Reception Nightmares!

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    • #39804

      As I’m sure many videographers do, when we do a wedding video, we always go out the day of the rehearsal to scope out the location of the ceremony, get to know the bridal party, make them more comfortable, etc. Anyway, one of the things that we almost NEVER do is scope out a reception hall in advance. This usually isn’t a big deal at all, since for the most part, they’re all similar. But this wedding we did last week was a true reception nightmare!

      First of all, the place was long and narrow. The room was probably 20′ wide, and 60′ long. But if you think shooting video in a glorified hallway is bad, it gets worse. They literally had the tables so close together that you could barely navigate through them. Some of them you couldn’t, and you had to weave and bob around to get places. Not fun when you’re trying to make it to the front for a quick shot. And if thre needed to be icing on the cake ‘o’ doom, the house had this really loud background music that drowned out every speaker that came up!

      But what really bugged me was that because of the tight quarters, there of course was no room for our tripods, so everything was either from our monopod, or handheld. This in itself isn’t so big a deal. I’m steady as a rock on handheld, and my wife is pretty good when she’s got a monopod to assist her. But the room was so full that we were CONTINUALLY being bumped and pushed as people were trying to get through.

      So the end result? Well, on their finished wedding video, the reception is nothing but bouncy, shaking shots, loud music drowning out the toasts, and an all-over product that I’m not happy with.

      Does anyone else have a similar story to share (read: VENT) about? ALso, what do you think I should say to the couple? Should I say nothing, hand them the video, and be done with it? Explain that the constant moving of people was to blame, and leave it at that? Heck, should I just suck it up, take the blame, and apologize for the video quality, even though there was literally nothing I could have done in the situation to produce better footage?

    • #171729

      Geeze OAR,

      I didn’t think stuff ever happened to you!

      Excitingly told tale. You could have stole the show on Letterman.

      You said nothing about the ceremony shoot, so I assume that is an incomparable epic.

      As for sucking it up, I’d say forget it. Get creative with your editing and ask for more money. Slo-mo always works (some of the time) to cover up bumps. As for the toasts, if they were the standard 3 or 4 liners, I wouldn’t think the couple would be horribly upset; kinda their department that it didn’t work out. (Like telling the DJ to shutup the music.) On other hand, if a toaster was a true story teller and went on and on (and she put on the backpack with the sixpack and swam a mile to the middle of the lake, pushing aside the jellyfish with every stroke, to rescue her passed out boy-friend, who was in a raft slowly but relentlessly sinking, due to overplayful swordfish da da da da da), then you may want to do an ADR thing (audio digital replacement), get the principals back together, re-record, and get a good laugh out of it. This would be an EXTREME remedy. And it may lead to nervewracking consequences, like more jobs in that hallway! }:-@

      Good Luck!

      REGARDS … TOM 8)

    • #171730

      Nah Tom, if I had a nickel for every sticky situation I’d found myself in during my last 11 years behind a camera, I wouldn’t need to make videos anymore!

      Although, that being said, after shooting in this "reception hallway" last week, I’m starting to ponder starting popping by unfamiliar reception halls beforehand. Sure, it might not prevent the inevitable, but at least I could smile knowing my doom was imminent!

      I will admit one thing though. As proud as I am of my ability to maneuver a handheld camera, a real, bonafide glidecam might have made my life a little easier at this one. Of course, I’d have had to stand on a table to be able to use it, but I’m sure nobody would mind! X-D

    • #171731

      I did a wedding in San Jose over the weekend at a winery (which was fun for me because I don’t normally get to do stuff like that) and it was a similar setup. There were people and tables set up in 2 different rooms (both too small) and on the front lawn. Not only that but there were 3 photographers and all of us trying to move around was near impossible. We tried to be ready for everything but the schedule was thrown out the window (as it often is) and we had no idea where we needed to be until the time came.

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