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Old September 30th, 2010, 09:00 PM   #1
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Do you "Stage" Shots?

I haven't gone back through dozens of forum pages, but I was curious to see how many of you stage shots for you wedding video? I have only done one video and it went better than expected. I mainly just captured moments throughout the afternoon and evening. I let the photographer stage scenes and I shot footage throughout.

A lot of the video's i see are great, but how much do YOU stage shots.
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Old October 1st, 2010, 12:54 AM   #2
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Jay, the response will depend on the type of programme you make. We make creatively-enhanced documentaries so the strict answer is that we never stage shots.

Nor do we record the photographer at work - if the clients want that they've chosen the wrong producers.

However, because we record almost everything with three cameras, I see two thirds of the material for the first time when I sync the multicam streams in the editor. That's when we capture the moments the photographer misses, the whispered asides between the bride and groom, the glance from bride's father to her mother and so on. That's when we add magic to the programme and the clients always appreciate it.

Of course there are rare instances when you can't use what you record - a case in point was a bride asking her new husband during their first dance (when we'd inadvertently left his microphone clipped on to him) "you will take care of me, won't you?" which I did think was a question that, if it needed asking at all, should have been posed a few hours earlier before she'd committed herself to him.
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Old October 1st, 2010, 01:45 AM   #3
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We never stage... Well, almost never. Only parts where staging might apply (from the photographer mostly) is during the photoshoot. We prefer to be "invisible" during the wedding and let the actors act the way they suppose to do, not the way we want them to.

Of course, if there is Day After Photoshoot, we become heavily involved although not always. If we want to create something special like "The Butterfly Effect", some staging is definitely needed. But during the wedding day... we definitely avoid.
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Old October 1st, 2010, 03:03 AM   #4
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I stage every now and then. The twirl, using a super-wide in slo-mo as I track in the opposite direction to the couple's turning is not something that (generally) happens when you're all set up to shoot this.

I also stage in that I tell the groom to lead his bride by the hand into the wedding breakfast. If left to their own devices the groom will automatically let the bride go first, which means he either steps on her train or walks 3 metres behind her. Not good. I also suggest that they embrace after cutting the cake as their 'guests will love this'. In reality it's to stop them standing there in the paparazzi barrage, knife in hand, looking gawkish.

Other than that it's as Philip says - catch the action, spot the details, be everywhere all the time. You can't edit what you haven't shot.

tom.
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Old October 1st, 2010, 03:06 AM   #5
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I'm intrigued Dimitris, what's the "Butterfly Effect"?

No never stage shots, any staging is left to the stills man or woman.

No sorry there is one that I almost always do and that is as soon as the groom arrives get to get him, the best man and ushers to do a group walk to the church or hotel door chatting with each other. That way if the photographer takes them off or they disappear into the depths of the church I know that I've got some footage of the groom arriving.

If he runs, at least his bride will see that he did turn up.
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Old October 1st, 2010, 06:24 AM   #6
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During the photoshoot I might "direct" for a stedicam 360 runaround where I might ask the couple to stay in one place and look lovingly into each other's eyes while I run circles around them. All the rest is totally natural but you can, of course, prompt the couple (we have a venue with a beautiful swing seat under a tree so suggesting that the couple use it wouldn't really be considered posing!!)

Oh yes, I DO stage 3 shots...the stills for the DVD covers are staged as I'm sorta acting as a photog for a few minutes!!!

Apart from 3 minutes of direction everything happens naturally!!! You do have to realise that the ceremony, register and most reception events are basically staged anyway!! Watch the cutting of the cake!!!

I actually laugh when I see photogs carefully posing a bridal party and standing behind him/her is a videographer, camera on tripod filming the photog taking stills of the bridal groups..!!! I actually make a point to my brides that that scenario never happens on my photoshoot!!

Chris
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Old October 1st, 2010, 10:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Kilroy View Post
I'm intrigued Dimitris, what's the "Butterfly Effect"?
The "Butterfly Effect" is our favorite video until today. :) I mentioned that one because it is structured in a way that seemed heavily staged to some people's eyes, but except the photographer's next day photo session and also the pool scene that was staged by us videographers, everything was natural (even the little girls). I know it's going off-topic, but since you asked here is the video

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Old October 1st, 2010, 04:40 PM   #8
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I stage at least 4-6 times a wedding. This is mainly during right before and after pictures or any other golden moment I have time to do a few tricks. It's not a bad thing to do at all. SOOOO many times I have had brides tell me that my poses were better than the photographers. Try once or twice and see what you get.
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 12:49 AM   #9
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I enjoyed your short film Dimitris and thank you for reminding me of a piece of writing I used for our first wedding demo four or five years ago. Actually it was your voiceover which did the prompting because my visual exposition was quite different to yours. At the time although I was quite comfortable with the programme, my wife wasn't and I let it lie.

As you said, much of the piece does have a staged look about it but perhaps your couple were not only pretty people but quite expressive also. Anything subliminal like that is enhanced by the professional voice.

The piece my work was based on was a poem my son read at his wedding at about that time - and I remain amazed to this day that he was able to deliver such moving words - obviously I've not passed on the emotional gene!

You've inspired me - I shall take a new look at using it in our next demo which starts production in November. Thanks and well done.
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 03:06 AM   #10
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Thank you so much Philip for your nice words! We really enjoyed doing this one. Problem is that although we want to do more English voice-over stuff, this is Greece, meaning that we have to pay a professional every time we want some high-quality voice over (native English speakers with expressive voices are very rare around here). :)

About the poem... Did you use your son's poem to a wedding demo? That sounds very original! We are thinking about something similar (but not that similar) for our next showreel but we'll see how it will turn out.
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 05:05 PM   #11
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Dimitris, I hope I didn't give the wrong impression, the poem was not written by my son, but merely recited by him to his wife as part of his speech as groom, responding to the speech and toast by the bride's father - he's very traditional in that respect. The poem, by Pablo Neruda, is published, and so (in reference to another current thread here) in copyright. I don't know who translated it though I have seen many variations in the English:

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms,
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers.
Thanks to your love a certain fragrance,
risen darkly from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride,
so I love you because I know no other way than this:
where "I" does not exist, nor "you,"
So close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
So close that your eyes close and I fall asleep.

I'm fortunate in knowing many so-called "celebrities" from my corporate days so I'll probably ask one of them to do it for me. In the past I've had a few of them do some personal things for me at the end of a script recording session. My daughter still treasures a recording of a poem she wrote which Patrick Allen, once the doyen of English voice-overs, did for her. Robert Powell also did a short recording for my wife's mother's birthday some years back..

The poem in English contains some lovely cadences and I especially like the use of the two words "close" in the last line with completely different sounds and meanings. I find the emotion intense.

As you'll gather I am a devoted "engineer" of the English language. I count myself lucky to have it as my native tongue for it must be the devil's own task to learn it as a foreign language (I trained as an English teacher when we intended to live out my retirement in France - the French government made that impossible and that was the direct cause of me being in weddings now. Although I have reasonable French, I'm not a linguist but know of no other language which has words which mean both one thing - and the exact opposite eg the verb "to cleave".
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