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


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Old July 9th, 2007, 03:58 PM   #1
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Just done my first weddings. Great fun!

As a favour for two friends and families I filmed two seperate weddings and cut them into films...

I would be interested to see what you guys who have been doing them for years think...

Thanks,

Philip

http://youtube.com/user/philipnina

http://youtube.com/user/tobyemmawedding
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Old July 9th, 2007, 07:59 PM   #2
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I think the ceremony looks great. I'm guessing you used a 35mm adapter, but you did some zooms. I haven't found a zoom lens that doesn't eat too much light and I'm sure they are more likely to cause vignetting. What did you use? The shots are well-composed and the color is great. I started to think there were too many establishing shots, but you didn't go right into the ceremony so it felt okay. I think the slow start worked as it didn't transition abruptly into the main event. There is probably always some balance between having nice shots and getting the pacing right.

The reception looks rather dark, but you took good advantage of the lighting available. What camera did you use? I assume you didn't use a 35mm adapter at night. I've been contemplating using an adapter on daytime ceremonies but I don't see how an adapter could be used at a reception.

The only unfortunate thing about the video is the fact that people still don't know how to use microphones when they are speaking even though they were invented over a hundred years ago. People are so bad about that I actually would give quick microphone lessons to people when I used to run sound.

Obviously, your general knowledge and experience made everything look better than the average novice event videographer. You also put your own style to things and I think that's a good feature. I'm trying to get away from doing any more documentary style weddings so I can shoot interesting shots instead of holding a camera steady so I don't miss any big events. I think the little events/shots can be just as important as the big moments. It seems you already understand what took me years to learn. I guess you learned that in your previous experience so it was just a given for weddings.

Edit

I just watched Toby and Emma's ceremony and I thought it looked underexposed. I don't know if that is caused by a gamma difference between our displays, but I did see you reduce exposure right as her ring was being placed on her finger. I saw all the detail in the dress at the higher exposure and it felt too dark at the reduced exposure. In a wedding, the brightest thing you need to expose is the white dress. All you need to do is make sure details are visible along a good part of the dress. If the sun side of the dress blows out so that you can get good exposure on the faces, that is fine. Even though the white dress is important, the details will be known from various shots and angles. Facial expressions are dynamic, so sacrifice static details in some shots to better preserve faces. To me, that exposure is too low for Emma's face and her right eye (shadow side) looks almost black. I can't see the whites of both her eyes. It makes it look like she has more dark eye makeup on that side.
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Old July 10th, 2007, 01:59 AM   #3
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Thanks for taking the time to watch and reply Marcus. I really appreciate it.

The Spainish wedding was shot on the JVC HD200m clean, no adaptor. The other one was shot on the XDCAM HD.

I agree with most of your comments. The microphones at the speech were awful and I told them at the time that it would make it sound awful but there was a rather bossy woman there who insisited it was used. One speech the woman waved the mic around the whole time so you could only hear every other word!

With the exposure on the other film. I agree the youtube version is way too dark. The grading worked really well on the dvd and normally in HD but for some reason the youtube one looks too dark. I have uploaded a slightly brighter version.

But again thanks for commenting. Good to get feedback. I have nothing but admiration for anyone who does this as a full time job. It's probably one of the hardest things I have ever filmed in 18 years of filming. Physically exhausting (especially with a full size camera) and quite stressful, making sure you get all the key things!

Phil
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Old July 10th, 2007, 03:35 AM   #4
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I wasn't able to open the toby and emma wedding but looked only at all the films of Philip and nina, I won't go into technical details but only at the look and feel of it, just as a regular client would do. What didn't look good was part 3 and 4 because they looked very underexposed. Probably the compression has to do with it but I would never use these parts as a demo. Part 2 was nice, especially because all the people interviewed had a very natural and funny feeling to it. I really liked how relaxed everybody was in front of the camera.

But part 1 really blew me away, that was amazing, it looked like it came right from a movie! You used an approach that I have not seen before and you gave me some great ideas. I really liked the documentary style of filming, only the vignette made some corners a bit too dark loosing too much detail, but then again the compression must be the cause of that as well.
Please send me a copy of the wedding because I wan't to put it next to my quentin tarantino collection. :D
Great work and very inspirational.
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Old July 10th, 2007, 06:12 AM   #5
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"But part 1 really blew me away, that was amazing, it looked like it came right from a movie!"

I agree. Good composition, great shots, nice color, and the editing was appropriate to give those shots some time to linger.

I also noticed the vignetting. The DOF is also somewhat shallow so I put those two factors together and assumed an adapter was used.
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Old July 10th, 2007, 09:05 AM   #6
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Wow, great, loved everything, but the colors and sound are awesome,
thanks for sharing!
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Old July 10th, 2007, 10:57 AM   #7
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really liked it and the style to it...

just a shame it was drastically let down by the poor quality of youtube :(
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Old July 10th, 2007, 11:20 AM   #8
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great job

Part 1 was amazing. I've never seen a wedding video edited quite like that. Nice job. I also loved the part where the bride and groom were being anounced but they weren't ready yet, that was hilarious the way it played out and was edited. Nice job again. It definetely inspired me.
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Old July 10th, 2007, 03:08 PM   #9
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Thanks again you guys.

Yeah you tube...great for what it is but not so hot for showing off great picture quality. Especially if it is shot in HD! I might put part 1 up on my web site, although it will be a massive file!

I am doing another one for a friend in two weeks in the south of france. I have already shot them a "how we met" spoof that they are showing at their reception. I have begged them to find me a human mule to help me out. I don't know how you one man band guys do this as a living...and I thought war zones were hard!!

Best,

Phil
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Old July 10th, 2007, 03:57 PM   #10
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Also Part 2 was taken down as it the audio was corrupted. It is up again (By the way it is my dad in that section, Arnie. First time I have filmed him since I was a kid with a crappy video camera!)

Uploaded a better version to http://web.mac.com/philip.bloom/iWeb...t%201.html

better than youtube but unless the file is 140mb then you won't really see it at anything near it's best!

Philip
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Last edited by Phil Bloom; July 10th, 2007 at 06:24 PM.
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Old July 11th, 2007, 04:25 AM   #11
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Phil, how much preperation do you make prior to such a wedding? you said you filmed a "how they met spoof" for friends and the other ones you showed us were for friends as well. Is the approach you have used for them something you would do as well for any regular client? (In case of a wedding)
I like the idea of the "how we met" spoof but that is something that needs quite some preperation as well as you need to have some kind of script? I also would love to do something like this but if you have a wedding every week time doesn't allow me to do this. I also think it would raise the price considerably for the extra time spend but from a creativity point of view it would be much more fun to do.
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Old July 11th, 2007, 04:45 AM   #12
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Absolutely...its like a whole seperate job...if anyone is interested I could put it up for people to see. It's very silly, but just what they wanted.

You do need some sort of script too, needs way more prep than the actual wedding!
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Old July 11th, 2007, 07:28 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Bloom View Post
if anyone is interested I could put it up for people to see. It's very silly, but just what they wanted.
I am very interested to see it and it can't be that silly, especially to see what the end result was.
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Old July 15th, 2007, 06:02 PM   #14
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Noa,

Uploaded film for you and others to see. Here is the thread for it:

http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=99002
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Old July 16th, 2007, 02:27 PM   #15
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Fantastic work, Phil! Really nice cinematography (and really silly too :o)). I am at the process of making my first wedding video right now, and I can only envy you your cooperative and enthusiastic couple...

Looking forward to see more of your video!
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