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


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Old July 18th, 2007, 11:20 AM   #1
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First real wedding video

I have lurked around this forum for months admiring all of the beautiful work that you all are doing, I have to say that I've been blown away. I finally have enough courage to present a draft of a pre-ceremony video and a photomontage shown at the reception that put together. I know there are some noticible glitches but I am ready for the criticism, or whatever feedback you have to offer. All of the songs for both videos were picked out by the bride, the video in the photomontage was also supplied by the bride. I used a canon Gl2 for most of these shots and a recently purchased glidecam 4000 (still learning movement techniques). Thanks for viewing!

http://www.ganzonreyes.com/home.html
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Old July 18th, 2007, 11:26 AM   #2
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Forgot the link.

Would love to view it :)
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Old July 18th, 2007, 11:35 AM   #3
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oops!

http://www.ganzonreyes.com/home.html
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Old July 18th, 2007, 12:02 PM   #4
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Well done...

well done for a first time with a glidecam. I just didn't like that the shots weren't level.

What song was that on the pre-ceremony? I liked it.
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Old July 18th, 2007, 12:30 PM   #5
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Re:Ken

Thank you ken for your comments! The song is called lovely by Michelle Tumes. Also, just wondered if you can expand on your comment to help me in the future, was it the whole video that was off level or certain shots. Thanks again for your reply.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 05:15 AM   #6
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watch and i mean REALLY WATCH those white levels.. running this through without evening checking calibration, i guarante you that your slowmotion will look like junk as will the entire piece when watched on an interlaced TV.
Your levels are completely blown out.. white is nice, but this is too much IMO. There is no detail in there and the whole piece feels overprocessed.
Its good, dont get me wrong, but it just didnt sit right with me.

Also, the audio was VERY glitchy.. i dont know if this is the codec, but i doubt it.. it seems to glitch out when levels went too far. this could be an ecoding thign DURING the encode (ie youve pushed the codec too far)

Good artwork in all, but technically it needs to be "repaired"

Artistically, im sure the clients will love it
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Old July 19th, 2007, 08:22 AM   #7
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RE:Peter

Thank you for your comments peter, I will go back and make your suggested adjustments! I did get a little bit carried away with with the levels, contrast and brightness..I will repost soon with the corrections, my first time ever using them. By the way did you view the photomontage?
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Old July 19th, 2007, 10:23 AM   #8
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my thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaftone Dunklin View Post
I have lurked around this forum for months admiring all of the beautiful work that you all are doing, I have to say that I've been blown away. I finally have enough courage to present a draft of a pre-ceremony video and a photomontage shown at the reception that put together. I know there are some noticible glitches but I am ready for the criticism, or whatever feedback you have to offer. All of the songs for both videos were picked out by the bride, the video in the photomontage was also supplied by the bride. I used a canon Gl2 for most of these shots and a recently purchased glidecam 4000 (still learning movement techniques). Thanks for viewing!

http://www.ganzonreyes.com/home.html
Shaftone D., a very good first effort. It's very obvious that great effort went into this. Here's my C&C.

Another poster mentioned the exposure. Yes, that is bad. I hope you can correct that. Also, the color seemed to shift. That bathroom mirror scene of the groom was very bad in color and exposure.

Do you have other footages you can insert? It lacks more material. For example, some scenes can be cut short. Take the same bathroom combing of the groom. You can cut that shot at 18 sec instead of dragging it to 22 sec. Or you could run that in normal speed or slightly faster than slow-mo if you really want it to that end, but it won't have to drag to 22 sec.

I noticed you used slow-mo a lot. Try doing some parts not in slow-mo. It gets to drag a bit especially with overly long segments.

Take it easy on the wide angle lens too. I could live with the vignette of the lens, but at 1:57-2:02 the bride looks unflattering with the distortion. Maybe if you have a shot of her without the wide angle attachment you can substitute that? :-) Ergo for the long moving shot of the gentlemen at 2:43-2:51.

Camera movement is ok except in some segments where there is hesitation or rocking or moving back and forth or upward or slight downward travel as if the camera wanted to go there, but didn't. Not that this is bad, but it betrays a tentativeness. Best if you started from one end, and stopped at the other end. The start of your video is good because it did just that - a revealing shot that went from right to left. An example of this tentativeness or hesitation is the shot from 2:54-2:58. It also appears elsewhere. The camera must be deliberate in its movement. There are exceptions, but in general it should not seem to 'drift' or be unsure of its track.

Of course, I hear some pops or crackle in the sound, so I know you will need to fix that. :-)

As far as story telling goes. It's not my cup of tea. But it's not bad either. I feel uncomfortable because I didn't get the feel of the prep. I wanted to see more. Maybe it's the slow-mo all throughout. But I also think I wanted to see more instead of dragging a scene longer than what it should be.

Another thing that bothered me is that other people seem to be missing. I know that that is a Filipino couple you shot, so it was unusual not to find other members of the family in the scene or even friends. That is ripe for picking as far as video or photo material goes. If you have that, use it. If not, it's something to add on your next project.

I have a clip of a prep I did over a year ago. It's not my favorite, but it matches the speed or temperament you may want to achieve. I used a VX-2000 with a wide angle attachment. No glidecam or stabilizing device was used. All shots were handheld. No tripod or monopod. We use metal hallide lights. Solo shoot at the dress-up. Poses were by the photographer, not me. I just rode or piggybacked on his poses.

http://melenriquez.multiply.com/video/item/6

It's a Filipino wedding, so it's supposed to be tailored to the temperament and taste of the local market.

The photo montage is well done. No problems there. Some correcting on the sound at some parts though, but overall, you did well on the montage.

Last edited by Mel Enriquez; July 19th, 2007 at 10:26 AM. Reason: wanted to add more.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 10:57 AM   #9
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Re:

Thank you very much for your detailed feedback, seems like I need to go back to the cutting board on this one which makes me thankful that I asked for opinions. Also, I planned on doing another piece for them that included other people during the prep, i just thought that this was a good song to show them as the focus, maybe not a good idea. I will also shorten some of the shots and take out some of the slow motion so that it doesn't drag out. Once again thank you for all of the time you put into your response, your feedback will only help me to get better, I hope:)
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Old July 19th, 2007, 11:22 AM   #10
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as mentioned being philipino wedding, i was expecting the coins, the rope, the crowning etc etc... to be in tact, but as they werent, i assumed that this was an executive decision to leave those shots out.
Persoanlly, id keep them in as already mentioned by Mel.
Also as mentioned, the sponsors are a key element here, expecially considering theyre the ones who usually fund the wedding, so its impertitive u at least have them in the main edit (maybe not so much in the highlights)
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Old July 19th, 2007, 08:20 PM   #11
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tips

Shaftone D.,

I am glad you didn't get angry or offended with my C&C. I assure you it wasn't meant to offend but really to offer constructive criticism. Personally, my work wasn't that good when I did my first prep. However, I did have lots of varied shots in it. Now for some tips, so that I won't feel guilty with my previous C&C :-)

One of the things an editor or a shooter has to decide is what to put in a segment. A good rule I follow is what journalists are told:

WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN and HOW.

You answer these questions and basically you will get most of the stuff/material to tell a decent story. For example - WHO are the main characters aside from the bride? In your prep video, we see some people, most obvious is the bride and the groom, and some 2 or 3 more characters there. But there was no character development on those characters and the journey of transformation of the bride from no make up to fully dressed isn't tracked. Of course you don't have to develop all characters, but you have to create a link with your footage to say that this is the mother and that is the daughter and she is fixing her hair or something.

WHERE is this prep? Is it in their house, the hotel, a room near the church? As you can see, if you have this in mind, you start making those shots in the field because you have to answer them. In your video, we see rooms, but we are unsure if this is a hotel or the house or what not. But I presume it's a house because I saw the kitchen in the groom's place. However, an outside shot of the house would have answered that directly.

You do the same for the WHAT, and other questions. WHAT did they do at that day? What are the stuff they used? WHO are the others in that prep? WHEN is this wedding (maybe a shot of the calendar or the wedding invitation), etc.

See what I mean with having the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, HOW guidelines?

Of course, you don't have to follow it verbatim, but it does offer a starting point, so you can film the answers to the question. You can also have a checklist if it is easier on you, but you will find that that checklist must answer those basic questions too.

Now, as the cameraman, it's now your task to select the technique you think is best to shoot these scenes that is supposed to answer the basic questions. Do you use a static shot? A top shot? A low angle shot or a dutch shot? Do you move the camera? How about the framing? Half body? Head & shoulder? Head shot? etc. Don't use the wide angle lens or your 20x zoom or a steadycam simply because you have it. There were many times, I didn't use my wide angle adapter. And my moving shots were not many. It's a long dissertation on what to use or not to use, so I won't even go there. A good shooter can even break the rules. One thing is certain, you need a good mix of these type of shots. To use only steadycam moves all the way can eventually lead to boredom or too much movement, when a simple static shot is more powerful.

Finally, on editing. Well, this is where it really is put together. For me, this is where one can fail, and fail miserably. This is where one can resurrect the dead! So, even bad footage can be made one step or even 2 steps better. But if the editor is weak or doesn't know w/c direction his video will go, it will render excellent shots fair or weaken it so much so that one gets tired, bored, or uninterested past the halfway mark.

Editing is where you tell the story in the way you see fit. As far as the shots go, they are all separate. And you have a lot of control as to how overall it will come out. For example, you could have shown an all bride dress-up in the first min, and then the groom dressing up in the 2nd minute. Or you could mix and match, jumping between the two at your discretion. Or you could start at the end when the bride is about to ride the car, and flash back to the start.

The editor even has control of how long or how fast a clip will run. This has an effect on the images shown. He can dictate the tempo. In fact, even if the music is slow, a good editor can still show the frenetic activity of a prep or show tension if he knows how to cut it properly. Conversely, the music can be fast or loud, but the viewer might not feel hurried if he uses slow-mo or other effects just right.

And even more exercise of editing power is your choice of which images to show and not to show. I have other powerful images that I did not use because they didn't help or move the story I had in my mind. So, even if they were very good or even excellent, they didn't see the final cut. OTOH, there are sub-par or less than stellar shots, maybe for technical reasons, but were included. Why? Because, even if they were blurred or not well framed, they contributed to the story. They moved the video properly to its logical conclusion or prepped the next scene or was the logical sequel to the previous clip, or it was the image that told the story well even if it were not perfect or had lots of technical flaws.

Regardless of how you want to proceed, you see how powerful the editor is. For me, I just don't have to cut it technically pat. I have to see if it moves me, or it made me react. For me, each clip must, as best as it can move from one scene or image to the next. I just don't drop a clip just because it's nice. It has to move properly. It has to have the right tempo or rhythm. It's not just the shots selected to be in the video, it's also the proper length or duration it should be shown, and how fast it should be shown, the effects that needs to be used or NOT used, etc.

But that's another thing and is subject to a lot of debate. You just do what you think is right and grow from there :-)

-Mel
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Old July 19th, 2007, 09:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel Enriquez View Post
Shaftone D.,

I am glad you didn't get angry or offended with my C&C. I assure you it wasn't meant to offend but really to offer constructive criticism. Personally, my work wasn't that good when I did my first prep. However, I did have lots of varied shots in it. Now for some tips, so that I won't feel guilty with my previous C&C :-)

One of the things an editor or a shooter has to decide is what to put in a segment. A good rule I follow is what journalists are told:

WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN and HOW.

You answer these questions and basically you will get most of the stuff/material to tell a decent story. For example - WHO are the main characters aside from the bride? In your prep video, we see some people, most obvious is the bride and the groom, and some 2 or 3 more characters there. But there was no character development on those characters and the journey of transformation of the bride from no make up to fully dressed isn't tracked. Of course you don't have to develop all characters, but you have to create a link with your footage to say that this is the mother and that is the daughter and she is fixing her hair or something.

WHERE is this prep? Is it in their house, the hotel, a room near the church? As you can see, if you have this in mind, you start making those shots in the field because you have to answer them. In your video, we see rooms, but we are unsure if this is a hotel or the house or what not. But I presume it's a house because I saw the kitchen in the groom's place. However, an outside shot of the house would have answered that directly.

You do the same for the WHAT, and other questions. WHAT did they do at that day? What are the stuff they used? WHO are the others in that prep? WHEN is this wedding (maybe a shot of the calendar or the wedding invitation), etc.

See what I mean with having the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, HOW guidelines?

Of course, you don't have to follow it verbatim, but it does offer a starting point, so you can film the answers to the question. You can also have a checklist if it is easier on you, but you will find that that checklist must answer those basic questions too.

Now, as the cameraman, it's now your task to select the technique you think is best to shoot these scenes that is supposed to answer the basic questions. Do you use a static shot? A top shot? A low angle shot or a dutch shot? Do you move the camera? How about the framing? Half body? Head & shoulder? Head shot? etc. Don't use the wide angle lens or your 20x zoom or a steadycam simply because you have it. There were many times, I didn't use my wide angle adapter. And my moving shots were not many. It's a long dissertation on what to use or not to use, so I won't even go there. A good shooter can even break the rules. One thing is certain, you need a good mix of these type of shots. To use only steadycam moves all the way can eventually lead to boredom or too much movement, when a simple static shot is more powerful.

Finally, on editing. Well, this is where it really is put together. For me, this is where one can fail, and fail miserably. This is where one can resurrect the dead! So, even bad footage can be made one step or even 2 steps better. But if the editor is weak or doesn't know w/c direction his video will go, it will render excellent shots fair or weaken it so much so that one gets tired, bored, or uninterested past the halfway mark.

Editing is where you tell the story in the way you see fit. As far as the shots go, they are all separate. And you have a lot of control as to how overall it will come out. For example, you could have shown an all bride dress-up in the first min, and then the groom dressing up in the 2nd minute. Or you could mix and match, jumping between the two at your discretion. Or you could start at the end when the bride is about to ride the car, and flash back to the start.

The editor even has control of how long or how fast a clip will run. This has an effect on the images shown. He can dictate the tempo. In fact, even if the music is slow, a good editor can still show the frenetic activity of a prep or show tension if he knows how to cut it properly. Conversely, the music can be fast or loud, but the viewer might not feel hurried if he uses slow-mo or other effects just right.

And even more exercise of editing power is your choice of which images to show and not to show. I have other powerful images that I did not use because they didn't help or move the story I had in my mind. So, even if they were very good or even excellent, they didn't see the final cut. OTOH, there are sub-par or less than stellar shots, maybe for technical reasons, but were included. Why? Because, even if they were blurred or not well framed, they contributed to the story. They moved the video properly to its logical conclusion or prepped the next scene or was the logical sequel to the previous clip, or it was the image that told the story well even if it were not perfect or had lots of technical flaws.

Regardless of how you want to proceed, you see how powerful the editor is. For me, I just don't have to cut it technically pat. I have to see if it moves me, or it made me react. For me, each clip must, as best as it can move from one scene or image to the next. I just don't drop a clip just because it's nice. It has to move properly. It has to have the right tempo or rhythm. It's not just the shots selected to be in the video, it's also the proper length or duration it should be shown, and how fast it should be shown, the effects that needs to be used or NOT used, etc.

But that's another thing and is subject to a lot of debate. You just do what you think is right and grow from there :-)

-Mel
Wow! I truely appreciate the time that you put into analyzing my video, it has help me step back and really look at all of the shots that I included and how I can make changes. As you said, I basically used the glidecam and wide angle lens through the whole shoot (prep, pictures, outdoor scenes) as I didn't have any time to switch back and forth because the photographer pretty much led the whole thing, I just got in where I could.

You suggested a check list, we actually had one but because of the pace of the day it was pretty much scrapped as not to waste anymore additional time.

The good thing is I have a lot of video and I believe that I can re-edit to ad something to show the who, what, when and where to the video.

The funny thing is, is that the bride actually saw that clip today and liked a lot. I'm finding that a lot of people just love to see themselves on video and it not look like uncle joe shot it. But, even though she is please I recognize that I have a long way to go if I want to be considered a good videographer which I plan to be!

For now I will do what I can to make improvements to what I have while I eagerly await an opportunity to do better!

Thanks again to all that have responded
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Old July 20th, 2007, 01:28 AM   #13
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Nicely done Shaftone. I really enjoyed that. Nice consistent feel. Just two comments - I was craving some ambient audio, something real. And the lens was a little too wide. I use a .3x for some dynamic stuff but for people I try to limit it to .5x at the widest. There's much less distortion and no vignetting. If you're gliding you can can also unscrew the lens occasionally to balance the wide shots with some close ups. Just brace the bottom of the sled against your body and use the view finder rather than the LCD screen. I like to finish watching a prep and feel that I know the people, and real audio and close ups help with that...


http://www.ganzonreyes.com/home.html[/QUOTE]
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