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


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Old July 10th, 2008, 10:19 PM   #1
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First Wedding Highlight

Please take a look at this highlight. Any suggestions and tips would be greatly appreciated. http://vimeo.com/1318769
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Old July 13th, 2008, 08:12 AM   #2
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Anyone please? lol
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Old July 13th, 2008, 08:42 AM   #3
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Hey Shaun,
I know you're a little frustrated with not getting comments on your clip. I film Quinceanera's exclusively and when I post the videos here on this forum I get a descent response until lately. People will watch it and then just not comment. I feel your pain. Hopefully you will understand some of the terms I will state if not just ask me. In your clips you had a lot of head room in some of your clips. If you understand the rules of thirds apply it when your filming. There are times when that rule can broken and need to. For the most part try following that rule. How come during the reception you weren't on the dance floor? It would have been nice to get more of a head on shot of the footage instead of a balcony view during the dances. The last thing I will mention is practice practice and practice holding the camera steady. Get devices if you need to like a dv-rig, monopod, if you enjoy hand held bring your elbow into your shoulder and get that footage steady, you can also hold under the LCD with your left hand to get it steady, I usually put my left hand under the front lens when shooting below the shoulders. You did good over all. I remember my very first wedding video which was pretty good using consumer cams 5 years ago and then I remember my second wedding and boy do I want to forget it. Working hard at it has pushed me to a much better level of performing this service for the clients and I know it will do the same for you. Take Care

Monday
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Old July 13th, 2008, 08:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monday Isa View Post
Hey Shaun,
I know you're a little frustrated with not getting comments on your clip. I film Quinceanera's exclusively and when I post the videos here on this forum I get a descent response until lately. People will watch it and then just not comment. I feel your pain. Hopefully you will understand some of the terms I will state if not just ask me. In your clips you had a lot of head room in some of your clips. If you understand the rules of thirds apply it when your filming. There are times when that rule can broken and need to. For the most part try following that rule. How come during the reception you weren't on the dance floor? It would have been nice to get more of a head on shot of the footage instead of a balcony view during the dances. The last thing I will mention is practice practice and practice holding the camera steady. Get devices if you need to like a dv-rig, monopod, if you enjoy hand held bring your elbow into your shoulder and get that footage steady, you can also hold under the LCD with your left hand to get it steady, I usually put my left hand under the front lens when shooting below the shoulders. You did good over all. I remember my very first wedding video which was pretty good using consumer cams 5 years ago and then I remember my second wedding and boy do I want to forget it. Working hard at it has pushed me to a much better level of performing this service for the clients and I know it will do the same for you. Take Care

Monday
Thanks. I see exactly what you're talking about. I had some guys taping with me and from time to time i had to make sure they were getting the right shots but I understand I really need to learn the basics of shooting. Are there any books or trainings you would suggest? I also realize my camera is horrible in low light. I hated the footage from the reception but that's life as an amateur. I just bought a monopod yesterday so i'll get some practice in this week. Thanks for comments.
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Old July 13th, 2008, 09:10 AM   #5
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I think the one thing that really annoyed me was the music - I turned off the sound. This is a pretty decent track, I guess, but is very downbeat and sad for a happy occasion. I felt it hindered, rather than helped. I can imagine either instrumental or even up beat music, but the cuts were emotive, and upbeat wouldn't have worked. Personally, music with lyrics that you start to listen to, instead of watching are bad. Might just be my non-US perspective?

The one thing that jumped out from the visuals was greyness. No colour - maybe some tinkering with the saturation and levels would have worked. All very low key, and a bit bland. The look down shot emphasised the big areas of floor, and I felt made the disparity in the physical size of the bride and groom very apparent. Being honest, he was a big bloke, and the framing made him look even bigger. Maybe more closeups and less wide shots. The comments about getting in closer make a lot of sense.

The only other negative comment is mainly stability. You've oviously got the knack of cutting pictures in a sensitive way, but just need solidity to let the shots flow.
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Old July 13th, 2008, 09:22 AM   #6
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funny how different people take different songs...i turned UP the volume, i thought it was both beautiful and heart-felt...but yes, to some degree, maybe an upbeat, happier tune might be more appropriate for the viewer
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Old August 20th, 2008, 03:38 PM   #7
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Hey Shaun,

This is your first wedding highlight? You did some good things in there - nice tilt on the dress while it's hanging, and i see you're experimenting with using foreground objects during a motion shot (while they're dancing).

Here are two things that I believe will strengthen your highlights (apart from what others have said before):

1. Try to eliminate zooms when doing slower paced highlights. Get your framing down and stay there for a few seconds - use your best shots (caveat - I zoom in and out a lot, but I'm shooting for a more fast paced documentary style).

2. Nat audio - During the shots of preparations, use a soft bed of ambient audio. It doesn't have to be discernable, but to hear voices like whispers in the background - it adds another level of emotional power. For example, take the audio from a long clip, perhaps if you were filming when people are looking at her in her dress for the first time, and underlay it.

If you have a soundbyte of the audience clapping, put that under their kiss or when they exit, then crossfade into the slow dancing and let the clapping trail off. BINGO!!! That'll push the emotional buttons.
-----

I like how you ended on the recessional rather than the reception departure. A little non-linear bit that worked quite well.

Hope that helps!
jones
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Old August 20th, 2008, 08:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris P. Jones View Post
Hey Shaun,

This is your first wedding highlight? You did some good things in there - nice tilt on the dress while it's hanging, and i see you're experimenting with using foreground objects during a motion shot (while they're dancing).

Here are two things that I believe will strengthen your highlights (apart from what others have said before):

1. Try to eliminate zooms when doing slower paced highlights. Get your framing down and stay there for a few seconds - use your best shots (caveat - I zoom in and out a lot, but I'm shooting for a more fast paced documentary style).

2. Nat audio - During the shots of preparations, use a soft bed of ambient audio. It doesn't have to be discernable, but to hear voices like whispers in the background - it adds another level of emotional power. For example, take the audio from a long clip, perhaps if you were filming when people are looking at her in her dress for the first time, and underlay it.

If you have a soundbyte of the audience clapping, put that under their kiss or when they exit, then crossfade into the slow dancing and let the clapping trail off. BINGO!!! That'll push the emotional buttons.
-----

I like how you ended on the recessional rather than the reception departure. A little non-linear bit that worked quite well.

Hope that helps!
jones

Thanks Chris. I'll be sure to try your tips as well as everyone that commented on this thread. I'm like a sponge and trying to soak up as much as I can. Can't wait to see you in Austin.
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Old August 21st, 2008, 04:56 PM   #9
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There are some good books on color correction that you might want to look into. This will help with your scene-to-scene matching. Of course, you won't get much improvements in the colors until you have some lighting to increase the exposure (processional/recessional, reception).

Don't be afraid to bend down low, hold the camera over your head, or use your legs as a pedestal. Add these 'tricks' to your bag and you'll find the quality of your work advancing quickly.

My favorite tip (which I tell all my shooters) is: "WHEN you have the opportunity, practice your shot twice before committing to tape. " This mostly applies to those b-roll shots that give the video some sparkle.
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 06:08 AM   #10
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Hey Shaun,

Good effort on your first highlights. And good on you for being open to feedback and critique on this forum - it can be a bit scary.

I'll throw out a few dot point tips for you:

- Less is more ... I personally love that song but it's quite a long one. I felt there was too much footage of dancing at the reception ... and a double-up on the cake eating shot etc .... Don't be afraid to edit the song down to a more suitable length to keep things interesting

- Tighter editing (less is more again) .... Be really ruthless with your cuts. e.g. the shot of the bride and bridesmaid at 1:57 - the first second or two they look bored and then they laugh - cut straight to the laugh.

- Rule of thirds - always keep it in mind

- Try to avoid shooting people from below, it's not flattering. Even amazingly handsome guys like you and I don't look at our best when shot from below :)

- Practice, Practice, Practice - shoot anything to practice your framing and rule of thirds, film your cats, the salt & pepper shakers, anything to practice really :)

- Stay away from the zoom - especially in slower edits like this. Our eyes don't zoom so it feels unnatural when we watch footage that does. It's ok to zoom while you're filming but try to cut them out when you edit.

Hope that helps mate - keep at it!

Cheers,

Matthew.
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 02:47 PM   #11
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All this advice helps a lot. The advice about not zooming is great because I never looked at it that way. It's crazy how something so simple can change the look of your footage. I have a wedding on Sep. 6th. I will make sure I practice everything you guys have given me to be ready for this one. Wish me luck. Also I think from now on I will choose a more upbeat song. lol. Matthew I got your email about the blog. I've been playing with a couple of themes and hope to have it ready by next week. Oh and Oren I'm thinking about getting the color grading tutorials from ripple training. Thanks for all the info. You guys are great.
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