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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old June 25th, 2008, 10:11 PM   #1
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Wedding Essentials: A Few Questions...

Hey All...

I'm still new to all of this and I've been asked to do multiple weddings by friends.
(what were they thinking.. ha ha..)
My questions are:

1. What is essential equipment? (I know light, wireless lavilers, shotgun mike?, etc.) but what else, and whats good quality, but reasonably priced.

2. I have 1 Letus Extreme on its way, but I have an A1 and a G1, can there be a good mix of shots with and without the Letus and just edit wisely?

3. Pointers: Being that these next few months will be my first weddings, any advice, tips, tricks, things to not forget, do and don'ts that I should be warned about?

I'm nervous as can be for these next few months... the last thing I want is to ruin someones big day by doing something wrong or ruining shots or whatever...

Thanks for all your help...
I really apprecitate it...


-Jeremy-
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Old June 25th, 2008, 10:27 PM   #2
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My suggestion: offer a local professional wedding videographer your time, and equipment as a 2nd camera shooter. Pick wisely and you'll learn a whole bunch more than from asking a bunch of strangers. In other words, become an apprentice. That, and practice...practice, and keep practicing. Wedding videos are live events with NO room for error. You could end up losing friends by shooting for them (and having something go wrong).
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Old June 25th, 2008, 11:18 PM   #3
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Letus Extreme is not for wedding unless you have somebody that just do artistic money shot for you, you are losing 1/2 stop of light and with wedding you will need all the light you can get, the above post is right, you should try to do hands on with someone experience first before trying to do this yourself the first time, but if you want a list of equipment, here is what I suggest, at least 2 of everything, 2 on camera lights, 2 wireless mic and or 2 mp3 recorders with mics, extra batterys..., your mic should be able to take a feed from the band or dj for reception audio, mixing it with you on camera mic for ambience, headphone to monitor your audio. Go downtown and practice shooting following people walking around and stuff like that will get you going.
Good luck.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 02:18 AM   #4
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No disrespect, but I can't say that I completely agree with the previous two replies. While anyone will admit that practice makes perfect, I think right now, the best thing you can do is relax. Get practice if you can, but also know that it's not life and death while shooting weddings. Prepare and anticipate any foreseeable situations you may encounter. Have a plan, be aware of the schedule and have an idea of what you are looking for. Again, this best comes with practice, but it's not like you've never been to a wedding before (I'm assuming), so you generally know what to expect and how they function. Take what you know, create a blueprint for yourself and everything will work out fine.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 02:59 AM   #5
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Whilst there isn't any point about agonising needlessly about a shoot the best way to be confident (you'd be mad to be relaxed) is in the knowledge that you have got your kit sorted out and that you know how to use it.

There's going to be enough pressure as it is without having to worry about whether the cameras will match up or if the Letus is appropriate.

A belt and braces approach is going give you less sleepless nights eg knowing that you have more than one sound recording to draw from.

The best way to know whether something is going to work for you is to try it out. Message boards are useful for advice but often the advice is contradictory and may not be appropriate to your needs. Ultimately it's theoretical until you try it out for yourself. A live shoot is not the place to try out theories.

You want to be able to concentrate on what kind of film you are going to make not how you are going to make it.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 04:00 AM   #6
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These gigs are normally in low light if no light at all in the reception hall, so pratcice using your on light camera and getting the correct white balance and exposure as you move about.

Have fun
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Old June 26th, 2008, 09:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy Nemeth View Post
Hey All...

I'm still new to all of this and I've been asked to do multiple weddings by friends.
(what were they thinking.. ha ha..)
My questions are:

1. What is essential equipment? (I know light, wireless lavilers, shotgun mike?, etc.) but what else, and whats good quality, but reasonably priced.

2. I have 1 Letus Extreme on its way, but I have an A1 and a G1, can there be a good mix of shots with and without the Letus and just edit wisely?

3. Pointers: Being that these next few months will be my first weddings, any advice, tips, tricks, things to not forget, do and don'ts that I should be warned about?

I'm nervous as can be for these next few months... the last thing I want is to ruin someones big day by doing something wrong or ruining shots or whatever...

Thanks for all your help...
I really apprecitate it...


-Jeremy-

Jeremy:

I don't have the links, but there are a LOT of sites with great wedding video pointers. Do a search, you will find everything you need to figure it out.

Are you doing a single camera shoot for the wedding? Just curious. Most people are doing two camera shoots nowdays.

Most weddings around here are outside, which usually makes it a lot easier from a light and echo standpoint. Hopefully yours are outside. A lot of the video will be judged by the editing rather than the video content. You can also borrow & use some stills to pan & scan if you happen to miss a shot.

About audio, keep it simple unless you have an assistant. Use one wireless lav on the groom. The XH cameras are not going to be able to input this and use ambient (onboard) sound, so you need a recorder of some type or the second camera.

Anyway, you will be fine, it's your friends!
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Old June 26th, 2008, 12:04 PM   #8
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First, RELAX, take a breath. Now let it out and repeat ;-)

Weddings ARE a big deal to the B&G and friends or not you don't want to mess it up so the one thing I tell all new people is KNOW THY GEAR! Know it like the back of your hand. If that means practicing on the cat or dog do it. You don't want to have to think about the gear. You need to think about the shot. Weddings are like combat (I've been there so...) Hours of boredom, moments of terror. That's why you practice until you can go thru your gear in your sleep.
Next control yourself. By that I mean, slow pans, slow zooms, slow everything down including yourself. Plan the shots. By that I mean go to the rehearsals and see how they're be coming down the aisle, where you can place a 2nd camera, where you can stand for the processional, where you need to be for the ceremony, practice micing the groom so you get it right the 1st time. Talk to the officiant if possible at the rehearsal (or the day of if needed) and make sure you find out what you can and can't do and from where you can do it. Always keep tape stock in your pocket ready to drop into the camera, when you remove a tape flip the record lock tab put it in the case and put it into a different pocket not in your bag. If the bag gets stolen they get gear not used tapes. The tapes are what I get paid for. Gear is or should be insured. Tapes are not.
OK now, take another breath, in and out. There you go. At the ceremony get a printed program if they have one so you get an idea of whats going to happen next so you can be ready for it. You have to anticipate things will not necessarily be as planned. It's a wedding which to me can be just like shooting a breaking news event. Things sometimes happen fast and without waning so always have the camera ready to go. If you need to shoot handheld, well I suggest not to. Use a tripod or monopod or some sort of stabilizer rig like the DVMulti rig. Rock solid steady footage is one of the most important things.
Take another breath! Wear comfortable shoes. Bring some snacks you never know. (not for the ceremony but in between) Hydrate yourself. Water not beer ;-)
Final thought. No one wants to screw up a wedding especially a friends but if things go wrong fix it move on and remember, no one will die because of it.
Have fun and oh yeah, breathe.

Don
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Old June 27th, 2008, 05:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Kellam View Post
...The XH cameras are not going to be able to input this and use ambient (onboard) sound...
Not quite true. You can't use the built-in stereo mic and an external XLR mic. To get ambient sound as well as the radio mic, just use an external XLR cardioid or omni mic. I can't recall off-hand whether you can set the two inputs to Line or Mic level independently, but if not, you can probably set the radio receiver to output a mic-level signal.
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Old June 27th, 2008, 03:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy Nemeth View Post
Hey All...

I'm still new to all of this and I've been asked to do multiple weddings by friends.
(what were they thinking.. ha ha..)
My questions are:

1. What is essential equipment? (I know light, wireless lavilers, shotgun mike?, etc.) but what else, and whats good quality, but reasonably priced.

2. I have 1 Letus Extreme on its way, but I have an A1 and a G1, can there be a good mix of shots with and without the Letus and just edit wisely?

3. Pointers: Being that these next few months will be my first weddings, any advice, tips, tricks, things to not forget, do and don'ts that I should be warned about?

I'm nervous as can be for these next few months... the last thing I want is to ruin someones big day by doing something wrong or ruining shots or whatever...

Thanks for all your help...
I really apprecitate it...


-Jeremy-
1. Get a second camera. You can't afford to worry about equipment failure - it's a real pressure, especially if these are friends

2. Have an assistant with you - help to carry stuff, someone to keep an eye out while you're concentrating on shooting.

3. Keep it simple and focus on simple quality

Nick
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Old June 28th, 2008, 11:30 AM   #11
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I read and re-read Don's post and the only thing i can ad is:
He is telling the truth!
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