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


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Old November 23rd, 2010, 07:47 AM   #1
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Wedding film found, viewed and edited after 37 years

I want to share this to remind us how important the job of making memories is.
I was cleaning the studio stockrooms to get stuff for our photography & film museum when I came across some old super 8 film reels, upon viewing through our HANIMEX EDITOR I saw that among them was of a wedding of an aunt now living in the states.
I fixed an old YELCO projector so i can "capture"(hehe) the footage onto my NLE so I can restore its color, crop out moldy edges, and in short, edit the film.

It sure was strange to see the images of years past, even stranger to see myself as a 4 year old tugging at my mom who has since past away.

I posted the material online so the couple can finally see their wedding movie FOR THE FIRST TIME AFTER 37 yrs!

So anyway, it felt weird but nice, I mean, its not everyday you get a chance to edit something that old.

My cousin told me on FB that her parents were crying watching it for the first time! My Uncle messaged me his thanks for "..bringing back to life their love!"

I guess a marriage has been through a lot of typhoons if it lasted 37 years then here you are watching for the first time how that commitment all started!

I haven't seen them in a very long while since they migrated to the states. And its nice to think that somehow halfway around the world pieces of good memories came back from where it all started.

Heres the clip, the film was heavily damaged by mold, I left as much frames as i could so they can savor the images.

The only "new" material I added is the beginning titles which I made to look like old in the NLE to match the rest.
The "the end" graphic at the last is also from our old stock of different "the end" reels from the same years.

Link:Ester & Arthur 1973 By Ted Ramasola On ExposureRoom
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 09:25 AM   #2
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Thank you for sharing this beautiful story.
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 09:32 AM   #3
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Great post. Actually choked me up. Neat to see the old footage as well.

Thanks.
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 09:35 AM   #4
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Ted - this is great. I did the same thing a few years ago. My dad was the family cinematographer and captured just about every family and friend wedding with his super 8 cam from like 1960 to to the late 70s. Ironically his camera broke and he never captured my wedding! I dug out the reels, converted and posted online. There are still two weddings that I haven't been able to reach the couple to let them know there out there. Anyway - good deed for your work and it sounds like you brought some joy to your aunt.

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Old November 23rd, 2010, 09:59 AM   #5
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I posted this on another forum and one member wondered,

" if any of our modern media can be readable 37 years from now?"

hhmm..

I was telling my staff, today were having a hard time finding, VHS players, Betamax players, etc to be able to transfer old files.
But the analog reels of the 60s and probably much older in other cases can still be wound through a mechanical projector and you can still view them.
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 11:10 AM   #6
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Picture quality is grainy, dark, jittery. No natural audio. Cuts are abrupt and haphazard. Poor camera work, with shots drifting out of focus and not stable. In desperate need of color grading as picture looks faded or overblown... just terrible by today's standards.

Yet strangely, I watched the entire 11 min clip and was mesmerized the whole time. Hmmm. I also think I got something in my eyes by the third song.
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 12:53 PM   #7
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Thanks for sharing this amazing footage! It's a time machine! I totally loved it.

And your uncle was smart enough to shoot enough coverage to tell a story for you to edit.

Though I can't help but wonder how much would it cost telecine or film scan it like how Hollywood does it to remove the "flicker"?
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 02:24 PM   #8
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In defence of the unknown cameraman/woman...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Holb View Post
Picture quality is grainy, dark, jittery. No natural audio. Cuts are abrupt and haphazard. Poor camera work, with shots drifting out of focus and not stable. In desperate need of color grading as picture looks faded or overblown... just terrible by today's standards.
I know Ian went on to say how much he enjoyed it, but the above is a little harsh. Apart from the ageing of the dyes in the film stock and the obvious damage to the film itself, the method of transfer to video is not ideal. Some of the focus drift and lack of stability is due to the projector rather than the camera or operator. The jump cuts are indeed distracting, but the camera work is not actually that bad by amateur standards of the time.

For those who have not actually shot on Super 8 it is worth pointing out that because the maximum shooting time on a Super 8 cartridge only was 3-4 minutes, the normal practice was that most scenes were a few seconds long, a style which does not lend itself to the filming of this type of event. Changing cartridges was fairly quick, but unless you were running 2 or more cameras (extravangant!) the action was only ever going to be sampled. Jump cuts could be avoided by shooting lots of cutaways or sympathetic editing.

As John has said it would be interesting to know how much it would cost to have it telecined to minimise the loss of quality in the transfer process.

Thanks for posting. And my thanks to the unknown cameraman.
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 07:13 PM   #9
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Ted, this is incredible!! Really, really great. AND... it's interesting to see that even in 1973, the photographer was STILL getting in the way of the videographer's shot. ;)
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 07:27 PM   #10
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Loved it!! Despite the age and quality of the video, it is a sweet memory nevertheless. Enjoyed the whole 11 minutes of it. Reminds me not to trash any of my video away. In 37 years, I might be watching my own wedding video from Mars or in my Millenium Falcon hovering over the moon.. hmmm...
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Old November 25th, 2010, 02:38 AM   #11
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Bill, Yeah! The stills guy is always in the shot! LOL!

Johannes, I also wonder if we can still view our weddings in 37 years!

I married my high school sweetheart in 09, there where 4 cams in that wedding, 2 JVC HD100/200, 1 DVX100, and 1 RED ONE cam.

I havent had the time to view and edit them!! :-(
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Old November 25th, 2010, 03:04 PM   #12
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That is so cool! I had to tweet about it because it's not very often a couple gets to see their wedding video for the first time 37 years later. Very moving. Well done!
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Old November 25th, 2010, 03:55 PM   #13
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Ten years ago, I heard an NPR story about a family that had lost their mother, and only had a very brief thirty second segment of an old VHS tape of her as a 'moving memory'. Apparently, she was extremely camera shy and hated to be photographed in any form.

The interview brought up a memory of my childhood... pre-kindergarten - of BRIGHT movie lights in my eyes at various Christmas gatherings of my childhood. I knew my family was too poor to own a movie camera, so I asked my dad about it. "Did someone on our side of the family shoot home movies when we were kids?"

"Oh yeah, that'd be your Uncle D. I remember him shooting way back then." (Late fifties through early sixties)

"Do you think he still has them?"

A week later, my Dad called me to say "Uncle D dropped off a box of old movies and an old projector."

I picked up a screen, and drove out to my dads. Sure enough, there was a paper bag full of 8mm reels (Thirty some odd of them) and an old 8mm Revere projector. "He said he hasn't watched any in decades."

I picked one up that read "Easter, 1960" and vaguely remembered all the cousins hunting eggs in my grandfathers huge back yard.

I threaded up the projector, and turned to my dad. "Are you prepared to see Mom?" She had passed away about six years earlier.

"Oh. ... Yes... I guess so."

I rolled the old print. The color was still vibrant and not thirty seconds in, there was a shot of my mother, walking through the yard carrying a carton of eggs to hide. She couldn't have been more than thirty years old.

"OH MY GOD! My dad shouted. SHE'S BEAUTIFUL!!!"

And indeed, she was.

I managed to transfer all of the old footage, and cut together the scenes that had included my own parents and siblings. We had ten minutes of footage of our early childhood that we had all but 'forgotten'. It was amazing how SEEING the holidays, birthdays and picnics triggered the vivid flood of memories.

The point is, that even a few moments of the most innocuous captured in passing - can be the most heartfelt memories a half a century later.

Also a testament to the durability of film that the Kodachrome of fifty years ago, held up stored in the top of a closet.
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Old November 25th, 2010, 04:17 PM   #14
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Ok na ok to pareng Ted :) Amazing! can't help but get teary eyed watching it..would you mind if i show this sa mga clients namin na indecisive on why they should hire a videographer..i just hope the video formats for today's generation is still watchable after 40 years....

Great job! Thanks for sharing !

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Old November 25th, 2010, 10:42 PM   #15
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Richard,

Wow, that must have been a very emotional experience for you and your father. It helps me remember why I got into this business in the first place.
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