Thursday, November 11, 2010

Whose wedding is it anyway? Notes on shooting Stills alongside DSLR video guys.

3 videographers, at least 5 Canon EOS video-capable DSLRs (mostly 7D's), fast and heavy lenses, several heavy-duty "you-don't-get-this-at-Black's" tripods and monopods, stabilizers, supports, halogen/tungsten lights (+ light stands, cords), assorted bags and cases, a Macbook Pro, a hugh screen.

This was the crew and equipment from Static Movement (not their real name), a video production company that proclaims on its website that "... our work is as much about the process as it is about the imagery itself...".  With its use of bright lights, heavy gear, and the innate need for choreography, subtlety/discretion and videography are oxymorons at the best of times; in this case, the pursuit of a cinema-quality product to impress the client, as well as a marketing tool to attract future clients (at the expense of disturbing the solemnity of the current atmosphere) results in a situation where the obvious question arises: "Whose wedding is it anyway?'

And so for the next 10 hours, as Stills photographers, my colleague and I would be working alongside this team who jumped in and lingered in front of, our shots, forbade us from crossing their lines of sights, shone ghastly lights on people's faces, created a pile of bags and equipment in a most obvious spot, and who were, on the whole, arrogant, boorish and impolite (at least to us fellow pros).

Admittedly, it is not easy shooting video to the EXCELLENT  standards of Static Movement. Even more so under the intense pressure to present a short video 9 hours after the start of shooting: a video that would not look out of place on MTV. Well shot (lots of close-ups; hence the video guy getting in front of me, the Stills guy), clever editing (short, short clips), set to loud music,  and with a semi-coherent  storyline, the video appeals to the current taste of a generation with short attention spans. It's like fireworks or fast food: instant gratification folllowed by an empty aftertaste.
(This is my personal opinion of the video presented at the wedding...I have no doubt that the final product given to the client days after the wedding will be a super, superior video; Static Movement has an excellent reputation in the industry.)

But hey, I'm not the client and as a professional who desires to deliver quality images under any circumstance,  I'll do better than "the best I can". But let me ask this question:

Whose wedding is it anyway?

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed and can identify with your perspective. I'm glad to know I'm not alone on this.