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


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Old April 19th, 2014, 06:18 PM   #1
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Finding wedding filming boring?

Three weddings past two weeks! Same crap, same speeches of the web! Same drunks, same shots, same same same! Is it me?
Trying to stage everything to get what I want?? If I did not stage things I would not get anything? Anyone else finding this ?? Steve
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Old April 19th, 2014, 06:40 PM   #2
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Re: Finding wedding filming boring?

Hey Steve

Try a regular job? Get up at the same time, drive the same car along a gridlocked freeway to the same office with the same people ..7 days a week !

We have it good I think!! At worse maybe 3 back to back (me too BTW!) but at least we have different venues, different people and different drunks.

That's got to be better than doing a 9-5 for 7 days a week?

Chris
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Old April 19th, 2014, 09:59 PM   #3
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Re: Finding wedding filming boring?

While a lot of weddings are the same, you as a cinematographer can make filming it a more fun experience for you. Sliders, jibs, different angles....you know that kind of stuff. :)
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Old April 19th, 2014, 10:35 PM   #4
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Re: Finding wedding filming boring?

There was some advice that someone on this forum gave me when I was moaning about failing inspiration... Can't remember who it was... I think it was a different Steve... Anyways, he said to try shooting a wedding using a different lens. For instance, if you always shoot prep with a 50mm, try using a 35mm instead or a 100mm.
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Old April 20th, 2014, 03:39 AM   #5
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Re: Finding wedding filming boring?

Cheers Guys you brought me back to earth Chris... Just a little moan, yes i do get very creative but sometimes you get a little fed up with the same well everything...Well anyways to pep me up i have just booked two Greece weddings for next year so that will get my taste buds going....This year i am going to use a lot of my equipment a little more than usual...Cheers
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Old April 20th, 2014, 03:59 AM   #6
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Re: Finding wedding filming boring?

80% of my weddings are now joint video and photo shoots and I find it quite stimulating to be in total control. It gives me a chance to set up some different ideas, rather than keeping my mouth shut when the photographer sets the same old poses.

Even though most weddings follow a similar and familiar format, I still find it fascinating to have an insight into people's personal lives, how they interact with each other, the different standards that families have etc, etc. Also as Chris said, it beats any 9-5 grind as I am only answerable to myself :-)

Roger
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Old April 20th, 2014, 04:02 AM   #7
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Re: Finding wedding filming boring?

An email I just got from a photographer who has started freelance IT work similar to their last career, who like most photographers is finding bookings few and far between this year:

I did 2 days at the agency last week, their working hours are 8:30-5:30 and I was exhausted. Not sure I would want to do it 5 days a week, it was so tiring.

Whats that about the grass being greener :- )

I smile to myself in a knowing condescending way when I hear others banging on about how they adore everything about weddings, how each time they strive to be better than the last ..... blah blah blah :- ) Its a sure sign they aren't as experienced as they would like to think, or that they aren't doing many as a mortgage paying job. It also reminds me of some fiction authors who claim that they have to be in the right frame of mind for creative writing whereas other treat it much more like a regular job and ensure that they put in a set number of hours at a desk in a dedicated room.

Just get on with it!!! Some will be great days, others will not be memorable, yet others will be dull. So what :- )

I have 4 bookings in 8 days and the end of next month. The first is a massive Hindu wedding over 15 hours. The second is a 250 guest traveller wedding over 12 hours. Then two much shorter potentially easier bookings. The first three are combined photo / video as well.

Pete
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Old April 20th, 2014, 04:18 AM   #8
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Re: Finding wedding filming boring?

If you already have that feeling at the beginning of the weddingsseason that doesn't promise much good. My weddingsseason starts next week and it's going to be a busy year, currently I"m very excited to get started but I have to say that at the end of the season I"m always glad it's over again :)

Eventhough most weddings I shoot have the same tradition so you know what will happen when, they can be very different, you have different people, different personalities and different locations so for me it's always a new situations to deal with.

What keeps me going is my constant search in streamlining my work to get the best results with less effort, I get a kick out of executing the perfect wedding, when all goes like I had in mind, when my focus, exposure, whitebalance and sound is exactly right, when my steadicam and slidermoves are perfectly executed, when I can use meaningful speeches to build my trailer, shoot at a beautiful location, have sunny weather etc, the problem is that never happens :D But I often get close enough to get in my car at the end of a weddingday with a good feeling and once I start editing I feel even better.

But there are often days when it doesn't work out, when a lot of things go wrong, but I learned to take it as it comes, can only try to do better next time but with weddings you never have that guarantee when shooting solo.

It's all about finding what got you interested in shooting weddings in the first place, it's like being married for more then 20 years, if you don't love your wife anymore because your life has become a drag it might help to think about why you fell in love with her in the first place, if you can't remember that then it might be the time to find someone, or with your weddings, something else.
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Old April 20th, 2014, 05:04 AM   #9
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Re: Finding wedding filming boring?

I never find weddings boring, but I can find them sometimes frustrating. I shot two Winter weddings this year for two brides who were close friends, and one was marrying the brother of the other. The venues were the same, and half of the guests were the same, even the cars and wedding singer were the same. Bothe brides though were totally different personalities, with one being a control freak and the other very laid back.

They were both joint video and photography packages and my wife and I worked together on both. The frustrations came with the control freak bride telling us what photos she wanted and when she wanted them done. We pointed out that there was only about 40 minutes of useable light after the ceremony and that we needed to arrange the photos accordingly. Immediately after the ceremony, she insisted on group shots of all family members and attendants inside the church, then the same with individual shots with each of the 10 bridesmaids. She also insisted on the final walk down the aisle being at a very fast walk to save time and would not stop for stills. The groom did not want any shots outside the church as he wanted to join his mates at the reception bar and didn't like having his photo taken. It was dark by the time we reached the reception venue and the bride then insisted on endless group shots inside the reception area. We pointed out that we had hardly any shots of the two of them together, but by then the groom was fed up of pictures while his mates were all drinking. A week after delivering the finished work, the bride rang to say that she loved the video and pictures, but did we have any more of just the two of them as she wanted to have a canvas made to hang on her wall and was disappointed that there were hardly any of the two of them.

The second wedding enabled us to take the shots in the way that we knew was best in the short daylight time available and we had dozens of shots of both of them, formal and romantic, with groups taken after the money shots. The bride rang to say how delighted she was with all the photos in particular the shots with just the two of them.

It can be a very frustrating job at times, but I still prefer it to anything else I could do.

Roger
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Old April 20th, 2014, 05:45 AM   #10
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Re: Finding wedding filming boring?

Yes i get all the replies, but you have to admit some where along the lines we are waiting for a wedding to be different from the same crap online wedding speeches, the same crap venues that rape the bride and grooms, the same white/cream big dresses, the same poses from boring photographers, the same grooms that don't like their picture or being filmed. I can only remember one last year that i thought yes this is a great day...I was up for it, i suppose i am like a football player i have to get motivated...
OK guys i have just slapped myself in the face for moaning... haha...
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Old April 20th, 2014, 06:55 AM   #11
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Re: Finding wedding filming boring?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bleasdale View Post
Yes i get all the replies, but you have to admit some where along the lines we are waiting for a wedding to be different from the same crap online wedding speeches, the same crap venues that rape the bride and grooms, the same white/cream big dresses, the same poses from boring photographers, the same grooms that don't like their picture or being filmed. I can only remember one last year that i thought yes this is a great day...I was up for it, i suppose i am like a football player i have to get motivated...
OK guys i have just slapped myself in the face for moaning... haha...
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.
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Old April 20th, 2014, 07:32 AM   #12
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Re: Finding wedding filming boring?

I think that one frustrating wedding can easily set off the thought "Why am I doing this" but then the next one makes up for it.

I think I would rather be frustrated now and again by an ignorant bride on just one Saturday than go to a 9 - 5 job where the boss is constantly on your back, day in and day out, making your life a misery!!

I always think when I have a wedding that was tough about the poor souls sitting on a grid locked freeway at 7am going to work and I'm still relaxing in bed ...!!

Despite the odd problem it's still an awesome job!!

Chris
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Old April 20th, 2014, 09:45 AM   #13
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Re: Finding wedding filming boring?

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.
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Old April 20th, 2014, 12:57 PM   #14
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Re: Finding wedding filming boring?

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. ;-)
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Old April 20th, 2014, 09:30 PM   #15
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Re: Finding wedding filming boring?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bleasdale View Post
the same crap venues that rape the bride and grooms,
Woah, what weddings are you working? Does that part go in their video?
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