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


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Old August 8th, 2008, 08:02 PM   #1
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Wedding Video done in Avisynth (very powerful tool)

Hi Everyone,

This wedding was done on a bright sunny day in California June. Video was captured in HDV 60i, converted to progressive, and edited in Avisynth. I tried some color grading for indoor videos. Was able to add tone to white and faded dark scenes. But I am still learning the process. Your comments are welcome.

http://vimeo.com/1494455
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Old August 10th, 2008, 08:21 AM   #2
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I dont know if its intentional but the footage was really shakey. I had to stop watching.
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Old August 10th, 2008, 09:29 AM   #3
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Thanks for your comment, Danny. No the "shakey" was not intentional, and that's where difference in naive & pro comes into picture. Not a excuse but the main camera on tripod got blocked by pastor with no access, and I had to move around with my monopod on a very windy day (as you might observe).

In my next project, I intend to have a better fluid head, and another person (like my wife), to be at the second camera on tripod and just make sure nothing else gets in the frame and no movement.
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Old August 10th, 2008, 10:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramesh Singh View Post
Thanks for your comment, Danny. No the "shakey" was not intentional, and that's where difference in naive & pro comes into picture. Not a excuse but the main camera on tripod got blocked by pastor with no access, and I had to move around with my monopod on a very windy day (as you might observe).

In my next project, I intend to have a better fluid head, and another person (like my wife), to be at the second camera on tripod and just make sure nothing else gets in the frame and no movement.
I also noticed shaking at the reception (at 03:45) so wind couldn't have caused that. Did you use the monopod as well inside? Also the framing at 03:13 was way off with a lot of space above their heads and at 04:01 the camera was filming in an angle instead of horizontal, (also at 00:32 which was at an angle and with too much empty space on top) don't know if that was intentional? It also looked quite dark inside like no extra cameralight had been used.

Nothing personal but I did not like it, the shakiness and not always good framing did make it look too amateurish for my taste. Your sound on the other hand was very clear.

You need to get your shots much more stable and see to it that your camera is horizontal and that your subject fits the frame better, also a better cameralight fot the reception is a must, especially with HD.
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Old August 10th, 2008, 12:42 PM   #5
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Ramesh -

I'd have to agree with the others, the FIRST thing you need to do is learn to stabilize your shots (framing too).

HD is a bugger to shoot as every little twitch and motion just jumps off the screen, and you really have to learn to shoot like it was a "pro" camera - slow or no pans (saw lots of "pans without purpose"), learn to anticipate the shot, get on it BEFORE the action you want to capture happens, and LOCK yourself on it, whether on tripod, monopod, or handheld with a support.

Also, CLEAN YOUR LENS - during the formals, it appeared that you were trying to protect the identity of one of the wedding party <wink>!

These are some basic things, and are easy to forget while "under the gun" at a live shoot - they need to be practiced until they become instinctive - you check your lens BEFORE the shoot, and watch for anything getting on it, have a microfiber lens cloth in the same pocket as your backup battery and tape...


Practice framing and shot stability -

If you're using a monopod, practice walking about with it, using it as a stabilizer - it's not ideal from my experience, I know I tend to wobble. I may give up on using a monopod (at least for some parts of a shoot) because of this, but I've gotten better with practice, and I know many who swear by them.

Tripod, get SOMETHING with a smoother head - I've got some cheaper ones I picked up along the way that have good action - test before you buy if you can. Since I shoot multicam, I've got a tripod collection, and some are pretty good if I HAVE to pan, but I prefer to think of the tripod as a "locked down" shot.

If you decide you want to go "handheld", realze you need a major workout program so you can handle the weight of the cam for a whole day without fatigue, OR get a support solution of some sort - I've used shoulder mounts of various types with good sucess (you can't walk too fast or run with them and get usable video, but if you can move from point to point quickly you get good stable shots once you "set your stance"), short of a full stabilizer, the best thing I've tried is the Steady Stick - puts the load on you waist/hip which is a good thing if you don't want your lower back screaming bloody murder. You can achieve a similar effect with a monopod configured with a belt pocket.


Overall, wouldn't have been too bad if the framing/shaky/mystery spot things weren't so obvious. Remembering you're on a forum for videographers, these are demons we've all fought (and hopefully beaten), so take the comments as encouragement to improve - it'll come... and I'm going to guess the bride and groom willl like it.

PS - if your NLE has pan and crop, you might consider trying to smooth out some of the shakiness... I'll admit to having needed to do it <G>. Or there are plugins that stabilize the footage, haven't tried them, but...
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Old August 10th, 2008, 08:05 PM   #6
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something to look at is a great piece of software from proDAD called Mercalli. It's designed to reduce camera shake. I've used it on a recent project and it worked great.
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Old August 11th, 2008, 03:00 PM   #7
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Thanks Dave & Noa for your comments. The primary reason I frequent this forum is to learn. Your expert opinion is going to be very valuable for me.

I definitely need to stick to Tripod with minimal movement. Though I felt that it made the video stale when there are no movement or video capture from best angle, I need to stay put. As I said earlier in my future projects I intend to have an helping hand, manning a camera at one fixed spot.

Noa, I did use monopod inside for reception. And the angle shot was intentional, as I was trying to get the fountain into the picture (dutch look), but the space in frame was not. I was constrained about using lights inside for reception (request/demand from couple).

Dave, I was using one of those cheap wide lens, and didn't clean the lens as it got dirty. I intend to use tripod extensively for ceremony. For reception based on the limitations I will try to use tripod. Though in future after some projects I intend to get Glidecam or Steadicam, for now fixed spot shots only. And I definitely need to get one of those better Monfrotto heads.

I do intend to try some stablizing plug-ins, especially available in Avisynth.
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Old August 12th, 2008, 04:56 AM   #8
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Tripod shots are stale but its what you have to do. Personally we dont like zooms. So we do a quick zoom to get what we want and in post just cut away to the other camera then cut back.

But to do movement you have to do it correctly with the right tools and a stabilizer like a glidecam or steadicam is the tool for the job.
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Old August 17th, 2008, 03:05 PM   #9
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Forgive me, BUT without trying to bash my head against a brick wall!....

"But to do movement you have to do it correctly with the right tools and a stabilizer like a glidecam or steadicam is the tool for the job"

Simply NOT TRUE!!!

Everything does not revolve around a ...... glider everytime you take it off a tripod.

There is more to the art of filming than this and you can get extremely steady moving and creative shots off a ,,,,,, glider. This is just one tool for the job, not the be and end all.

Used appropriately the glidecam can be a valuable tool. To rely on it and your video turns into a sick rollercoaster ride!

It can also make many newcomers lazy into the basics of filming. So what do they do!

Put it on a glidecam and hey presto I am the best in town...CMON!!!


Rant over........


Ok. It's not a great sample of how things should be done. Their has already been SOME good advice here.

Cheers.

John De rienzo
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Old August 17th, 2008, 03:12 PM   #10
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Just a comment on steadicam devices. You CAN do some movements without a steadicam and have them look very good. The problem comes when people try to do movements that REQUIRE a steadicam to look good, and they don't use a steadicam.

Before I got a steadicam I tried duplicating some of the awesome steadicam shots I've seen in footage on here and elsewhere. Some of them worked and some of them definitely did not. I had to accept the fact that if I wanted a shot that tracked 10 feet to a couple and then spun around them and then tracked away from them for 10 feet ... well, without a steadicam it wasn't worth doing. You simply can't make it look good. But for shorter "gliding" shots it's possible.

So while a steadicam certainly shouldn't be considered the end all when you're off a tripod, you definitely have to recognize which kinds of shots need a steadicam to pull off well.
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Old August 17th, 2008, 03:19 PM   #11
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Agree with you 100% Travis. Could not put it better myself. I am sure I have , as ALL OF US done shots where we could have benefited from the steadycam...

It's not about dis missing the relevance of this tool. It's when it takes over and becomes the only tool for off tripod use...then the sick bag comes out.

My concern is those kind of statements might lead new comers to think they are better than they think they are because their shots look smooth and yet they know very little about the art of filming!!!

Rant over again,,,phew......


Cheers,

John De Rienzo
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