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


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Old July 14th, 2008, 11:08 AM   #1
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Friend's Wedding

A friend of mine asked me to film their wedding, not sure why exactly as I only video around the house. I was honored to be considered, and if I didn't film it, no one else would have. So I accepted, and started reading numerous posts on here. I watched countless videos you guys have produced, and became inspired beyond belief. There is so much talent lingering in this forum!

I decided that my little Sony A1U HD camcorder wasn't up to snuff, so I rented a Canon XH-A1. I never shot a wedding before, and I hadn't operated a camcorder as beefy as the A1 so I was a bit nervous the day of the wedding. Anyway, I posted a highlights clip at the following url...

http://www.vimeo.com/1313211
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Old July 14th, 2008, 11:18 AM   #2
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Very good for someone who doesn't do it all the time

Very good job. You gave me some ideas.

What was the song?
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Old July 14th, 2008, 11:46 AM   #3
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Great job. You have a very good eye and terrific instincts. If you're looking to get into this business, you'll do just fine. If not, your family must have some great home movies.
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Old July 14th, 2008, 12:24 PM   #4
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I agree, for a first time out, that was tremendous.
nice tight editing, and very nice use of depth of field.

The only real issue that I saw was the exposure inside the church.

Was it candlelit, or was your ND filter possibly still on, after coming inside?
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Old July 14th, 2008, 12:58 PM   #5
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Fantastic shooting for a first wedding. You remember basically all the elements. Closeups. Smooth moves. Well framed and purposeful angles. Backlit scenes. Slow-mos. Stop motion. Vibrant colors (some times). Good tripod use (the most basic of all rules for video!)

Now for the nit picky details. The color was not consistent between all the shots (I still can't do this). Use manual white balance all the time, though inside churches it is hard because lighting often changes front to back, so I completely understand the problems here. I liked the silhouette shot of the bride & her son where the light turns on and off. Very very cool.

Tell me you used some stabilization because some I could tell wern't, but others looked too smooth to not be.
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Old July 14th, 2008, 02:37 PM   #6
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This is your first wedding? I hate you. Let me just get that out of the way right now. I despise, loathe, and all around detest you.

That was very well edited especially for a first timer. Now come clean, that wasn't your first video production was it. I believe you if you say it was your first wedding, but there's no way you've never put a video together before.

When you got it, you got it.
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Old July 14th, 2008, 04:13 PM   #7
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Thanks for the comments everyone. This was the first time shooting a wedding besides one time being a guest with consumer camcorder. I've owned a few camcorders since 2000 and always filmed my vacations/around the home happenings. I would then edit them in premiere. I've been using premiere off and on for several years, but wouldn't call myself an expert in that regard by any means.

Ken: The song was Shayne Ward's "No Promises".

Michael: Correct with the exposure problems, I had huge issues when working in post. It was a lot worse. I realized that the gain switch was programmable halfway through the day, sometime right before the ceremony. I believe the camera was set to auto white balance as well. Since it was the first time using a camera of this caliber, I tried not to mess with the settings too much.

Jason: Yes, I had it on auto white balance I believe. I know better now. The shot where the lights went off and on (bride's sister and son) just happened as there was a fierce storm passing through which knocked out the power. The only shots on a tripod were... time elapse of clouds/church, pan up inside altar area, and the few ceremony shots.

Ethan: It was my first production with a real camcorder and big event like a wedding. Like I mentioned above, I normally just shoot around the house (my daughter), and film my vacations.
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Old July 14th, 2008, 04:57 PM   #8
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Excellent job for a first timer, can't give you enough credit. I loved your overall composition of shots and the time-shifting worked well, and I definitely loved the stop-motion shot. That was awesome work! I'm assuming you did it back at the office?

Now, for some critique. You have a shot of the groom (I think) at around 1:20 where his forehead is cut off. Not a good composition on that shot, but you likely already know that.

Also, the shots in the church where they see each other for the first time a quite flat compared to the rest of the footage, but yet the B&W shot looked good. I would bump the contrast on shots like those or turn them B&W if necessary to get rid of the flat look.

You had a shot of the rings with light passing over but it was a very quick shot. I think it was too quick for what the shot was doing and where it was used.

But seriously, you did an excellent job on this and should be quite proud of it!

EDIT: I just realized you probably didn't do the shot with the rings later because you would have to have the rings with you, duh. I blame this brain fart on the fact that I'm getting ready for a shoot right now, lol.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 11:30 PM   #9
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hahaha very funny "first wedding"... you're either very good at video production, or a very good liar.

very good video!
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Old July 16th, 2008, 12:31 AM   #10
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Who operated the balcony camera?......liar :)
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Old July 16th, 2008, 12:44 AM   #11
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Upon further review...I'm seeing 3 cameras at this Catholic church. Balcony, Rear Isle and one off to the right. I even see a tripod up on the alter in one shot. For a one camera shoot, you had to be running around like a crazy person to get all of those angles. Most U.S. Catholic churches don't allow that kind of movement around the sanctuary during the ceremony.

In conclusion....you are trying to fool us aren't you?
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Old July 16th, 2008, 06:54 AM   #12
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song

I just had to laugh at the vows when you lowered the music and they said "I promise..." then the music kicks back in with "no promises". That made me chuckle a little. Of course I was paying more attention to the video portion than the audio, but that part caught my ear.
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Old July 16th, 2008, 07:29 AM   #13
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Thanks for the further comments.

Travis - I did some more color correction on the shots you mentioned, and lengthened the rings shot a tad. Thanks for the suggestions.

Louis - Thanks, this was my first *real* wedding shoot except for one before that I shot with a consumer camera as a guest.

Tom - I actually had four cameras for the ceremony... canon xh-a1, sony a1u, and then two cheapo canons. They allowed me to put two behind the altar, but I think the shots you are seeing are partly of the photo session, which happened before the ceremony.

Jeremy - Didn't really notice that myself, but pretty funny indeed!
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Old July 16th, 2008, 08:32 AM   #14
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First time or not, you've done a great job. Nice tight editing to the flow of the music - well done.

I'd be happy to have you shoot with me any day - you've got great instincts and that matters more (in my opinion) than technical know-how. You can always learn the technical stuff ... it's not so easy if you don't have the instinct for it.

You should be real happy with this - and you're friends would be stoked!

Cheers,

Matthew.

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Old July 16th, 2008, 10:18 AM   #15
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Nice one Jonathan - you have an eye for the viewfinder as well as the edit. So you shot with all 4 cameras in the 16:9 SD mode?

tom.
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