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Old May 22nd, 2014, 12:45 AM   #1
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Finally it's stopped bothering me :)

I think last night's rehearsal was the final straw - After the visiting vicar said 'you can go where you like as long as you don't move around or use lights' the verger butted in and I was told in no uncertain terms 'no equipment past the alter steps' - this means that when the couple go up into to dark choir stalls and up to the even darker high alter (for about a third of the service), only my wide cam at the back of the church will get them - they'll be very small and dark. I asked about putting an unattended small handycam that no one will see (showed them me CX730) in the choir stalls and was told again by the verger 'No'

This is the 3rd church wedding on the trot with unreasonable restrictions and something clicked and I thought - 'Ah well, not my problem' so I explained after the rehearsal to the couple, the bride was evidently not happy and said 'That woman's a battleaxe!' so I'm guessing they've clashed over something else. So I drove home and had my tea and have not given it a second thought - it's between the couple and their chosen venue now as far as I'm concerned - If I get a 'No' I will always politely suggest a workaround but If I get another 'No' then it's not my concern as long as the couple are aware (I always now warn my couples in advance and get them to ask about any restrictions)

Finally, after stressing about this sort of thing at church weddings, it's stopped bothering me but I might sneak in a GoPro with the LED turned off - It's a bit dark up there but maybe better than nothing :)
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 01:09 AM   #2
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Re: Finally it's stopped bothering me :)

Turn off the record LED, tape over the VF pulled out, the CX will be almost impossible to see <wink> Maybe a little black electrical tape strategically placed, and you've got a completely "stealthy" cam!

Some of these UK peeps must really have it in for videographers!
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 02:34 AM   #3
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Re: Finally it's stopped bothering me :)

I have a friend who just doesn't ask. He doesn't use unmanned cameras, but he just waits till the ceremony is on the go, and goes wherever he wants. He says the vast vast majority of priests will not say anything mid ceremony.

Too rude? Or just determined to get the bride what she paid for?

I'm not sure. I still prefer to be nice - even if the priests didn't get that memo.
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 02:34 AM   #4
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Re: Finally it's stopped bothering me :)

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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
Turn off the record LED, tape over the VF pulled out, the CX will be almost impossible to see <wink> Maybe a little black electrical tape strategically placed, and you've got a completely "stealthy" cam!

Some of these UK peeps must really have it in for videographers!
Partly for the sort of action you've suggested above.

If they spot the camera, or see it being placed or collected they see it as the videographer having heard, understood and accepted the church rule (albeit reluctantly) then goes ahead and flouts it. The solution then in their eye's could be that all videographers are underhand so no more video in church, or even a ban.
Peter is right, if the couple know the church will have restrictions, or are told as soon as the videographer knows, then it's no longer a problem for the videographer.

For my first years I too found church restrictions frustrating and always looked for a work around such a surreptitiously trying to hide a camera or holding it casually switched on but after some time the penny dropped that this is how it is, that despite it being a semi-public space it is controlled by the church council who can and do restrict and sometimes charge for what can be carried out there.
I'd always seek to get the best cover I could but in the end accepted that unless I was able to get cooperation from the church then what I could get was what the couple would get.
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 03:07 AM   #5
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Re: Finally it's stopped bothering me :)

Nigel I'm like you now - it used to frustrate the hell out of me as it's largely unreasonable and gets in the way of me doing my job properly but as far as I'm concerned it's between the couple and the venue of THEIR CHOICE! simple as that.

My only worry is other people seeing the ceremony on the DVD and wondering why it doesn't look as good as 'Songs of 'Praise' - Joking aside I do worry a little about people watching and wondering why a 45 minute ceremony is filmed using only one camera with a not so great view of the back of the couples heads (as in a shoot 2 weeks ago) - they would assume I am a poor film maker and not realise it's a restriction of the church :(
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 03:20 AM   #6
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Re: Finally it's stopped bothering me :)

My attitude is that I will always respect the priests decision and rules BUT I will explain them to the couple at the rehearsal and how it will affect the coverage of the ceremony. If they want to get into a heated battle with the clergy then that's up to them. I'm doing the right thing and making the best of a bad situation.

Maybe in one's terms and conditions we need a clause stating we are not responsible for inadequate coverage of the ceremony caused by any restrictions placed by the Church??

Couples need a website called "Before you choose a Church for your Wedding" ? Then when they have the first interview with the vicar they can then ask questions about photog, video and music restrictions and decide whether harsh limits will affect their wedding or not.

It would make your job a lot easier

Chris
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 03:50 AM   #7
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Re: Finally it's stopped bothering me :)

Well Peter, you can only do what you are allowed to do. I wouldn't even dream of flouting the rules because it's likely to only blow up later on.

In terms of moving randomly after the ceremony has begun, I've known a few people get thrown out of church by local vicars for doing exactly that! No second chance, they stop the ceremony and told them quite simply get out! When they try to talk them round they're told this ceremony will not proceed until you leave.

Vergers are a major source of frustration to me. They walk around as if they own the place, rather than being an employee of it and why they feel it's acceptable to come stand right in front of a manned camera as if it wasn't there is beyond me. We've had to tell quite a few of them to move over the years.

Peter, live with the restrictions and be happy. Just make sure your one camera coverage is stable and there's not much more you can do!
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 04:39 AM   #8
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Re: Finally it's stopped bothering me :)

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Maybe in one's terms and conditions we need a clause stating we are not responsible for inadequate coverage of the ceremony caused by any restrictions placed by the Church??


Chris
Chris this is a section under 'Exclusions' in my T&Cs:

"Recording and editing will only be in accordance with the details in the agreement. *** will use any, and only, equipment and personnel deemed necessary by ***. Recording in actuality has many potential problems that may effect the quality of the video: adverse weather conditions, poor lighting, poor sound conditions, faulty materials, or faulty equipment, etc. Liability cannot be accepted for consequential losses due to circumstances outside of the control of ***, or those that could not reasonable have been foreseen.
CHURCH WEDDINGS. It is not uncommon for churches to make an additional charge to permit weddings to be recorded. The charge varies considerably from church to church so is not included in my prices. It is the client's responsibility to request permission for the ceremony to be recorded and to pay any fee required. I can only record in churches where this has been sought and agreed in advance. Further, some churches will only allow one camera and/or very restrictive positioning in those instances I will not be able to offer the multi-camera option and content my be compromised.
By making a booking it is deemed that these conditions have been understood and accepted."


As well as this there was a line on my booking firm which had to be ticked by the client to state that they have permission from the church to record their wedding and that they have paid any fee required and accept any restriction in force in that church.

I don't do wedding now but when I did I also told them before they booked of any known difficulties with church or celebrants that I'd encountered and that I would be happy to discuss any restrictions with the church/celebrant before their wedding but ultimately I would abide by the agreement I'd made with the church or vicar. That said it has been my experience that some rules laid down by parish councils have been overridden by stand-in vicars, or they lay down their own rule. That is one reason that I always tried to attend the rehearsal, or if not possible contact the vicar by phone or email immediately after the booking and then again a day or so before the wedding just to refresh their memory to remind them that I'd be there. A little anecdote or two about nearby churches or vicars I'd filmed never seemed to go amiss and helped cement a friendly link. I ended up being on first name terms with quite a few vicars and priests - even though I'm not a church goer; except in the line of duty.
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 05:48 AM   #9
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Re: Finally it's stopped bothering me :)

peter i am sick to death of all clergy, they are a nightmare and the more you plan it goes wrong and they have it in for you, so now i turn up go where i want then wait for him/her to tell me otherwise. steve
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 06:31 AM   #10
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Re: Finally it's stopped bothering me :)

I can see why some clergy have little respect for videographers and consider them less than professional.

If some clergyman turned up at my studio and demanded to hold a service, or worse still started to hold one without asking me, I'd be more than inclined to throw him or her out. Not quite a like for like but still exhibiting the same attitude of **** you I'll do just what I please even though it's your place. If a professional can't work with restrictions and even hates people who their clients have engaged to play a crucial and important part of their day then I'd question if they are in the right profession.
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 07:10 AM   #11
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Re: Finally it's stopped bothering me :)

I have another rehearsal tonight where I had to fill this form in - If I can't convince the vicar to allow me more than one camera that will be 4 consecutive church services with strict restrictions - this year seems to be worse than ever.
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 07:23 AM   #12
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Re: Finally it's stopped bothering me :)

Peter, you figured it out. You tell the bride and let them battle it out if they so choose. It's not your fight.

Dave is right, turn off the record light and put up a second camera up anyway where it won't be seen. Here in Cincinnati we ask for forgiveness rather than permission when possible.

Peter R., I would tell the church that your barrister will not permit you to sign any such documents. Let your client know that if you are not permitted into the church you will have to skip the service. See what happens.
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 07:34 AM   #13
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Re: Finally it's stopped bothering me :)

Peter at least with that everybody knows the score, your clients should know what they can expect to get on their video. At least you'll know in advance of the problem unlike some other difficulties that might happen to spoil your plan such as terrible weather or an obstructive photographer or other things that will cause stress on the day.

It's likely because of the behavior of others who've previously ignored requests for decorum that the church has found it easier just to apply a blanket condition in writing to avoid awkward confrontation.

Believe me I know how frustrating it can be when faced with an unhelpful vicar though I found that many will respond positively to gentle persuasion if approached in the right way, even those with written rules.
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 07:40 AM   #14
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Re: Finally it's stopped bothering me :)

I filmed there a couple of years ago George and had my usual 3 cameras, so I'm hoping a quiet word might do the trick this evening.
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 11:04 AM   #15
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Re: Finally it's stopped bothering me :)

Crazy, so you have to be set up and in position 15 minutes before the bride arrives and not move? C'mon, how are you supposed to get the bride arriving? Silly rules.

If you have that earlier 3 camera wedding available to show on an iPad then showing what you are trying to do could help....
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