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


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Old April 19th, 2007, 12:19 PM   #31
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I would want the floor to swallow me up if people gave me a standing O at a wedding. Yes, it's supposed to move people, but I don't want the attention on me for a second. Hmm.

I'm also thinking that if I brought *two* laptops to the wedding both my wife and I could work on the footage and cut the time down.

When I first saw Jason's video I assumed that most of the footage was shot days earlier. Some shots need to be formal, IMO, but certainly not everything. I've been brainstorming for ideas of a 'date night', where I could take the couple out for the purpose of gathering clips. Some ideas: Mini golf, boating, carnival rides. Other ideas?

Finally, someone on this board uses the tag "Render as thou goist". Is it possible to render all but the wedding footage to shorten the wedding day render time? I've always waited until I'm done and rendered the full thing in Vegas 7.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 12:36 PM   #32
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I was making $1500 a wedding 4 years ago after being the biz only 2 years.

I now average just under $4K now and my SDEs are huge part of this. But they built in to my packaging and are not "extra" per se'.

I don't push them either. People want them because I have developed a reputation for them. Coordinators refer me a lot because I do them and it makes them look good too.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 12:48 PM   #33
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Its funny that you say that Mark. I have a bride posting right now on the Knot and I am following along with the conversation and basically she is asking her fellow Knotties if she should do an SDE with me.

And most of the responses from the other brides have been "no" and a few of them have expressed to her that watching the ceremony again would be "repetitive".

This is obviously the mindset of those who have not seen a good SDE done. This is why education is important. Because we both know that it is anything but redundant because like you said, we do them artistically.. It is not a mere "replay" of the ceremony.

Sometimes I am tempted to log into the Knot and say something to "educate" them but that has not always worked out very well for me in th past. ;)
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Old April 19th, 2007, 01:03 PM   #34
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I think the bride needs to see an example of one online -- that will slay any opposition.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 02:08 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Dana Salsbury View Post
I would want the floor to swallow me up if people gave me a standing O at a wedding. Yes, it's supposed to move people, but I don't want the attention on me for a second. Hmm.

I'm also thinking that if I brought *two* laptops to the wedding both my wife and I could work on the footage and cut the time down...

Finally, someone on this board uses the tag "Render as thou goist". Is it possible to render all but the wedding footage to shorten the wedding day render time? I've always waited until I'm done and rendered the full thing in Vegas 7.
Hi Dana,

When the occasional standing O does happen they are not looking at me as they clap. They are looking at the B&G. They were the stars of the SDE and not Trisha or I. Sure, we receive comments from some of the reception guests and more importantly, the other vendors, but far more people go to the B&G with their praise of how wonderful the viewing experience was.

We have been using two laptops for about a year now. Trisha will have the main project on our 17 incher and I will capture, slice and dice and then give her the good stuff from the 15 incher. Sometimes I have the time to pre edit quite a bit and other times just for a few minutes. Every SDE is different. They key for us in having two laptops is that if one failed, we have a backup.

As far as rendering goes, we don't render. Everything is realtime going out by firewire into our camera for the playback. This is done with Edius on a three year old laptop. The only time it is not realtime is when we need to make an mpeg when making a DVD for day of distribution to the guests.

Since you have to render with Vegas 7, I guess you could render during the ceremony, assuming you would be shooting during that time. There are also those occasional times when you need 30 seconds to take a deep breath and clear your mind. I don't know if 30 seconds is enough time to do much rendering or not. I just don't have a good concept of how long it takes to render things.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 02:11 PM   #36
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I guess I can relate to the brides who are saying "no". I mean, I'm a videographer and I've done an SDE (it turned out really well too), and I've seen other videographers do amazing SDE's also, but it's still just a recap of what happened only a few hours ago.

A love story, on the other hand, delves into a story that many (or most) of the guests haven't heard or seen. It seems to me that that would be more powerful. Not to mention it will be a more polished product than an SDE, which would actually represent the power of videography more in my opinion.

It seems like a paradox to me that your SDE's are getting standing ovations while your love story vids are not. It's possible that you're right, and that SDE's have more of an impact for whatever reason, but it doesn't seem like it should work that way. I know when I presented my SDE I got the pretty much the same reaction that I get from a slide show. Maybe it comes down to markets again, I don't know.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 02:14 PM   #37
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Hi Daniel,

Anyone that has seen a good SDE would know it is not merely a replay of the ceremony. That would be boring.

The most effective way I have found to educate Brides on the value of a SDE is for them to experience it first hand. The more we do SDE's the more in-demand they will become.

Good job on the last one I saw. I loved the shot from under the long veil. I'm not a big fan of zooms, but that zoom was amazing.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 02:50 PM   #38
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Hi Mark,

DVD distribution as well?! OMG! That's taking it to the next level.

Many questions: When you say 'capture' I'm assuming you mean from the Firestore. How do you give her the good clips? I know that Firestore gives you footage diced into mini clips, do you drag & drop through an ethernet connection? What apps do you use?

Also, you said, "...we don't render. Everything is realtime going out by firewire into our camera for the playback". Do you play it from within the NLE software after prerendering? Finally, I'm not sure why you would line out to your camera and not to the projector. I'm very curious and appreciate your help.

Thanks!
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Old April 19th, 2007, 02:59 PM   #39
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I'm going to guess that he lines out to the camera through firewire, which the projector doesn't have. If I'm right, do I get a cookie? d:-)
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Old April 19th, 2007, 04:20 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post

...It seems like a paradox to me that your SDE's are getting standing ovations while your love story vids are not. It's possible that you're right, and that SDE's have more of an impact for whatever reason, but it doesn't seem like it should work that way. I know when I presented my SDE I got the pretty much the same reaction that I get from a slide show. Maybe it comes down to markets again, I don't know.
Hi Travis,

It depends on the crowd and the emotional content of the music, vo and editing techniques.

Some crowds are very quiet and reserved. Some are very loud and interactive.

A Love Story may have a great story, but seldom has the raw emotion that a wedding can have. When you combine an emotional person verbally committing their life and love to the person they are marrying, combined with dramatic music it is very moving. Now if the couple are just repeating what the minister says, without any emotion involved, it will not be nearly as emotional to the viewer.

On the other hand, I have seen some emotionally moving Love Stories, and I have seen some of the best, but not one that compares with the emotional impact of a SDE.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 04:37 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Dana Salsbury View Post
Hi Mark,

Many questions: When you say 'capture' I'm assuming you mean from the Firestore. How do you give her the good clips? I know that Firestore gives you footage diced into mini clips, do you drag & drop through an ethernet connection? What apps do you use?

Also, you said, "...we don't render. Everything is realtime going out by firewire into our camera for the playback". Do you play it from within the NLE software after prerendering? Finally, I'm not sure why you would line out to your camera and not to the projector. I'm very curious and appreciate your help.

Thanks!

Hi Dana,

When I said capture, I meant from the tape. We have one nNovia drive and we use it only for the ceremony. So we capture from tape for the prep. If we are using reception footage it is also from tape. The nNovia drive is not as small and light weight as the Firestore.

On this past weekend, Trisha was on the main laptop going through the A Cam ceremony footage, which had the wireless audio of the groom, while I was going through the b roll shots I had on my tape.

Once I had my shots captured, I trimmed them and made an AVI straight to a USB powered hard drive. It's a passport by Western Digital. Then Trisha would bring those clips in to her C drive on her laptop.

I don't know anything about a ethernet connection and transferring files that way. Is it faster? If so, I'm all for faster.

We don't do any prerendering. We edit the project without any rendering. When we are done editing, we go out the firewire into the camera. We then hook the camera up to the projector.

Two times we did not have time to output the project to the camera. In those cases, we played the timeline out firewire through the camera. From the camera we took SVideo to one projector and RCA to the other projector. I don't like projecting from the timeline to the projector. It's to risky for me. If the computer decides to freeze, I'm in trouble. I feel much better about playing the edit from DV tape.

When I get a chance, I'll post the SDE over on our site at MarkandTrisha.com

If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to ask.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 05:07 PM   #42
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I'd love to see the end product.

Thanks for the reply. I see what you mean with going through the camera; you record to tape from what you prepared on the computer. I'll have to experiment regarding rendering. Before I render, my playback is fairly choppy in Vegas unless I've viewed it a bunch of times.

Three more questions: I'm assuming you run the audio mono out the camera as well? Do you use Vegas? Have you ever thought of shooting straight to your laptop since you're on a tripod for the ceremony?
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Old April 19th, 2007, 05:44 PM   #43
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For those of you regularly doing SDE's, how do you handle the additional risk/liability associated with them? In other words, a number of things can go wrong the day of the wedding and prevent you from being able to produce an SDE; how do you prepare yourself and your client for that possibility?
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Old April 19th, 2007, 06:46 PM   #44
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Hi Travis,

We plan for the best and prepare for the worst. We talk about the risks involved in a SDE. If we are unable to pull it off, they don't pay.

We do not make guarantees of including the vows, VOers, First Dance, etc, but our goal is to include all of those elements. We also talk about being flexible with the showing time. We want to show it before the guests start leaving, so the sooner the better, but at the same time, when it comes down to it, an extra 5 minutes can really make a difference in the finished product.

As far as backups, we bring two laptops. If one failed, we would have to start over from the last point that we made a backup, but we would be able to deliver something. I have seen one minute of wedding day coverage that was very effective.

I know you have already done a SDE, but when a videographer is considering doing a SDE for the first time, we recommend making it a surprise to the B&G. Look for a reception where there is going to be a video presentation. All of the projection equipment will already be there. If you are not able to deliver, no one knows.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 07:22 PM   #45
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Thanks for the info, Mark.

What size screen do you use with your projectors (and do you use 2 projectors?)? I have like a 5x5 portable screen for use with my projector.
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