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Lesson 4 from: Wedding Cinematography

Ray Roman

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Lesson Info

4. Composition

Lesson Info


how many of you understand basic composition like rule of thirds and stuff like that how many of you have seen videos out there with bad compositions we'll have right do you know if you ask those producers of those videos if they understand composition and rule of thirds guess what they tell you of course so it's one thing you know to understand composition and rule of thirds and all this but how many of us actually apply those principles to our work that's the difference you know knowing it and applying it are two different things so I have to make sure sure that not only do we understand it that were actually planning to our work composition really is at the heart of making good looking video is your composition because you want images that come up on screen to be visually pleasing to the eye you don't want anything that's going to disrupt the flow of your film and bad compositions will disrupt the flow of the film because it's just not it's not visually pleasing it's out of place an...

d it just a lot of times it just doesn't make sense the viewer so what's rule of thirds you mentally divide your frame into thirds and you place the most important objects along these lines now do you think about these lines when you shoot ever or is it something that just comes naturally it comes naturally because you've mentally trained yourself to think this way and composure shots this way so um if you're if you're if you have bad compositions um start to think about the third's right and not that you're always going to go on to think about these lines across your screen or anything like that but over time you're just like the people in this room you're naturally going to begin to compose these shots and the most important elements are always gonna fall along these lines and these are the lines here and then these are just random shots that I took and you'll notice that without ever thinking aboutthe lines they're just always there you know the images were just always in that part of the frame and once you understand once you understand composition you can start to do what you can start to push the rules a little bit right and sometimes we'll create like these quirky compositions but you have to be careful because if you don't understand the basics of compositions you're going to start to create images that just don't make sense you know they're just too quirky um and and they begin to disrupt the flow of the video she's not really orange I promise common framing mistakes how many of you see these with your second shooters too much headroom you have all this dead space up here okay too little headroom right but this guy was just lean back a little bit I start losing eyebrows and eyeballs okay two little headroom this one's a little bit tricky because he's he's what he's standing a step higher than they are she had to be very mindful that cutting off the limbs I found it's very it's very destructive to um cut ankles or wrists okay if you cut kind of like above the forms and things like that it's not so bad but as soon as you get into cutting these limbs um it's just it becomes a little bit distracting because you kind of you want to see those hands cutting off of the neck too close to the neck especially if imposed you're going to add things like you know the senate scope crop bars things like that you wouldn't be able to do that with this friend I mean it literally be you know eyebrows and chin where you'd be out so think about your final output on dh how much room you're going to need I mean head and shoulders is basically safe zone for composition for composing tight shots I would say head and shoulders is is pretty safe this's better head room okay same shot just a little adjustment good head room and you won't allow like in this shot this this is a shot from the first look and I already knew the bride was coming around his right side so you have to kind of visualize what your shots are going to be and allow for that room you know allow for the person to come into frame and we show a little bit of that later on not chopping off limbs you see you can see how less destructive it is you know another frame where his wrists were cut off you can't it kind of draws your attention to his risk being cut off whereas here it's just it's just a natural image and this is a little bit more room now be careful with the bride's cause sometimes even though you got some head and shoulders in there if you don't at least introduce a little bit of the fabric and the dress it almost looks like they're standing there in the nude you know so just you know be careful with the composition of the bride this is from one of our regulars fashion tv from singapore ray for every scene in your opinion how many different angles perspectives was must we try and capture to have creative film at the end how many shots yeah how many many different angles as far as what in different angles for a scene like when you're shooting it like for instance when you're shooting a particular you're shooting the ceremony right how many different angles will you you know well you try and capture in order to walk away with a great you know creative film I'll be talking about overlapping to you might be talking about overlapping shots but not from like bride getting ready and all that just from like ceremony one scene one particular scene one particular scene we always try to have a reaction camera because it's great and kind of telling the story because you have say a person up there giving a speech or reading you know all the words are really about the couple but sometimes as a viewer you want to be able to see what their reaction is to these beautiful words that are being spoken so we definitely did try toe have at least two angles ah for any given ceremony or speech okay well we have quite a few questions that had come in so people are asking about aperture as far as your settings alan maria wanted to know if you shoot at two point eight or even one point forever or one point two for close ups or do you always try to say stay in like an f four I'll never go for it I'll definitely try to shoot white wide open all the time so it's ah it's a two point oh lens because we're mainly dealing with low light situations so a lot a lot of times you want to shoot just wide wide open I try to avoid the lenses that are uh on f stop for I try to have you know two point oh to point a obviously there's lenses that are even one point two I don't shoot at the one point two and I think my only lenses that I have that are less than two point hours like my fifty in my thirty five because what happens is you know sometimes when you're using these lenses for bright preparations for instance if you're shooting at one point to you may have like an eyeball that's in focus and then the nose is out of focus you know so visually just it's too much you know so I try to keep things I wanted to introduce all that beauty into the frame without kind of blurring it out you know with the extreme depth of field and that makes doing critical focus that much more important on every single shot for shooting two point eight right exactly you know and shooting beyond say like a one point two also gives you a little bit more flexibility with these shots because a lot of these shots you have to pre focus especially if they're if they're movement shots you're gonna have to pre focus just to kind of staying focus while there either they're moving or you're moving and things like that especially you know if you're on a glide cam or maybe the bride's just coming in for the first time into the ceremony you want to be able to maintain focus a lot of times you're either pre establishing a focus point or your check focusing you know with distance from your camera to the subject of where the subject's going toby we have to play a lot of those games because once we start moving we can't you know we don't have a focus puller or anything like that so we can't we can't pull focus so it gets kind of tricky so I've got one quick question of course anytime we go on a day and a set we would have redundancy in our gear for if the camera fails or you know you want to always have backups but when you were talking about the audio and the wireless mike if you've got somebody you've got the line coming out of the direct feed will you also usually have a redundancy live with that extra my car do you just usually kind of choose one or of one or another and take that risk along with it you're talking about so like if we're say it's the the ceremony and the bride and the groom are talking and you're planning to do that pull the feed from the mike that they're holding but would you also have a wireless mike on them toe as a backup way have all three okay we have we have a wireless they've got their direct feed and only that they have their own life from the from the house and we have a small digital recorder so you know you have the one handhold microphone that'll be connected to the feed and then we'll have two labs on them but wanna record on one wireless okay ray from one from the chat rooms and we have this from a few different people for some of us who are new to this what would be a cost effective must have gear before venturing into the pro gear any advice for where you got started with like you know absolutely must have I would tell you the must have is a camera that forms well in low light situations because we're dealt those bad types of situations all the time a at least sima reliable light just in case they end up in a little situation what they do have to introduce some off camera light or maybe even on camera light and good audio gear you know the good thing the good thing about today's day and age is that they're making all these tools were where years it go used to be so expensive now it's so cheap really you know all these filled recorders you know they're a couple hundred bucks the lives you know a couple hundred bucks it's not cheap cheap but it's not so far beyond reach that you can't be well prepared for these shoes because back when I started if you wanted a lot of this pro year you were talking thousands and thousands of dollars were now it's just you know maybe a couple or a few hundred dollars you know so they're they're really putting a lot of great things into our hands nowadays for this you know creative film making that we're doing at a low price you know so it's really a great time to be coming into this industry great thinking I think we have from the audience please I had a question about working with audio with djs this season in particular I've run to quite a few situations when I'm working with the deejay ago when I set up I monitor it make sure it's all set up perfectly on then I leave it there for you know between me shooting the cake and then the toasts happen by the time I get home and edit the deejay has turned up their levels were as adjusted their gain or mess with an effect and has just blown my audio to pieces and I have ah dual channel recording so I try to record like a lower level decibel but sometimes I just can't fix what the djs have done to my audio between the time I set it up in a time live actually heard it how do you deal with that um I always have our assistant running check audio or actually jessica is my my sound tech because you have to sign somebody on your team do you shoot alone or with a second person mostly alone so you're you're in a very difficult situation I don't even recommend shooting weddings solo because just so much work and responsibility and to do it all yourself is just really I mean it's it's crazy if you're doing it it's great and it just shows that you're you're really working your tail off on the day of the wedding I generally will always try to have somebody you know even if you have to pay you know an assistant you know a couple hundred dollars just to come out toe watch here help with the gear maybe run over and just check the levels on your audio during the speeches that's that's the most important thing that you can do you know like I just had a wedding recently where I brought my son along and he was assistant and before every speech I had him monitoring the speeches you know just to make sure that the levels were okay I couldn't do it because I had to actually film them but he was actually able to run over there and check the levels and things like that so I would always recommend if you can have somebody there that can run over and check the level's in case you can't because it just becomes too difficult a task to be they're actually filming and then at the same time having to go back and check your levels and things like that so you're just in a very bad situation because you you don't have anybody else so my recommendation would be just try to get somebody with you you know just to help you out you know just assist you check your levels maybe set up audio set up lights things like that yeah to do it all yourself I don't know how you do it I mean it's nowadays with the amount of work that we have to dio on so many responsibilities that we have to do it with just one person is just it's it's very difficult because you must know because you don't you're doing it so you must know how challenging it is bang biffle had a question about storytelling and I'm just wondering as we get into this day if you're if you're always directing your chutes in some way I mean it's kind of like you have an idea in your mind about the story you want to tell before you go are you have certain stories that you always tell but it's kind of like you're also just dealing with whatever happens that day so can you talk a little bit about your storytelling I'm going to get into that during shop planning okay perfect but to answer the question we don't we don't direct anything we just we're well prepared and we try to put ourselves in a great situation teo to begin filming these great moments that are gonna happen throughout the day because we don't even know what's going to happen so there's really not so much that you can plan for unless you really have a relationship with the clients and you can kind of pre established what's gonna happen on the wedding day but even then everything changes you know you may pre plan for something and then something totally different happens on the wedding day so we just try toe put ourselves in a very good situation on the wedding day and hope for the best great well I'm glad I'm looking forward to getting into that party all right right one last question before we go to break this is from anthony olivarez what's your opinion on shoulder riggs I know you said that you use manfredo mano pods but is that your main go to for stabilization yes I don't use I don't you shoulder rig's at all for weddings I use it for some commercial in corporate stuff but never never for weddings it's just to the shoulder rig's are just too big in my opinion and really and the shoulder rig's you know if you're using an eyepiece I don't really like the eyepieces because it kind of kills your peripheral vision you know so if you're kind of stuck on an eyepiece and somebody's crying on your right side you'll never even know it you'll be oblivious to it and you probably missed the shot so I love the mono pod because I can just it kind of becomes part of me and I can still I can still scan I could look for some emotions that things like that

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Ceremony Camera Set-Up and Coverage.pdf
Ala Carte Sample.pdf
Proposal Sample.pdf

bonus material with enrollment

Ray Roman - Gear List.pdf

Ratings and Reviews


The content provided here is great for videographers starting out in the wedding industry and also for pros/semi-pros fine tuning their video skills. In fact this is the only course in wedding videography that I can find on Creative Live. There are a couple other for corporate or film making video course, not dealing with wedding video. Also an HDDSLR course is available. That said Creative Live needs to put out a couple more updated wedding video courses, as this one is a several years old now and many pros are now using Dual-Pixel autofocus or fast sensor auto-focusing in Canon, Sony, Panasonic, and now Nikon also in Z cameras with great stabilization in many cameras (which should be discussed affecting the shots and video coverage). Although the rest of the course is great on how to plan out video coverage at your wedding, with the advent of great autofocusing systems today in DSLRs and mirrorless that could make some difference to how video is shot. I still give this course a thumbs up, as it is the best course (and only course) currently on CreativeLive for wedding video/cinematography, however I would encourage CL to create a new course being developed and recorded as much as happened in the last 5 years in video DSLRs and mirrorless, which makes a difference to shooting video. How wedding video coverage is done and planning the shots and angles of view, and equipment is still useful information to buy this course. The presenter Ray Roman is also an excellent teacher. So get this course now, and another one once an update is made. CL has lots of photo courses on wedding, not many for wedding video.

a Creativelive Student

A couple of years ago, I made a bold and somewhat wreckless choice to take out a home equity loan in order to help finance my son's dream to start a wedding cinematography business. Together, we embarked on a journey to learn everything we could about the business. The most important choice we made was to purchase the Ray Roman Wedding Cinematography course. This class saved us so much money as it helped us understand our camera, audio and essential and non-essential gear. We were inspired by the artistry in Ray's work and have implemented many of his techniques in order to Improve the quality and production value of our films. In under three years, we have filmed over 50 weddings and our company is well established in our area. Buying Ray's class was easily the best investment I made for my son's business, One Night Only Films. Thank you Creativelive and Ray Roman for helping us start a successful and profitable business.

a Creativelive Student

WOW!!! What an amazing experience. I had the opportunity to be there in studio with the creative live team and Ray and all I have to say is it was amazing! The creative live team was FIRST class and this course was jammed packed with information!!! Forgive me if I asked to many questions but I wanted just to pull all the info I could of out of Ray. From being there in person and owning the course itself I have to say that this is a MUST have for all cinematographers of any level! Buy it and watch it again and again! Thank you creative live for this amazing opportunity! -Aaron

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