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

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Old April 18th, 2013, 01:29 AM   #1
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Oh No!

I filmed a wedding a few months back on my 5DMK3, Copied all the files from the SD Card onto my mac without any errors. I then wiped the card ready for the next shoot.

Only now while editing do I see two files missing, the file names go from 445, 446, 449. This is so confusing to me and not only that they were at a critical time of the event. 447.mov and 448.mov were the the holy priest giving a prayer! I am now officially pancaking and was wondering how on earth I am going to tell the bride and the groom.

All I have is the audio and peoples reactions from the second camera. This has never happened to me before and the rest of the movie is really nice. Do you complete the movie and then offer them a discount when the bring it up? I have not slept all night searching for those files, but they are 100% not on my mac. I have no idea why they did not copy across or if they were even there in the first place. I normally do a select all copy.
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Old April 18th, 2013, 01:53 AM   #2
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Re: Oh No!

First thing to do is to check your SD cards to see if any files are recoverable. Yes seriously! Even if you have formatted the cards there will still be recoverable data so long as they have not been totally filled on a subsequent shoot. You may be surprised what is on there. Do it for all the cards that you owned at the time, not just the card you think you used.

You could try recovery software that comes with Sandisk cards. Or a very effective commercial software is R-Studio:

File Recovery Software. Why R-Studio?

Have you checked all your backups as well? And have you checked to find out if the missing files were accidentally renamed and / or found their way into another clients directory?

Other than that it could be worse in that you've got the audio and the b-cam. Try contacting the photographer to see if you can obtain a few stills which you could then use instead for that particular section; a bit of zooming and panning could be quite effective :- ) The photographer should be sympathetic as they should be able to relate to file corruption and loss quite readily :- )

Other than that yes you may need to get into some form of compensation. But keep it realistic. No operator can 100% guarantee perfect results frustrating though that may be for all concerned.

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Old April 18th, 2013, 02:00 AM   #3
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Re: Oh No!

I know this is a "closing the stable door after the horse is gone" scenario but I make sure that I have enough cards so I can put any cards relative to an unedited wedding to one side..when the edit is done and the bride is happy, those cards come back into service, not before...I have only had one instance where a copied file was corrupt but having the original files still on the card did save my bacon.

Hopefully the 2 files can be recovered???

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Old April 18th, 2013, 02:18 AM   #4
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Re: Oh No!

I have used the SD Cards many times after that shoot and formatted them aswell. I will try you never know.

I am just so confused how I did not get any errors and what kind of rotten luck it is that those two files in particular are missing!

I have done a search and checked all my backup. I have infact checked every movie file that was created in that week but its simply not there. The photographer idea is a good one I may ask him. Thank you
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Old April 18th, 2013, 02:24 AM   #5
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Re: Oh No!

I have to second Peter's suggestion regarding file recovery. However failing that getting photos isn't a bad option. I had a similar situation a few years back. I contacted the couple before they got the video and arranged for some photos to compensate for the missing section. Thankfully I always have a safety camera running for all the main events of the day; back of the church for the Ceremony, covering the main table at Reception, cake cutting and 1st dance, so even if my main camera failed I have some footage to work with. Alas with an average of 200gb of footage per Wedding, holding the SD cards isn't an option for me. However I do a number check after download now.
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Old April 18th, 2013, 02:26 AM   #6
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Re: Oh No!

The problem with just doing a copy is that you can miss files & a copy can fail & you miss the error message I prefer to use Folder Synch to synchronise the card to the destination folder. Folder Synch is specific to Mac but there is similar software for Windows e.g. Good Synch has versions for Mac & Windows.

There are more sophisticated pieces of software that can ingest from several card readers at once & create multiple copies & a several destinations. Photo Mechanic does video as well as stills. I know that there are video specific software applications too.

It's most likely that there was a failure in copying but in this instance you don't actually know for sure whether the file was ever on the card in the first place.
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Old April 18th, 2013, 04:08 AM   #7
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Re: Oh No!

Looks like the chances to retrieve those missing files are really low. Using the card over and over again adds more complexity to the quest. Anyway you could dig up the contents of the card using some Mac recovery software like Treasured. Problem is that lot of mixed footage will come up and you would have to find and edit patiently the recovered footage (in case found). Best of luck!
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Old April 18th, 2013, 04:10 AM   #8
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Re: Oh No!

Are you working on Mac? If so, there could sometimes be files that just become invisible for some unknown reason but they are actually there although Spotlight wouldn't be able to find them. It happened to me once and I ended up using a 3rd party software to search for the files and it found them but were greyed out, I simply copied them to a new folder and it worked.
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Old April 18th, 2013, 04:38 AM   #9
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Re: Oh No!

I do hope you are able to retrieve the missing files from your card, plenty good tips allready what can be done. Ever since I switched from mini-dv tapes to cf cards I have been very thourough on checking that at least the keymoments are transfered.

It has occured once that I nearly lost 20 minutes from a sony xr520 which I found out while editing, luckily the camera had a 120gb harddisc and I had it fill up with more then one recording from a wedding so the files where still there. It gave me a big wakeup call.

Now I transfer all video and audio I recorded and add it to the timeline and do a rough check to see all keymoments are there, other less important stuff I quikly scroll through, this whole process takes about an hour but it's a worthwile investment. I do like Nigel's suggestion to use software to sync data between 2 folders, I do have a copy of syncbackpro that I could use for that purpose, have not thought of that before. Good tip! :)
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Old April 18th, 2013, 05:54 AM   #10
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Re: Oh No!

For Windows users Tree Size Free is a very useful utility for exploring and comparing folder contents:

JAM Software - Windows Freeware

You can set it up so its just a right click away in any Explorer window.

Great for identifying big files you no longer need as well :- )

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Old April 18th, 2013, 06:01 AM   #11
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Re: Oh No!

Good luck, but if you can't find it, edit around it. Go ahead and use your reaction shots. If you have any close up faces of B&G from another part of the ceremony that match well, insert them.

I lost a card at our last wedding - *poof* just gone - and it made me sick. Fortunately it was before the vows. Sadly, it included the amazing parent interviews. 6 weeks later and I'm still furious at myself.

Holding onto the original files on your cards is smart. When I copy everything, I always double check all the numbers to make sure everything matches and that all the numbers are there.

Our contract allows for these kind of things - we don't guarantee every second will be recorded. Naturally missing vows would be a much bigger deal than a prayer, but realize that you still have a ton of material to work with.
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Old April 18th, 2013, 07:36 AM   #12
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Re: Oh No!

Go back to the church and get shots of religious items in the church for fill cut aways from the crowd shots while the prayer is occurring.

Mix in shots of the B&G, possibly with head down praying if you have it, or even from behind them that doesn't show the priest. If the priest is in the shot apply artificial DOF to the priest to blur his face to remove the lip synch issue.

Explain the situation and ask the priest to do voice over close up to the audio playback.

These three ideas along with the crowd shots should cover the time for the prayer.

Good luck!
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Old April 18th, 2013, 08:24 AM   #13
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Re: Oh No!

My salad days shooting weddings and events on a professional basis are long gone, but back then it was a case of a borked tape as opposed to missing files. Some pretty good band-aids have already been recommended, but on the couple of occasions where this has happened to me, my fix was to "go to montage."

In fact, if the missing scene is a prayer service, a photo montage will go over that quite nicely and effectively, if you've already got the audio. That could be the perfect opportunity to do some slow cross-fades of stills and silent video of the B&G when they were kids growing up, when they first met, etc., all the way up to the wedding day itself, and then transition from a wedding day photo back into your video.

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Old April 18th, 2013, 10:21 AM   #14
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Re: Oh No!

Here is a link to a thread I dealt with. Hope this helps.

Jonathan Schwartz
CA Video Productions
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Old April 18th, 2013, 03:01 PM   #15
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Re: Oh No!

Feel your pain Tariq! I think the best suggestion has been to get a few stills of the photog and use that in the video ... easy way out, rather than trying to explain a malfunction in backing up data to the bride!

How many memory cards do you generally chew threw at your weddings?
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