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Old December 13th, 2013, 12:39 PM   #46
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Re: What are you delivering in terms of reception dancing?

It seems over the last few years there are MORE speeches and some are running pretty long. I agree, there is no need to go back to kindergarden and cover the next 25 years. No one really cares. Well, I could be wrong but in this case, I don't think so. Let's face it...most people are there for the free food, free booze and to see if they can get lucky. ;-) We of course as consummate professionals keep our eyes in the viewfinder at all times! ;-)

A professional speaker once told me that the difference between a TOAST and a SPEECH is about 5 minutes.
A TOAST is 90 seconds or less...A speech is anything over that. As he said, 'Be Bright...Be Brief, Be Gone.' Too bad most people don't get it. Oh well. Frame, focus, push the red button and go to sleep!
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Old December 18th, 2013, 07:16 AM   #47
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Re: What are you delivering in terms of reception dancing?

Just saw this thread and I think it's a good question. After skimming through the 4 pages, looks like I'm in the minority. I actually devote a DVD just for the reception (if it's a big one with lots of dancing). Receptions around here are planned out as much as or more than the ceremony. Usually with bands. I set up one camera on a tripod and go hand held with the other and cut between the two, always making sure there both running at the same time and include most of the whole song in the final cut. We usually only shoot when the bride and or groom are on the floor and stay to the bitter end if there's anything going on and if there having a send off for the B&G.

I have been planning on doing a survey for some time now, from past B&G's, to see how important full receptions with the dancing is to them. I would live to be able to leave early and get home before 1:00am
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Old December 18th, 2013, 01:05 PM   #48
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Re: What are you delivering in terms of reception dancing?

Normally at the Reception, I'll pick two or three songs that the band or DJ is playing that are kind of upbeat and just let the camera run and capture a couple minutes of each song. (Outside of the first dance, father daughter dances etc)

Then in post, I'll montage clips over those dancing clips, everything from people to dancing etc.

Now, at a wedding I shot last month, the Bride specifically stated she wanted a lot of dancing in the final video, so I actually have about 10 segments that are 60-90 seconds each of different songs the band performed that night with a lot of people on the dance floor having fun etc.

In 13 years that's the first time I've specifically been requested to include a lot of dancing.
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Old December 18th, 2013, 03:38 PM   #49
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Re: What are you delivering in terms of reception dancing?

Do you guys find that something like a Glidecam or a shoulder mount is useful when getting shots of dancing? Do you walk around in the crowd, or stick to the outside perimeter with a monopod or other non-moving support?
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Old December 18th, 2013, 03:59 PM   #50
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Re: What are you delivering in terms of reception dancing?

I do outside perimeter wide shot.

If I have a second shooter, I let them do moving and creative shots and will cut those in if I think they look ok.
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Old December 19th, 2013, 12:22 PM   #51
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Re: What are you delivering in terms of reception dancing?

First dance and gone, its been a long day
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Old December 21st, 2013, 11:12 AM   #52
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Re: What are you delivering in terms of reception dancing?

I've changed my mind on this. Our offering has been to film until first dance plus 10 minutes. HOWEVER, I love the options when we do stay and get footage from the dance. It turns out I'm pretty good at walking through the dance floor with a 50mm on my 5d Mark 2 (or a 14mm on a 70D for the head to toe look) and rack focusing from couple to couple.

It also seems that smiling and laughing faces from the dance is another opportunity to have emotionally expressive footage different from the intensely serious business from earlier in the day AND functions similar to filming the receiving line, except sometimes the folks are doing goofy/fun things, too.
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Old December 21st, 2013, 06:58 PM   #53
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Re: What are you delivering in terms of reception dancing?

My biggest issue with staying after the first dance was that very little happens plus what does is mainly dancing and you cannot really give the bride 2 hours of dancing can you?? Plus if you have been going since 11am with the bridal prep even you younger dudes must surely start feeling a bit tired by midnight...I used to end up going to bed a 2:30am when I stayed to the end and the next day you don't exactly feel bright and refreshed!

I'll stick to a first dance finish! Take last night .. the first dance and father/daughter dance finished just after 9:30pm ... then it's pack up all your gear and run your trolley out of the resort's loading bay, go fetch the car from the parking lot, unload the trolley into the car and head for home ...that made it an arrival in my driveway at 10:35pm ... Then I still had to copy footage off the cards and check that I actually did film something, have a shower and a cuppa and before you realise it, midnight is pretty close!!

Repeat the same exercise but finish at midnight when the bride departs and you can easily see how a midnight finish becomes an actual 2:30am - 3:00am "climb into bed"

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Old December 21st, 2013, 08:45 PM   #54
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Re: What are you delivering in terms of reception dancing?

Leaving before 11 PM is early. See how doing ethnic weddings in montreal Canada can be.. How about a Greek wedding finishing at 2 AM after they break dishes ( Cretan thing) at 1:30 AM. Miss that and you're toast. By the time you roll into bed the sun comes up, you sleep 2 hours and have to be at another Greek or Italian one at 9AM for the bridal house prep. Sometimes it's not the age but the mileage that kills us.
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Old December 21st, 2013, 09:31 PM   #55
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Re: What are you delivering in terms of reception dancing?

I stopped staying to the bitter end probably close to 25 years ago. First dance, father daughter, mother son some open dancing (generally about 30 to 45 minutes) garter bouquet toss, DONE! 10:30 generally home by NLT 11:30.
As for the 45 minutes or so of open dance not all was ever used. Cherry pick the best, cut the rest.

IF and I say again...IF I were ever to do any more weddings (not going to happen but being hypothetical) I would do the specialty dances, stay 30 minutes and be gone. I used to do that and it worked out well. Don't ask why I changed. IIRC I think my wife had something to say in that one. ;-)
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Old December 21st, 2013, 11:08 PM   #56
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Re: What are you delivering in terms of reception dancing?

Hey Art

I'm just too old and worn out to be filming stuff at 1:30am and then up and at 'em at 9am .... I need my beauty sleep as we old guys lose our looks fast.

I have done just ONE Greek wedding in the last 5 years and she had a very tame Western reception! I hope you charge mega bucks to do stuff like that. We have quite close knit communities in Australia and you find that people like the Jewish will choose both photo and video within their community so if you are not part of the Jewish community you are unlikely to get work from them.

I obviously stay well away from most Asian/Middle Eastern weddings as they are simple way too much work for what the couple expect it to cost..

I will ONLY do back to back weddings if I'm only doing the ceremony and up to the first dance! Ceremonies here are usually around 3:00 - 3:30pm so that gives me a break between gigs and at least I have the whole morning to recover!

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Old December 22nd, 2013, 12:16 AM   #57
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Re: What are you delivering in terms of reception dancing?

Chris, in those days when I was doing 16 hour gigs I used to charge a lot and get it without bargaining, it seemed the clients back then just did not see too many videographers as there was no internet back then. They had to go, spend travel time just to see a few samples. I could count how many videographers on my fingers, that's how few they were back in the 70's 80's. Of course, I was in much better shape back then , but I really enjoyed working that many hours. Tough, true, but I brought home the bacon, and lots of it every weekend during the 7 months of wedding season. I paid off my mortgage in less than 8 years doing just video. I like to see today if that is possible. Somehow I believe the web and affordable auto everything cameras was the final nail in the coffin that started to be hammered in around 10 years ago. Just the other day I was in a huge photo store in NY where you have to wait in line to see and talk to a salesman, when 2 young fellows, probably students asked to see a DSLR that is easy to use and shoots HD and all that stuff The salesman I overheard asking " what will you be mostly shooting?"they replied" We want to do lots of weddings next year but only have a budget of 10K dollars which has to include 2 cameras, an editing computer, software, slider, lights, wireless mics, tripods etc. The salesman said "no problem, by the way do you have any experience in weddings or shooting video with a photo camera?" They said "none at all, but we don't need to learn, the camera has autofocus and auto exposure doesn't it ?" To which the salesman replied with a huge grin from ear to ear " Of course it has, of course."
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