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Old August 7th, 2008, 06:46 PM   #1
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how to edit reception where nothing happens!

So I did a very small wedding against my better judgement for an older couple, and they had a reception which was at a restaurant. The night went like this: got there, mingled, had a drink, sat down and ate, mingled briefly, cut cake, said a short thank you speech, that is all.

how can I edit this to make it watchable? Nothing of much substance happens! I'm thinking of just doing a brief mingling montage then cut to an eating montage (which will look startlingly similar to the mingling montage as it was a buffet dinner), then a couple clips of the cake then the speech. is there anything I can do to make it more interesting? thanks
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Old August 7th, 2008, 06:53 PM   #2
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oh, and there's a very shrill violinist playing throughout, so there's very little audio I can keep in.
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Old August 7th, 2008, 07:37 PM   #3
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Most of my Reception is similar to yours....and I would edit the same way as you plan.

For my opinion, the background music is the key. If you've got a nice piece of music which match the picture. The reception would be smooth to watch.
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Old August 7th, 2008, 07:44 PM   #4
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Most of my Reception is similar to yours....and I would edit the same way as you plan.

For my opinion, the background music is the key. If you've got a nice piece of music which match the picture. The reception would be smooth to watch.
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Old August 7th, 2008, 08:18 PM   #5
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So do you take out the ambiant noise?
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Old August 7th, 2008, 09:02 PM   #6
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Yes, only use ambiant at speech and cake cutting.
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Old August 8th, 2008, 08:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Schuurman View Post
The night went like this: got there, mingled, had a drink, sat down and ate, mingled briefly, cut cake, said a short thank you speech, that is all.
I had one like that - there was no "action", so I just made sure I shot a lot of faces. The idea being that when the B&G pull this out in 10 or 20 years, they'll spend the whole time saying "There's Aunt Shirley! Look how much little Bobby has changed!" etc.
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Old August 8th, 2008, 09:01 AM   #8
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Faces are good as are smiles.

Often you cant use the audio as the conversation is no really relevant and jumping from one to the other is disjointed. Everyone isnt talking about how wonderful the day is or how beautiful the bride looked as they like to think.

Been lucky so far and always had some action to film. Most of it just dad dancing bum wiggling. That said, having a glidecam does transform a normal dance floor dull moment into something a little more entertaining.
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Old August 14th, 2008, 08:02 PM   #9
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Hope this helps !

Here is where you will have to dig deep in your "creative arsenal" to make your visuals interesting to compensate for the lack of action.

For example, you may want to make some freeze frames- Cut persons out in Photoshop and animate the cuts over the video-to name one.
For inspiration I look at lot at CNN, FineLiving Network, etc. I look for interesting effects, record them and disect them-(examine frame for frame) how certain things are done and try to mimic them in post.

For your next shoot you should try to fantasize your end feel or look-calm, thrilling, fastpace or a combination then let this be your "guiding light" during shooting. If you know where you're going your focus will be sharper.

Try using different angles: All About Camera Angles & Moving Shots | Expert Village Videos
During editing you may way to experiment with different color grading.
Make a log book or video log of interesting effects!

Hope this helps you.
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Old August 14th, 2008, 08:08 PM   #10
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I would say to use the ambient noise when and where it fits! Someone saying hello to someone, the sounds of dinner (knives and forks), etc. It may help your piece flow better.

Plus, it's the 'sounds of the event.'

Sound is 80% of video!
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Old August 19th, 2008, 08:11 PM   #11
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Be honest here.. I *hate* these situations. However, I guess this is the part where we get to 'grow' as we are forced to do something more creative to make up for the lack of... well, everything. I've discussed these kind of events with my wife (who is my second shooter). Her attitude is that the couple knows what kind of event it was. They know not much happened. That kind of puts me at ease a little bit.

In longer vids, I usually trim things down, like the cake cutting and what not. In times where there was not much of a reception, I let these events play through in there entirety. This is just my opinion, but don't feel obligated to do something that will stretch it out just for the sole purpose that it feels short compared to other vids. For example, making some boring montage that the couple will have to suffer through watching.

Another thing I have been doing recently is making use of a 'bonus' section on the DVD. I try to make the main presentation on the DVD something that 'everyone' will want to watch. So I cut out the sermon, long speeches, the money dance, and endless dancing. I put those in the bonus section. That way it becomes optional if people want to watch them. As far as people mingling, I might show some of it. The rest I would throw in the bonus section so they can look back in 20 years and say "look, there's Aunt Lisa"

So what do you guys think of that? Just my ideas. I still consider myself a newbie.
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Old August 19th, 2008, 11:18 PM   #12
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David,

Interesting challenge. Are you editing a short-form or highlights piece?

Here's a suggestion, if the reception is anti-climactic, then find a more climactic part of the day and end with that. This will involve a little bit of time shifting.

1. Start with the reception, show what has happened.
2. Flash back to the beginning of the day. You could fade out then fade in in order to accomplish this.
3. Go through the day chronologically, and build to the kiss and pronouncement.
4. As they exit (recessional), fade out and fade back in to their departure.

Hope that helps!
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Old August 20th, 2008, 02:26 AM   #13
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Here's what I did in a similar situation.

I figured that the subject would appreciate seeing friends and family having a good time and celebrating:

Doug's 80th on Vimeo
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Old August 20th, 2008, 11:32 AM   #14
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Receptions are real boring in general however I do interview with guests to add extra value. I usually set-up a studio like setting and ask guests to come, or sometimes I just go table to table with a wireless mic, the latter gets a better response but not very flattering. The reception should not be the highlight of the DVD though, get enough beautiful footage of the couple to dazzle them.
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