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-   -   Mic used for "guest comments"? (http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/wedding-event-videography-techniques/100302-mic-used-guest-comments.html)

Jason Donaldson August 1st, 2007 08:47 PM

Mic used for "guest comments"?
I just posted a newbie questions about lighting and nightshot, so I figured I would post about this as well. For the wedding I am about to do, the B&G would like me to film a few guests saying thier congrats etc. My question is, what of the following 4 mic options should I go with:

1. have the guest hold a wired Shure SM58 (small but heavy)
2. have the guest hold a wireless handheld Audio-Technica Freeway 600 (big but light)
3. use my Sony WCS-999 wireless lapel mic (obviously tiny & out of sight)
4. just go with the shotgun mic that came with my A1U

My personal choice would be to go with the lapel mic, and have the shotgun mic capture background as well. I guess I could capture background with the other options as well. Would it look bad to see the guest holding a mic? I have no idea as I am new to wedding videography.


Edward Carlson August 1st, 2007 09:44 PM

The handheld mics will give the best sound with the least setup time. The lapel will also give good sound, but you would have to have each guest put it on and take it off. The shotgun will be the least amount of work to set up, but you may not get the best audio. I would use the Shure wired mic, because wireless mics can run out of batteries and get interference. The Shure will be the most reliable. Make sure if the mic has an on/off switch, that it is turned on. Personally I would turn it on and put some tape over it.

Dave Blackhurst August 1st, 2007 11:39 PM

Jason -
See some of my older posts for suggestions on how to get "guest" comments - highly recomment you use the man on the street interview style with a volunteer interviewer - looks better than the disembodied voice behind the cam.

I'd go with the wireless stick mic - no fiddling around trying to rig a lav... people have a general idea of what to do with a mic <wink>...

The shotgun will only work if the ambient noise levels are low - not too likely at a reception.

Warren Kawamoto August 2nd, 2007 01:01 AM

For interviews at wedding receptions, I use the Shure SM63L mic. I tell people to speak directly into the microphone. I've used it in the middle of the dance floor with LOUD dance music. Believe it or not, everything that anyone says can clearly be heard, even with the music blasting away! It's a wonderful interview mic.

Mark Holland August 2nd, 2007 01:21 PM

Personally, I don't like doing "interviews" at weddings. I don't think they look good in videos, and many brides I deal with don't like the idea of someone bothering her guests to ask them for comments. However, when I HAVE to do interviews, I use a handheld wireless mic. For me, it's faster to deploy (as opposed to a wired mic) and it rejects most of the surrounding noise as well. I've used this set-up in the middle of very loud wedding receptions, and heard every word the guest said.

As for the "disembodied voice behind the cam" concern, if ever there are operator comments or questions on the tape, I edit them out. Usually the guest is asked to give "best wishes" or advice to the happy couple, then asked to begin speaking on cue. ie. camera starts rolling, count to 3, cue the guest, interview complete, (move on to the next victim...)

Good luck!


Jason Donaldson August 2nd, 2007 06:02 PM

Thanks for the replies guys....very helpful.

Peter Jefferson August 2nd, 2007 11:08 PM

K6 + ME 64 or ME66 on cam shotgun

I dont expect anyone to hold anything when leaving a message. it makes it more formal which is what i dont want

Despite the fact I hate doing it (yeah I get lazy), its very popular

Jon Omiatek August 3rd, 2007 07:05 AM

I use a hand held mic with a Sennheiser G2 Plug-In Transmitter and as a backup my AT 897 shutgun.

Warren Kawamoto August 5th, 2007 05:21 PM


Originally Posted by Mark Holland (Post 722415)
Personally, I don't like doing "interviews" at weddings. I don't think they look good in videos, and many brides I deal with don't like the idea of someone bothering her guests to ask them for comments. Mark

While this is mostly true, I've been able to get some really priceless interviews by looking out for children who are related to the bride or groom. They are usually nieces or nephews and I call them "hams." When I see them at the reception, I ask them to help me by being a reporter for me, one at a time. I tell them to go around with the mic and ask people to "please give a message of congratulations to the bride and groom" or "can you tell us the secret to a long and happy marriage?" Once the mic is in their hands, I follow them with the camera rolling. What you'll get are lots of eager faces wanting to say something and the footage can be incredibly entertaining. The bride and grooms' families love it! Try it!

Jim Fields August 5th, 2007 06:46 PM

I to hate doing interviews. However when I do, i set the camera up in a nice spot, far away from the music playing, and try to get a nice background, I then ask the DJ to announce that I am getting interviews, and get them all done at the same time. Saves me from walking around, and there is no background music in the recording.

I currently use a lapel, I dont mind putting them on some of the girls, but I do want to switch to a handheld wired mic, I am shopping for a nice one with a budget of $500.00 for it.

Alex Amira August 6th, 2007 07:05 AM

I did my first wedding and got 24 interviews.
I used the VideoMic because I did the wedding solo and I noticed how people got really self conscious when using the lavalier for the interview (the lav worked miracles for the groom).

What you want to do is position your camcorder with the music behind you (kind of obvious I guess). I also try to find a tree as the background. The last and really most important thing is to take a bit of time and coach them. First tell the them what the questions are (I ask 3) and I go slowly and try to smile basically you want to create a nice environment so they loosen up. I also tell them to incorporate the question in the answer. I say "I'm going to ask you 'How did you feel when you heard Dan and Mary got engaged' and your answer will start with 'When I first heard that Dan and Mary got engaged'...then you add your answer".
This way I can cut myself out and it gives the interview a better more polished look.

For the family members I use shots from the photo session to make it more like a TV style interview (my style of interviews in general as well). I will show the guest speaking for 10-15 seconds then cut to shots from the photo session then show them again for 10-15 seconds at the end. This also allows you to cover your cuts without using dissolves (nothing wrong with dissolves I just want to mix things up and not use them all the time). You can actually do the same thing with the guests that are not family and were not in the photo session. I used footage from the money dance for the guest interview. I would show the guest dancing with the bride or groom and lay that over the interview.

I print the question on a small piece of paper and show it to the guest sometimes on top of telling them what the questions are going to be. DO NOT GIVE THEM THE PAPER. One guest kept the paper and I did not notice it...so they were reading the questions on camera and it was obvious they were reading cause their eyes kept looking down. Luckily this was a family member so I used a lot of shots from the photo session while they were talking.

Interviewing people at the reception will find them more relaxed then at the church (he he).

If you got a good friendly relationship with the groom and bride you can improvise some things. At the cake cutting they shoved cake into each other’s faces (got some great footage) so later on during the reception I asked the bride if she had any comments about that situation. She gave me 30 seconds of “Thanks honey for shoving cake in my face…” I got home and put that piece right after the cake cutting incident.

I wore by V6 cans the whole time and it really paid off. I've learned to wear the V6s from a financial seminar where the speaker was unknowingly brushing the lav. against his suit. Luckily I always use 2 lavs whenever possible (or lav +PA feed). Going for that Ryan Seacrest 2 lavs. look :)

I'm almost done with the edit and I kept 20 interviews in. The others were discarded because the things they said were not flattering (I think they said them without realizing it).

Another thing to look into is to ask the bride if she does not want to see someone on the DVD. We all have families and we know how it is. There are certain people who we don’t really see eye to eye with. I got some instructions from the bride in this area and made the necessary changes :)

I normally use the lav. mic when I do interviews at bike shows, car shows, or financial seminars and it is works out well. I can honestly say that I always go back to my GS + IRiver combo. The sound is outstanding.

On another note I had the groom hooked up with 2 lavs. I had GS+IRiver and Samson UHF 32 lav wireless. Before the ceremony started I did a test with the Samson UHF and the church’s Shure wireless system to make sure there would be no interference.

Even though this was my first wedding I did very well (modesty is one of my qualities). I’ve done quite a few interviews at car and bike shows as well as interviews (MOS) for various projects including 30 second spots. That experience really helped.

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