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


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Old November 7th, 2006, 08:47 AM   #31
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Hi,

This weekend I had a problem with pets and not people. We went to somone's mansion to take photos and video, using their gardens for family and B&G photos.
The problem was, the owners of the house had these two huge dogs who were over friendly. They kept getting in the way and sniffing my butt all the time. Because these people were doing the bride a favour by having the use of their garden, the bride didn't tell them to tie up the dogs.

One time, a dog came behind me and nearly bite my camera when I was filming a low angle shot, I turned around and kicked the dog. Instead of getting the hint, the people just laughed and thought it was hilarious.

I don't know which were worse, the dogs or the dog owners. Go figure!

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Old November 7th, 2006, 10:27 AM   #32
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Some minor (yet a little annoying) things happened to me at the most recent wedding I was working at...

1. During the wedding rehearsal, the photographer kept tapping me on the shoulder to ask me certain logistical questions (such as where I was going to be standing during the ceremony, etc). I certainly have no problem with him asking me stuff like this, but it definitely would've been better if he had done that WHILE I WASN'T CURRENTLY FILMING THE REHEARSAL! The resulting footage was pretty shaky, which made it a little more challenging during editing. Fortunately, the reverend was wearing a wireless mic, so it wasn't as bad as it could have been.

2. I had no gas in my car at the time, so I wasn't able to be there for the photoshoots which were taking place between the ceremony and the arrival of the B&G at the reception. (This one is kind of my fault, though).

3. During the reception, I was told by the wedding coordinator, the DJs, and the catering staff that the B&G (and the rest of the bridal party) would be coming into the ballroom through one of the patio doors located next to the DJ booth. So I set up my camera and tripod accordingly. They actually entered through a different door at the other end of the room, which again threw me off guard just a little bit.

4. I wasn't on the list for a meal (neither were the DJs...but the photographer and his wife were!). Fortunately, that part was quickly resolved and I was able to sit down and get some food in my stomach.

5. Towards the end of the night, the groom got on the DJ's microphone and started doing a "thank you" speech for everybody at the wedding. But they never told me about it first, so I wasn't exactly ready. Fortunately, I only missed the first few seconds of his speech, so that part worked out okay during editing.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 11:40 AM   #33
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Hi Adam,

I see you have that 'New Boot' label, but that doesn't necessarily mean you're a newbie videographer (or are you?)

Anyway, in some other discussion however long ago I wrote that we need to have eyes not only behind our head, but one on each side as well. This is particularly true at receptions. We have to be constantly on the alert and not accept as fact what the wedding coordinator, venue manager, Uncle Joe, etc. tells us is The Plan because, once the ceremony is over, The Plan for what happens afterwards often starts to look like an ice cube on hot cement.

This is where having a few lines in your contract or service agreement addressing itinerary changes comes in handy. It's something to fall back on, but not an excuse for not staying alert and keeping on top of things.

I tape an iRiver to the house mike at the reception hall and leave it turned on the whole time, so even if I don't get the start of an impromptu speech on video, I still have the audio. Actually, most reception speeches are better off unrecorded, but occasionally there's a memorable one that's worth saving for posterity -- and to keep the bride from chewing off your posterior if you miss it.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 09:01 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christian Mallari
mine is people walking in front of the camera and even they know you are doing video record they pretend that you are not there :}}} HOLY SHOOT
I'd rather them walk by and act like I wasn't there than to try and duck as they passed through the frame. I sometimes like shots that have people walking through the foreground. It can also be used as a cool visual transition when paired with a well timed wipe.
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Old November 10th, 2006, 02:50 AM   #35
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my list...

I've done four of these now, and basically they were all favors for family and school friends. I was fed at three of them, so no complaints there. One of the was an outdoorsy affair with a PA behind me, so I could set up my shotgun pointing backwards and the camera forwards at the action. Of course, it picked up my breathing which was kinda annoying, hehe.

My main beef were with the photographers at one of the events, who snapped 600 odd proofs and were paid about three grand and who kept getting into just about every one of my shots. I was shooting straight up the aisle (only had one cam in those days) and they would just jump right in between me and the B&G, even though they could've taken a step one way or the other and gotten their shot without killing mine. At one point the two photogs turned to the camera and did some silly hamming.

I wasn't given a good rundown of the reception so I was trapped upstairs waiting for people to come do messages for the bride and groom when suddenly they started cutting the cake! I lucked out that an amateur guy happened to have his cheesy dv handicam (in LP mode, bleah) getting some shaky cake footage, the rest I turned into a photo montage using a bunch of the photogs proofs. (these people were 3 grand, and they had their proofs encrypted...you could only view them in an .exe file viewer...luckily I figured out I could do screen captures and paste them into photoshop, but that's another story).

They dropped the lights to nothing during the dancing...of course. The bride's father warned me that they were going to *dim* the lights, but i didn't fitgure he meant all the way. My only bit of serendipity in this case was that there was a mirror with white Christmas lights around it and I kept them between me and it, so I had a nice silouette.

I guess that's about it, other than my freebie jobs end up being 3 DV tape's worth of footage! (Quakers and Catholics, their weddings do drag on!) And I end up spending several months cutting it down. The one job that actually paid, I spent 20 minutes editing out two little bits where the camera kept running while I moved it! Figures. :)

But really I have no complaints...I just like helping people out I guess, and for the most part, editing is kinda fun.

Jeremiah
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Old November 11th, 2006, 09:54 PM   #36
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1. ...she’s still at the hairdresser....

That's why I stopped offering in-home coverage. I start a half hour ahead of ceremony at the church and get a few last minute shots of the couple separately. Charging a lot more for inhome coverage nixes that problem, and I agree, they are always late with the hair thing.

2. ... I greet the priest/pastor and all he does is tell me...

I try to meet the wedding officiant in advance and go to the rehearsal. My contract says it is client responsibility to work out guidelines. There are some places that are so nasty I won't work at them.

3. ... the priest/pastor decides to walk in front of the camera

With two cams or advance planning, this doesn't happen. I usually run a cam at the rear.

4. ... the B&G are smokers ...

I cover more than the B&G so that can find time to light up. However, fewer and fewer of my clients are smokers (cancure CURES smoking!)

5. ...reception and there’s no seating for you...

My contract has a checkoff for whether or not a meal will be provided. If I have doubt I bring a cooler, or tell them I will step out for 45 minutes. That gets the table set fast. But I don't want to endanger a job over a lousy meal.

6. ...tables ... an idiot that points at the camera and ...

I stopped going table to table for interviews because it's tacky and brings out stuff like this. If I do get someone like that, it stays in because the couple knows who they invited and what to expect.

7. ...speeches... the parents allow their little brats

Tapping the audio system directly and getting cutaways will help out here.

8. ...someone decides that they want to go past right in front of me...

If it happens repeatedly I ask the best man or dad or the bride to deal with the offender. If not, I just put in a cutaway.



I think my greatest pet peeve of this business is when the parents, be they bride or groom's parents, decide they want a video and are willing to pay for it, but the wedding couple does not want video over some preconceived notion. Having the wedding couple snarl at your unappreciatively all day when you're trying to do your best for them is worse than all of the above, combined. Every time it happens however, these nasties are the first ones to call you asking when their video will be ready! "We didn't realize video could be unobtrusive. Our video is great - thanks a lot." Grrrrrr!
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Old November 14th, 2006, 01:36 PM   #37
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I have only done one, so know some of it. Mine was a last minute favor for the bride as their video bailed. Not why I am posting...

Last friday, I am doing my normal marching band shoot. Shooting the cheerleaders and this photog walks square into my shot and starts shooting them. GRRRR.... I am shooting a VX2100 on a monopod with a shotgun mounted in the shoe with a Mike's Muff on it. Not like it is too hard to notice. As the band is on the field, guess what, same guy, stands right next to me and starts shooting with a flash (a NO NO for color guard as flashes can blind them while equipment is in the air). He keeps picking what I am shooting. Look forward to that lovely interlaced flash frames. I wanted to smack him with my monopod and ask him how long he has been shooting weddings. ;) At least my AT835ST has great side rejection.
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Old November 14th, 2006, 07:36 PM   #38
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Well I met the biggest jerk priest of the season at least for me.

He told me not put the tripod on the alter. So I put next to the 1st step near the alter and figured I would move to the center aisle when the 1st reader was called.

The processional comes to an end and I go over to where my tripod was. It's gone! I look all around and someone placed it at the back of the church.

So I ran and grabbed it, and brought it up to where it once was, only to have the priest stop the ceremony, and yell twice at me, "You can not have that tripod there."

It was very humilating. I felt a few swears run through my head as a response to his unkindness, but said nothing.

What I learned was to make sure to ask directly the priest is my tripod ok here, even if he doesn't look like an ass.
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Old November 15th, 2006, 08:55 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Zlam
Well I met the biggest jerk priest of the season at least for me.

He told me not put the tripod on the alter. So I put next to the 1st step near the alter and figured I would move to the center aisle when the 1st reader was called.

The processional comes to an end and I go over to where my tripod was. It's gone! I look all around and someone placed it at the back of the church.

So I ran and grabbed it, and brought it up to where it once was, only to have the priest stop the ceremony, and yell twice at me, "You can not have that tripod there."

It was very humilating. I felt a few swears run through my head as a response to his unkindness, but said nothing.

What I learned was to make sure to ask directly the priest is my tripod ok here, even if he doesn't look like an ass.

Wow - that is bad - but I always run through my set up with the priest before hand. I figure to always get on the good side of the priest and reception hall people as they can recommend brides to your services. . . .

Even though the priest went out of line for saying something during the wedding to you - it's your responsibility to clear your setup with the people running the space first - so you don't have problems like this. If anything is true in Film and Video is that you can't "assume" anything.

With that said - only once have I been on the "alter" for a service - and it wasn't a "religious" wedding at a church (though it was preformed by a priest whom happened to be the grooms uncle). The Groom has specifics of where he wanted me to stand - so I just took his lead and ran it by the priest just to make sure I wasn't going to bother him. The priest was more than happy to accommodate me and actually wanted ME to tell him where I wanted HIM to be in the ceremony. He actually kept looking at me during to ceremony to see if he needed to move to one side or another to make sure he wasn't blocking my shot). You can't ask for anything better than that!

He has since recommended a bride to me from his home parish, and hopefully she will book with me so I can work with this priest again. It does pay to be on the good side of these guys every once in awhile. With that said though, I have run into the very strict priests that consider you an annoyance no matter where you are - but I typically handle these old timers by going over everything before hand, making sure that my setup is OK with them, and asking them what they need from me. That usually clears the air.

Ryan
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Old November 15th, 2006, 08:05 PM   #40
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That's the thing, I did ask. And I was a on good terms with the priest. He gave me the gate combination, so I could park my car in the church's private lot. I thought to myself this is good, the priest and I have a good relationship. That's why it was such a shock that he moved my tripod even though I followed his rules.

He really should have told me he moved the tripod before the ceremony started.

On the other hand I've had priests let me up on the alter and say jokingly they don't want to be blamed for a bad video.

To me, most priests are bipolar. They have a fake kindness and then show their evil controlling side in a flash.

Ryan, thank you for the advice. I am specifically & literally showing all priests from now on where my tripod will be.

Last edited by Richard Zlamany; November 16th, 2006 at 01:39 PM.
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Old November 16th, 2006, 07:26 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Zlam
To me, most priests are bipolar. They have a fake kindness and then show their evil controlling side in a flash.
I totally agree, 1 Corinthians 13:4 says: "Love is patient, love is kind..."
I think Priests should go study and practice what they read. I know it's a job, but give us a break.

Regards.
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Old November 16th, 2006, 01:05 PM   #42
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Grrrr

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen Elliott
I'd rather them walk by and act like I wasn't there than to try and duck as they passed through the frame. I sometimes like shots that have people walking through the foreground. It can also be used as a cool visual transition when paired with a well timed wipe.
Photographer did that on my last shoot and totally screwed up a shot of bride and father walking down isle. I'm trying to figure out how to solve the scene.... either leave in the photo walkign in front of the couple, or cut a few times to eliminate him from the scene.

jason
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Old November 16th, 2006, 01:38 PM   #43
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I know the experiance, Jason Robinson.

What gets me about photographers is sometimes they never get in your way at all and are great to work with.

Other times, it is the opposite and they cross through the frame as if oblivious to the videographer.

One thing that really gets me is photographers that shoot right next to me with digital cameras that have sound effects that sound like loud film cameras.

Can't they turn that Bull$#&@ off? I hate hearing that sound and I think it is on for no reason at all.

Or how about photographers that wander aimlessly during the parent dances looking at the photos they just shot. It looks ridiculous.
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Old November 16th, 2006, 02:05 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Zlam

One thing that really gets me is photographers that shoot right next to me with digital cameras that have sound effects that sound like loud film cameras.

Can't they turn that Bull$#&@ off? I hate hearing that sound and I think it is on for no reason at all.
I thought the same thing, and was ready to look for a way to shut mine off, when I realized that it sounds the same because it is the same. The shutter, or should I say the reflex system is the same, and therefore makes the same sound. SLR's have to move the mirror out of the way, just like film cameras do.

Mike
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Old November 16th, 2006, 04:58 PM   #45
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yep

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Teutsch
I thought the same thing, and was ready to look for a way to shut mine off, when I realized that it sounds the same because it is the same. The shutter, or should I say the reflex system is the same, and therefore makes the same sound. SLR's have to move the mirror out of the way, just like film cameras do.

Mike
My partner (only in business mind you) got a Canon D20 this spring and it has a noticable "slap" because of the shutter. I actually don't mind the noise because many times I am not using the audio from busy scenes (bad audio) but other times (like for the kiss) it adds to the memories because that is what the kiss is about. The ONE scene that you have to have from the entire wedding. The ONE shot you have to get. And lots of other people are holding up cameras from their seats getting their own shots (or trying).

jason
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