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


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Old August 17th, 2016, 03:41 AM   #16
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

Hi Roger

My clients are the same as yours ..they expect you to cover everything especially speeches and ceremony but they do love the 6-8 minute high light that they get as well and I would suspect that that's what friends and family watch whilst the bride will watch the whole thing maybe once or twice probably even the groom wouldn't sit thru it. If of course I leave something else I know I will get a comment like "Why didn't you include the full mass footage"

Brides will respond to what the market says they should be looking for and if everyone shows a package with a 29 minute wedding "film" that's what they expect to get. However I will be doing a couple of "no-edit" Live broadcasts this season (ours starts in September) so it will be interesting to see if they like it as much as a long form DVD that has been carefully edited. We essentially use two cameras with broadcast encoders that connect wirelessly to a laptop that runs the live switcher and also sends out the signal worldwide but also records it too.(so I can still make a edited copy) plus we get an automatic cloud copy of the stream. It might too be a solution to rid ourselves of the pesky weekend warriors who buy a discount store camera and then attempt weddings at cut throat prices as the setup is a bit more complex than the basic stuff the beer money clan work with. Only time will tell and we might change the operation but we have tons of work for the broadcasting setup whether we do weddings or no
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Old August 17th, 2016, 04:17 AM   #17
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

I do both the feature length and short highlight (3-4 minutes) for everyone.

If anything, I find the 10-20 minute highlight length kind of awkward. Too short, so you only get scattered chunks. Too long to be easily digested and watched over and over.
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Old August 17th, 2016, 06:18 AM   #18
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

There's clearly demand for both. I've got a Marryoke and Highlights video Wedding this Saturday. A booking I almost lost as the couple mistakingly thought they had to book my full length video package to get the Marryoke. However I also meet many who do want the full length, so it's not going to be dropped from my services anytime soon. Like others I'm adding shorter videos as I do think in the long run, they are what the couple will watch on anniversaries. Though I've heard that a few of my full lengths were enjoyed years after, even my 2 hour epic edits.

A Highlights video does make for easier viewing especially for family and friends, but there's so much that is lost; some of the detail that I'm sure the couple would value, even if no one else would.
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Old August 17th, 2016, 08:13 AM   #19
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

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There's clearly demand for both. I've got a Marryoke and Highlights video Wedding this Saturday. A booking I almost lost as the couple mistakingly thought they had to book my full length video package to get the Marryoke. However I also meet many who do want the full length, so it's not going to be dropped from my services anytime soon. Like others I'm adding shorter videos as I do think in the long run, they are what the couple will watch on anniversaries. Though I've heard that a few of my full lengths were enjoyed years after, even my 2 hour epic edits.

A Highlights video does make for easier viewing especially for family and friends, but there's so much that is lost; some of the detail that I'm sure the couple would value, even if no one else would.
I think you make a good point here. The highlights video is what people will most likely show friends and those not interested in the small details, but if that is their only version, there is so much detail that is lost for ever from that one special day, quite often things that they hadn't even noticed. I also often meet up with couples that I filmed years ago, at current weddings or with friends at wedding shows. I always ask them if they still watch it and the answer is always yes. What they often comment on is how they are able to see and hear older members of the family who may have passed on, but they are captured forever just talking, laughing etc. I really think that the value of long form increases as the years progress and memories fade, whereas highlights are for quick and convenient viewing.

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Old August 17th, 2016, 08:05 PM   #20
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

I think TV drives what we do, especially with weddings. I'm convinced that the David Tuteras of this world are the one's cracking the whip on what we do. Ok, that's a little mellow dramatic, but it's like the lighting we typically see at weddings which is a nice color but is about as useful as toilet paper in a hurricane. Bride's go to dyilighting.com and think that 300.00 is going to get them 5k lighting that ol'e D. Tutera's lighting engineers use.

So while I think most of us see the complexity of what we do and think, 'wow, how can I simplify', the brides want what they see on TV and expect wine from water.
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Old August 18th, 2016, 02:27 AM   #21
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

On a personal level I've been wondering why I get more stressed at weddings than I used to - my first few years seem stress free compared to recent ones. My conclusion of course is that I have a lot more equipment and am always trying to squeeze more quality from what I do.

When I started I had 2 camcorders, 2 tripods and 2 audio recorders - nothing else. Now I have 5 cameras, multiple lenses, 2 tripods and 3 light stands, 8 audio recorders and associated microphones, a slider, a steadicam, a ninja recorder, a smallHD monitor, lights, clamps.....and the list goes on. More gear = more to think about, more to set up, more to turn on, more to turn off more to tackle down, more to move from one location to the next etc etc etc

Now I will only take on church bookings if the wife is free to help, and In future I can see myself turning these down in favour of hotel weddings simply because they are easier, especially since I am starting to develop a bad back which I'm putting down to this

Now don't get me wrong, all this extra kit and thought and planning etc has improved the quality of my work no end and I am never short of bookings (more and more through referrals) but the cost has been more stress. I'm doing an inner city church wedding solo tomorrow and am already anxious about it :/

I have tried going down the second shooter route only to be burned badly as the two I tried turned out to be unreliable - resulting in yet more stress!
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Old August 18th, 2016, 07:34 AM   #22
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

My sympathies Pete ..I know the feeling! I added 2 x Action Cams to my already 3 cameras last year and trying to control everything was a nightmare! I dropped down to just one cam on a tripod for the couple and priest and a 2nd to shoot cutaways and the register and it made life a lot easier! At receptions, apart from speeches I use just one camera now ..easier and less stressful! I dumped the stedicam too ..got tired of lugging the rig up and down stairs! Now I just do a handheld shoot at 50P of the couple ..slow it down 50% in post and get the same result.

I seriously wonder if we would actually get less work or would brides abandon us if we went to a single or maximum 2 camera shoot ....Do they even look at the technical side of the shoot ? I personally feel we are tech junkies striving to get more and more gear so our films are better and better in our eyes BUT what do brides think?? Maybe you need cameras all on tripods with remotes going back to a desk and you sit on your bum and control everything from there ?? I don't think I will go upwards again as I'm getting to old to lug all this gear around ! You will get to the stage when you will HAVE to simplify and have your entire kit in a back pack!
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Old August 18th, 2016, 09:08 AM   #23
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

I'm leaning towards mixing in more DSLR video. I currently run two tripods at the ceremony, and mostly my steadicam and a tripod a the reception. But I'm considering mixing in flying a DSLR rather than my XF300, then maybe just go to tripods with DSLRs and maybe get my Figrig out of mothballs. I dunno, I agree Chris, in then end, I'm not sure if the bride cares about how many cameras, but more of the special moments we capture and how it looks on the pixels.
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Old August 18th, 2016, 10:34 AM   #24
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

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Maybe you need cameras all on tripods with remotes going back to a desk and you sit on your bum and control everything from there ??
That's how they do the Royal Weddings that the brides aspire to.
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Old August 18th, 2016, 10:41 AM   #25
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

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My sympathies Pete ..I know the feeling! I added 2 x Action Cams to my already 3 cameras last year and trying to control everything was a nightmare! I dropped down to just one cam on a tripod for the couple and priest and a 2nd to shoot cutaways and the register and it made life a lot easier! At receptions, apart from speeches I use just one camera now ..easier and less stressful! I dumped the stedicam too ..got tired of lugging the rig up and down stairs! Now I just do a handheld shoot at 50P of the couple ..slow it down 50% in post and get the same result.
The last few weddings that I did before hanging up my gear I used a couple of MFT cameras. One was a Panasonic G6 for the wide unattended shot while the other was an Olympus OM-D E-M5 with the brilliant stabilisation used handheld. It was amazingly liberating to carry all my kit in one small shoulder bag. If I were to shoot wedding today I think that I would probably go for a couple of Sony RX10M3s with that amazing 24-600mm equivalent zoom & shoot 4K but deliver 1080p so I had plenty of scope for cropping & re-framing in post.
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Old August 18th, 2016, 12:36 PM   #26
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
My sympathies Pete ..I know the feeling! I added 2 x Action Cams to my already 3 cameras last year and trying to control everything was a nightmare! I dropped down to just one cam on a tripod for the couple and priest and a 2nd to shoot cutaways and the register and it made life a lot easier! At receptions, apart from speeches I use just one camera now ..easier and less stressful! I dumped the stedicam too ..got tired of lugging the rig up and down stairs! Now I just do a handheld shoot at 50P of the couple ..slow it down 50% in post and get the same result.

I seriously wonder if we would actually get less work or would brides abandon us if we went to a single or maximum 2 camera shoot ....Do they even look at the technical side of the shoot ? I personally feel we are tech junkies striving to get more and more gear so our films are better and better in our eyes BUT what do brides think?? Maybe you need cameras all on tripods with remotes going back to a desk and you sit on your bum and control everything from there ?? I don't think I will go upwards again as I'm getting to old to lug all this gear around ! You will get to the stage when you will HAVE to simplify and have your entire kit in a back pack!
I'm with you on this Chris (sounds familiar),For the ceremony I use one FZ1000 on the main tripod, with usually a small Panny HD cam on a clamp on the same tripod for a continuous wide angle that I can vary. If space allows I have a second locked off HD cam on the other side for a different angle or a GoPro on a clamp if there is no 2nd tripod space. For speeches it's one tripod with the FZ1000 to cover the speakers and one of the HD cams on a clamp on the same tripod for reaction shots from B&G. I can change the clamped camera to any angle or zoom level for variations. The rest of the day is one FZ1000 only which is ideal for me with the great zoom and good low light.

I love using clamps on the tripod for a second camera or on a screen etc as it is so easy to unclamp and chuck in the bag in seconds. Speed for me is essential, especially if I am also doing the photography.

I don't think it matters how many cameras you use, providing you get the shots that you want, good camerawork and an eye for detail are king, but there are times, particularly in periods of continuous action, where extra camera/s are always useful.

Roger
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Old August 18th, 2016, 01:39 PM   #27
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

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I seriously wonder if we would actually get less work or would brides abandon us if we went to a single or maximum 2 camera shoot ....Do they even look at the technical side of the shoot ? I personally feel we are tech junkies striving to get more and more gear so our films are better and better in our eyes BUT what do brides think??
I don't think Brides care at all about tech. However fancy gear isn't about individual shots being noticed. Think of it as ingredients, much like baking a cake. The chef won't expect those eating the cake to identify each ingredient, but each plays a part in the enjoyment of the whole. I wouldn't say that gimbals, sliders and lots of cameras are essential to great Wedding Videos, but they're useful additions for getting certain shots. Having edited Weddings shot without such gear, I do find it harder to create more cinematic style videos when you don't have the shots to match.

However how far you wish to take Wedding filming is really down to you. I know we all can get caught up in others work and feel the need to match. I for one don't use Drones or use RAW for my footage. Do my Wedding Videos suffer from this absence, no, but neither do they benefit from it either.

Ultimately it is for me to set the standard of my work, not the Bride. That's why they come to a Professional in the first place. Just as I wouldn't want my car mechanic to provide a service that just meets my knowledge and understanding of cars, which is nil, but to give a service that matches that of other Professionals. I see it therefore as my job to give my Professional best, regardless of whether the couple are knowledgeable about video or not. Sure I could downscale, but would I be happy with my work, probably not.

So I use the equipment I use because that is how I want my videos to be and as part of my style, it is what I hope my customers will come to me for, rather than say the next Videographer they meet.
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Old August 19th, 2016, 08:11 AM   #28
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

My guys and I talk about this all the time.

When we started, we each had 1 camera and 1 tripod. So, on the wedding day, there would be 3 of us each with our camera and tripod. Then we added 2 wireless mics. That was our set up for years and years.

I took a short break and got back into it around 2008-2009. Using the same method. Then in 2013 I took Ray Roman's course, and ended up buying a bunch of stuff.

Now just my arsenal consists of 2 Peilcan Cases and a monster Tenba backpack, plus all the tripods, slider, glidecam, monopod. I literally have my Toyota Camry trunk full as well as most of my backseat on a wedding day.

Not to mention, now my two main shooters also show up with about as much gear as me.
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Old August 19th, 2016, 08:14 PM   #29
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

We occasionally do photos only at a wedding and it's so easy compared to video... Just sling two DSLR's over your shoulder and you are ready so trying to trim down my video gear has always been in my mind ...I used to lug around a stedicam, dual arm and vest to the photoshoot venue just to be able to get 10 minutes of couple footage before the photog whisks them away ! With advances in OIS technology I found that just doing the same thing handheld with a simple fig rig (mine is just a plate under the camera with two foam handles each side) does just as good a job and there is no lugging huge amounts of gear any more. Now what I really need is a simple lighting system that I can pick up with one finger and use for the speeches and things will get lighter and handier!! As you get older, the gear feels heavier and doing trips from the car to the venue becomes harder so super compact outfits are worth looking at!!!
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Old August 19th, 2016, 08:55 PM   #30
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

You are so right on the photography part. We started shooting wedding photos for the first time this year, and it is such a blessing to be able to get everything I need in 1 backpack

2 DSLRs
3-4 lenses
2 flashes
batteries

We began outsourcing our photo editing, so literally all the time we have into it is on the day of the shoot.

And people aren't haggling over prices either so that's nice. lol
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