The wedding editor

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While it sounds like the title of a romantic comedy, unfortunately this is not the case. This blog is about my (in)experience with weddings.

This was the first time I shot something that I could not reshoot later, or stop and start at my own leisure. I’m far more comfortable in a fictional, controlable setting. Then there’s the issue of equipment. Unfortunately, the tripod needs replacing.

Without lapel radio mics, we had to use the onboard mic of the hg10. The sound recording was obviously subsequently spotty. Likewise, with so much footage being shot and a distinct lack of plugs to recharge the battery, we were constantly worried about missing those important moments. Thankfully we managed to get all the important bits.

Overall, I had many problems with the project as a whole. Trying to import the footage into media composer resulted in a few errors. This meant I had to convert it before I could do anything with it. Once that was done, I finally imported all of the footage.

This is the part where I could be creative, where things started coming together. Nice smooth switches to close ups, using fades without upsetting the flow of the shot. Especially with a one camera setup, it looks smart.

The camera movements were unfortunately jaggy, thanks to the tripod of nightmares. This meant that even motion tracking wouldn’t work. In effect I could do nothing to alleviate the movement, and considering there was also sound that had to be kept in, I tried to simply cut in close ups of the happy couple, but that trick can only be done so often.

Once the sequence is complete, its time for doing things like colour correction and sound. Altering the sound levels was a manual process, making sure the speeches were discernable.

Once thats done, its exporting. This was also tricky, being the first time I had used avid for essentially a feature length sequence. The next step, which is arguably unneeded, was encoding in sorenson squeeze. Then its a case of putting it through avid dvd. After trying to sort out chapter points (which I still don’t know why the program was being slow), I eventually had to leave it. I also noted the estimated size needed – larger than a regular single sided dvd. I did a test dvd, reducing the quality to make it fit onto a single sided dvd, however it was a noticable degradation.

The next step was to buy some dual layer dvds. I did so – dvd -r. The program seemed to refuse to burn the footage to disc. After much trying – and failing, I came to the conclusion I would have to buy other dual layer discs. I purchased dual layer dvd +r this time, which were also lightscribe. Thankfully the discs worked, with the added bonus of being able to burn in a picture on the dvd disc. I scoured Facebook for pictures of the couple, and designed the front and back covers. Printed on photo paper, and after some colour correction in Gimp, I assembled the final package.

Its not something I want to make a career of, but I’ve certainly learnt a lot. Overall, I feel I’ve done some good work, despite constant set-backs. The wedding video has reminded me of my love for filmmaking though. Even though it was not my ideal project, it was still challenging and full of personal rewards.

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