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Old November 19th, 2009, 12:15 AM  
First Time Wedding Video
Ryan ONeil Ryan ONeil is offline November 19th, 2009, 12:15 AM

This is a wedding compilation I made over this past week for the first wedding I did. I used it for the menu of the DVD. COMPLETELY new to this so I know pretty much zero on how to do things but quickly learning. :) Please critique bad and good points of it. Also, what do people typically buy when buying a wedding video? I made this for the menu and just took video from two cameras to make the ceremony as the main feature. Also...it's in widescreen format but put into 4:3 (I believe.)


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Old November 19th, 2009, 02:58 PM   #16
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Ken, you are 110% right. I AM my own worst critic as I think we all should be but I also have my wife of 40 years look at a lot of my work just to be sure. No I don't post work, I never have and doubt I will. Why? Just because I guess. I try to shoot solid steady footage and if an opportunity occures to get creative I go for it. Somestimes it works, sometimes it doesn't but as we all know, the magic happens in the edit suite.

Anyway, Ryan,you bring up a number of interesting questions and points.
First WB is done in the camera at the time of shooting. Correct in post if something happens really quick and you don't have time to re-WB. You want footage that is a coorect as possible to start with. As for whether or not to buy new gear, well that's something only you can decide. Do you need it? Can you afford it? I don't mean putting it on a credit card and paying it off over time, I mean do you have the cash it takes in your pocket so if you did buy new gear you can pay off the credit card right away, otherwise the gears costs you a lot more. A lot more.
If it were me, I'd stick with what I got, first to make sure this is what I really wanted to do, secondly to save money until I could afford what I want to buy and thirdly, to get better at what I was doing. Remember it's not the gear it's the person operating it.
Lastly, a good point was raised earlier. A wedding is a live once in a lifetime event at least for the B&G. I have always said that shooting a wedding is like shooting a breaking news event. It happens fast, it happens once and there are no do overs. Learn your gear, learn your edit process, learn the job, learn the business, never stop learning. Be a sponge. Watch every video piece you can decide what you like what you don't and find a style that suits you.
Also as stated, maybe good audio gear is a good place to start. Audio is 70% of what we see. Average footage with really good audio is way better than great footage with bad audio.
As for zooming, I do it all the time, well not all the time but as was said it's the only way to go from wide to tight and vice-versa. HOWEVER, once you've done some weddings you'll know the "safe" times you can zoom during a ceremony and in the middle of the vows isnt one of them. Not saying you did that but just to drive the point home.
Lastly, keep in mind a couple of things. 1) BREATH, yes you get excited doing the first few weddings but after about a couple of hundred well it's a job. A nice one but still...2nd) You can not edit what you do not have. In the beginning shoot EVERYTHING. Solid, well framed and properly WB'd and exposed. As time goes on you'll know more and more what you do and do not need.
Remember it happens once and fast. Be ready for anything.
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Old November 19th, 2009, 03:09 PM   #17
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Agree with Tom on all points. Though as far as new camera goes, I think you can be shooting much better with the camera you have. I have a $10,000 xlh1 and a $1,000 hv30, and one of the main differences is that I while I can do much of the same stuff with the hv30; I have to go into the cameras menu to do it, whereas the h1 has an external dial,knob or button to do it quickly.

Also I would add. Generally at the ceremony "PLAY IT SAFE". Two cameras on tripods should be able to cover the ceremony well with minimal amount of relocation required, and no need to go handheld at all. Just make sure that if you do need to relocate, that you don't move both cams at the same time. and whichever camera is recording audio, doesn't get shut off, as you can overlay the other cameras video during the movement. You're ahead of many in that you have two operators. Many of us here cover a wedding solo with multi cams to watch over.

As long as your camera has a mic input, you can (usually) adapt an xlr mic to fit. So I'd think that if you don't have an external mic, then you should get one. If your camera doesn't have a mic input - then you do need a new cam. In weddings especially - audio is very important. So I'd save up for a decent mic, as opposed to a shoulder rig, because even high end cameras need external mics (especially at weddings).

You also may want to think about an external audio recorder like the Zoom H4n. I just picked up a Zoom H4 for $100.00 (which was a good deal). The recorders can take mic inputs (xlr, and 1/4"), and they have a nice built in mic that, in a pinch, could be hidden near the B&G and sync'd in post. This wouldn't be ideal, but would certainly be better the on cam mics.
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Old November 19th, 2009, 09:34 PM   #18
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This thread is helping me learn a ton!

Ken, this may be obvious, but recording through the sound system is a definite no-no? How do you get the B&G as well as the minister miked? Would your own mic pick up everything? Do you use bluetooth mics? The mic that was on the camera (it's a sony handycam with a shotgun mic) produced not-so-good quality in the sound and the sound system was better.

Don, I don't use credit cards. :) I'm not well off either, but if I need something, I can make it happen. I don't want to spend money I don't have to though. I'll definitely invest in some audio equipment.

Tom, I'll try to find a good wedding videographer to help out one day. I don't know there there are many in Arkansas (there's only two listed with weva and one did not look amazing at all). It will be on my to do list. Will these guys not think of me as the future enemy?
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Old November 19th, 2009, 10:28 PM   #19
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A good quality wireless mic on the groom will generally ger the B&G and the officiant. I use Countryman lavs now but used Sonys in the past and with the omni pattern they worked fine. A shotgun indoors is pretty much useless except maybe for getting the music. Indoors for a ceremony a hypercaroid would work a lot better.

Cash is king! ;-) All I was trying to say is don't go into a lot of debt for gear in the beginning. Rental is another option if there is someplace or someone to rent it from.

Don't limit yourself to the list from WEVA. There are some real good vid people that don't belong to WEVA although in AR you may have limited choices.

Where is your city in relationship to Little Rock. I was just down there in September doing a wedding, was contacted by 2 other DVi members about possibly getting together.

Working with another vid person is a great way to learn. As for being "the enemy" depends on where they are, you are, what kind of person they are and how you approach them. Again AR is probably a bit different than my area (greater Chicagoland-big population lots and lots of weddings and lots of vid companies, big and small) so it might be easier here than there but it can't hurt to ask.
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Old November 19th, 2009, 10:39 PM   #20
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I recently moved to within 30 minutes of Little Rock. I would definitely love to help out where I could.
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Old November 20th, 2009, 01:02 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Ryan ONeil View Post
This thread is helping me learn a ton!

Ken, this may be obvious, but recording through the sound system is a definite no-no? How do you get the B&G as well as the minister miked? Would your own mic pick up everything? Do you use bluetooth mics? The mic that was on the camera (it's a sony handycam with a shotgun mic) produced not-so-good quality in the sound and the sound system was better.
Ryan, Not sure if you're telling me it's a no-no or asking if it's a no-no to mic the sound system. I have mic'd the speakers (usually for speeches at the reception) as Don has mentioned in other threads. I've never done it during the ceremony. But if the B&G, and the official are mic'd with the house system, it should work. Keep in mind that although I've been shooting for 20 years, I've only shot about 25 or so weddings. Don and Tom probably started shooting weddings with spring wound Bolexes (those are old film cameras).

You will find that your on camera mic is practically useless during a ceremony. In fact I've got a horror story or two from using an on-camera mic at weddings back in the early days. You want to be as close to the audio source as you can get, so unless your camera is three feet from the B&G, there's a lot of potential to pick up other audio (crying baby, lawnmower, airplanes, inappropriate comments, squeaky pews, etc.)

I usually mic the groom with a wireless lav (Sennheiser G2 - thinking about adding Countryman mic though because they are incredible). The groom is always there early, and sometimes the wedding officials roll in at the last moment.

I find I use my lav mic way more than my Senn ME66 shotgun. And that's not just at weddings. I use it for interviews and anytime I don't want to be tethered to the camera. In fact if you're looking to shoot weddings seriously, I'd lean toward a good wireless system ahead of a good external shotgun.

The great thing about good audio equipment is that it won't become obsolete anytime soon. If you look after it, you will get years of functional life out of it. Even when you later upgrade your cameras, you can keep your mics.

As far as training resources go. You may find that the local pro won't be as generous with help as we are here at dvinfo. Mostly because we thousands of miles apart, and not likely to threaten our business. If you're serious about getting better, you can spend your winter studying others work on here and reading through thousands of posts on camera and audio techniques, and practicing with your camera. Learn how to get everything you can out of it. I've seen some incredible footage shot with crappy cameras, and crappy footage shot with incredible cameras. Not to mention the hours worth of wedding clips that have been posted here that you can study.
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Old November 20th, 2009, 05:02 AM   #22
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Actually, I started with a stone tablet and chisel! ;-)

Just an FYI, for ceremonies I use 2 lavs back to an Audio Technica dual channel receiver. I place one lav on the groom of course and another on the lectern. Speaking of course for a typical church setting wedding. Since my cams only have 2 XLR inputs and I need 2 for my wireless, I kill off the hypercaroid on my A cam. I know that the shotgun on my B cam will get the music (it's loud enough so the 'gun works out well in that case) and the 2 lavs will also pick up the music as well, even if it's just used as a scratch track. This setup has worked well for my for a long time and I am quite happy with it. The only time I kind of lose the officiant is during a Mass when he steps back to the table and performs the communion prayers (can't think of the religious names-too early) but a little work in post and it works out. Never had any complaints.
Anyway, the long and short of it is I kill the on cam mic on my primary camera. Yep, to much other noisy stuff I don't need or want so why bother having it on.
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Old November 20th, 2009, 04:03 PM   #23
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Ryan...

Mic'ing the groom is a must... Just like Ken and Don have suggested. I didn't invest the money into a nice wireless lav system but instead bought a few digital recorders. IMO, they work just as well... It's a little bit more work during the edit but nothing major. I use a sony on the groom and an H2 near the altar as a backup. I've always been pleased. This can save you a few 100$ IMO...

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Old November 20th, 2009, 04:07 PM   #24
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So do you not have them record the service on their recording equipment then use that? Esp. for like live music.
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Old November 20th, 2009, 04:43 PM   #25
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Ryan,

Most wedding venues don't have a recording system available. You need to be able to be independent. Stephen's idea is a good and cheaper solution and those audio recorders are great to have.

When you're at the reception, I usually ask the DJ for a copy of the B&G selected wedding music. They usually have an extra disk kicking around. The audio quality will be much better than most live recordings and then you can mix in a little audio from the event. This is about the only time your on-cam mic is good for anything.

Of course now I've opened up the discussion of using copyrighted music without permission...
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Old November 20th, 2009, 05:51 PM   #26
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as stated very few churches are equipped to record the ceremony and frankly I don't trust too many "audio guys"in churches. I have run in to too many that reallyhaven't a clue as to what they're doing. There are exceptions of course.

As for the reception, in this area, almost none of the DJs use CDs anymore. They are almost all using computers with the specialized software and have 1000s of songs on their harddrive(s) so getting a CD from the DJ is near impossible.

I trust my gear and my ears (I'm under phones ALL the time) and with the setup I use at receptions it'sas close to foolproof as possible. Micing the DJs speaker is an old trick but you need to use the right mic, so some say "well, just pull a feed from the DJs board". Did that and it cost me once. The DJ was a total moron and didn't have a clue as to what he was doing and really made my life hard in post so now if it's bad, I got noone to blame but me. If I'm going to take the credit, I gotta take the blame as well.
I know a lot of folks use the Zooms and so on for the ceremony and while I understand the reason I can't do it. I need to hear whats being recorded but that's a personal thing.
YMMV.
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Old November 21st, 2009, 01:49 AM   #27
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So you mainly mic the DJ speaker? What do you use to connect it to your headphones?

Also, a problem at this last wedding was that the guy playing the guitar had an electric acoustic that played about normal but his mic was super hot. This messed up the audio that we had, but wouldn't this mess up the audio even if you had miced the speakers?
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Old November 21st, 2009, 01:50 AM   #28
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Ryan,

Most wedding venues don't have a recording system available. You need to be able to be independent. Stephen's idea is a good and cheaper solution and those audio recorders are great to have.

When you're at the reception, I usually ask the DJ for a copy of the B&G selected wedding music. They usually have an extra disk kicking around. The audio quality will be much better than most live recordings and then you can mix in a little audio from the event. This is about the only time your on-cam mic is good for anything.

Of course now I've opened up the discussion of using copyrighted music without permission...
I'm guessing this typically happens. :)
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Old November 21st, 2009, 06:36 AM   #29
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Ryan, it's basic audio setup. Sennheiser E604 drum mic (takes high SPLs) with audio Technica plug in transmitter (commonly referred to as a butt plug) on a mic stand placed in front of speaker. Generally within about 6 inches. That runs back to my ATwireless receiver that is attached to my camera audio input 2 and hence records to one channel of my camera. I have an AKG SE300 barrel with a CK93 hypercaroid capsule on the camera which I run to channel 1 on my camera. One way or another I get audio. For instance when people are using a microphone supplied by the DJ for toasts no matter what they do with the mic I get at least 1 track of audio. For music during the evening, I get 2 channels and since I can control just about everything about my audio, levels, placement etc. I get good stuff to work with in post. The headphones are set up to my camera. You monitor audio as close to the final point as possible.

As for your situation with the guitar, without hearing the audio, live, it would be hard to speculate. If the guitar was "normal" but the mic was "hot" how did the music sound coming thru the speakers and your headphones? Did it sound crispy, did the levels bars in your camera show clipping or in the red? HOw does it sound and what do the waveforms look like in NLE. If the waveforms are 1 big bar without peaks and valleys then you probably have a problem.
Knowing how to get around these types of things on the fly are some of things one must learn to be a true professional and to be able to produce a top quality product. These things sometimes take time and hard lessons to learn unfortunately but luckily, DVi memebers have pretty much all been thru it and can help along the way to ease the path.
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Old November 21st, 2009, 12:32 PM   #30
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Thanks for the specs.

The audio in post did clip and max out. That's why I was having problems with it. So that's an issue you deal with live. Didn't think about that.
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