Ok here we go... my first attempt at DVinfo.net
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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...

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Old October 31st, 2005, 08:17 AM   #1
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Ok here we go... my first attempt

Ok this is not the first one I've created, but maybe the fourth or so. This is the second one in Vegas. I shot this with a Canon GL1. Please be kind, I am still working my way into this editing stuff. I have not figured out the fancy effects. Thanks in advance for your comments.


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Old October 31st, 2005, 10:34 AM   #2
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A few suggestions

Here are my 2 cents - and I have not had the courage to post any of my videos here, so take it for what it's worth...

It looks like you have a bunch of good ideas here, but need a little more practice.
1. The first thing I noticed was camera shake. I have found that a monopod has helped me with.
2. I normally show the bride getting ready first and spend more time on her and the girls than I do on the guys.
3. When you were shooting the Bride getting her pics taken, it might have been better if you could have moved to the other side (your left) - it looks like you were shooting into the light a little bit. Also you'd be able to learn against the wall to help steady the camera.
4. I try not to let there be any dead air between songs - try to mix them together if you can.

I do like the soft filter you used while the bride was getting ready - that looked nice!
I also like some the angles you used - like I said up front it looks like you have a bunch of good ideas.
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Old October 31st, 2005, 11:05 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Bill Grant
Ok this is not the first one I've created, but maybe the fourth or so. This is the second one in Vegas. I shot this with a Canon GL1. Please be kind, I am still working my way into this editing stuff. I have not figured out the fancy effects. Thanks in advance for your comments.


hello bill,

first, i have to say i don't shoot weddings at all. also my editing expirience are something like zero, zippo nada....

the first half of the clip, i go with robert, to much camera movement.
(since all my shoots are in a theater/ studio, i use a tripot only.)

also the first half of the clip looks to me like the camera is on your shoulder and is leaning a bit to the left. (could be my eye sight)

have a greet respect for people who take on the challenge to videograph a wedding.

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Old October 31st, 2005, 12:28 PM   #4
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Glad to see someone with a somewhat similar aesthetic to me. I generally don't like heavy fx. I don't use 16x9, vignette fx, black & white, for example. I do use slow motion but not as heavily as others do on this board.

Camera shake - It's not always easy to deal with though. I shoot some scenics with tripod BUT with unpredictable human subjects sometimes you have to go handheld and even a monopod is restrictive for many angles. The lighter the camera the more likely you'll get shake. I use PD-150/170. Simply practice with your camera. Some work arounds involve bracing your back against something when you can. Bending knees slightly into a crouch. "Hug" the camera close to your body and use body to pivot.

Shake during pans&zooms. (accross trees/road in you 2nd shot for example) Sometimes rather than trying to get slow speed "real time," move camera faster and slow mo in post. I know I tend to shake less when I move quickly. It's a different look but it's something to think about.

Uneven pan speed - (Same shot as above for example) This is a tough one for me too. Even with tripod, sometimes I vary a bit. Simply practice.

I like the use of natural sound but I heard some rustling under the windmill shot. You can cut/paste clean nat sound at those points.

Color correction. I'm viewing on Mac which has different gamma than PC but you might be able to push blacks down to increase contrast and push chroma up.

Pacing and shot interest - people have different aesthetics on this but I thought some of the preperation shots which had little action were on the longish side. Of course the music you used did have a very slow languid feel. Sometime fit two shots where one would be or slow mo a key body movement to add accent and interest.

Close ups - use more in the prep. Face close ups can be poignant and a slow mo'd smile, laugh, pat on the back, etc. can add emotion. I think people love the intimacy of close ups and the emotions they convey. Close ups on certain hand motions can be good too.

Photo shoots - I'd try to have more camera motion (here's where I battle hand held vs shake) since you're trying to present something different than the photog. Look for "special moments" such as people laughing as they get ready. Sometimes I keep the silly photog comments (when they make them) in the nat sound on these. In other words, catch the animated moments while the photog is catching the still ones. Catch the kidding around or those endearing fix the article of clothing moments as they pose.

Slow Motion - It seems many follks here use it almost exclusively. I'd suggest using it like a spice, not a meal though. Use to accentuate certain actions. I like the fact you're not using it much but there are points where it adds the appropriate accent.

Reason why I mention slow mo as an option for you is I kind got the sense you were timing edits to the music but that resulted in some odd in and out points visually. One way to deal with that is slow the shot to the most interesting point. The other, if you'd like to avoid slow mo, is to use two shots in that space. Sometimes dissolving from one angle to another or from long to close up works if you need to fill time.

Examples of shots I'd change pacing on - cake prep shot seemed long. "Granny's" walk away in the white room (camera sort of drifts off during disslove). "Granny" fixing dress is long. Shot of "granny" with bride is static for much of it. Shorten that and slow mo her head turn to bride.

I always remember I'm shooting for the client . . . not my demo reel. Better to keep imperfect motion/shake etc. if it tells the story and/or the shot will have meaning to your client. I say this because people may drop less the perfect shots when they post demos here which is not what I'd do for the client.

I like the fact you are not heavy with fx! I like what you seem to be aiming for since it's very different then the other demos people post.
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Old October 31st, 2005, 01:50 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the great comments! I am slowly learning about pacing and what to use/not use. This one I did not take as much care with editing the camera shake. I took much more care than the last one, and less than the the one I'm on now. I like the idea of more closeups, but how do I do that without getting into someone's face? Thanks again. I had alot of fun with this wedding because of the B & G and their respective families.

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Old October 31st, 2005, 09:30 PM   #6
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With a GL1 I believe you have something like a 20x zoom. That's great for close ups without being "in face." Yes camera shake is even more noticable at that zoom but you only need those shots for a few short seconds and can slow down a duration of 1 or 2 seconds so it stretches to 3 or 4. Don't try doing much in way of camera movement at that zoom. Those are the kinds of shots you brace yourself against an object or do the "knee bend" I mentioned before.

Regards pacing, I'll often get the video scenics first and then find music that fits. I use SmartSound Sonicfire since I don't like using copyrighted music. SSSF will fit stock music to your running time. I can then go back an tweak shots, alter speed, trim edits if I need to hit a key moment to the music. Others will pick the music first and cut to it. The problem with that is I find it harder to get the material to fit and, for me, I want picture content to be primary concern.
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Old October 31st, 2005, 11:45 PM   #7
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I don't know that much about DV but I paid my way though college with a still camera. One tip I might add is to use the rule of thirds (google if you don't know). It really will help with the composition.

The other thing might be to "zoom" in your editor to always keep the action moving and flowing (even if the shot was pretty still like when they're getting their still photos taken, etc).

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Old November 1st, 2005, 08:32 AM   #8
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Overall it's a good beginning effort, definitely MUCH more competant that the first wedding video I ever cut (then again that was done tape to tape about 10 years ago...boy do I feel old)

My first piece of advice would be to vary your shot framing.
Pretty much 95% of your video was on the mid/wide end of things. As someone else suggested here the use of closeups can do wonders. By using nothing but wide shots the video has a very detached feeling, like we're just watching this happen but we aren't a part of it. Put some close ups in there and get us "into" the event, it will add some emotion and keep it visually interesting. Seeing wide shot after wide shot gets a little visually redundant.

Secondly I would say that you should try to use more natural sound.
You were on the right track in the beginning by mixing in some of the natural sound outside, but then when you got into the people shots we had nothing but music. Again this makes it feel very sterile. Try to find some good laughs, or chattering, and mix that into the final piece. Even if you can't fully make out what people are saying, just the fact that we can hear the chatter and movement going on can help bring a piece alive. Live audio, when properly mixed and placed, can really make the difference between a so-so video and a great video.

Third (and this is simply a personal preference) I've never seen the need for titles in a wedding video. Weddings follow a basic structure that we all know and understand, and I think it's fair to assume that we would all know the sequence of events of our own wedding. No one is going to mistake the 'preperation' sequence for the ceremony, or the ceremony for the reception, etc. Titles, for me, stop the video from flowing. Everytime I see a title come up in the middle of the video it's like someone hit the reset button in my mind, It winds up feeling very choppy and episodic. I prefer to see something that flows beginning to end. But like I said, that's a personal preference. Some people like them, and some people do some amazing work with titles... so maybe they're just not my cup of tea.

Fourth I would highly recommend using a tripod, especially on the opening shots. You can get away with a little more shake on the people, seeing as there is movement in the frame. But when you're shooting the location at the start, every shake is obvious. You've got the time when your shooting the landscape to use a tripod and carefully frame your shots...take advantage of the fact that you aren't shooting people (who like you mentioned can be unpredictable). Someone else mentioned a good technique already...if you feel you can't use a tripod when shooting people then try to find something to brace yourself against (a wall, a tree, anything). It will make your shots a lot steadier. I've shot with a GL in the past, and those little cameras are tough to keep steady due to their lack of mass. Do whatever you can to brace yourself.

Fifth, I would echo the sentiment above that you should try your best to be conscious of the light situation, especially when shooting the bride. Scope out the room and see where the light source is. Use the natural light as much as you can to help you, instead of having to work against it.

Last, as far as pacing goes, I would highly recommend that you watch as many online demos as you can. Take a look at what other people are doing and figure out what you like and don't like. If you find a video you like then try to figure out what it is that you think makes it work.

One thing I would note about your editing is that it felt a bit flat throughout the piece. The pacing didn't change up much. For example, when you first cut to the bride it had the same feel as when you first cut to the cake. Personally, I like to build some sort of introduction to the bride/groom. They are the stars of the piece, and should be given a good introduction (either visual or auditory). Work on creating some sort of buildup.

Most importantly.... just keep shooting, keep cutting, and keep seeking advice, feedback, and never stop trying to learn. It's the only way to keep getting better.

I hope this helps in some way.


Oh, I meant to say that I think Craig is 100% right in his comments about the photo shoot section.
You have to offer something different that the photographer on this, so make sure you're only using the most animated and interesting pieces. Seeing people standing/shuffling around isn't too exciting. I usually try to think of these sections as a "behind the scenes" segment, and I shoot them that way. You can sometimes get a lot of good stuff by shooting those people who are waiting to be photographed instead of concentrating on the ones getting photographed at the time. Also don't be afraid of showing the photographer, it helps put the whole thing in context. I figure they already have nice photos from this part of their day, so instead I try to put something together which captures the process of getting those photos.
Luis Caffesse
Pitch Productions
Austin, Texas
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Old November 1st, 2005, 05:52 PM   #9
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what a small world

I though I was reading the same post twice because I knew that I had seen this video before. It turns out it’s the same one I watched last week on DVD with my best friend who is a bride’s maid in an upcoming wedding. Looks like you're might be shooting that wedding. What a small world....

Last edited by Ben Bowles; November 1st, 2005 at 06:58 PM.
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Old November 4th, 2005, 08:29 AM   #10
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I'm watching it right now and just made it to angel statue before the 'preparation' title came up. I haven't read any of the other posters responses yet.

1. Tripod, tripod, tripod. A rule we use in the newsroom (tv station), if it doesn't move, your camera doesn't move. It would be different if you were following some people around, but these are pretty much static, scenic shots.
A shot of tree or road needs to be locked down on a tripod unless there is something different that is trying to be told & said.

2. So far, it's all wide shots with one or two medium shots thrown in. The TIGHT shots are always key.

3. I am keeping in mind that this video isn't for me. However, there is nothing that has grabbed my attention yet. There aren't any characters yet.
Why is this nature video here? Is this where the ceremony takes place?

4. The music is nice... but doesn't seem (to me anyways) that it goes with the nature & scene video.

Back to watching...

Ok... just now at the photo op with the groom and his men.

1. Again, Mr. Tripod. It's a great investment.

2. Every shot is still wide, with exception to 1 or 2 medium shots. You can still tell a story with ONE wide shot and 400 tight ones. Tight shots GRAB the viewer and say, 'HEY! LOOK AT THIS!'

3. Every shot is taken from shoulder height. Shoot high, shoot low! Shoot from the angles people aren't used to seeing. The little boy putting on his shoe; that could have been shot from the ground. Make him look larger than life! He's going to FEEL that way in an hour anyway!

4. Video of someone just standing there for the camera (last shot before the white) is not really an action shot. Him interacting with someone else? THAT is a 'moment' caught on tape.

Back to watching...

WOW! The girl spinning around! THAT is money in the bank! There's the FEELING of a of an exciting wedding day caught on tape! I probably would have started with that rather than the cake shot, which was a little long IMO. I think maybe the music should have been a bit more upbeat to go along with the deadline approaching. That's the feeling I get so far is that now it's getting down to less than an hour before the ceremony takes place.

Back to watching...

The shot of the bride getting that thing in here in front of the mirror... I would have shot it so you can SEE what's going on in the mirror and held it for about 3-4 seconds and then got in front of her so I could see her and the girl doing her hair. A little sequence would have been great.

A lot of shots seem to drag on and on and are a bit long. You can show MORE of what you want to show, even with a shorter shot.
Example: Wide/medium shot of bride and grandmother for 3-5 seconds, slow dissolve to a real tight shot of the bride and grandmother's face for another 4-6 seconds. You then have about TEN SECONDS of the bride and her grandmother that captures them in their little moment rather than having one drawn out 10 second wide shot.

Keep on keepin' on! The more you do it the more creative you'll get and it will just flow!!
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Old November 4th, 2005, 08:51 AM   #11
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Holy cow! I just read that you said you have ZILCH for editing experience. Just imagine what you'll be turning in another 6 months!
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