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Old September 9th, 2010, 07:43 AM   #1
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Another "what would you do"

I have four weddings booked at a local church that I have worked in without a problem for many years.
The next one is in two weeks. Last night the bride called to say that the church is no longer allowing weddings to be recorded. She, along with the other three bride's, booked me having seen samples of weddings in that church so this appears to be a new ruling; the last one I did there was in May this year.

I contacted the priest (it's RC) this morning explaining that I have bookings based on the inclusion of

the wedding ceremony, this is his reply.

"Dear George,

Because I have an issue with Videos during Weddings and Masses etc, we
now make it very clear that we do not allow video or other electronic recording of the service. However, we do will allow video recording of the bride arriving and leaving the church with one camera only, but nothing more than that.

I hope that clarifies things.

Best wishes,

Fr Philip"


I will now have to contact all of the couples and advise them of this.

What would you do?
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Old September 9th, 2010, 07:51 AM   #2
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Hi George, I had a similar experience, but I guess mine was more "lenient". After the Bridal procession, if I am not participating in the mass, I have to stay in the lobby and can come back for the vows. Step out again and come back for the signing.

I have a clause in my agreement that it is no fault of ours for coverage lost because of restrictions.

I told my client what they can expect with the kind of restrictions imposed on us. They were not actually cool with it but what can we do?

In the back of mind, this is cool I only shoot 12 minutes of footage but I feel somehow I am short changing the client even though it is no fault of ours.

I sure hope this trend does not catch on.
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Old September 9th, 2010, 08:17 AM   #3
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George, can you surreptitiously find out if the church is looking for a fee or donation to the new building program .. if so it might not be to steep.

And you might be able to work around the ban with extra footage of the couple cavorting in the park to their favorite music etc. Good luck etc.
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Old September 9th, 2010, 01:19 PM   #4
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Perhaps a VERY polite and respectful phone call inquiring as to what sort of "issues" caused the change or heart resulting in vidoegraphers being demonized as agents of the devil and being banned from the sanctuary(you've read the threads, right here, so you prolly already KNOW).

Since you've shot there before, any chance you made a personal enough connection to appeal to who might plead on your behalf (presuming it wasn't your behavior that resulted in the ban).

If you can rest on your prior good behavior and swear on your life that you won't violate any sanctity of the ceremony or be obtrusive, perhaps you'd get a sympathetic ear... or not.

Not trying guarantees a "no", so if it were me I'd pay a visit, take the church officials to coffee and do-nuts, do lunch, something that would perhaps re-open that closed door, maybe even gain you exclusive access?

I think we here know how to shoot in "ninja style", and I'd say generally that's what is preferred, but I'm willing to be that a lot of other "vidiots" and "paparagraphers" are "working" weddings and don't show the same professionalism.

I can't blame a church for feeling violated by that sort of behavior, should it have happened (and clearly something DID), but to throw out ALL media is terribly extreme, and perhaps the right approach would gain "forgiveness" for a penitent and appropriately venerate professional?

If it does work out, keep it VERY "hush hush", best of luck.
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Old September 9th, 2010, 01:49 PM   #5
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""Dear George,

Because I have an issue with Videos during Weddings and Masses etc"

You know what? Customs and ethics may differ from country to country but when I will hear a priest telling something like that in Greece, I could translate it as:

"Dear George,

because church in the last few years, has a decline in both aspects of people's respect and financial terms, and because I am tired not taking my share of extra profit for all the events I am doing just for the basic salaries, I hope that you will understand that any financial support from you or the couple (I don't care who gives the green), will be the only way to get into the church and shoot your stuff.

Truly yours
The servant of God".


You think I'm over the top? Since we are talking about personal experiences, I think I'm being modest. I don't know how things work elsewhere, but here it's unthinkable to go to a church for something (christening, wedding, even a funeral) and not give the priest some money under the table. I am not talking about church's requirements (if any). Try not to communicate in this department, and your event is in serious trouble. Lately in Greece there is another trend. Priests (especially in Athens) ask for 10 Euros from the videographers or they will not be allowed to setup lights!!! 10 Euros for half an hour is pretty expensive electrical current. This is a pair of lights, not a Jean-Michel Jarre concert!

Anyway, I really hope that the time will come (someday) that people won't need God and his representatives on Earth in order to do a romantic and unforgettable wedding. These guys offer only trouble for the last 2000 years.
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Old September 9th, 2010, 02:24 PM   #6
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This rule is going into affect for brides who had booked the church when having a video was okay?

That's not fair at all for the bride and groom.

I would contact the priest again and I would see what I can do to get clearance.
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Old September 9th, 2010, 02:44 PM   #7
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Since this thread was created to offer a possible solution, I say, pay him and he will let you in, even with multicam etc. Pay him more and you will also setup a crane into the church. Seen that happening, everything is possible. :-)
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Old September 9th, 2010, 08:01 PM   #8
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George,

I am a Catholic myself, and I've seen some pretty strict priests, but this is pretty extreme. I would contact the priest (not by email, but by phone or in-person) and kindly say you received his email, and try to propose a workaround that will satisfy everyone. Perhaps recording mounted on a tripod so not to be a distraction to anyone. Then hopefully it's okay with the priest, then it's okay with the bride and groom, then you've got something better than nothing!
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Old September 9th, 2010, 08:09 PM   #9
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Hi George

That is really sad that a Church would take that attitude... for me it would raise the hair on my neck and I would try to convince the couple to go elsewhere. I wonder if the couples affected just assumed they would be allowed video and photos. Surely the Church should have mentioned that before booking them.

I guess sadly the only REAL solution is to change venues ... which is not your problem of course ... I think even with something as drastic as an under-table "donation" it will be a hard job to complete and the Church will be watching you like a hawk anyway!!

Probably best to put the ball in the couple's court and ask them what they want to do!! I can't imagine any sort of wedding without any of the ceremony being recorded at all!!! Gosh, the most important bit are the vows and ring exchange!! Just for interest I usually tell Catholic Churches that I don't record the mass (if they have one) out of respect and that goes down well!!

Chris
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Old September 9th, 2010, 08:29 PM   #10
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Perhaps the saddest aspect of this thread which seems to have not a few endorsements is that one reads regularly that most religions are suffering falling attendances and adherents. Are they so convinced of their own righteousness that they don't t even wonder if there's a link between their attitudes and their membership?

It's not as if they do the wedding for free. A father of the bride almost exploded when the vicar made a request to the guests for money on leaving the church after he'd paid over 1000 for the service which was very restricted.

I had a meeting with a minister of a local church which is notoriously difficult and attended the spoken midweek service before to make sure I didn't miss him or interrupt his service - it happened to be my own religion. I noticed that the handful of worshippers didn't even invite me to have a prayer book - the implication was that if you need the words, we don't need you.

Ironically, in the UK the Church of England often buys stands at the big wedding fairs encouraging couples to get married in church. Still as one of the country's richest landowners they can probably afford it. Also, fortunately, these instances are relatively few.
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Old September 9th, 2010, 08:42 PM   #11
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In 10 years I've never heard of anything that strict.

We have encountered many times 1-camera only in the back sitations.

In your situation, I believe it would be prudent to open a dialogue with the church and see what can be done to go back to letting at least you, film.

I guess their stance also means No Photographers as well? What bride is going to like that aspect?

Side note, we also have in our contract that Bride needs to verify what is allowed in the venue and that we will not be held responsible for "odd" angles etc due to venue rules and restrictions. I'm thinking in particular of one instance where it was a 1-camera in the balcony, in the center. The balcony extended out so far into the sanctuary, that it was impossible to see the Bride and wedding party enter from the rear, and they were only visible for just a couple seconds as they were walking out. (Yeah I know, crazy balcony design). Those things happen.

Anyways, treat the pertinent staff to lunch and see what happens.

Kyle
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Old September 9th, 2010, 11:19 PM   #12
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George I feel sorry for both you and the couples and about all anyone can say is "that really sucks".

Having been a Catholic all my life, I have experienced more than a few priests and how they have run their own private domains, their parishes.

To have this new policy come down at a place where you have worked well before, says something happened that really went all wrong and pissed this pastor off immensely. I'd put my money on it was some clod who either didn't know or didn't care about the sanctity of the church and most likely, the sanctuary area. In my church and in this area in general, that is just the area specifically around the altar. It is, or at least was, considered the most holy of areas in the church.

It wouldn't hurt to talk to the priest, but I wouldn't get my hopes up at all. It sure sounds like one or some bad apples really spoiled the barrel for every one.
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Old September 10th, 2010, 07:05 AM   #13
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Is this now a trend that is going to expand worldwide????

On our Aussie National news tonight the Catholic Church refused to conduct a funeral because the the deceased requested his coffin to be draped in his favorite AFL club flag!! They also refused to play a slideshow of his life as the music wasn't to their liking!!!

I'm pretty sure that unless it is mentioned, brides just assume that video and photography is allowed so they could be in for a rude awaking if the Church does take this line in countries other than the UK.

With our latest shock on funerals will it now encompass music played in the Church for bridal entrances???? In that case, the bride can no longer walk up the aisle to her special song????

With dwindling Church attendances here one would really think that they wouldn't do any more to deter people!!! So far every Catholic ceremony last season has been very laid back with the bride choosing her own music and they even allowed me at one to shoot the candle ceremony behind the altar...it will be a shame if we lose all that!! Civil ceremonies here are already a lot more popular than Church ones and we have a lot of purpose built "reception centres" that have everything in one spot ...including a ceremony gazebo!!

Chris
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Old September 10th, 2010, 02:33 PM   #14
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Wow, I forgot what I was missing.

I haven't done a wedding in almost 15years, and not much has changed.
I've been in the balcony, in and out the door, had free run, and allowed into the Sanctuary.

I always went to the rehersal, introduced myself, and always asked the house rules, and worked from them.
Never had any issues, that would stop me from going back, so what happened to this particular church is interesting.

I have even been allowed to film my daughters Christening in a United Church, in the UK, where the other half of the family is from, using the same methods I used when shooting Weddings. I know, it was my daughters Christening, but rules are rules- I worked with them, but not to have any video at all- not acceptable, and I was ready to make that point clear to the Vicar, if I was told I couldn't.
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Old September 10th, 2010, 02:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Kilroy View Post
I have four weddings booked at a local church that I have worked in without a problem for many years.
The next one is in two weeks. Last night the bride called to say that the church is no longer allowing weddings to be recorded. She, along with the other three bride's, booked me having seen samples of weddings in that church so this appears to be a new ruling; the last one I did there was in May this year.

I contacted the priest (it's RC) this morning explaining that I have bookings based on the inclusion of

the wedding ceremony, this is his reply.

"Dear George,

Because I have an issue with Videos during Weddings and Masses etc, we
now make it very clear that we do not allow video or other electronic recording of the service. However, we do will allow video recording of the bride arriving and leaving the church with one camera only, but nothing more than that.

I hope that clarifies things.

Best wishes,

Fr Philip"


I will now have to contact all of the couples and advise them of this.

What would you do?
I have a clause in my Terms & Conditions stating that before booking the B & G need to make sure they have "permission to record" at the location.

Sad as it is, I think more and more churches are acquiring bad experiences of past events and choosing to say no. Agree with Philip concerning the fees paid, you would think the church would start to think more strategically, but no.

As regards how "rich" a religion may be generally, many churches are totally costed centres responsible for their own profit and loss - hence the reason why the "begging bowl" comes out on many occasions.

:)
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