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


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Old December 8th, 2010, 08:23 PM   #16
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You make some good points Travis. I know what you mean about being busy between the ceremony and the reception. The thing that nags at me when filming guests' best wishes is the concern that I'm missing a lot of good shots. I work hard at weddings. I'm constantly on the lookout for things that I want to capture. It makes a big difference in what you wind up with.

The name of your company, Serendipity, says it pretty well with respect to interviews. In the course of shot coverage, if an opportunity to "interview" someone that adds something presents itself, then grab the opportunity. That way you are adding worthwhile elements to your production. But IMHO if you are so preoccupied with the "interviews", the quality of your production is likely to go down a few notches because of all the missed shots while you are doing the interviews.

If I should have a client in the future who particularly wants guest interviews, I would be inclined to charge enough to cover it and hire a dedicated shooter for it.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 01:26 PM   #17
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At every wedding, there is always a guestbook and folks are asked to sign it. We look at the video messages as a video guestbook, and have had the bride and groom and the dj/band ask folks to 'sign' the video guestbook as well if the couple wants us to get messages/interviews.

We generally have three camera people.. one of them is usually tasked with the video messages. We find some place relatively quiet but still nearby and just set up a few chairs and the camera. Generally works fairly well, but there is always some disappointment initially with the bride and groom when they see them.. they always think more people would have done it. But as time goes by, they truly appreciate the messages from the folks who leave them.. some messages are heartfelt, some offer great advice, and yes, some are drunken ones.. but as long as they aren't too crazy the drunken ones tend to stay in.

We usually do not chase people down to get a message, unless there are special people the bride and groom really want.. generally grandparents who are more than willing to do so. We tend to ask the members of the bridal party to do it, and they are generally amicable about it. Other guests we don't push.. though if they walk by the area we are running them, we will ask if they want to leave a short message for the happy couple.

We usually catch the requested people at one of two times.. before the wedding or during the 'cocktail' hour while the bridal party are getting photos done.

Finally, we tend to not intersperse the interviews in the wedding film.. we offer it to the bride and groom as a separate dvd or as a chapter on their personal copy of the dvd. The messages are for them after all, no need to let everyone see it unless the bride and groom wish to share it with them. We also let everyone who is leaving a message know that.. which has lead to some truly touching and emotional messages that are simply priceless. There are even times when we simply turn the camera on and leave the person there to give the message alone. By putting them on their own, there isn't a lot of editing time done on them, and thus it ends up being relatively simple in the scheme of things.

In the end, I think it is like a lot of the 'add-ons' beyond capturing the ceremony itself. Some couples will absolutely have to have them.. others couldn't care less. Just another option to add to a package like a SDE, love story, etc..
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Old December 9th, 2010, 05:01 PM   #18
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If I should have a client in the future who particularly wants guest interviews, I would be inclined to charge enough to cover it and hire a dedicated shooter for it.
Exactly, Jim.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 08:58 PM   #19
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I'm sure sure if USA weddings run to a different format but here the guests have pre-dinner drinks at around 5:30pm and the wedding party has been left at the photoshoot venue with the photog and I have already finished my video photoshoot segment. Apart from the guests arriving at the reception and having their usual cocktails before the bridal party makes a grand entrance between 6 and 6:30pm there is nothing I can miss so it's a perfect time to do interviews for me. If I didn't it would mean sitting around waiting for the bride to arrive at the venue.

I know that Philip doesn't go with the photog and he does his interviews during that "slack time" as well. Guests can hardly get "3 sheets to the wind" at 5:30pm and they usually are on a patio or outside so the ambient noise level is fairly low and ideal for interviews.

We all have our different "styles" and as Philip says...there is less competition to contend with if the brides are looking for videography that includes interviews. All my brides absolutely love them because it's a part of the reception that they never see!!! For me it's always a good selling point but then again I shoot all my weddings in documentary style so they probably fit in better.

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Old December 10th, 2010, 03:00 PM   #20
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A bride asks - "Does your service include coverage of the photoshoot and cocktail hour?" and you reply "yes". The bride responds "I would prefer that instead you do some interviews". You say "That will cost extra". The bride asks "Why?"

what do you reply?
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Old December 11th, 2010, 12:03 AM   #21
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Peter, I think the silence your question attracted says it all.
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Old December 11th, 2010, 09:56 AM   #22
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Peter, although I dont have a strong policy regarding interviews I dont advertise that I do them, nor if asked do I say that I do. If a couple asked me to do a guest interviews section I would charge an extra fee and when asked why I would tell them that it interferes with the other shots I would be getting which would make it easier to edit to my particular style, thus resulting in longer editing time. It also would mean I need to add a guest interviews section or find a way to incorporate them into the main edit, thus making edit time longer. That is why the extra fee.

I had a recent meeting with a bride whos wedding is coming up who mentioned that her family would probably try to give speeches to the camera at various times throughout the night and just to humour them, I can chose to pretend to roll on them or I can roll and use the footage or not use the footage as I see fit. Of course I'll roll on the interviewees that approach me but I certainly will not go looking for guests to interview and whatever I get will be added as a special feature or easter egg on the dvd. This I wouldnt charge extra for as it would just be something that may or may not happen and Its up to me whether or not to use it or go along with it.
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Old December 11th, 2010, 06:40 PM   #23
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I'll do very few "well-wishes" from guests. The alcohol can make for some uncomfortable situations. The short well-wishes I do record are always before the reception.

I always capture two "surprise" interviews, though. Before the ceremony, I'll get the bride and groom at separate times to answer questions regarding their first meeting, when they knew they were right for each other, how they're feeling today, etc. I ask them the same questions and like to put the interviews in the ceremony footage before the vows are exchanged. My voice is removed and replaced with graphics showing the question. Until they see the video, they have no idea what the other person answered.

I've had many compliments from couples regarding these interviews. I've actually been present for two first screenings, and the reaction from the newleyweds was priceless.
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Old December 11th, 2010, 07:08 PM   #24
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From my early connections with those (crazy) news guys. Never approach anyone for an interview while carrying a camera or mic or recording device, even a notepad .. your chances will likely be zip.

Have someone else do it and carefully engage them in small talk first .. also helps decide if they're worth the effort and saves valuable time. At a wedding you could enlist the help of a groomsman rotating with a bridesmaid.

Cheers.
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Old December 11th, 2010, 11:48 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Ralph View Post
A bride asks - "Does your service include coverage of the photoshoot and cocktail hour?" and you reply "yes". The bride responds "I would prefer that instead you do some interviews". You say "That will cost extra". The bride asks "Why?"

what do you reply?
Very simple. It requires more work/effort/coordination to shoot the interviews.
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Old December 13th, 2010, 12:00 PM   #26
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The interview part is the reason many brides hire our service. Not only I'm just doing the boring best wishes interviews, I also ask guests (if they are a couple) to share their marriage secret, demostrate a passionate kiss .. and more. Then I got lots of funny footage in the bloopers.

Check out some of these funny interview bloopers I have

YouTube - Let's Play Bingo
YouTube - ahhhh...errrr...ahhhh...hmmm... annnnnd....
YouTube - Actor
YouTube - Randy kisses two guys at Tony and Frances wedding
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPAvXPy2uTY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzQbtg0Ay98

What if someone going on and on? I'm not sure if he's drunk.. but make sure you TURN ON YouTube Close Captioning feature for this piece. The little read CC icon on the right of the play seek bar.

YouTube - Uncle Speech at Wedding with Closed Captioning
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Old December 15th, 2010, 11:56 AM   #27
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I do audio only interviews, usually during the gettng ready activities. I set up a quiet room with my zoom recorder and ask family members, bridal party or anyone willing to record a message. I also leave them alone when they do this. They are much less self concious this way. Some of the messages are gems. I figured out a trick too - I delegate a family member to "recruit" candidates. I show them how to turn the recorder on and off then let them run with it. They seem to have fun with it and It frees me up to keep shooting.
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Old December 16th, 2010, 12:15 AM   #28
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I DO NOT do well wishing interviews I used to like alot of people when I started, but I always hated them They always felt forced, they never made alot of sense for the edit, and I can't ever see them being valuable. I have also a good many brides tell me to make sure NOT to interview people. Now that being said, I took a couple of ours back to their reception venue and did a post wedding interview a few weeks after the wedding, and we are basing our short film on that. I think that will turn out very cool... so, it has a place...
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Old December 19th, 2010, 01:18 AM   #29
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Every time I think about skipping the interviews when I'm planning out the video beforehand with the couple I think back to the time when I did an interview with the bride's grandma..

And then a month after delivery the client writes:

"I'm not sure if you planned it this way, but thank you for placing my grandmother's special message at the end. It was very lovely and brought her back to me, if only for a short moment. Thinking about it brings me to tears (good tears though, calm down)"

So yeah, make sure you know the risks of NOT doing interviews at weddings. Sometimes a few drunks are worth something timeless.
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Old December 19th, 2010, 04:12 PM   #30
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Excellent point Matt - I'm presuming the older family members are not getting snockered, they are the ones that may not be around, and those interviews will be absolutely PRICELESS to the family. I'll put up with a few "off color" clips I can laugh at and toss into a hidden easter egg on the disc for those moments...

THAT is part of the magic of video, even over photography - to be able to see and hear the voice of a loved one, at a special time and moment. THOSE clips will be treasured and are worth capturing, IMO.
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