August 22, 2015 at 10:40PM

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First Wedding Video BlackMagic Pocket Camera

Hey all! Would love thoughts and feedback on my first wedding film.
Vimeo Link: https://vimeo.com/136633404

I thought I would make this post mainly because I've heard over and over again what you CAN'T do (or shouldn't, rather) with the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera. Well, my other shooter (my brother) and I used the BlackMagic Pocket the entire time, both paired with Sigma 18-35 Lenses and Speedboosters.
I must say, everything handled just fine. Even when the sun went down, the Pocket + Sigma 1.8 + Speedbooster actually drops you down to a F 1.0 if you need it (might be more like 1.1 but either way, very fast)!!!! Then, with the dynamic range and detail of these cameras, you can bump stuff up in post a little if you need to. The scenes in the dark came out just fine, and I never even left 800 ISO. Looked clean and beautiful.
Also, batteries - yes, a definitely shame, but all I did was use a Sony battery converter and two of those puppies fully charged gives me something like 14 hours of use (PLENTY!).
Now I admit the Pocket needs some things before it's ready to use professionally, and sure a c100 or something might have been easier, but once you add some things onto the pocket, it's hard to argue with that image quality.
Just thought I would share, for anyone thinking about purchasing this camera. With the right tools, it really can be used in many settings, and we had a blast shooting this wedding with them.

29 Comments

Beautifully done, you've really gotten the most out of the camera, I can't imagine it performing any better than this. Bravo Sir

August 23, 2015 at 10:07AM

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Matt Robinson
Film Educator & Cinematographer
242

Thank you so much!!!!

August 23, 2015 at 9:58PM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1294

Congrats, you did really great.
Which gimbal did you use?

August 24, 2015 at 7:34AM

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Hey Philippe, my brother and shooting partner was on a steady cam basically the whole time (forgot the exact brand name but basically it was a glidecam). I stayed on sticks and a slider the majority of the time, with a couple hand held shots. That was we got lots of dynamic camera movement and angles to cover all of our bases.

August 24, 2015 at 12:23PM, Edited August 24, 12:23PM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1294

I'm surprised you didn't go with one of those three axis motorized gimbals like the Nebula 4000 or something like that. Or was your rig too heavy ?

August 25, 2015 at 8:07PM

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$$$$, haha, money is the only issue there. We would LOVE to use a Ronin or something. Hopefully a 3 axis will be in our budget in the future!!!!!

August 25, 2015 at 8:35PM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1294

Can u share with us ungraded material ? I'm curious how it looked like.

August 24, 2015 at 10:02AM

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Andy Tokarski
Director, Editor, Colorist
1295

Sure thing Andy. If you're just curious as to what it looked like, you can check this link out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCHxJ5hyjgE

That is a first rough cut, so it differs from the final, but it has no correction or grade on it, just the log footage (we shot in ProRes HQ).

August 24, 2015 at 12:40PM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1294

Thank you. Original footage looks really, really good, I'm actually really surprised how good it is.

August 25, 2015 at 11:19AM

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Andy Tokarski
Director, Editor, Colorist
1295

I tell ya' Andy, that BlackMagic Pocket camera has completely blown me away. I'm almost convinced to go BlackMagic all the way from here out. It's fun to shoot with, fun to color, TONS of range and depth in the colors, maintains highlights really well...once you get used to it, it's just wonderful!

August 25, 2015 at 12:35PM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1294

Looks like some cool footage, but as a complete wedding film it is missing a lot. Would have liked to see more closeup details shots, shots of the bride and groom alone, and a tighter more story driven edit. Seems like you started right at the ceremony and didn't really get any preceremony coverage, which can lend to some of the nicest stuff. Shots of the dress, the flowers, rings, all these are extremely important details most filmmakers miss when shooting a wedding. Your wides are great but developing closer shots is key for cinematic weddings.

Check out my stuff at:

www.ninjamonkeymedia.com

August 24, 2015 at 12:26PM

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Thanks NinjaMonkey. We would have loved to get shots like those, but were unable due to the access we had and way the wedding was set up. It was all on our mind, though!

August 24, 2015 at 12:42PM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1294

Damn! Way to go against the tide. Beautiful color. I'm impressed at how you kept the photographers out of the shots until the dance.

As to story, I'd make a few changes. The build up is nice. Move the wedding party at the altar past the spot where you see the bride enter.

Any chance the photographers would share some images with you? You could fill in certain parts with mini photo montages to really fill out the story. If the photographer is reluctant, maybe the bride could persuade. Do you have more audio, like any toasts?

Also, although cheating, what about visiting the bride and groom with your audio recorder and asking them to read their vows? Not vérité, but it would sound nicer in their voices.

I'm sure they'll be very happy when they see it. Then tell them you want to make it better.

August 24, 2015 at 5:48PM, Edited August 24, 5:48PM

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Charlie K
1304

Thanks Charlie! They actually already have the video and love it (woo!), but these changes definitely make sense. We wanted to keep it more like a light recap, and we had limited access, but everything you mentioned are notes we are keeping for our next venture.

August 24, 2015 at 6:32PM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1294

Congratulations Ben!
Nothing beats having a happy client.
Did you apply a LUT or color on your own?

August 25, 2015 at 5:36PM

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Charlie K
1304

My brother did all the coloring, no LUTs were used. I would have done the same way - saturation, curves, some color adjustments, using waveforms and such. Although there are some nice LUTs for the BM cameras. Film Convert is always fun to mess around with, but yeah none of that was used here.

August 25, 2015 at 6:19PM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1294

Nice work. You two have a bright future.
Cheers

August 26, 2015 at 5:05PM

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Charlie K
1304

Looks great! I've been debating between renting the BMPCC or the C100 for an upcoming wedding. I've worked with and trust the C100, but I have been itching to work with a BMPCC, and could save a decent chunk of money renting it instead.

Can you give more specifics on your battery setup? Also, how did you achieve the slow motion shots? I'm assuming you interpolated the footage in post.

Thanks!

August 25, 2015 at 2:47PM

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Hello Houston. AH!, the c100. Such a beautiful image out of that camera. I'll be honest - as far as data and ease of use goes, c100 would probably be more choice to shoot a wedding. BUT!, totally doable with the BMPCC.
I used this for my battery set up : http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1019817-REG/indipro_tools_ipgrid_p...

Lasts FOREVER. I use some knock-off Sony batteries off Amazon. Fully charged, I've had my camera running for 17ish hours STRAIGHT before it finally turned off, so there's more than enough power here. Could also go V Mount. Now all of this stuff makes the Pocket a little heavier of course, but it's still not too bad.
Slomo shots my brother did in Twixtor. Awesome program, gives a very cool dreamy slomo that in ways (depending) I may even prefer more than shooting standard higher frame rates.

August 25, 2015 at 4:07PM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1294

Hi Ben,
Excellent to my eye. Did you come across any artefacts in the BM image which needed to be processed out, eg so-called "black sun" effect, or is that just pixel peeping in the real world ?
BTW, how did the happy couple react to the final video, or is it still in post ?

August 25, 2015 at 5:48PM

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Saied M.
1066

The Pocket camera fixed the 'black sun' effect, so no problem there. There were apparently some areas of noise (my partner said he applied some noise reduction to certain shots) partially due to underexposed images (my fault, still getting used to how well the BMPCC handles highlights). All that said, I looked at the log footage in full-res on my 2.5k monitor and couldn't really notice anything. The noise from the BMPCC, when there even is any, is very filmic and grain-like. At 800 ASA i basically do not notice any noise. Definitely no artifacts other than moire here and there.
The couple absolutely loved it! Thank you for asking.

August 25, 2015 at 6:22PM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1294

Videography work & story aside: I'm seeing a lot of digital artifacts, and the picture looks a bit mushy. I know that camera produces some nice sharp images; I'm wondering if you compressed it too much before uploading? Looking at the download link, it says 127mb for 1080p. My last wedding highlight of the same time length was 461mb.

August 26, 2015 at 2:13PM

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Sean Kenney
Event Cinematographer
288

Yes the compression didn't do us any favors and I believe there was some noise reduction applied to, to my eye, made certain shadows look a little off.
The original and raw file of the wedding is definitely stunning, might just be a compression issue.

August 26, 2015 at 4:34PM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1294

In all honesty, it was nice but I believe you guys are shooting yourselves in the foot by working with the BMPCC. Online, the quality output was equivalent to both Canon T2is and Panasonic GH3s which are more convenient it terms of battery life, portability (without your V Mount batteries), data rate, functionality, and file sizes, which play an enormous role during post production.

I'd leave the BMPCC for narrative work which requires more serious color correction and or dynamic range. Because if you're trying to run a business and make video production as effective and efficient as possible, then I'd opt for another camera. Brides and grooms won't know the difference. Just my two cents.

It was a great first wedding though! Seriously.

Canon T2i Wedding
https://vimeo.com/84887044

Panasonic Gh3
https://vimeo.com/96624113

August 27, 2015 at 1:29PM

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Nathaniel
Budding Cinematographer
76

Thanks for the input Nathaniel. Totally makes sense.

August 27, 2015 at 3:12PM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1294

Late to the game as usual. haha. I want to do wedding videos so bad but i'm scared i'll just screw them up. How bad would it be if you used the bride and the grooms "chosen" song - Copyright laws etc..? I think I would be more comfortable if I had a shooting partner myself. Thanks for sharing!!

August 28, 2015 at 6:53PM

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James Harvey
Digital Cinematographer, photographer
74

Hello James. Definitely will need a shooting partner! If my partner/brother was not here with me, there is no way this video would have been as dynamic. Definitely need multiple angles and coverage, especially of the bigger events. I was mostly on sticks, a slider and a little bit of handheld, and he was on a glidecam. We just played off each other, making sure we knew where each other was so we could eyeball the type of different shots we'd get.
As for Bride and Groom's "chosen song," if you're just delivering the video straight to them, I don't see there being a big problem with that. If you want to put it up on Youtube and Vimeo and what not, then you potentially could run into issues. If you plan on heavily promoting the video, I'd stray away from it, and just spend the 50 bucks or so on musicbed.com for a song, or even free ones that are legal to use via other sites.

August 28, 2015 at 7:53PM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1294

Awesome!! Thank you so much for the tips. Your video looks very professional and unique. Do you have an outline for preproduction, basic shot list or anything like that?

August 28, 2015 at 8:04PM

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James Harvey
Digital Cinematographer, photographer
74

We really didn't, to be honest. We had very limited access for this wedding, so our goal was to stay out of the way as much as possible and get as many shots as possible. We both just covered different angles at any given time and made sure to capture as many moments as possible. The DJ was nice enough to let us plug into his system, which gave us very clean audio out of the mics during the ceremony; definitely an added benefit for the voiceover stuff.

August 30, 2015 at 3:23AM, Edited August 30, 3:23AM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1294

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