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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old December 5th, 2008, 01:04 AM   #1
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Filming on top of San Francisco

On Saturday (Dec 6th) I'm going to be filming a wedding reception in a place called the Carnelian Room. The room is at the top of a building in San Francisco and displays surrounding views of the city from above.

Here is a link to the venue:

The Carnelian Room

This is unlike anything I've filmed before and I was wondering what kind of technical advice people might want to give me. The couple wants a sunset shot and my goal is to get them a great one. It seems like such a good opportunity for some awesome shots but I'm worried about how my camera (Sony VX2100) will react to the surrounding windows.

I only do videography part-time and mostly do it for the love of filming and editing. The added income doesn't hurt either. The client warned me that a film producer will be present and might give me a hard time about how I film. Any advice to make me look like less of a fool?

I plan on posting how things went and maybe a sample of the work.

Thanks
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Old December 5th, 2008, 07:26 AM   #2
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Cool venue!

I guess a polarising filter could be handy, or if you don't have time to get one, then just film off centre from windows to eliminate seeing your own reflection. You'll be fine, honestly.

good luck, look forward to the clip
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Old December 5th, 2008, 08:31 AM   #3
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Lighting could end up being a challenge with all of those windows. Shooting spontaneously in the room could back light your subjects. An on-camera light can help you fill in your subjects.

The windows may also be made of a special glass to mitigate the effects of the beating sun so check your polarizer to see how it reacts well before the sun begins to slip away. You may end up with less time than you want to make changes to your camera.

Unless this producer is a real jerk, he'll probably leave you alone. I don't suspect he's been invited to supervise your work. (grin)
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Old December 5th, 2008, 07:10 PM   #4
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I'll definitely trying using the polarizing filter I have. Thanks a lot for the suggestions. I shot at a church with surrounding windows and it was a real pain to adjust to. I couldn't move around because the church had strict guidelines for where I could be. It wasn't fun.
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Old December 5th, 2008, 09:59 PM   #5
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All real film producers I know worth their salt would never in a million years go to a wedding and critique the videographer. If he does he is probably an indie(no Budget)/wannabe/porn producer :)
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Old December 6th, 2008, 01:11 AM   #6
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my first reaction is to arrange to try shooting something there before the actual event. Get a friend to go out there a play "model" for an evening. The venue may let you do this free of charge (if nothing else is booked) as long as you mention that you are prepping for the such-and-such wedding reception.

There is no substitute for practice at the actual location.
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Old December 6th, 2008, 01:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Nickle View Post
All real film producers I know worth their salt would never in a million years go to a wedding and critique the videographer. If he does he is probably an indie(no Budget)/wannabe/porn producer :)
More than likely it is an indie film producer from they way the client was talking. Maybe we'll have a nice talk about film and just network in general. It wouldn't hurt to hear some critique of my work but I don't expect him to say anything to me.
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Old December 6th, 2008, 01:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Robinson View Post
my first reaction is to arrange to try shooting something there before the actual event. Get a friend to go out there a play "model" for an evening. The venue may let you do this free of charge (if nothing else is booked) as long as you mention that you are prepping for the such-and-such wedding reception.

There is no substitute for practice at the actual location.
I was thinking about doing this but I've been way to busy to head up that way and check out the venues. They literally want to take pictures many of the main attractions in SF. It's gonna be a loooong day. GPS is my friend.
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Old December 6th, 2008, 05:42 AM   #9
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Sean,

There's a venue very similar to this in Boston that I've shot at a few times. Here's what I've learned to deal with.

What time of day is the wedding? You mentioned a shot of the sunset, so I imagine that it will begin late afternoon/early evening. If you the want that sunset shot, it's really no different than a sunset shot outdoors, meaning you'll need to worry about backlight. Bring some kind of bounce card or a flexfill. You should also have a decent size light available. You'll want to get the faces of the subject bright enough to be able to get the sunset with out it being "blown out".

This kind of room can be a nightmare for photographers and videoographers. It's a place that works better to the naked eye than on camera. Once the sun goes down all that window space will become a big black hole. The human eye will see all those beautiful city lights giving the room it's ambience. To capture this, it will be a challenge to get the city and the subjects/guests in the same frame. - To iris up enough to get the city lights, your foreground subjects could be over exposed. To compensate, plan on capturing to ambience in the edit. Meaning, do a lot of "detail" shots of the view. You can cut them in with the shots of dancing and everything else that's going at the reception.

Good luck.
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Last edited by William Smyth; December 6th, 2008 at 07:39 PM.
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