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


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Old January 6th, 2006, 08:50 AM   #1
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The Perfect Video

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Originally Posted by A.J. Briones
4 months. longer during peak times. no promises. it's done when it's perfect.

I haven't done a perfect one yet. I find things wrong with my work and I'm never satisfied with it. I've sent out videos that made my stomach turn for some reason or another and then got back thank you cards perfusely praising my work. Customer praise doesn't satisfy me because I want the product to be better.

A big one, for every wedding video I do, is that I'm not satisfied with the quality of MiniDV (especially when viewed on a big screen). It's only so good no matter what it's edited and encoded with (I've probably got over 200 hours of sweat, research, tests, and experimentation wrapped up in this). I've spent days/weeks demo-ing encoders and experimenting with settings and changing things, then re-testing, and ultimately I've come to the conclusion that even though I'm getting the most out of it, MiniDV is only so good. I feel like I'm trying to make something timeless with a very "dated" medium. For what I'm charging my customers (just $2k-ish), the picture quality should be better.

I've rolled out the red carpet for the "it's not the medium - it's the content" rebuttal. I think it's both.
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Old January 6th, 2006, 09:42 AM   #2
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I agree, however miniDV being what it is, is waht were left to work with.. apart from HDV/DVCPro50/HD which offers 4.2.2 colour space, MiniDV has many downsides, to me the biggest being the detail in wide shots.
using a DVX100 in progressive scan makes a HELL of a differnce, and the way ive set up my cameras i am extremely pleased with the footage. Very comparable to a DSR300, and the older Pana ENG shoulder mounts, like the DVC200.

With regard to HDV, i like what it can do, i jsut dont like the ratio in which its compressd at. Id rather have 40minutes at a higher compression ratio as opposed to a lower compression with longer duration.. this is where 80 minute tapes woudl come into play and if HDV ran at DVCam speeds, theres no reason for it to NOT to record at a higher bitrate.

HDv is a good format to a certain degree. for wedding work i fond the luminance of the Z1 to be inferior. I also find the lense abherations to be far too abhorent for run and gun shooting as alot of the time, your shooing in uncontrolled environments which the Z1 can handle only to a degree.
Also even with the colour space of HDV, i fnd that the Z1 doesnt give me TRUE colour accuracy as the DVX100a does.. despite my tweaks and prods, at teh end of the day IMO, the Z1 is better suited to controlled environments. Its not like the PD units whichdid almsot everyting perfectly (for its form factor)

Ive used DVCpro25/50 formats in the past and for most broadcast work here in Aus, its a given. Alongside Digibeta, dvcpro offers a decent compression algorythm with much less artefacting than DV and HDV combined.
I do not know DVCPro HD that well, we downlaoded a clip to test on FCP5 and it DID look stunning, but until i can get my hands ona HVX I wont know..

Like u im a perfectionist.. i always find fault and i can always "fix it" the only thing stopping me is the tight deadlines i put to myself.. at the end of the day what u and i might think "coud have been done better" to the client it IS as good as it coud be.. they do not know the insides of what we do.
But in the ned, its not realy about what we think could be bettr, its about what the client believes to be teh best product which they have paid for.
So if u DO get praise, dont shy away from it. Consider it that someone out there in th ereal world appreciates teh time and effort youve put into the project

with regard to compression to DVD, i found that ProCoder is teh cleanest with the most colour accuracy to the source, the uissue i have wiht it is that it doesnt like progressive scan. For some reason any progressive footag i import is reinterlaced. even when i change settings..
On teh other hand Main concept is MUCH faster (about 2.3rds realtime) its not as clean in colour gradation, but it is relatively sharper (u CAN notice the difference)
If procoder could encode properly, then id use it.. in teh meantime i stick with main concept standalone encoder.
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Old January 6th, 2006, 10:28 AM   #3
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I'm going to do my dilligent darndest to say goodbye to MiniDV with my next camera purchase.

Last edited by Craig Terott; January 6th, 2006 at 01:59 PM.
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Old January 6th, 2006, 07:24 PM   #4
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next cam i get, ill either be shooting DVCPro25/50 for SD work, and DVCProHD for corp.. i just cant justify the price of the solid state media at this time.. that and the fact that my NLE doesnt support it at this time..
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Old January 7th, 2006, 08:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Terott
I haven't done a perfect one yet. I find things wrong with my work and I'm never satisfied with it. I've sent out videos that made my stomach turn for some reason or another and then got back thank you cards perfusely praising my work. Customer praise doesn't satisfy me because I want the product to be better.
Hey Craig,

While reading this thread I was brought back to my days in radio broadcasting. One of my PDs told me that we are our own worst critic. I think you're really beating yourself up on this and placing far too much of a burden for perfection on your own shoulders.

You forget what it is you wrote in your first paragraph, how you "...got back thank you cards perfusely praising my work." We all want our product to be perfect but mini-DV limits us in this. You appear to be pushing the limits of what SD can deliver and your customers LOVE IT! We see every little flaw and edit slip and they see...perfection.

Perspective my friend. Remember that. Perspective.

All the best.

sincerely,


ian
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Old January 8th, 2006, 01:21 AM   #6
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moving ahead...

Well some good points...
I do know lighting is everything though, it can make
or break you.

My friend (coach / confidant) has always push film, but make no mistake dv is a place to start. Somewhere between the DVX100b / 16mm is where I'd like to be. Somehow I feel I can go from Vx2100s/PD150s to DVX100b and work my way up the food chain creating better and more tasteful content outside of the wedding market.

Well make no mistake we can create decent content with the simple devices we have... Much less for the real equiptment. Why not push them to their limits? Create content, push the envelope, scan to film if we have too... Get that ARRI light kit, control the enviroment...

I'm sure Craig has done this and much more, but just "food for thought"
I've uploaded a video from sometime last year... from a guy from spymac.

Leave your comments / questions.

http://tinyurl.com/7k996
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Old January 9th, 2006, 03:44 AM   #7
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Lighting makes a huge difference no matter what medium you are shooting.......you could be shooting real film with an Arri BL ,but if the scene has "bad" lighting it will still look bad...even with film .

If you took a good director of photography and had he or she light a scene and then shoot it with a old school high 8 camera.......yep, it will "look" better.

With weddings you definately has little or atleast a lot less control with light in most cases but always try to use the avail light to your favor.

With video especially mini dv, I try to shoot wide open aperature and med to tight shots as much as possible.....

UP ing the medium is not the only answer to better images.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 12:13 PM   #8
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i didn't even know i was quoted for this thread. ;-P

anyway, the bottom line is that no wedding is perfect. there's just too many variables involved and too much going on. our cameras are not perfect, sd is not perfect, the lighting is not perfect, the b&g are not perfect, the audio isn't going to be perfect, the setting is not perfect, the list goes on. we all know this.

when i said "perfect", i was talking about post in a thread about the time it takes to turn over completed work. the bottom line is, despite the missed shots or shaky angles or whatever, with the 3 or 4 angles that i have over the course of 8-12 hours, there's a perfect edit in there somewhere. my goal is to discover it over the course of editing, and find a way to minimize the amount of time it takes to get there. that said, i am discovering that for some weddings, there are no shortcuts and one must take the long road to find that perfect edit. perfect to me, put simply, is the best i can get out of the footage that i have to work with.

with regards to shooting, not all the shots are not going to be perfect. i can strive for "as good as it can get", but even then there are things that 3 or even 4 angles may miss. perfect in this sense is a combination of experience, planning, anticipation, awareness, improvisation and blind luck.

sure, i may look at some of my older work and think that i could have edited it a bit better, and i know that i definitely could have shot it better, but i want to take comfort in being able to say that, at the time, and in the situation i was given, that was the best i could do. it's pretty much all i can hope for.
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