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Thread: My first semi pro Wedding Montage

  1. #1

    Default My first semi pro Wedding Montage

    Hi everybody, I'm strongly considering entering the wonderful world of Wedding Videography so thought I'd register here. I've done a few freebie wedding videos for friends, and after the next one I'll be charging for my services (based on word of mouth for time being) but I'd love your opinions on my editing/style.

    Here is the final montage from my last wedding : [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJkciFTMK5c]YouTube - Kelvin & Leannes Wedding (Promo Reel)[/ame] (which I need to get re-uploaded in 16:9) and I wondered if you would let me know what you think? In particular, the framing of the shots because although I have won awards for my editing, I have no formal training in camerawork and I hope that won't be letting me down.

    The song choice was the grooms, and at first I thought it wouldnt fit the video at all (not very weddingy) but with a bit of tinkering I was suprised just how well it does fit.

    Thanks in advance for any feedback!

  2. #2
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    Firstly, welcome to these forums. I really mean that, despite what follows. Okay, now brace yourself...

    Firstly I think it's best to point out that there are two places where you can post wedding videos for criticism, "User Videos" and here, the Videography section. In this section it's assumed that you're charging for your services and, as such, the expectations are that you deliver a professional product. so PLEASE, don't make excuses when you get criticised here (I'm not saying that you will, just asking you not to).

    Bearing in mind that we see a lot of wedding stuff, a couple of points which we have known for years but can be a bit of a surprise for novices.

    1. Slow-motion makes almost any footage look reasonable. However it doesn't alter things like bad framing, focus or lighting.

    2. Music influences the viewer and a good song can make the most banal footage seem good, so most of us will view the video for the first time with the sound off. (try it yourself and you'll see how the video really looks)

    3. The same for effects and transitions, such as mattes.


    So, my observations...

    When the couple is in front of the window, they are seriously underexposed.
    In the ceremony the bride has a plant in front of her face.
    On the group shot, the camera isn't level.
    On the interior reception shots, the lighting on the couple is awful (toppy, leaving their faces in shadow with bright noses)
    There are a few jump cuts, especially in the reception scene.

    All in all, pretty good for a friend's wedding video but I wouldn't pay money for it. In the "User's video" section it would have got praise, as a professional work it's not very good.

    Don't take this personally and it is only my personal opinion but, before you jump into the professional arena it's best to get honest advice.

    Edit: Written words always seem harsher than spoken criticism and it's not my intention to dissuade you from becoming a semi-pro. The opposite in fact. I hope that you'll become someone who delivers your customer value for money and strives for perfection.
    Last edited by Rembrandt Rob; 04-09-2009 at 10:43 AM.

  3. #3

    Default

    Thank you, Guru, I appreciate you taking the time to look at my work. You've picked up a few things I never noticed. I have "excuses" for some but not others.

    When you mention the couple in front of the window, I take it you mean the shot at 0:21? My fault, I'm afraid. I had just got a new camera and didnt understand how to use the backlight compensation feature. I did try to correct it in After Effects but obviously failed. I didnt realise how bad the backlight was until now though.

    Damn that plant! Oh how I wished for a hedge trimmer on that day! To be fair, I had my subjects perfectly framed throughout the ceremony but no one told me they were going to get up and do the vows somewhere different, right in front of a huge shrub! I was unable to move my tripod discretely, and had been told in no uncertain terms that I was to "not move a muscle, remain invisible" I had to hope the shot would come out "artistic".

    Do you mean the group shot in front of the castley wall? I never noticed how totally wonky that was, I should have corrected that in post but never noticed it.

    Regarding the reception lighting - what could I have done about that? Bearing in mind that on most occasions you are stuck with whatever the venues lighting is (which is often awful). Is there some camera trick I should have employed to bring their faces out of shadow? How...?

    Finally, on the jump cuts. I see what you mean, however I was once told by a pro that I tend to over use dissolves, and montages are usually dissolve city. Should a dissolve or some kind of transition always be used? (Assuming you mean from one speech giver to the next, since a passage of time is suggested. I take it a jump cut is fine from shot to shot in the persons speech, e.g best man says joke, jump cut to grooms reaction?)

    Thanks again for the feedback, I have a freebie wedding coming up this weekend (hopefully the last freebie!) so I dont want to repeat the same mistakes.

  4. #4

    Default

    Hi & welcome to the wonderful world of forums

    I thought I would try and be as constructive as possible here so I made notes with music turned off!

    Firstly you have already had some excellent advice from the GURU...trust me!

    At around 19 secsonds the particular shot you choose was on no longer than a second and it did not work. You do need to give the viewer enough time to take in the information. This can be as quick as a second, but not here.

    I would get rid of the vignetting. It is overused throughout the whole sequence!

    I did also watch it with sound and would like to have heard some live audio so cannot comment on your skills here.

    I think you are confusing a jump cut with a reaction shot! At approx 1.40 there is an obvious jump cut. You kept the same position and cut to a closer shot. Ideally you would need to move to a different angle or shoot lots of cutaways toi fill these gaps. Always shoot lots of cutaways and incidental shots. These are your get out of jail shots and you will be thankful for them!

    Nothing wrong with the music selection, and I did see you made an attempt to cut to the beat in places, but I thought the second song choice was wasted. That is an excellent track and you missed many opportunities to use it in the editing by just showing the dance sequence.

    Slow motion has its place but can also hide instability in camera work.!

    You did have a few shakes at around 1.40 - 1.50.

    Dissolves can be used to give a dreamy effect but I would concentrate on learning to use straight cuts in the edit.

    Here is an example of not using dissolves and minimal slow motion.
    David & Daniela | Wedding Video

    Having said all this, I have a good feeling about what you will be producing in the future. Don't ask why, I can't put my finger on it.

    Thx for sharing.

    John De Rienzo.
    Last edited by GDR; 04-09-2009 at 02:28 PM.

  5. #5
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    Hi there - watched twice - now brace yourself - as posted here knives are out - and as a rule wedding videos make me vomit

    I tht this was ok as it trots out all the usual cliches well - bloody slo mo - bloody vingnettes - all the obvious James Cameron titanic look - oh god I bin sick.

    So it looks like every other gooey wedding vid with a few framing errors and a bit of dodgy camera work.

    You should go far....

    Constructive comments.... getting the right exposure is the bane of video - overexpose anything and all is lost. For work that really matters - when someone is paying me - I tend to set my zebras ( if your camera has - essebtial in my view) to 80% and trade a bit of noise for security.

    I liked the group shot effect.

    Too much slo mo for my tastes.

    Sensible use of the tripod helps the production standard.

    Colour correction - needs some tweeking I think - many of the inside shots had a slightly drab brown / red look and some of the outside shots were noticably greener / bluer. A consistent look / grading with the colour adds value in my book.

    Some of the cuts were a bit abrupt and not well tiomed - the vingette slo mo look is all floaty floaty but the cuts were the opposite vibe.

    Overall it does have the feel of editing to a formula. I try to think to myself why I am using a particualr effect / jazzy bit and only use it if I can convince myself it works as a piece of the whole - less is more sort of.

    Btw - caouldnt get the so called HD option on you tube - just played black.
    Last edited by Mark W; 04-09-2009 at 04:12 PM.

  6. #6
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    Ok - watched again. Got HD option.

    First off - the HD didnt look as much better as i expected - maybe you need to upload at a higher b width - I do mine as 3mbit 1280 wmv files and they look good.

    Fades - I hate fades as a rule and try only to use them to say ' we are moving to another place or time ' or to hide a clumsy edit that cant be saved any other way.

    Always think about how shots join, the progression of shots is like the narrative in a story.

  7. #7
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    Going pro, especially with weddings, is a bitch.

    Backlight... Play with your camera. If it's yours and not a rental you have an advantage. You can spend hours getting to know what it does and what buttons to press to get it to do what you want. Take the time to do this, it will pay dividends. Don't fall into the trap of thinking "I've got the camcorder set-up how I like it, all I have to do is press record". Things go wrong, settings disappear or change and, in the stress of a shoot, it's vital that you know your equipment inside-out.

    If you're a pro then all that matters is keeping the client satisfied. Even if you promissed the vicar/registrar that you won't be leaping about, if you have a blocked shot... move. You can apologize later. A run-though or recce is essential and you need to have no morals about cutting off a bit of greenery which might spoil your shot.

    Get some lights. If you can afford it, go for a couple of Dedolights, if not, a fresnel or two. If the light isn't good for video... change it. You should also have an on-camera light for emergencies. I hate them, they look crap but can get you out of a situation where you have awful, dull unflattering lighting in situ.

    You have to grow brass balls to be a good videographer. The skill is to get what you want without creating enemies. "Polite determination" is a nice motto to have. The bottom line is that the client must be happy with the result so that they (a) pay the bill and (b) recommend you to their friends.

    I too have a good feeling, I like your attitude and suspect that you will become a good wedding videographer.

  8. #8
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    ^^^ Last bit - I tht that too. I ahve done one wedding - never again - much respect for anyone who does weddings - i would rather do an autopsy.

    As ofr getting in the way - I dont often do paid work - too lazy - but when I do I say I will be all over the place getting the shots.
    Last edited by Mark W; 04-09-2009 at 06:04 PM.

  9. #9

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    Terrific advice from Guru, John and Mark. If you pay attention to all their advice, except the option of the autopsy, you'll improve in no time.
    Weddings are the hardest thing to cover and your anticipation skills need to be polished to perfection. In hindsight, I'm sure you could now see the greenery coming and would have avoided being compromised.
    If stuck in a similar situation, under orders. Move anyway, but very discretely. Very few officiants will bawl you out in the middle of a wedding ceremony, providing you don't take liberties.
    I don't know if you have a second cam, if you have, lock it off at an alternative viewpoint if no operator. If you haven't, get one, these can often save the day.
    Evening dancing - Light in some form is essential. Ask the DJ to lift the power on white lights in his display, or better still use an on camera light.
    Again a second cam allows the main cam some freedom.
    Best of luck!
    My opinions are just that . . . Mine. It's not personal, but is based on my emotional and professional reaction to requested critique. If you choose to ignore constructive comments, I'll just assume you're a vanity poster and not posting to improve your filming and editing skills.

    Ex A.P.V Videomaker of the year - Ex M.M. IOV Come join my EXclusive club

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zero View Post
    If stuck in a similar situation, under orders. Move anyway, but very discretely. Very few officiants will bawl you out in the middle of a wedding ceremony, providing you don't take liberties.
    I once covered a wedding where the vicar stopped the service and lambasted the photographer for continously moving and taking a multitude of flash shots throughout the ceromony. Very embarrasing. It pays to learn discretion. At the same wedding I managed to get a lovely glidecam shot accross from the back of the church by moving at the opportune time(s).

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