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    Are you a wedding shooter who makes "cinematic" wedding films?
    #1
    Senior Member puredrifting's Avatar
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    As some of you know, I'm a contributing editor for www.hdvideopro.com
    My editor has charged me with writing a piece on "Cinematic Wedding Video" and
    I want to profile three wedding shooters who go above and beyond to create
    wedding videos that have high production values, are nicely edited, motion graphics,
    good sound mixing, etc. Location isn't important, can be international.

    I'd like to interview you if your reel shows you have the skills to create high production value, polished wedding videos,
    this will be for the wedding photography and cinematography print issue for HD Video Pro
    for next Spring although it may appear on the website and digital issue earlier.

    Basically, this is an opportunity for free PR, a chance to show off your skills and filmmaking capabilities,
    in print and on the web. Want to hear about how you do what you do, how your company's clients
    perceive your work and why you go above and beyond in making cinematic wedding videos.

    PM me if you are interested, it'll just be a phone or email interview, will need some BTS stills of you and
    your team (if you have one?) at work. HD Video Pro is a title by https://www.madavor.com/

    Thanks!
    It's a business first and a creative outlet second.
    G.A.S. destroys lives. Stop buying gear that doesn't make you money.


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    Do you know Doug Block? I think he'd be a great guy to talk to (we're acquaintences). A deservedly-respected documentary filmmaker who also shoots wedding videos. And not just as a side hustle; he's serious about it.

    https://www.dougblock.com/weddings
    Last edited by Jim Feeley; 12-01-2019 at 08:54 AM.
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    Jim Feeley
    POV Media


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    Senior Member puredrifting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Feeley View Post
    Do you know Doug Block? I think he'd be a great guy to talk to (we're acquaintences). A deservedly-respected documentary filmmaker who also shoots wedding videos. And not just as a side hustle; he's serious about it.

    https://www.dougblock.com/weddings
    Thanks Jim, I'll check him out. I've personally seen some wedding videos that had pretty amazing production values, I was kind of amazed as most wedding video budgets aren't especially impressive but perhaps some are these days?
    It's a business first and a creative outlet second.
    G.A.S. destroys lives. Stop buying gear that doesn't make you money.


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    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    Weddings rank up there with reality TV, to me, but there is some incredible work being done. One of my audio guys showed me the video from some friends of he and his wife that have some money. It looked like an open from an episode of CSI: Miami. I've been to a friends six-figure+ wedding and it just blows my mind that people will spend the amount of money that they do on these things. And it's common now for "normal" people to spend $30K-$40K+ on a wedding. What? The one I went to was understandable with the kind of money and profile they had, but why does everyone feel like they HAVE to have the perfect storybook, movie, instagram worthy wedding, now? And yes, I answered my own question. Instagram, twitter, and other social media is why.

    Sorry for the slightly off topic rant.


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    We've collected a number of cinematic wedding films on our Vimeo channel - some incredible work being done (with some significant $$$ as well) - https://vimeo.com/channels/filmconvertweddings


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    Senior Member Eric Coughlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Run&Gun View Post
    Weddings rank up there with reality TV, to me, but there is some incredible work being done. One of my audio guys showed me the video from some friends of he and his wife that have some money. It looked like an open from an episode of CSI: Miami. I've been to a friends six-figure+ wedding and it just blows my mind that people will spend the amount of money that they do on these things. And it's common now for "normal" people to spend $30K-$40K+ on a wedding. What? The one I went to was understandable with the kind of money and profile they had, but why does everyone feel like they HAVE to have the perfect storybook, movie, instagram worthy wedding, now? And yes, I answered my own question. Instagram, twitter, and other social media is why.

    Sorry for the slightly off topic rant.
    Just imagine a couple spending a million dollars on a wedding, having a no phone policy, and not hiring a photographer or videographer, because they're the type of people who like to live in the moment instead of capture images to reflect on the past in the future.

    Wedding photography is interesting in that a couple has all their close friends and relatives, many who they haven't seen in years, and yet they're spending a good portion of the day getting all these posed photos. Meanwhile, the photos that actually go out to Instagram and Facebook are often just phone photos because the pro photographer's photos take at least a few weeks and sometimes months to get back to the couple, after which the honeymoon and original momentum from the wedding is over and hence why many couples never post much of their professional photos on their social media pages. Meanwhile, what happens to those photos? They get put in an expensive photo album which the couple may look at on rare occasions and show their kids once perhaps, of which the photos don't really mean much to the kids.

    Ultimately, there is one photo I find really important from the wedding. It's the photo of the bride and groom alone, posed, typically looking at the camera, etc., and that one photo, that's the photo that gets hung up in a big frame in the house, and it's the photo the kids look at to see how Mom and Dad were once good looking. The rest of the hundreds of photos that a lot of time and money was spent taking on that very important day, often become an afterthought in terms of being viewed in the future.
    Last edited by Eric Coughlin; 12-01-2019 at 04:57 PM.


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    Quote Originally Posted by puredrifting View Post
    As some of you know, I'm a contributing editor for www.hdvideopro.com
    My editor has charged me with writing a piece on "Cinematic Wedding Video" and
    I want to profile three wedding shooters who go above and beyond to create
    wedding videos that have high production values, are nicely edited, motion graphics,
    good sound mixing, etc.
    If you find the 3 who go above and beyond, most would likely do very few weddings or soon will be doing none. I shoot 60 per year split between two agencies. I hand off the footage. They add the production values. There is nothing they do I could not except they take a cut for getting signed contracts, payment, taking the calls, the scheduling, the insurance. If you're good with your craft, you have composition, framing, exposure, dof, focus, on the run. If you combine that with reliability, they call you back again. If you miss delivering the full shotlist, miss the audio, miss the important moments, are shaky, exposed poorly you will get dropped by the agency and there are plenty of people to replace you. That's especially true if you miss an important shot because you were setting up for that special sunset exposure and you missed the first dance. Those are all terribly important to the client and you only see them sporadically in highlight reels but you still had to film them. Or...did you? If you're booked with wedding shoots, you don't have the time for meticulous art. The agency will deliver a 5-7 minute highlight film or the whole day documentary style. Which do you think is easier? For the shooter, they should be shot the same way. The highlight reel is just culling the most cinematic shots and enhancing with effects. Most couples want the documentary. One person can't be everywhere all the time so there is a second shooter. The responsibilities include the arrival, getting ready shots, first look, a bunch of b-roll of the venue, the dress, the shoes, rings, sound, mic'ing the groom or officiant, recording from the PA system, the band or DJ soundboard, audio is big deal. Then the ceremony itself, reaction of the groom, the bridal march, the vows, exchanging of the rings, first kiss, The highlight reels have dubbed audio, on Vimeo and YouTube often don't include a single spoken word. Not the vows, not the toasts, the speeches. Slow motion is overused. Drone footage is generally a cliché in U.S. because permission and liability are obstacles. Our drone footage won't have the wedding party in it, just an overhead of the venue. Can you even get it on the same day as the wedding? You're hauling around your personal smorgasbord of cameras, lenses, tripods, monopods, gimbals, rain gear, audio recorders, cables, batteries, memory, and you're hauling it sometimes from a distant parking lot to the ceremony to the reception, to the location of the sunset photos, family and wedding party photos before AND after the ceremony, and don't dare miss the grand entrance. Weddings are all different, they follow unique timelines, but if you want pretty videos then film a pretty couple. Following bejind the married couple are the photographers and they are hauling much less equipment than your cinema list. All they need is an on-camera flash. They are jumping into your shots, spoiling a good percentage, some of them. Who was it that said they had 4-6 weeks to deliver them? They shoot on average about 750 pics. The digital photographers today have the pics cc'd before the evening is over! I'm a people person and I care about being the best I can for every couple, and some of the photographers feel the same way. But you really have to be a shooter or an editor, but not both. It just happens that editors know how to shoot and shooters know how to edit. When it comes to shooting versus editing, the shooters make more because the work is harder, the timeline unforgiving when it's on-time and consumes your time for setup when it is not. You see, "going above and beyond" is a cliché when you are already working it to the max. It sounds backward and rude, but the agency wants only the best shooters and if you are good will take care of marketing and bookings for you. For those anticipating a breakthrough in reputation and revenues pouring from your efforts into cinematic highlights as shown on YouTube/Vimeo highlight reels; it doesn't hurt, it can help, but extreme cinematic efforts for wedding photography are not a good enough investment when reputation matters more.


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    Senior Member puredrifting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Roper View Post
    If you find the 3 who go above and beyond, most would likely do very few weddings or soon will be doing none. I shoot 60 per year split between two agencies. I hand off the footage. They add the production values. There is nothing they do I could not except they take a cut for getting signed contracts, payment, taking the calls, the scheduling, the insurance. If you're good with your craft, you have composition, framing, exposure, dof, focus, on the run. If you combine that with reliability, they call you back again. If you miss delivering the full shotlist, miss the audio, miss the important moments, are shaky, exposed poorly you will get dropped by the agency and there are plenty of people to replace you. That's especially true if you miss an important shot because you were setting up for that special sunset exposure and you missed the first dance. Those are all terribly important to the client and you only see them sporadically in highlight reels but you still had to film them. Or...did you? If you're booked with wedding shoots, you don't have the time for meticulous art. The agency will deliver a 5-7 minute highlight film or the whole day documentary style. Which do you think is easier? For the shooter, they should be shot the same way. The highlight reel is just culling the most cinematic shots and enhancing with effects. Most couples want the documentary. One person can't be everywhere all the time so there is a second shooter. The responsibilities include the arrival, getting ready shots, first look, a bunch of b-roll of the venue, the dress, the shoes, rings, sound, mic'ing the groom or officiant, recording from the PA system, the band or DJ soundboard, audio is big deal. Then the ceremony itself, reaction of the groom, the bridal march, the vows, exchanging of the rings, first kiss, The highlight reels have dubbed audio, on Vimeo and YouTube often don't include a single spoken word. Not the vows, not the toasts, the speeches. Slow motion is overused. Drone footage is generally a cliché in U.S. because permission and liability are obstacles. Our drone footage won't have the wedding party in it, just an overhead of the venue. Can you even get it on the same day as the wedding? You're hauling around your personal smorgasbord of cameras, lenses, tripods, monopods, gimbals, rain gear, audio recorders, cables, batteries, memory, and you're hauling it sometimes from a distant parking lot to the ceremony to the reception, to the location of the sunset photos, family and wedding party photos before AND after the ceremony, and don't dare miss the grand entrance. Weddings are all different, they follow unique timelines, but if you want pretty videos then film a pretty couple. Following bejind the married couple are the photographers and they are hauling much less equipment than your cinema list. All they need is an on-camera flash. They are jumping into your shots, spoiling a good percentage, some of them. Who was it that said they had 4-6 weeks to deliver them? They shoot on average about 750 pics. The digital photographers today have the pics cc'd before the evening is over! I'm a people person and I care about being the best I can for every couple, and some of the photographers feel the same way. But you really have to be a shooter or an editor, but not both. It just happens that editors know how to shoot and shooters know how to edit. When it comes to shooting versus editing, the shooters make more because the work is harder, the timeline unforgiving when it's on-time and consumes your time for setup when it is not. You see, "going above and beyond" is a cliché when you are already working it to the max. It sounds backward and rude, but the agency wants only the best shooters and if you are good will take care of marketing and bookings for you. For those anticipating a breakthrough in reputation and revenues pouring from your efforts into cinematic highlights as shown on YouTube/Vimeo highlight reels; it doesn't hurt, it can help, but extreme cinematic efforts for wedding photography are not a good enough investment when reputation matters more.
    Thanks for the detail Tom. The purpose of the article is to mainly just to educate shooters that overall, largely because of social media and the advances in the technology that we use, that production values in general have increased over the last few years. Tools like drones, gimbals, sliders, when used well, add a look and feel to the footage that used to be lacking in wedding videos, from what I've seen. It's interesting that you shoot for an agency, I didn't even know this was a thing for wedding videos, but I know there are some production companies that do it all, sales to editing, so it's interesting to find out that there are other ways it's being done.

    Thankfully I've only shot one wedding video, as a present to a close relative (of course, they got divorced within a year ;-). But in that one time, I saw how incredibly difficult it can be to capture good footage, much less cinematic looking footage. That's part of what impresses me. I shoot documentaries where getting perfectly lit, good looking footage is at least second or third down the list, just getting the shot is what's most important and that's stressful enough. I have a lot of resepct for wedding videographers and photographers, it's a tough gig.
    Last edited by puredrifting; 12-02-2019 at 07:34 PM.
    It's a business first and a creative outlet second.
    G.A.S. destroys lives. Stop buying gear that doesn't make you money.


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    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Roper View Post
    If you find the 3 who go above and beyond, most would likely do very few weddings or soon will be doing none. I shoot 60 per year split between two agencies. I hand off the footage. They add the production values. There is nothing they do I could not except they take a cut for getting signed contracts, payment, taking the calls, the scheduling, the insurance. If you're good with your craft, you have composition, framing, exposure, dof, focus, on the run. If you combine that with reliability, they call you back again. If you miss delivering the full shotlist, miss the audio, miss the important moments, are shaky, exposed poorly you will get dropped by the agency and there are plenty of people to replace you. That's especially true if you miss an important shot because you were setting up for that special sunset exposure and you missed the first dance. Those are all terribly important to the client and you only see them sporadically in highlight reels but you still had to film them. Or...did you? If you're booked with wedding shoots, you don't have the time for meticulous art. The agency will deliver a 5-7 minute highlight film or the whole day documentary style. Which do you think is easier? For the shooter, they should be shot the same way. The highlight reel is just culling the most cinematic shots and enhancing with effects. Most couples want the documentary. One person can't be everywhere all the time so there is a second shooter. The responsibilities include the arrival, getting ready shots, first look, a bunch of b-roll of the venue, the dress, the shoes, rings, sound, mic'ing the groom or officiant, recording from the PA system, the band or DJ soundboard, audio is big deal. Then the ceremony itself, reaction of the groom, the bridal march, the vows, exchanging of the rings, first kiss, The highlight reels have dubbed audio, on Vimeo and YouTube often don't include a single spoken word. Not the vows, not the toasts, the speeches. Slow motion is overused. Drone footage is generally a cliché in U.S. because permission and liability are obstacles. Our drone footage won't have the wedding party in it, just an overhead of the venue. Can you even get it on the same day as the wedding? You're hauling around your personal smorgasbord of cameras, lenses, tripods, monopods, gimbals, rain gear, audio recorders, cables, batteries, memory, and you're hauling it sometimes from a distant parking lot to the ceremony to the reception, to the location of the sunset photos, family and wedding party photos before AND after the ceremony, and don't dare miss the grand entrance. Weddings are all different, they follow unique timelines, but if you want pretty videos then film a pretty couple. Following bejind the married couple are the photographers and they are hauling much less equipment than your cinema list. All they need is an on-camera flash. They are jumping into your shots, spoiling a good percentage, some of them. Who was it that said they had 4-6 weeks to deliver them? They shoot on average about 750 pics. The digital photographers today have the pics cc'd before the evening is over! I'm a people person and I care about being the best I can for every couple, and some of the photographers feel the same way. But you really have to be a shooter or an editor, but not both. It just happens that editors know how to shoot and shooters know how to edit. When it comes to shooting versus editing, the shooters make more because the work is harder, the timeline unforgiving when it's on-time and consumes your time for setup when it is not. You see, "going above and beyond" is a cliché when you are already working it to the max. It sounds backward and rude, but the agency wants only the best shooters and if you are good will take care of marketing and bookings for you. For those anticipating a breakthrough in reputation and revenues pouring from your efforts into cinematic highlights as shown on YouTube/Vimeo highlight reels; it doesn't hurt, it can help, but extreme cinematic efforts for wedding photography are not a good enough investment when reputation matters more.
    And this is why I’ve said there is much less pressure being the network pool crew doing live coverage of the POTUS.

    I’ve done exactly five weddings in ~30 years(and ~15 since the last) and I hope to never have to do one again. Never say never, but it’s definitely not an ambition of mine.


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    Senior Member puredrifting's Avatar
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    I did one and that was enough. But I'm glad there are people who like and want to do them.
    It's a business first and a creative outlet second.
    G.A.S. destroys lives. Stop buying gear that doesn't make you money.


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