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


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Old March 30th, 2006, 08:58 PM   #1
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First Wedding Highlights

Hey guys. This is my first true wedding that I've done and mixed. We used Panasonic GS250s for the ceremony and reception. There are a lot of things that I am displeased with, but I would like to get a feel of what you guys think. Please be COMPLETELY BLUNT AND HONEST about the video. I'm a big boy and can handle it.

http://www.firstgear1.com/images/video/joeyholly.wmv
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Old March 31st, 2006, 06:03 AM   #2
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Nice job

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Browning
Hey guys. This is my first true wedding that I've done and mixed. We used Panasonic GS250s for the ceremony and reception. There are a lot of things that I am displeased with, but I would like to get a feel of what you guys think. Please be COMPLETELY BLUNT AND HONEST about the video. I'm a big boy and can handle it.

http://www.firstgear1.com/images/video/joeyholly.wmv

I am on my third complete production (as the head videographer that is) so I am in a similar position to you. I like your choice of music and the cuts are clean. One thing I did notice is the lack of a steady cam device (I don't use one yet either). Not to say that I expect every shot to be rock solid, but when paning across the picture frame, a trip pod would help eliminate some of the small jitters.

That is all the jumps to mind immediately. I'll take a look again after some sleep tonight and write some more.

jason
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Old March 31st, 2006, 07:12 AM   #3
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First - Its very well done for a first gig. My first gig was totally crap, and I know it. I havent done a wedding since then and stuck myself in Docos since then. But im going back to the feild on weddings.... so I have to say, I'm inspired mate.

Second - yes, use a tripod. It helps. As my old Film Theory lecturer once siad: "I dont care who you are, and what you use, you're only as good as your tripod."

Oh... and avoid using zooms during a shoot. If you have to zoom, set it up first, unless you really need to... but thats my personal taste. Often zooming out is not annoying, zooming in is... The reason why we as humans find zooming in annoying and zooming out not is a mystery left to quacks known as psycologists. lol
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Old March 31st, 2006, 01:44 PM   #4
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I wouldn't show the rain. The close ups of the photos show a lot of shake. That is something you shoud be able to control. Many shots seem a little dark over all. When people are toasting we should be able to hear what they are saying.

For the first it is good work.

Mike
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Old March 31st, 2006, 03:34 PM   #5
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No rain.. because of the actual shot, or because of the negative connotation of rain itself? Also I agree about the unsteadiness of the photo shots. I was really displeased with those shots.
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Old April 2nd, 2006, 04:33 AM   #6
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tricks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Browning
No rain.. because of the actual shot, or because of the negative connotation of rain itself? Also I agree about the unsteadiness of the photo shots. I was really displeased with those shots.

Since I lack all the fancy gear, I have created tricks to over come the small annoyances and problems faced with filming live events.

1) When capturing a still object, use a still camera. Just apply the right Ken Burns effect to provide the illusion of motion and depth. Make sure the still photos are no less tha 1280x1024 so you have room to move, zoom etc.

2) Shoot some shots of teh audience watching the ceremony. It doesn't matter what sound goes with that shot because you will use this footage to cover for when the wedding party makes an unexpected shift in arrangement eliminating your shot.

3) Always shoot the venue before people are there but after setup (or better yet, while setting up). This provides more cover footage of the retrospective sort, though I would avoid using a single clip all by itself.... that might stick out too much.

4) Always record a constant audio somewhere some how... just get the whole thing in a single file. This gives you a time line for the ceremony. Then you can fit your footage to the time line and edit to eliminate the holes or problem areas like relocating the camera.

These tips are all lessons learned the hard way from the several live events I have filmed (not just weddings). I looked at my first wedding footage (as usual filmed for a friend for free) and said .... aw crap.... I have no audio (PA system was shut down due to high winds). That junked the entire ceremony as far as a complete edit is concerned. So I was left to make a montage, not that those are bad.... just not what I had in mind. My Second wedding was almost perfect so I cannot complain. :-) The third wedding had the incorrect input level from the DJ's system. Get a mixer and head phones and ask for a sound check or station an assistant (aka con a friend into helping for $20) to monitor that input. Audio makes or breaks my editing style. That is probably not a good thing, but I cannot work with bad audio, but I can always work some editing magic with lousy video.

Hope that helps.

jason
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Old April 2nd, 2006, 04:39 AM   #7
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A possible solution

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Browning
No rain.. because of the actual shot, or because of the negative connotation of rain itself? Also I agree about the unsteadiness of the photo shots. I was really displeased with those shots.

Here is something that popped into my mind for those pan & soom scenes that you don't like.... Take still frames (the cleanest ones you can find) and freeze frame them. Hold each frame for ~5 seconds with >1 second slow fades / dissolves between the frames. This eliminates the unwanted movements, provides motion for the scene, and is a little out of the ordinary so as to draw attention to the subject. The trick will be to cut the ratio of fading to freeze frame to be smooth but not slow. Let me know (if you try it) how that looked to you.... I might use that same trick on some scenes I am working on for the reception of my latest video.

jason
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 03:59 PM   #8
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Looks good but lacks emotions. Too much "head room" on most of the shots and not enough "close-up". The shot where a little girl kissed the bride would have been a perfect tight shot especially when bride smiled. Just my opinion.

Do not get discourage for everybody needs to start somewhere. I am also struggling to get my videography off the ground and just finished my very 1st wedding too.

Good luck,
Joven
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Old April 6th, 2006, 12:35 PM   #9
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here are my critiques:

1) the whole video is WAY too dark. I realize that the setting you were given to work with was pretty dark to begin with, but did you turn up the gain? That might have helped along with aperture and shutter speed. If not, play with your editor's settings to brighten things up a little.
2) white balance!!! You forgot to set the white balance for the indoor shots to indoor lighting (tungsten setting on your camera). Again, i'm sure you could fix this in post.

the rest everyone has already said. Shaky camera in a few shots and some potentially awesome shots had they been framed right.

great job for a first gig. You can rip me a new one when i post my first gig in a few weeks' time :D
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Old April 8th, 2006, 01:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike F Smith
I wouldn't show the rain. The close ups of the photos show a lot of shake. That is something you shoud be able to control. Many shots seem a little dark over all. When people are toasting we should be able to hear what they are saying.
Mike
It's his "Highlight" piece synched to a tune so you wouldn't expect any dialog.

I think the rain was a nice touch too.

Overall... considering there's no tripod it's well done IMO.
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Old April 9th, 2006, 11:43 AM   #11
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Just wanted to mention the Panasonic GS250's are rated poorly for low light work and really struggle. I recently used one as a third unmanned cam set up on a tripod on full auto in a large room and the results were really dark as well. Mostly unusable.

Maybe do some testing indoors with the gain to get a setting that works well.
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Old April 9th, 2006, 12:28 PM   #12
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Matt,
I loved it, rain and all. Yeah, it was dark in places but that can be fixed with levels, color corrections, etc. One recommendation...have the music crescendo at the end (at lassst...) fade in on the couple, then show different view of the couple in kind of a summary. If you had the first dance on tape, that would be very cool. Nice work.
Randy
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Old June 9th, 2006, 02:01 PM   #13
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My First Wedding

Hey Guys, Tomorow I will be shooting a wedding, for the first time.
I have several questions, and if you guys have any tips, please let me know, any little detail would be really helpfull.

I'm gonna use XL H1, with Sennheiser SK 100 wireless mic, on Camera Mic.
AK12 on Camera Light, I have 2 XL H1 battery's plus the original battery (the small one that comes with camcorder)

I did charge all the batteries, prepare my tapes.
No I never used the DTE recorder, (FOCUS). I'm gonna be recording in DV mode 4:3 aspect ratio, 30f since the first camera going to be recording in the same mode, I'm gonna be second camera on the wedding.

Please let me know what else I will need, that I'm missing
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