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


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Old December 14th, 2006, 05:30 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
so EVERY single shot you cross-fade??

((Almost))

it just sounds tedious perhaps? ((not really))

Am I the only person that thinks this? ((dunno))

the trick is to cut in in a way where the viewer doesnt even notice its happend.. and THAT is the magic to it.. ;)~

I agree Peter. This is also a technique that I use when cutting a wedding, and although it is more time consuming, the end result (according to my feedback) is that it makes for a much for comfortable viewing experience. When shooting a ceremony from multiple angles I apply a cross dissolve when cutting between camera, and time it depending upon the 'feel' and the composition. I realize that movies and television viewers are accustomed to the straight cut edits, but a wedding video is neither a television program nor a theatrical movie. It is a thing unto itself and warrants its own style.

Early on, I cut a number of demo ceremonies using straight cuts, and again using dissolves. In each case, test viewers preferred the dissolves (as long as they were'nt long drawn out dissolves). I have theories as to why this is. One is that if done well, it can help (even if only in a minor way) to entertain the eye with content that can otherwise be dreadfully boring if some segments of the ceremony tend to drag on. Also, if the angle shifts to a different camera in a smooth manner through a simple cross dissolve (cross fade), it puts almost no strain on the eye and brain to acquaint itself with what it is now seeing. Viewers might not ever notice because it happens so quickly, but in straight cuts, the brain spends a millisecond orienting itself to the composition of the content. In a cross fade, it happens more gracefully. Each of my test viewers used the term "more comfortable" or a varation of it when trying to explain what they liked about the one over the other.

I also tend to avoid trendy editing styles, such as MTV style cutting or efx laden productions. Personally, I am entertained by them when seeing them, but for my product, I like to give my clients something that I consider 'timeless' and that will have just as much appeal when they are viewing it years from now with their grandchildren.

This also frees me from the constraints of having to edit to the music, such as most videographers I have seen tend to do with cutting to the current top 40. Since doing that here in the states is akin to tempting fate against the RIAA (what a joke), I instead cut the video for the integrity of the video content itself, and then layer in the music to support the video content (as opposed to cutting the video to support the musical content.) Although, I might consider doing this differently if we here in the US could take a lesson from your neck of the wood about how to properly deal with music rights.

Just my 2 cents.
-Jon
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Old December 14th, 2006, 05:59 PM   #17
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not so tedious

I use double-take script from Vasst.com for 2 camera weddings all the time, and it does all the cross fading for me, how ever many frames I specify. So if I blend them all between 12-18 frames it's a subtle crossfade that won't cause the viewer to blink, keeps the scene flowing with out the snap of a straight cut. The amount tends to vary from video to video depending on the scene. If I run the script at 12 frames, and it's a little jarring, I'll delete the master track that gets created and run it again with a longer setting specified, the script re-cuts everything on my markers in about 2 seconds.
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Old December 15th, 2006, 06:21 PM   #18
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for me, music is teh foundation of the way in which the scene is edited... without it, i wont cut.. in fact its on my contract.. you see what happens if i cut somethign to a fun and frolllicky pace, then they decide theyd rather have a romantic theme, then im gonna be in trouble with it.. i used to cut then add music, but what happens is that the clients, despite your own discretion, have other ideas as to how they want it.
So now, i tell them if u want it fast and fun, pik the right song, and ill cut to it.. but if u want something soppy, the same rule appiles..

ive had too many clients ask me to rework theor pieces, and frankly, even though theyve sogned a contract, id rather the client be happy with "their" choices rather than my own..
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Old December 15th, 2006, 07:08 PM   #19
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what if no music?

So, Peter, you're saying every scene you edit has music behind it? even in weddings when the couple is making their vows, you put music into the scene? ( feel free to educate me here...)
I'm just wondering as it seems your post implies you produce very heavy towards the artistic side, rather than photodocumentary. I'm not judging. I leave that to clients.
For myself, and clients, they seem to prefer a more straightforward capture and highlight of some parts of the day, like the ceremony. When it gets to the transitional scenes I then lean harder on music as the scene foundation. But I thought we were talking about the wedding ceremony editing specifically.
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Old December 15th, 2006, 08:41 PM   #20
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James....I "score" almost all ceremony footage I cut for the "main play" of the dvd and I produce short form edits. I usually use lryicless scores......but I select the score to use by the environment the ceremony was shot in.....the ambience, etc. .....so the score "fits" what the client is looking at. Not just placing music for the sake of having a song in there. I do not let clients choose the scores....I do. I let the clients pick all other music though.

SUre....you can cut ceremonys without a score or music tracks....I think with scores give an overall feel which can be much better than the "original" ambient sound that was there the day of......not to mention, I give the client an straight a/b cut version of the ceremony anyway....since I highly trim it down for the main play of the dvd.

It can still retain a "docu" feel....even when using music or scores.






Quote:
Originally Posted by James Metz
So, Peter, you're saying every scene you edit has music behind it? even in weddings when the couple is making their vows, you put music into the scene? ( feel free to educate me here...)
I'm just wondering as it seems your post implies you produce very heavy towards the artistic side, rather than photodocumentary. I'm not judging. I leave that to clients.
For myself, and clients, they seem to prefer a more straightforward capture and highlight of some parts of the day, like the ceremony. When it gets to the transitional scenes I then lean harder on music as the scene foundation. But I thought we were talking about the wedding ceremony editing specifically.
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Old December 16th, 2006, 04:12 AM   #21
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So, Peter, you're saying every scene you edit has music behind it?

((Most do.. obviously during preps the clients pics their tunage.. during ceremonies, much like Joe, I score a customised soundtrack to create ambience. It also helps with environmental noise and can be tweaked as needed to create drama throughout the piece. Also within thse soundtracks, i run natural ambient sounds.. as an example, an outdoor ceremony would have birds and soft wind blowing along with the music, if however theyre getting married near water, i'd have a rushing stream overlaid on the music bed.. its all relative to the environment in which im filming.
The key point with the ceremony, is to ensure the music is heard but not noticed.. well not noticed too much anyway.. in about 6 years of doing it this way, i havent had an issue, as its all instrumental and asissts in the mood of teh piece tenfold.. (especially for ceremonies which have ministers who droll on and on and on.. )

even in weddings when the couple is making their vows, you put music into the scene? ( feel free to educate me here...)

((Its lowered.. background tracks are usually between -14 to -18db in comparison to the dialogue, then again, im mixing in in 5.1 film config, so the set up is different to stereo or standard 5.1.
What many people would believe would be a hindrance is in fact a godsend whan u can manipulate the sound in this manner.. makes a huge difference and people do notice.. ))

I'm just wondering as it seems your post implies you produce very heavy towards the artistic side,

((Not ceremonies.. most of everythign else yes, but ceremonies and speeches are intact.. i do longform..
Multicam edits usually and the thing is wholly in tact.. so it has to be perfect with at least 2 cameras.. sometimes up to 5... but its all intact and its not all flash... nice neat fades as cuts and the only effects are either colouring (if the client has specified a colour style like bleach bypass, or warmer tones to go with summer etc etc) other than that, most of the ceremony work is just leveled and adjusted to exposure, CC'd for WB and saturation tweaked to match both cams.. other than that, noit much else))

rather than photodocumentary. ((I do that too... thing with doc style edits is that it allows u to work with inferior footage. i know many companies that use teh term "doco" style, but from what i see, its jsut a term they use to cover up for bad footage. Doco style is also much easier to edit IMO and leaves nothing to the imagination..
I guess my spin on things is that i shoot naturally, and if i do set up a shot, its to make an event or scen LOOK natural.. i hardly need to do this anyway. from there, to present it as a cinematic piece... this formula doesnt work for everyone, but it works for me, as i blend doco elements into the cinematics to bring th piece back to reality.. so its not all fluff... takes years to develop a style i guess and this works for me.. some poeple can only do one or the other, im lucky in a sense that i can get away with alot of things becuase of the way i carry myself (no not stuck up.. more the opposite, which is more of a buddy buddy thing as opposed to client/servce provider... and the fact that clients know what i do and how i do it to get the kind of results they saw in the demos. so if they wnat "that" i have to do "this" ))

I'm not judging. I leave that to clients.
((questions are good.. judgment is relative.. ))

For myself, and clients, they seem to prefer a more straightforward capture and highlight of some parts of the day, like the ceremony. When it gets to the transitional scenes I then lean harder on music as the scene foundation. But I thought we were talking about the wedding ceremony editing specifically.

((I described my ceremony technique above, that shoudl give u some insight, but like i said before, each to their own.. for me, i have a practical and fluid blend of teh 2 styles.. from real events bring things back down to earth, through to transitional pieces introducing the next scene which then moves along to the artistic side. Its a good balance and people seem to like it i gues.. the trick is working out how to get it right for your own style, as like i said, not many ppl can pull this off.. ))
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Old December 16th, 2006, 04:26 PM   #22
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wish I could see

Peter & Joe -
Thanks for the excellent explanations, I really wish I could get a sample or visit to see your work, it sounds very, very tasty : ) Meanwhile I'll have to experiment with what's been offered above and see if I can work additional options into my work. Without your sharing, I don't think I would have gone there otherwise.

Thanks again,
JM
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Old December 21st, 2006, 08:02 PM   #23
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In my opinon, anything other than a cut is a special effect which must be approached with caution, by which I mean, Will the the transition make visual sense? Will it appear as a natural progression of images? Does it move the story forward in a logical way? Within ceremonies and receptions I tend to stick to cuts, but I will use anything that makes sense.

From a time standpoint, cuts are far more cost efficient. Cuts must make visual sense. If the timing is not right, cuts are hideous.

If I can not use a cut, then I will opt for a cross-fade or some other kind of transition that suggests a passage of time or change of location.

The bottom line, however, is answering this question:

Are you conforming to your production concept? If you are, then it really doesn't matter what you use... so long as it is consistent.
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Old December 21st, 2006, 08:36 PM   #24
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I firmly believe you should only use a dissolve if you need it for a specific purpose, not just because you like disolves. Good editing should be invisible, so anything that draws attention to the edit point IMO is bad. Alot depends on shooting style though- in your shooting style, do you shoot for cutpoints and allow natural cutpoints to happen? If so cutting works way better then dissolving. When I see a dissolve on a cutpoint it just looks wierd. However, if there is no cutpoint where your making your edit, a dissolve might be the least jarring way to make the edit.

In broadcast news, we try to stick to cuts only editing. Transition effects, even dissolves (unless they are conveying the passage of time or a change of location) are generally considered to be amatuerish. Don't forget the old saying though, "If you cant solve it, dissolve it!"
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Old December 21st, 2006, 10:34 PM   #25
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I don't know why, but my customers always like dissolves.
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