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Old March 14th, 2009, 08:40 AM   #1
New to the forum, first post.
Brad Cook Brad Cook is offline March 14th, 2009, 08:40 AM

Hey everybody.

I've been waiting for activation for what seems like an eternity so I could say hi, and introduce myself. I've been a lurker here for a short period and wanted to get involved.

I started messing with video in August of 2008 when I did a family reunion video for my mother-in-laws birthday (which ended up being a huge family reunion with siblings that haven't seen each other in years!) using a lone Canon TX1 and Windows Movie Maker. After the reaction that I got from the family it just lit a spark in me that I want to capture some of life's happiest moments and have an impact on people. Family events, children, highschool seniors, weddings, etc. I want to make them dynamic and not look like something "Uncle Pete" recorded on his Walmart special camera.

I'm currently trying to juggle my faith, my wife, my kids, my full time job, my friends, and my new found love for videography all at the same time. I don't know how I do it. Less sleep I guess! I'm trying to be a sponge and read, watch, and just soak up all the info I can. I have SOO much to learn it's not even funny. I'm not even in this to compete with others so much. I took zero pay for my first wedding video because I was learning the ropes and needed to cut my teeth on something and build my portfolio.

Here is my first official wedding video (Canon hv30/hf10):
Babb Wedding (full video) on Vimeo

I know there's a lot to improve on and things I shouldn't do the next time. It's hard sometimes when I can't do everything I envision because I just don't know everything yet. There are parts of my editing software I have no clue how to use yet, haha.

So after I got that done, we did a wedding invitation video for a couple. Our idea definitely is not original, but we sorta made it our own.

It's here (Canon hf10):
Rogers Wedding Invitation on Vimeo

You guys can tell me what you think. I think I can handle it. haha

I'm in the process of getting some new gear, but I don't know if I should upgrade to a prosumer style cam, or get something newer in the consumer territory since customers are liking my stuff anyway, and use some of the extra cash to get things done in other areas. (i.e. cineform, some tutorial dvd's, steadicam merlin, couple hard drives, etc.)
I have about $3,500ish to spend. I just bought the Zoom H4n for audio purposes.

I'm open to ideas.

Thanks everyone. Have a good day.

-Brad

Last edited by Brad Cook; March 14th, 2009 at 10:38 AM..

Brad Cook
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Old March 14th, 2009, 12:36 PM   #2
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Great stuff Brad! What are you using to edit with right now?

If you are going for a steadicam I would definitely put the merlin on the list.That will make a huge difference with some of the shots you're trying.I just got into this as well.Editing is such fun until you have 5-6 edits in waiting....lol then it starts to feel a little bit more like a job:) We have the sennheiser wireless g2 for ceremony audio and it works great.I also have a little yamaha field recorder for back up and ambient.There is always something new that you'll need.I'm still checking off my wishlist at B+H....lol

Ryan
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Old March 14th, 2009, 01:10 PM   #3
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Brad... thanks for sharing. I really enjoyed the invite. The creativity was perfect and the shots were beautiful. I cant wait to see some more of your work in the future.

Steve
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Old March 14th, 2009, 01:33 PM   #4
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Great stuff Brad! What are you using to edit with right now?

Ryan
Thanks man. I'm using Sony Vegas Pro 8.0c and waiting for 8d or 9 to come out at NAB (hopefully).
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Old March 14th, 2009, 01:35 PM   #5
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Brad... thanks for sharing. I really enjoyed the invite. The creativity was perfect and the shots were beautiful. I cant wait to see some more of your work in the future.

Steve
Thanks Steve, I appreciate it! I've already got another wedding booked with 3 more interested. Needless to say this is all happening really fast.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 02:57 PM   #6
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Brad - very nice especially for your first! I can relate to your story about the "spark". My story is almost identical. As for the gear, you'll want to consider uping your budget if your going to get serious about this. I would advise against the consumer cam. Check out the " what camera should I buy" forums and see whats working for others in the field. A good wireless audio setup is a must. The Merlin ( or another good stabilizer) would be a great investment if you can swing it. Also a good tripod or monopod. Leave room in your budget for the small stuff too which add up - media, batteries, cases, lighting. I spent $10K on my initial investment but luckily made it all back in a little over a year. Sounds like you have some momentum and a good eye for this kind of work - go for it! Oh - and read this forum everyday. I learned everything I know from the pros on this board.

Art
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Old March 14th, 2009, 03:02 PM   #7
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I too thought your film showed an originality in shoot and edit. You've got to love barrel-distorting wide-angles to be one of your clients, but in some ways this suited the happy-go-lucky viewpoint I thought.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 03:34 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Art Varga View Post
Brad - very nice especially for your first! I can relate to your story about the "spark". My story is almost identical. As for the gear, you'll want to consider uping your budget if your going to get serious about this. I would advise against the consumer cam. Check out the " what camera should I buy" forums and see whats working for others in the field. A good wireless audio setup is a must. The Merlin ( or another good stabilizer) would be a great investment if you can swing it. Also a good tripod or monopod. Leave room in your budget for the small stuff too which add up - media, batteries, cases, lighting. I spent $10K on my initial investment but luckily made it all back in a little over a year. Sounds like you have some momentum and a good eye for this kind of work - go for it! Oh - and read this forum everyday. I learned everything I know from the pros on this board.

Art
Art, thank you muchly for the kind words. It all boils down to this.....I have no more room in my budget right now. Honestly. My daily job is suffering the same downfalls as the rest of the economy and I have to be VERY careful with how I spend right now. I am the main source of income for my family. Wedding videography is actually costing me right now. Almost to the point of flat out quitting video for now. People keep urging me not to. I understand that $10k or so is a good round number but the finances just aren't there man. I refuse to go into debt further to get this going, regardless if it will pay for itself.

So like I said, it's either look like a pro with a prosumer cam (haha) and have nothing else, or it's back to another (nicer) consumer cam and look like a chump but still produce good videos the way I want them to be.

Can you say between a rock and a hard place? I'm lost.

-Brad
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Old March 14th, 2009, 03:36 PM   #9
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I too thought your film showed an originality in shoot and edit. You've got to love barrel-distorting wide-angles to be one of your clients, but in some ways this suited the happy-go-lucky viewpoint I thought.
I guess my clients aren't picky. That Raynox semi-fisheye saved me a few times in really tight quarters. Besides, like you said, it fit with the mood of the video.

I will continue to say that my partner and I have a different take on things and how we capture wedding days. It's very non-traditional and we don't mind that at all.

cheers,
-Brad
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Old March 14th, 2009, 04:17 PM   #10
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Hi Brad and fellow Vegas user (think most here are Adobe peeps).

Just downloading your vid now, need to let my machine buffer a bit (cheap laptop, big rig is upstairs).

Our startup was similar to yours, filmed a friends wedding just for fun, edited it, good reaction, decided to make a few more to make some cash. Planned to just buy a camera and film. HEre we are 2 years later after investing in 2x FX1's, Glidecam with vest, Lav mic, lights, tapes, bags, more mics, voice recorders and a whole load more and about to buy a Steadicam Pilot. So much for the plan of making a little cash on the side.

Youll either be somone who wants to spend as little as they can and churn them out or like us where you want to get better and better and be seen with the best of them.

Personally, hate fish eye, no idea where your using it yet, still downloading.

THe steadicam will be your best investment, that and a Glidetrack (go on, you know you want to). As long as you can master it and it fits your style youll love it.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 05:33 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Danny O'Neill View Post
Hi Brad and fellow Vegas user (think most here are Adobe peeps).

Just downloading your vid now, need to let my machine buffer a bit (cheap laptop, big rig is upstairs).

Our startup was similar to yours, filmed a friends wedding just for fun, edited it, good reaction, decided to make a few more to make some cash. Planned to just buy a camera and film. HEre we are 2 years later after investing in 2x FX1's, Glidecam with vest, Lav mic, lights, tapes, bags, more mics, voice recorders and a whole load more and about to buy a Steadicam Pilot. So much for the plan of making a little cash on the side.

Youll either be somone who wants to spend as little as they can and churn them out or like us where you want to get better and better and be seen with the best of them.

Personally, hate fish eye, no idea where your using it yet, still downloading.

THe steadicam will be your best investment, that and a Glidetrack (go on, you know you want to). As long as you can master it and it fits your style youll love it.
Danny,

thanks for the comments. Trust me, I don't "like" fisheye persay for wedding video. It was something I tried and wanted to use. Most people who aren't in the industry probably wouldn't even notice. I highly doubt I would ever use anything like that again. It's not a strong fish anyway, hence the semi-fish.

As far as my work goes, I'm really not concerned with getting high acclaims or competing so much. I could care less if I ever see an award or a "top 10 wedding videographers..." honor. It's not about that. I want to capture weddings for people and show them in an artistic manner that makes me feel good and will hopefully have an impact on people. If this only stays part time and I make some side money, ok. If it blows up and becomes more than I can handle with a full-time job already....then maybe I will take it a step further and turn it into a career.

Until then, I'm forced to cut corners, be frugal, and try to make wise decisions. A new camera is first and foremost. Right now I'm stuck using my photographer friends HV30. Which doesn't bother me so much because I feel the HV can produce good images.

As I stated, all I have for audio is a Zoom H4n. Either setting up front and capturing or hooking straight up to the soundboard. I have a fluidhead Velbon tripod which I like. That's about it. I know my gear is laughable. I just sold my HF10 with accessories and my Letus 35mini w/support rods.

If I went higher end cams it would either be HMC150, FX1000, or maybe the 5D MKII with a lens or two. If it were consumer end, it would be the XR series from Sony or another HV30. I have a handle design that I may be producing and selling for the HV series which turns the consumer cam into more of a prosumer feeling cam. It's nice to be in the CNC world and have highly skilled friends. haha

-Brad
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Old March 14th, 2009, 05:53 PM   #12
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the velbons are very much understated.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 06:16 PM   #13
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Owning the velbons and manfrottos and libecs I can honestly say the velbons are poor!

Good value for money, yes, but poor non the less.

Poor friction and terrible locking for the fx1!
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Old March 14th, 2009, 06:44 PM   #14
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Man, there's a strong European representation here. haha A lot of responses from the UK.

Anyway, yes...put a Velbon against a Manfrotto any day it will look silly in comparison.

Strapped for cash, they're golden.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 09:49 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Brad Cook View Post
Art, thank you muchly for the kind words. It all boils down to this.....I have no more room in my budget right now. Honestly. My daily job is suffering the same downfalls as the rest of the economy and I have to be VERY careful with how I spend right now. I am the main source of income for my family. Wedding videography is actually costing me right now. Almost to the point of flat out quitting video for now. People keep urging me not to. I understand that $10k or so is a good round number but the finances just aren't there man. I refuse to go into debt further to get this going, regardless if it will pay for itself.

So like I said, it's either look like a pro with a prosumer cam (haha) and have nothing else, or it's back to another (nicer) consumer cam and look like a chump but still produce good videos the way I want them to be.
Brad - have you considered buying pre-owned gear? For example I've seen used XH-A1s for sale for $2000-2500. Might be a way to stretch the budget.
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