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Thread: Difficult Priests / Ministers

  1. Default Difficult Priests / Ministers

    Would do you do when dealing with priests/ministers who insist you stand in awkward positions during a wedding service, and are openly hostile about the job you're doing?
    Last edited by griffinmill; 10-02-2011 at 02:05 AM.

  2. #2

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    Go along with it. You're filming with their permission on their premises. Often, the 'allocated' spot is not ideal, but as long as you have it in your terms and conditions agreed by the bride and groom that you have to abide by the wishes of the priest minister then your back is covered.

  3. #3
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    Make sure you sort it out before the ceremony. "I'll be standing here with a tripod. Any objections?" If he says "You can't stand there." then ask "Why not?" Often, if there's a good reason, a compromise can be reached. If not, then tell the bride's mother. "I'm sorry I can't get a decent shot of your daughter because the priest is being a pratt."

    Cover your ass at all times. If the priest is being a plonker, point it out to your customer. Don't take the blame for a vicar with issues.

    Most of them are okay. They know that the major part of their income comes from weddings (tips and charges) so they won't want to risk getting a bad reputation.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rembrandt Rob View Post
    Make sure you sort it out before the ceremony.
    So right! - It rarely happens, but when it does don't be confrontational, or as has happened, you'll be out on your ear. (and you may have another wedding there)
    Explain the difficulties of getting your chosen shots for the couple and if there just is no room for a tripod, explain to the client then just grin and bear it. The rear cam will pick a nice shot up of the vows as the couple usually turn inwards for this part.

    Sometimes the clergy are just being bloody minded, if this is the case, inform the clients and usually, if they have cojones, they'll scream and shout to make sure their wedding day has the coverage they planned and requested.
    One groom we had (a policeman, and the vicar knew it) was informed by us the only available spot (not true) was a side view (!?) He marched back to the vicar and bawled him out with the phrase "You think I'm paying 1,500 for my wedding day video, just to have a view of the side of our heads during the ceremony" = Best place in the house. Though the vicar could have said that at the start.
    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

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Zero View Post
    So right! - It rarely happens, but when it does don't be confrontational, or as has happened, you'll be out on your ear. (and you may have another wedding there)
    Explain the difficulties of getting your chosen shots for the couple and if there just is no room for a tripod, explain to the client then just grin and bear it. The rear cam will pick a nice shot up of the vows as the couple usually turn inwards for this part.

    Sometimes the clergy are just being bloody minded, if this is the case, inform the clients and usually, if they have cojones, they'll scream and shout to make sure their wedding day has the coverage they planned and requested.
    One groom we had (a policeman, and the vicar knew it) was informed by us the only available spot (not true) was a side view (!?) He marched back to the vicar and bawled him out with the phrase "You think I'm paying 1,500 for my wedding day video, just to have a view of the side of our heads during the ceremony" = Best place in the house. Though the vicar could have said that at the start.
    I had a pretty horrible experience with a vicar (first of its kind) over the weekend. He was an ex-army vicar, and was called the "colonel", apparently. A few people came up to me before the service to warn me about him.

    I should have listened to them. Long story short, he banned me from his church for having the audacity to move from one of the pews to get a decent alternative shot of the vows. I was angling out of the pew, onto the aisle. Afterwards, he balled me out in front of the B & G, their parents, and the bridesmaids, and made me feel extremely intimidated. I apologised, but he was having none of it.

    Thankfully, a few people approached me afterwards to apologise for his behaviour. It was very surreal, TBH.

  6. #6

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    There is nothing you can do with a person like that, He would have caused more distress to the bridge and groom than he did to you! That was their special day and he ruined it by barking orders at a poor guy with a camera whose "Offense" was not typing away on his laptop during the service or chatting away on a mobile phone, It was to perform a PAID JOB on behalf of the bride and groom.

    If such a person takes offense and decides to take that action, Your only option is to ignore said person and carry on + If future clients approach you and would like you to film their service in that church, You can always say "The Vicar banned me for filming in the middel of the aisle during the service" and let them have a happy conversation.

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    ... and don't forget revenge.

    After the event a polite, respectful letter of complaint to the Bishop won't do you any harm and might just make the vicar deal differently next time.

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bpotter908 View Post
    There is nothing you can do with a person like that, He would have caused more distress to the bridge and groom than he did to you! That was their special day and he ruined it by barking orders at a poor guy with a camera whose "Offense" was not typing away on his laptop during the service or chatting away on a mobile phone, It was to perform a PAID JOB on behalf of the bride and groom.

    If such a person takes offense and decides to take that action, Your only option is to ignore said person and carry on + If future clients approach you and would like you to film their service in that church, You can always say "The Vicar banned me for filming in the middel of the aisle during the service" and let them have a happy conversation.
    I have two cameramen ready to go, should I be asked to film another wedding there. They can do the next one.

    I am always extremely respectful of the solemnity of the religious service, and pride myself on being discrete and non-intrusive, BUT...

    ... I have been paid to perform a service, and to produce a quality product. Clergy have two options, they can choose to REFUSE all cameras in their church, or they can allow them in. If they choose to allow them in, then they must be willing to compromise a tad, and work with me.

    I am still seriously considering a letter of complaint.

  9. Default

    There doesn't seem to be a complete story here.
    Did you ask permission before the ceremony started, or just take it for granted that you'd be allowed to film?
    If you did ask and it was agreed was there any stipulation as to what you could and couldn't do?
    I know many vicars will announce at the start that filming and photography is not allowed. There is usually a mention that the professional will be filming if that has been agreed.
    I've been filming at weddings where the vicar has stopped and asked people in the congregation to stop taking photos and on a couple of occasions has stopped the professional photographer.
    We have to remember that we are in the vicar's domain and he has every right to make his own rules whether we agree with them or not.
    Before I even take a booking I tell my clients that they must seek permission to have their wedding filmed and must sign on my contract to say they have, once they have that permission I'm happy to discuss the finer details with the vicar. The transaction at a wedding is between the B&G and the vicar, not me and the vicar.

    I wonder how more common this attitude by vicars will become when the do it yourself cinematographers turn up unannounced at church and start wandering around to get better angles for their friend's video.

  10. Default

    I turn up two hours early, and one of the reasons I do this is to meet with the vicar / priest and ask what his rules are.

    He allowed one camera on the speaker's podium, but I was worried that the angle would have been awkward, so asked if I could film from another angle to cover my bases. There was plenty of room at the front - and I spotted a dusty corner which I hoped to use to get a shot of the couple from the front, as the other camera would only have captured their backs.

    He said no - that I was going to be a distraction. He stated the only other place for me was against the right wall, in the fifth pew down. When the service started, I was capturing horrible footage, and was a bit panicked. I risked angling out of the pew, into the aisle, without actually stepping out onto the aisle, to capture the vows.

    This was what he took offence at.

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