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


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Old August 3rd, 2008, 03:17 PM   #1
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Wedding DVD question

How do you guys long form cut ceremonies and receptions? You say for an hour long highlight. I know everyone picks a favorite song for the overall highlight reel and lovestory, but what do you guys do for audio for the hour long piece? I shot with one camera but I have about 4hours of footage that have already been cut up and color corrected, graded, leveled and cropped clips ready for editing, but I'd like to hear some of you guy's ideas, especially the boys from stillmotion.
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 03:31 PM   #2
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I'm not a boy and I'm not from StillMotion, but I'll tell you what we do. If its a true "full length" ceremony, we do nothing to the audio (except minor correction where necessary). We don't put music or anything in. I have come to find in my area, that is more what people expect in the long version. We only add music for the highlight version. We do take out longer breaks to make it flow more though for the long edit. HTH!
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 04:15 PM   #3
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so how do you transition the audio between the cuts? or do you shoot multicam and run one source the entire timeline?
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 04:18 PM   #4
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There are quite a few ways to approach an edit - that's ultimately what an "editor" does... make judgement calls on what looks good and feels "right", what goes into the final product and what ends up in the bit bucket (modern "cutting room floor"). Thanks Dawn for your observations, which are similar to what I find people expect!

I personally just do multicam of the ceremony, switching as needed for the best angle, cut only for awkward pauses and such, ambient audio - basically "you are there". That's what I seem to get as well for "expectations". <edit> - as noted, multicam shoot, I pick the cleanest audio for my "master", usually there's one cam that got a better ambient mix, then use the other tracks and wireless/remote recorders for sweetening as needed <edit>

Receptions, shoot everything, cut the stuff that doesn't flow, make it a smooth story.

Highlights are a different thing - thnk of a movie trailer or a video short. Get the viewer excited, take them through the day, but don't make it so long as to bore them.

Again, editing is an art, and I don't know that anyone could sit through an "hour long" end product... I find that creating a series of "shorts" accessed from the DVD menu is more effective - the ceremony is first, followed by a series of "shorts" from the reception.

After seeing some of the highlight clips, I've started to add a short highlight as well, but I'm not exactly tuned in to the "cinematic" - I prefer a more "documentary" approach... though I'm trying to be more creative!

A silly observation - I'd cull the raw footage BEFORE I started CC and grading... seems like you're going to a LOT of work for stuff that will never make the final cut! If you have a secret for doing all that quickly, I know I'd love to hear it - it's tough enough just doing the stuff that "makes it in"!

Last edited by Dave Blackhurst; August 3rd, 2008 at 04:21 PM. Reason: answering simultaneous post
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 04:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Kang View Post
so how do you transition the audio between the cuts? or do you shoot multicam and run one source the entire timeline?
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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
I personally just do multicam of the ceremony, switching as needed for the best angle, cut only for awkward pauses and such, ambient audio - basically "you are there". That's what I seem to get as well for "expectations". <edit> - as noted, multicam shoot, I pick the cleanest audio for my "master", usually there's one cam that got a better ambient mix, then use the other tracks and wireless/remote recorders for sweetening as needed <edit>
We do the same sort of thing as Dave. I usually go with the mic on the groom as my main source... except where he gets emotional and sniffels the whole way though. :) We always run at least 2 camras, so one is more open to the the "crowd" sounds and the other is more close up of the events happening. There have been a lot of weddings where I can leave them both alone for the volume and got a nice result with both the crisp clear sounds of the vows and the guests in the audience.
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 04:36 PM   #6
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for long form I use all native audio. Groom is mic'd so is the lectern and a shotgun on 1 camera and a hypercaroid on the other.
Generally the shotgun mic gets all of the music and the hyper gets cut out. Too much ambient. The grooms mic and lectern mic give me everything else.
I don't do a lot of long form but the dead air gets cut and I sweeten as needed.
The video edit is mutlicam 2 maybe 3 depending and I pull the most imactful shot.

Think of it as a story. Beginning, middle and end and remember...audio is 70% of what you see.

Great audio and average footage good thing...Bad audio and great footage, you'll get phone calls from the B&G.

Don
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Old August 4th, 2008, 12:19 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Mark Kang View Post
How do you guys long form cut ceremonies and receptions? You say for an hour long highlight. I know everyone picks a favorite song for the overall highlight reel and lovestory, but what do you guys do for audio for the hour long piece? I shot with one camera but I have about 4hours of footage that have already been cut up and color corrected, graded, leveled and cropped clips ready for editing, but I'd like to hear some of you guy's ideas, especially the boys from stillmotion.
I only add a soundtrack to my long edits if there isn't suitable audio captured from the day to use (ie dancing music, etc). Otherwise, I do not touch soundtracks for the ceremony. I do usually add a very subtle soundtrack for formal portraits and the introduction scenes and I try to match the mood of the ceremony / couple with the music chosen. Receptions usually come with their own music, so I don't change that. I do use a Loooooooong J/L cut and pick a long scene and use its music throughout the reception footage and cut visuals on top of it. That is one trick.
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Old August 4th, 2008, 12:57 PM   #8
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Well I make large cuts based on the lighting and location so that I have huge clips. I then fast color correct these large clips and possibly add a grade if I know what I'm going to do. If not I grade as the entire thing last prior to rendering.
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