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


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Old February 6th, 2005, 11:47 AM   #1
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videojournalistic wedding video?

Can anyone point me to a good example of videojournalistic style wedding video?
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Old February 6th, 2005, 09:56 PM   #2
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Photojournalistic video? What the hell is that?

I can tell you photo journalistic wedding photography is. Go to a wedding with half a dozen digital cameras and a half dozen assistants. Tell them all to take one photgraph of anything every second as long as they are there. Potty breaks are excepted.
At the end of the event you should have somewhere in the neighborhood of ten thousand photos, of which maybe 500 are decent, and maybe 50 good. None are stellar. In addition, you have the confidence of knowing you have blinded every guest at the the reception, and thoroughly annoyed the service staff and the videographer with your bad manners.
When it is all over, you have your clients convinced that real photo journalists are really lost idiots. You pocket a fair profit and have plenty of boasting rights at your next drinking binge.

Photojournalistic video? I pray it doesn't exist.
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Old February 6th, 2005, 10:22 PM   #3
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Sounds like someone's had a bad experience with a couple of photogs?

Doug,

I don't think that you can see a true sample without viewing a full tape. And it's not called videojournalistic style. It would be called documentary style for video. Anyway, it means that you get the shots you need without staging them and you record the events as they occur, you don't create them or make them happen.

Most of the weddings I produce are this style and the camera ops have to work to get quality shots without staging them. It can be challanging at times compared to a cinematic style in that you have to get the shots as the happen. The trade off is that everything is natural and you are an outside influence on the day. Most couples don't want a camera crew to be around them and noticeable throughout the day but they still want the great highlights, clean ceremony, etc. So you have to be on top of it to get everthing you need as it occurs.

In order to really see the style you need to watch a full tape and how the camera crew is around the couple without interacting with them. A highlights clip won't explain the technique as it's just the best shots put together.

Hope this helps.

Ben
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Old February 9th, 2005, 08:24 AM   #4
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i hate the doco style wedding for one reason..
theyre boring and have no replay value once viewed and absorbed.

the technique is really very simple, but u leave urself open to gaps as you vy for a place, as the discretion thats required can be a pain.

consider this..
coupls pay you god money to docuemtn their day.
If ur to busy tryin to be discreet, what excuse have u if u miss a choice moment?
discretion is good for most natural stuff like preps and ceremonies, but when u can shine and orgnaise a few shots (ie NOT stage or pose them.. but to get into a good position to film the natural element of whats happening) you should. this is what your paid to do.

i find it hard to sit back and watch a wedding video in the Doco style.. i really do.. it says nothign about the producer or the techniques used.. hell any corpo videographer can do this with his eyes shut..

The moral here.. for me.. im discrete.. i personally use DVX100s as theyre small, light and give me teh best image quality in its class.. Ive hought about goin the DSR570, but thts too obtrusive. im there to film the couple, not show people how big my toys are..
Now i dont stag shots, but i do have a couple of scenes which i liek to have filmed.. i dont get the groom to act silly, i dont ge the bridal party to make fools of themselves, i dont use Pinnacle hollywood effects cheese, i dont do the dogy soft focus lovey dovey crap..... instead i film the goings on within the co-ordination of the fotographer.. let THEM dictate what happens.. u just have to film it and cut it and make it look good.. use whatever filter which will ACCENTUATE the scene.. dont use effects to cover up a bad or semi bad shot.. ditch it altogether..
This natural recording style will be appreciated as will teh extra effor gone into creating teh finished piece.. and more importantly peole wont be bored..
Interviews..?? Col go ahead.. but runa 20w lamp with a diffuser so u dont burn peopls corneas.. run a shotgun mic and monitor waht u do.. but also make sure u have some cutaway footage, as people are jstu gonna get bored with it if u have half an hour of table interviews..

ive seen too many doco style vids made by people who do not have the understanding of the pacing thats required to cut something like this and retain the original flavour without the need of music or filters.....

Doco is that.. reall life.. but to be viewable, it needs to be cut wel.. real well..
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Old February 9th, 2005, 09:19 AM   #5
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I do what could be called documentary-style wedding videos, and most of my customers seem to be quite happy with the results. Even with run times as long as three hours, I have people telling me they watch the whole thing over and over again. Apparently some people enjoy watching video of themselves and their loved ones having a good time, and don't need a lot of fancy editing to help that along. I also offer "recap" editing and other such options for people who don't want to sit through the full video, but for the most part people seem to be happy with the plain approach. I think DVDs have helped a lot here, because you can put chapter points which allow people to skip ahead to what they want to see.

Conversely, my own wedding video was edited down to a mere 25 minutes, and my wife is still waiting for me to produce a more complete version from the master tapes I purchased. And she's one who doesn't like long, boring videos, so there's definitely some middle ground here.
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Old February 9th, 2005, 09:46 AM   #6
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Kevin hit the mark when he said that dvd's have helped this area tremendously. My clients have loved watching their full video and then having the chapter points to go right to the area that they want to watch.

Production techniques: Who said anything about being discrete to the point that you miss shots? That's the challenge, when you have to have the shot without getting people upset.

Peter,

It sounds like your shooting it the same as my crews but when the day is done you edit it into a different format. Maybe you have seen some really bad pieces of video where they just set the camera on a tripod in a corner of the room and let it roll. That's unprofessional and not what I'm producing!

I think that most people produce video in a doc. style and the difference is what you do with it in the edit room. I could send you some b-roll from a wedding and you could edit it as a full length doc style that's boring, or you could edit it as a faster paced version that completes the day in 30 min.

To me, cinematic video production is when you spend time working to acquire the shots that you want by staging the couple throughout the day. Once or twice doesn't count because that's natural. But if the camera operator makes a consistent effort to set up the shot with the couple then that falls into the cinematic area of my mind.

I think it's a difference of ideas on the subject. Production and post are two seperate area's and it's possible to shoot in a doc. style and edit in a cinematic fashion. I think that the original question referred to production technique and not editing technique so I addressed the production side of it.

Many methods for reaching the same conclusion: happy brides ^_^

Ben
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Old February 9th, 2005, 11:57 AM   #7
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Peter said "i find it hard to sit back and watch a wedding video in the Doco style.. i really do.. it says nothign about the producer or the techniques used.. hell any corpo videographer can do this with his eyes shut.. "

Really? It's the basics that contribute most to wedding video in my view. Things like composition, exposure, steady camera and clean audio. Let the natural action play out and with good editing technique, you have a compelling video. After all, the wedding movie audience is family and friends, not the general public.
Bob
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Old February 9th, 2005, 12:09 PM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by Waldemar Winkler : Photojournalistic video? What the hell is that?>>>

can't help you on that one WW. Videojournalism is the way many of the top event videographers describe theri work.
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Old February 10th, 2005, 08:02 AM   #9
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"It's the basics that contribute most to wedding video in my view. "

the basics are the fundamentals of the Wedding Presentation. I guess i wasnt clear in my expression here..

apologies here as readin gback i do seem to be quite harsh but in fact im not...

i shoot in a manner which can be considered Doco style.. I also use elements of the doco style. Its natural and its real. I use minimal effects and al my work is paced to turn the whole day into a story as oppsed to a series of sequences which dont intertwine.

I think it was Ben that mentioned the type of doco style where the cams on a set of sticks and just left there.. thas one thing i hate with a passion, and i know where ur coming from ben.. dont get me wrong.. see here in aus, i guess the guys who are producing this kinda of "style" realy dont know much about pacing. I dont wana bag them out, but in all honesty, theyr better suited to the "wow factor" kind of editing full of effects and meaningless shots as the material itsle fis very weak and the compositions really have no meaning behind them.

with regard to showing the full potential of the produciton studio, i think it was Bob that mentioned composition and exposure.. see for me, i feel that THAT element should come to the fore without question for EVERY shoot.
Irrespective of the style of choice or the thoughts going through your head on how you will be cutting any particular shot.
Personally, i believe ALL shots should be exposed and composed of in a manner which will offer you the power and flexibilty to create ANY style during the edit.
With golden material, you can cut into any style and make them seemless.. I use both styles.. but people dont even notice that theyre watching 2 differnt styles..
THIS is what i consider cinematic.. TThe subliminal flow and sequence of events where the viewer hasnt even realsied that the style itself has evolved, but theyre still hooked.. and they dont know why.. theyre constantly tryin to figure out what is next..

I guess the easiest way to explain it is to describe what i do..

I wont do that coz i dont wanna bore u.. LOL

im rambling now.. but you get the gist of the way every element has its place within the presentation. i guess ive just seen some really bad doco style ones which have put me off and bored me stupid with endless attempts at being natural.. a bit of variety never hurt anyone...

I find being a fly on the wall to be far more effective ;) but if i need a shot, ill do what needs to be done

going back

"But if the camera operator makes a consistent effort to set up the shot with the couple then that falls into the cinematic area of my mind."
Mate, its worse than that.. its called being an annoying bugger and people will hate you by the end of the night.. also if a videogrpaher needs to do this for almost every shot.. theres something wrong with him and shoudlnt be in teh Live Event game

Natural shots makes for beautiful imagery.. when people are posed theyre self concious and it looks like a cheap attempt at Days of our Lives.. .. not many ppl are used to being in front of that camera and their composer and acceptance of the camera in their face is quite obvious and ugly...

Its all about the cut.... if u have golden material, u can do ANYTHING with it..
Like i said. if a shot is done properly.. youre given the scope to create any style you choose..

I believe variety and pacing is the key to a good Presentaiton. Good colour, sound, composition and filming style creates the core fundamental of the satisfying finished product..

OH one other thing Bob, when you mention that the viewers are family and friends, I agree. But you also have to assume that some viewers are not.. when you think about it, about 90% of clients will be sending copies to people overseas or far away who couldnt attend. Then theres the future clients who will want to see some previous work.. so with this in mind, you must assume that even though the family and friends knwo each other, some other viewers are coming in blind. The general public WILL be viewing this if you want more work in the future..
so ther has to be that special SOMETHING to hook them in.. the material of family and friends is all good, but how many times can you show that same style using different families?? Does that make any sense?? I mean i do alot of Macedonian weddings. HUGE family affairs and the community gets into it.. BUT effectively... all the elements are identical.. its just with different people..
to segregate this from the rest of the pack, you have to add that something extra to it.. be it a cinematic scene of an intro, or a pre shoot..something anything.. unless u want to be like a mcdonals chain and have the same menu over and over again..

After all this IS business... and its the initial hook which get peoples attention first off.. then you have to show your versatilty and be able to offer the client anything they choose..
Havin the ability to adapt the business to a clients needs is essential in this game as there are so many tastes out there.. not to mention competition who are happy to undercut you to get the job.. ..

like i said.. i ramble alot.. but im passionate about what i do i guess.. like all of us..

ok ill shut up now..
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Old February 10th, 2005, 10:13 AM   #10
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I agree with you about the skill needed to shoot in videojournalistic or doco style. In general the production budget of a documentary is many many times that of a wedding video. Leaving the camera back in a corner isn't doco style its home movie style. If a doco is boring to you chances are you are not interested in the subject matter. Can you really make it less boring with a lot of contrived camera moves and a slew of special effects?
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Old February 11th, 2005, 09:58 AM   #11
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"Can you really make it less boring with a lot of contrived camera moves and a slew of special effects?"

LOL
good call, ill pay that.. and ur right.. theres only so much u can do without it becoming a venture into after effects...
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Old February 11th, 2005, 11:02 AM   #12
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Some favorite examples I have looked at are from Bluecore Media. They supposedly win many awards every year at WEVA. Take a look at some of their promo vids on the website. Very, very watchable quality stuff. I enjoyed viewing them and I don't even know any of those people!

regards,

-gb-
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Old February 11th, 2005, 07:49 PM   #13
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that guy is very talented for sure but nothing journalistic about it. Its all slomo, black and white, dutch angles, posed shots, music overlays camera moves up the yazoo. Heavily cinematic style accentuated by the extreme wide aspect ratio.
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Old February 20th, 2005, 02:02 AM   #14
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One thing is certain; I don't like "soap-opera" look with fancy glow effects.
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Old February 23rd, 2005, 12:11 PM   #15
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"Doco is that.. reall life.. but to be viewable, it needs to be cut wel.. real well.."

Peter that is exactly my point expressed succintly and accurately. Effects are often used to hide poor technique. Doco style IMHO just takes a lot more skill.
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