I don't know why you guys do it... at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old September 5th, 2006, 12:30 AM   #1
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Posts: 1,200
I don't know why you guys do it...

Well, for the money I guess.

I just got back from out of town shooting a family wedding.

Now, I've shot lots of stuff over the years and even went to film school 15 years ago. I've shot a few weddings but just for family and friends. Now it's been probably 10 years since I've shot a wedding, now I know why.

I tried to do the right thing. I attended the rehearsal the day before. They were planning to 'face' the harsh afternoon sun. Both bride and groom would be squinting. So the photographer and I suggested that being that it was too late to arrange for an awning or tent, we should try to reposition the ceremony so the lighter would be easier to work with. I desperately wanted to at least set up some bounce cards to kick back some light to soften the dark side, but alas, I couldn't sneak anything in discretely.

Also during the rehearsal, I told them that I would likely be hiding a mic in the metal arch that would be behind the pastor. I considered going wireless but only had one lav. As it turned out, lavs probably would have been worse

When I arrived (an hour early) the next day, I found the chairs already set up and angled to the worst possible angle for the sun. I manipulated my position to best capture the nuptuals, and felt marginally comfortable until the ceremony began. The pastor came walking to the front on the service
(just ahead of the bride and groom) with a MICROPHONE. Unbeknownst to me, they had somewhere in the last 24 hours, decided to use a microphone and loudspeakers to conduct the service. My mic picked up the live voices followed a split second later by the relay from the speakers. Apparently most of the guests found this annoying as well. Between trying to balance the exposure between bride and groom and fighting the audio, I was becoming a wreck. I mean I was doing it for free, but I still have pride and want to do the best job possible.

At some point in there, I realized why I hate taping weddings... the lack of control. When we're making a film, most of the time we have lights and flags, and c-stands and gaffers tape everywhere, with cords and requisite crap everywhere. Because all that matters is what 'reads' on tape. The set can look like crap. Not so at a wedding.

If we don't like a shot in filmmaking, we say CUT!, let's try that another way. WE say 'OK, let's take it from the top'. Director's take charge of a film set.
Even in doc filmmaking, we can re-shoot, try it again, wait for the magic hour.

I went into this with a plan. I thought I could handle this. No problem, I said to myself. I practically had the thing shot and edited in my mind before even turning on the camera. I ended up shooting twice as much tape as I had planned (90+ minutes), as I scrambled to think of ways to re-cut the thing as I went along. Now I'm faced with god knows how much editing to make a product that I'll be reasonably happy to put my name on.

Don't get me wrong... I love a challenge but my hat's off to you guys in the biz... It's a completely different world out there in Wedding Videoland. I won't be stealing any of your business any time soon.
__________________
C100, 5DMk2, FCPX
Ken Diewert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5th, 2006, 01:11 AM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 66
Welcome to the Suck, Ken.
Walter S. Chelliah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5th, 2006, 01:29 AM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 2,488
Yeah, wedding and other live event videos can be a real challenge, and few customers are willing to pay enough to really make it worth the effort. But it's one way to get some experience doing something I enjoy doing while making a few bucks and getting some appreciation from customers for a video which they'll hopefully enjoy watching many years from now. Nothing I do in my 'day job' is likely to be remembered a few years hence, but maybe some of my wedding videos will become family heirlooms. Small consolation for a lot of effort, but somehow it works for me.
Kevin Shaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5th, 2006, 02:21 AM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Posts: 1,200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter S. Chelliah
Welcome to the Suck, Ken.
Hey Walter,

I'm not staying... I'm just passing through.

Part of the problem was I was in your neck of the woods, well Calgary. I'm from the the extreme west coast where we at least have some shade. This wedding was at 6:00 pm. I expected it to be somewhat cooler, but there was the damn sun, blazing away.

Kevin,

Actually, I just captured the first hour, and it wasn't as bad as my EVF read. The factory setting on the H1 is too bright, I toned it down but a tad too much, so it was reading darker than true. During my panic stricken phase I at least managed to maintain reasonable composition.

You're right. It's is good experience. And when you do capture those special moments, there is some gratification. You're also correct in that few people would pay enough to really make it worthwhile to do on a regular basis.
__________________
C100, 5DMk2, FCPX
Ken Diewert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5th, 2006, 03:21 AM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Diewert
I'm not staying... I'm just passing through.
I said the exact same thing. And that was 3.5 years ago.
Walter S. Chelliah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5th, 2006, 07:45 AM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Aus
Posts: 3,884
i live this....

its not as bad as it could be... i mean sure enough there are those moments, but in the end, if worse comes to worse, i hammer my way into the aisle and shoot what i can. If in doubt, blow it out (the background that is) i also run daylights and foam bounce boards if i need, but in the end, with this kind of environment, its really depends on how your camera can handle these kind of levels, and how you handle yourself in that environment.
when i am doing 3 weddings a week for 4 weeks straight (got afew of those comnig up.. :( by the second week, i really cant be fuggered giving a toss about what im doing, and it starts to show.
One thing to always remember, is that even though the pay is piss poor.. 2500 a pop on average.. 15hours + on the road and or shooting, then 60hrs average for an edit... what you're doing is making a difference to someones life...
Peter Jefferson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5th, 2006, 08:05 AM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 2,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Diewert
Well, for the money I guess.

shooting a family wedding.
This would have been my concern.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Diewert
Unbeknownst to me, they had somewhere in the last 24 hours, decided to use a microphone and loudspeakers to conduct the service.
This is the other, which is tied to concern number 1. Since today, respect for someone's time and effort is often disregarded without some pain (i.e. money) being involved, it's obvious that the 'family' didn't care about your 'very expensive gift' in the form of a wedding video production. Had they actually paid you, there's a greater chance things would have turned out better.

With your amount of video experience and expertise, I would be rather insulted that things were so far out of your control. The rehearsal is a good judge of what your day is going to be like on the day of.

Unfortunately, I think we've all been where you are, it's very frustrating when people don't understand the amount of work and breadth of involvment in what you do.

I would definetly relay my grief to the bride and groom.
__________________
What happens if I push the 'Red' button?
Steven Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5th, 2006, 09:21 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ogden, UT
Posts: 349
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Davis
With your amount of video experience and expertise, I would be rather insulted that things were so far out of your control.

Unfortunately, I think we've all been where you are, it's very frustrating when people don't understand the amount of work and breadth of involvment in what you do.

I would definetly relay my grief to the bride and groom.
I think that being "insulted" by this incident would be a bit far gone. As you said above, most "people don't understand the amount of work and breadth of involvement in what you do." The couple had ten zillion things to worry about, last of all the wedding video. I think he could be a bit harried by the event (I know I have been in similar situations) but to take offense where none was intended is foolish.

Anyway, glad you stopped in Ken. It's always nice to hear someone say "wow, you folks really do have a tough job."
Mike Oveson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5th, 2006, 09:49 AM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 2,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
what you're doing is making a difference to someones life...
Peter careful, your soft side is showing. :}

It's true though, many brides regret not going with video after they get to week two of thier marriage and can't remembe 15% of what went on at thier special day. And now they never will be able to see what they missed.
__________________
What happens if I push the 'Red' button?
Steven Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5th, 2006, 10:35 AM   #10
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Posts: 1,200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter S. Chelliah
I said the exact same thing. And that was 3.5 years ago.
Hahaha,

Actually, I designed my new production company to avoid attracting brides. For starters, it's called Cutlass Film (and video productions), and my logo is a skull and crossed swords on a film strip pirate flag.

http://www.cutlassfilm.com

It's still under construction, but the point is, I actually consciously chose to attempt to alienate a significant market segment. Of course I may live to regret it.

Thanks for the sympathy guys, I did relay my concerns about the lighting and audio to the party. They're pretty easy going (unlike some wedding groups, some day I'll have to tell the story of my first ever wedding vid 15 years ago). I'm likely far more critical than them in most cases.

I did mention to the photograher that at least she only has to make them look good for a 125th of a second at a time.
__________________
C100, 5DMk2, FCPX
Ken Diewert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5th, 2006, 11:10 AM   #11
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Elk Grove CA
Posts: 6,838
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Oveson
I think that being "insulted" by this incident would be a bit far gone. As you said above, most "people don't understand the amount of work and breadth of involvement in what you do." The couple had ten zillion things to worry about, last of all the wedding video. I think he could be a bit harried by the event (I know I have been in similar situations) but to take offense where none was intended is foolish.

Anyway, glad you stopped in Ken. It's always nice to hear someone say "wow, you folks really do have a tough job."
Exactly, Mike.

I was called on the spur of the moment to shoot a musical production, when someone's "cousin" pulled out. When I got to rehearsal, I tried to secure camera locations, and of course was met with a lot of flack. In fact, this was a one night event, and they were more worried about filling seats than having good video or sound for posterity. Kevin might know this place-- it the 24th Street Theatre in Sacramento. Lighting was terrible, with no regard for video production values.

Point is, in my view, a videographers job in this sort of a situation is not to become a bigger problem to the customer. While you need to be firm about minimum standards, you have to also be aware that in a "one shot" event like a wedding or a production like this, the customer is concerned about the moment, rather than the recording the moment.. and that is something that the videographer has to accept and work around.
__________________
Chris J. Barcellos
Chris Barcellos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5th, 2006, 11:55 AM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 2,488
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos
a videographers job in this sort of a situation is not to become a bigger problem to the customer. While you need to be firm about minimum standards, you have to also be aware that in a "one shot" event like a wedding or a production like this, the customer is concerned about the moment, rather than the recording the moment.. and that is something that the videographer has to accept and work around.
After seven years of doing event videography I'm starting to relax a little about not being able to deliver perfect results under imperfect conditions. Most customers seem to be happy with what I give them, and I don't think they're nearly as picky as we are about the results. If they really wanted perfect videos they'd be paying a lot more to get them and letting us have more input in things, but that doesn't seem to be what most people want. They just want something better than what "Uncle Charlie" can do...
Kevin Shaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5th, 2006, 12:22 PM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Kingman Arizona
Posts: 298
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Diewert
Hahaha,

Actually, I designed my new production company to avoid attracting brides. For starters, it's called Cutlass Film (and video productions), and my logo is a skull and crossed swords on a film strip pirate flag.

http://www.cutlassfilm.com
That is so funny. You might still attract those pirate weddings.
Jonathan Nelson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5th, 2006, 01:14 PM   #14
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 114
Ken try to incorporate stills into the areas that look "too bad".
Sheldon Blais is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5th, 2006, 02:28 PM   #15
Trustee
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Suwanee, GA
Posts: 1,241
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
After seven years of doing event videography I'm starting to relax a little about not being able to deliver perfect results under imperfect conditions. Most customers seem to be happy with what I give them, and I don't think they're nearly as picky as we are about the results. If they really wanted perfect videos they'd be paying a lot more to get them and letting us have more input in things, but that doesn't seem to be what most people want. They just want something better than what "Uncle Charlie" can do...
What you have as equipment will kill Uncle Charlie's version. When folks see what my VX-2100 can do compared to a standard old school 1chipper, it makes it worth it. And since it was not hand-held for the whole thing, they can watch it too. It is better than you think, even if you know it is not.
George Ellis is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:56 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network