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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old May 3rd, 2016, 10:14 AM   #1
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360vr for weddings

Mark started a thread about 360vr (360 VR for Most of Us) and professional solutions seem to start at 5K and up with a more difficult workflow and heavy pc system requirements but there are now much cheaper alternatives under 1K which seem much easier to deal with.

During the discussion was mentioned that this might be a great addition to weddingvideography so guests could have the opportunity to look around themselves and I have seen weddingvideographers allready using that technique (just search in youtube with 360vr wedding)

When I looked at some of the trailers shot with 360vr camera's my personal opinion was that it looked quite bad, the footage was very soft because this technique requires to zoom in on 4K footage which seems reduces it to worse then SD resolution.

The main problem I saw is that once you place the camera that's it and you don't have to operate it anymore because the viewer will do that afterwards and this can have some serious limitations. It was mentioned that this would be great to set up at a ceremony so viewers could look around at the guests but that only applies for anyone sitting close to the camera and because the detail is so bad it's hard to even see faces from a bit further distance.

I saw a few recordings where guests where standing in front or around the camera talking to it and while that looked like a fun way to capture guest reactions I often found myself looking around at things that didn't matter, like in one case looking directly in the face of the videographer who was handholding the camera, and I didn't even remember what the person talking to the camera actually said.

In a regular videorecording you shoot what matters at that moment, you look for details using a zoom or a macro that tells something, you direct your viewers eye by applying a focuspull with a shallow dof shot and you make sure the bride looks nice no matter if they are having makeup applied in a small messy room, you just shoot with a f1.4 lens to blur out and background mess and you frame your shots in such a way that it looks good but with 360VR you can't be further away from that concept.

To me it looked more like glorified CCTV recording at best and I cannot imagine people paying extra to have this as a memory of their wedding but I"m probably wrong.

Being able to look at 360vr video was in my case not possible on my windows phoen without having to pay for a app that would allow me to scroll around, that might change in the future if it becomes more popular, maybe...

I do however see this 360vr thing being very popular among extreme sports, like being able to look around while someone is skydiving, or on top of a helmet or car at a motorsports game, there I can see the added value but maybe I am too old to realize that 360vr will be the next best thing for weddings and I will regret not to have jumped on the boat. :)

Any other opinions?
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Old May 3rd, 2016, 12:18 PM   #2
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Re: 360vr for weddings

Its a gimmick thing. A novelty that's a flavour of the month. Look how 3D comes and goes; people I know lauding it one day and now avoiding it the next. I can see some applications for 360vr, not really the Ceremony unless the room allowed more circular space. I can think of 1 or 2 venues where it could work, but mostly Ceremony venues are small, confined or long and narrow.
Receptions and Speeches could work well, but again, its a novelty. Pushed too far and people lose interest. I'm sure some creative Videographers will find novel uses for such cameras. Placing a camera dead centre of the action at a Wedding can be difficult and I have enough cameras blocked when parked on the edge of the room. Limited appeal for me.
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Old May 3rd, 2016, 02:58 PM   #3
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Re: 360vr for weddings

Yeah man I dunno.

My second shooter went out and spent $2500 on a rig and system. We shot a wedding with it last year at the beach... eh... it was ok and neat for about 1 minute or 2.

The problem with it is, it needs to be set up centrally, which of course is right in the middle of the main aisle in the middle of the place. Very distracting.

Then, you can't move it around really with out a lot of commotion.
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Old May 3rd, 2016, 04:07 PM   #4
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Re: 360vr for weddings

My thought...

It's like making a "recipe" where one just goes down the aisle of the market and randomly picks up whatever is there, throws it in a pot and "cooks" it.... doesn't sound "yummy" to me.

90%+ of the "magic" is a guy who KNOWS what to point the camera at, what audio MUST be captured, and knows how to mix it down into a "tasty" result. We ALL know when we nail "the money shot(s)", and it's bloody hard to get it right on the fly!

Sure, you MIGHT catch a few random "keeper" moments, maybe... at crap resolution, not sure how if if one could "edit", as the viewer can easily miss it if wandering around aimlessly... sounds more like a pot of gruel to me!
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Old May 3rd, 2016, 04:32 PM   #5
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Re: 360vr for weddings

I don't know how much of this is trying to fit a 2D view of the world into a new type of space, like the idea that placement of the camera must be in a central place. It might be useful to challenge your assumptions. A person attending a wedding sits in a pew in the church so why not let the camera have the perspective of a guest? Read about some of the VR narrative that has been produced thus far, for example a horror film in which the viewer is a participant in a seance.
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Old May 4th, 2016, 04:48 AM   #6
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Re: 360vr for weddings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Michael View Post
I don't know how much of this is trying to fit a 2D view of the world into a new type of space, like the idea that placement of the camera must be in a central place. It might be useful to challenge your assumptions. A person attending a wedding sits in a pew in the church so why not let the camera have the perspective of a guest? Read about some of the VR narrative that has been produced thus far, for example a horror film in which the viewer is a participant in a seance.
I could always place a normal camera in the pew for that perspective. Why would I need a 360vr camera for that. In fact I run a Guestcam service where a guest has one of my cameras and films the day from their perspective. Same thing and less costly too.

There are some venues that lend themselves to 360vr cameras, but alas many that do not. It has nothing to do with lack of challenge to ones assumptions and more to do with the fact that some venues, there isn't enough room to swing a cat let alone get a 360 camera view.
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