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Integrity Event Video - Shooting Blog
Shooting in Colorado vs. Kansas PDF Print E-mail
Written by Robert Berndt   
Tuesday, 17 September 2013 19:27

WE ARE BACK!!!!

What a crazy last year!!!   We've been busy enough that we have fallen behind on our blogging!   We've filmed some really crazy stuff that was SOOOO much to edit.

So... Since we have moved to Colorado, we have experienced SO many differences between Kansas City and Colorado

The first being ALTITUDE.   I grew up in Durango, CO... but if you move away for 20 years your body will let you know when you come back.  The first month I was here I was going to sleep at 8:30 because I was so tired.  WATER!!!   Keep drinking WATER!!!!  BREATHE!!!!!  

FIRE.  Fire is to Colorado as Tornadoes are to Kansas.   The main difference is that a tornado will leave SOMETHING... even if it's miles and miles away.   Fire?  It consumes.  CONSUMES.  I live only 5 miles from Black Forest, CO... so you can imagine what the fire of 2013 did to my life.   I watched my friends lose not just their homes... but everything.  They returned after the evacuation to see a pile of ash where their home once stood.   Despite living so close to it, I didn't film anything (and didn't lose anything either... and thankfully).   I felt it was disrespectful to do so.   I am not a videographer who will walk up to someone who has just lost everything and ask "So... how do you feel right now?"   That's asking to get punched.

LIGHTING.   Believe it or not, the light here is different!   One would think that sunlight is simply sunlight, but it IS different in the altitude.   The air is thinner, so more UV comes through, and the atmosphere is much clearer up in the mountains.  A videographer must compensate for the color shift when shooting long distances.   Mountains will also appear bluer over distance so white balance on the cameras should be dialed in accordingly. 

Shooting long distances is something you rarely have to think about in Kansas.   Your subject matter just isn't over a mile away... EVER.   The only thing you usually shoot that has any distance is the occasional airplane, skyscrapers, clouds, or down a river.   But mountains?   They can be MILES away and when shooting such distances a videographer will experience "air filtering" of the image.

Another thing?   It's dryer.   That means one thing... MORE DUST.   Dust will settle on lens and if you aren't careful, will sink into the camera mechanisms.   It's not so much a concern with cheaper consumer grade cameras where everything is controlled with a joy stick or a touch screen, but with a professional camera where you have switches and can change out the lens... the dust can cause issues.  

One of the first things I filmed out here was horses and cattle for C.L. Love in Elizabeth, CO (for the record, she is an EXCELLENT horse trainer for anyone looking for lessons).   The dust was everywhere.   I was constantly cleaning my lens and the camera mechanisms.

There are also cultural differences in Colorado.   Generally, Coloradans seem much more self-sufficient to me.   Back in Kansas Brides and their Mom's would me at Panera Bread, we'd chat, they'd ask a few questions and a contract was signed.   Coloradans are not so quick to sign a contract... they ask a LOT of questions and undoubtedly because of the Rocky Mountain wage factor, are MUCH more concerned about the price.   I've actually had one bride ask for an itemized breakdown of what she was getting!   After shooting almost 70 weddings that NEVER happened in Kansas (for the record, she realized that Integrity Event Video is very reasonable after seeing the breakdown).

Coloradans are more down to earth.   This is an interesting thing.   After growing up in Durango and moving to Kansas... I was constantly surprised at how many people in Kansas simply do not know how to change a tire or anything that you'd learn from a more "outdoors" type of life.  Coloradans HAVE to be more self-sufficient because some of them live so far out!!   What does that mean for video work?  Don't be surprised if you see people all pitch in at a wedding and get something done.   If they see something that needs doing... they do it.

Coloradans are used to wildlife and their independence.   This took some getting used to.   The farther you go out from the major cities in Colorado, the more you will see people walking around with guns in holsters.   Coming from the suburbs in Kansas City, that seemed really strange to me and very "old west".   However, after being here a while, I started to understand why.   There are freaking BEARS and mountain lions out here... and they DO move about the cities and 'burbs... as evidenced here.   I also noticed that in Kansas City, people would stop and ask "Is that legal?  I don't think I can do that."   In Colorado, I noticed more of an attitude like: "Who are they to tell me what I can and can't do?  Freaking politicians don't live out here!"

Bug populations...   I can't tell you how many times back in Kansas, while "holding a shot", that I would be filming and be forced to allow the mosquitto chow down on my arm.   It's the plight of any videographer.   Still photographers can fire the shot, swat the bug, then fire the next shot.   Videographers can't do that.  The action is happening in front of you and sometimes you literally have to hold your breathe to get a really good 10-20 second clip.   When a bug lands on your arm... sometimes you are forced to just let them eat or else you risk missing the shot.   Colorado has less bugs up in the higher elevations.   I can go hiking in Black Forest and MAYBE see a mosquitto once every two weeks. 

So... this weekend I'll be shooting in Lyons, CO at Peaceful Valley Ranch.   I am SOOOOOOO excited to be shooting this wedding specifically because of the VIEWS.   Just you all wait!!!!!

Until next time...

Robert

 
Damon and Mollie Rutherford PDF Print E-mail
Written by Robert Berndt   
Tuesday, 26 April 2011 18:34

 

Damon and Mollie Rutherford - April 23rd, 2011

Oh my gosh!   What a day!   The weather was GREAT... the company was GREAT... the wedding was GREAT.... the venue was GREAT.

This is our first wedding where we did some filming of Damon and Mollie's last dance lesson at Arthur Murray's dance studio in Lenexa, KS.    The studio is what we would call "video friendly" and they allowed us to do sweeping shots around the couple during their lesson.   … and for the record, us being there also helped THEM in that they could get used to having a big camera lens and camera light aimed at them while they were dancing.

If you want your videographers to do a great job, simply give them Jack Stack Bar-B-Que at the rehearsal dinner.   MMMMmmmm….

Osawatomie, KS is such the "small-town".   Very quant.   Lemonade stands, people selling BBQ on the sidewalk, etc.   Loved it.

The venue, the "Grand Loft" is fairly new to the Kansas City area.   From what I heard, it used to be a Sears and Roebuck and has recently been converted into an event space.   … and what a beautiful event space they made it!    Lots of antiques, beautiful lights, floral arrangements, and plenty of room make this a GREAT place to have a wedding, anniversary event or reunion.   Even the brides chambers are beautiful.

Okay… Mollie.   She laughs.   A LOT.   She was so happy and full of joy.  She was tearing up when Damon saw her for the first time.   OH!  And their family are just FULL OF LIFE AND JOKES.   There was plenty of kidding around at this wedding.

If there was ANYTHING that could be changed to make things better at "The Grand Loft"…. the lighting is pretty orange.   The string lights they have running all over the place isn't the problem… it's the lights hanging from the ceiling.  The glass globes around the ceiling lights are putting off an orange light.   It creates an interesting lighting situation.    Also, turning down the lights makes the light more "orange".    I know that the owners are trying to create a "mood", but just a hair more light would be great.

Also, the trellis lining the aisle blocks the rear camera from seeing the entire wedding party.   This is EASILY fixed.   Simply mount unmanned cameras on the trellis down the aisle.   Right now there aren't mounting spots, but if they wanted to make it very video friendly - could be fixed in 30 minutes.  Then videographers could mount remote unmanned cameras (hidden from view from the congregation by the plants) and capture all the footage without any problem at all!!

Damon and Mollie had FOUR photographic sessions.   They are getting their moneys worth.   Between our two cameras, we shot 8 hours worth of footage.   Good thing I have 3 weeks until the next wedding!    They shot pictures in the chapel, at the Osawatomie Mental Hospital, then in an alley, then pictures afterwards in the foyer.

The reception was a lot of fun!   Family actually got out there and DANCED!   Lot's of crazy footage from this one!

Congratulations Damon and Mollie!

 

 
James and Sally Bange PDF Print E-mail
Written by Robert Berndt   
Tuesday, 26 April 2011 17:38

 

James and Sally Bange - April 9th, 2011

 

One of the things that amazes me about shooting weddings is the uniqueness of every ceremony.   James and Sally had their wedding at the first tee at Brookridge Golf and Fitness in Overland Park, KS.    Yes…. they actually had their wedding on the golf course.    I'm not sure how they pulled of shutting down a golf course, but they did.

 

Now, whenever a wedding is held outside, there are concerns and unique challenges.    Kansas and Missouri can be unpredictable, so there ALWAYS needs to be a backup plan in case of rain.    Wind is another factor to be concerned about - as microphones don't really do well with direct wind.    That being said, when everything comes together - an outdoor wedding is gorgeous and liberating.

 

James and Sally's wedding had WONDERFUL weather.    The temp was right, the sun was out, and the wind was… well… that was the only thing that could have been better.    It was a bit blustery.    Fortunately, it wasn't so bad that you couldn't understand the vows and what the officiant was saying, but we did have to engage the "low-cut" on our microphones to reduce the low-end.

 

The first shoot was at Sally's house where she was getting ready.    James was waiting at the bottom of the stairs as she descended "as his bride" for the first time.   It's an awesome thing to see people truly in love.   It sounds crazy, but both of them were glowing they were so happy.    There are times when we shoot weddings when you can see how much the groom is in love with his bride - when she is no longer the girlfriend, or the fiance - when she crosses over to being his BRIDE…. when she is his number one priority....   when he truly ADORES her.  That was the case with James and Sally.

 

As the videographer - I'll admit it - I almost cried a couple of times.     After being married to a wonderful woman for 22 years, I understand.   It really is something to cry about.

 

The reception was held at J. Gilberts wood-fired steaks.     It was a very private reception.   Personal and intimate in comparison to some we have shot.   They even had a private cake cutting - no big "to-do" over it.    It seemed that everyone had a GREAT TIME.    ... and because it was family on the dance floor… everyone was pretty relaxed.

 

Concerning J. Gilberts:   I have never had a steak so good.   Upon taking a bite of the filet mignon,  the room went black and time stopped.   Oh my GOSH.   It was euphoric.   It was one of those steaks that DON'T JUST EAT - you chew slowly and savor.   It's one of those places you must eat at least once in your life or you are missing out.

Shooting at J. Gilberts?   OH MY GOSH IT WAS SO DARK.   When we showed up, I put down my black camera bag - turned around to film something, then turned back and I lost my bag in the blackness.   I had to run with the camera light ALL NIGHT.

 

Note about the photographer:   Paul McMillian with VanDeusen Photography.    He is the first photographer that I'm calling out BY NAME as being one of the best in Kansas City.    When picking a photographer, it's not just the prints that make them good… it's how they interact with you and your guests.    Paul was phenomenal.

 

Congratulations James and Sally Bange!

 

 
Garrett and Alexis Aipperspach PDF Print E-mail
Written by Robert Berndt   
Tuesday, 26 April 2011 16:53

Garrett and Alexis Aipperspach - March 5, 2011

 

What a fun wedding!    It was cold - but fun!   Garrett and Alexis had their wedding at She and Her Productions in the west bottoms of Kansas City, MO - in the "old industrial" section of Kansas City.   The old brick buildings in that area are incredibly interesting!   Aim the camera anywhere and you will capture something of cool.   When you watch the highlight video, you'll see the propane powered patio heaters - because the heat went out in the building and the repairs could not be done in time for the wedding.   Bless you Alexis!   We all know you were freezing in your wedding dress!   In the spirit of the theatre you were getting married in, you hung in there!   THE SHOW MUST GO ON!

 

She and Her productions was probably one of the more interesting locations in terms of "layout".   Because it is a theatre with seating on all three sides, it presented challenges in terms of "no center aisle" for the bride.   So the groomsmen came in via one route, and the bride walked in from OUTSIDE via the front door - creating a light aura around her upon her entrance.    This is a location that in shooting it again, I would recommend a Gold Package because the Gold has three cameras - one for each angle of the seating.

 

The reception was held at The Old Mill in Parkville, MO.   The building is very versatile for your guests because it is two story!   The guests who prefer it a bit quieter can retreat to the top level, and the crazy party people can camp on the lower level next to the dance floor.   The service at the Old Mill was great, and the food was very tasty.

 

The dance floor at the Old Mill is quite large and allows for large groups to tear it up - so we have great footage of dancing because we were able to maneuver with our steadicam… AND have a second camera running without space issues.

 

Congratulations Garrett and Alexis!

 
Major and Misses Matthew and Rachel Howard PDF Print E-mail
Written by Robert Berndt   
Saturday, 20 November 2010 18:32

 

Okay…. it's been almost a month since we shot Matthew and Rachel's wedding at Powell Gardens on October 24, 2010.

 

It's probably good that I've waited to write about it… otherwise I'd be gushing all over this website over how cool it was.

 

Being former military myself, there is a certain nostalgia in shooting military weddings.  … and knowing what it means to be military.   Being military means writing your country a "blank check" of service - up to and including your life.   As I write this, Rachel and Matthew are already in Okinawa, Japan.  Military life means being transferred and constantly relocated.   Just when you get to know people and feel like you're "settled in"… you are off to your next duty station.    I personally was transferred 10 times in 6 years.

 

The one thing married military couples must rely on…. is each other.

 

Military personal deserve more than an average wedding, and this was no exception.   It was very moving and passionate.   The chapel at Powell Gardens - designed by the world-renowned architect Fay Jones - was a perfect place to shoot their wedding.

 

The weather was perfect.   As you can see from the highlight video, the clouds earlier in the day acted like they were going to bring in rain… but it cleared up and it became perfect wedding conditions.

 

Rachel and Matthew were so happy that you could almost see them glowing.  They were glued to each other the entire night.

 

It was my first "night shoot" at Powell Gardens.   We arrived early to make sure that we could get some footage of the Gardens during the daylight hours.   It would have been a real shame to not have such beautiful shots in their video.   Once the sun went down… it was virtually black behind Matthew, Rachel, and the officiant during the exchanging of vows.   Initially, I thought not having the lake behind was a loss… but it actually turned out to be PERFECT.   There was nothing to distract anyone from what was happening.   You couldn't help but look at them and listen to the officiant Rev. Howard Johnson give his eloquent message.

 

I'll admit, I'm actually having trouble editing their video.   ALL of it is epic and fascinating.   I have to cut it down to fit on a DVD, but once I start watching the footage, I can't find anything that is obvious to cut.   They are so happy together that it's infectious.    I sit, watch, smile, and begin to laugh.   I love the streamers when they attempt to enter the reception hall.   It formed a net that Spiderman would have been envious of.   Even the photographer was trapped in it…. so the video is the only real footage of it.

 

So… some weddings I will watch again just because it was so enjoyable to shoot.   This will be in my top 5… not because it was shot at the epic Powell Gardens… but because they were so "into each other".   You can't help but be happy watching it.

 

Rachel was gorgeous.   If she was local, I'd pay her for a model shoot in her dress.   However, the real surprise to me was Matthew and his fellow Marine officers.   They were complete gentlemen and shining examples of what men should be.   In all the weddings I've shot, I've never seen men walk women to their cars during the reception.   Usually, the men are so occupied with the party that they can't be pulled away from it.   At this wedding, the officers were looking for an opportunity to help and do the right thing.   It was obvious that these were not college kids - they were men.  They are war torn adults that are mature beyond their years.

 

If any of my 4 daughters decided to marry a Marine officer, I'd be a happy man.

 

The staff at Powell gardens, as usual, was fantastic.   The trolley was down for maintenance, so they immediately gave the couple a refund.   It's been said that good service is not the delivery of the product… but how things are handled when something goes wrong.   They handled it perfectly.

The food was VERY good.   I know that the main concern is the guests and how they feel about the food.   But we videographers have a different perspective:  We are on our feet the entire wedding and reception - carrying pounds of equipment ( I wear a Steadicam, which essential is a "meat-based" support system ).   By the time we make it to the reception - we are VERY hungry.   Good food is such a blessing and we really appreciate it.   (Chocolate fountains are a big plus for us because dipping fruit into chocolate gives us energy to shoot!   Love them! )

 

Just a side note:  They had a really cool and unique wedding cake!

 

God speed Matthew and Rachel.   We don't know you that well, but if you ever make it back to Olathe, we'd love to take you guys out to lunch.   Call it… "military appreciation".    :-)

 

Now… the technical notes about this shoot:

1.   The interior of the Powell gardens chapel is very orange at night because of the lighting.   The main pulpit area has white lights, but the aisle has orange lights.   That lighting combination makes for some interesting white balance issues.   Opted to white balance for the pulpit area since that is where the main action was happening, but that meant the aisle is all "orange lit".   Lots of color correction in post production.   Easily corrected… but it is time consuming.

2.  The Brides dressing room has pink walls.   … which also created strange color.   Once again… easily corrected in post production.

3.  If the wind is blowing at Powell gardens, dirt and dust is in the air and will get on the lens and into any exposed camera mechanisms.    Sealed cameras are a must out there.    Changing a lens right when the wind picks up could be a BAD situation for your camera sensor.   Long life batteries and longer tapes are ideal…. as the chapel is solitary and there are only a couple outlets.

4.  The chapel is gorgeous, but it's also a bit small and on the "narrow" side.  It's hard for a front cameraman to hide.

 

These are nit-picky issues.   I would highly recommend Powell Gardens for a wedding to anyone with an expected guest list less than 120 people.   Their website is:

http://www.powellgardens.org/default.asp?page=Chapel

 

 

 

 
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