Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Shooting Events With More Finesse

I cut my teeth as a videographer shooting weddings for a busy event video company.  Soon after I was hired I was shooting two or three ceremonies and receptions a week.  That experience allowed me to hone my handheld skills and to start to develop a system of production that I try to teach everyone who works for me now.  One thing you have to know about weddings is that the venue (the church in many cases) usually doesn’t want you there and things like adequate lighting and retakes are usually non-existent.  I had to learn how to get the best possible shots under some of the worst circumstances for filming.  Since I was editing a lot of what I shot I came up with some rules of thumb for bringing in useful footage that was simple to edit in a style that didn’t reveal continuity breaks.

Here are 3 of those “rules”:

1)  Zoom out and (physically) get in close (if you want to show more detail) this helps to make your footage more stable and less shaky so that when you cut between shots there is a more solid feeling of going from good shot to good shot.

2)  Always try to change angle, subject and background between shots so that you can cut out redundant or boring footage - without it being obvious that you cut something out.  This helps to eliminate or reduce the number of jump cuts in your final edits without having to use effects and/or fancy (hokey) transitions.

3)  Get cutaways (shots that are of people watching the main action or objects of interest in the room) so that you can cut out footage without it being noticeable.  You can edit the cutaways in between the master shots when you deleted unwanted footage allowing you to cut the length of a scene without it seeming as though anything important is missing.


  1. Great tips, I learned something new today!
    Toby Neal

    1. I am glad that was able to post something for you to learn.

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