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


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Old April 29th, 2014, 06:18 AM   #1
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The creative versus the practical...

Despite viewing myself as a creative person - I find more and more the temptation to make life easier and more practical.

I guess what it comes down to, and its the definitive business question - what does the client think/care.

I'll take a specific example of the conflict between my creative side, and my sensible/logical/conservative/organised side...

Doing the same shots/movements at every wedding...

You know it works, you know when to do it, you know when to have a certain piece of equipment ready, you get it done.

The drawback - anyone watching all you online content might see the repetition.

Is this a problem? Or is it just a standard part of doing business well and efficiently?


Does anyone else work like this? You've got a good process and pattern, it works well, so just repeat it!
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Old April 29th, 2014, 06:48 AM   #2
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Re: The creative versus the practical...

I only put about 4 to 5 trailers online and they can stay on there for months in a row, only if I have a new trailer that is at a similar quality or better then what I have, only then I will replace older videos. I don't post videos in a blog of every wedding I do as I don't see the need for that, it's just those few videos of my best work that is getting me new clients. Those few trailers are all a bit different so I don't have to worry about people seeing the repetition compared to posting every wedding I did online, because then you would see the same routine.

For me it's about finding a balance between creative and documentary style shots, the situation is different each time as you have other personalities but I tend to use what works best for me, like you said, I know which shots I need for my edit, this also speeds up the editing part and gives a bit of room to experiment when I feel the need for that, but if I"m on a deadline and have too much work to do I stick to what works and don't go inventing new things to try out.
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Old April 29th, 2014, 07:11 AM   #3
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Re: The creative versus the practical...

Hey Clive

As creative as you would like to be, the bottom line sadly is that you are still running a business. Shooting an awesome super creative video and spending 3 weeks on the edit and then charging $1500 isn't going to keep the bank manager too happy despite the stunning result so it IS a compromise unless the bride's Daddy happens to be an oil sheik and money is no object.

Someone once said to me, when you shoot and edit there comes a time when you simply have to say "that's good enough" otherwise you just won't make a living!

I must admit I stick to things that work for me but if I have a little extra time (like on the stedicam shoot, I will kick in the creative juices and look for something different.

Sadly (again) the portions of the day when we do have some slack time seldom are moments we can film creatively ..like dinner and such and times when we can get creative are often so time restricted that we dare no veer off course to get some special shots.

Chris
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Old April 29th, 2014, 08:15 AM   #4
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Re: The creative versus the practical...

Just wanted to add the thought that if a bride sees the same cookie cutter framework in video after video, maybe some brides would see that as a good thing -- she knows how it's going to turn out and is getting a predictable, safe, reliable product.

Like buying McDonald's -- you want to be able to get the same taste no matter which particular restaurant you go to.
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Old April 29th, 2014, 08:16 AM   #5
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Re: The creative versus the practical...

Noa and Chris are spot on!! Finding a balance is best though as miss any critical shots that are needed and the creative stuff will not swallow with bride and groom. First and foremost be safe with shots very much needed then be creative at the times you can be.
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Old April 29th, 2014, 08:33 AM   #6
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Re: The creative versus the practical...

For shooting, I'm perfunctory and I leave the more creative to my wife.

I can't tell you how much time I wasted trying to come up with creative edits. Weeks wasted, each, on a couple of them. My last wedding I edited in 3 days.

What I really want is to balance creative and practical. Always take a few chances when shooting. Maybe develop 2-4 templates for the edit. That offers a little bit of variety without always starting from the unfamiliar.
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Old April 29th, 2014, 01:42 PM   #7
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Re: The creative versus the practical...

Good shout robert
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Old April 29th, 2014, 06:31 PM   #8
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Re: The creative versus the practical...

Tried and tested shots when time is short and a bit more creativity if time allows it during the day.

Repeating shots on many weddings is really not a problem and I have lost count of the number of times I have been booked because people loved what I did for a friend or family member. They want something similar because they liked it and feel safe knowing what they are getting.

Roger
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Old April 29th, 2014, 06:49 PM   #9
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Re: The creative versus the practical...

This is an interesting dilemma. I think that the practical side is what you need for making the videos your business, but that the creative side does not have to be sublimated entirely.

I remember when doing wedding stills, there was a lot of the same shots, but every now and then you would get a wedding where you just clicked with the B&G and their take on the day and there was an opportunity to go beyond the usual and get really creative and individual shots too.
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Old April 29th, 2014, 08:49 PM   #10
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Re: The creative versus the practical...

Clive I honestly think you are giving your online audience far more credit than they deserve. They can tell the difference between a purely documentary vs. a cinematic. But as far as recognizing "a cookie cutter", unless it is same venue, same everything, they aren't that aware.

Go take a look at what people post on youtube to remind yourself what garbage people post, and have no clue exactly how bad it is! Just yesterday I was watching a supposedly "professional photog" begin to instruct how to professionally light for portraits. I couldn't get 30 seconds into it before clicking off because his camera was being handheld and the shakes were absolutely terrible !!!

Honestly, go spend some time viewing youtube content and then ask yourself these same questions. I think you will find, the most "practical" you are going to come up with will probably blow the doors off of a ton of what is out there !!!
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Old April 30th, 2014, 02:09 AM   #11
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Re: The creative versus the practical...

Chip, good point! I get very frsutrated with a lot of video content on the web - for instance, 90% of 'steadycam' demos, the stabiliser is not even setup properly, and don't get me started on new camera test footage uploaded at 720p....

I guess what it comes down to is, remembering you are pleasing a client who

a) isn't overly technical
b) probably appreciates the content slightly more than the camera movement or clever edit
c) isn't going to watch every single other video you put up with the intention of comparing

If any of you are like me, and quite friendly with your local competition, you will understand how easily you fall into the trap of editing for your peers approval maybe a little more than your clients approval...
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Old April 30th, 2014, 02:35 AM   #12
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Re: The creative versus the practical...

Hey Clive

IF you worked to an exact boring schedule of shooting and did the exact same shots and really made each wedding an almost carbon copy ..what is the chance of on bride actually noticing that her video is somewhat identical to another of her friends ?? About zero ??

Even if you go with tried and tested shots, the mood is different, the people are different so the video is different .... the problem with going for an all out creative shoot is that the bride has seen your samples so she is expecting her video to be much the same. Give her something totally different and there is a good chance she might say "What did you do to my wedding"

Chris
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Old April 30th, 2014, 03:28 AM   #13
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Re: The creative versus the practical...

I have to agree with Chris.

People book you based on what they see. Deviate from that taking a gamble with a new style and you might be in for a shock when they come back saying they want a re-edit.

Every wedding is different due to the people, location and emotions so although you may be shooting the same way, ultimately what your providing is always going to be different.
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