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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old November 30th, 2006, 02:17 PM   #1
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Recent Highlights

Mark Von Lanken posted a couple weeks back and noted that your most recent work is often among your favourites. Well, this one was just finished an hour or so ago, so it is very fresh, and one of my current personal favorites. The couple got married at a camp where they met, they wrote their own vows (which always helps the video out remendously I find), and they were very fun to work with. What makes it even better for me is that I had to struggle with the audio for quite some time and the finished clip actually uses three different songs in its five minute total length.

We did both photo and video for the couple and I was the only videographer. As it was raining on and off, I actually had to move everything outside 15 minutes before the ceremony started, so it was all very stressful, and makes the finished product that much more valuable for me.

This is the first time I've tried using photos in one of our highlights clip, so let me know how you think it works. I also tried a different color sceme on the whole piece, a slightly warmer desaturated look. Shot with the PD/VX cams.

http://www.smcouples.com/hunter/highlights.mov

Any thoughts/comments are always appreciated.

Patrick
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Old November 30th, 2006, 02:57 PM   #2
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Hey Patrick,
I really enjoyed your highlight piece. Every piece you post is really top notch and I really look forward to seeing more of your work every time. The use of pictures was exactly what I envisioned before I viewed the piece, slow zoom in with a turn. The pictures were very good as well. Great quality and the photographer has a very good eye and is very creative. The last picture on the bench during the picture portion looked like you were playing with 3D a little bit. It really stood out. Thanks for sharing, your right besides the stress as this job unfolded you have a nice nugget here as a reward. Great Job!

Monday
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Old November 30th, 2006, 10:28 PM   #3
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Wow, Patrick, that was great. Really enjoyed it, it must have been fun to work on with such a great couple.

The photos worked very well. I almost didn't notice the switch to stills, which tells me you handled it very well. There is something going on "3D" with that bench shot and the shot before. Did you separate layers in Photoshop?

You are either the smoothest hand held shooter or you have a Glidecam for some of it. Nice camera work, very inventive and interesting.

How did you mic the ceremony? You seem to have pretty good sound from all three. Is the mic just on the groom?

Some small critiques. The sound is clipping a bit on the speakers. You might want to adjust that on your next shoot.

You use a lot of 'reveals' in your camera work. A bit too much maybe?

Anyway, wish I could produce something this good. You've inspired me. Go Canucks!

Ciao,
Vito
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Old November 30th, 2006, 11:47 PM   #4
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Outstanding... as always.

I to really liked the use of the stills. Did your company shoot the stills as well?

It was great how you came back to the vows for a smashing ending.

Michael Smith
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Old December 1st, 2006, 06:31 AM   #5
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Pat, youve outdone yourself mate

awesome work throughout, and i particualr liek the way the glidecam was used here as opposed to being a "heres my glidecam, look what i can do" its more.. "heres the glidecam and HERES what I CAN DO WITH IT to make your video better"...
Dunno if im making sense there.. but the crane like shots you pulled off with it, worked wonders and it didnt carry that overly floaty feel to it..

here are just some things to note (this is all from my own personal taste mind you. )

When cuting the vows, timing the cuts at critical silent moments always works a treat. Personally, crossfading those element as oppsed to straight cuts would soften the back and forth motin of the multicam. In addition, crossfades assist with continuity (psychologically) <damn im givin away tips of the trade. lol>
Actually i think the Vows are fine, however if u crossfade the cuts within that section, it would definately feel as though it blends with the elegance and softness of the rest of the piece. At the moment its fine, but it feels like it "doesnt belong" hard to explain, but i hope u get my drift..

umm.. oh another option for highlights might be to run the vows as a VO track and slowmo that whole section with detail ring shots etc etc, as then, it might blend into the rest of the piece even moreso than running the vows as is <like u are now>.. And with the colour scheme and edit style your running, i think this second option would keep the whole piece consistant throughout.

in the end though, its an awesome piece of work, and i think any potental client who sees it would love to have their day filmed by you.

all the best with ur success mate
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Old December 1st, 2006, 09:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vito DeFilippo
There is something going on "3D" with that bench shot and the shot before. Did you separate layers in Photoshop?

How did you mic the ceremony? You seem to have pretty good sound from all three. Is the mic just on the groom?

Some small critiques. The sound is clipping a bit on the speakers. You might want to adjust that on your next shoot.

You use a lot of 'reveals' in your camera work. A bit too much maybe?

Anyway, wish I could produce something this good. You've inspired me. Go Canucks!

Ciao,
Vito
Thanks for the feedback Vito, its great to see people are watching it all the way through.

All the photos were highly edited in photoshop as part of the photo package we provided for them. I just took a couple jpgs and added motion, nothing special though.

Both the groom and the officiant wore a wireless, which I find really lets you get much better audio. I had used an irive on the officiant before but found that was too risky (although I liked the sound better when the levels were right). For the highlights I also go in an remove as much noise as possible, which helps make it sound much clearer. As I proof everything with the couple, I leave some of the audio adjusting to last, so thanks for catching those levels. I think I also need to adjust the bass and treble for some the vows.

Thanks for your comments on the reveals, I will have to look into that, it isn't something I had really noticed before.

Thanks again for the thorough feedback.
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Old December 1st, 2006, 09:08 AM   #7
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Mike,

We did shoot the still as well. I actually shot the first photo of them on the dock with the dramatic clouds in the back. It is one of my favourites from the work that I've done.

I'm glad the photos are getting a good review, it is great to be able to bring that side into it.

Thanks for the kind words.

Patrick
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Old December 1st, 2006, 09:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson

umm.. oh another option for highlights might be to run the vows as a VO track and slowmo that whole section with detail ring shots etc etc, as then, it might blend into the rest of the piece even moreso than running the vows as is <like u are now>.. And with the colour scheme and edit style your running, i think this second option would keep the whole piece consistant throughout.

in the end though, its an awesome piece of work, and i think any potental client who sees it would love to have their day filmed by you.

all the best with ur success mate
I can always count on your Peter for the longest response, and I do mean that in a good way.

I was actually thinking of using some of the vows as a VO and putting other footage in there, but after screening it with the couple and internally, it seems that I'm not allowed to work with it that much. I agree with your reasoning though and I'm glad you brought that up, mayne I'll give it a shot on second copy.

I also appreciate what you said about the glidecam work. I used to use those tools more in the way of 'look what I can do with the glidecam' and I have been working on making it tell more of the story in a flowing way, over just creating flashy moments that are more directed than others.

Thanks again Peter.
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Old December 1st, 2006, 09:21 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Patrick Moreau
Both the groom and the officiant wore a wireless, which I find really lets you get much better audio.
Yeah, I noticed right away that you are getting better sound than I get from just micing the groom. Makes a big difference. Are officiants in general happy to have a mic put on them, or do you find it a struggle?

Quote:
Thanks for your comments on the reveals, I will have to look into that, it isn't something I had really noticed before.
Well, it's nothing to worry about, that's for sure. I just wonder if my 'artistic' sensibility is getting tired of seeing these shots all the time. They seem to be all the rage, and they're in everyone's videos. Personally, when I'm shooting, I completely forget to do this most of the time, so I don't have many in my stuff. Not by choice, though, but by absentmindedness!

Quote:
Thanks again for the thorough feedback.
My pleasure. It's great work. I tend to do high stress, one camera weddings where I'm by myself (again, not by choice), so I'm jealous when I see this stuff that looks so great, and done with time and planning.

For example, when I arrive at the ceremony from the bride's house, I am just barely able to get into the church, set up my tripod, put the receiver on my camera and throw a mic on the groom so I can rush back out to try and catch the bride's arrival. It's hell...
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Old December 1st, 2006, 09:34 AM   #10
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Vito,

In general, the officiants haven't had a problem with wearing a mic. I would have asked them to wear an iriver if it wasn't a wireless, so I haven't really noticed a change between the two. After hearing the quality difference though, I find it to be a very worthwhile investment to add the second wireless.

With the reveals, I think for the most part, I really try to tell a coherent story with the highlights and these shots seem to facilitate that in a more artistic way. I too am getting a little tired of them but with a smaller package such as this one, you really need to get the shots done quickly and so that can be a quick and good shot. The weddings where I have four hours to shoot the preps really allows me to try and do more with those types of shots.

I also find that working by yourself (on the video) is much much easier when your company is also providing photo. If I don't have time to get something, we can split up and make sure that the photo side covers it. I also include inthe contract that I need at least an hour to setup at the church, and that seems to really help make things run smoother, unless it stops raining 15 minutes before the ceremony is supposed ot start.

Patrick
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Old December 1st, 2006, 09:43 AM   #11
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An hour to set up at the church! That sounds like heaven.

I tend to work as a subcontracter, however, so I don't get this luxury. Anyway, every place is different, and it's fun work nonetheless.

Thanks for the info,
Vito
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 02:46 PM   #12
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What they said

I was getting in to the movie. I mean I wasn't even thinking about shots, etc. I couldn't. I was busy being sucked into the presentation of the movie. Very well done!

jason
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 03:04 PM   #13
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Unbelievable quailty! I know it is th ecreative work that delivers the emotion etcbut how did you get the slow motion and what camera did you use?
Thanks!
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 03:11 PM   #14
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Jason,

It is always great when a clip engages you enough that you don't notice any of the technical aspects behind it, especially if your in the field.

John,

Nothing special was done for the slow motion. Some clips which I know I would want to slow down, I try and film at a slightly slower speed, but thats about it. I find that final cut pro handles slow motion pretty well. The clip as shot with a VX2100 and PD170, as well as a PDX10. Everything was color corrected, levels adjusted etc in post.
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Old December 6th, 2006, 12:58 PM   #15
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Patrick thanks for sharing. Excellent piece, good use of audio and moving camera techniques. I liked the less saturated aesthetic. I personally could go without the still images mainly because they are only included in seemingly one arbitrary section rather than steadily throughout. The images were, however, stunning. Great job.

Btw, still adjusting to FCP- how do you do your transitions. Do you use them in the standard fashion, in other words select and edit point and add dissolve utilizing the unused handles...or do you A/B it with opacity handles?
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