Soppy Wedding Presentations.. yurch at

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

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Old July 14th, 2005, 06:07 AM   #1
Inner Circle
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Aus
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Soppy Wedding Presentations.. yurch

what is up with that??
I mean yeah we all know about the love and romance kinda thing, but what about all the couples who are ravers (here in Aus, ravers refer to nightclub goers)
When i look back, i love it when i chat with a couple and they tell me, "Pete, were clubbers, we love house and trance and u can use whatever music u see fit"
Now to cut to THIS kind of music is so much more fun (to me and the couple in question anyway) and to be able to shoot naturally in this way and have fun at the shoot, (ie, be human) without having the need to present oneself as being overtly businesslike, is a blessing.

I just went over to a Jewish couples home to discuss their wedding requirements, and it turns out that once all the formalities are out of the way, the DJ's are breaking out the vynil and going hardcore. Now for a wedding this is unexpected, but im glad. Im glad i dont have to work with music which has been overused by other producers. Im glad i can use my own discretion with the tunage. Im glad i can cut to a pace of music which reflects my clients and their friends characters and demeaner on the day, and most importantly, im glad i dont have to present something in a way where a romantic element is created at the loss of a persons character.

Which leads me to my point..
Ive seen many wedding videos here and all of them have their merits on one way or another. Im not criticising, as peoples tastes are all different, but lately, i have seen many works from here as well as producer clients i train and i have to ask one question.
Where is the character?

Where is the individuality in these pieces which show the people for who they are? hm... i dunno.. maybe im missing something here...

i fell into that trap of creating things overtly cinematic, big sweeping shots and all that other typical stuff that u see on alot of demos...(which is one reason among many why i dont post clips, alot of my old stuff is what u see here) and even though it looks stunning and yes, my clients love it blah blah blah, when i look back at them, i think.. how empty.
Yes its technically good, but whats it missing?
Yes it shows alot of what went on but why does it feel like im tryin to show off my skills as opposed to showing off the couple?
Was it teh fact that i was starting out in business and tryin to make an imporession? I dont know.. as i have been in this game for many years, and ive never had anyone concerned about my "years"
But how much of the same thing are we gonna see??
Wheres the individual flavour? Everyone is different, so why are these Presentations im seeing all have a similar flavour?? whether their my own or someone elses?
Hell im guilty of it too, but being producers with probably the most artistic freedom in the industry, why does it all feel the same?
The same shots, the same words, the same effects, the same pace, the same music.. then to the next lot.. whch is pretty much the same..
Yeah Weddings are very linear, but do the clients really choose this cheesy music?

So i went a little crazy one night and thought id redo a whole prep shoot and left in afew choice spoken words. I also went natural with the filming style without overly cutting or setting up a shot, and the results were much better. Much better i mean it felt alive.. It felt fresh and it felt natural... It felt like a Doco as it was shot that way, but choice filters, grading and those spoken pieces really made a difference to the flavour of it.
My own remix of an old timeless Bon Jovi track (i cut out the bit where he says your clothes are still here.. lol ) , Robbie Williams Angel and afew other tracks also helped..
It showed the couple who they were, and it represented the preparation as they happend with a decent pace and with out the need to feel "when is this gonna end"

I took a risk and it paid off, and with that one job, i have scored another 6 from memory (just by using that one full presentation as the demo.. i dont use demo dvd's i use actual pieces i give to the client)

So where does that leave those of us who do this for a living?
Ive had to evolve with my clients to portray their true natures. Ive also adapted my editing style to a fresher rawer piece as oppsed to somethign which is so tightly cut that if u blink u miss out on it.
I dont want perfect. Perfect is plastic without character IMO. Yes its easy to do but at what cost?

Ive become lax with my filming style.. kinda, taking it easy on the day and having fun with the bridal party.
Im doing what needs done, but also gettin to know the clients intimately. ALso by the time the reception is rolling, most of the guests know me by name and want me to be their best man at their weddings. I usualy decline and offer my services though ;)

BUT the point im making is that i have had to evolve with each individual client. I have had to evovle with the guests and teh clients..

Evolution is good.. but how far does it go? When is it time to evolve?
When you get bored? Or when your clients look at your work and realise that youre showing the same play only with different actors?
Does your style change for each client or do u stick with what u think works?
Do we stick with the McDonalds production line of burgers until we get overweight with the same food? Ive noticed alot of work which is of that mould and yes it works, but is it TRUE to the client as an individual? Is it fair on the client to b represented in this way?

I dont know... each to their own, im just curious as to what people think about their artistic choices when cutting...

So what do you think? Am i wrong in thinking that originality has slowly died? What about ones own individuality as a producer and photographic artistic? Would you sacrifice that to fit in the mould??

i made my choice and im happy with it. Im crazy and eccentric and my clients know it. Im glad for that ;)
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Old July 14th, 2005, 06:50 AM   #2
Inner Circle
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Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
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The bit of a problem I have with your approach is that a wedding video is not about the videographer or about the art of video - it's a story about the couple. Anything you do must be focussed on communicating information about them and ideally your own personality should completely disappear from the picture. You sound like you want your video to tell a story about how you personally relate to the couple. That, IMHO, is opposite where you should go. Creativity and artistry comes into play when it allows you to create a video that leads the viewer into a close emotional understanding of the couple, their feelings and personalities. But unlike music videos or theatrical films where the presentation is at least partially about the artistry of video, your artistry as an end in itself it has no place in the wedding video. It's hard to communicate exactly what I mean here - I'm not saying you should allow your work to be formulation hacknyed and stale but rather make sure that your artistry is enhancing the communication about the couple and the event and does not become an end in itself in any manner. Your existence should not intrude into the events of *their* day - it's all about them, not about you..
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Old July 14th, 2005, 08:19 AM   #3
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valid points there.. if that is indeed what i was doing.. in fact what your sayin is what i have written only in different words..

The question of "what happened to character" is my point.

What ive been saying is that by using more of the rawer material, ( ie the "uglier" not so fancy shmancy shots etc) seems to add more of a personal touch than the kind of presentation which is attempting to be a showpiece presentation of the producers skill... Theres only so much wow-factor one can take before feeling nausious or a strange sense of dejavu

and how one shows that individuality of the client is the discussion. Is it evolving??

I dunno.. thats what this thread is for ;)
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Old July 14th, 2005, 09:03 AM   #4
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Location: Portland OR
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You make interesting points.

I feel it is critical that you create what the couple wants. For instance if the couple came to you because of the style of demo clips you have posted and those demos are the shmaltzy ones you speak of, well, that is what they like and want.

My vision is to have multiple styles of demos that people can pick from. Cinematic, docu, edgy and whatever else I can come up with. Let them pick and then I start to personalize it all from there.

I feel it is wise not to arbitrarily pick a style for a couple. Only with a firm understanding of what they want can you start approaching alternative styles. I also think it wise to run these ideas past them, heck even sell them on it before one starts cutting something really different.

Some couples may say "Great, cool, I would love something different". Some may not.

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Old July 14th, 2005, 09:37 AM   #5
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I could be way out of line here I hope I'm not because I'm building my business around my philosophy. I think these videos should be almost completely documentary, in that I always say to myself "50 years" meaning when the grand kids watch it (I try to forget about that whole 50% divorce rate thing) what will they be looking at and hearing, will it be pleasant to them. I desperately wan't to use classical music because it will never go out of style, I want to make it sappy and romantic and emotional because no matter what the couple is like now if they "make it" they will look back on that day with some fondness and I don't want MY video to make them think "gosh we were so young", I want them to say "gosh we were so in love". I think the candid shots are the best for giving the video character. If I want to make something that showcases my talents I will make a real movie. I just want to provide the couple something there family can watch "50 years from now". Thet being said these clips that people post that are technically perfect are wonderfull and I hope to be able to do this kind of thing as I get better and incorperate it into the documentary video, but hopefully I won't ever stage a shot, it does not feel right to me. I think I'm finished now :)
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