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Old June 3rd, 2013, 06:48 PM   #31
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Re: Heckled during speeches

Noa,
In the case you described, and I've been there,.

You mentioned the parents being too afraid. Either you knew this or assumed this? But regardless the parents made a decision to let it go, You did not.

I would say you felt like the shot warranted the disruption.
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Old June 3rd, 2013, 07:24 PM   #32
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Re: Heckled during speeches

AU$0.02 on the whole topic...

Lots of variables in individual situations. Generally you can avoid obscuring people's view by shooting from the floor, or setting your camera up then ducking.

But assuming that there really is no other option and you have to obscure sightlines to get the shot? Surely everyone on this board would go ahead and obscure sightlines? Worst case scenario: the couple will sue you if you don't. Of course, seems to be different degrees of sensibility about how readily a videographer should block a guest.

If it ever came before a court, I'm assuming the judge would ask about what was "reasonable" to have done in the circumstances, or what the "average man on the street" might think, and the answer would be subjective and based on all the particular facts of the case.

In terms of legally covering yourself, the proper thing to do, or I think so anyway, and which might be easier said than done, is to discuss with the couple in advance what they would want you to do in this sort of circumstance, and then have it in writing in your contract.

One thing I think should be borne in mind is that, quite apart from whatever your legal obligations might be, the job you're doing is very important. You're preserving some of the most precious moments of people's lives. You're recording people who might pass away tomorrow. You're seeing not just for yourself, but potentially for a lot of people -- guests who can't be there, guests at the back of the room (and in a big or a crowded room, there might not be a lot of guests who can see much anyway), people in the future, like friends and family of people involved, descendants of the couple, etc.

How you evaluate this "importance" and weigh it against other considerations I think is pretty subjective. From a bluntly practical point of view, it may depend on how important to the couple is the guest whom you're blocking. Boyfriend of a second cousin thrice removed? Mother of the bride?
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Old June 4th, 2013, 01:18 AM   #33
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Re: Heckled during speeches

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Originally Posted by Al Gardner View Post
You mentioned the parents being too afraid. Either you knew this or assumed this? But regardless the parents made a decision to let it go, You did not.
I would say you felt like the shot warranted the disruption.
The priest even had the flowers (that where placed there by the family) removed from the altar as he thought they had no function for a communion, my zoom h2 was hidden in those flowers as well and that had to go too. The parents had to high respect for the priest to dare to go against his decisions and when he said where I needed to stand just before the ceremony started I whispered to the mother I was not able to get a shot from her child from that position and she didn't know what to do about that either.

So here you did have clear rules and I went against it with the risk of the priest reacting to that. You might say I might find myself more important for being so disruptive and not following the rules but there are times you don't have any choice, the same can apply for blocking guests views, if I would have no other choice, I would block a guests view because I need to get the shot. The only time I think a videographer would find himself more important is when he in such a situation would set up a jib or use a slider to get a more "cinematic" feel to it in which case he could be blocking even more guests.
Content is king but if you are not able to capture it without disrupting the guests then you don't have no content to show so you have failed at your job, it's not that black and white as you make it appear.
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Old June 4th, 2013, 11:06 AM   #34
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Re: Heckled during speeches

I think someone already may have said this, but I think a lot of it comes down to expectations of the bride and groom. If they hired someone to make a cinematic wedding then they want those shots that seem more cinematic (sliders, over the shoulder, etc.). In order to get those shots they will probably have to get in the sight line of guest. Obviously they can minimize these with tricks people have already said while being respectful, but those shots are important for that style.

I don't think the bride and groom would be happy with a shot from the back of a 200 person venue if the style they hired a videographer for was cinematic.

The opposite is true for a more documentary style. If the bride and groom want you out of the way no matter what, then being behind the guest and zooming in may be your best bet.
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Old June 4th, 2013, 11:21 AM   #35
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Re: Heckled during speeches

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
The priest even had the flowers (that where placed there by the family) removed from the altar as he thought they had no function for a communion, my zoom h2 was hidden in those flowers as well and that had to go too. The parents had to high respect for the priest to dare to go against his decisions and when he said where I needed to stand just before the ceremony started I whispered to the mother I was not able to get a shot from her child from that position and she didn't know what to do about that either.

So here you did have clear rules and I went against it with the risk of the priest reacting to that. You might say I might find myself more important for being so disruptive and not following the rules but there are times you don't have any choice, the same can apply for blocking guests views, if I would have no other choice, I would block a guests view because I need to get the shot. The only time I think a videographer would find himself more important is when he in such a situation would set up a jib or use a slider to get a more "cinematic" feel to it in which case he could be blocking even more guests.
Content is king but if you are not able to capture it without disrupting the guests then you don't have no content to show so you have failed at your job, it's not that black and white as you make it appear.
Noa,
I think in the situation you explain it was a matter of no shot at all. That's quite different from Peter's claim that he needed to get the shot of the speaker notes. Give me a break.

I realize you can't always get the perfect shot, but rarely have i not been able to get the shot of speeches without blocking guest. Sure maybe I couldn't hear the paper form the speakers notes crumble in his hand but it was more then acceptable.

Another thing I notice in a lot of cinematic videos is that very little of the video from speeches is used. Most time the audio is overlayed over different images.

I still think it's a matter of managing client expectations beforehand. While that's noble to get the shot, it could be a economic burden if you were banned from that church or that parish as a videographer I know.
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Old June 4th, 2013, 01:19 PM   #36
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Re: Heckled during speeches

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That's quite different from Peter's claim that he needed to get the shot of the speaker notes.
Why not? If it adds something extra? I filmed a bride that got to see her bachelorparty photo's for the first time and I shot her opening the present, then a over the shoulder shot of her flipping through the pages and again a wide front shot of her reaction to the photo's, that's how you make a otherwise boring shot visually more interesting.
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Old June 4th, 2013, 05:25 PM   #37
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Re: Heckled during speeches

Noa,
You guys are "get the shot at all cost" shooters". What makes a shot interesting is not in question. While I applaud your tenacity I disagree with your methods.

Using those methods I don't understand the OP getting upset when he gets heckled. He obviously deserved it. Do the crime , do the time!
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Old June 4th, 2013, 05:47 PM   #38
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Re: Heckled during speeches

Don't know if you ever saw Still motion's and pacific pictures city of lakes, that what I call getting the shots at all costs, a large part was scripted and on some behind the scene shots I saw the wedding looked like a movie set. But this is what the couple choose to have, they allowed that to happen to get this epic looking film and you can bet they have blocked more then one guest view :)

It's ok to have another opinion on how to deal with weddings, everyone has their own approach, your might be more documentary and from a distance, ours might be a bit more close, but I think it's not up to you to decide what's bad or good, that's still up to the client and if they want to have a movie "city of lakes" wise, they also accept you to be right on top of them and in front of their guests.
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Old June 4th, 2013, 05:56 PM   #39
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Re: Heckled during speeches

Noa,
That's good info about the "city of lakes movie.

As I said earlier i applaud your tenacity but disagree with your method.
I'm not sure how you twist that to mean that I am the one who should decide what's good or bad.

I will just take it as though you are embellishing a bit. That makes for great storytelling as well.
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Old June 4th, 2013, 06:22 PM   #40
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Re: Heckled during speeches

Quote:
I'm not sure how you twist that to mean that I am the one who should decide what's good or bad.
Well, it was you who said "I'm amazed at how many of you guys feel like you're the star of the show just because you are hired to do a job" or that we find ourself "so dam important", I know it was not directed to me but since you see me as the same "get the shot at all cost shooter" I feel it applies to my style of shooting as well. I think nowhere was said we don't care about the guests, we do and we do whatever we can to avoid disturbing them but sometimes we don't have any other choice to get a certain shot but that doesn't mean we feel like a star or find ourself so important. We just are trying to provide the client what they have chosen us for in the first place. In my case content is also king but I use my own visual style to show if I can instead of tell, you might find that wrong and that's fine, I don't.
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Old June 5th, 2013, 01:33 AM   #41
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Re: Heckled during speeches

I would have to agree with Al ... I'm one of those professionals that never act like i'm special. I know my position. I've been paid. I'm not as important as the guests who have been invited.

If more than one guest is getting annoyed, I would definitely move.

The last thing the bride/groom wants is to here from her guests how annoyed they were due to my shooting methods.

I can always explain a crap shot later saying your guests insisted I moved, so I had to improvise (thing is, I doubt the issue about the angle of the shot would even be raised - as most people look at content).

As long as the rest of your video makes up for it, you can get away with a couple of poor shots.

Keep the good stuff for the highlights. Put in everything else in the long form edit.

And regarding Noa with the example you mentioned.

If the family are scared to question the priest, you should of listened to him too. Who cares if you miss the shot? you were told not to do it. And the family didn't insist either. That's a point you could of argued later if the family challenged you later.

I'm all for really getting in there and grabbing a shot, but if any one tells me not too, I'll insist, but if they still tell me not too based on who they are - I won't. If any issues are raised later I will mention NAMES / POINT OUT the people that told me not to do it so they can here what the person that hired me have to say.
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Old June 5th, 2013, 02:01 AM   #42
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Re: Heckled during speeches

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I'm one of those professionals that never act like i'm special.
It was Al that said this, not the persons he was targeting...We never said we feel special, we said we do whatever we can not to disturb the guests but that it's not always possible to prevent it completely.

Quote:
If the family are scared to question the priest, you should of listened to him too.
Why? The priest did not hire or pay me, he is there to do his job (and getting paid for it), I"m there to do mine. The Church is not his personal property, it's a public place with a set of general rules, they do allow videographers to enter but they don't want us to disturb the ceremony and that is something I never do. I did say if he would have seen me move and told me to go back into position during the ceremony I would have left the church, no use in standing like a fool pretending you are filming something while you can't. I crossed the line very carefully but not by pushing it too much, just enough so I could do what I was paid for and that is what "professionals" do according to Al, to make sure they adapt and get the job done.
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Old June 5th, 2013, 07:23 AM   #43
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Re: Heckled during speeches

For anyone interested in the city of lakes wedding that was mentioned earlier. Here is the blogpost from Still Motion about it. Since it was partly scripted it is very movie set like, but a very cool read.

city of lakes // shooting in india, being DP, and other ramblings – stillmotion
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Old June 5th, 2013, 08:19 AM   #44
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Re: Heckled during speeches

Just read throughthis thread and there seem to be a number of variables that haven't really been clearly talked about. But firstly let me also say that I don't believe anyone on this forum believes that they are more important than anyone else at a wedding, or that they have an inflated self image of themselves. We are all trying to obtain the best result for the client who is paying for it.

A wedding is a filming scenario where few fixed rules apply and every wedding can be different, but there are still undelying requirements that need to be followed carefully. The Bride and Groom will have certain expectations of what they want to see in the finished product and it is up to us as professionals to discuss with them beforehand which of those expectations are achievable and any possible difficulties we may foresee. Having established that, it is also up to us to do what is neccessary to achieve the end result whilst remaining polite, respectful and professional, both for our own reputation and for the client.

A church based service is one in which the couple have paid for the services of a clergymen and the hire of the church and also the services of a videographer. I expect my clients to discuss this with the clergyman conducting the service and to ensure that they have his permission for filming. My contract also has a clause reinforcing that. At the church, I then consider it reasonable that the clergyman respects my need to fulfill my obligations, just as I will respect his. If he applies rules that I think are unreasonable and outside the published guidelines of the Church authorities, I will discuss options politely to reach a compromise, but never argue or act disrespectfully. If the rules stop me fulfilling my obligations and are contrary to what the couple have discussed with him, then I will suggest to them afterwards that they lodge a complaint and possibly withold partial payment, particularly if they have had to pay the church more to have it videoed, a common practice in the UK. However, I rarely have a problem with church services though.

The reception is different, the couple have requirements for their video that may not always be in accordance with what their guests want. One of those times may be during the speeches, when it may be unavoidable to intrude to some extent on the view of the guests. It is important here to remember that the guests have been invited by the B&G to attend their wedding, not to have control over what the paid professional is filming for the client. They should have respect not neccessarily for the videographer but for the B&G's requirements. Our job is to carefully and respectfully get those shots, whilst minimising the inconvenience to guests. It is not difficult for a guest to move a few inches to please the couple after diplomatically explaing to them why you need to be there. I have NEVER had a problem under those circumstances.

Of course some venues may have their own rules due to the need to safeguard valuables in a historic building, but that is easily complied with and never a problem.

Conferences and other non wedding filming that I believe Al mentioned, have to be approached differently. Unlike a wedding with its family and friends being invited and the whole day being captured, a commercial event will quite likely have attendees who have paid to be there or are there for various professional reasons. It would be quite unacceptable to obscure their view or expect them to move, so the approach would be different. Unlike a wedding which is a flowing, ever changing event, a conference or commercial show would be much more predictable with pre arranged shooting positions, so there is far less chance of losing a shot.

Shooting a wedding is very much a case of striking a balance between knowing when to assert yourself and when to compromise to achieve what the most imprtant person - the client- is paying you for.

Roger
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Old June 5th, 2013, 08:58 AM   #45
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Re: Heckled during speeches

In terms of filming weddings.

You know your client better than any one else. Can you explain your mistakes, can you explain why the priest got angry at you? can you explain why the guests were annoyed? Can you explain why you got a different angle to the one agreed?

If your answer is YES ... then there really is no right or wrong.

As long as you can justify your actions you can do anything to be honest.
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