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Old June 20th, 2013, 11:07 AM   #1
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OTT & To much planning

Is there such a thing as OTT and to much planning? General discussion and thoughts on modern day cinematography videoagrphy.
In 7 years i have never had a problem, no complaints but this year a couple times been told! can i not just turn up and film, why all the planning and questions. The reason i plan a lot is because i do not want any hiccups and looking at the past 2 years i have nothing but hiccups with the DJs having different agendas, toastmasters doing their own thing without telling me, priests and vicars clergy telling me i cannot move and dont do this dont do that, and various other things that can go wrong. Most things go smoothly due to my planning. This saturday is a nice venue outside (weather permitting) so i am planning with the bride only once on the phone and to get myself ready for plan B as its tipped rain i am planning everything to perfection, also on my own due to staff illness. Anyone been told your OTT? Steve




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Old June 20th, 2013, 12:05 PM   #2
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Re: OTT & To much planning

Never been told that im over the top, but I have been told can I not just turn up and film quite a few times!

They simply don't get it do they ... they think you're a magician, who waves his camera on the day to produce fantastic results. It's all about planning, being ready. Then the rest comes naturally.

Cheesy, but if you don't plan to succeed, you're planning to fail.

I always find out as much as I can about the other parties involved, venue, travel times etc etc etc.
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Old June 20th, 2013, 12:33 PM   #3
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Re: OTT & To much planning

Nice one James, thats what i thought...
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Old June 20th, 2013, 04:48 PM   #4
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Re: OTT & To much planning

I'm the type of person that like as much information as possible. It's not like photography where you can point and shoot. Creative shots takes time. Knowing ahead of time allow you to set up before the important moments comes.
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Old June 20th, 2013, 05:12 PM   #5
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Re: OTT & To much planning

In our short experience, its infuriating when they haven't told you something to plan for. These random things that we can't anticipate are EXACTLY what will help make their video unique and theirs. A surprise or gift for someone; something incredibly important to them like a piece of grandpa's sweater sewn into her dress lining.

Just give us the same info as your personal attendant and we're done. Here's what I've been after recently: Timeline+what are you looking forward to most+what are your 'something borrowed...et al' and their significance, if any.
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Old June 20th, 2013, 05:34 PM   #6
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Re: OTT & To much planning

To be honest, I think every couple I've spoken to has been quite happen to talk things through, because they want their day to go without a hitch and look to you for advice, because it gives them more assurance you know what you're doing and care about their wedding, and because -- I believe -- the experience of envisaging what will happen is fun. I think combing through the runsheet makes the day more real for them.
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Old June 20th, 2013, 10:43 PM   #7
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Re: OTT & To much planning

Hi Steve

I think for your own sanity you have to get some basic information so you don't have to keep guessing and asking silly questions. I do like to know things like "What time is the limo picking you up" ..At least then you have a rough idea of how much time you have to shoot. I don't think stuff like that is OTT at all just common sense planning so you don't end up running around at the guys prep and find out that the limo is waiting. I always get a running sheet as it nice to know what's happening next and I always seek out the MC and let him/her prompt me 5 minutes before the event is about to happen.

You have to know some basics...where the limo will stop at the Church otherwise you are on one side and the bride arrives on the other ..even at outdoor ceremonies it's nice to know the arrival point so you are not running around like a headless chicken!!

Chris
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Old June 21st, 2013, 03:40 AM   #8
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Re: OTT & To much planning

Thanks Chris and everyones input... I will keep planning then the way i do things then, it has only happened twice in 7 years and only recently so will keep one step ahead... Maybe i do need to step back a little with all my equipment though!! DSLRs and a combo of cameras at various points does infruriate people along with my glidecam and slider and recorders and zooms and ?? after all it is not a massive over budget feature film is it guys?? haha. It is to us hey.....
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Old June 21st, 2013, 06:24 AM   #9
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Re: OTT & To much planning

the very first wedding i did, they never told me all the details, and of course i didn't ask either, a niece of the Bride's father (who hired me) was singing during the ceremony, he had asked that this be included, but i never inquired where she'd be located or when she'd be singing, needless to say i was on the other side of the church shooting through some shrubbery for the first song and with some creative editing managed to cover most of it up.
Mistakes are good learning tools, now I always ask the most apparently stupid questions, but generally i'm in the right place at the right time!!
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Old June 21st, 2013, 07:07 AM   #10
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Re: OTT & To much planning

Hi Rob

That can happen so easily which is why I go to rehearsals..even if you ask questions they might forget about other details. During the rehearsal someone will say "Ok and the solo singer can stand there and do Ave Maria as the bride walks in" ...There is going to be a solo singer?? You guys never told me" ... "Oops we forgot or doesn't every wedding have a singer?" .. Sometimes you have to either be a mind reader or very quick on your feet!

Slightly off topic I see you also do photos and video ... Do you do that solo too ??

Chris
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Old June 21st, 2013, 12:47 PM   #11
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Re: OTT & To much planning

Not all clients are the same. Use your discretion.

Some prefer as little fuss as possible and resent having to give you so much of their time/attention. Others are comfortable with lots of planning and appreciate you demonstrating your interest and attention.
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Old June 21st, 2013, 02:06 PM   #12
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Re: OTT & To much planning

Nice one christian, good point
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Old June 21st, 2013, 06:59 PM   #13
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Re: OTT & To much planning

I never attend the rehearsal. It's a waste of time for me. What I found is that everything can be planned, and you think you have everything covered, but once the big flower arrangements are in place on the wedding day, it throws everything you had planned out the window. Instead, I get to the ceremony site earlier on the day of the wedding, and talk with the best man. I ask him how everyone is going to walk down the aisle, and where everyone will stand, and what's going to happen during the ceremony. If I'm shooting the processional over his shoulder, I tell him in advance that I'll be right next to him and be aware that I'll need a little space to shoot. As for the rest of the evening, I get a timeline and floorplan from the wedding planner about a week before the wedding. I've attached actual samples for you to see. Once I have the floorplan and timeline, I can go through the entire day without surprises. Speaking of surprises, sometimes the groom might have a surprise for his bride by singing a karaoke song or something similar, but I ask the bride and groom separately in advance if there are any surprises I should know about. With all this information, it's always smooth sailing!

P.S. I never met this bride and groom until the day of their wedding, everything was booked online. I didn't discuss the timeline with the bride and groom, I discussed it with the wedding coordinator a week before the wedding, then a day before the wedding date to see if any changes were made. All went well. Do not try to plan every little detail ahead of time, because things will always change. As a professional, you must go with the flow and always be on top of things as they happen. Your ability to work flexibly determines if you're up for this profession or not.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Ashley Allen Wedding Timeline 06.01.13.pdf (91.1 KB, 559 views)
File Type: pdf Ito Floorplan.pdf (112.2 KB, 97 views)
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Old June 22nd, 2013, 05:35 AM   #14
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Re: OTT & To much planning

Skimping on the preparation to try and keep the couple sweet is perilous, as illustrated by the various anecdotes in this thread.

The trick is to complete a detailed "interrogation" without the couple even realising. You can't rely on them knowing and telling you what you need to know without any prompting from yourself.

I use this cribsheet - but I never let the clients see it let alone fill it out:

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/docs/wedding-update.pdf

Then I put together a version relevant to their day - which is of course much shorter and simpler as the original covers every eventuality. Bear in mind also that it is geared towards my joint stills / video coverage so some is not relevant for video. Finally I send the couples a PDF copy which includes the posed photo shotlist. Other data which you might include is already on my booking form - which also needs rechecking as its surprising how many couples change their addresses phone numbers emails and getting ready locations after booking.

Pete
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Old June 22nd, 2013, 08:36 AM   #15
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Re: OTT & To much planning

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Hi Rob

Slightly off topic I see you also do photos and video ... Do you do that solo too ??

Chris
Hi Chris, im solo if i'm doing one or the other, if both theres - two of us sometimes three.

Coming from the military i've used things like Op-Orders in the past, very detailed timelines etc. but unfortunately people & events dont always follow the order and timings that i've detailed.

I've a wedding next Fri i asked what would they like? they replied 'we dont know what we want' so i'm just going to wing it, talking about an interrogation, i literally have a time and a venue, i know the guys name and nothing else!!
so yea it's true, some people are not bothered with detail others can be very fussy, takes all kinds i guess.
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