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


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Old March 22nd, 2005, 11:23 AM   #1
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Ever Considered Wedding Videography Training? *long*

In the last few years I've seen the onset of video based training material marketed specifically for wedding videographers. There is formal training for electricians, RN's, Interior Decorators, Plumbers, etc... well you get the idea. However, despite there being training material covering standard concepts in cinematography there seemed to be a void for material that is geared SPECIFICALLY for the Wedding Videography genre. This may not be.... any longer.

I wanted to take some time to decribe one of these pieces of training material I recently viewed. Mark Von Lanken, which some of you already know, and whom has also been a contributing member to the DVinfo site has a selection of the training material for Wedding Videographers for sale (http://www.tulsaweddingvideos.com/videographers.shtml) . I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with Mark & Trish's work but in a few brief words it's breathtaking, beautiful, and incredibly inspirational. Their work has long been one of top 5 consumate inspirations.

Below is a review I wrote up about their "Breaking out of the Box" DVD training video. I did my best to be quite comprehensive- though keep in mind this is yet an abbreviated synopsis of what is contained in the video.


Breaking out of the Box is a training video geared specifically for the Wedding videographer. The purpose of the DVD is indicative of
the title, to show you how to "break out of the box" with your own wedding video productions. This includes how to break the mold of
using video and audio linearly and how to make the best use of your environments for good composition and artistic shooting, among
many others.

The DVD has a very polished and professional appearance- the menus are clean and well laid out, and the video is very crisp and clear
throughout. The menus have the option of toggling commentary on and off and you have the option of doing so at any time while
watching the video by using the audio button on your DVD remote. The commentary is provided by Trish VonLanken, which isn't
distracting at all due to the fact she has such a soft, soothing voice. Though I suggest watching each piece with and without the
commentary. That way you can take the piece in with all it's included audio without battling with with the commentary audio, though
the volume is adjusted so you can hear both if need be. She does a fantastic job of offering insight into the shot acquisition and
selection throughout, as well as the overall methodology of the editing and sequences.

The DVD is broken up into 6 sections that encompass the primary sections of a wedding production. They include Preparations,
Ceremony, Photo session, First Dance, Highlight, and Closing. Each section houses a sub menu with a list of 2-5 examples of each:

Preparations

Covers the bridal and groom prep segments. It explains various subjects including special considerations to keep in mind when filming
brides with full-figures to the compression of time with the slick use of voice overs. A before and after example is shown displaying
how they lifted the audio of a minister's opening prayer and used it out of chronological order over footage of the bridal and groom
prep. They also show examples of editing rhythmically to the beat. Finally they show how they transition from the preparations
segment right into the ceremony seamlessly.

Ceremony

This section covers different way to cover the actual ceremony. They show how to compress time in a ceremony with the use of
cutaways and explain how to not limit your footage to just content shot that day, including footage from earlier photo session and/or
bridal elegance shoot. They also show examples of timing your edits to the highpoint in your audio tracks, and tactful use of slow
motion to maximize dramatic effect.

Photo session

Different examples are shown how to cover the photo session segment. Two contrasting pieces are shown as examples. One was a
very light hearted piece consisting of unstaged shots. The music is upbeat and fun and describe how they vary their editing style to
match the faster pace. The other consists of music video with all staged shots acquired during the 45 minutes they had during the
photo session. Lip-synced to the music perfectly with use of a boom box on location- it was quite a unique piece.

First Dance

Various examples of the first dance are shown. They show how to balance a two cam shoot for the best coverage and how to slow
down the more expressive shots to better convey the emotion. They also show examples of how to compress time by using the cake
cutting and bouquet & garter sections with the first dance. They further describe the use of color and b&w to help contrast these
segments with the first dance. Even more examples of using the environment and foreground elements to create more interesting
compositions are also shown.

Highlight

This section covers the highlight/recap segment of wedding video production that is often very popular with clients. They cover the
importance of shooting establishing shots and continue to show examples of how to compress time and tell the story of the entire
wedding day in a single 3-5 minute recap. They show how the audio in the vows can be used in a more reflective manner, and how to
work around church restrictions for camera placement. Examples are also shown how they pair shots that match up with the lyrics of
songs.

Closing

The closing segment is separate from the highlight. It's more of an interview style, voice-over driven piece which is a reflection of the
day recounted by the couple themselves. They explain what kind of questions to ask the couple to best elicit emotional and descriptive
responses. They also show a before and after with the first being just the interview footage with the couple and latter being the
finished piece with music, and cut-away shots that correlate with the details from the day they are describing.



Breaking out of the Box is one of four DVD training videos from the VonLankens (http://www.tulsaweddingvideos.com/videographers.shtml). The others include Wedding Day Edits, Cinematic Love Stories, and an example of a Demo CD. Breaking out of the Box is easily one of my favorite from the set. It's not as specialized as the
Wedding Day Edits and Cinematic Love Stories, thus it's more applicable to the general wedding videographer. I found this DVD to be
incredibly educational; not only am I able to view and study very artistic and masterfully edited wedding videography but I can access
a commentary track that gives you great descriptive insight into each piece. It covers every major segment that wedding videos
consist of and gives artistic and insightful descriptives to help bring your own wedding video productions to the next level,"breaking
out of the box".

I highly recommend this to any wedding videographer. The DVD has content that appeals to both aspiring newcommers to seasoned pros. Practically anyone can learn a great deal from this video and I can honestly say it has been instrumental in the growth of my own wedding videography.
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 08:15 PM   #2
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I have Mark and Trish's wedding DVDs and I can say they are the best I've seen. I'll second Glen's words!
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Old April 13th, 2005, 08:54 AM   #3
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This post is nothing but an advertisement spam.. You should be ashamed of yourself.. This awful..

How do I know this, because your spam at 6:53am I just ordered a copy.. Order placed.. Thanks very much for the link and info, I've been looking for something like this.. I'm a sucker for Video training on video..
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Old April 13th, 2005, 10:27 PM   #4
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interesting comments.

very valid points there too, however the information provided is also very valid for those seeking tutorage
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Old April 14th, 2005, 08:22 AM   #5
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Let me apologize, I was trying to be funny.. I have nothing but big THANK YOU's for that posting.. It's always fun and exciting to be able to look at how someone else approaches something..

I really didn't think it was spam.. Again my apologies..


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Old April 14th, 2005, 09:13 AM   #6
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No problem at all- I caught the sarcasm, Peter might have missed it.
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Old April 14th, 2005, 10:21 AM   #7
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Glen...

EDUCATION is the single most important component for creating a successful Wedding and/or Event business. Mark and Trisha's newest offering "THE ART OF MOVING CAMERA TECHNIQUES" absolutely defines what quality video EDUCATION and TRAINING is all about. They are the best.

I've been in the video business over 25 years... and their work is, without question, in the upper 5% in the entire country. Combine that with an ability to teach... and it's a powerful one-two punch.

Anywhere you can get more EDUCATION... please do take the opportunity. Be it here, or WEVA or 4EVERGroup... take advantage of the wisdom that's out there.

Emphasis on the latest EQUIPMENT isn't the way to go.
EDUCATION and INSPIRATION is.


Ken Ehrhart
SUMMIT Productions
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Old April 14th, 2005, 11:11 AM   #8
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One big bundle price?

Glen, if you have any influence, do you think you could persuade Mark and Trisha to add their latest release, Moving Camera Techniques, to their bundle? I'm a sucker for bundle packages, and I might as well go for everything at once.
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Old April 14th, 2005, 11:44 AM   #9
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David, why not just contact them and ask for a discount if you buy everything at once? They will say yes or no. I predict yes.
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Old April 14th, 2005, 12:10 PM   #10
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I just asked

They said no.
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Old April 14th, 2005, 03:20 PM   #11
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Hi Ken,

<<<-- Originally posted by Ken Ehrhart : Glen...
"EDUCATION is the single most important component for creating a successful Wedding and/or Event business. "

I know we're on the same page about inspiration and creating your own style. That is one of the reasons Mark and Trisha's series is so universally useful to people. It doesn't show you what to create, but rather gives you more tools to create with. Mark and Trisha stress that in their DVD - not to copy the style but to use the techniques to expand on your own.

Ken said:
"Emphasis on the latest EQUIPMENT isn't the way to go."

Amen.
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Old April 14th, 2005, 05:21 PM   #12
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Hey Ken- welcome to the forum!
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