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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...

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Old September 16th, 2010, 10:51 AM   #1
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Be honest...

Hello everyone,

I am in the midst of doing my research to perhaps someday become a wedding videographer. Joanna Silber’s book Wedding Videography: Start to Finish ]was a very good, thorough read. However, it’s also wise to pose questions on this forum to those who are in the trenches and can provide me with immediate feedback. So for now (more questions forthcoming), a three-part question: 1) When thinking of your profession, what is:

a) the most fulfilling part of what you do?
b) the most demanding?
c) the most boring?...or is it so exciting you don't have time to get bored?!?

Honest responses appreciated…and a big thanks to all who respond.
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Old September 16th, 2010, 12:50 PM   #2
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a) Making a great finished product that the Bride & Groom absolutely love.

b1) Making a great finished product that the Bride & Groom absolutely love ;)
b2) Making sure that the audio is well captured. Bad Audio = Bad Video.
b3) Making sure there are no shaky bits. Shaky video is Bad Video!
b4) Color correcting between cuts from multiple cameras that decided to have different white balance and exposure settings despite the best preparation possible!

c1) 1 Corinthians 13 - I've heard it read so many times at weddings now that it's the one thing I start to yawn through.
c2) Some speeches are great - others are really tedious, and of course you get to relive it during editing AND when you watch the final video all the way through before committing to a final cut ready to ship.
c3) Wedding Fairs

Also, realise that with any job/career you will have good days and bad days, great weddings and weddings from hell. Not everything is rosy, but there are some great times too.
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Old September 16th, 2010, 01:08 PM   #3
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A) Creating a film that the family will cherish forever. Plus it's great when you get people to cry at the SDE ;).

B) Perfect sound, perfect picture. I strive to have a full wedding with zero issues, everything in focus and well composed, all audio captured, no important events missed, and the lighting spot on. It is a live event so nothing is 100% perfect, but trying to hit that bar and falling a few percent short is always better than not aiming at all.

C) The most boring/tedious part of the day for me is dragging equipment along and setting it up.

Cheers and good luck!
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Old September 16th, 2010, 01:17 PM   #4
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Dave, you just about summed it up!! You've covered everything I was going to write, are you psychic??

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Old September 16th, 2010, 02:40 PM   #5
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Have the same response as the other gentlemen for A & B.

Boring part for me would be:

1. Shooting the Center piece game. Until someone comes up with a cooler concept, this one is a sleeper for me.

2. Waiting for the bouquet throw which comes after an hour or 2 of public dancing.

3. The sermon after the gospel. I just stick my tripod and wait for it to end. Would the couple want to hear it? Maybe? I am not taking any chances.
Noel Lising
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Old September 16th, 2010, 07:05 PM   #6
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Rose, I can't disagree with what's been written already but my own answer would be:

a) creating not just a well-crafted videofilm but something which adds to the couple's recollection of the day. When the bride cries again at the emotional moments, laughs at the funny ones and squeezes her husband's hand at the serious ones, you know you've done what you meant when you said you'd make memories for her.

b) the strain on my knees especially at the end of the shoot day.

c) as a pro I'd never admit to any part of the job being really boring but I confess I'd give quite a lot not to have a bride's father or a toastmaster ask the groom to place his hand over his bride's and tell him that's the last time he'll have the upper hand.......!

Finally may I add a fourth element - compensation?

I've been making programmes for over 30 years and the one compensation for all the annoyances, boring bits, aching knees, event trauma etc that occur during the making of a wedding video, is the privilege of working in such an amiable environment - no-one goes to a wedding to be miserable. As a cameraman and director I've always tried make the day as agreeable as possible, but nothing beats weddings for a genuine warm ambiance.
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Old September 17th, 2010, 08:24 AM   #7
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I'll play.

A) Right after the SDE. I hate not doing SDEs because when you leave at the end of the night, the guests don't know you from any of the cheesy early 1990s videos they have seen. When they see it up on a big screen, and at the end of the night, you know they know they saw something different from what they were expecting.

B) Honestly, the whole day is demanding. We start at approximately 8AM and the SDEs usually show just before or after the bride and groom's speech. After that it's right into dancing, so it's go-go-go all day. I don't usually take a breather for the fourteen or so hours I'm there.

C) Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy or boast...
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Old September 17th, 2010, 11:35 AM   #8
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You said it best, Philip, Despite the stress of getting it ALL right for the family, it is such a privilege to be in such a happy environment.

Last edited by Jay Jelliff; September 17th, 2010 at 11:36 AM. Reason: typo
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Old September 17th, 2010, 01:06 PM   #9
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a) finding new angle, new shot, new scene, something that I never shot before and it looks great
a2) of course right after SDE
b) trying to make every single shot picture perfect, it's impossible, but if you're not trying you're wasting your time
c) dont know what it is, we always work as a team of three - four guys, and the fun we have every time, even though it is a very hard work, is the best time of our lives;
even during the best man speech, when he tells a joke that we already heard hudreds of times, we look at each other, and laugh louder than everybody else,
but not at the joke :)
I love this place!
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Old September 17th, 2010, 05:02 PM   #10
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what is an SDE?

thank you, google was no help.

edit: I think I stumbled over it. Same Day Edit?
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Old September 17th, 2010, 05:42 PM   #11
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most fulfilling aside from all of the mentioned above

when a fellow videographer (random and unexpected) commends you for your work.

most boring is
waiting for the program reception to start, how many times does it gets delayed ;)

add on
most frustrating
is when you have your shots planned, then it never happens!!
Bay Area Wedding
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Old September 17th, 2010, 07:56 PM   #12
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Hi Rose, all good stuff .. so I'll add something different.

These days running any business of your own can be plain murder so it's not everything running your own. But if you're headed in that direction once you study and become proficient with cameras try and get a job with a reputable local outfit. You could start as a stringer running B or C cam on larger weddings.

Check all wedding companies on line and watch every demo you can, look up wedding notices and go stand in the crowd with a camera .. while everyone is throwing confetti you shoot the general scene. Visit churches and reception palaces and ask for their house rules regarding videos. Note all their charges. Do all this so when you apply for a job you can talk their language .. then don't wait for them to advertise, send flyers to all companies asap. Good luck.

30+ years with our own audio and visual production company and studios.
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