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


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Old April 21st, 2014, 04:00 AM   #16
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Re: Finding wedding filming boring?

I never find filming boring - quite the opposite actually :) The only thing that stops this being a 100% enjoyable occupation for me are the frustrations that stem from being a solo operator - I find I spend too much time setting up, tacking down, setting up again etc and that detracts from the filming.

Case in point being yesterday - I couldn't access the church until 45 mins before the ceremony so I had to run around like a blue arse fly setting my gear up while the guests were arriving - result = not as much 'arrivals' footage as I'd like plus no architecture/decoration type shots of the church interior.

Then to cap it all, about only 10 mins after the ceremony, I was just about the film the confetti shot and I got a tap on the shoulder from the verger 'can you move your gear out of the church?' - so I say 'can you just give a minute' and I got in response 'No you need to move it now as I need to lock up!'

A fetch and carry assistant would solve that problem but then I'd have to pay them and then put my prices up to cover it etc etc. Not sure the economic climate is right for that.

I'll end by saying that I once worked in a marketing department for a dot com company where most of the staff were set daily targets by managers and at the end of the day had 'stand up' meetings where one by one they went through their targets to judge performance - those who had failed to meet their target were 'encouraged' to stay until they had - would any of us like to work in an environment like that!!! I think not. we who film weddings as an occupation are very lucky despite all our niggles (see attached picture from yesterday's wedding - did he really have to stand their for the entire ceremony!)
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Old April 21st, 2014, 04:03 AM   #17
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Re: Finding wedding filming boring?

Sorry Robert just an expression i say. Robert i will tell you the venues treat the bride and groom like cattle mate, not all of them but the vast majority take the money and then run as far as i can see. The service after the payment goes down hill for me, even at my own daughters wedding. You go to the initial meeting the food tasting which is always great for them, then on the day it is totally different and the service different.
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Old April 21st, 2014, 04:06 AM   #18
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Re: Finding wedding filming boring?

(see attached picture from yesterday's wedding - did he really have to stand their for the entire ceremony!)[/QUOTE]

Same here yesterday Peter, bloody photog was a pain and always in the way but i wont go down that route again??
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Old April 21st, 2014, 04:12 AM   #19
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Re: Finding wedding filming boring?

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Originally Posted by George Kilroy View Post
Steve, you're either having a really bad day or you're in the wrong business. Being a wedding videographer is all about capturing someones day for them. Once you start referring to aspects of their day as crap you are in danger of loosing respect for your clients and turning in crap work. If you think that wedding video is about achieving a blockbuster film every time you will get disappointed. At some point you need to sit back and see it for what it is, a means of using your talents and skills to make a living, if your drive is to achieve fantastic award winning quality productions every time then you will get more personal satisfaction by working in an area that has more interest for you.
Weigh up what you have to do against any other option you have for making a living and see which you'd prefer.
I known what you are saying George, i think its what Don says maybe the fun has gone out of it after 7 years. Dont get me wrong, every time i go out and film, i am professional and always turn out good films, so it maybe that i need stimulating with fresh ideas and maybe a different input with new angles and maybe a new concept. steve
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Old April 21st, 2014, 04:15 AM   #20
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Re: Finding wedding filming boring?

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Originally Posted by Arthur Gannis View Post
I look at the whole wedding scenario a little differently in terms of being boring as I evaluate it on not just the wedding day itself behind the camera but as a yearly mix of accomplishments that allows me my freedom to do what I want on my "off" days. Perhaps the boring part to videographers/cinematographers is more than just the shooting part but also in the editing part that takes up a large part of the potential otherwise "free" time. After the initial 5 years or so that I started doing weddings, I realized that I was working too much at it and offering little time left for my personal activities. I was chained to the editing desk and wedding edits back then took up most of my weekday hours. I suddenly became bored at the editing part that I actually only wanted to freelance shoot for hire that I sold all my analog linear editing stuff and purchased a better and much lighter camera. What a difference that made. I really wanted to capture more and experiment with low angles, shallow DOF, different perspectives etc. I was not chained to a 25 lb. camera anymore. All of a sudden I really enjoyed more and more even though the weddings were almost all the same and predictable. I started to be more selective in what I was capturing and even, at times, did in-camera edits. I don't bring any tripods, sliders or jibs. There were many events that the clients just left the editing alone and accepted the raw footage with just an intro song and a fade out at the end. Well, here was an interesting way of doing things I thought. Being selective at the shoot will allow less editing later. The non-linear system was just that was needed at the right time. This allowed me to edit a job in less than a day. Perhaps not a hollywood production but just enough dissolves and effects that will make the bride happy. I just loved the Mac with iMovie back then.They loved the sepia and slo-mo the best and I came to understand that simple fades and dissolves, not too many, were the norm.
I started taking on my own contracts again, with attractive pricing, little editing and much, much more time for myself. Now I can shoot 2 weddings back to back and by Tuesday evening the BluRays are ready well before their honeymoon ends.
Great points Arthur
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Old April 21st, 2014, 04:16 AM   #21
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Re: Finding wedding filming boring?

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Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
I never really found it boring simply that just about every wedding to me was the same old thing. I always joked that I could probably substitute footage from one wedding into another and no one would be the wiser. The music was the same, the speeches were the same, the other vendors were the same..(that was actually a good thing since we all knew each other we knew what to expect from one another).
What made the final decision for me to retire from weddings was the fun had gone out of it for me, not that I really thought of them as fun but I had changed enough internally that I had to really MAKE myself go out and do the weddings. That's not a good thing. At the same time my corporate stuff started coming back to me and frankly I had a couple of health challenges that told me it was time to slow the hell down or I was going to be slowed down forever. Do I miss doing weddings? not a bit. Am I making money not doing them but doing simple corporate work instead? Yes. Am I back in control of my life? Yep.
So for me, it wasn't boring but I had started to grow to hate it so for me the only thing I could do was stop and I did. Excuse me, but I need to go out on my deck and bask in some sunshine now after the brutal winter we had here. ;-)
Great points Don cheers.
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Old April 21st, 2014, 04:28 AM   #22
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Re: Finding wedding filming boring?

No I've moaned about that old chestnut enough - I will use footage from that camera complete with the tog's back however - If I didn't need the footage I wouldn't have set it up in the first place!.

Another rib tickler from yesterday was the house manager and assistant actually started to move the wedding cake as I was filming a slider pass - I kid you not - when I said 'can I get this shot first' - I got 'well hurry up because the DJ needs to set up' - Beyond belief!
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Old April 21st, 2014, 04:32 AM   #23
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Re: Finding wedding filming boring?

Steve, is this really a business you enjoy, you seem to have very negative views of venues, photographers, people who take inspiration for their speech from the web etc. You come across as being the outsider getting vexed if the day doesn't unfold to suit you. That's not the nature of being a wedding videographer. If you don't or can't engage in the day with others there's a chance that you'll loose even more enthusiasm and feel less driven to do your best.
As others have said, if you are feeling this way at the start of the season it doesn't bode well for you or your clients this summer.

Just a comment about your photo. Just look at it for a moment from the photographers point of view, he's there to do what the couple are paying him to be there for not to worry about what you are doing and certainly not to loose what he considers to be the shots he wants because you have assumed he'll think about your camera placements first before looking for his shot. If you are going to place unmanned cameras is up to you to think ahead about all the possible things that could spoil the shot and place accordingly. Never assume anyone on the day is going to concern themselves with your needs. Imagine that the photographer asks you to move right to the side of the church because he needs to clear shot of the altar without a video guy standing alongside, what would you do?
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Old April 21st, 2014, 04:51 AM   #24
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Re: Finding wedding filming boring?

George it's my photo and really I'm saying that I enjoy what I do despite the little niggles such as in the photo - I've long since stopped worrying about stuff like that - it is what it is and I'll film it as it comes and enjoy it - to be honest the togs were great guys and we got on very well - exchanged cards etc. Things like that however do niggle me because I only want the best for my couples - my drive and enthusiasm increases shoot after shoot :)

Lets be honest though someone actually picking up and moving the wedding cake while you were obviously filming it would vex even the most even tempered person

Pete
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Old April 21st, 2014, 05:40 AM   #25
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Re: Finding wedding filming boring?

Sorry Pete, it's not beyond belief, others are there to do there job not to second guess what you are doing.
We all take it for granted that it's obvious what someone is doing with a camera on a slider but shouldn't assume that others have a clue what it is you're doing. As I said in the last post everyone is there to do their job and I'd bet that most hotel staff consider photographers and videographers to be nuisances, slowing down the service and getting in their way when they have enough to do without waiting around for someone to do an 'arty' shot. No offense meant but having retreated from weddings after more than 20 years I now have a detached view and can see that I was just as guilty of critisising others on the day when things didn't go as I hoped they would. I always aimed for the perfect product but soon realised that was the holy grail - something we'd like to believe exists but is somehow always out of reach - and always caused by other peoples inconsideration.
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Old April 21st, 2014, 07:14 AM   #26
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Re: Finding wedding filming boring?

We also do get paid fairly well for our efforts and let's face it, despite the odd niggles like Pete had it is a social and happy occasion and not one you would find in a tough sales office with the manager screaming at you that "we have to make target and we only have 3 days to do it" The atmosphere overall is happy and pleasant not like some work places I have heard of. When my wife was still working she used to come home and load me with all her problems with senior staff and bad days so I always had a better day than her!

Sure you get the idiots and the chancers too but remember it's your business so YOU can say no!! I had an enquiry this evening from a lady wanting prep (from about lunchtime) then a full mass, photoshoot and reception until 10:30pm .... she wanted not just video but photography too and was prepared to stretch her budget from $500 to $600 if she had to .... A polite no worked well and I sent her off to look for students you advertise cheap shoots in the local classifieds. Now, what if you day job boss says "Steve, I need you to finish this by today ..I don't care if you stay here all night but it must be done so start working and stop slacking off" ... You going to tell him no???

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Old April 21st, 2014, 12:02 PM   #27
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Re: Finding wedding filming boring?

Chris,
You mean she went from $500 to a whole $600!? WOW! What a deal!
I will not make any further comment on that. ;-)

As for a 9 to 5....I have never worked one. Either I was lucky or crazy. I think I was lucky...lucky I didn't mind working hard, could accept rejection, put up with liars, cheaters and thiefs and had a great support system at home. I have to think that we all have those attributes and maybe a little wine doesn't hurt either!
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Old April 21st, 2014, 12:56 PM   #28
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Re: Finding wedding filming boring?

[QUOTE=George Kilroy;1842362]Steve, is this really a business you enjoy, you seem to have very negative views of venues, photographers, people who take inspiration for their speech from the web etc. You come across as being the outsider getting vexed if the day doesn't unfold to suit you. That's not the nature of being a wedding videographer. If you don't or can't engage in the day with others there's a chance that you'll loose even more enthusiasm and feel less driven to do your best.
As others have said, if you are feeling this way at the start of the season it doesn't bode well for you or your clients this summer.

Just a comment about your photo. Just look at it for a moment from the photographers point of view, he's there to do what the couple are paying him to be there for not to worry about what you are doing and certainly not to loose what he considers to be the shots he wants because you have assumed he'll think about your camera placements first before looking for his shot. If you are going to place unmanned cameras is up to you to think ahead about all the possible things that could spoil the shot and place accordingly. Never assume anyone on the day is going to concern themselves with your needs. Imagine that the photographer asks you to move right to the side of the church because he needs to clear shot of the altar without a video guy standing alongside, what would you do?[/QUOTE

George don't talk to me like a novice!! When I tell the photog the best shot of the day is the isle shot and then when the dad kisses his daughter at the end of the isle please don't come across me because I have to have that shot!! Then the b,,,,,,,, d photog walks right in front of the camera, and ruins the f,,,,,,,g lot. Then I get mad, and please don't patronise me
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Old April 21st, 2014, 03:22 PM   #29
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Re: Finding wedding filming boring?

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Originally Posted by George Kilroy View Post
Imagine that the photographer asks you to move right to the side of the church because he needs to clear shot of the altar without a video guy standing alongside, what would you do?
I have had this question more then once and as soon as I can I will move out of the way for them, if I do that I get a better cooperation if I need them to do something.

Quote:
Just look at it for a moment from the photographers point of view, he's there to do what the couple are paying him to be there for not to worry about what you are doing and certainly not to loose what he considers to be the shots he wants because you have assumed he'll think about your camera placements first before looking for his shot.
I tell the photogs they can stand wherever they want, even right in front of my camera to take a photo, I only ask them if they are not taking pictures or just checking their camera to look if they don't keep blocking my unmanned camera, that works well most of the time. Only the photogs with a big ego don't care.
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Old April 21st, 2014, 04:17 PM   #30
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Re: Finding wedding filming boring?

Photogs never bothered me a bit. If they get in my way intentionally or otherwise I make absolutely sure that they will be recorded. I will also make sure that they will be on the edited version as well. I also will also make sure that the bride and groom will realize the amateur(s) they hired and later grill them on the spit because they got in the way, especially when they placed themselves in the center of the aisle while the bride was walking down with dad. I just want to hear once the bride ask me " well why didn't you tell them to move and get out of the way ?" yeah right..!
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