workflow now too (in terms of editing) and that is a tremendous help. As he cuts more and more, we can push these even further. We always prefer 'effects' to be very natural looking or done in camera versus applied in post, and some of these recent transitions are working towards that.


Zach,

There are a bunch of different ways to do transitions like that. I think the best route is to go out and try a couple different ways and you would be surprised at what you come up with but also how many other ideas come about from it. Having me just say how its done really ruins the whole experience.

Patrick
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 02:24 PM   #14
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Hey Patrick,
Just a quick question regarding the Ballare by Cinevate, have you used it at a reception to cover the first dace encompassing the whole circle around the couple or just using the steadycam? I think the whole flying around while the dances go on is what really gives the video a real emotion, especially the lower shots of the feet and the close up on the faces. JM also showed a clip recently where he used the Brevis during the first dance as well and it was a great shot, are you using them during the reception?

Jason
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 03:10 PM   #15
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Very nice Patrick! I loved every minute of it. Could easily be a Highlight. There was one shot I did not understand which was the individual running out of the synagogue and you showed on his feet. It seemed out of place but the rest was great and the shot of the confetti was breath taking. Loved your ring shots. Thanks for sharing freely and it was a treat to view.

Monday
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