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Old March 2nd, 2014, 09:38 AM   #76
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Re: Do brides want shallow depth of field?

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Originally Posted by Peter Riding View Post
Some speeches may be marathons but typically they also will seldom be over 20 minutes in total. And again lots of golden moments including guest reactions.

Discuss :- )

Pete
I need to start filming nearer you then!

Speeches seem like they are rarely less than 30-40 minutes and often more like 40-60 minutes.
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 09:50 AM   #77
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Re: Do brides want shallow depth of field?

Hey Pete

I can hear the shrapnel hitting your helmet already!! I can honestly see the use of a trailer or maybe a 5 minute clip with just the vows and bits and pieces of the wedding to tempt a viewer's senses but I honestly cannot see how one can supply a "wedding video/film" which is 20 minutes long that covers all the events (as Clive says..especially the speeches)

I notice an absence from Danny from Minty Slippers who only delivers shortform (I think he was talking 22 minutes) so maybe when he is not busy he can explain how you get a wedding into that time?

A straight forward doc wedding from bridal prep to end of first dance is easily compressed into an hour IF the speeches are short! but I, for one, don't see how one could compress everything into 20 minutes.
I'm sure Danny has said (forgive me if I'm wrong) that he only does shortform so maybe he can clear the mystery?? Based on civil weddings I can see Bridal Prep in 3 mins, Arrival, skip the opening chatter and just do the vows and rings and kiss (maybe 10 minutes) then a 3 min photoshoot full of eye candy, bridal entry. the groom's speech only and cake and first dance, MIGHT be able to be squeezed into the remaining 6 to 8 minutes if the groom just does a 1 minute speech?

I did a REALLY compact wedding this afternoon (just got back) and CamA has 48 minutes on it and Cam B has 55 minutes ..and there was only one speech from the groom! (no bridal prep either!!)

Ok people that do short form ..tell us what you leave in and what you leave out but be nice to Peter

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Old March 2nd, 2014, 10:13 AM   #78
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Re: Do brides want shallow depth of field?

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Hey Pete

I can hear the shrapnel hitting your helmet already!! I can honestly see the use of a trailer or maybe a 5 minute clip with just the vows and bits and pieces of the wedding to tempt a viewer's senses but I honestly cannot see how one can supply a "wedding video/film" which is 20 minutes long that covers all the events (as Clive says..especially the speeches)
I see people refer to and talk about friends' wedding trailers (5 minutes) often, so I know people watch their friends' wedding videos if presented well.

Pete, we're not as good as some folks, but I'm really happy with how our 15-20 minute edits work out. The DVD version full length video for this wedding was just over an hour, but here is an 18 minute wedding video with 5 more minutes of out takes at the end that I couldn't leave in since I felt it ruined the rest. I don't time shift much, but still like to punctuate the beginning or ending with something.

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Old March 2nd, 2014, 10:54 AM   #79
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Re: Do brides want shallow depth of field?

I need to start filming nearer you then! Speeches seem like they are rarely less than 30-40 minutes and often more like 40-60 minutes.

Those are my averages based on hundreds of weddings. I've no idea why it would be so much longer in your part of the world. I did used to live in your part of the world but I was never aware of folks being longwinded :- )

Part of my routine for every wedding is to ask each speaker roughly how long their own speech will be. I explain that this is to help me be in the right place at the right time. Particularly for photography. If I know that someone will be on their feet for just 2 minutes thats a whole lot different to 10 or even 5 minutes in terms of opportunities to capture photogenic moments - where the speaker is looking up rather than looking down at his notes, and smiling or laughing rather than frowning or grimacing.

Robert, do your stats show specifically how many different people watch the trailer right through rather than just clicking on it for a few seconds whilst they suss out whether to watch it. And how many watch it because they fear being interrogated by the bride afterwards (OK probably not the latter!).

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Old March 2nd, 2014, 11:07 AM   #80
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Re: Do brides want shallow depth of field?

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Originally Posted by Peter Riding View Post
Robert, do your stats show specifically how many different people watch the trailer right through rather than just clicking on it for a few seconds whilst they suss out whether to watch it. And how many watch it because they fear being interrogated by the bride afterwards (OK probably not the latter!).
:)

I didn't mean our videos that they watch. I've had people who hire us reference their friends' videos. So, the gal who hired us for her wedding in January, sent us the link to her friend's wedding from Colorado.

Or, seeing the WeddingWire bride message board everytime someone asks about a videographer in (name the city). Sometimes they'll show a friend's video and say 'like this' kind of thing.

From our own website I can see how long they stay on a certain page, but not through vimeo. So what I'll be doing in the future is sending the online link to a page on our own website rather than vimeo. Then I'll get a better idea if they watched the whole thing or not.
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 02:58 PM   #81
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Re: Do brides want shallow depth of field?

This really is not rocket science. From reading some of the posts it seems we are trying to over complicate the whole process.

Long form is exactly that. A documentary edit that runs in chronological order and includes the ceremony and speeches intact give or take a few segments. This edit is traditional and many couples still want this style.

Short form edit (20-30 mins) is exactly that. You cannot fit the whole kitchen sink into a short form and that is where the creative element comes in. You are creating a story of the couple and their special day.
The approach may be completely different to a long form edit. The focus is on vocals to carry the story, be it from the vicar/speeches, couple themselves etc.

You as the artist putting the pieces together like a jigsaw to create a whole. It is inevitable speeches and ceremony will be cut, why the conundrum? Just give the couple the speeches and ceremony in there entirety on the same disc!

You have to be confident to create a short form edit. Like a painting you hold the brush as the artist.

Couples love short form edits if done correctly, subtle timeshifting and vocals carry the sequence along with the visuals.

So for those who create long form, that's great, for those who create short form, great, but don't over complicate what really is not rocket science....

Why not offer both?......
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 04:00 PM   #82
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Re: Do brides want shallow depth of field?

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With the other post regarding long form being preferred over a short form, I also thought about do Brides necessary want shallow depth of field?

I'm actually going to attempt to ask brides etc which they actually prefer, to see what majority want. Obviously, there will be a lot of variables but I'm interested to find out.
they don't know and don't have to know, because that's our job to decide. There is no doubt in my mind that this bokeh mania is taking over most of the footage nowadays because it looks cool and it's easy but should be limited to a couple of shots, three tops. When overdue is boring. The technique changed dramatically during last year and it will keep going for another year. Then it will be back to the way it was before. Guys a nice portrait or close-up breaking the screen for 7 seconds two-three times is enough. It gives the perception of a good work and that image will stay in the eyes of the viewer. But if we shoot the entire thing with a 20mm lens with no background then it will definitely be boring. Let's don't lose the right perspective about this : a video should contain the background by default, then we reserve some breathtaking shot from the distance (adding compression is crucial for a good close-up: there will be no compression with a standard focal or (horror) distortion if done with the small focal wide open: that's not producing bokeh, that's producing amateurish work for gear obsessed video-amateurs).
Just because we have better cameras now it doesn't mean that we have to get all that excited about it: let's use the better gear to produce better definition, also for the background, mainly.)
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 04:31 PM   #83
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Re: Do brides want shallow depth of field?

I showed some video at a wedding fair today and one of the bride's comments brought a wry smile to my face as I thought about this thread. She said, "wow, I can clearly see mum and dad and the bridesmaids in the front rows, that's amazing". Turning to her mother she continued, "remember that other one we looked at last week? We could see the bride but everyone else was blurred. I like this better, it's much higher quality" !!!!!!

So I showed her one shot with DSLR in the same location and she hated it! She really preferred the camcorder DOF because she could see everyone, and 'that' is what she wanted.

Another bride came along a few minutes later and preferred the DSLR version. Hmmm... go figure.

So, discuss to your heart's contents because there is simply no one right answer here folks.

We either need to show them what we want to deliver (if they like it they'll buy) OR we need to deliver what they want to see, once you've figured out what that is of course.
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Last edited by Dave Partington; March 2nd, 2014 at 05:05 PM.
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 05:27 PM   #84
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Re: Do brides want shallow depth of field?

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So, discuss to your heart's contents because there is simply no one right answer here folks.
I disagree, which seems petty, I know, but I do. DOF is a tool, like anything else (like choosing a low angled wide shot to make the groom seem larger than life...) I don't know what that sample shot you were showing was (a shot of the B&G with family in the background?), but I'm guessing the gal who liked the shallow DOF was wrong. (And I use shallow DOF)

There might be moments to use it as a style choice, for the bokeh, but broadly, during a ceremony?

Used properly, for our purposes, it's a tool to focus someone's attention on a specific subject - for instance, we use it during the vows, with a tight shot of the bride or groom's face. You can also use it in a two shot to move from a foreground to background subject, like having a groom in the foreground, standing still, waiting, then shifting focus to behind him and now you see that the bride is sneaking up on him.

Of course, it's not necessary, and in that regard, sure, there is no right answer. When it comes to whether someone should/would ever use it all the time? No, that's wrong. I would never use it all day. What purpose would it serve having my rear camera in the aisle shooting at f/2? That wouldn't make any sense.

If someone's really using it as a style choice, an artistic choice, and shooting the whole day like that.(at a wedding)..I really have a hard time believing they know what they're doing at all. I'd love to see an example of someone who does know, though.

If I were to shoot something with all Shallow DOF, it'd have to be a dream-state type of thing (though I would probably lens whack to achieve the dream/fantasy look instead), and I'd never risk an entire wedding on that. A glamour session, sure, but not a wedding day.
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 05:32 PM   #85
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Re: Do brides want shallow depth of field?

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I disagree, which seems petty, I know, but I do. DOF is a tool, like anything else (like choosing a low angled wide shot to make the groom seem larger than life...) I don't know what that sample shot you were showing was (a shot of the B&G with family in the background?), but I'm guessing the gal who liked the shallow DOF was wrong. (And I use shallow DOF)
This was a shot of the B+G during the ceremony (from the front). In one shot (camcorder) you could clearly see the parents and bridesmaids behind. In the DSLR shot they are not sot clear because of the larger sensor (at f4 IIRC). Stopping down any more would have mean increasing the ISO to unacceptable levels (shot with a 5D2 at the time).

Which one they prefer is up to them and to tell one bride she is wrong for liking the DSLR and the other one is wrong for preferring the camcorder style is not going to make it any better.

Shallow DOF doesn't have to mean f1.4, f2 etc, it can simply be that at even f4 or f5.6 on a DSLR the background is going to be more blurred than 'some' brides would like, and whether it's your artistic choice or not, if they don't like it there's not much you can do.
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 06:32 PM   #86
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Re: Do brides want shallow depth of field?

That shallow depth of field thing caused many problems for me, as when I started doing that all the complaints were because the background was blurry/unclear/soft/unprofessional/amateur etc.etc...
I licked my wounds and swore never to do that style again without their consent. You cannot make a blurred background sharp again, unlike photography that you can shoot with a wide depth of field all sharp and later blurr out at your heart's content with photoshop filters. It seemed that when I was doing photography there was never a complaint about that type of artistic "look".In video you're stuck with it. Sure, there are brides that appreciate and UNDERSTAND that artistic flavor of the shallow but trying to explain after the job is done to the untrained eye what beauty is in that effect is a tough convincing act.
I would ONLY do that sort of thing if the bride specifically asks for it AFTER seeing demos of it and agrees that it is to her preference, in writing. Introducing a new effect or style always brings in uncertainty and doubt. Things that I am not about to gamble on. I shoot sharp. very sharp with wide primes. Also makes focusing less critical that way.
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Old March 3rd, 2014, 12:42 PM   #87
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Re: Do brides want shallow depth of field?

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This was a shot of the B+G during the ceremony (from the front). In one shot (camcorder) you could clearly see the parents and bridesmaids behind. In the DSLR shot they are not sot clear because of the larger sensor (at f4 IIRC). Stopping down any more would have mean increasing the ISO to unacceptable levels (shot with a 5D2 at the time).

Which one they prefer is up to them and to tell one bride she is wrong for liking the DSLR and the other one is wrong for preferring the camcorder style is not going to make it any better.

Shallow DOF doesn't have to mean f1.4, f2 etc, it can simply be that at even f4 or f5.6 on a DSLR the background is going to be more blurred than 'some' brides would like, and whether it's your artistic choice or not, if they don't like it there's not much you can do.
On a 5D I believe that the lens to use is the 17-40 , at f/4 will give sharp footage and a sufficient DOF.
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Old March 3rd, 2014, 12:57 PM   #88
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Re: Do brides want shallow depth of field?

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On a 5D I believe that the lens to use is the 17-40 , at f/4 will give sharp footage and a sufficient DOF.
While true, it doesn't help if you really need to be in the 50mm-135mm range due to the location / positioning of the camera (sometimes unattended). Churches in the UK can be quite small and cramped in the choir stalls and have pillars in the way or ornate carvings on the end of the pews if you're really wide, so being wider could easily have meant the frame filled with lots of close objects and the B+G way off in the distance. No matter how much DOF you want (or don't want) if the framing is bad it's all lost.

I'm not arguing for or against DSLR / shallow DOF etc, in fact when used appropriately I love the DSLR look and the shallow DOF it can provide in the right circumstances. I just shot some interviews today and used the C100 and 5D3 instead of the camcorders specifically to control the DOF. Other times I feel the camcorders are the better tool for the job.

It seems that many people get rather tribal about these things based on having only one type (DSLR or Camcorder), so that's all they can see, whereas if you have access to both you can choose the right tool as needed.

My post was merely saying that one bride thought the sharp all-in-focus (camcorder) video of the couple during the ceremony with family and friends behind was higher quality than the DSLR version (due to them being able to see more in focus) while the other thought the shallower DOF of the DSLR was better because it made them look at the B+G, which is more what she wanted because she didn't care about seeing the people behind as much.

With that in mind, I say there isn't just one way of doing it right because different people like different things, and that means there is clearly a market for BOTH. We just need to decide which market we want to be in and only sell to that market, or if we can service both, make sure we know which one the bride actually prefers before the day comes.
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Old March 3rd, 2014, 01:03 PM   #89
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Re: Do brides want shallow depth of field?

This is a great discussion! For over a decade I've been doing "long form" edits, but this summer in June, I'm doing my first ever wedding cinema style shoot - I'm busting out all the stops bringing in a crane/jib, steadicam, slider, and shallow DOF shots!

The couple has hired me for all day coverage and I'm bringing 2 other shooters and 1 high school intern for this one. The bride hired me based on her cousins wedding that I did about 7 years ago.

My intent on this one is to do the regular long form (with Canon XF300s etc) which she is expecting, but then also try my hand at this new fangled short form - time shifting style and see if I can get a story told in 15 minutes mixing shots with one of the guys FS100 (and maybe C100 or D800 if I get one by then).

To me, long form editing is a whole lot easier than trying to do the 15 minute thing.
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