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


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Old July 24th, 2008, 10:19 PM   #1
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Are We Artists?

I like to think of myself as an artist. Really. I try not to let the redundancy of the events wear on me but sometimes it does.

I would rather capture the event like a doc with really cool shots thrown in than a perfectly prodced cross disolved soap opera wedding.

My favorite vid has no glidecam work in it whatsoever and was shot with a shouldermount cam (which I hate) but dam that guy really made me feel good for the B&G.. the weddng party was maybe 20 people!

the vid is here somewhere ( I think in the Korn Edit thread ).

SO. Do you consider yourself an artist?
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Old July 24th, 2008, 10:30 PM   #2
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I am learning, and trying to become one, some day,
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Old July 24th, 2008, 11:04 PM   #3
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The tough question to answer here is, at what point is a creation considered art?

My ego likes the lofty title of artist, but in reality what I do is more akin to a highly skilled trade isn't it? If I'm being completely honest, the reason I'd consider my work as art would be to elevate my own fragile sense of self worth.

Then again I'm a pessimist and tend to devalue things due to my low disappointment threshold.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 12:04 AM   #4
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Here are some definitions

- A follower of a pursuit in which skill comes by study or practice

- A person who creates art as an occupation.

- Is a practitioner in the visual arts

So yes we are. but don't let it get to your ego because what a real artist is someone who is always looking for the new angle and continously trying to improve and try different techniques. Once you stop striving then your no longer an artist.

Thats what I think. If its worth 2 cents or a golden nugget... up to you! :)
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Old July 25th, 2008, 01:31 AM   #5
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My thoughts are that the title 'artist' is often claimed but rarely justified.

I agree with Peter, to me a true artist is someone who is pushing the limits of their field and is at the top of their game.

For example, I might like to paint occassionally and could technically call myself an artist - but Picasso was also an artist. For me to claim the title of artist seems laughable by comparison.

An artist could be somebody who does something so well that forever changes or re-defines the way people see a particular field.

To me, guys like Jason Magbanua and Patrick from StillMotion could be considered artists because they have forever changed the way we think about wedding videography.

Just my random thoughts ....
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Old July 25th, 2008, 02:36 AM   #6
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As I understand it, the idea of 'artist' as a distinct group is of relatively recent origin. In the past huge numbers of people were involved in the crafts producing practical and beautiful things for home elsewhere. The builders of Cathedrals etc were artisans working in stone and glass. In the Bible we have the record of highly skilled crafts people who built the 'tabernacle', who turned their hands to weaving, woodwork, gold coating, bronze molding, sculpturing etc etc etc, but they weren't understood as 'artists' are today. I am a builder and consider myself an artist as I build, combining form and function so that hopefully the things I make not only look good but work well. The same applies to virtually everything we buy. Industrial designers expend a massive amount of creative energy to make things look nice as well as work well. Video cameras are masterpieces of creative artistry.

I think that the modern pluty, snobby, view of art, with its small elite who supposedly determine for all the rest of us what 'art' is (wrapping buildings in paper, etc), is something we should be done with. Rather we should return to a view which recognises art in the mundane and practised by ordinary folk, as someone has called it 'Hidden Art' - the laying of a table for tea nicely, a flower arrangement on the table, the food as it is set on the plate, a garden and its layout with plants chosen for effect, architecture, building, and so on - the making of everyday life beautiful. And of course those who use video as medium to record weddings.

Of course wedding vioegraphers are artists. Though as in all art as describe above, some are better at it than others...
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Old July 25th, 2008, 02:40 AM   #7
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I like a definition:
"a person who practices any of the various creative arts, such as a sculptor, novelist, poet, or filmmaker"

IMO, we are artists, until the need for making money, creates predictability and pattern in our work, in this case we become just workers, (have to think of a better definition)...
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Old July 25th, 2008, 04:30 AM   #8
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I suppose we remain arists until doing our work with passion, creativity, love, looking for exact reflection of particular day and particular couple with their specific characters. Also we can claim for "artists" definition if we try to improve our video language almost in every shooting. Every work then should appear different. But there is always some part of business in wedding video production. You won't be able to make your wedding masterpiece for year searching corresponding creative mood. Thats a matter of reasonable balance..
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Old July 25th, 2008, 06:27 AM   #9
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I don't see why the exercise of creativity which brings an income should be excluded from be designated 'art', as though 'art' and 'business' were mutually exclusive. No, we can be artists in the plying of our trade.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 09:25 AM   #10
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Let me preface this post by saying I am not an event videographer although I have done many events including over 75 weddings since the mid 80's. One of the reasons I don't call myself an event videographer is I don't want to be associated with the industry in any way shape or form. Even so, I still have a need to read and sometimes respond in this forum. The following as an opinion. Stated as such, not fact.

To ask the question "Are we artists" assumes everyone is on the same plane. From my observations nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to event videographers. If you've ever read the book "The Artists Way"(which I highly recommend) this question wouldn't have been asked. Being an artist has nothing to do with a particular medium, although it can definitely include such mediums. An artist has something he needs to say. He(or she) has to create, it's not a choice. But how that is expressed is actually the least most important thing. Being an artist has nothing to do with being a videographer in much the same way that being a worshipper has nothing to do with playing an instrument in church. A worshipper, much like an artist, embraces a lifestyle that may or may not include a specific means of expression such as music or videography.

I think this industry is wrought with folks who would like to be artists because they have a preconceived notion of what an artist is and that is attractive to them. People who have a deep desire to escape the mundane by doing something, anything besides the workaday they find themselves in. I know several people who when pressed, will tell you their main motivator is to get the heck out of the house on weekends. The majority of players in this field are part timers that have a knack and pension towards "thingys that go whrrrrrr and bleeeeep". To some it is a justification to buy new toys. To others a chance to be seen as something other than who think they are. So are event/wedding videographers artists? If you have to ask the question than the answer is probably no.

That being said, I believe we are all artists, everyone has something they need to express. One of the best examples I can give is rap and hip hop. There are those that will argue that it's so much noise and how can you compare it to the great works of Bach or Wagner. But when you break it down to it's basic elements, it could very well be considered a purer form of art than the classics. In a 100 years students of music might well be studying the works of Public Enemy right along side The Ludwig Van. But I doubt very seriously that film students of that time will be studying the work of the Von Lankens along side Stanley Kubrick.

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".

One more thing.....Trash the Dress???? What the $#^&????

I have an idea. Send me the dress after the wedding to put on my new web site "Dresses for Trash". I will auction it off and use the money to help third world families living in trash dumps improve their lives.

Freakin' trash the dress....gimme a a freakin break.....although, from an artistic point of view, this could very well be the highest level of artistic expression in wedding videography.......NAHHHH.....

TTFN

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Old July 25th, 2008, 10:07 AM   #11
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Mick - it's ok to say that video work might not classify as art, but don't denigrate an entire industry while you're at it.

Coming out of college about 6 years ago I had the idea that weddings were the lowest form of video production, but things are changing in this field and that's why I left commercials and corporate work behind to play in this new sandbox. Unless you haven't noticed, there is excellent work being done here, much different from what was happening around you in the 80's. (even if it might not be art)

To everyone else who wants to chime in about this topic, just state your opinion on the matter, but don't be a Mick about it.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 10:23 AM   #12
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I asked....

I asked are we artists because "Do you consider yourself an artist?" was just too long to put in the title bar IMO.

I didn't ask, do you consider ME and artist :)

Thank you for gracing us with your presence Mick and may you continue to have a happy career. (Valuing a differing opinion, it's great to have those)

Peter and Sylvester had great points. I try to really just get into the creative groove and always look for that new angle, shot, POV, interview questions, over/under exposure, and then how to create the final edit to make it something that people will value for generations. Similar to a painting that is a family heirloom.

I am going to change my verbiage from a booking to "being commissioned for a piece" :)

Great responses so far ... :)
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Old July 25th, 2008, 10:56 AM   #13
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I can think of a lot better ways to express my artistic abiliites and satisfy my artistic cravings than to do live events and scripted weddings with "video" cameras. :)

And I certainly don't consider myself an artist in this arena. It's hard enough just making money at it without introducing more time consuming forms of expression that only a few people will see.

So, if one has an ego that needs to be stroked (which ALL artists have)... and that person needs to eat... I think this is the wrong biz to be in. :)
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Old July 25th, 2008, 12:59 PM   #14
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If you're making money, your an entrepreneur. If not, you're an artist.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 01:50 PM   #15
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If i offended anyone with my post, I apologize. I didn't intend to berate the entire wedding videography industry. I just wanted to get folks thinking about their motivation and to have an honest discussion. I'm sorry that I don't see wedding videography as an art form, and I think those that try to raise it to such aren't based in reality. It's a service, plain and simple.

That being said, it is a service that can be achieved in a creative and artistic fashion if you choose and have gotten to that level of expertise. Having an eye for the right shot or instinctively knowing good edit points are gifts and skills and have value. Many people in this industry like to call themselves storytellers. But what's the story? The wedding day is just a fraction of the story and it's not even reality. Weddings are fantasy, and wedding videographers along with all the other industry vendors are perpetuators of the myth. We have a divorce rate in this country that proves it.

Back to the point. An artist can be described as "someone who expresses himself through a medium". OK, with that in mind; What part of yourself, are you trying to express as a wedding videographer?? What do you want to tell the world through your productions??

Again, I apologize if I offended. It certainly was not my intention.

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