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


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Old July 1st, 2008, 06:45 AM   #1
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My First Wedding Movie Trailer

Since I have recently lost my full time job, I have found myself with plenty of time to work on my editing backlog (and make a stab at doing this full time). That means it was time to travel into completely new territory. This client did not order (or pay for) a wedding trailer, but I used the excellent footage and the amazing size of this wedding to create a brand new showcase piece for my (hopefully long surviving) business.

This wedding was the "big one" I mentioned back in April. So big in fact, that I had to hire out for cameras & cam ops. Thanks again go to Travis Cossel for his excellent footage. Unfortunately, the sound tech at the ceremony was a rank newbie and I didn't bring my own sound tech, so the audio was ... all over the place. But the footage looked amazing.

A quick word about the music, because I am sure to get the question eventually. This music was composed by my good friend Jeremy Schrepple who has a Masters in Composition & Scoring for film from N.Y.U. and currently lives & works in L.A. The music was composed first, and I picked my shots to match. The mood is very dramatic, a little too much for my taste in weddings, but when receiving a free Sync & Dupe license with all copyrights cleared, I say "Thank You!" I am now offering the option on my highest package to include a score for some or all of the movie, written by Jeremy, though due to the prices required I doubt I will have any takers any time soon.

I will wait until people bring up some of the points I am not too found of before I mention them myself. I must say, I am so happy with this piece that I can only think of a dozen or so shots that I wish I could re-shoot (that is below the average number of "awww crap" moments for me).

So you can see this video on my brand new Vimeo account (but the video is only SD so it gets squished a bit) and also on my site where you can download the 720x480 WMV file for the best viewing. I'm still not happy with the quality of the darks & color saturation on the MOV versions of these files, but I'll post them anyway once the uploads finish.

Last edited by Jason Robinson; July 1st, 2008 at 06:48 AM. Reason: missing word
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Old July 1st, 2008, 07:42 AM   #2
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That dude looks like Toady from Neighbours.

800 guests. That must have cost a bit to feed all them ;)
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Old July 1st, 2008, 12:20 PM   #3
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That's the best work I've seen from you so far. Good editing. The music worked fine for me. I did feel like the color could use something, but I struggle with coloring myself, so I can't really tell you what it needs, lol.
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Old July 1st, 2008, 01:33 PM   #4
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That's the best work I've seen from you so far. Good editing. The music worked fine for me. I did feel like the color could use something, but I struggle with coloring myself, so I can't really tell you what it needs, lol.
hehehe color. I basically worked to get it as even as possible, despite the bridal party standing in harsh sun light and everyone else being lit but stained glass or light bulbs. Lighting was a real problem here.

But yes, as usual, I have a hard time finding out 1) how and 2) what color pallet to use.
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Old July 1st, 2008, 02:43 PM   #5
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800 guests. That must have cost a bit to feed all them ;)
Everything about this wedding was epic. There were actually more attendants (4 on each side) than could fit up front as part of the bridal party, so they were tucked in the sides, some standing behind my camera. My fish-eye lens came in very handy just getting shots of the bridal party taking their formal portraits. The reception took the entire convention center in downtown. The planning started in earnest about 6 months before the wedding and didn't stop. The bill for the alcohol alone (6 bar tenders working 5 hours at 4 different bars) was probably about how much I make in a year.
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Old July 1st, 2008, 02:58 PM   #6
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I just recently filmed a wedding for one of the guests that was at that wedding. They spent around $75k on the wedding/reception, but still didn't buy my top package or add any options on (except rehearsal dinner coverage). Just goes to show where the value of video is in the minds of the people of this market. Crazy stuff.
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Old July 1st, 2008, 03:05 PM   #7
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I just recently filmed a wedding for one of the guests that was at that wedding. They spent around $75k on the wedding/reception, but still didn't buy my top package or add any options on (except rehearsal dinner coverage). Just goes to show where the value of video is in the minds of the people of this market. Crazy stuff.
Wow, that is .. killing me. Honestly, I wonder what is going on around here. It could be that little "recession thing" but when we see $75K / $100K going to location catering.... to food that will be here and then gone..... it makes me wonder what on earth it will take for people to value something that will last.
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Old July 1st, 2008, 03:31 PM   #8
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The trick is to connect emotionally with the bride (the groom won't care, he already knows the ending...). Show her how special you can make the memories of "her day", and that they will last... that she can relive that day anytime she wants in living color and surround sound...

Selling anything requires connecting with the little voice inside your client that says "I NEED this", and like it or not, that's what you have to do, a tough economy makes it that much harder, tight budgets never make life easy. BUT, if you make the video a NEED, not a want or "just a nice option", the budget will come. Budgets are funny things - can anyone here say they can't "find a way" even when the budget said "NO WAY", when the purchase is important and motivated enough??

Everyone I've spoken with that got a video says they watch it more often than they look at their pictures... So the value is there, just have to make it more visible and tangible somehow.
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Old July 1st, 2008, 03:39 PM   #9
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That's a great point, Dave, and honestly I think we would all do better business if we were better at sales. The problem is that for most of us sales is not our specialty. That's why we're shooting and editing instead of selling furniture or cars or time shares. Personally I hate selling my stuff, but I know I'm going to have to get better at it (especially now that I've invested in HD ... oh God).
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Old July 1st, 2008, 06:36 PM   #10
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The best sales person is the one who knows the value of what they are selling and believes in it...

If you approach it from the mindset not of a salesperson, but as a normal person excited about the product/concept/idea/event, you avoid some of the typical discomfort.

I've always found that showing someone else something *I* am genuinely excited about (not in a door to door vacuum sales way) is most effective. If you're excited about video, it can be infectious.

As an independent videographer, you have (hopefully) a right to be excited about your services and what a great "end user experience" you can offer. A great product won't just "sell itself", it typically needs some promotion and exposure.

Examples and testimonials from satisfied clients (maybe a story or two about the one who "almost" didn't book video and was so glad when she saw the final DVD) make for good chit chat when speaking with a client - sometimes helping them identify with someone else who went with the video and was thrilled will bring them around.
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Old July 1st, 2008, 06:45 PM   #11
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I've always found that showing someone else something *I* am genuinely excited about (not in a door to door vacuum sales way) is most effective. If you're excited about video, it can be infectious.
Lots of good ideas in there.

I have to say, I've watched this trailer a good 30 or so times. Partly because it is so short, and partly because I just love it! I might have to render a WMV wersion with 5.1 audio so the mastering work I did can really kick in an touch your sub-woofer.

Not to be a thread cop, but I was also wondering if there were any comments on the wedding movie trailer above. Or any problems downloading the high res version. I'll be putting up the high res quicktime pretty soon as well.
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Old July 1st, 2008, 08:51 PM   #12
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sweet, that music is something straight out of "Warcraft 2"
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Old July 1st, 2008, 09:17 PM   #13
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sweet, that music is something straight out of "Warcraft 2"
I'll be sure to tell my composer that he needs to get in touch with Blizzard to score their next game. :-)

So did you think the music was not well suited for a trailer, or was it just fine AND it would sound good as a game soundtrack?
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Old July 1st, 2008, 11:12 PM   #14
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it's perfect epic trailer music. lol.
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Old July 1st, 2008, 11:23 PM   #15
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it's perfect epic trailer music. lol.
So the follow on question is ... Do the visuals match the intensity of the audio? The score is amazing, but I'm hoping it is matched by my shot selection & visual pacing. As I've already pointed out, I struggle with figuring out how to put a visual "theme" over the shots (color grading) so I'd love to hear examples or ideas with regard to that.
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