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Old February 22nd, 2014, 04:26 AM   #46
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Re: Do brides want shallow depth of field?

I certainly agree with all the last few posts regarding framing, composition, etc and of course the continuous sheep like over use of sugary shots at the expense of seeing the real emotion. As I have often said though, many wedding videographers come from the photographic world and are great at all the above, but what sometimes seems to be missing is the visual flow that comes from learning how to build the story with a series of flowing interacting images. Successful emotive video is not just about individual shots, it's knowing exactly how long a shot should be, and constructing and presenting a longer scene, by drawing the viewer to the bits that really matter and little details that are picked up.

In a film performance, all action and scenes would be carefully and painstakingly storyboarded and scripted. You can't do that with a wedding, but experience gives you that ability to carry a storyboard in your head and know instinctively what shots to take to be able to knit them all together for that vital visual flow.

Roger
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Old February 22nd, 2014, 06:10 AM   #47
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Re: Do brides want shallow depth of field?

I've decided to try and make a list of what most brides want and in order of how important they may be..

1) All the right bits covered
2) All the right people covered
3) Being able to hear clearly
4) Being able to spot most of their guests at least once
5) The videographer to not be demanding (the togs do plenty of that).
7) * The video quality to be better than old school - generally this means sharp, but at least some DOF that separates the background from the fore - Not too shallow though.
7) Variety of camera angles in service and speeches.
8) Some creative shots
9) A 'story'. (I believe most know their own story and don't need you to creatively make it emotive)


* on number 5, just to clarify - If you show a bride two options - one with old school camcorder footage with everything in frame in perfect focus, and a shot with some DOF ie. the background slightly out of focus, accentuating the fore - the bride will choose the latter and will declare that it is better quality. Of course, there is a limit - I think in Church Services f4.5 is a pretty good place to be.

Thoughts? Any disagreements?
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Old February 22nd, 2014, 06:26 AM   #48
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Re: Do brides want shallow depth of field?

Hi Clive

That's a pretty comprehensive list ! Well done .. any bride would be happy if you can do all that.

I cheat a bit on Point 4!! As soon as the bride has come into the reception I then go around the tables with the camera doing a slow pan of each in turn and that usually keeps the bride happy as she can see everyone who has come!

There is absolutely nothing wrong with selective focussing as long as you know what sort of DOF to expect ... a soft background behind you filming a couple is magic and always looks good but try and shoot stuff at F1.8 and a group of 10 people at a table will result in someone being out of focus for sure!!

I'm also a bit lazy with speeches and just shoot on 2 cams ..one on the person making the speech and then lot's of cutaways on the second cam so you are not just filming a talking head and shoulders!!

Chris
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Old February 22nd, 2014, 06:56 AM   #49
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Re: Do brides want shallow depth of field?

In my country I see a new generation of videographers, I often check out "competitors" portfolios, just because I like to watch others work but also to see what others are up to, I start to see more and more photogs offering shortform videos. They all work with 5d"s (something I can see based on the very shallow dof all their shots have) and they don't care about sound.

Their videos are some kind of extension of their photography meaning much attention to how a shot is framed, often frames that intentional don't follow the "rules", they all shoot handheld meaning lots of shaky footage and they engage a lot with the couple, you can see there is a lot more interaction going on between videographer, couple and family, same as a photog would do, lots of shots that are staged and all shots have a very shallow dof where you constantly see them struggle to keep good focus, the result however is a actually fun to watch short video, they also colorcorrect in a way the video gets a distinct but to my eyes weird and unnatural look, something artsy fartsy for a couple that want's something different. I"d link such a video here but prefer not to as they can see where their videos are embedded and can follow what is been said about them.

Thing is, that fine for a 3 minute trailer but I can't imagine this to be a 30 to 45 minute version, especially since they don't invest in sound, just like a photog they like to travel light, shoot candid video and just carry around one 5DIII all day, no tripod, no light, no sound.

Maybe this is the future and I"m becoming a dinosaur? :)
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Old February 22nd, 2014, 08:09 AM   #50
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Re: Do brides want shallow depth of field?

Hi Noa

I think you hit the nail on the head here. Looking at wedding short form done on a DSLR you can easily spot the photography style breaking through! Suddenly the bridal prep becomes shots of all the dresses, jewellery, makeup exactly like a photog would shoot it. Basically they are still shooting a still shot but just adding a slider sometimes so it makes it very easy for them and they stay completely within their comfort zone. If you take someone who has done a lot of videography and decides to switch to DSLR's the style is immediately different ... they are still videographers and are simply using a different tool to practice their craft.

If you have been a photog at weddings for all those years you will have developed a style of your own so it would be very tricky to try and develop a completely new style for video and even if you do, your experience as a photographer will always shine through.

It would of course be interesting to get a comment from someone here who was never a wedding photographer and simply decided that they liked DSLR's to make wedding videos ... Anyone in that situation here with no wedding photog experience and went directly to wedding video with a DSLR??

Chris
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Old February 22nd, 2014, 09:37 AM   #51
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Re: Do brides want shallow depth of field?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
they also colorcorrect in a way the video gets a distinct but to my eyes weird and unnatural look
I think that's an interesting comment, because I've sort of noticed the same... The particular photographer I'm thinking of corrects his videos like he would his photos, but, for whatever reason, it doesn't work. Maybe because there's so much more information to play with with a RAW still vs an h.264 video. Or maybe something about a moving frame doesn't lend itself to the same effects as photos.
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Old February 22nd, 2014, 10:04 AM   #52
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Re: Do brides want shallow depth of field?

The whole concept of cinematic, photographic style short form is really a new product that couples are able to consider. I don't see any reason why it should be seen as a threat to doc style or old style whatever you want to call it. The danger lies when a couple are totally unaware of the options open to them and assume that short form is what wedding videos are all about.

I had yet another video view this week where all of the other companies that they had contacted were showing short form. I was the only one offering a whole day documentary, and they didn't know until I visited them that anything else was available. Within 10 minutes of them starting to view one of my videos, they stopped it and said 'This is exactly what we wanted'. Their signed contract arrived yesterday, so that means that four other companies offering short form only and competing for the same job have missed out.

I will include a short highlights video set to one song for quick showing to their friends, but that wasn't mentioned when I visited. So it reinforces my view that whole day footage is what most couples want given the choice and that the short form cinematic is more of a luxury item or perhaps sometimes chosen when they aren't aware of the alternatives. In other words, a different product entirely.

Roger
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Old February 22nd, 2014, 10:15 AM   #53
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Re: Do brides want shallow depth of field?

What brides want is as varied as the people on this board.

Some will come here and say "No, they dont want it". Some will tell you they want long form and short form is wrong. Some will say short form is the only way to go.

The fact is, what your brides want is different to what our brides want. Our brides go with us because they want a shorter edit, they want the DSLR look, they want Steadicam and all the rest. We have people who want a longer edit and we will put them in touch with people who offer that.

Its very hard to say if brides want shallow dof. Our brides do, those who dont offer it, their brides dont want it hence the reason they go with that person.

When we do our edu events people always ask how can people possibly want a shorter edit as all their clients want a longer edit. And we explain that if you offer a shorter edit then yes, the clients you currently have wouldnt book you but you find different clients who do want it.

Same as if you stopped filming weddings and only filmed funerals. Your current clients wouldnt book, but you would find new clients who will :)

Dont get too caught up on what other people offer. You find your own thing, whatever makes you happy and the clients will come.
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Old February 22nd, 2014, 01:00 PM   #54
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Re: Do brides want shallow depth of field?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
The whole concept of cinematic, photographic style short form is really a new product that couples are able to consider. I don't see any reason why it should be seen as a threat to doc style or old style whatever you want to call it. The danger lies when a couple are totally unaware of the options open to them and assume that short form is what wedding videos are all about.

I had yet another video view this week where all of the other companies that they had contacted were showing short form. I was the only one offering a whole day documentary, and they didn't know until I visited them that anything else was available. Within 10 minutes of them starting to view one of my videos, they stopped it and said 'This is exactly what we wanted'. Their signed contract arrived yesterday, so that means that four other companies offering short form only and competing for the same job have missed out.

I will include a short highlights video set to one song for quick showing to their friends, but that wasn't mentioned when I visited. So it reinforces my view that whole day footage is what most couples want given the choice and that the short form cinematic is more of a luxury item or perhaps sometimes chosen when they aren't aware of the alternatives. In other words, a different product entirely.

Roger
I dunno. I've said this in another thread and I'll say it again. People talk about
'most brides' or 'most couples' wanting long form or short form or shallow depth
or shallow depth of field or deep depth of field or whatever. Brides do NOT fit
in some neat category in my opinion. They are individuals and as such, are all
over the place. I have been asked for just a highlights video, to every moment
of everything that happened in the day. You either choose what you want to
offer, and then get mostly that type of bride coming to you (as watching your
demos will weed out many that don't look for your style), or you offer everything
and anything (and post demos of all styles). That is much harder to do, but
certainly possible. However, this is why you have a sit down meeting with a
potential customer. You get to find out what kind of video she is expecting,
and she gets to view demos of your work and you can both decide if its a good
match.
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Old February 23rd, 2014, 07:03 PM   #55
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Re: Do brides want shallow depth of field?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabe Strong View Post
I However, this is why you have a sit down meeting with a
potential customer. You get to find out what kind of video she is expecting,
and she gets to view demos of your work and you can both decide if its a good
match.
I absolutely agree with this! I also agree with Danny's point that you decide what style you want to do and if they want something different send them elsewhere there is room for everyone. I couldn't care less whether people produce long form or short form, only that I can sell my own services.

I will add though, that I advertise that we produce wedding video with the option of photographic package, but I do not advertise how long the finished product is. So potential clients do not contact me because they want any particular style unless they are recommendations, but rather because they want a wedding video. In my experience, over 2000 weddings, the vast majority have little idea what to expect although some may have seen a friends video, which could be long or short, cinematic or doc. I always visit potential clients to discuss requirements and show our work, and over the last 24 months of visits am still maintaining a 100% booking rate from visits, all long form doc style! I've no idea what that means except that I can't see any possible way to improve on that!

Roger
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Old February 23rd, 2014, 11:22 PM   #56
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Re: Do brides want shallow depth of field?

Hi Roger

During interviews brides will usually ask me "How long is the video" and I tell them "It's on two DVD's with the first covering prep, ceremony and photoshoot and the second covering the reception" "between 60 and 80 minutes depending on speeches"

What weird is that they have never said to me "Oh, that's very long" .. I have never asked them "Is that what you were expecting?" I wonder what they expect the DVD to run for? Danny's are short form so I'm now curious as to what my brides would say if I told them it's a short and sweet 20 minutes. Maybe the next time I will ask... what length did you expect? 20/40/60 or 100 minutes?

Have brides ever said to anyone ..Why so long? or Why so short?

Chris
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Old February 24th, 2014, 01:36 AM   #57
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Re: Do brides want shallow depth of field?

I've never got the question, "Why so short?" or "Why so long?", but I pretty much always get asked, "What is the total length?"

I think, from the bride's perspective, duration of video is one of the few solid things that can cling to try to distinguish one vendor from another, and I've got a feeling they adopt the attitude that more is better.
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Old February 24th, 2014, 02:18 AM   #58
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Re: Do brides want shallow depth of field?

Glad it's not only me then! Yep mine always want to know how long the DVD is but never ever comment. If you told them 60 or 120 minutes I don't think they would comment either way ... I guess it's much the same as asking your camera dealer ..how long will this battery last ...you want a reasonable time but don't expect a miracle.

I wonder if short form guys get asked the same question and do brides have a pre-set tolerance for both?

I think if I said 35 minutes their little brain would work hard and then think .."Wait a minute, the ceremony is 25 minutes so how will he fit in everything?"

Chris
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Old February 26th, 2014, 12:41 AM   #59
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Re: Do brides want shallow depth of field?

Basically I offer a 'highlights' video, and a long form, multicamera video.
I usually sell the highlights video along with a photographers package.
I'd say about 60% buy just the highlights video and about 40% buy both but
almost no one buys only the long form video, but that's just my market.

I have been asked about how long my short form 'highlights' video is, but
almost everyone who contacts me has already seen my demos online...that's
how many of them find me. The first thing I do when fielding an inquiry over the
phone or via email, is to direct them to my demos and they pretty much always
have already viewed them, so most know a little about what to expect. People
are becoming 'Internet savvy shoppers' and many do some legwork (mousework?)
at least more now than they used too.
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Old February 26th, 2014, 01:02 AM   #60
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Re: Do brides want shallow depth of field?

Hi Gabe

A while back I offered a short form video and I think only one bride ever took it so I dropped it. I also called it a highlights so maybe brides figured that it would omit too much of the important stuff?

With my highlights I think I offered a short bridal prep (about 3 mins) and then just the entry and vows/rings part of the ceremony (about 10 minutes), a 3 minute stedicam shoot and then bridal entry, cake cut and first dance which would have been 5 mins. That (without speeches at all) was around the 20 minute run length ... problem is if you include speeches (even the tradition 4 ) that can easily be another 30 minutes which makes it almost a long form again as it's nearly an hour!!

Are your short forms around 20 minutes or shorter/longer?

What do people think a highlights should and should not contain?

Chris
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