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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old August 17th, 2003, 02:37 PM   #1
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Some Questions please...

First of all, Iíd like to thank everyone here for the valuable insights youíve given me. When I discovered this forum a few days ago I read for 4 hours straight!

Iím strictly an amateur mostly doing wedding videos for friends and family. I donít charge money but would like to improve my end product.

All of my weddings have been catholic ceremonies. The clergy in these churches have strict in-house rules regarding where one can shoot. Depending on the priest, Iím usually restricted to the side of the first pew. This makes getting bride/groom facial shots impossible.

(1) How do you guys manage to get so close to the couple? Do I need to *grease* the priests hands? So far the best Iíve done is to scurry up the aisle from the rear of the church and get about 20 feet away with a zoom shot. Lackluster at best.

(2) Do you record the music from the ceremony separately then dub it over during post production?

(3) Normally I record the *entire* ceremony. Lately though, Iíve noticed people fast-forward through most of it. (Iím catholic Ė our ceremonies are boring). Do you find your clients prefer a slimmed down version of the ceremony? This would certainly help me attain a 60 minute DVD vs. the normal 90 minutes I get now. Plus I wouldnít have to split up the final production when archiving it to DV tape.

(4) Same goes for music at the reception. I like to get the big ones like the spotlight song, parentís dance with the bride/groom etc. Iíve been dubbing the *original* song to replace the one from the video. I *think* this is a copyright violation but I recorded the song from the DJís speakers anyway. Yes/No?

(5) How many of you use a single camera for the entire event? Iíve had my daughter help with a backup camera but unless they are both the same make/model it really shows during editing.

Any comments/input appreciated!

RT Steele
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Old August 17th, 2003, 03:00 PM   #2
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Shooting from the side is a good thing. This way you won't interfere with the ceremony. I usually shoot from 1 side, and 1/2 way through, from the other side. I just pick up my tripod and tip toe to the other side. For close-ups, just zoom in. Seldom do I dub any music, except for the beginning and end of the video. I use 1 camera, but keep my 2nd one as a back-up, all ready to go if needed.
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Old August 17th, 2003, 05:41 PM   #3
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I'm not Catholic but I probably spend as much time in church as a lot of 'em ;-)

Most of the weddings I've done in the last 5 years have been Catholic ceremonies and all I can tell you is each one is very different depending on the church and the Celebrant.

Most of the churches will not let you on the altar, but a few will, one I work at some will but only with an unmanned camera, a couple I work at it's OK to be on the altar, most relegate to the side or back of the church, at least in the Chicagoland area.

I use 2 cameras but lock one down as a "safe shot" so I can move if and when its necessary. I generally make 2 moves if I'm not on the altar. First, I get the Processional from just in front of the altar and as they B/G are walking to the altar I move to the side and set up on my tripod and shoot most of the wedding from there. I move to the back of the church during communion which I do not include in the final edit anyway. That way I'm in position to get the recessional.

Sometimes the Celebrant will have the couple face the congregation for the vows in which case I go to the center aisle (rear) right away but you only know this by 1) attending the rehearsal 2) talking to the officiant prior to the event or 3) a combination of both.

Weddings do not always happen as they are rehearsed ;-0 things change rapidly.

Shooting from the side is not a bad place to be at all. At least you can get good shots of the bride, (hopefully you can see her) the groom is 2ndary, at least thats what I always tell them. Actually I tell them they could be a cardboard cutout with a pair of boxers on and a tape recorder to say "I Do" and "Yes Dear" and no one would notice as its the brides day.
They always laugh and say "Yeah I know" and then out and hold up their end of the deal. They let the bride shine like a star.

Have fun, maybe after a couple of weddings the priest will cut you some slack and let you get to the center aisle.


As for editing and music, I record what I see and what I hear, then do a short form edit. No more than 59:45. Full mass ceremonies can be edited simply by starting with the long pauses inbetween and the communion. After that you need a practiced eye to know you can and can't edit out.

Don
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Old August 18th, 2003, 04:04 PM   #4
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<<<-- Originally posted by Don Bloom :
As for editing and music, I record what I see and what I hear, then do a short form edit. No more than 59:45. Full mass ceremonies can be edited simply by starting with the long pauses inbetween and the communion. After that you need a practiced eye to know you can and can't edit out.

You get your final product down to 59:45?

Hmmm... I'd need to cut about 30 minutes from mine. I've been including the following:

* The b/g getting ready (about 2 minutes). As one would expect, the groom's footage in this is about 10 seconds. :)

* A "still" montage of the church exterior/interior.

* The photo session with the still photographer. (About 5 minutes total after editing). They seem to like this. It's their wedding album in real-time

* Communion - It lets the couple see who actually attends the ceremony.

* All the events one would expect at the reception including any special attendees (I ask the b/g beforehand if they want definite footage of someone special).

I might be able to shave 10 minutes or so.
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Old August 18th, 2003, 04:25 PM   #5
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Rick,
I do not include the communion except for the B/G and MAYBE the parents. I had one not long ago there were over 230 people up for communion.
I then also shave out the pauses between the speakers. I.E., the priest says "Now we'll have a reading by John" John takes 90 seconds to get to the podium and get started, do that 3 times and thats 4-5 minutes. I also cut the gospel and the homily. Before I get scorched here though, please understand my clients know that's what I do as they have seen 1 or 2 weddings I have done and that's why they hire me. They like short form. I did an additional edit for a client from a December wedding. I gave them a very cool 57 minute DVD and they called and asked if I could cut it to say about 30 minutes. I got it to 27 and man does it rock. Please bear in mind my clients hire me for the short form, if they don't want that they don't hire me.

I do B/G prep and it's about 2 minutes, I get my establishing shots of the church (venue) the ceremony, the post ceremony, but not 5 minutes, maybe a couple of minutes. Preceremony which runs about 60 seconds, you know, establishing, crowd, meet and greet, then the reception, intros, speeches, even interviews or guest comments (sometimes-upto the B/G) dances cake, garter, bouquet or as I like to call them, "leg grab and toss" fun stuff and goodbye. I don't leave anything out but when I edit I'm very judicous and very careful about time and placement.
Like I said, they hire me knowing what they're going to get, BUT I do run a DVD of the whole ceremony only-unedited, no titles no nothing for them as well. My wife suggested that and I ALWAYS listen to her (34 years) Yeah, right!
Anyway, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it! :-)
Don
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