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Old October 28th, 2013, 03:32 PM   #1
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How much homily do you include?

It seems to be common advice on this forum to cover ceremonies with multiple cameras. But I do know videographers who cover with just one.

Now, these guys often don't include everything the priest says. Rather, the homily is the time when you can move around a bit, get reaction shots and cutaways and beauty shots and whatever else. And I guess it's also a question of how much time you gave yourself to set up. If you came running into the church 10 minutes before kick off, then maybe you didn't have time to get any sort of detail shots or establishing shot at all, which is added reason to point the camera away from the priest for a few minutes.

I normally include full everything. Couple never complains if you give you much, only too little. But I'm curious -- how many people here truncate the ceremony? And does it ever come back to bite you when you do?

Edit: I should add that, at a recent wedding, the priest was insistent -- when I speak to the couple, that is not a time for photography. Everyone must sit down, especially including the photographers. So, no one to operate our DSLRs then, and frame and focus them, and press record every 12 minutes.
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Old October 28th, 2013, 04:13 PM   #2
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Re: How much homily do you include?

Its a good question Adrian. I find it depends on the couple though and on this - how much do they fare about their faith? And lets be honest, its not for us to speculate. For example, I totally don't get mass, and it bores me - I guess from my denominational background I think of a lot of it is... actually... what I think is neither here nor there.

Point is, a couple may be doing it out of tradition and be bored out of their mind themselves, or they might find it really spiritual and profound. rather than ask people if their faith is actually based on much, I just go ahead and give them the whole thing.

Its a pain to sit through on timeline though!
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Old October 28th, 2013, 05:15 PM   #3
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Re: How much homily do you include?

I film all of it, then I usually ask the couple about it. Most of the time they say no. If I don't ask, I'll cut it out.

I don't find it a good time for reaction shots, for unless the priest is a real entertainer, there are no reactions. Can be a good time for other b.roll, though.
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Old October 28th, 2013, 05:43 PM   #4
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Re: How much homily do you include?

I put the entire ceremony in, only stop if there's communion. Occasionally I use cutaway shots, if needed or boredom, but I don't do much editing of the ceremony.. IMHO there's the FFWD button on the remote. Plus the parents might like to see the mass, probably not but they might be a bit perplexed/offended if scenes of it were missing.
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Old October 28th, 2013, 05:47 PM   #5
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Re: How much homily do you include?

My style is documentary and I always film the entire ceremony from beginning to end as I would assume that if the couple have chosen to get married in church then it means something to them. If they don't require the religious ceremony and all that goes with it, they could have chosen a civil ceremony.

I have filmed many hundreds of weddings with just one camera, all of them with the entire ceremony. It requires a lot more awareness of what you will end up with and much more imagination to keep it interesting. you also need to be very confident with focus, white balance and exposure as you will need to use all the footage. I really enjoy one camera weddings and the challenge that they bring and the editing of the ceremony is so easy because there is just one basic clip plus some detail shots that I take before the ceremony. I have never had any client comment on there only being one camera and have often been asked where the second camera was because of the cutaway inserts that I use and also cropping down a few seconds of footage to reuse again as a cutaway.

I do from time to time have a second camera for a different angle if I feel there may be a risk of the couple being obscured by the officiant, and always have a spare camera to hand if needed. I do feel that some wedding videographers use multi angles as a substitute for creative and skilful camera use, although many use them as they genuinely feel they need the extra coverage. At the end of the day, if the client is happy with the end product, that is all that matters and how you achieve that is down to you.

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Old October 28th, 2013, 06:10 PM   #6
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Re: How much homily do you include?

Always the entire homily ! I can always chop it out if I don't need it or the bride doesn't want it but rather record it so at least you have it!!

I do the bride taking communion but not the guests as they come up the aisle to do that and block one camera anyway!!

Latest stats over here show that brides getting married in a Church have now dropped to a mere 26% compared to Civil weddings but almost all my Church weddings seem to be Catholic now. Some are extremely devout! I did one this year in a huge Church and the guests barely filled the front pew! We had a grand total of 19 people and that included the bridal party of 7! They still had the full deal that took a full hour to get through..and a long homily!!

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Old October 28th, 2013, 06:45 PM   #7
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Re: How much homily do you include?

We have quite a lot "rent a priest" ceremonies here that are done at the venue, then friends and family come and share personal thoughts about the couple, those ceremonies I include from beginning to end as that is also always requested by the couples (I charge a premium for that)

If it's a church recording however I always cut an hour back to max 10 minutes, church ceremonies are all about church and little personal stuff about the couple, often 90% of the text spoken is standard that I hear back every week, only if a parent or friend comes up to read something personal they wrote themselve I leave that part in completely, all the rest is just very short highlights in the video. It's very rare a couple requests to have the church ceremony completely on video.
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Old October 28th, 2013, 07:13 PM   #8
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Re: How much homily do you include?

I've done doco style and short form style over my years and I learned something a very long time ago. You can not edit what you do not have. IOW, shoot it all...you never know what you might need for the finished edit. If you don't need some of the footage, toss it. It hasn't cost you a thing. On the other hand, the one time you really need something and don't have it, you'll be going to the B&G hat in hand trying to explain why you don't have that one special shot that they wanted more than anything. I'm being a bit cynical here but you get the point.
Shoot it ALL. Let the editor sort it out! ;-)
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Old October 28th, 2013, 10:19 PM   #9
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Re: How much homily do you include?

Hi Don

Absolutely!! My main cam runs from before the bride walks in until she walks out (back camera too!)

I'd much rather chop out huge amounts of footage (yay! less to edit) than as you say go hat in hand to the bride. It only happens ONCE so film it all and then use what you need. If a bride asks for the entire ceremony start to finish and pays you to do it then isn't it nice to say "no problem!"

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Old October 28th, 2013, 11:07 PM   #10
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Re: How much homily do you include?

I agree. If you don't shoot it all, you are in essence making some major edit decisions on the day. I'd rather make the big edit decisions when I edit.
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Old October 29th, 2013, 06:03 AM   #11
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Re: How much homily do you include?

Hey Chris,
I just noticed you said you don't record the Communion of the Masses. Don't you find it to be a PITA to sync up when editing? I find that for me, I just let 'er roll and cut that in post. No one wants to see that. the back of 200 peoples heads are a waste of time but I roll for sync purposes.
Just wondering!
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Old October 29th, 2013, 07:45 AM   #12
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Re: How much homily do you include?

Hi Don

Over here the communion is done last so basically when the couple have received their bread and wine, I stop the camera and that is the end of the clip.

Directly after all the guests have received communion, they do the prayers of the faithful, blessing and then the register signing so for me that's a new clip on the camera. Remember I'm not using DVR's so all my footage is synced anyway so the only other bit that needs to be synced is the high up back camera so I end up with a bit of extra footage at the end of it's recording. My weddings have always been done in clips rather than one 80 minute recording too which makes editing less painful and easier also to sync with the other cameras too.

On a typical FULL Catholic ceremony (I get very few nowdays as most are shortened to 20 minutes with no mass at all) I would have up to 4 clips ...like :
(1) bridal entry, welcome prayer, and readings
(2) homily
(3) vows and ring exchange and blessing
(4) register and exit processional

If I have to do the start of the mass it goes between 3 and 4

All my clips start from black (with a little title) and fade to black at the end ..on the DVD they play seamlessly ... A long time ago I was taught that humans can concentrate at best for 15 minutes then their brain switches off ... by providing the tiny gap between clips the brain gets no information and "resets" so although the 4 sections are virtually seamless the brain perceives the ceremony as a "4 part series" and concentration is better.

This way you only have to sync a max of 15 minutes of video, and only edit a more manageable piece of footage rather than fighting a one hour plus piece of 3 cam footage on the timeline.

It might be weird but I have always done it this way... speeches are the same.. they are each on their own clip.

When I make my DVD it's made with up to 20 clips and menu operation is perfect as you have no chapters..each menu button goes to the start of a clip.

For interest how do others edit?? Is your wedding one huge clip and render???

Chris

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Old October 29th, 2013, 08:10 AM   #13
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Re: How much homily do you include?

Chris,
Once I start the camera for the processional it doesn't stop until the recessional is done. For me it's just easier that way. I generally don't include the communion of the masses at a Catholic ceremony and of course I cut the air between speakers. Some priests are quite slow to continue speaking so I cut that air as well. My ceremonies don't get chaptered either. So while it's a long piece it's actually pretty easy to cut. Be it 2 or 3 camera (or even more on occasion) Excalibur makes it easy to cut.
My basic chapters are the Pre ceremony B footage then The Ceremony, Post Ceremony includes B footage of the reception venue and cocktail hour, receiving line if they do one up til introductions. That's a new chapter. Intros, Cake cutting, Toasts, blessing, specialty dances then party time including garter and bouquet. I talk to the DJ during cocktail hour so we're on the same page about timing. After the gartr and bouquet I grab the couple do my walk away good bye shot and then it's good bye.
I edit each section as a chapter starting with the ceremony. I found the reception is actually more work than the ceremony. I try to hit a time mark (length) and not include any moves I make during dancing.

Thank goodness I have 2 left. One in November and one more in December then I'm done! WOOHOO!
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Old October 29th, 2013, 08:39 AM   #14
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Re: How much homily do you include?

Hi Don

That would be the final two I presume before your long awaited cruise next year?? You are lucky.. I still have 12 shoots to go till the end of the year, but they are a LOT easier now I have persuaded brides to finish with me after the first dance so I'm done usually by 9:30pm and home at a decent time. I changed my packages at the start of 2013 as the getting to bed to 2:00am was exhausting me!! It's a little less income but a lot more sanity!

Actually in 2013 I think I have done just one ceremony with full mass ... Our average Church wedding choice over Civil weddings is now dropped again to a 26% compared with 74% of brides choosing civil weddings and usually outdoor too which last around 20 minutes tops ..usually a lot less!!

Chris
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Old October 29th, 2013, 08:54 AM   #15
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Re: How much homily do you include?

Ha,
Well the cruise would come anyway. It's our 45th anniversary so no better way to celebrate! These last 2 are the LAST 2 weddings I'm going to do. PERIOD!
Well not 100% true. I have a niece getting married in March and she doesn't want video but asked me if I could do the still photography. Wow, I haven't done that for a long time but luckily, I know some folks that I can borrow gear from. the best part is she's not expecting a lot so there really is no pressure and I'm kind of looking forward to it. Maybe I'll switch back to stills...Naw, what am I thinking!
I'll still be shooting but it's all going to be corporate type stuff. Seminars, interviews, webamericals...but no weddings. My back is out of whack and my mind is mush so...;-)
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