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


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Old October 28th, 2009, 08:22 PM   #1
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how is your 'full coverage' like?

one of my photographer mate gave me a wedding DVD done by other studio. It was the usually full coverage + highlight service. I checked that out yesterday, the highlight was the usual stuff, but I was suprised by the full coverage.

The 'full coverage' is basiclly unedit raw footage put into a single timeline. Maybe the editor took out some bad shots, but the clips is basiclly shot as the videographer went, the audio wasn't normalize and the footage wasn't edited with a logic flow. Is that usual in the industry? I don't really know since I only work for one company.

In the company I work for, the full coverage is music set with preparation, and intro to reception and ending, audio must be processed and normalize in ceremony and speech, the flow of the video must be logical, the color of the picture must be normal (a bit color grading, make sure 2 camera footage matched).

I would like to know which form of 'full coverage' is the usual one.
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Old October 29th, 2009, 02:34 AM   #2
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I donít think you should be surprised - itís just an incompetent working in the same field as
you, someone who obviously has higher standards.

I watched a competitorís work recently too and was appalled by the camera work, the jump
zooms to correct unexpected changes in layout, the lack of focus - or rather the reliance in
autofocus and never mind when the focus shifted off the subject - and editing which showed
the complete inability to tell a story coherently.

The depressing thing is that some parts of our markets canít see whatís wrong with the
incompetentsí work and are prepared to pay good money for rubbish. But then people pay
incompetents in every trade; garages, hairdressers, computer repairs, you name them.

Our only consolation must be that the people who choose us invariably describe us in the
same words, ďa cut above the restĒ. Pride in our work and a clear conscience are invaluable
and I always know weíve given our customers good value for money.
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Old October 29th, 2009, 04:55 AM   #3
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Philip, just a thought, I wonder why you don't have samples of your work online. surely this would be beneficial to you in attracting potential clients!
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Old October 29th, 2009, 05:35 AM   #4
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And not because we haven't thought of it either John, so it's kind of you to ask.

There are a number of technical issues, not least of which is copyright release. We take advantage of and pay for PPL licences but these do not cover public display and although most people seem to ignore it, the Internet is public display. One day the record companies will notice and drop like a ton of bricks on such displays and as a 30-year contractor to the MCPS including as a publisher of commercially sold DVDs, I don't want to be amongst those paying up or taking down.

Perhaps more importantly we don't make short form programmes. Each client buys a full wedding video and a "Dream" wedding - a summary. A short sample on the internet wouldn't convey the product, which is why we never expect people to book us at wedding fairs but only when they've see the demo disk. That contains the major sections of a typical wedding (excluding music) and, an interview in which I describe the specific USPs of our service.

The nearest we come to a sample of the sort I think you mean, is in the two programmes we run on our wedding fair stands. These run on two identical 22inch HD screens mounted one above the other on a single chrome Unicol stand and play in HD from WD media streamers. They're heavily titled. designed to run silently, capture people's attention and hold it for the 30 seconds it takes for us to wrap up one conversation and get a demo pack (a C5 silver foil envelope containing two brochures and a Demo DVD) into their hands. If we fail we hope the titling will have conveyed the essential USPs and they'll have accepted the invitation to take a pack which an A4 poster conveys.

A third, less important consideration is that we don't impose on clients in the way that the OP and many producers in the US, Australia and NZ seem to do. I could never produce the sort of programme that the OP does - it's an excellent piece as you'd expect from someone who posed the sort of question he did - and it's certainly not bad criticism but we simply don't record or sell that sort of programme.

Finally, to demonstrate that all this is just one person's flawed opinion, we've just purchased a banner stand that will go on the table at wedding fairs and stick up 1.6m x800mm declaring in bold letters what we make. This is because in spite of an original 2m x 800mm banner and two TVs we still find punters wandering up to the stand, perhaps thinking that we're giving away blocks of Dairy Milk, and muttering as if they've just realised, "Oh Videos". It remains to be seen whether it works!
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Old October 29th, 2009, 09:38 AM   #5
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Hi Guys

That "full coverage" sound more like raw footage to me.

The only "highlight" I do is a shortened version of the ceremony online which we host privately for the bride for 3 months.

All my weddings are done documentary style (that's where my market is) and I usually do a series of clips, groom prep, bride prep, arrival, ceremony, congrats, photoshoot, reception arrival, guest comments and the usual bouquet, cake, garter etc etc. These are assembled within a DVD menu and each is a movie on it's own with a title, edited content, adjusted audio and music. They normally end up with around 80 mins of video in total but nothing is raw whatsoever. They can watch "All the movies" or individual ones of their choice vis the DVD menu. That's what I consider "full coverage" as I have given them a faithful reproduction of their day from start to finish!!!

Last year I foolishly ordered a wedding videography course "with 9 DVD's covering the entire wedding from start to finish for on $39.95!!!" What I actually got was a PDF file with a few hints and tips on a CD and then 9 DVD's of pure raw footage ....bad audio, out of focus shots and worse stuff not even worth mentioning" ...When queried I was told that the 9 DVD's represented full coverage!!! (He no longer sells these on eBay!!!!)

The only true representation of full wedding coverage is a professionally presented DVD with slick, fully edited video of the day sticking to the storyline!!!

BTW Phillip, We are allowed to use commercial music on the DVD here with an APPRA licence BUT we cannot host it online !!! My online versions use Smartsound music!!!

Chris
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Old October 29th, 2009, 09:48 AM   #6
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our full day edit is also tidied up and no more messy bits like running around zoom in zoom out stuff. basic edit.. but tidy. the one you mentioned sounded like semi raw footage to me. how can people do such a bad job... annoys me.
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Old October 29th, 2009, 10:37 AM   #7
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This is a good subject as I've often wondered this myself. It's relatively easy to come up with 4-5 minutes of highlight reel footage, yet a heck of a lot more work to edit a 2-3 camera ceremony with the photo shoot coverage, speeches, and reception on top of that. I'll spend up to 30-40 hours on that, trying to iron out the rough spots, making the event seem even better than it was. I once spent over 1/2 an hour just editing a bad first kiss (the first kiss was a little peck from the groom, the bride complains 'come on that wasn't a good kiss' and they try again, which wasn't much better. Go to slomo, meld the two kisses, take out the brides audio. Revisionist history.

I've often thought about just marketing the highlight reel only. Because the relentless pursuit of excellence over a full wedding is tough.
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Old October 29th, 2009, 10:52 AM   #8
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Maybe the OP has opened up an interesting thread here. What do we all mean by “Full Wedding”?

Susanto refers to tidying up a full day edit which I guess isn’t what the OP and I would call our full wedding video - ie a proper documentary programme - colour graded images, sound eq’d and mixed down from eight or more channels (NOT normalised!), three camera multicammed etc. which is then authored with motion menus etc.

We use the term “Full” to describe the client’s specification of material recorded during the shooting period they also specified but made into a properly edited, documentary style programme.

Interestingly on Saturday I’m presenting the first edit to a couple who, in addition to the specifications of what they wanted included, also specified it should be the “maximum length possible”. Of course I lectured them gently about viewer fatigue and how only films and US football on TV last three hours and they came round to my way of thinking in principle.

My instinct like most of yours I expect is to limit the disk to about 90 minutes of material at about 7000Kb/s. The problem here was that the ceremony edited (omitting the hymns, compressing the register signing and omitting everything not relevant) ran 33 minutes. The reception speeches ran 46 minutes thanks to a very good Best Man and a loquacious Groom plus a lack of organisation of the presents given to the entire wedding party. With the couple’s consent I took 12 minutes out of the 46 but as you can see, I still have only about 25 minutes for the intro, drinks on the lawn, the receiving line, first dance, dance with father,
dancing with the nieces etc and the release of Chinese lanterns.

In the end I suggested using dual layer disks so I could give all three programmes, Full, Dream and a short Outtakes programme a full run at 8000Kb/s maximum. The problem I now have is that on my Samsung Blu-ray player the second layer won’t play beyond the next chapter point. I can select a chapter manually which it then repeats. It plays fine and looks stunning on all my upscaling DVD players but the Blu-ray thing is bothersome. I’m pursuing the problem on a relevant forum.

Chris, it’s good to hear that good sense prevails in Australia also over copyright music. The sad thing is that many wedding video companies in the UK still don’t bother to pay! I'm not sure I have the patience to go back in and re-lay Smartsound music once the programme's finished!
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Old October 29th, 2009, 12:38 PM   #9
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everyone's package are design in an unique way (sort of)

Mine has a full day edit which is documentary style with natural sounds (put music on noisy background sound only)
cut it to around 90-120 mins worth. Audio basic fix whether its eq'd or normalised whatever it is to make it sound decent.. color grade 3 color wheel just to make sure everything is not too bright/dark.. and bam.. hit compressor..

We don't put too much effort on full day edit because we are more concentrating on the highlight with songs and everything.. so far it works fine and nobody ever complained. I do this because I feel that this is the sort of package that I would be happy for if I were the client. I wouldn't really watch the documentary as much as I would with the highlight.

But still, the quality is good. not so much like raw footage..

I can generally edit the full day edit in 10-12 hours approx. still trying to push it further to 8.. getting there now..

Hope it helps.

Santo
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Old October 29th, 2009, 01:38 PM   #10
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Full coverage includes 3 hours prior to the ceremony, the ceremony & reception... all based on the length of the package. Of course you can add rehearsal dinner coverage, highlight video, etc. as well.

I recently saw a one dude's sample DVD. This guy doesn't put his video online because he says the quality of a DVD is so much better than online... but whatever.
Anyways... saw his reel. The packaging was great but the content was PATHETIC. It was one of those 'documentary' style deals where there is hardly any editing. The term 'documentary' isn't even accurate. More 'home movie' style. Really, really bad stuff. The guy boasts no time limits... so 3 hours or 13 hours, it's all the same.

I just can't imagine what his 'full feature' length DVD could be considering his samples were, well... puke.
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Old October 29th, 2009, 03:03 PM   #11
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thanks everyone for your input!

when I edit the full coverage, I always put myself into normal viewer's point of view and see if I understand what is the STORY for that day. I think to core element of the documentary style edit is you are telling a story and make sure the viewer understand the story. Putting 'usable footage' together is just a record of what videographer filmed.

About the length of the final product, I won't try to limit it to 90mins because it depends on the speeches. If it goes over 90mins, bad luck for us to burn one more DVD. Anyway, 90% of our wedding fit into one DVD.
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Old October 29th, 2009, 04:59 PM   #12
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Arn't we forgetting our audience?

this isn't for a wide audience, it's not for people who don't know the couple - if fact it's mostly for people who were actually there. The normal viewer 'knows the story' and was most probably involved in it.

While I create highlights of preparation & reception and a highlight of the whole day, I include all the usable footage I have (similar amount of post work as Santo). I don't cut the ceremony down, it's always complete.

Who am I to make a judgement about what should & shouldn't be included? I have chapters so they can watch or skip various sections but if they want to 'relive' the entire day - they can
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Old October 29th, 2009, 05:10 PM   #13
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I agree we are not in a position to make any judgment on what to include or how to edit a full coverage. It simply up to studio, editor and client.

But I think this kind of discussion is healthy since the goal of this forum and as a wedding videographer is to increase the value of the product as an industry so that more bride use wedding video rather than no video at all.
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Old October 30th, 2009, 04:19 AM   #14
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The coverage is an issue that we're thinking about often. At the moment, we offer full coverage, but thanks to multicamera we have the ability to take out every bad shot and give the proper result. But Greek ceremonies are a strange thing, and I mean there are no words and speeches and all the nice things I see in North America weddings. Just the priest talking in the old Greek language (which nobody understands fully). So, there are long times that nothing really happens. There the only thing you can do (and we do) is to search for small things that happen around, faces, kids playing and other nice stuff so you can have a proper flow. You can do that or you can edit the piece into something smaller with more substance.

If I was always the groom, I'd prefer the second option. I'd like to see a ceremony with the important parts, so I can I watch it again and again. But because not all grooms (and brides) are the same, the couples we work with, always love to watch the full stuff (of course properly edited) and as said already, there is always the "Chapter Select" option. For now, we're keeping the full coverage but I wouldn't mind changing that, if people start thinking otherwise (we're actually surveying that right now).
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Old October 30th, 2009, 06:55 AM   #15
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Hi Dimitris

I sympathise with you!! I had to do a Copic Ceremony and it was almost exactly as you say (I think it's an Egyptian religion) I carefully put a radio mic on the groom and both the bride and groom never uttered one word during the 60 minute ceremony. It was just the priest, the choir group who sang a lot and various other members of the officials that also sang a lot. Apart from hearing the bride and grooms name a few times I couldn't understand a word that was said. I too used a lot of cutaways so it wouldn't be boring...the ceremony finished with about 1 min of tape left on the main camera!!!

The point I wanted to make also here is that most brides ask me to omit the mass and homily sections of Catholic weddings to avoid the ceremony video being too long!!! Even with the ceremony "shortened" it is still considered "full coverage" The Catholic ceremony is usually 45mins to 60 mins but if you drop the homily (that's when the priest gives the couple lots of fatherly advice for around 15 - 20 mins) and the actual mass (usually not filmed as it's considered sacred) then it drops down to around 20 minutes.

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