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


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Old August 1st, 2013, 05:25 PM   #1
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No more wedding videos!

This is the last wedding film I will ever do. I had a ton of complaints from the bride on this one and wanted to share and get some critiques on this:

Some of her complaints were the BS kind, such as "I don't like what I look like, or what I'm saying....my mom looks horrible...etc...choppy editing...can you do more effects...are you the same editor as the other ones on the website..."

Thoughts anyone?

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Old August 1st, 2013, 06:03 PM   #2
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Re: No more wedding videos!

Well, it is ofcourse your fault she doesn't like the way she or her mom looks, don't you have photoshop or after effects?

Ah, just let her nag, I have a bridezilla as well this year, she's annoyed that she has to wait too long (only 6 weeks ago since I shot her wedding) A week ago she send me another mail with one line of text: "when will my dvd be ready?" I reply: "My dad died 2 weeks ago which has messed up my planning, but I will do my very best to finish your wedding dvd asap" and do you think she replies to that? Nope, so I decided to edit the weddings I did after her first so she can wait even longer.

It all depends what you have agreed upon and what demo's she has seen on your website that would cause her to react like that, also your contract can be important in discussions like this. You can tell her that you can't be responsible about the way she or her mom looks and that any editing changes are possible but at a fixed hour rate, works for me as they never want to pay extra. But at least they can't blame you afterwards that you where not willing to make changes for her.
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Old August 1st, 2013, 06:06 PM   #3
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Re: No more wedding videos!

I simply don't get it ...

Don't brides understand you can't change the way they look or what they say. What's said is said, what they look like is what they look like ...

Pathetic reasons to complain about.

In regards to editing? what did she ask for? I would just stand firmly and state it's as similar to my other videos, I mean what else can you do ... All weddings are different.
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Old August 1st, 2013, 06:06 PM   #4
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Re: No more wedding videos!

To be honest, I was expecting a lot worse when I hit play. That's a tough situation if someone simply does not like what they look like on camera. She's a very pretty bride. In fact the only unflattering shot of her I thought was perhaps the reverse shot just before you cut to the first kiss. But even then, not too bad, and I was actively looking for things like that because of your post. Was this much different from your other work? I can see how someone might get upset if their video pales in comparison to all the samples you've shown them. Was there an incident perhaps that got you on her "bad side" prior to her receiving the video? Because then I can see that almost nothing you gave her would please her because she's more upset with you and is taking it out on the video. But I wouldn't give up because of one bride. You have talent.

I enjoyed the video but if you want constructive criticism...and again, everyone has their own style...but I guess I would have liked to see the music fuel the piece more instead of just playing in the background. For example, when they kiss, cue the music. Not in a sappy way, but in way that accompanies the excitement of the moment like in a movie. There was a lot of great moments and great audio captured throughout, but I felt music could have played a bigger part in sucking us into the emotion of the scene. The Reception coverage was fun but I guess I just wished there was that payoff "awww" type moment at some point. Like I said before, she's a very pretty bride and they came across as a fun couple so you did a good job there. Maybe look to get a few more CU's of the bride that make you go "wow, she's gorgeous" while you are shooting it. Flatter her. And him.

I say all this because I was "looking" for things, but overall, I think if you enjoy doing this, don't give up just cuz of this incident. Or, take a day or two and rework it for her. I know that's a pain, but if you can find a way somehow to make her happy and cut out anything that she didn't like, it might end up being a very rewarding experience. Sorry you had this happen to you though.
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Old August 1st, 2013, 07:44 PM   #5
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Re: No more wedding videos!

I can tell that she's a hard one to please....Nothing will be good enough for her.

You did great work and don't let that discourage you. It builds character to handle people like that, so think of it as a "character training session" and just move on....but don't give up on weddings, great work!

Over the last 25 years, I must of filmed 300 weddings, and yes I get the occasion bridezella...my response is something like this.

"I'm so sorry to hear that you weren't pleased with the video, we did everything we can to make sure the picture is perfectly captured, but at times we cannot control certain events or expressions. If there are some parts you wish to eliminate, please let us know....we want to do what we can to make you happy".
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Old August 1st, 2013, 08:00 PM   #6
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Re: No more wedding videos!

Hi Brandon

If she has paid and you have delivered the required DVD's then just ignore her and move on. She seems like the kind of person that will never be pleased regardless of what you give her.

Sure, I would use Julius's suggestion BUT stop at the word "expression" By offering to correct stuff and make tiny little imperfections right means that you are going to have her on your back for many years unless you simply put your foot down.

Not all brides are as bad as that and most are really nice. Don't of course make the mistake of giving ANY a "proof" copy and ask her to tell you what she doesn't like...that's really asking for trouble and she would feel obliged to find a few faults even if they don't worry her. Put her money in the bank, supply the DVD's and leave her to watch her own ugly family, it's not your problem they don't look like film stars

Once that's done, book the next wedding...it will be much better!

Chris
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Old August 1st, 2013, 08:48 PM   #7
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Re: No more wedding videos!

How much did she pay for the wedding video?
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Old August 1st, 2013, 09:18 PM   #8
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Re: No more wedding videos!

I agree with most of what has been said here already, so I won't go into the business or politics of it all.

However, there are some glaring technical issues at hand that I think need fixing in order to call this a professional work. And being completely honest, if I was the bride/groom, I'd probably be a little pissed off as well.

The color is all over the place. Pick a theme and stick to it. I think the entire film was too contrasty and needed more saturation and warmth in some places. The look of the first 30 seconds was great, but after that things go awry.

There is a very noticeable audio hiss throughout that sounds bad and needs to be fixed. In my opinion this is the biggest problem. You should be able to fix this with careful EQ or with a program like Izotope RX2.

No reason to include all the dumb things being said during photo shoots and such. Use your background music like a CRUTCH! I know I do.

I'm sure your edit software has some stabilization ability use it.

Put a vignette on the whole thing and it will jazz it up a bit. That and a very subtle sepia tone filter.

We all have bad days where things aren't always perfect, but I do think there are some simple things you can do in editing to make the whole experience better. While some people here say forget about the bride and move on, I can't say that's the decision I would make myself. You were hired to make a special video for the couple's wedding day, and had a responsibility to deliver. If you can't at least try to make it right, why be in the wedding business at all? It certainly can't be just for the money... :)

Sorry you're feeling stressed out about this. I completely get it and I know it sucks. I have a feeling the bride didn't quite know how to explain what she didn't like in the video and thus gave you some crypic feedback. I don't think it's so much about what she looked like or what someone said, but more that the video needs another pass in order to tie everything together. Good luck.
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Old August 1st, 2013, 09:21 PM   #9
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Re: No more wedding videos!

Brandon,
Your style is a bit different then some I've seen on here but I like it. Great job.

Not sure who's idea the "Retro " treatment was. It works for me but maybe not her.

I really like it though.

Just remember there are nice ways to say "our business is done here".
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Old August 1st, 2013, 10:23 PM   #10
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Re: No more wedding videos!

Hmmm, I agree with alot of the posters here, in that it is really good. However, I think myb its a bit too "artsy". The filmic look/color correction is a little much, bad in some parts. The 0:37 where he parents walk in it not flattering, while you & us may dig it, she might have been expecting a beautiful shot of her parents, who raised her, taught her, and trained her to be the woman she is today. And it ends up being some blown out footage done by playing with levels & curves settings. Another example of poor color correction is the 5:20 scene of the bridesmaids is beautiful, probably the best scene in the very good video, but just :10 seconds later the 5:27 1970s retro film look is just terrible. I think the scene where she keeps saying "I"m five feet behind you. I'm four feet behind you." is stupid & that might be what she's referring to when she says "I don't like what I'm saying".

Nate makes a good point about her feedback being cryptic. Some people cannot explain video editing, or use proper grammer or descriptive terms. ("It looks funny". "I ddon't like me getting ready like that" etc), so you kinda have to do a bit of your own research & looking at it as a blank slate, not the reasoning you did things or your love of the artsy looks. All in all though, it is pretty good & you have some great stuff, I think the mish-moshed coloring kinda taints it, which may explain what she means by "I don't like the way I look", and "My Mom looks bad". It's not that they LOOKED bad on that day, it's that with the playing around of coloring the actual look got messed up, artistic creativity or not. Same for "I don't like what I said". Take out the "I'm five feet away" and imho the silly 7 second jig she gives before the first kiss, and the line "Really we go now?" after the kiss and it might eliminate that concern of hers. We might think it's cute, but she might be embarrased by it.

Again, she may very well be a bridezilla. There's plenty of em out there & for someone to b* tch at this video probably just wants to join in on the "Oh my videographer sucked" club. It's an exclusive membership with good perks. However probably tone down the artsy coloring going forward, you have a great theme & look. Don't get sidetracked into something else.
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Old August 1st, 2013, 10:34 PM   #11
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Re: No more wedding videos!

I agree with the Nate, the color correction is all over the place after the first 30 seconds. Otherwise I think it had a good flow.
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Old August 2nd, 2013, 12:32 AM   #12
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Re: No more wedding videos!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Haustein View Post
Put a vignette on the whole thing and it will jazz it up a bit. That and a very subtle sepia tone filter.
vignette and sepia tone filter, yikes...:)


She asked for "more" effects so not sure what she meant but it could be that she didn't like the effects that would mimic the older camera, we all might mean well by giving advice about what we think should be different in the editing but that doesn't matter at all, it is what the bride thinks that should be changed, so maybe it's best just to ask her what exactly is bothering her.
Brandon, I wanted to see how your other videos looked like because the bride seemed to have used that as a reference but I see your website is off-line, you really are trowing in the towel?
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Old August 2nd, 2013, 12:49 AM   #13
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Re: No more wedding videos!

Brandon,
I wouldn't jump to conclusions. In photography I have run into subjects who are never satisfied with the way they look, even when everybody in the room says they look great.

I did head shots of 14 executives at a corporate office. Everybody was satisfied except this drop dead gorgeous exec that thought she looked terrible in one unexplainable way or another, I had to go back another day to shoot just her . Shot the exact same shot and she was elated. I swear it was exact, it was a head shot for gods sake. but she got the attention a beautiful woman like her is used to getting and all was well.

I think your bride looks lovely and quite sexy . And I bet her friends do too.

Some inner feelings you just cant change.

And as far as your styling and color grade choices brides rarely know much about that either.

Your most critical audience is right here, and I doubt the bride is seeing it that way, so I would take that with a grain of salt too.

I wouldn't change a thing until you know EXACTLY what she is referring to.

I think you did a great job.
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Old August 2nd, 2013, 01:34 AM   #14
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Re: No more wedding videos!

I agree with Al too

Don't start changing stuff until the bride contacts you and tells you what she is worried about..it just could be something simple! I have had bride's show me stuff from other productions and they have been disgusted with the results so you shouldn't worry about anything until you find out what's bugging her!

I find that as long as the bridesmaids look good and their delicate pink outfits are not orange in the video and, of course, they are in focus, she will be happy!! Brides often mistake carefully planned shallow depth of field nowdays as an inability to focus correctly from the cameraman ..it might be as easy at that or she might not like the white flash transitions (I personally don't ever use them but that's just me!)

Have a fun weekend coming up and put the footage to one side until she has talked to you.

Chris
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Old August 2nd, 2013, 02:54 AM   #15
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Re: No more wedding videos!

Brandon, it looks fine to me...we all have our own styles. The one thing I'd personally lose is that "I loved her first" song, it is probably the worst piece of music ever recorded...but that's just me.
Don't give up mate, and I have to say that she does come across as a bit of a clown...I think she has to admit to herself that it's her antics that make her look stupid than anything you've done.
Why not just take her out the edit completely!
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