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


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Old July 31st, 2009, 06:13 AM   #1
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When some wedding guests can be rude.

The last wedding I did, a wedding guest who had just arrived to the wedding approached my assistant videographer who was filming the wedding cake. The guest said; 'if you ever put that camera in my face, I'll STICK IT UP YOUR .... I wont repeat what he said finally.

When the assistant mentioned this to me, I said 'don't let it bother you, main thing is be professional' and ignore the comment and keep out of his way.

Two weddings before that, a woman wedding guest shouted again at my assistant and said; GET OUT OF THE '@$%'.... WAY!

and a wedding before that another wedding guest, one of the three best men at the wedding had said to me and repeated this to my assistant later, if you get that camera in my face, then I won't get into your face, GOT IT!

Perhaps it's stress, nerves or what I don't know, but some wedding guests can be rude and we in our team seem to be experiencing this more this year than last year. In fact there was only one incident last year.

I always keep professional about these things and just get on with the job in hand.
I'm beginning to wonder though, if other wedding videographers are experiencing some rudeness from others at the wedding they shoot?
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Old July 31st, 2009, 06:54 AM   #2
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Wow!! I must admit I have never had a problem like that.

If I did I would simply go to the couple and tell them that the guest/wedding party member has threatened me if I film him/her so I will not be including that person anywhere on the video.

Guests have always been more than obliging even when I'm filming table by table for comments on the wedding!! I guess if someone doesn't want to be filmed just let the bride know (she IS the boss) and leave the person well alone!! I suspect that excessive alcohol may start something like that but admittedly I have never seen it so I'm lucky!!

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Old July 31st, 2009, 07:58 AM   #3
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I have yet to encounter a rude guest, so I can't give much advice, and yup the Bride runs the show. Next time ask her to let the DJ announce that you'll be moving from table to table, taking videos & photos, that way it will look like this a request from the Bride.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 08:18 AM   #4
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I generally agree with everyone, but want to put in my two cents that you should not tell the bride unless it becomes an issue. The last thing she wants to hear about on her wedding day is one of us being harassed by a guest. Similarly, she doesn't want to be handed her film with the disclaimer, "This guest was harassing us so there isn't much of him/her in it." She should pop in the DVD thinking that it's going to be great, not taking roll call. I would only bring it up if you're asked specifically why there is no footage of the person. If they really mean something to the bride or groom, they're not going to be a jerk about being on camera.

I've never been in that situation, myself. Closest I came was during my first wedding where the father of the bride kept asking if I was gay and telling me to stop following him around (as if I were shooting everything to make my own... well... gay demo reel, I guess). Later a member of the bridal party tried to wrestle my camera away from me, but it turned out fine since drunk people have short memories so you can be a bit more forceful in shielding your gear.

Don't you just wish you could say, no matter how cliche, "I don't come to your work and tell you how to flip burgers?"
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Old July 31st, 2009, 08:52 AM   #5
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Fair enough comments and the DJ announcing your pending arrival at the table is a great idea. However if I was faced with a "Shove it..." I would certainly speak (very nicely) to the bride and mention that the guest in question does not want to be filmed. Comments like that are bordering on violent behaviour and after the guest in question has sunken anoth 12 beers he could quite easily hurt someone else. It's not a question of "tattle-taleing" but rather pointing out a potential volatile situation that one of the guys could probably defuse easily if approached early in the evening.

Hopefully I will never have that situation arise!!

One of our local videographers (a lady competitor!) has her contract on her website and she has under "terms and conditions" the following :
" If I feel that my equipment or myself are under any threat of being damaged, I reserve the right to stop filming immediately and leave the venue "

That's telling them...Behave or I'm outa here!!!!

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Old July 31st, 2009, 09:25 AM   #6
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Anthony, how intrusive is your assistant? I am just curious coz you have two weddings where guest are telling your assistant to "go away". Maybe too close? Most guest I shoot are either camera shy or camera hogs.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 09:45 AM   #7
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I got the same vibe that Noel got. I'm sure your assistant is trying to get the best possible shot, but maybe he just getting too close to peoples faces, etc?

Usually if I'm going to put the camera in someones face I already know they will be okay with it, or people will give a positve/negative reaction as soon as you start to point the camera towards them.

The same complaint from 2 different weddings tells me your assistant is either having bad guest luck, or is creating the situation.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 09:59 AM   #8
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That would be awkward, what you would love to do is open your sports coat and show your .45 pistol holstered on your belt. but of coarse we know we cant do that. Would love to see the response to that.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 10:13 AM   #9
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I've encountered a few rude guests and while I try to be professional and basically just walk away, I've had a couple of instances where I've been called out. Literally. I had one drunk guest who went to my gear during a break (dinner and I don't do much taping then, like none unless something major is happening). He actually picked up my camera and started playing around. Needless to say I went over to him, tried the nice approach and then basically threatened him with severe bodily harm if he didn't hand it over and get away from me and the gear. The DJ (I know him well) is a pretty big guy that was coming over to help me out and while I'm not big I can be mean. He handed the camera to me and mumbled something under his breath. As the evening went on, I didn't see him and found out the groom saw this whole thing and without reservation had the guest "lefted" by 3 of his groomsmen. A couple of years ago while taping some dancing, I had a guest come up to me in a very rude manner (too much to drink I'm sure) and basically threatened me because as I was taping I swept a shot past him. He put his hands on me and honestly call me names or whatever but do not put hands on me or my gear. Unfortunatly for him I knew a lot of the people there and one of my close friends was there and witnessed this. Now he's an ex-pro football player. 6'4" about 280lbs and he looks mean when he wants too. He came over and took hold of the guy and asked him if there was a problem. The guy looked at him and decided there wasn't. He left the party and before I left the groom came to me and apologized for the guys behavior.
For the most part though, those were the most extreme guests I've encountered. By and large people are pretty good at weddings but every now and then you get "that one".
Oh well, smile smile smile and keep on doing the job.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 10:40 AM   #10
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Looks like most have been lucky and these past few weeks I haven't.
My assistant is the nicest guy you could meet and never gets in their face. Most of the shooting is done by me and he shoots exactly what I want him to do. Maybe he is the type to get picked on, I don't know.

I can assure you though, that the lad is never intrusive, he's just been unlucky. All of them are 8-10 years older than him that's picked on him, maybe it's his age, however he is 29 years old.

The first chap in the first incident I mentioned had just arrived when he picked on my assistant, it looked to me that he had a few drinks before he came and was perhaps a troublemaker.

The best-man turned out all right in the end, I think it was just nerves with him, probably worried about his speech. No excuse though to be rude to me or my assistant.

On the whole though, we have no problem and the wedding guests are really friendly and I get comments from B&G's how professional our team is on the day.
Because I have had three incidents this year and each one just recently, I thought something not right here, are guests just getting rude these days or what?

By the way I haven't told the brides of these incidents, I thought it's best just leave well alone. I didn't want their day spoilt.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 10:53 AM   #11
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Anthony, I think you will find its your prices that get you this.

Weve had our fair share of snide comments about being in their shot while they try and photograph something in near darkness with a mobile phone but nothing along those lines.

When your prices are low you attract a certain class of people. as they go up we have seen the weddings getting more and more elegant and the people we deal with change.

Just remain professional, brush it off and dont film them. If the couple ask why there is no footage of that person then you can just explain they were not keen on being filmed.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 11:11 AM   #12
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I don't think anyone has mentioned class before, but sadly, the problem isn't just attached to weddings. I shoot quite a lot of theatre shows, and these can get quite hairy sometimes. In the UK we have what are called socio-economic groups - we're not allowed to call it 'class' any more, although everybody knows this is exactly what it is. A's at the top, and E's at the bottom. Problems mainly come from the D and E groups - and at weddings I'd guess that identifying them is more difficult because the key people all wear 'uniform' - suggesting a higher SEG than they really are, so the problems talked about here can spring up unexpected. In my theatre work, we tend to be able to spot problem people, so we don't shoot them. We have more problems stopping them acting up for the camera, than actually being threatening. What I have found out is that often, their reason for not wanting to be on camera is that they are with somebody the shouldn't be, or are breaking some kind of curfew thing, or are claiming benefits of some time and shouldn't be at an expensive leisure evening, when they are supposed to be ill/skint or otherwise.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 11:54 AM   #13
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A few things ...

First, I wouldn't go to the bride just because someone said something to me about not filming them. I'm a firm believer in not dumping issues of any kind on the bride unless it's absolutely necessary .. and trust me, I've been in some crappy situations.

Second, I definitely WOULD say something to the guest. I would let them know first of all that it's completely unnecessary to be rude to me. I would also let them know that the bride HIRED me to film the reception and anyone who is at the reception could potentially be filmed. I would let this guest know that although I will make an effort not to film them, I can't guarantee they won't be filmed. I would also tilt my camera towards them at the start of this conversation and record the whole thing in case they decide to become more of a jerk.

Third, I have a clause in my contract that states the bride and groom are responsible for guests interference with our filming of the wedding events. I may or may not mention this to the guest, depending on if they decide to take things to another level of rudeness. But it also releases me from liability if a guest is hindering our filming and I have to inform the B&G.

Lastly, my entire goal would be to dispel the situation and get on with my work. Some people just don't want to be on camera and some people just want to make waves. In either case, the faster you resolve the conversation the better.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 12:37 PM   #14
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Yikes!

My experiences are too often people making a fuss getting out of my way, ruining the shot. I don't like it when they duck under the camera or say 'sorry' for being in front of me. I tend to use people as 'creative obstructions' to add not only visual interest but also contextual meaning to the shot. All too often they say 'sorry' and try to get out of the way.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony J. Howe View Post
The last wedding I did, a wedding guest who had just arrived to the wedding approached my assistant videographer who was filming the wedding cake. The guest said; 'if you ever put that camera in my face, I'll STICK IT UP YOUR .... I wont repeat what he said finally.

When the assistant mentioned this to me, I said 'don't let it bother you, main thing is be professional' and ignore the comment and keep out of his way.

Two weddings before that, a woman wedding guest shouted again at my assistant and said; GET OUT OF THE '@$%'.... WAY!

and a wedding before that another wedding guest, one of the three best men at the wedding had said to me and repeated this to my assistant later, if you get that camera in my face, then I won't get into your face, GOT IT!

Perhaps it's stress, nerves or what I don't know, but some wedding guests can be rude and we in our team seem to be experiencing this more this year than last year. In fact there was only one incident last year.

I always keep professional about these things and just get on with the job in hand.
I'm beginning to wonder though, if other wedding videographers are experiencing some rudeness from others at the wedding they shoot?
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Old July 31st, 2009, 12:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel Peregrine View Post
Yikes!

My problems is people making too much of a fuss getting out of my way - I just don't like it when they duck under the camera or say 'sorry' for being in front of me. I tend to use people as 'creative obstructions' to add not only visual interest but also contextual meaning to the shot. All too often they say 'sorry' and try to get out of the way.
LOL, I try to do the same thing...and as soon as some realizes they are in my shot they apologize and ruin it :(
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