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Old August 8th, 2012, 01:10 PM   #16
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Re: When would you interrupt a ceremony?

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By pointing out to the bride that you could have done this, but didn't, the bride can feel that you knew what needed to be done, and you didn't do it, and that makes you look bad, in theory. I would not have said a word to the bride until the edit was done and then let the officiant take the fall.
Agreed - and that's what I did. But she was still annoyed I didn't whisper something. You can't always win. Even sometimes remaining unobtrusive doesn't win.

And Don, yes, I agree with you, too, about it not being our job to direct a ceremony. And yet, in the situation I described, I think there's some gray area between whispering something to an officiant who has neglected something pretty important and all out directing things. And yet I still kept it to myself. But if the situation came up again -- cool couple, laid back ceremony, officiant who forgets to seat people when no one but the first row can see anything, I think I'd whisper something. (The bride in this scenario at least would have thanked me!)
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Old August 8th, 2012, 03:57 PM   #17
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Re: When would you interrupt a ceremony?

You could really piss off an officiant by saying anything to him, and then you would come out looking even worse, and you would look bad in front of a whole room full of people. "The videographer interrupted our ceremony, can you believe it?" Is what you would hear from most couples.

You can't go back and change this event, but it is not your job if someone else screws up to fix it. We are there to record. To speak to an officiant during the ceremony is an inappropriate crossing of boundaries.

That being said, there could be, during a relatively informal ceremony, an opportunity to speak to the minister about something like this. However, in my area, the chance to do such a thing would be so rare it's not even worth thinking about.
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Old August 8th, 2012, 04:11 PM   #18
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Re: When would you interrupt a ceremony?

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I can only guess that he assumed once the vows were done it wasn't required!
Pete
looking at the vid, i think he knocked the lav off, and was sort of looking at it and like wondering what the heck is this thing and where did it come from?
Unfortunately he didn't have the presence of mind to clip it back on, and maybe stuffed it into his pocket in a moment of panic, some guys getting hitched can be a bag of nerves!!
Note to self - make sure you rehearse the groom in replacing a lav should it become detached for any reason.

As far as interrupting the ceremony i'd be the same as most here - only in an emergency.

and i too was caught out a while back, admiring the clear, steady footage i was getting of a welcome speech at an event, only to realise the cam was not recording - bit of a red faced moment!!
since then it's check and check again :-)
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Old August 8th, 2012, 04:32 PM   #19
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Re: When would you interrupt a ceremony?

One of my favourite things about magic lantern software is the big red cross in the screen when you are not recording..now if all cameras did that as standard life would be much less stressful .
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Old August 8th, 2012, 04:57 PM   #20
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Re: When would you interrupt a ceremony?

Well, you still have to look at the screen :-)

But seriously, the only time I would interrupt an ongoing ceremony is for something like a fire. There was one ceremony where the officiant forgot to switch on the mike for the PA system. I was standing in the back, behind the guests, and could signal to the officiant by cupping my hand over my ear, but that was not interrupting the ceremony.

My job is to record what happens as it happens. If stuff goes wrong, that is what happened.
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Old August 8th, 2012, 06:58 PM   #21
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Re: When would you interrupt a ceremony?

It's a very interesting debate here and am important one.

I just want to reiterate, Jeff and others, that's it's not always as black and white as you're describing. In my scenario (again, the scenario in which I did not intervene, much to the chagrin of the bride), there would have been opportunities to whisper in a word (to the non-clergy, inexperienced officiant) without actually interrupting the ceremony and bringing attention to it. (such as during the long pause as a reader came out from the standing audience). During a more formal church ceremony w/ altar and Priest? No, of course not (barring emergencies). But in this situation, we were all pressed up against each other (because of the crowd standing and the narrow outdoor confines).

Unobtrusive as we may be (and I pride myself and even err on the side of staying out of the action), we are still part a part of things, like it or not. And if it's a question of helping out the couple, and even the officiant and the guests, I think there are situations that call for nuance in our approach.
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Old August 8th, 2012, 07:17 PM   #22
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Re: When would you interrupt a ceremony?

We have had, sometime a few years ago, a situation that simply had to be done otherwise the marriage would not have been legal. It wasn't me, but the bridesmaid actually. The Catholic priest was well past the retirement due date and got the couples names totally wrong..the bridesmaids loudly corrected him...he then did a vows and pronounced them husband and wife and started to shuffle off...the bridesmaid again needed to tell him he hadn't done the ring ceremony. ....Sometimes someone has to speak up otherwise the whole thing becomes a farce!!

Now, not too sure about other countries, but here the vows do need to be spoken loud enough so the guests (at least some) can hear them and they do need to be correctly said ... I have had a couple that were just a whisper and also some where the nervous groom has said his vows wrong BUT I have never corrected or interjected of course!!

I think it would have to be a pretty drastic situation before I stepped in...I would rather hoped one of the bridal party had done it....As far as convenience for us videographers we just have to make the best of a bad situation....going to the rehearsal also helps!!!

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Old August 8th, 2012, 07:33 PM   #23
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Re: When would you interrupt a ceremony?

Go to the usher, tell him to tell the groom to take the mic out of his pocket. The usher will relay the message to the best man, and the best man, standing next to the groom, can whisper in the groom's ear to fix his mic.
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Old August 8th, 2012, 11:12 PM   #24
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Re: When would you interrupt a ceremony?

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At a wedding of mine last year, the officiant at outdoor ceremony completely forgot to have the crowd sit down. As a result, my second camera had no view of the action (nor did many o the people. It also cut off any cool site lines for me and my regular camera and I had to stay parked at a single vantage point. I chose NOT to interrupt and did not tell the officiant. Later on, I asked the bride. She told me she would have preferred I tell the officiant. (Not just for the video sake, but for her onlookers on the day.)
I also would not have interrupted the wedding. The wedding director / coordinator should have intervened.
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Old August 8th, 2012, 11:17 PM   #25
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Re: When would you interrupt a ceremony?

Last summer we did a wedding in a fairly small room so there was no amplification for the two sisters of the bride who were each going to read something. We provided them with a wireless handheld microphone and told them it was for the video and for the first one speaking to hand it to the second.

Everything was going great at first. The first lady held the microphone perfectly and passed it on to her sister who also held the microphone perfectly until about halfway through her speech at which point she looked at the microphone kind of funny (like it just dawned on her she was not hearing her voice amplified) and suddenly put the microphone down by her side like it was not working. We mentioned it to the bride so she would not be surprised when the audio suddenly turned terrible halfway through the speech as we had to really crank it up. Thankfully clearly something beyond our control.
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Old August 8th, 2012, 11:46 PM   #26
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Re: When would you interrupt a ceremony?

Thanks! I've now gained some extra check points for the rehearsals:

1) Ask when guests will be seated
2) Demonstrate to groom where the mic goes (and don't even mention there's a mute button!).
3) Put a "VIDEO MIC" sign on the wireless handheld mic.

I can't say I'd speak up, but I sure would like to know before setting up my tripods where my clear sight lines will be. A big fear of mine is that a nervous groom will hit mute on his wireless pack and forget to turn it back on. For that reason, my shotgun mic is usually on one of the closer cameras. The handheld issue bugs me as well. I don't mind re-directing them to speak into it. I don't think that I'd interrupt a toast though, haven't encountered that yet.


As for cameras, I turn all the tally lights on for peace of mind. I had a camera malfunction last year. Luckily it was a backup angle hidden behind the alter at a catholic wedding. As tempting as it would have been to go check why the red light went out, I resisted the urge. I knew not to count on that angle.

Last edited by Samuel Bell; August 9th, 2012 at 01:49 AM.
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Old August 9th, 2012, 02:26 AM   #27
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Re: When would you interrupt a ceremony?

Not only do you not mention the mute button on the transmitter...put tape over it so it cannot be muted.

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Old August 9th, 2012, 04:01 AM   #28
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Re: When would you interrupt a ceremony?

Glad I started this debate - it's proving useful to hear your responses - I was filming at a wedding last year and the priest pronounced the couple to be 'Man and Wife' and there was no kiss - suddenly a voice from behind me (loudly) said 'You may now kiss the bride' - it was the photog who wanted his shot!!!!!

Luckily for him the priest didn't seem fazed!

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Old August 9th, 2012, 09:17 AM   #29
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Re: When would you interrupt a ceremony?

Here's one for you. And maybe it's a new topic, but "when would you intervene with a guest who was sticking out into the aisle taking pictues?"

I'm sure we've all dealt with the scores of people who have their smart phones dangled out over the aisle as the bride comes through. But just this past weekend, it was actually an uncle with his iPad (at all moments of the day) but particularly obtrusively so when his iPad was very noticeably protruding out into the aisle. I held my tongue and filmed around him (as best as I could) but almost said something. Again, in this scenario, he was very close to me. Would the mother have seen my intervention? Maybe. Maybe even the groom. Again, did not do it (but certainly wanted to!).
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Old August 9th, 2012, 09:45 AM   #30
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Re: When would you interrupt a ceremony?

Tim,
to me that's a very different scenerio than going to the officiant. Over the years I've had a fair number of people do that, be it a camera or a phone or an ipad. I try to shoot around them but in most cases wasn't able to so I go to them and gently remind them that they are in my way and could they please move slightly left or right. I tell them which way to go. I've had a few instances where they either forgot or didn't care. One gentleman even said to me, "I don't care if I'm in your way." OK since I wrote the book on being obnoxious when need be, I simple moved my tripod foward right in front of him, slightly to the side he was on and stayed there for the rest of the ceremony. I think he got the message (either that or someone said something to him) because he stayed out of my way the rest of the day.
I've also had a couple of ignorant people that I've had to move physically. A gentle hand on the shoulder and a whispered "you need to move slightly" and a very gentle push in the direction I want them to go usually does the trick. Now please don't mistake what I'm saying. I'm not a brute, I'm not an a**hole, I'm not one of those guys that doesn't want anyone around me for 50 feet when I'm doing a wedding...BUT, I have a job to do and it's hard enough to do without every Tom, Dick and Harry getting in my way, so I ask once nicely, the 2nd time I'll help move them along and the 3rd time (if there is one) I might get a bit rude. That's only happened once or twice. For the most part people just don't realize they're in the way. Sometimes you just can't do anything and sometimes you have to. I'm not afraid of asking someone in a very low quiet voice to please move to the side. I can be very very nice when I need to be and am for the most part but don't keep pushing to see how far you can go with me. I can also be an outright SOB when I have to.
Oh yeah never touch my camera or me when I'm working. That's a sure way to incur my wrath! ;-)
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