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Old April 26th, 2013, 11:43 AM  
First Wedding Video! **need critique!!**
Bethany Elennah Bethany Elennah is offline April 26th, 2013, 11:43 AM

Hi everyone! Let me start off by saying I'm a total amateur, and I need all the help/advice I can get! I offered to take video for my cousins wedding (for free of course, because they didn't have a videographer and weren't going to get one) and I had never taken on such an important project...All I had done before is make slideshow videos of trips I had gone on, just as a hobby, but I LOVED every bit of taking video for such a beautiful day. Anyway, here is a link to the finished product...

oh and let me disclose this:

-I had NEVER used this camera for video before, the camera I intended to use was having charging difficulties and I had to switch that morning!

-I had my dad help with the ceremony as my camera 2 guy..go dad!

-I am well aware of mistakes I see myself: I noticed I probably had too many "location shots" (not sure if that's what you call it..) I had a problem with the camera's auto-exposure, the lighting looks weird...i didn't have mics so the audio could be worlds better than what it is..oh and I am visible in one of the shots :(

But I really want all your constructive criticism and feedback! How did I do on storytelling? I would love to shoot another wedding for a friend or family member and try not to repeat the mistakes I had made on this one... thanks for reading.. Please comment!

oh and I don't own a's why the video is shaky in some please recommend a tripod and other gear I would need if I were to do this again.

Bethany Elennah
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Corpus Christi, Texas
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Old April 27th, 2013, 02:34 PM   #16
Inner Circle
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Apple Valley CA
Posts: 4,874
Re: First Wedding Video! **need critique!!**

At first I "noticed" the image "quality", and the tilted opening shot... but then I was drawn in by the "retro" look and feel - it works!

Sure you made do with what most would probably consider "low quiality" gear and footage (image quality, not "perfectly" shot and framed, not terrible either), but you pulled it together into a piece that felt very "vintage" in a good way, and told the story of the day - it made the "flaws" work for the overall vibe! I see others caught this very nice "organic" and "real" feel to the end result... good editing, even if again, you were working with a really simple tool!

Overall, you did a great job with limited "gear", don't lose that! You've got a good eye, and the ability to work with what you've got, that's a really good combo whether you're just starting out or an old pro!

As far as adding gear, don't skimp on tripod or monopod, you don't need to spend a huge amount (I've got really CHEAP "sticks" and fairly cheap Manfrotto heads, but I mostly use them to keep a camera "locked down" anyway, and the tripods I got are TALL, which is good if you need to get over the guests heads!). The manfrotto monopods with the little feet are expensive but worth it. You could also consider some sort of support for the camera if you're going handheld - even a monopod shortened and tucked into a belt or pocket helps a lot, and can be had very cheaply compared to fancy "rigs".

Audio... pick up a couple small digital recorders that can be stuck in the grooms pocket, and a couple lav mics - these can also be set on podiums or whatever.

You'll need to get a better editing program at some point, something with multi tracks and more tools/capability than iMovie, but there are inexpensive options like Vegas Studio. You can spend a LOT on an edit suite, but since you're starting out, and seem to know how to make the most of what you have, don't spend TOO much!

You'll probably want to upgrade cameras (you didn't say what you were shooting with, again looks like you "made do" and rocked it anyway). That's a can of worms, but you can always pick up used gear and step up as you get better/get paid. There are lots of ways to capture a usable quality HD image - even if you're on a low initial budget. The main weakness of most "low dough" options is when the lights get low (like the short dance sequence at the end of your video).

As mentioned, you can pick up some very inexpensive LED lights - make sure they have a dimmer, but other than that, you can get a "fill" light to make up for camera shortcomings for under $20 on eBay - I'd suggest the CN brand lights, just picked up a CN360 (36 LED, dimmable, filters to knock down the green spike or match "warm" light, runs on 3xAAA batts), CH480 (48 LED, 3xAA, otherwise similar), and have also used a CN560 (56 LED, 3xAA, etc). Small LEDs like this will allow you to add a little light, but for most modern cameras, you don't NEED a lot to make the image quality acceptable, and you don't want to blind everyone! If you want a bigger light, the CN126 is again pretty cheap, and it'll put out a fair blast of light!

From a "business" standpoint, if you want to make money in the long run, remember to evaluate the gear you really NEED vs. the gear you "want". Do a few more "freebies" or low $ jobs for friends (enough to pay for a couple new "toys"... er, tools...). Then spend a little time figuring out the local market, the budget you and your potential clients will be dealing with, and how you will market yourself and your services (don't forget to pay your second cam, even if it is your dad), and turn a profit and grow.
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Old April 29th, 2013, 10:03 AM   #17
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Corpus Christi, Texas
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Re: First Wedding Video! **need critique!!**

thank you for watching Dave! (and everyone else too)

I realize I'm in desperate need of a monopod/tripod, and that's the first thing I want to get (prime example: tilted opening shot! you should've seen what I edited out- not pretty..) But at the same time, I loved the way some of the handheld shots came out, like when the brides maid-of-honor was putting on her veil in the mirror...the shot wasn't steady by any means..but I like that sort of imperfection, as long as its not distracting.

as for what I shot with, it was a Nikon D90. i had bought it a while back at a really good price, and I had used it here and there for photos, but never once used it for video. its definitely not my ideal choice, but it got the job done. I'll have to play around with some settings to give it a fair chance though..

Garrett- thank you for your feedback! I agree 100% about the framing, and honestly I hadn't even noticed it before so thank you! I was focusing on a lot of small things and completely neglected to see that- i'll improve! Also I see what you're saying on the editing..those are great suggestions! Since this video, I got Final Cut Pro, and i'm so excited to start using it. I was thinking I could just re-edit this same video as practice on FCP until I get the hang of it, and that way I can change some things around for my own personal keepsake.

and thank you everyone for the equipment suggestions/links/encouragement...this helps more than you know!
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