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


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Old November 6th, 2004, 05:25 PM   #1
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Would you shoot the video of your own wedding?

I did. I guess it sounds as dumb as a surgeon operating on himself or a lawyer representing himself. But I sort of cheated...

Here are some stills.

http://66.240.157.66/personal/randal...gSurprise8.jpg
http://66.240.157.66/personal/randal...gSurprise1.jpg
http://66.240.157.66/personal/randal...gSurprise3.jpg

--- Mark
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Old November 8th, 2004, 03:47 PM   #2
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From the stills the angles looked good but I have to ask the obvious question: why?

Ben Lynn
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Old November 8th, 2004, 05:37 PM   #3
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By cheating, I mean that I didn't do a regular wedding video (or a regular wedding). My bride said, "well, you're in the video biz, I expect you'll have an incredible video that looks like a real Hollywood movie." Understand that she is a savvy video person herself, so when she says "Hollywood movie", she means it and would know the difference.

So what we did is actually shoot our wedding as a film. 2 and half very long days of shooting (like 7:00 am - midnight) on location with a 12 person crew. Literally truckloads full of production equipment, dolly & track, jib arm, 5K HMI lights, 12 x 12 foot silk, smoke machines, hundreds of yards of black drape to control lighting.

We made a 23 minute "indie film-style" movie about our fictional wedding (think David Lynch meets Lord of the Rings). Then we rented a 1,000 seat movie theater, invited all our family and friends to huge party at the theater, and premiered our "wedding" on the big screen. It was a ton of fun and we didn't have to stand in front of everyone and say "I do" live. I think everyone liked it (the film got a lengthy standing ovation at the end and lots of laughs and tears during). No one knew in advance that we weren't actually getting married there at the theater. They all thought it was going to be a "movie premiere-themed wedding" and not an actual movie premiere. Boy were they surprised!

We thought we'd get some flak from a few family members but surprisingly, everyone loved it. I think the whole experience was so overwhelming that no one realized that we never stood up and "I do'd" to each other in the presence of our families.

--- Mark
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Old November 8th, 2004, 08:17 PM   #4
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Sounds great!

Ben
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Old November 9th, 2004, 12:05 PM   #5
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wow looks like a really cool concept. Nice stills.

What camera did you use for the low light shooting?

I assume you used DV Rack to set up the shots.
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Old November 9th, 2004, 01:26 PM   #6
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Ransom,

We used the Panny DVX100 which worked very well and of course DV Rack.

<COMMERCIAL ALERT>Everyone on the crew was in agreement that we wouldn't have gotten nearly the same result without DV Rack, primarily because we could instantly split screen between live and previously recorded shots and even zoom in to check areas. Because it was so quick we were able to do playback to check every shot. It also saved me all the capturing from tape (I did record everything to tape as well, but the tapes were never touched, we edited the clips captured to hard drive as we shot). It was also nice that all the clips were marked good / bad / best as we shot. </END COMMERCIAL ALERT> (NOTE: In case you didn't notice my sig, I work at Serious Magic).

Back to the topic at hand, perhaps what we did with our wedding could be a useful idea to create a unique "package" that event videographers can offer their clients. If you've got an adventerous couple to whom the video is really important (and are willing to dedicate a fair part of the wedding budget), why not offer to shoot a "real" movie-style short for their wedding?

We did it this way because, in part, the video commemoration of the event was equally (if not more) important to us than the actual event itself. Being video folk, we knew that there was literally no way to create the high quality "movie" of the wedding we dreamt of and have the wedding at the same time. So we decided split them up. Unorthodox, yes but it worked like gangbusters. We've had dozens of people who were there tell us that it was by far the *best* wedding they had ever been to, had heard of, or could even imagine (this includes several recent brides).

Of course, we put a lot of effort into it. Our invitations were full color, actual movie posters for our "fictitious" film "The Wedding Surprise". All of the guests were asked to come dressed (and behaving) like Hollywood celebrities attending a real 'red carpet' premiere. We hired actors to create a mob of screaming fans and paparazzi that created literal pandemonium outside the theatre. As the guests went down the red carpet outside they were besieged with fans / press wanting autographs, interviews, etc. It looked exactly like a huge red carpet walk in Hollywood and every guest got to feel like Brad Pitt or Jennifer Aniston.

Here are a couple of pictures:

The Movie Poster / Invitation
http://66.240.157.66/personal/randal...er---Small.jpg

The Red Carpet "VIP" Passes
http://66.240.157.66/personal/randal...g/VIP-Pass.jpg

Some of the screaming fans / paparazzi
http://66.240.157.66/personal/randal...790_edited.jpg

It was a ton of fun (the newspaper even did a major write-up on it).

--- Mark
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Old November 9th, 2004, 03:25 PM   #7
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Wow, sounds like a great idea... something my gf would love for us to do (the question of filming our wedding has already come up, and yes the look on my face was very much akin to the one in the poster)... While everything looks terrific, the costs of it looks astronomical.. (hiring actors as papparazzi??) oy vey..

i could definitely appreciate all the effort put forth into it and it looked very well done, would it be possible for the posting of the final product?

Also, call me a newbie but what's the Dv Rack? never heard of it before altho it seems it could be useful in all indie film productions. do tell :)
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Old November 9th, 2004, 04:14 PM   #8
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Vishal,

You can find out more about DV Rack at www.seriousmagic.com.

The whole movie & hollywood premiere "wedding" didn't cost nearly as much as anyone who attended thought it did. A little cleverness and negotiating can go a long way.

The local newspaper quoted me as saying, "The last thing I'd want is to be bored at my own wedding". And I sure wasn't, (and neither was anyone else). Some of my more, ahem, 'jaded' friends later observed, "So you basically got your fiance to put a big part of your wedding budget toward doing your own indie short film and premiere party". I said, "SHHHH!!!"

If you can get your GF to go for it, I highly recommend it. ;-)

I've sent you an email with further details and links re: the wedding.

--- Mark
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Old November 9th, 2004, 04:24 PM   #9
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Hey, thanks mark, much appreciate it.. i took a quick look @ the website (am @ work, can't seem to be slacking off TOO much) and didn't see any software compatibility with Macs (yes i'm a machead). Would there be future versions that are OSX compatible or even any current versions? all looks very interesting.

thanks again for the home email.. will look forward to checking it out @ home... just counting the hrs...
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Old November 10th, 2004, 08:43 AM   #10
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There isn't a DV Rack for the Mac. Don't think they'll be one because it uses MS DirectX a lot.

I've used the demo version and it is a really awesome. I plan to purchase soon.
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Old November 10th, 2004, 11:17 PM   #11
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Vishal,

Ransom is correct. Due to the way that DV Rack works, there won't be a Mac version any time soon. However, DV Rack does output files compatible with Mac editors like Final Cut Pro and Avid.

--- Mark
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Old November 11th, 2004, 04:46 PM   #12
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Mark,

Definitely looks interesting. Must of been a lot of hard work! Is there a way I can view your finished film? I'd sure like to see it.

Christopher
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Old November 12th, 2004, 01:24 AM   #13
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<<<-- Originally posted by Christopher Lefchik : Mark,

Definitely looks interesting. Must of been a lot of hard work! Is there a way I can view your finished film? I'd sure like to see it.

Christopher -->>>

I second that. Both my friend and I also think it a really neat idea and would love to see a copy.....Mabey my fiance.....no probably not :-)
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Old November 13th, 2004, 06:33 PM   #14
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Ok, well it's kind of personal (meaning not meant for public consumption), since it was created for family and friends only. But since you guys have a "professional" interest, you can check out what we created did at:

http://www.TheWeddingSurprise.com/

The videos are in the Film and Photos section. The movie itself starts slow and ends big

--- Mark
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Old November 21st, 2004, 10:40 PM   #15
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Great job Mark. So nice to see you on the other side of the camera.

Thanks for editing Karl's hour and a half acoustic set down to one song:)

Congratulations!

Also, good to see you married .. up.
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