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Old May 20th, 2007, 07:58 AM   #1
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Scottish Wedding Montage

I would be grateful if you could critique this wedding montage (Highlights across the pond). There are many pros on here and as an amateur I would appreciate and take on board any advice given.
Thank You in advance.
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Old May 20th, 2007, 05:43 PM   #2
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Hey Gary,

I'll give a few quick points. In general, I liked it. Nice shots, great song choice. I'm not a big fan of the 100% slow motion, but others are, so you take your choice.

I loved the opening split screen, except the aspect ratios were off (though maybe you did that on purpose). I would perhaps try to brighten the bride's clip up a bit to match the outdoor lighting of the groom, but no biggee.

I don't like the white vignettes. They seem out of nowhere, and randomly placed, so they just distracted me instead of adding something.

I liked the photos at the end, but again some of the aspect ratios were off (like the third photo of the young groom).

Nice colour treatment. Has a nice warm look.

Is it an analogue camera? You see some of the garbage at the edge of the frame that I used to see all the time when I still dealt with VHS footage. You could add a slight crop to the video to get rid of that.

Nice job overall.

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Old May 21st, 2007, 08:40 AM   #3
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Great music, great shots, very good coverage, the pictures were cool, but went a bit too fast, and were all different speeds.

I totally agree with Vito on the Vignettes, They seem to have no sense of direction, and are really random. I am not sure I would have chose white for the vignette.

Watch out with your color saturation (could be YouTubes crappy compression???) The sepia tones looked way oversaturated, and the colored video shots looked undersaturated. You should definitely look at reversing that if it was intended.
Tim Harry
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Odessa, TX
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Old May 21st, 2007, 09:29 AM   #4
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Nicely done.

I've never been to a Scottish wedding, but I've been over there a couple of times and my daughter has lived in Edinburgh for some time and worked in the Balmoral, and both from her stories and my own experiences I found the atmosphere un-Scottish, romantic and rather dull, but that could be due to the slomo's used. Previous remarks I concur with.

My suggestion would be to use more different shots, to spice it up a bit, so it fit's in a bit more with the Scottish nature and their natural festiveness. Here is a link (I did not make this myself!) to an example I personally liked very much. Much dynamics, good music and a good pace. I know the music you used is somewhat slow, while Harry Connick Jr. is much more dynamic.


Maybe this gives you some ideas on how to further improve on your work.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 10:20 AM   #5
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Thanks a million lads; I really appreciate the comments.
I have been viewing many highlight demos on the internet and it seems abundantly clear that much of the package involves "staged" shots and following the photographer around as he poses the couple. In addition, many montages involve pre-ceremonial footage including bride prep.
Unfortunately in this case, the couple did not want any of these shots so the montage footage was very limited to say the least!
I really don't know why I used the white vignette, I think I got bored trying to figure out a way to make the clip interesting. The music did not lend itself ideally to making it exciting; the couple's choice of course.
I have already spoken to the next couple I will be shooting and they are up for a variety of shots which will of course provide alot more footage from which to work.
I am away to look through other threads to find out how to put the best quality clips on line because You Tube is awful.
Thanks again for your great comments.
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 08:00 AM   #6
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My thoughts...

Hi Gary,
The video is watchable, but is lacking in direction.

Why not put the photos at the start? And try some subtle rostrum moves on them.

I'll second everything that's been said so far. My main gripe with your video and others (including mine) would be getting better shots. I don't mean the OTT setup stuff. I mean better framing, with cleaner backgrounds, images that don't feel posed, but still tell a story. You should maybe try to reframe some of the shots, resize them or add slow zooms.

For me, with the clients I have it's difficult (but not impossible) to get great shots when you are just following a couple around and they are quite camera shy. Some of the setup stuff I've seen from other folks on here is f-ing amazing, but it's asking a little too much from Yorkshire folk!

In your video there are too many shots of the sides/backs heads, shots that do nothing for the video at all. Ditch them and put something else in.

If you have to, get in the photographers way a little, I'll often kneel beside them, so I can get a quick grab of the shot they are setting up without getting in their way. Also sometimes I'll try to get them in the edge of the frame as well (just a lens, or a hand), it's obvious the B&G are being photographed, so why not show the photgrapher occasionally? I also like to film the family members taking pictures. For my clients the video is as much about their family as it is about filming the brige and groom all day long.

And that's the other thing I think you need more of, the congregation. Smiles and laughs etc.

The music is a tricky one I don't mind it too much, but try another Sinatra tune. Or Nat King Cole maybe, someting more jazzy.

The huge white vinettes are all bad...sorry. They just seem really 70's. You are obviously trying to draw attention to the middle of the frame. Better framing would do a better job. The blown out highlights look you used for one shot seemed better, just slightly too intense.

The clipped line at the top of the video frame is because of slomo deinterlacing, you may want to apply a one line crop to the finished video.
It might be an option on your encoding software too.

Here's the highlights from my most recent vid if they give you any ideas.

None of the shots were particularly setup, all but seven of the shots were handheld. They don't remember me being there on the day, which is always my intention. And it's almost all slomo so look away now if can't stand it!!!

Click on the 'memories' link.
The other video is OK too, but not a montage.

Cheers, Duncan Craig (very Scottish name eh?!)
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 12:27 PM   #7
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"Duncan Craig" is about as Scottish as it gets LOL!

Thanks for the comments Duncan. From your location, you will appreciate the difficulties with reticent, camera shy Scots and Northern English more than most. We are of a working class breed that only gets over the shyness after a few (or quite a few) drinks.
I watched your montage and really liked it. One thing stood out more than most though; how do you get such good images on your downloads?
What compression method do you use for the quicktime file? It wasn't very large at all but very clear indeed.
I have never de-interlaced any footage of mine, should I? Do you? I use Sony HDV cameras but use the inbuilt downconvert for SD because Bluray and HD DVD is just not common enough to utilise their full capabilities. I have to say though that the converted HD footage is definitely superior to shooting straightforward SD, only in my opinion mind.
Any advice is most welcome.
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 02:04 PM   #8
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I shoot with a Z1 on a DVRigPro in HDV and downconvert in camera to SD DV, the missus does second camera on an old VX2000 on a tripod (I've bought an FX1 for her today actually!) I use a small DV camera for a wide safety on the ceremony and sometime the speeches too.

I'm on Macs here and use Final Cut Studio, so the compression is done in compressor. It's a preset I have made myself, and it's on the desktop as a droplet (a sort of shortcut to compression). It's a mpeg4 video codec, so it's quite efficient. I don't deinterlace or crop either, just a resize.

The British reserve you talk about isn't just a northern thing you know, I'm actually from the south coast originally. It's the same down there for most people I know. The kind of stuff some guys get from their clients is mind boggling though.
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 02:47 PM   #9
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We have surprisingly similar set ups you know. 2 FX1s and 1 HVR A1 for the hard to reach places. The A1 is awful in low light but it's daytime capability is fantastic. It is the portability of the wee devil that is the greatest benefit though. I use a Beachtek adapter for the big sonys, sennnheisr wireless system and just took delivery of the DVtech multi rig.
Major difference is Mac v PC of course. I have never used a Mac but it seems many pros prefer that platform to PC. I edit with Ulead MSPro 8 and I think there is an inherent flaw in it's web delivery production.
My DVDs always turn out spectacularly well, it's just this damned web delivery I seem to have problems with. I just need to experiment a bit more.
I really valued your opinion by the way and I hope to discuss more with you in future.
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