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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old September 17th, 2007, 03:42 PM   #1
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First wedding Friday...I NEED HELP!!!

Hey, I need help...I need to know some basic things. I searched around, but couldn't find anything specifically for me.

I need to know "What music do you use that works best?" I have seen suggestions for websites with royalty-free music, but I would like specifics, like a link to preview, and buy selected tracks.

Also, what camera angles have proven to be best? The bride has got what I think, a pretty good idea. She thought of having 1 camera(a Z1U) on the backside of a stage inside a church, and have the other camera(an identical Z1U) on myself moving around.

For sound, what would be the best approach? Plan A.) I had thought of having the wireless mic clipped on the pastor, to pick up audio from the Pastor, Bride, and Groom. While having a shotgun mic on the camera moving around...what do you guys think? Plan B) Should the shotgun mic be on the camera close by the threesome and the wireless mic on the camera moving around? If I did take the approach of "Plan B," I would have two choices of audio of the threesome to choose from. Also do I really need a "crowd mic" anyway? I don't see why.

Any other things you wish you knew before your first wedding?

Thanks for the wealth of knowledge you guys may give me.

nearsightedproductions.com
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Old September 17th, 2007, 04:03 PM   #2
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First take a deep breath and relax. You can't shoot when you're all tied up in a knot ;-)

As for AUDIO if you have only 1 audio system be it wireless or stand alone recorder mic the GROOM. That will get the groom, the bride and the officiant when he's in front of the couple which he will be in 90% of the time. If you have access to a 2nd system then put it on the lecturn for the reader if they have a lecturn and readers.

As for camera placement it's hard to say because each venue and setup is a bit differnt as are the rules you have to play by BUT typically I put an unmanned camera on the altar or just off of it depending on the size of the alter and where I feel I will get the best angle for a face shot. Most venues in my area don't allow anyone on the altar for video work so this basically becomes a "safe shot".
I stand up front with my rig to get the processional and as the B&G make their way to the alter as the officiant is making his welcome speech or opening prayer I move to the center rear frame, focus and tighten up the shot and shoot the reast from there. From that postion I can pretty cover all of the happenings. The readers face towards me so no problem, The B&G face each other for the actual ceremony so no problem there, they most often face out when they light the unity candle and IF I do get blocked out I shoot into that direction so at least you can tell whats going on.
I have found there is very little reason to be moving all over the place and frankly most officiants really don't like it and most often I can't anyway. I also work in the same places a lot so I don't want to make them mad. I have a good relationship with them and want to keep it.
A shotgun indoors especially a church really leaves a lot to be desired-as for getting the vows and such with a shotgun you can pretty much forget it BUT you do need to have (in my opinion anyway) ambient sound of the room so the shotgun would be fine for that. Whether the shotgun is on the 2nd cam or the prime cam wouldn't make a lot of difference unless the 2nd cam is pretty close. It should do OK for getting the music though as that is generally a lot louder than the people speaking.
Again, relax-have a drink and tkae it as it comes. You can't change anything - it happens as it happens. Think of it as a fast breaking news event. Make any moves slow and steady, pans and zooms slow and steady keep them in frame in focus and have fun.
Don
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Old September 17th, 2007, 05:25 PM   #3
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Carefull with the moving bit

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Originally Posted by Joseph Hutson View Post
and have the other camera(an identical Z1U) on myself moving around.
Since you are running video, two cameras or not, try to minimize movement in favor of getting a good placement and staying there. Movement destroys any chance of using that footage. Unless movement is timed for down time (waiting for someone to run get matches to light candles, etc) then you will want that footage. Even if you have a cover camera, it is just risky.

Consider slow pans instead of all out movements. I have been bitten by the "Oooo that spot looks better" problem on a few weddings, only to have to resort to stills to cover because of a less than ideal shot on cam 2 or a complete lack of cam 2.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 05:19 AM   #4
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Hi there

Iíve only started shooting weddings as well. Iím a musician and Ran a recording studio for Years. Always loved video.

Anyway done bout 7 weddings so far and learned fast what to do and not to do.
First off, donít Panic on the day. Relax, arrive early and get everything worked in your head before you start.

Everybody's right about minimum movement. Keep the camera as fixed as possible until something happens. You feel like the shoot is getting boring until you go to the edit and realize that you moved all over the place just as things were looking good. Let the other camera get all the cutaways, etc

Donít try and experiment too much on the first wedding with fancy shots, get the important shots. You canít go wrong if you get them

As for audio. I did a lot of reading on this site, as audio is the thing I know most about. I bought 4 irivers 790/890s and giant squid mics. There brill. Look them up if you havenít heard of them.
But the weddings on Friday so you might not have time to get any. so what i do is mic the PA up with a Akg c3000 straight into the camera and i hook a wireless mic to the groom or better the priest.
Threes only one problem with this on the Z1. you have to stop recording to switch from the Camera mic to the XLR inputs. I use the Camera mic while Walking up the isle.. So Mic up the second mic as much as you can. Maby something on the groom and something on the Church music.

before i finish i just wanna say. Iím not an experienced Camera operator and I am on my own at weddings. I keep things simple but get the shots and am very particular about getting the sound right, even if its a lot to do when its in post edit. Cover your ass!! Learn from this one

Anyway best of luck with it.. Hope something helped
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Old September 18th, 2007, 10:41 PM   #5
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1. Niall, I like your attitude. Good advice.

2. Joseph, all I would add is expect the photographer(s) to somehow get their ass(es) in many of your shots whether intentionally or because they're not paying attention to the fact that others might be trying to get a good shot too. Shoot a bunch of cut-aways and close-ups of guests or other suitable video that you can use to edit in to those spots where Flash McKenzie screws up your great shot. Be polite but don't let them muscle you around.

Jeff
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Old September 19th, 2007, 01:57 AM   #6
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I would also add, from lessons learnt at my first wedding shoot, get your cameras higher than a conventional tripod, so that they are above the heads of guests when they stand up to sing at the service, or when they stand when the bride arrives.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 04:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niall Megahey View Post
I bought 4 irivers 790/890s and giant squid mics.
Couldn't find these models back on the iriver site, do you know which of their new models have the same possibilities as the 790/890 series?
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Old September 19th, 2007, 04:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Couldn't find these models back on the iriver site, do you know which of their new models have the same possibilities as the 790/890 series?
They don't. You could try ebay. Search for Iriver iFP in combination with 790 795 799 890 895 899 999. The difference is mainly size of memory.

Niall, I agree - they really perform well. Using them all over, at podiums, jackets, evereywhere size does matter.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 05:57 AM   #9
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chttp://cgi.ebay.com.au/iRiver-iFP-890-256-MB-MP3-Player-w-accessories-case_W0QQitemZ320158288520QQihZ011QQcategoryZ114622QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD2VQQcmdZViewItem

I got four of ebay some time ago for an average of $US11 each. Brilliant.

...and four giant squids.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 06:03 AM   #10
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http://search.ebay.com/search/search...890&category0=

better...
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Old September 19th, 2007, 09:53 AM   #11
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Joseph, I guess your big day is just two days away now.

I scanned thru the previous posts and I didn't see a recommendation that you and your equipment attend the rehearsal, so that's my suggestion to add to the growing list.

The rehearsal in most cases (but not always) is close to how events will flow and who goes where and when. That will help you anticipate when and where to pre-position yourself on the wedding day to get the best shots. If you have a wireless mic, use it as you plan to for the wedding. Shoot video from various positions during the rehearsal. After all is done and you get home, listen to the audio & review your video. Doing that will likely give you ideas for doing it better at the real event.

Renton wrote earlier about setting up your tripod to shoot over the heads as people stand up. Remember that if you attend the rehearsal. There won't be many people in the church for the rehearsal, so when you pick locations for the tripod and for hand held, visualize how people standing will block your view of the wedding party.

Bring more tape than what you think you'll use, have all batteries fully charged, and always carry extra batteries.

Except for changing tape, I keep my cameras rolling continuously. It's a fact that the best facial expressions, comments, and unplanned events happen when the tape is stopped. By the time you hit that red button and the camera starts recording, it's over.

Say hi to the photographer as soon as he/she shows up. Not all are jerks. The response will give you a pretty good indication what your relationship will be with that person for the rest of the day. There are plenty of posts here about dealing with photographers.

Wear your most comfortable shoes, even if they don't go well with your clothes.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 03:35 PM   #12
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recommend roadpal

http://cgi.ebay.com/iRiver-IFP390-25...QQcmdZViewItem

More...

'roadpal' is the excellent seller I got my irivers from. Seems like he has a new model that does the same thing, same sort of price - ifp 390
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Old September 19th, 2007, 11:04 PM   #13
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AFAIK, the 3XX series DOES NOT have the line in capability - not without an external preamp - made that mistake myself, got the 8XX series now, and they are different internally than the 3XX's I tried at first... they don't seem to work with a mic, unless I was just missing something, but the 8XX (and supposedly the 7XX, but I've not tried them) have a specifc setting for when you want to use an ext mic.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 11:58 PM   #14
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The 700s and 800s are pretty much identical in capability.
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Old September 20th, 2007, 12:16 AM   #15
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Fs-4 Pro HD?

I am not excited about shooting 5 hours of video, capturing video for 5 hours, and FINALly editing.

Does anybody use an FS-4 Pro HD hard disk, so I may bypass hours of time capturing.

I was thinking about buying a 60 GB for my first camera, and a 40 GB for my second. I have a couple of Z1U's and I use Final Cut Studio.

Does this sound like an excellent idea? I hope so!!!

If you have not seen one, check them out at the following links.

http://www.videoguys.com/FireStore.html

http://www.focusinfo.com/solutions/catalog.asp?id=3

Thanks for your input, and I have a 2nd wedding scheduled in October. YIPPEE!!!! Maybe soon I will charge more than $100-$250 per wedding.

P.S. How much do you usually charge? as a general rule?
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