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Old May 4th, 2007, 01:51 PM   #1
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First Wedding Shoot.... Suggestions?

Hey peoples,

I am going to be shooting my first wedding this weekend and would like to know if anybody has any suggestions. I have a limited crew of two people on this shoot. We will be shooting with an XL2 and a Sony PD-150 (not an ideal combination). I want to shoot 16:9 and 24P.

I know this could cause problems considering the Sony doesn't shoot true widescreen. I plan on matching the settings as best as possible before the wedding.

Please, any suggestions are welcome i.e. gear, settings, camera positioning?

Thanks in advance,
Ryan Mueller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 4th, 2007, 05:07 PM   #2
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I haven't shot weddings myself, but here's what I've gleaned from friends who have:

First, talk to the couple before hand. Ask what they want (it's their wedding). Is there anywhere they DON'T want you to be (next to them on the altar, in the aisle, etc.)? What parts of the ceremony do they REALLY want (so you know to be ready). Do they want audio from mics or just nat sound from your external?

If they say "We'll leave it up to you" then you have some room to work with. Go to the church (or wherever they're getting married) BEFOREHAND and scope it out. See where you are allowed to go (balconies, on the sides, etc) and what gives you the best vantage point per the couple's answer to the above paragraph.

If they let you, see if you can throw a wireless lav mic on either the bride or the groom (maybe the priest or whoever is conducting the ceremony) omni mic should be able to pick up all three (unless you have a couple, then one for each bride/groom).

One camera should be on the bride/couple at all times...pick a side (or do it from the back). One medium shot with either both bride and groom or medium wideshot if you want the priest in there. The other camera gets cutaways...close-ups/pans/zooms, etc. Keep both cameras recording (even when you move) so you can line up the timecodes later. Don't know if you have walkie talkies you and the other cameraguy can use (with headsets, of course) but it's helpful so you know who's shooting what and who's moving around.

Make sure you know how long the service is so you can have someone in the back at the end to shoot them walking down the aisle together.

Hope that helps.

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Old May 4th, 2007, 11:45 PM   #3
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might be to late, but I would recomend starting both cameras, clap your hands or do something to mark the sinc point. then later editing of the ceremony will be easier.

also I would recomend using an 80 minute tape for the ceremony so you do not run out of tape at an important point!!

Run a test on you lapel mics and check the audio on you editor to make sure all is right in denmark!!

Relax and enjoy.

the walky talkies is a great idea!!! one person directing.
Dale W. Guthormsen
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Old May 5th, 2007, 06:41 AM   #4
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Some good ideas above but hows this, DO NOT MIC THE BRIDE. First you don't have a white lav and second where you going to put the body pak? Think about it. About 7 or 8 years ago I did do 1 where the bride specifiaclyy requested to be micd and it caused all kinds of problems from ME going under the dress to attach the body pak to her underwear to paining a mic white. (she was in news at the timeand felt she knew how to do a wedding--WRONG) anyway-if you mic the groom you'll get both the B&G unless she absolutely whispers.
As for going to the church in advance great idea. Go to the rehearsal-see the lay of the land, talk to the person in charge about where you can set up and what you can do. Keep in mind though that the person running th erehearsal might not be the person doing the ceremony and THATS the person you really need to talk to, so on the day of get there early enough to not only talk to the officiant but to get B fotage of the church, the decorations etc. During the ceremony remember you are there to document it-not to be a part of the show so once you've settled in in your position relax, anticipate the action (whos going where and doing what) make nice slow smooth pans, tilts zooms whatever and be ready for the unexpected. I've done "a few" weddings in almost 24 years of videowork and I can tell you that very few actually go off on the day of like the rehearsal the night before so be ready for anything.
Since the PD150 doesn't shoot true widescreen OR 24p you might want to shoot everything at 4:3 60i and leave enough headroom when shooting to crop in post to 16:9 and convert to 24p in post as well. Why make more problems for yorself. Be aware also that the Sony will generally handle the reception better than the Canon if the reception is anything like the last 1000 or so I've done where they kill the lights when the B&G start thier first dance.
As for placement of the cameras that why you need to talk to the person DOING the wedding (the officiant) and be real careful if you use any kind of walkie-talkie setup. They can cause more of an interference problem than a wireless mic.
Other than that, take a deep breath, relax an rememeber, no one has ever died from missing a videoshot just do the best you can and you should be fine.

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Old May 5th, 2007, 08:40 AM   #5
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My personal preference and an unqualified one at that, would be to use the XL2 for the wide and master shots and the PD150 for close-ups and roving. It has the low-light performance and the close-ups can be a little more soft than the wides for detail.

I would be inclined to make sure the steadyshot function is switched off if you are going to use a walkie-talkie or cell-phone anywhere near the cameras.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 11:04 AM   #6
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Thanks a bunch guys! I'm headed down to the church here in a bit to check it out, shooting Sunday. I was kind of notified last minute that they needed somebody to shoot, so we'll see how everything ends up. I talked to them about hiding a mic in a flower arrangement, so I'll probably be looking for a spot for that today as well. Thanks again for all the great advice!
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