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Old April 25th, 2011, 09:55 AM   #1
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What do you do when the wedding party is boring?

Hello,

I shot a wedding recently with a small wedding party of unenthusiastic groomsmen, and to a lesser extent groom. They literally just wanted to sit on the couch, drink a beer, and watch the hockey game. For the entire time, except for the 10 minutes they all got dressed.

This makes for a really boring video.

What do you guys do in these situations? We're not a fly-on-the-wall type of videographer, so I don't have a problem suggesting things. I tried to get them to make a toast while they all had drinks and just sitting on the couch but they we're "going to do it later".
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Old April 25th, 2011, 11:39 AM   #2
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Re: What do you do when the wedding party is boring?

Call me crazy but we believe in capturing the real story of the wedding day, and while we might make suggestions for certain things we don't want to manufacture a story on the day. So for us, if the groom and his guys were chilling and watching hockey .. THAT is the story. It's who these guys are. If you want more to work with maybe try asking them some questions on who they are rooting for or whatnot to get them talking. But I say embrace the story in front of you and don't worry about creating a story that isn't there.
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Old April 25th, 2011, 12:32 PM   #3
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Re: What do you do when the wedding party is boring?

Hi Aaron,

I feel you! It happens to me all the time.

What I do is usually get them to talk, not all of them will speak but Im pretty sure there is one or two.
Travis is also right, that is their story and thats it.

In my opinion, you don't have to create a story that is not there. But I always think of every wedding will be used as my sample and I always show the client the latest wedding Ive done during consult. If Ive done my job on every wedding, I don't have any reason not to show it. I try to get them involve.

if you try to just "let them be"and you know nothing is going on - ask yourself if you are able to show this to your next client?you have consults before and cilents praise you all the time how they "liked" how did this and did that.


so atleast follow what travis said to ask them and get them talking, maybe start with the topic hockey and how the grooms crew love it and the historyy behind it, who s a fan of who...etc etc...
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Old April 25th, 2011, 01:22 PM   #4
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Re: What do you do when the wedding party is boring?

A particular shooter I work with regularly has great ability in interacting with people to create more favorable subjects to shoot. For myself, I choose to interact with people in order to make them comfortable while I'm shooting, not to generate more interesting material when nothing's happening. This is because I want people to enjoy their day however they choose. If they want to spend it on a couch...great.

Here are my two typical approaches to groom prep for active and calm groups.

1
If there's a lot going on and the guys are animated, I'll give more weight to content than creativity. I'm trying to catch the spontaneous moments that happen, generally with longer lasting shots at eye level with a wider lens/zoomed out more. I let things happen and try to show it...without ignoring the creative side of course.

2
If not much is happening, I'll give more weight to creativity than content. I'll use more camera movement, go for more variety in my angles, shoot through/past objects (while playing with the focus), etc. Another key for me is to go for a lot of close up shots of faces. There are almost always some good natural expressions that will happen if you let them, but you have to go into sniper mode for this. Overall, if you make everyone look good in the edit, then the dull situation matters far less to the viewer, because you have essentially replaced the lack of content with compelling shots. Hands are good to shoot too. (It's surprising how much of a story you could tell if you only shot closeups of people's hands all day.)

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Old April 25th, 2011, 02:23 PM   #5
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Re: What do you do when the wedding party is boring?

@Travis,

I can appreciate that and I used to do that in the past, and was forced to settle with that with the wedding I was referring to. I want something more, and really my couples kind of expect it. Like I said, we like mixing in with our couples, and they hire us because of our relationships we build with them.

Talking more is good advice and I'll work on this.

@ Sigmund,
I agree to a degree...I guess I was asking for more "organic" ways to create action, such as my (failed) suggestion of making a toast to the groom.

@Alec,
That's how I shoot as well. I was just looking for some way to help my clients have a more compelling video.

I like the hands idea, I don't know why I didn't get more before, they're great shots.

Thanks guys!
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Old April 27th, 2011, 03:10 AM   #6
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Re: What do you do when the wedding party is boring?

I've given up on doing the "groom prep". Most times it's the same for me. Nothing at all happening and the guys just want to act cool in front of their friends. Total opposite to the beautiful chaos and madness where the girls are getting ready.

When couples ask if I film the groom prep, I'm just honest and say that they are usually very boring, and I get shots of them at the church greeting people. If they want me to film the groom prep, I will, but clearly let them know if they are doing nothing when I get there, and/or not into the video thing - I will leave. Not wasting my time.

Works for me.

A couple of cool groom preps I've done recently include them playing a round of golf - on buggies etc. Lots of fun. And one in a barbar shop - cool classic building - lots of interesting angles to shoot. But guys playing PS3 or watching TV - no thanks.
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Old April 27th, 2011, 04:20 AM   #7
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Re: What do you do when the wedding party is boring?

Hi John

I try and do the same as well. The guys are indeed boring..usually sitting around with a beer!! I did have one groom who gave me a running commentary on camera to his bride to be and it was one of the few that was worth watching... I did one last month (not by choice) and all the groom and father wanted was me to film their wall mounted 10,000 piece jigsaw puzzles that they had done over the years!!

Maybe we need to tell them yes to groom prep but they must create an event from it, like you say, a round of golf or doing something specific together.... hmmm maybe the stag night instead??????

Chris
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