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Old February 6th, 2006, 11:21 PM   #1
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Sample clip from a recent wedding - your thoughts?

This is from a wedding I shot a few weeks back. The scene is to introduce the place of ceremony (the church).

It will be used after the brides home footage and pre-ceremony footage.

I'd love to hear your opinions, advice, etc.

http://www.digitaldreamzstudios.com/...anya&chris.wmv


Thanks
Albert
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Old February 7th, 2006, 12:00 AM   #2
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Albert,

Here we go...the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The good:
Professional composition and variety of shots. You covered the church very well. Nice use of music and the slow motion.

The bad:
Some shots were way too long for me. For instance-the first shot showing the street sign was way, way too long. It looked as if you were trying to lengthen the video to fill in time.

The ugly:
You covered the church too well. If I were getting married in this church and this was on my video I would fast forward through it after watching it once. This looks like a promo for the church and not the beginning of a wedding. 5 minutes of church scenes is about 4 minutes too long. I know this is brutal but, because your composition is so professional which means you are a professional, this needs to be said.

The good again,
This is an easy fix. The pacing just needs to be picked up.

I could be wrond but this is what came to my mind as I was watching it.

Terry
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Old February 7th, 2006, 12:27 AM   #3
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Terry,

Thank you for your honesty and advice. I've got a pretty diverse background in this stuff, however, being in business for a short time - my eyes and ears are open to my fellow professionals for advice.

So any comments / tips are always appreciated... Best ones are the brutal ones :)

One note on this particular wedding - the whole event was so straight forward... that I really need this 5 minute filler to potentially push this over an hour +.

I was taping and taping and barely finished 3 tapes. Dancing lasted a whole 30 min. Only so much dinner and cocktail footage I can show! :)

Thanks again!
Albert
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Old February 7th, 2006, 05:41 AM   #4
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"One note on this particular wedding - the whole event was so straight forward... that I really need this 5 minute filler to potentially push this over an hour +."

Is there a video run-time stipulation in your contract? Rhetorical question. Don't answer that, but think about it. The wedding video's length is determined by it's content. When it is so short it doesn't convey the moments of the day, it needs to be longer. When it is so long that it is lingering on unimportant moments, it needs to be shorter. When it is re-using establishing shots (purple candles, Bible in glass case) it REALLY needs to be cut shorter. This is YOUR work. Edit it in YOUR style and not by some artificial constraints.

This can be fixed with simple editing. Your shots where it shows a wide then cuts to a close-up are good. For instance, the open doors of the church with the altar in the background cuts to a close-up of the detail on the altar. This is good. What you should avoid is a wide shot of the church then a cut to another almost-identical wide shot of the church. Also, I wouldn't open with a shot of the street sign. It's a nice detail, but should be in with the detail shots between the big shots. Also, your title says "The Church", then we see a sign. Show your best shot of the exterior, then cut to the details of the exterior. Show your wide of the church's open door and altar, then cut to the altar details. Actually, it looks like there is an elaborate entryway, so show that before the open church. You get the idea. Establish a scene, then show the details.

Personally, I go spatially and chronologically. I show the church as one would see it upon arrival. Exterior, exterior details, exterior signs, interior wide, altar, signs, flowers, then people setting up, people arriving, people chatting, people preparing, then the ceremony. You get the idea. Make up your own style, but make sure you are telling the story of the day and not just putting up a horde of unrelated snapshots to fill time. The good thing about your style is the attention to detail. Make those details tell a story.

One minor critique on your composition. On one sign, parts of sentences are shown. Close-in on a detail, THEN cut to the whole sign. If you show a detail (like an emblem) with half the words on the sign showing, the audiences eyes are drawn to the words and they get frustrated that they can't finish reading the sentence. Otherwise, your composition is good.

I do like your attention to detail. I'm going to work on that myself now that I've seen it done differently.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 08:35 AM   #5
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Thanks Marcus!

I agree with your comments. It bothered me reusing the candles and bible shots at the end - but i thought it was a decent way to end the scene. Maybe I could have used some other shots in place of the 1st candle/bible shots.

I like capturing various shots - some even more than once depending on how I might need to use the footage. I also think details are very important and I try to capture something the eye sees but doesn't acknowledge right away. I try to think like someone who might say, "hey I never noticed the figures on the outside of the church and I've seen it a hundred times."

I try to zero in on specifics details that tell or enhance the story. Hopefully in most cases it works.

I like your idea about chronologically covering the shots.. I would imagine it also makes editing a bit quicker if you follow the same chronological format.

I tend to like 'music video' style editing where I can use clips from various stages in the recording at various times. It definitely adds more time and effort into the project.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 12:41 PM   #6
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Your a good man Albert.

You have hit on a very important point. We, as videographers, see a lot more detail and interesting things than do most everyone else. It comes from "looking for" details as we take video. It is a great blessing we receive when we practice our trade and it lets our viewers "see" a lot more than they normally would have seen.

As Marcus implied concerning the length of the video. It would be better to have it shorter and more interesting than longer and "yawn..."

Tery
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Old February 7th, 2006, 02:35 PM   #7
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I'll have to agree with what most everyone has said concerning the pacing. It could really be picked up to create a more vibrant piece. Your attention to detail is evident and nice, but the pacing of the clip was too slow.

A couple of nit-picky details now. Your clips had a tendency to "lean" to the right, meaning they weren't level. This may just be a pet peeve of mine, but it's always bothered me in videos that I watch where something is obviously supposed to be level (an organ, etc) and it's not. I would recommend at least straightening the shot in post. I think it would be less distracting that way. Especially where the shots are held so long, I'd straighten them out. And one last thing. Color. The color on many of the interior shots was rather desaturated. I understand that the church was rather dark, but do you intend to do any color correction on this piece? I'd probably bump things up a bit to make it feel more alive. It is a wedding after all. =) Anyway, I hope that these comments help you. Overall I think the clip was nice, but could be improved. But I believe that can be said of most anyone's work.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 03:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Oveson
A couple of nit-picky details now. Your clips had a tendency to "lean" to the right, meaning they weren't level.
Nice catch Mike... I noticed that myself during editing.. not sure if my hand was tired or I was doing a little early celebrating :)

I'll have to pay more attention to that next time - and the rest of the video when I edit it.

I did a bit of color correcting but I wanted to maintain the overall mood of the church. Also, what I noticed is when I preview to an NTSC monitor the video's dark scenes arent as dark as the LCD makes them out to be. So depending on whether its viewed on an NTSC monitor, a CRT, or LCD; the image brightness / color may slighty vary.

Thank you for you honesty.. Will only help me improve!

-Albert
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Old February 7th, 2006, 06:54 PM   #9
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still downloading teh clip but ill comment on the duration..

there wil be times where ceremonies will literally fly past you..
ove doen afghan weddings where they went for 10 minutes, and other afghan ones wher ethe ceremony went for over 2 hours simply coz they were having to much fun haggling (their ceremonies are like a business transaction)
THEN there are the park ceremonies where the celebrant wants to be seen by passers by (potential clients u see).. so these can drag on.. but one time, i shot a wedding whcih was with a celebrant, the bride was 10 minutes late, and he obviously had another wedding to go to after this one, so he rushed it..
Forgot the reading and didnt give anyone a chance to really get themselves set up.. as soon as the bride arrived, he spoke for less than a minute, then got everything underway.
Ceremony ran for 5 minutes and 21 seconds... uncut, only multicammed in post.

So with this, as most ceremonies run for at least 15 minutes, i couldnt do much about it, so the finished piece was much shorter than what was expected.

Never give out a final duration, jsut tel clients that the footage is dependant on what u got on the day, based on what was directed to you by the client. Also tell them that shot selection must blend and pace correctly as a UNIT, which means that even though some shots are nice, you may not be able to use them simply becuase they may not fit or blend in with everything else.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 07:22 PM   #10
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now for the piece..

I skimmed through it im afraid.
The points made on pacing ring true, but its no bad thing.. i think if you give a copy to the church, theyd love it.. and who knows maybe even recommend you for other work to other couples.

if holding shots like this, i would recommend a tripod, or a digital stabilising program (some think this is blesphemy, but hey they work... albeit with a sacrifice of sharpness). When shots are held for this long, stability (or lack of) is much more noticable.

I noticed you use Vegas, i would suggest that the shot where u had people walking by and the traffic be stabilised somehow, then, slow it half way.. THEN run a motion blur... this would be MUCH more effective, as it would provide a semblence of moving time.

The shtots you have are fine and youve got some real nice compositions, you could easily tighten this up and polish it like gold.

Dont be afraid to cut.. even if the shot is nice, suggestion is as powerful as actuality, so using complete crossfades would work well in this case...
in vegas, u have ur main shot S1 (between 5 to 10 seconds), then u have a second shot S2... This 8 second shot is crossfaded 4 seconds into the previous S1, BUT the shot after S2 is crossfaded 4 seconds into S2
This 8 second shot then becomes transitional
does that make sense? Give it a go, coz you have alot of material there and u dont want to lose it
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Old February 8th, 2006, 11:47 AM   #11
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Peter

I will certainly keep all the points you mentioned in mind as I tape and edit my projects. Sometimes you feel you want to have such comprehensive coverage of a specific thing (i.e. church) because the couple may not get the chance to appreciate its beauty. Though I agree - I could have presented most of the footage, probably edited to a different pace and fade out the tune at a reasonable moment.

The suggestions for the motion blur and crossfading are great. I thought I had motion blur on actually - but I'll go back and check. It certainly adds the sense of time passing to the scene as objects move across the screen.

Thanks for the input!
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Old February 8th, 2006, 08:48 PM   #12
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I would have liked to see some extreem closeups of candles, bible, etc.

Mike
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Old February 8th, 2006, 09:12 PM   #13
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Some great comments, but no one has mentioned the camera being completely off-center on the shot of the doors from across the street? I noticed the "center" of what I thought to be the center (right in between the doors) was too far to the right. Maybe its just me, but it really bothered me!

I also agree with using a tripod on those shots because even though the moving was insignificant, it really stnads out.

This is a great church video, like maybe something they would play during the credits of a broadcasted sermon, but I agree with the others, the church should really only consume a small portion of your final video. Also, I wouldn't shoot for the hour long video either, if you have to re-use shots and make for long scenes most people fast-forward through, it will overall be more professional to give them a video that's entertaing to watch more than once so when they show it to friends and family that couldn't make it to the wedding, they aren't falling asleep!

Overall, it is a great video, some spots could use a little work.... I just wouldn't put this into their wedding video if it were me..... and that's just me, so take what I said with a grain of salt
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Old February 8th, 2006, 10:40 PM   #14
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Again thanks to everyone so far for the fantastic advice. I do notice the faults that were mentioned and will embed them in mind for future jobs. I will rethink the 5 minute church segment. I'll give them the option of the 'abridged' version or the 'music video' version this time. Next time I'll aim for shorter segments.

Though I must say, the Enigma tune does deserve to be played in full cause its so appropriate for those types of scenes. I couldnt help it.. :)
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Old February 8th, 2006, 11:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Albert Baier
Again thanks to everyone so far for the fantastic advice. I do notice the faults that were mentioned and will embed them in mind for future jobs. I will rethink the 5 minute church segment. I'll give them the option of the 'abridged' version or the 'music video' version this time. Next time I'll aim for shorter segments.

Though I must say, the Enigma tune does deserve to be played in full cause its so appropriate for those types of scenes. I couldnt help it.. :)
Perfect music for the scene, but I jsut don't think it belongs in a wedding video. Maybe when you give them the DVD you can add a music video "extra" or something that shows the church... you may want to include a few photos or some video of the actual bride & groom though
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