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


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Old March 9th, 2009, 01:25 PM   #1
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first wedding troubles

1. I did not have my light hooked up during the couples first dance. Halfway through, they turned off the lights and I'm stuck filming black. By the time I get my light on, the dance is finished. What is a good way to edit this?

2. Bouquet and garter toss time. I was able to shoot the boquet toss, but as the garter toss was finished, I realized the screen said "Standby" in green. I stopped recording at some point. Lesson learned, dont stop recording. I brought 10 tapes and used 5. I was being too cheap with recording. What is a good way to edit this part? I might get the shots from the photogs and just make the stills move.

Thanks in advance for any tips or ideas.
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Old March 9th, 2009, 01:59 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Gerald Labrador View Post
1. I did not have my light hooked up during the couples first dance. Halfway through, they turned off the lights and I'm stuck filming black. By the time I get my light on, the dance is finished. What is a good way to edit this?

2. Bouquet and garter toss time. I was able to shoot the boquet toss, but as the garter toss was finished, I realized the screen said "Standby" in green. I stopped recording at some point. Lesson learned, dont stop recording. I brought 10 tapes and used 5. I was being too cheap with recording. What is a good way to edit this part? I might get the shots from the photogs and just make the stills move.

Thanks in advance for any tips or ideas.
Gerald, the 1st part is easy you can just segway to another scene before they turned off the lights. I really find it important to have lights on stands at the reception.

the 2nd part is trickier, should you just edit the bouquet toss & totally omit the garter? I can't give any advice as I have never missed a garter toss. It may be too late now but during the reception, you could have politely asked the groom to re-enact the throw (close up) & cut to whoever catches the garter (close-up). maybe others have better ideas.
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Old March 9th, 2009, 08:42 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Gerald Labrador View Post
I realized the screen said "Standby" in green. I stopped recording at some point. Lesson learned, dont stop recording. I brought 10 tapes and used 5. I was being too cheap with recording.
We've all been caught by this one, I'm sure. The solution is not to tape continuously all day. That just makes all your editing a monumental task. Really, you just have to be anal about paying attention to the red light. Make sure it's on when you push record.

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What is a good way to edit this part? I might get the shots from the photogs and just make the stills move.
That's a pretty good idea. You might consider getting photos of the bouquet toss and editing it the same way. Then it looks like a cool artistic choice.

If you want to come clean, you could ask if a guest caught it on tape. Perhaps you could get the footage. Did you notice anyone else with a camera?
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Old March 9th, 2009, 08:47 PM   #4
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It may be too late now but during the reception, you could have politely asked the groom to re-enact the throw (close up) & cut to whoever catches the garter (close-up).
By the way, Noel's right. If this kind of thing happens to you in the future, see if you can fix it right away, while everyone's there. A "Darnit, I missed it. You guys mind tossing it again quick?" could save the day.

I missed a first dance years ago making the same mistake. I immediately asked the B&G to dance together some more. Some closeups, framing out other dancers, a few photos, and I had enough material to fix it. I swear by the time they got the video, they had forgotten. They never once mentioned it.
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Old March 9th, 2009, 09:33 PM   #5
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I lost part of a first dance once, having recorded only the last half because I was eating in another room and the band didn't let me know the first dance was starting. I know, I know, I should have been there and ready, and not relied on the band... lesson learned.

Anyhow, I asked the b/g to go outside later and I got some shots of them kissing and holding each other with the sunset, and cut that into the middle of the dance. Fortunately they used a really slow love song and I dropped some of the footage into slow motion, and that helped make up the difference. They didn't even know I missed some of their dance.

Regarding the bouquet/garter, I would just drop in some photos from the photog. Asking to re-enact would work, but it always seems to break up really quickly and asking everyone to reposition themselves again might be a hassle.
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Old March 10th, 2009, 02:06 PM   #6
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Gerald, put the song in the timeline, using your footage (hopefully two cameras) slo-mo and fade between the close up and the wide shot and it will work with the song. If one song, slo-mo and use your flop effects (final cut pro) it gives you the same shot but two different looks. Mix them up and you should be fine. Also as someone suggested, use crowd shots and you can also transition to the cake cutting and back again during the dance. Mark & Trisha VonLankin are the best at this!!!!

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Old March 10th, 2009, 02:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerald Labrador View Post
1. I did not have my light hooked up during the couples first dance. Halfway through, they turned off the lights and I'm stuck filming black. By the time I get my light on, the dance is finished. What is a good way to edit this?

2. Bouquet and garter toss time. I was able to shoot the boquet toss, but as the garter toss was finished, I realized the screen said "Standby" in green. I stopped recording at some point. Lesson learned, dont stop recording. I brought 10 tapes and used 5. I was being too cheap with recording. What is a good way to edit this part? I might get the shots from the photogs and just make the stills move.

Thanks in advance for any tips or ideas.
I wouldn't stress about any of the reception missed shots, that stuff happens, and you probably have plenty of reception coverage anyway. It seems you got some of the first dance, and that should be fine with a decent edit.

I wouldn't worry about the garter toss either. It's just not a critical part of the coverage.

The bottom line is, if you put together a well shot and edited video, the B&G are going to like it.

Thankfully I shoot with a photographer friend at least half of the time, so if I missed something critical, I can get the photos. I seldom ask for anything anymore, except maybe for the DVD box cover. I give up asking for photos from photographers I don't know, and instead ask the bride if needed, they are always very helpful.
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Old April 16th, 2009, 04:52 PM   #8
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use crowd shots
Charlie
It is always good to shoot plenty of crowd shots. These can be life savers for any number of things that happen to ruin or block a shot. The crowd shots don't even need to be in sync with the shot. No matter how hard you try to avoid it, "things" happen when you are shooting that may not even be anticipated. If you have plenty of crowd shots and other B-roll footage to use when editing, you can save the day. If you are artful, it will just look like a normal cutaway.
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Old April 16th, 2009, 08:03 PM   #9
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i find that clients dont really mind the noise caused by lifting up the blacks in post. especially when they know that it was dark and it happens suddenly halfway through out the dance. I don't think they will be too disapointed. but i don't know how "black" you meant by black..
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Old April 16th, 2009, 08:26 PM   #10
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I found out that giving the couple a heads-up (if you missed a shot) is better than 'surprising' them with a final edit that is missing important footage. Trust me when I say that the bride and groom will pick on the one-thing that you missed (and figured wasn't important), regardless of the 99% that you did faithfully capture. Trying to creatively edit around it (stills where possible) is a reasonable interim solution...but your path will be smoothed by informing the client in advance.
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Old April 16th, 2009, 08:29 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Gerald Labrador View Post
2. Bouquet and garter toss time. I was able to shoot the boquet toss, but as the garter toss was finished, I realized the screen said "Standby" in green. I stopped recording at some point. Lesson learned, dont stop recording. I brought 10 tapes and used 5. I was being too cheap with recording. What is a good way to edit this part? I might get the shots from the photogs and just make the stills move.

Thanks in advance for any tips or ideas.
It happened to all of us at some point.

Did you film last part of garter toss? If you did, at the end of boquet toss seq, while the girls are smiling, use cross fade translation to cut to the last part of garter toss while the guys are laughing.
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Old April 16th, 2009, 09:01 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Gerald Labrador View Post
I was able to shoot the boquet toss, but as the garter toss was finished, I realized the screen said "Standby" in green. I stopped recording at some point.
Don't feel bad, I think we've all done that. During one wedding I missed the bride being walked down the isle. The only footage I had was from my CYA wide angle camera. I used a little creative editing and the bride never knew the difference.
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Old April 16th, 2009, 10:38 PM   #13
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My Two Cents

That kind of mistake can be fatal to your business just starting out, here is what I do.

I and I repeat I, control when all of the events are going to happen. Do not let the DJ control what is happening he or she can sink your work. Work with the DJ or Band and know ahead of time when things are going to happen. Talk to the bride ahead of time so you can make sure you know when thing are supposed to happen. All of my equipment is triple backed up.

As far as a fix forget it, the footage will look like crap. See if you can get some of the photos from the bride or the photographer. If the bride is unhappy offer her some of her money back, and make sure you have a contract that states technical difficulties do happen and that you have limited liability.

I have actually stopped the DJ so that I could get ready. You can't tape memories if you are not ready. Allot of the brides I have worked with are always looking for ME and making sure I am in place before the the event happens. Also and assistant can go a long way and save you heart ache helping you get ready.

If I were you I would ask some other video guys in your area if you could shoot for Free and watch and learn before I would take another paying gig.
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Old April 17th, 2009, 11:41 AM   #14
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I would ask some other video guys in your area if you could shoot for Free and watch and learn before I would take another paying gig.
That's a good idea. I have been fortunate enough to shoot with some very experienced videographers and I learned a great deal from these experiences. There is nothing like the real thing to learn from. There are some things to keep in mind if you have the opportunity to shoot with someone.

First and foremost remember it's his job, not yours. Be aware that he will need to focus his attention on the event and that requires his constant attention. Try to be helpful and be a useful resource to him rather than a distraction. He has enough to worry about without having to worry about you as well. Strive to be a helpful asset to him and give more than you get from the experience.

Ask for and follow his direction. Remember you aren't the co-creative director. If you want to do that, go get your own job. Pay attention to details such as the frame rate that he is shooting in. You don't want to hand him 24p footage because that's your "thing" when he is shooting HD 60i.

Keep you eyes and ears open constantly. There is a tendency to be too focused on your camera and miss things that you should see and hear. Some elements of a wedding aren't always predictable. When something happens "off-script", engage your brain and react appropriately. For example, let's say you were asked to shoot audience reaction shots during the vows. Quite often there are emotional reactions from the audience during the vows and it adds a lot to have footage of these reactions to cut to during editing. But for example's sake, let's say that something happens to the person who is running the shoot - his camera fails or someone knocks over his tripod, or his shot is blocked etc. In that sort of situation, the prime action needs to be covered. Don't be so nailed down to the shooting script that you don't react to extenuating situations that may arise. You will save his day if you notice his predicament and cover the vows with your camera.

When the event is over, hand him your tapes. The tapes are his; it's his shoot. You can always see them later after he has captured them.

The last learning experience is to ask him to critique the shoot so you can learn from his observations. Then look at the the final edit to see how he put it together. That's an important part of the learning experience as well.
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Old April 17th, 2009, 06:46 PM   #15
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Missing half the dance because they turned the lights out on you and missing the garter toss is NOT the end of the world. It really sucks, yes, but just breathe in deep and relax.

I think you need to contact the bride and groom and explain what happened. This will be difficult, but it's important to keep them in the loop. With the first dance, you can't really be faulted for someone turning the lights off in the middle of the dance. The b&g should understand this. Regarding the garter toss, that's obviously your fault, so own up to it and maybe offer the couple a few extra DVD's or something as a token of your apology.

There are any number of things we can mess up and still creatively find a way to make the video work without the b&g ever knowing .. I just don't think this is one of those cases. Good luck.
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