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


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Old December 6th, 2004, 11:03 AM   #1
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My First Wedding ( video montage )

Thanks to everyone pointers, hints, and sharing of knowledge, as well as inspiration by the works of Glen Elliott ( a fellow Vegas user ) I have delivered my first wedding video. Shot with XL1s, and a slight paranoia that something would go wrong, I believe that everything turned out OK. What do you guys think?
Here is a sample montage I included in the beginning of the tape:
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Old December 6th, 2004, 11:31 AM   #2
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Rafal,


Looks good. Some creative shots in there. I have two suggestions. I had trouble reading the text at the beginning of the video. Consider making it white instead of black so it pops out a little more. Also, i like the vignette, but it may be a little strong. Perhaps pull it back just a little so you can see the picture a little better. Otherwise, great stuff!


peace
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Old December 6th, 2004, 11:47 AM   #3
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Thanks Jesse. For some reason the vignette really shows in a higher compressed format such as .wmv, on DVD it comes through much nicer.
Thanks for your suggestion about the text.
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Old December 19th, 2004, 01:19 PM   #4
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Thankyou i learned through waching this, im in the middle of my first wedding too. I liked some of the effects you used, and you got some really good shots. Your use of fades kinda kgves the darker bits of the footage a more natural feel, which is good.
However, i feel it was a bit to 'arty' for a wedding. I feel the shot of the brides leg n stocking was a little inappropriate. Not that it may not be used else where but where you put it didnt fit. I was looking for a feeling to develop watching it. Whenever the feeling developed something happened to break it. There were far to many cuts in the church,and some of the stuff would do really good if you were doing a promo for an event or something, but is a little mutch for a wedding. Thats just an opinion anyway, but you could put this in as an extra bit or alternative cd, or even use bits of it in your main wedding dvd. Also the fade transition was used too much, as was the white flash. Maybee your audio helped, (i cant hear it as prob with my soundcard).
Hope this isnt too critical, if you saw my first attempt, you woud be horrified.!!! Shame i dont have web space to put it on.
Anyway, overall, well done.
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Old December 19th, 2004, 06:35 PM   #5
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Hi Rafal,

Weddings aren't my forte however I strongly agree with Michael in that whenever the feeling developed something happened to break it and overall the composition seemed "choppy". By saying that what I mean is I never really knew what I was looking at, the shots seemed as if they were randomly arranged on the timeline.

One of the shots that I particularly liked was the arrival of the car followed by the pan into the cabin.

I'm not sure how much freedom you had in the position of the camera for the vows but I would have opted for a framing more perpendicular to the couple.

I'm sure the happy couple will be over the moon with your work and it certainly doesn't show as a first time effort. Keep up the good work.

Michael - I notice you're from my neck of the woods (near enough anyway). Nice to see a little British relief from all these crazy yanks. ;)
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Old December 20th, 2004, 04:54 AM   #6
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Yes, agreed, i remember that shot going into the car. Was quite good.
James, ha ha. Yea beenis sight for a while now is really usefull. Just have to translate some of the american terms a little! But there are many brits too.
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Old December 20th, 2004, 11:43 AM   #7
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Michael and James

Thanks for the feedback. This being just a recap of events leading to the "I DO", I was trying to show what was going on on that day which might be why it's giving off the "choppy" feeling. Everything in the clip is in chronological order. As far as the camera during the service, I had no control over it al all. The minister told us where we can keep the stationary camera, and the second camera could film as long as it was not in the church, so I sneaked onto the balconyand hurriedly captured the shot as the couple is walking away from the altar. The worst part was that the service was so short that by the time I walked to the balcony ( about 4 minutes ), the ceremony was over. Anyway, after this I decided to jack up what I charge for shooting a wedding, hoping that nobody will hire me for that puprose, however if they do, the money will pay for the therapy sessions and Prozac afterwords :-)
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Old December 20th, 2004, 11:58 AM   #8
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In this case youve done a damn good job. You jacking up your prices, and getting another camera would help. So if you have awkward ministors he might let you leave one on a tripod somewhere. I hate weddings to. Ive only done 1 proper one and trying to edit it is a nightmare. You are so aware that so and so gives so and so a hacky look, or that they are really bored or disguisted or not happy with something, and there is nothing you can do to change their faces.
I was gonna cut mine, as a friend suggested. But im just doing the whole lot in real time, as i hired a second camera. If they turn around and say that they want bits cutting out, ill have fun and make them a cheesy magasine of their wedding, and a couple of miuckey takes. mind you i do know them.
I have a shot of my mate (groom) dressed like a tramp in rehersals, saying his vows. I could cut this in to original and depict a man who never even got dressed up for his wedding. Then cut a few shots of the empty church to make it look like no one turned up. He he. Oh and theres alsorts i could do to the brides mother... he he.
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Old December 20th, 2004, 01:20 PM   #9
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Rafal, your wedding montage had a nice look, but I do not feel that it was well shot. As a wedding videographer, you should be a documentarian who sits back and films what is happening, not planning out shots and telling them what to do. The couple will want to use this montage as a way to remember the little things that occured over the course of their big day, not you telling them to look this way or to sit still. One of the big ones for me was the shot of the bride in the limo. I am willing to bet that that did not happen naturally. If it did, I'm sorry, but it should not be in there. And I am in complete agreement with Michael, the shot of the stocking being pulled up was totally inappropriate.

Sali from Cali
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Old December 20th, 2004, 09:14 PM   #10
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<<<-- Originally posted by Salvador OHara : Rafal, your wedding montage had a nice look, but I do not feel that it was well shot. As a wedding videographer, you should be a documentarian who sits back and films what is happening, not planning out shots and telling them what to do.


Salvador: And what authority demands this of wedding videographers? What gives any one of us the right to tell another videographer how he should shoot his productions or deal with his clients? Opinions and constructive critique are a must for all us but it's not fair to condemn a style because it doesn't conform to one's own ideals.

For the record, I've never staged a wedding day shot; not my style. However, I could point you to some amazing work by contributors on this very forum who stage shots and produce quality videos for their clients!

Mossy
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Old December 20th, 2004, 09:15 PM   #11
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Hi Rafal,

Nice work for your first wedding and it shows lots of potential. Structure was a problem and it didn't tell a coherent story for me, hence the "choppy feel". Can I be bold enough to strongly disagree that it's too arty... I'd suggest you try to develop the artistic nature of your work. Think about why you're shooting/editing each of your choosen shots and be quite deliberate in why you choose them.... Some shots in your sequence lacked any substance (failed to tell/move forward a story) and seemed to be included for little reason.

Despite the history behind the closing balcony shot, it looks terrible; more so when you zoom in. I'd give a bit more thought to the likes of that in future and consider whether or not it's worth leaving in.

Hope some of this helps a little.

Mossy
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Old December 21st, 2004, 04:24 AM   #12
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were seing a ggod discussion develop here. Now i think i realise even moreso what im seeing. With this being a first event, the videoograher has excercised loads of different skills. Some are more appropriate to what one would do if filming a drama, which a lot of us aspire to make. Right, it is wrong to condem each other. I dont think this has really hapened here though. If i made a movie, spent ten million, and got spielberg to check and oversee my work, and he said it would be great, there would still be afterthought and critiism. The problem in television is that there is a lot of jelousy and pride and competition. This can lead to a spirit of criticism. I would have my work criticised because the disolve was a 16 frame dissolve instead of 14 frame, in an old job. Of course i later discovered that this critic had a few flaws of his own, that he considered insignificant! Fortunatley here we have a lot of positive criticism. Its the criticism of a mother in law that most people find most difficult!
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Old December 21st, 2004, 06:04 AM   #13
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<<<-- Originally posted by Michael Connor : Right, it is wrong to condem each other. I dont think this has really hapened here though. If i made a movie, spent ten million, and got spielberg to check and oversee my work, and he said it would be great, there would still be afterthought and critiism. -->>>

But I'm willing to bet Mr. Speilberg wouldn't tell you that you should climb into a box and express yourself in a specific style... Comments like "As a wedding videographer, you should be a documentarian who sits back and films what is happening, not planning out shots and telling them what to do" are not only unfair to Rafal but they are also insulting/disregarding the brilliant work of many respected videographers. As far as I can see, many couples enjoy this style - and who's to say that Rafal's couple didn't enjoy the manner and style employed by their videographer. I can accept that Salvador's words probably look a little harsher in print than what he intended... then again, maybe not...?

Criticism, good and bad, is a great thing and helps one to evolve in all walks of life. But I'm sure a large percentage of you will agree that it's important that we offer subjective suggestions and opinions and not stifle or try to box each other in with supposed rules written in stone.

Mossy
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Old December 21st, 2004, 10:46 AM   #14
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Guys, you have no idea how much I appreciate your constructive criticism, your suggestions, and your general comments. I want to address one specific point made by Salvador. Believe it or not I did not stage a single shot in there. The part where the bride is in the limo, I actually tried to capture her by surprise and what do you know, she was just sitting there, spaced out, looking outside. With the slow mo it does indeed make it look like it was staged. For the record, I love documenting but my style is "in your face" and everytime I deal with a potential client, I explain to them how I film, I show them samples of my work, and if they like what they see, they give me the job.
Just curious, because I saw this referenced twice in this thread, why do you guys think the shot of the bride pulling up her stocking was innapropriate? I personally don't see a problem with it but if it was up to you would you have done it differantly or simply skipped it?
Also, when you say choppy, what would you suggest? I guess what I tried to do was to place a small piece of the event leading to I DO in a chronological order. Should I stick with just one part of the day next time, such as the bridal preparation?
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Old December 21st, 2004, 11:21 AM   #15
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My First Wedding ( video montage )

Rafal,

Good job... Yeah sure I see a few things that maybe I would not have done, but I'm sure you did to after viewing it. After I did my first wedding, (1986) back before post editing was even a thought for me, 'cos PC was not what it is today. One thing I know for sure is that you will learn nothing new if you keep doing the same 'old things. My feeling is... If I can't have at least 90% control over the production of a wedding, meaning where cams will be setup, where I can go (and it's not like I'm gonna be in the way), and last but not least... Yes! I must have director rights. If not, let uncle Lenny shot it! ;-P

So once again, good job and it'll only get better.
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