Wedding highlights clip, E. for Emotional! at

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Old August 15th, 2008, 02:32 PM   #1
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Wedding Highlights Clip, E. for an Emotional!

Please take a look at a highlights clip from a wedding of my good friends Anton&Kseniya.
The Russian Orthodox Church wedding ceremony was an emotional centerpiece of the day.

Would love to read the comments, how does is feel from a different historical, religious background, customs!?
It's very similar to a Greek Orthodox Church.


it's 5 minutes, 50mb.

I've uploaded it second time, have changed a couple of things.

Last edited by Oleg Kalyan; August 15th, 2008 at 06:06 PM.
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Old August 15th, 2008, 07:01 PM   #2
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Hey Oleg,

Firstly, you're hitting it out of the park with your music choices ... that song was excellent. I enjoyed seeing the different traditions. What's the meaning behind kissing the paintings?

It dragged a bit for me in the middle and I felt there were a few too many steadicam shots in a row outside the church. The reverb seemed a bit much when the priest was speaking - not sure if you added this later or if it was natural audio.

Stunning locations, and the wide angle shots of them spinning were excellent.


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Old August 15th, 2008, 08:37 PM   #3
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That's my kind of a video, I loved it, reverb in the church- right on, right on:)
a bit too long in the church that's true, but the reverse spinning looks amazing! great steadicam shots;
man, as always - pleasure to watch!
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Old August 15th, 2008, 09:16 PM   #4
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Good job!

Hi there,

I usually do not write any replies in forums. I usually tend to just observe.
But, the kind of work you do always facinates me. It seems that you always know how to chose the perfect music and shots.
I am a true fan of your work.
To my taste, this specific video was perfect. You really told the story and the shots were beautiful.
I wanted to respond to MATTHEW about when he said: "I felt there were a few too many steadicam shots in a row outside the church", I think that it is OK to have steadicam shots in a row. Actually, I see video clips of different videographers in this forum that most of us praise their work, though to my taste they over use Dynamic shots.
I feel we need to tell a story and not try to show how technically skilled we are of using glidecam or any other dynamic shots so by the end of the clip you feel like you were in a rollercoaster.
Oleg, I feel that the sequences of the shots were excellent and the clip was very emotional.
I loved it. Good job!

I'd like to ask you for some tips about how you find the time to take all of the shots during the bridal preparation? I always seem to feel that my clients are in a hurry or that I am in the middle of their things. Any tips on that??
As well, Do you use tripod while bridal preps?

Again, loved your work.
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Old August 15th, 2008, 09:36 PM   #5
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Oleg - Absolutely Beautiful... curious -did you shoot this solo or with another shooter. The closeups really stood out to me. Did you use a lot of zoom or were you really that close?

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Old August 16th, 2008, 01:40 AM   #6
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Hi Matthew!
"What's the meaning behind kissing the paintings?"

Good question, I was not sure 100 percent why it's done, I found this interesting info:

Often, Icons are kissed along with a bow.

The Greek word is:

2705. kataphileo, kat-af-ee-leh'-o; from G2596 and G5368; to kiss earnestly:—kiss.

This comes from the word for brotherly love, "phileo", which is also translated as "kiss" in some instances, as it is in referring to the famous kiss that Judas gave to Jesus (Matt 26:48-49).

This word also comes from "phileo". It is used by Paul on four different occasions when he tells those he writes to give the brethren a holy kiss (Rom 16:16; 1 Cor 16:20; 2 Cor 13:12; 1 Th 5:26) as well as Peter suggest the same thing in his epistle (1 Pet 5:14).

When done to God, kiss becomes worship. To other people, it shows affection, love, and respect. Biblically, kissing an Icon cannot be construed to be worship in and of itself. It has to be done with that intent as does the actions of bowing and prostration.

Buba, thank you!

Dror, thank you for nice words,

I do my best to convince the B&G to have a little time for the camera, some little set up shots, most of it is natural expression of particular emotions excerpts... (tell them that wedding video will stay with them for the rest of their life : )

only monopod, no tripod, on a bridal prep and in the church.

Art, thank you!
There was a second camera in/out the church, my friend/DP Serge Ladinski was helping me out and as always did a great job.

No close shooting at the church, I find it unethical and little distracting for B&G to stay in their face with the camera. Longer focal length used.
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Old August 17th, 2008, 01:27 AM   #7
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First of all, great color and clarity in your shots. Stunning. Also, very good composition overall I think. A pretty solid piece overall, however, here are my thoughts:

At :47 there is a beautiful shot of the bride, followed by a shot of a bridesmaid(?), and although the shot is a good shot, it seemed out of place in the edit for me.

The editing itself seemed out of pace with the song sometimes. In other words, the pace of the editing seemed constant throughout the video, even though the song went through ups and downs. The piece would have been much more dramatic I think if the editing had followed the pace of the music more. As it was, it sometimes felt detached from the music.

The ending was a bit weak I think. There just weren't enough shots present to develop the end of the story. You had plenty of prep shots and plenty of church shots and plenty of outside the church shots, etc. But at the very end it just moved really quickly and seemed to leave part of the story behind. Could just be me watching videos late at night, though, lol.

Anyways, I hope some of this helps. Thanks for sharing!
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Old August 17th, 2008, 01:53 AM   #8
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thank you for your time watching the clip, will keep in mind your thoughts.

I thought of making shorter cuts, yet felt intuitively it won't work, so it's my artistic
choice, to say more,
I do not believe that the change of drive, emotional content in music should be followed by variety of style of cuts etc, the less editing/editor is seen the better the story told generally.
I believe actually it's a mistake to change the rhythm, it destroys the flow of the story,
consequently takes the viewer off empathic experience, imho.

Also, thank you for telling me about the bride's sister's shot, looking straight in the camera. I thought of it. Did without it, the result weaker empathy, imo.

I tend to have on or two shots like that in a clip, sometimes a few. There is no theory when and how to use it, if the expression is pure, and is within the context of story, I think it adds to the piece, makes it more convincing. Here the context is the "awe" by the bride's beauty, (expressed by her sister in a desire to share it with audience, that's how I see it as a director, anyway, but obviously it can be read differently : )

Appreciate the comments! Very valuable.

Last edited by Oleg Kalyan; August 17th, 2008 at 06:27 AM.
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Old August 17th, 2008, 02:05 PM   #9
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The shot of the bride's sister felt out of place because it felt like a shot focused on her, and not on her looking at the bride. I think it feels that way because the bride's sister turns and looks right at the camera, and isn't looking off-camera at the bride. In the other shots where people are watching her get ready they are all looking off-camera, so it sells this part of the story. I think if you had that close-up of the bride's sister with her looking off-camera it would sell the idea that she's watching the bride still.

Also, I really have to disagree with editing footage without regard to the pace of the music. Music is a huge part of any edit, and helps determine the mood at any given point. If the music is slow and steady, like in the beginning of the video, then slow and steady editing fits just fine. But around the 3 minute mark the music really takes off and becomes very dramatic, but the editing doesn't change at all with it, and a disconnect develops between the music and the footage. I'm not saying you have to all of a sudden switch to MTV-style editing at that point, but somehow I feel like the edit should change to match the up-swing in the pace of the music .. especially given how dramatic the song gets at that point. It doesn't break the video to do it the way you did it, but I then you lose a lot of potential in the power of the piece because of the pacing disconnect. Feel free to disagree with me, though.

By the way, you made a comment that you believe it's a mistake to change the rhythm because it destroys the flow of the story. I couldn't possibly disagree more with this idea. Look at any of the best feature movies of all time. One of the driving elements in any of these movies is that the pace of the story has ups and downs over the course of the movie. It's what keeps you interested for 90 minutes. A movie with a flat pace will fail at the box office. Just something to think about.

By the way, I meant to add in my other post that I wasn't fond of the ambient audio you included because of the heavy echo. I'm assuming that gentlemen wasn't mic'd?

Thanks for hearing me out, and I understand you may completely disagree with me, and that's fine. Best wishes to you.
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Old August 17th, 2008, 07:50 PM   #10
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Absolutely stunning and yes very emotional. Having just visited St. Petersburg 10 days ago, seeing the Russian Orthodox wedding and the inside of a magnificent church enhanced my viewing. Content and expecially shot selection really held my attention and the score gave me goose bumps right when they exited the church and reveled in their joy. Very, very nice work.
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Old August 17th, 2008, 08:58 PM   #11
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really appreciate your comments!
St. Petersburg is amazing city for architecture. I was there a month ago, shooting a wedding.

Thank you again for your time.
As for echo, did it in post, in actuality the voice is heard clearly, although the person was not mic'ed, the idea of echo here was to add to the feel of loss of understanding of particular words of the holy person, actually read on old Slavic language, most of it is hard to understand to anyone who is not schooled in Russian Orthodox writings (what I mean is that when in church experience is determined not by the words of the priest but often by strange and powerful feeling of emotional or religious frenzy or trancelike state)

As for editing, I think, the rules of music videos are more appropriate that film as a whole, when making a highlights clip, and in music videos the pace of editing is pretty constant through usually.
You are absolutely right, the most dramatic part of the song falls on the shot B&G coming out of the church, I really did not see their walk to be cut into shorter pieces,
a bit later though, after their run, grass shot you can see there are some quicker cuts, on dynamic camera shots,
As for sister looking on camera, I actually have a shot of her looking out of the window, similar to the bride's shot, felt it weaker, although more correct in storytelling.

Thanks again, will keep your suggestions for future work, and for the film (long version of the wedding edit).



"February Song" by the great voice of Josh Groban!

Last edited by Oleg Kalyan; August 18th, 2008 at 02:02 AM.
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Old August 18th, 2008, 10:23 PM   #12
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great work. it's hard to believe that it was natural wedding video, not movie set.
you captured some amazing moment through the ceremony and for me, it's hard to find the spot to shoot "right angle" for ring exchange or candle shot, etc. I am learning alot more along the way, but your work is a master piece! So I read that you only use monopod for the ceremony? how about the outside of church after the ceremony? looks like some sort of steadycam work, right?
I will post some of my works later, and I would love to get some advice from you as well!
Keep up the good work!

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Old August 19th, 2008, 11:10 AM   #13
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really appreciate your nice words, take it as motivation for future work.

The church was shot with two cameras, one on monopod, one handheld.

I use monopod a lot on static shots, on the outside low mode glidecam used, also handheld.

I look forward to see your work posted here on this forum!

Cheers, Oleg.
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