Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Filming it Righteously

Speaking from personal experiences, what are the Top5 songs that jump-start any celebration? Thinking......

If someone hires Ol' Video Joe to produce a DVD for their wedding, there's a good chance that the product will be an assemblage of slow, white fades with touches of soft romantic music - accompanied by moving images filmed with the utmost care and precision. After the mood is established and the ceremony is pieced together, I will often kick it into high gear, pick up the tempo, feel the beat, go for broke....ratchet it up a notch.

It's my philosophy that a Wedding DVD should show all aspects that make up the special day. I believe the setting must be established, the major players introduced, and the invitees acknowledged before I even begin to show the ceremony.

So how do I turn up the volume? Well, staying true to my stance that a wedding is not only a romantic occasion but also a celebration, I've always filmed people as they showed off their dance moves at the reception. I have realized that in each wedding, there is one song that brings everyone out on the dance floor. If I'm in position to film the scene as it happens, the sequence will usually find it's way on to the finished product. I use the scene as a back-drop as I maticulously edit other dance clips from the night - all to the beat of the music. This is one aspect of wedding videography that I feel I've mastered and makes my videos unique.

In the past, I have edited dance sequences to "You Sexy Thing" by Hot Chocolate, "If You're Gonna Play In Texas" by Alabama, "Hollaback Girl" (edited version) by Gwen Stefani, and "Thriller" by Michael Jackson to name a few. I've been told that it is the first scene that married couples show to others after the original viewing.

At bridal shows, when I feel that potential clients aren't giving me enough attention, I skip to the chapter with the Dance Video, turn up the volume, and watch as everyone crowds around my booth's display. The situation is similar to the scene in High Fidelity when Rob strategically plays a record by the Beta Band. He plays the song and hangs back, watching as the song grabs the attention of everyone in the store.

Bride to Be: "What's this?"
Video Joe: "It's a Dance Video...a Top5 Specialty."
Bride to Be: "'s good."
Video Joe: "I know."

So where am I going with all this? Recently I've had some eye-opening experiences that have led me to believe that maybe I should stop filming and editing these scenes that I love so much.

There's a code to follow in the videography business that says (paraphrasing) it is improper to show anyone in a negative light on the finished DVDs. Usually this applies only to "video testimonials" where friends and family wish the bride and groom health, happiness, etc. etc. I have had to decide many times whether or not a party-goer's inebriation was noticable on camera and whether or not said person would be embarrassed if I left their speech in. I've always leaned to the side of caution in these situations no matter how funny I thought their speech was. But recently, I've started to think that filming people drinking and dancing might fall within the realm of showing people in a "negative light".

The other day I recognized a Maid of Honor from a wedding I filmed a couple of years ago. I remembered that she was a part of one of these dance sequences that I showed very often at Bridal Shows. When I told her how I recognized her and how people loved that segment of the video, she responded with an "Oh GAWD". After one wedding, someone called me in a very sullen tone and asked me nicely to please erase all footage of them "acting ignorant". Some times people aren't as nice about it. This past weekend, while I was innocently filming the proceedings, a lady walked in front of my lens...turned, gave me the "Stink Eye", and told me that "I'd better not be filming her." Meagan K.(shoutout) witnessed the verbal reem-out and commented on its ferocity.

I've been thinking about how I would react if someone was filming me on the dance floor as I attempted to Bring SexyBack. I don't think I would care for it too much. I would probobly stop (much to the delight of all the ladies on the dancefloor)and head back to the keg or punch bowl and kick the vibe...George McFly style. But that's just me. I'm camera-shy.

In conclusion, I'm strongly considering removing the "Dance Video" from my price packages. I'm thinking that the unique quality of this service might be at some unwilling participants' expense. The jury is still out....

So what are the Top5 songs that jump-start any celebration? And to be specific, I'm listing songs that the casual music fan appreciates. I'm not talking about what songs that would be played at Frank's house with the Dawson Bros.(shout-out combined shot) attending.

5. Old Time Rock'n Roll by Bob Seger - It's old school but still does the trick.

4. Hey Ya by Outkast - This is one of the catchiest tunes since 2000. Shoutout to Paper Planes by M.I.A. and Time to Pretend by MGMT in that regard.

3. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cindi Lauper - Every time its played, girls flood the dance floor. Guys too...unless they are fortunate enough to catch themselves before the Point of No Return.

2. Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond - Side one, Track One

1. Friends in Low Places by Garth Brooks - This is also the greatest sing-along of all-time. Ready for a bold statement? Everybody likes this song.

Shoutout to Ice, Ice Baby and that song by Sir Mix-A-Lot that I've really never liked.

Until next time...
Let the High Times Carry the Low


Lyle said...

Other generic songs that people seem to more inclined to dance to from my limited wedding experiences would be:

Celebrate (Good Times) - Kool & the Gang

YMCA - Village People

Shout - The Isley Brothers (probably the consummate wedding dance song, surprised it wasn't on your list)

The Twist - Chubby Checker

And of course for the Kostiha families: Crazy Game of Poker - O.A.R.

Also, only so many people use the word "ignorant", so maybe I am wrong, but I believe the cover was blown on the identity of that individual. Hoy.

Joko said...

like the list but it a list without shout on there?

Anonymous said...


First time to post on the site, and I must rant for a minute so sorry. I want to address your top 10 moveis list. At the top spot you have a little movie called "Before Sunset." Really???? I watched it based solely on the fact that it was your number 1 movie. I hate to do this but I must ask you to reimburse me for my rental fee as the movie was not good. That is 80 minutes of my life that I will never recover. Sorry, but I just can't do a dialog movei.

Christopher said...


Why post on this thread? Email me your address and i will reimburse you the 5 bucks on one saw Before Sunrise before you saw Before Sunset. If you did, i will be happy to pay you back.