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Old September 16th, 2005, 02:55 PM   #1
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Need Help On How To Shoot A 100th birthday

I just got an offer today to shoot a 100th birthday brunch a week from tomarrow. I was wondering if anyone here has done something like this before and can give me some advice. I am thinking about getting interviews, Need to know what some good questions would be. I am also going to try to get some pictures that i could edit into the video. Also need some suggestions on music. I am meeting the client on sunday is there anything I should get from her other than the pictures?
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Old September 17th, 2005, 10:19 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Reafsnyder
I just got an offer today to shoot a 100th birthday brunch a week from tomarrow. I was wondering if anyone here has done something like this before and can give me some advice. I am thinking about getting interviews, Need to know what some good questions would be. I am also going to try to get some pictures that i could edit into the video. Also need some suggestions on music. I am meeting the client on sunday is there anything I should get from her other than the pictures?
We did a 100th birthday about a year ago and frankly, I thought the video sucked, but they loved it. It was very hard to shoot, painfully dull. The birthday boy basically remained seated in his chair while people came up and wished him happy birthday. They didn't do gifts; they didn't even have him present when they cut the cake.

Make sure to mic the birthday person and leave one camera on them. I think at that age the family just loves hearing old stories. Use a second cam to get the other people mingling around and some artsy shots.

We made a short intro montage and then went to live footage for the rest of the video.
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Old September 18th, 2005, 04:17 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Reafsnyder
I just got an offer today to shoot a 100th birthday brunch a week from tomarrow. I was wondering if anyone here has done something like this before and can give me some advice. I am thinking about getting interviews, Need to know what some good questions would be. I am also going to try to get some pictures that i could edit into the video. Also need some suggestions on music. I am meeting the client on sunday is there anything I should get from her other than the pictures?
Dear Joshua,

Hope this isn't coming too late to be of any help.....

Think Ken Burns and you will be fine. Get LOTS of still pictures and some royalty free music.

The only question you need to ask of the family is "what is your favorite memory of so and so". Then be sure to also ask the birthday boy for HIS favorite memories, and also the seceret to his longevity.... Ask each question several times in slightly different ways until you are happy with the answer.

Also, find out if he had a lifelong hobby.... If it was building furniture or running model trains, or photography or fixing cars; get some audio and video of him working with these hobbies. If that's not possible, at least get him to describe his passions and intercut whatever video you can get of his workshop.

Shoot more than you think you will need and remember that editing will be your swan song in this situation.

Good luck,

Steph
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Old September 20th, 2005, 01:42 PM   #4
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Thanks for your reply. Its was not to late. The birthday party is for a 100 year old woman. I meet with her daughter yesterday. I am filming the brunch and party that they are going to have, while there i am going to get some interviews with the differant family members and friends there. From what I was able to gather from the daughter, the woman has a hard time hearing and cannot see that well, and also she has a real hard time reconizing people, so I am not sure if i will be able to get alot from her. I found out that I there is not going to be a photograhper there so I am going to try to set up some group pictures. Hopefully it all goes well and thanks for your responses.
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Old September 20th, 2005, 03:41 PM   #5
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senior birthday videos

I videotaped my wife's grandmother's 90th birthday party last August. A lot of family was flying in from both coasts to see her. I'm so glad I taped that party because she died only four weeks -- almost to the day -- later. I used the wireless mic on her. Capturing the interaction between her and her great-grandchildren was priceless. I've received dozens of thank-yous. The only bad thing was that I'm not in the video at all, but I have my memories -- for now, at least.

My point: Get good audio of the birthday boy and you should be just fine. It's his story. I don't think viewers will be overly concerned with artful camera angles and perfect depth-of-field. What they want to preserve is the stories and the interactions with family and friends.
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