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


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Old May 23rd, 2013, 01:54 AM   #1
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Do we have to film accessories?

Don't know if I'm the only one (I probably am), but I tend to find shooting accessories (groom accessories, bride accessories, even shoes and rings and dress) kind of fiddly and ridiculously time-consuming and annoying.

Trying to do something creative under pressure, with constant interruptions, just knowing that you're missing interesting events in other parts of the house. Hear the bridesmaids laughing next door, or hear the doorbell ringing downstairs to announce a close relative arriving? That's the sound of fleeting moments running away from you while you're stuck in a room trying to perfect the focus on a slider shot or fiddling with the arrangement of inanimate objects on a table.

Inanimate objects that the photographer will come in and shoot anyway.

Ages spent on shots that will take mere seconds in the video.

Everyone seems to pride themselves on "story" these days, whatever that means. -- Do shots of accessories really add much to story?
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 02:35 AM   #2
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Re: Do we have to film accessories?

some people spend huge money on that, so they want show or see it in their movie.
Possibly it could be also part of your script, so you will need it.
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 03:36 AM   #3
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Re: Do we have to film accessories?

To save time I'd try and shoot some of this prior to the day, in adv. we call 'em the beauty shots.

One handy trick is, after the congregation leaves the church, go back into the vestry open the register and video the new entry by the bridal couple.
Set it up surrounded by flowers, shoot dutch angles, closeups etc.

It has to be arranged in advance with the minister so time is not lost, and we do it partly because the couple may never see their entry again.

Where it's placed in the video can be different each time, it can be repeated supered as a theme. A variation of this can be to include them signing invitations in advance of the day and swing those in. Fun stuff is dad signing a cheque for the reception etc .. but don't show the costs :)

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Old May 23rd, 2013, 03:46 AM   #4
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Re: Do we have to film accessories?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian Tan View Post
Don't know if I'm the only one (I probably am), but I tend to find shooting accessories (groom accessories, bride accessories, even shoes and rings and dress) kind of fiddly and ridiculously time-consuming and annoying.

Trying to do something creative under pressure, with constant interruptions, just knowing that you're missing interesting events in other parts of the house. Hear the bridesmaids laughing next door, or hear the doorbell ringing downstairs to announce a close relative arriving? That's the sound of fleeting moments running away from you while you're stuck in a room trying to perfect the focus on a slider shot or fiddling with the arrangement of inanimate objects on a table.

Inanimate objects that the photographer will come in and shoot anyway.

Ages spent on shots that will take mere seconds in the video.

Everyone seems to pride themselves on "story" these days, whatever that means. -- Do shots of accessories really add much to story?
These inanimate shots are basically B roll footage to co-incide with the rest of the day isn't it ??? How boring would it look just to see faces talking with no 'fillers' ?

Plus they add value to the trailer if you ask me ...

I got a Asian wedding shoot this weekend, and i've already asked an indian friend of mine how I should lay out the brides shoes etc for some good slider shots etc.
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 04:01 AM   #5
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Re: Do we have to film accessories?

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Originally Posted by Adrian Tan View Post
Don't know if I'm the only one (I probably am), but I tend to find shooting accessories (groom accessories, bride accessories, even shoes and rings and dress) kind of fiddly and ridiculously time-consuming and annoying.
Count me in as well :) I'd love to have a second shooter with me that would deal with this kind of stuff through out the day so I could focus on what really matters but since that's not the case I have to squeeze in time to get these shots anyway as I do find them important enough to include in the final edit. It might look unimportant but these small details like earrings, shoes and other 'trivial' stuff are an important factor as they are a part of their day even if you hardly see it and I see it as my task to capture any detail. If I could I would set up such shots properly with some added light, a slider and so on but I don't have that time so I just use a macrolens and get some quick static shots, that works fast enough for me to make time available for the more interesting events. I try to do this as soon as I arrive at the brides house.
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 05:43 AM   #6
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Re: Do we have to film accessories?

it'a actually a great question - we seem to get sucked into the need to cover the things that the tog rates as important. it is just B roll footage nothing more nothing less
If I get it fine, but I've bever had a bride say - where's the rack focus on the ring?
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 05:52 AM   #7
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Re: Do we have to film accessories?

On the girls prep I do the dress and flowers period! On the guys I do no accessories ...I leave it to the photog to shoot the rings, shoes etc etc. Video is motion pictures so the emphasis should be off in-animate objects really . Yeah it certainly wouldn't break my heart not to do the dress and bouquets!!

However getting a shot of the chief bridesmaid handing the bride her bouquet is a video moment!!

Chris
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 08:09 AM   #8
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Re: Do we have to film accessories?

Yep same as Chris, get there at the house straight to the dress, slide and glides, shoe slides, if flowers there then those as well, then downstairs for fun arrivals but then again if she says be there at 10am im there at 9.30 because i know it goes so quick. If there is no time i try to just take 5 second shots of dress and shoes and rack focus...
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 09:03 AM   #9
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Re: Do we have to film accessories?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian Tan View Post
Don't know if I'm the only one (I probably am), but I tend to find shooting accessories (groom accessories, bride accessories, even shoes and rings and dress) kind of fiddly and ridiculously time-consuming and annoying.

Trying to do something creative under pressure, with constant interruptions, just knowing that you're missing interesting events in other parts of the house. Hear the bridesmaids laughing next door, or hear the doorbell ringing downstairs to announce a close relative arriving? That's the sound of fleeting moments running away from you while you're stuck in a room trying to perfect the focus on a slider shot or fiddling with the arrangement of inanimate objects on a table.

Inanimate objects that the photographer will come in and shoot anyway.

Ages spent on shots that will take mere seconds in the video.

Everyone seems to pride themselves on "story" these days, whatever that means. -- Do shots of accessories really add much to story?
That's exactly the right word....fiddly! But it is expected now more then ever....the devil is in the detail. I've found over time I'm getting faster at setting these bits and pieces up. I arrive at the house usually with an extra half hour so I can relax and concentrate on getting all the detail shots. I prefer if I have one room alone. Once the detail shots are complete I can relax and shoot the atmosphere.
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 09:53 AM   #10
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Re: Do we have to film accessories?

Yes we do. Just as with table settings or decorations & swatches of coloured material on chairs etc Somebody (usually the bride & her mother) has spent an immense amount of time & trouble choosing all this stuff so they definitely will want them all recorded as part of their memories of the day.
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 09:38 PM   #11
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Re: Do we have to film accessories?

Random anecdote.

I was in Fiji last week, Mana Island. The photographer borrowed the bride's dress, drove to the other side of the island, spoke to security, borrowed a golf cart, climbed on top of the golf cart, and somehow hung the dress from the "Welcome to Mana Island" sign. We then took long steadicam shots, walking down the wharf to the dress.

Total operation time: about 60 minutes. Total time in video: probably about 2 seconds.

But, perhaps, that bride, and her children, and her children's children, will love and remember the shot.

(And if the dress was blown into the ocean or covered in sand... maybe they'd have even more reason to remember the shot.)
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 10:03 PM   #12
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Re: Do we have to film accessories?

The general rule of thumb is that if it doesn't support your story, don't shoot it.

However, for live events, you can never tell 100% ahead of time if a shot could be useful later on or not so if you actually have spare time and have nothing to do, then it wouldn't hurt to just shoot random objects instead of just standing there and do nothing.

I have to say though that most of the time, there's always something happening that is more interesting to shoot than a pair of shoes and flowers on a table.
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 10:45 PM   #13
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Re: Do we have to film accessories?

I'm usually, if not always, early at the bride's house so the bridesmaids and bride are in not condition to be filmed with spiky hair and no makeup so I then will do the dress and bouquets just to keep me busy until the girls are at a presentable stage ...if you don't have to use it it's no big deal but I do think that bride's do like a dress shot hanging on the back of a door prior to seeing them in it.

No, I'm not going to take the dress Adrian and travel half way across an island but I must admit it does sound quite innovative!

Chris
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Old May 24th, 2013, 02:18 AM   #14
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Re: Do we have to film accessories?

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Originally Posted by Long Truong View Post
The general rule of thumb is that if it doesn't support your story, don't shoot it.

However, for live events, you can never tell 100% ahead of time if a shot could be useful later on or not so if you actually have spare time and have nothing to do, then it wouldn't hurt to just shoot random objects instead of just standing there and do nothing.

I have to say though that most of the time, there's always something happening that is more interesting to shoot than a pair of shoes and flowers on a table.
So true.

Just shoot it. Don't stand around ... You just never know how that clip may help when it comes to post-production.
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Old May 26th, 2013, 01:42 PM   #15
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Re: Do we have to film accessories?

I do have to specify that accessories, flowers, shoes, and other inanimate objects are at the bottom of my priority list.

I usually hunt for stories and actions to capture so there is normally always something better to shoot like the mother preparing coffee & breakfast in the kitchen, the father washing the car on the driveway, the sister walking the dog, the brother ironing his shirt, the best man writing his speech, the bridesmaids decorating the house, the grandmother watching TV, the kids running around in the backyard, etc.

Even after I'm done capturing all the safe and essential shots, there is always more creative ways to shoot the same thing so you can definitely never run out of things to do at a wedding. I notice that the only time I find myself standing around and do nothing is because I chose to be lazy and take a little break.
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