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


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Old July 25th, 2008, 02:03 PM   #16
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Well, I definetely am!
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Old July 25th, 2008, 02:38 PM   #17
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If i offended anyone with my post, I apologize. I didn't intend to berate the entire wedding videography industry.
Right. Go back and re-read your post. I think it's pretty obvious you intended to berate the industry.

If you don't believe there is such a thing as a "cinematic" wedding video, then you just haven't really seen one. You don't have to have a controlled environment and be yelling "cut!" and "action!" to create something that is cinematic. To me the term cinematic implies that the production is designed to inspire emotion through a moving storyline. My CINEMATIC wedding videos do just that, and if you disagree I don't really care. All of my clients disagree with YOU. If anything, it's more of a challenge and requires more skill and creativity to take a live, relatively-unscripted event like a wedding and make it cinematic. Obviously you aren't in the business of creating cinematic weddings, so maybe before you shoot your mouth off next time you should do a bit more research on the subject.

And regarding your immature comments about "trashing the dress", I'll bet there are a dozen things you could change about your own life to help out 3rd-world countries, so get off your "holier than thou" throne and get real. If a bride spends $1,000 on a dress, and only wears it on the wedding day, don't you think that's more wasteful than if she gets a second use out of it doing a "trash the dress" shoot? Your arguments are laden with irony.

Regarding the original question, "Are we artists?" I don't think the question can be answered. Why? Because people generally can't even agree on what art IS. My mother-in-law is an art student, and we used to have discussions on what should be considered art and what shouldn't. I've since decided that what art IS ... is just subjective, and you can't really put a clear label on it. Someone might not think a "cinematic" wedding video is art, but that same person might think that a video camera tied to post and displayed in a gallery is art because the artist claims it is a representation of how our view of the world is restrained by our technology (or whatever). The bottom line is art is subjective, and personally I don't see the value in trying to determine what is and isn't art, because people will always just disagree.

Just my thoughts. d;-)
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Old July 25th, 2008, 03:13 PM   #18
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If you're making money, your an entrepreneur. If not, you're an artist.
Damn. I guess I am an artist then. Can't wait till I die - my stuff will be worth a fortune.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 03:27 PM   #19
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Travis....DITTO to your comments....If I didn't know any better, I'd swear we shared the same DNA.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 03:58 PM   #20
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I have just had a startling realization over the last few months. After deciding that I am definately an artist and should be paid as such, I raised my prices (not too much) and was deafened by the silence. Not one peep from February to June. In June I had a startling realization that I am operating a hybrid business. There are some clients that are looking for an artistic product but the vast majority are wanting a service to document their wedding. I got off my high horse and decided to offer 2 additional services. 1 is a ceremony only and the other is a ceremony plus major elements of the reception in documentary format. This has freed me up like crazy and started the actual bookings rolling in. I just booked a full cinematic today, but Tuesday I booked a major elements. The difference is now I offer a choice for them to have a service vs. an art form. My problem was not realizing a value in both.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 04:23 PM   #21
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For something to be classed as art it has to serve no purpose other than its being...

So although we may be artists..... what we make is not truly art....
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Old July 25th, 2008, 06:15 PM   #22
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You can call yourself a Grilled Cheese Sandwich if you want, but that doesn't make you one.

If you think you're an artist... then you're not. If others think you're an artist... then you are.

Personally, I don't care what anyone calls me, as long as the check clears.

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Old July 25th, 2008, 06:32 PM   #23
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For something to be classed as art it has to serve no purpose other than its being
Using that criteria, I know several people who would be classified as art.
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Old July 26th, 2008, 04:06 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
Right. Go back and re-read your post. I think it's pretty obvious you intended to berate the industry.

If you don't believe there is such a thing as a "cinematic" wedding video, then you just haven't really seen one. You don't have to have a controlled environment and be yelling "cut!" and "action!" to create something that is cinematic. To me the term cinematic implies that the production is designed to inspire emotion through a moving storyline. My CINEMATIC wedding videos do just that, and if you disagree I don't really care. All of my clients disagree with YOU. If anything, it's more of a challenge and requires more skill and creativity to take a live, relatively-unscripted event like a wedding and make it cinematic. Obviously you aren't in the business of creating cinematic weddings, so maybe before you shoot your mouth off next time you should do a bit more research on the subject.

And regarding your immature comments about "trashing the dress", I'll bet there are a dozen things you could change about your own life to help out 3rd-world countries, so get off your "holier than thou" throne and get real. If a bride spends $1,000 on a dress, and only wears it on the wedding day, don't you think that's more wasteful than if she gets a second use out of it doing a "trash the dress" shoot? Your arguments are laden with irony. d;-)
Your right Travis, I did intend to berate the entire industry. After a bit of soul searching it appears I have developed quite a large chip on my shoulder when it comes to the wedding videography industry. Actually that chip extends to the wedding industry in general. My words have understandably angered you and whether you believe it or not I am sorry for that. I will not be posting on this forum until I figure out why I have such disdain for wedding videography. Hurting and angering people is not what I'm usually about. I will leave it at that.

Mick
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Old July 26th, 2008, 08:57 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Mick Haensler View Post
Your right Travis, I did intend to berate the entire industry. After a bit of soul searching it appears I have developed quite a large chip on my shoulder when it comes to the wedding videography industry. Actually that chip extends to the wedding industry in general. My words have understandably angered you and whether you believe it or not I am sorry for that. I will not be posting on this forum until I figure out why I have such disdain for wedding videography. Hurting and angering people is not what I'm usually about. I will leave it at that.

Mick
I wouldn't be so hard on yourself Mick. At the risk of incurring some wrath from my colleagues I hazard to say that ..... the wedding videography industry deserves a good berating [ducks for cover ....]

Maybe not so much now but definitely in the (not-so-distant) past - although there's still plenty of 80's schlock and cheese floating around. Fortunately, there's a massive movement that is dragging the wedding video genre kicking and screaming into the 21st century. A lot of the people at the forefront of this movement are represented on this forum.

My experience is that wedding videography has a shocking reputation. If not, then why are we constantly having to justify ourselves with "Why Video?" or "Why Choose a Professional over Uncle Harry" etc ... It's because for so many years there hasn't been much of a perceivable difference between a video done by Uncle Harry and a video done by a professional wedding videographer.

To be totally honest ... in starting our new business, Shadowplay Photography & Video, one of the reasons my wife and I created a new and separate business entity is because I didn't want my current and prospective corporate clients to associate me with wedding videos. Sad but true. Unfortunately, the poor perception people have of our industry is still a reality.

The other part of it is that I worry that words like 'cinematic' or 'artistic' have become overused and meaningless. Especially when used by people whose work is not even close to cinematic or artistic - not pointing fingers at anyone on this forum at all - but I've been to websites from videographers claiming the 'cinematic' term for their work and their stuff is about as cinematic as me strapping a camera to my cat. Now ... whether that is art or not is open to interpretation ;)

Local TV commercials are a great example. Words like quality, trust, value, service etc ... have lost their meaning through overuse and misuse. Google "five words to never use in advertising" for a more detailed explanation.

Now, as for the wedding industry as a whole, the state of marriage, divorce rates, too much emphasis being placed on one day etc ... I'm not going to get into that.

All I'll say (as a relative newlywed - 2.5 years married) is that there is something magical about two people finding each other out of the billions of people on the planet - and those two deciding to commit themselves to one another for the rest of their lives. To me, that's something worth celebrating.

My parents celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary next year ... you couldn't put a price on how meaningful it would be for them, their kids & grand-kids to be able to watch the video of their wedding day. That's why I'm now proud to be part of this industry, because we get to create moments like that.

I think possibly our greatest failing as an industry has been our inability to 'sell' that moment to the wider public. Steadicams, 35mm adapters, high definition etc ... will all fade away and go out of fashion but the power of someone's life story, beautifully told, will never go out of fashion.

Thankfully though ... 'the times they are a-changin' .... Gosh, it must be late ... I've resorted to quoting Bob Dylan ;) Anyway, I've probably contradicted myself a dozen times so I'll call it a night - and go snuggle with my beautiful wife :)

Mick - don't beat yourself up too much mate. I like what you said - I may not 100% agree - but I'm glad you said it.
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Old July 26th, 2008, 02:32 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Mick Haensler View Post
My words have understandably angered you and whether you believe it or not I am sorry for that. I will not be posting on this forum until I figure out why I have such disdain for wedding videography. Hurting and angering people is not what I'm usually about. I will leave it at that.
Mick, apology accepted. Thanks.

I was mostly angered because I felt like you have no idea what I actually do. I invest an incredible amount of time and energy and blood/sweat/tears into my couples' projects, and I work especially hard to keep it creative and entertaining and unique to the couple, and to have someone just basically act like I do nothing worthwhile was too much for me to hold my tongue on. Sorry if I came across too harshly, but I definitely wanted my opinion AND my feelings known.

And Matthew, I totally agree that the term "cinematic" is getting thrown around too loosely. But there's really nothing we can do about it, so I just try not to worry about it. I find it's best to just focus mostly on what I do, and not what others are doing.
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Old July 26th, 2008, 02:33 PM   #27
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Well, I definetely am!
That was awesome! How much for the original??
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Old July 26th, 2008, 04:01 PM   #28
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[...] And while we're on the subject of cinema. There is no such thing as "cinematic wedding videography". Cinema is for the most part created in a controlled environment with a director. Unless you are running around all day yelling ACTION!!! and CUT!!!!, you are not doing "cinematic wedding videography" [...]
I think you have fallen prey to the Hollywood definition of cinema. Saying something is cinematic does not imply a controlled environment with a director. Consider documentary, especially the cinema verite tradition, for example, classics like Chronicle for a Summer (Jean Rouch & Edgar Morin) and Running Fence (Maysles), in the case of these films, they are cinematic for they are filmed and they do represent the vision of a director (or directors). There is no reason why you could not make a wedding video that is cinematic, both in terms of aesthetics and modes of production (which need not be Hollywood modes of production).

You can very well make a cinematic wedding video, it would be cinematic if it was framed and shot and edited like a filmmaker would do it (telling a story, doing more that simply recording the event), it need not be a Hollywood style production that is designed, controlled and lit, etc. In any event, a wedding video would be worthy of being called cinematic if there was an artist (director and/or editor) with a vision behind the piece. I've seen some tightly edited wedding videos and they can be called cinematic for editing (or montage) is the essence of cinema for many theorists.

Hollywood narrative cinema shot in an "action cut" style like you mention is only one genre of cinema. There are many cinematic genres, and the more movies I watch, and the older I get, the more I appreciate the varied traditions and genres that exist. Hollywood may "own" the high-profit niche of narrative commercial cinema, but independent filmmakers, whether doing documentary or experimental or narrative work are creating cinematic art in many shapes and forms every day. And while the numbers may be small, there are some wedding videos that fall into that category. While wedding videos are for the most part reportage, there's no reason why they can't be made with a cinematic documentary approach. It can be a wonderful thing.
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Old July 26th, 2008, 11:34 PM   #29
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You know to that point, I'm not sure the makers of the cheesy horrible local commercials (at least what we have in our area) should be so proud of their work and look down on wedding video. Maybe I don't want my wedding video business associated with horribly written and produced and acted local cheese. Just my opinion. I see very little local work that anyone should be proud of. I see a lot of great wedding video work. I think those looking down on wedding video producers most likely have nothing greater to show in their commericial reel. At least in my area, the local production work is embarrasing for the most part. So there...
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Old July 27th, 2008, 07:19 AM   #30
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Hello,

I would say most of us are/or are striving to be Storytellers !! and occasionally we do create "Art" !!!

My 2 cents..
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