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


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Old October 20th, 2008, 11:10 AM   #1
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France Reprise

I can finally allow everyone to see the finished reprise (recap/highlight) for our France wedding since they had their US reception this weekend.

For the most part I love it, but upon further review I don't think I have enough big, spacious, wide shots to show the scale and grandeur of the setting. I'm so use to having to keep everything medium to tight to hide the surroundings that it didn't cross my mind to loosen up on this shoot. Oops, lesson learned.

Still, I'm not complaining. It's prettier than anything else I've shot.

I've also questioned my choice of music. Not that I don't love this particular song, but there were times in the edit that I wondered if it needed a much slower movie score type song to allow shots to hold longer and make things more dramatic. I've been trying to get away from the slow edits, but this one might have worked slightly better slow, again, to give more of a feel of depth and scale, and to allow the viewer to study the scene a little longer since it's not one you see every day.

Those are my thoughts. What are yours?

http://vimeo.com/1972705
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Old October 20th, 2008, 02:10 PM   #2
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Ethan I loved it. The colors were great. I think the shots were well suited for the occasion. What's the name of the song you used in the Highlights? Oh one thing I did notice was the camera man falling out of one of the shots. Otherwise I loved it and I'm sure the couple is happy with the final product.
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Old October 20th, 2008, 02:29 PM   #3
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Whew! I'm glad someone replied. I was beginning to think I completely missed the mark with that one. I've never been real confident with my editing so it's good to know I didn't completely mess this one up.

The music is Hoppípolla by Sigur Ros. I've used it before (I think it's on a demo on my site) but was struggling to find the right song for this edit so I polished it off and used it again. I don't like re-using songs, but sometimes when I'm really stuck on an edit I'll bring out a song I've already used to see if it sparks some ideas.

I had a great edit going with another song, but after I cut it down for content, the edit only timed out at 1:30 or so and was far too short. One day I might finish that edit for fun because I loved where it was taking me.

Oh, the cameraman falling out of the shot thing. Was that during her vows? If so, that's me in the BG shooting her closeup and the photographer, who was great all day, had a brain fart and stepped right into my shot at the moment she was delivering her vows. Oops. Otherwise we could have cut around me being in my wife's shot. Oh well. Live events...

Keep the comments coming. The more you point out, the more I can take away and learn from.
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Old October 20th, 2008, 03:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Cooper View Post
Whew! I'm glad someone replied. I was beginning to think I completely missed the mark with that one. I've never been real confident with my editing so it's good to know I didn't completely mess this one up.

The music is Hoppípolla by Sigur Ros. I've used it before (I think it's on a demo on my site) but was struggling to find the right song for this edit so I polished it off and used it again. I don't like re-using songs, but sometimes when I'm really stuck on an edit I'll bring out a song I've already used to see if it sparks some ideas.

I had a great edit going with another song, but after I cut it down for content, the edit only timed out at 1:30 or so and was far too short. One day I might finish that edit for fun because I loved where it was taking me.

Oh, the cameraman falling out of the shot thing. Was that during her vows? If so, that's me in the BG shooting her closeup and the photographer, who was great all day, had a brain fart and stepped right into my shot at the moment she was delivering her vows. Oops. Otherwise we could have cut around me being in my wife's shot. Oh well. Live events...

Keep the comments coming. The more you point out, the more I can take away and learn from.
Yeah I think it was during her vows. It was kind of funny but it has happened to me a couple of times where my shot is compromised. I also know what you mean about how you have a certain song and then have to end up using a different song. I wonder how many people do the same thing. Seems like your though process is similar to mine in that aspect.
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Old October 20th, 2008, 03:19 PM   #5
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Yeah I think it was during her vows. It was kind of funny but it has happened to me a couple of times where my shot is compromised. I also know what you mean about how you have a certain song and then have to end up using a different song. I wonder how many people do the same thing. Seems like your though process is similar to mine in that aspect.
I actually scrapped 3 days of work after editing to a Coldplay song first, then finishing the edit only to realize that it was just all wrong. Funny how you can talk yourself into a song that isn't the right fit.

I'd imagine we all share common problems when it comes to edits. Songs being wrong, flubbed shots, not enough of a particular type of shot to fit an edit, that kinda thing. It's the edit that I believe makes good video harder to produce than good photo. Just don't tell a photographer that or they'll go ballistic.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 01:18 AM   #6
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I thought the video was great. Good pace with the editing, strong emotion, good coloring. There were only two things that I didn't like.

First, it seemed like some of the motion shots were just barely shakey. Not a lot, but enough to notice, and therefore detract from the shot. Sometimes it seemed like you were using a stabilizer, but other times I it definitely didn't.

Second, I really didn't like the closing shot. It just wasn't strong at all I don't think. Compared to the rest of your shots, it just looked like a mistake to me. I know that's harsh, but you had such good stuff all the way through, and the last shot looked more like an out-take to me.

Thanks for sharing, and I hope that helped!
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Old October 21st, 2008, 04:16 AM   #7
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Dude! I totally love this video - great song choice plus your footage and edit timing works great. This song is one of my absolute favourites. I've been holding onto it for ages to find the right footage but I don't think I'll bother now as yours works so well :)

Here's 4 things I think could take it to the next level:

1. When the music builds up at the start and the drums kick in (0:41) you cut to a shot of the bride's hand on a railing. I'd cut to your most epic killer shot from the whole day at that point. The hand shot would work anywhere in the video but I think that moment in the song needs a powerful shot to match it.

2. Similar to #1 ... at the breakdown in the song when it goes quiet and he sings "Hoppipolla" is another powerful moment in the song ... another suggestion could be to go with your 2nd most epic shot or maybe a sequence of really intimate moments between the couple.

3. I agree with Travis ... I can see where you were going with the final shot but it doesn't work as well as it could. Again, another really strong shot to close the video would be awesome.

4. Your colours are excellent but there's some shots that don't seem to pop as much as others. Maybe do another pass over the footage .... I find it helpful to leave it for a few days and then come back with fresh eyes.

Those are just my suggestions ... I think you've done an awesome job with both the filming and the edit.

On a side note, when Francois says "This ring is a symbol of my never ending love for you" - my wife says that makes her heart flutter :) I know the french accent helps but that's an awesome moment in the video. I might show it to my clients as a lesson on how to say your vows ;)

Cheers!

Matthew.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 08:25 AM   #8
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Let it be known that in the following I'm not arguing with the points made, I'm simply explaining my thought process for making these decisions so others can learn from the process. I love getting comments that open up conversation because I feel it's beneficial for everyone involved.

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Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
First, it seemed like some of the motion shots were just barely shakey. Not a lot, but enough to notice, and therefore detract from the shot. Sometimes it seemed like you were using a stabilizer, but other times I it definitely didn't.
I employed a lot of smoothcam in this piece to make some shots usable. To me the most noticeable one is the shift focus on her shoes. Watch the lower corner of the dresser thing they're sitting on, it bounces around a bit due to the after the fact stabilization.

The house shot through the trees (the first one where you see the whole chateau) was also a hand held shot that I later tried to make look like a stedicam or a track. If you look closely you'll see the filter doing it's thing.

There were several times that I just let some shaky shots go to give a feel of immediacy or of being in the scene with the couple. Most of these were in the intimate moments of them getting ready. I intentionally wanted these to feel more raw and less polished to give it a more vintage home movie/less setup feel. There are times where big, grand and magical just doesn't belong and sometimes I want to put a human or intimate touch on things and dial down the hollywood. The shakey 35mm adapter feels more like vintage home movies to me... or at least that's what I was going for.

I also almost never shoot from a tripod because it slows me down. I might rethink this for certain situations.


Quote:
Second, I really didn't like the closing shot. It just wasn't strong at all I don't think. Compared to the rest of your shots, it just looked like a mistake to me. I know that's harsh, but you had such good stuff all the way through, and the last shot looked more like an out-take to me.
It was an out-take. Again, I was trying hard to personalize or humanize this video. So many of the moments you see the couple in were setups and I was afraid that the real chemistry these two had together would be lost. It's so hard for a couple to have great little moments together with 3 cameras pointed at their faces and yet these two were so good together that it didn't matter if they were in a glass box surrounded by hundreds of people watching, they were comfortable with themselves & their love and I didn't want that getting lost in this piece.

Still, two of you had a problem with that shot, so there must be something to it.

Keep it coming guys.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 08:45 AM   #9
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Dude! I totally love this video - great song choice plus your footage and edit timing works great. This song is one of my absolute favourites. I've been holding onto it for ages to find the right footage but I don't think I'll bother now as yours works so well :)
I've seen your work. You're telling me you can't find good footage to use with this song? :)

Oh, and I'm convinced that what makes this song so powerful is the strings. Most really great powerful emotional pieces of music have strings... why is this?

Quote:
1. When the music builds up at the start and the drums kick in (0:41) you cut to a shot of the bride's hand on a railing. I'd cut to your most epic killer shot from the whole day at that point. The hand shot would work anywhere in the video but I think that moment in the song needs a powerful shot to match it.
Point well taken. I almost went with the low angle shot of her opening the window and her veil blowing in the breeze there.

I often like to introduce a new scene with a tight from that place to ease the transition from one place to the next. I'm always worried how to get from one setting to another. I hate just dropping the viewer into a new place. Maybe this wasn't the best time to do that.

Quote:
2. Similar to #1 ... at the breakdown in the song when it goes quiet and he sings "Hoppipolla" is another powerful moment in the song ... another suggestion could be to go with your 2nd most epic shot or maybe a sequence of really intimate moments between the couple.
Again, I went to the church there as a transition into the ceremony. I was trying to pull the viewer away from the prep stuff and indicate that we were heading somewhere else. I was using that break in the music as a audible transition to something new. Maybe this thinking is too literal (which I tend to be).

Quote:
3. I agree with Travis ... I can see where you were going with the final shot but it doesn't work as well as it could. Again, another really strong shot to close the video would be awesome.
If one person says it I may brush it off, but if two people in a row say it I'd be stupid to ignore it. I've got about 20 other shots that would fit here. I'll think about changing it for the version that goes on their DVD.

Quote:
4. Your colours are excellent but there's some shots that don't seem to pop as much as others. Maybe do another pass over the footage .... I find it helpful to leave it for a few days and then come back with fresh eyes.
Can you point out a couple? It would help me to know which ones you're talking about.

I can tell you that while we're in the house in their prep and where he's writing the song that I intentionally muted things to de-hollywod it.

Quote:
Those are just my suggestions ... I think you've done an awesome job with both the filming and the edit.
The real lesson to bring away from this experience is: location, location, location. Everywhere you pointed the camera in that setting was beautiful and the lighting was almost always nice. There was no way we could have screwed that one up, it was too perfect.

Quote:
On a side note, when Francois says "This ring is a symbol of my never ending love for you" - my wife says that makes her heart flutter :) I know the french accent helps but that's an awesome moment in the video. I might show it to my clients as a lesson on how to say your vows ;)
What you don't hear in the video is the gasp that came from the crowd in the church when he said that. I think it was more powerful live because he paused, lifted his head to look squarely at her and then delivered that line. French guys...
I mean come on, the guy wrote and sung a song for his wife. I begged him not to sing it for the good of all the rest of us married men but he didn't listen. Now my wife looks at me with disdain. Thanks Francois.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 09:17 AM   #10
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Ethan,

That rocked! Have you given it to the couple yet? I bet they were floored by the quality. Did you use a Glidecam for any of those shots or were they all hand held? The lighting in the church was awesome as well.
Are things getting back to normal on the home front? The lunch invitation is still open.

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Old October 21st, 2008, 09:20 AM   #11
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Chad - we delivered a copy of that for their US reception that happened last weekend. Now their video gets to sit for about 6 months while we clear out our backlog. Lunch sounds great one day when I actually free up. I've gotten myself in a good hole and am trying to dig my way out.

Oh and back to your question. A good bit of it was Stedicam Merlin. Most of the fake stedicam shots were when I used my HV20/Letus combo.
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Old November 13th, 2008, 07:31 AM   #12
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How do you like your Letus? I purchased the Brevis 35 a while back, but haven't had much time to use it. I had blocked off some time around Gustav to work with it, but we know how that turned out. I brought it to a couple of preps, but its just way to big to hand hold in a hotel room. I purchased the smaller element that allows me to use it with my HV30. Hopefully that combo will work out better.
Beebe and I shot some stuff out by the river yesterday and your name came up (we weren't talking about tossing you in the river or anything). Lunch is still on!

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Old November 13th, 2008, 07:49 AM   #13
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I like my Letus, but it's not the best handheld rig to be sure.

Let's set up a lunch in the next couple weeks. Talk to Beebe and shoot me a date.

Oh, and for your viewing pleasure, Red put out the Scarlet and Epic stuff:

Testing... testing. - Page 3 - Reduser.net

skip to page 3
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