Monday, September 24, 2007

My Wedding Ceremony is a Train Wreck

My wedding weekend was a blast. My friends from LA came in on their own dollar to see get married and volunteered to shoot in and around my wedding which I am very grateful for. I love and appreciate them tremendously. So with that said it's time for a Film School Lesson.

Lesson 716

How this rule blew by all three of my friends, I will never know. Correction: How it blew by two of them, I will never know… BUT IT DID.
What is the number 1 rule when shooting multiple cameras on a live event? Here's a Multiple Choice Question:

A- Be Sure you are capturing different angles from one another.
B- Make sure you designate a master shot

Now does this help? Not even if you are running hand held and come down with a sudden case of the shits, do you cut the camera off. You simply keep rolling, excuse yourself and come back and pick it up. Why is this? Real simple… So the Editor only has to sync the sound up once. Sure, you can call it lazy, but it is more about efficiency and sanity. In big productions where they are running soundboards, live feeds, massive editing systems with all the bells and whistles, it is much easier for anyone to quickly put everything back in sync. For little ole' me, its fuckin' impossible. On top of having to resync the footage I was dealing with sound issues. It is a church with internal mics. That makes matters worse, because unfortunately I am going to have to use some of one camera's audio in spots and some of another in other spots. THANK GOD FOR AMANDA, who never once cut the camera off and got a full recording of my ceremony and established the master, to which I could sync the others to. Forget that the white balance on that particular camera was way off, because I would much rather color correct than to deal with sound. OK, so here's the issue I am bitching about: If I am going to use three angles to make my ceremony look professional, like I do when I shoot weddings then they are going to all have to be in sync. Every time the camera is cut off, I have to resync that particular cameras footage on the time line. Forget that the two cameras were cutting off in different places in what felt like two minute intervals, but my God, they were cutting off numerous times during the two songs that were performed. OF ALL THE SPOTS! The place in the Ceremony where it is imperative to cut from camera to camera while the song is playing to prevent redundancy. (CUT TO: Bride and Groom --- Dissolve to person SINGING – DISSOLVE to bridesmaids, groomsmen and back to BRIDE & GROOM) It's standard. My wedding ceremony will not have so much as a dissolve in it, because one, the footage is so shaky, I have cut a particular clip right at the part of shakiness because there is not enough time of still camera to cover what that shot is covering up on the others OR I can't dissolve because well…. THE SOUND IS OFF. Between the two cameras a whopping 11 times they were cut off in a sixteen minute period. My ceremony took nearly two weeks to cut and closely estimating about 35 hours to complete… (And that's just the syncing sound and picture.) I still have to color correct, image stabilize and find the best combination of the audio. I have never been so frustrated in my life editing. (Not even when cutting Meter's sound) Not only did this process take so long that I didn't finish the entire wedding video before the busy time of my schedule, (I'm booked for every weekend for about two months straight,) but as shitty as it is to say, it almost sucked the creativity of the process out of me. I had so many visions of what I wanted to do with MY WEDDING VIDEO, but now it is just a matter of COMPLETING THE FUCKING THING BEFORE CHRISTMAS. While family members hound me to get finished, they don't understand how much I wanted to put into this thing and I knew the longer it sat and the further I got away from that magic weekend, the harder it would be to carry out my vision. Cutting the Ceremony did just that. It kicked me in my nuts and spoiled my creative feast for the NC Incident. I am not mad at them at all. How were they suppose to know. Others may say, "it's your own fault. I would have gone with Amanda's one shot and moved on," but you know what, I've been shooting weddings, commercials, and everything else for years and have put 100% into every one of the productions. I never hogged the lens and have shot many family functions and friends' wedding for free. Would it be too much to ask that mine look as good as theirs. Would Mandi be disappointed if she felt I half assed our own wedding video never understanding the reason I did it, so I struggle on.

To give you a better understanding here are two examples. The first example is the actual train wreck of a timeline for my ceremony. The read boxes are every spot I had to literally sync that cameras sound back up. (I usually used the beginning of my daughter's cry in the audience to mark the sync spot—Funny.) The little triangles are where I cut the timeline to be able to switch out the overflow of audio clips I had to move. That timeline looks like what an action sequence in a Die Hard movie would look like after adding all the sound effects and ADR.

This is what a 3 camera ceremony, effects sound and all took me about two hours to cut. This is how easy it should have been.

This is what a 3 camera ceremony, effects sound and all took me about two hours to cut. This is how easy it should have been:

Friday, September 7, 2007

A Great Bloody Mistake

With Bobby Badluck, Tag Along and Jeopardy penned for the rest of the year into next summer and everything pending finally finished, I found myself with a minute or two. I was going to finish my Wedding Video and then look ahead. I had spent some hours QCing Jobbers Deluxe Edition DVD and Tag Along Promo Trailers, finished early and really didn’t have enough time that night to start on anything else. So I started watching some of the raw files and DVD extra clips of Jobbers, as I have done so many times before. The movie that basically started, ended and restarted my career had always been my ‘memory lane’ given I had time to walk down it. Despite how horribly hated or how horribly loved that film may be to people, it will always stay in my heart as my favorite. They say your life passes before you as you die. There will probably be a good six minute block of the Jobbers experience in my last breath… Guaranteed.

Obviously the memory that stands out, (both mentally AND PHYSICALLY,) on and in MY HEAD is the set up between Justin and I. It was the first match we actually shot for the film. I had shot two others just to get a feel of how these “wrasslin’ matches” were suppose to pan out. This one was the first shot in what has been referred to since that night til now ‘THE INFAMOUS GARAGE.’ We had purchased some fake blood for the occasion but it just didn’t shoot good under the seedy light of the garage, so I decided, if Ric Flair could do it, I could so the plan was to blade my head and produce a little of the real thing. Seconds after I did the deed, Justin proceeded to grab and slam my forehead into an old metal fence. With just enough torque, and angle applied, a point on that fence fish hooked that little incision I had made and ripped the wound down across the crest of my temple. We continued to fight for a minute before the cameras stopped to realize, I was in bad trouble. With the crew wanting to stop and get me to a hospital, I insisted that we might as well continue on. The damage had been done and I thought, “well, this would really halt production if minutes into the first set up the first actor was physically injured. We had planned and prepped for this for months. I had tacked on ten pounds of muscle weight for this. So what my brains were hanging out, I was the captain of this ship. If I pussied out, so would everybody else. The cameras whipped back on and Justin and I went at it. For five minutes, we fell, slipped and fought up and down that garage with pints of my blood washing away every footprint we made. When I finally stifled the word, “cut.” The parking garage looked like kids had played ‘slip and slide’ in ketchup through it.

After a quick quip to the camera, Justin whizzed me to the ER.

This is the actual match from about a minute before the injury until the end. Watching the match like this, (out of context of the film,) you will probably say, “Man, how boring,” and will no matter what say, “What a frickin’ idiot!!!!” But if you have seen the film or plan on picking it up in the store at Christmas, then you will see what a great element it adds to MY character and the story itself. It may still be the deemed, “The Best Directing Decision I ever made,” even if it cost me $1500.00.

If you can not tolerate blood. I would not watch this.

Countdown to Jobbers - A Minor Head Wound.

Shooting 24/7

    follow me on Twitter

    About Me

    My photo
    I shoot stuff. I edit stuff. Period.

    The Junk Pile