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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old September 29th, 2007, 06:14 PM   #1
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Jumping into something new...

I got myself a Glidecam 2000 recently and have been practicing with it. I'm doing all right with it, but it's obviously something that takes time to master. I have a wedding coming up this Wednesday and I am debating whether or not to use it. Let me mention first that this would basically be for a photo-shoot style of video and would be done with a single camera. Until now I've basically stuck to tripod shots so I can focus on composition more. Going with the Glidecam would be a big departure from that style. There's usually a bit of apprehension about a change such as this, but I'd appreciate any advice on what decision you'd make if it were you.
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Old September 29th, 2007, 07:07 PM   #2
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I suggest you start using for wedding now. Practice makes pefect, but you actually have to use it in real situations to become comforable with it. I'm sure the couple will appreciate the effort regardless of the outcome.

If you're just using it for setup shots, then you shouldn't have as much to worry about. It's amazing how much we put into the work and most of the subtle stuff is missed by the untrained eye. What we think isn't adequate turns out to be amazing to clients. I love how that works sometimes.
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Old September 29th, 2007, 07:21 PM   #3
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Careful, Sean.

It's quite true that the untrained eye appreciates video work much of the time without noticing technical aspects.

But... using their wedding as practice is a terrible idea, IMO.

This is their ONE wedding.

If you don't know what you're doing with the device, then go use it. Walk around a park and film stuff. Doesn't really matter.

Of course there will be a first time you use it for a real wedding, and that's fine. But don't use that to learn what you're doing.

I think it does sound somewhat promising, but at the same time probably overkill for a wedding. Wouldn't you get tired? With a tripod you can relax your shoulders whenever you want. With that.... well... hope you get a good night's sleep before.

If you have some time to switch the camera around (and you probably will, right?), then it's not a bad idea at all to take it and use it for some parts. But I'd think a tripod would fit best for the main parts of the wedding ceremony. You won't be moving around much.
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Old September 29th, 2007, 08:16 PM   #4
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Mike,

What time and where is the wedding? If you are interested I might be able to come as a second shooter and cover some standard shots that you could fall back on if your Glidcam shots don't work. If it fits my schedule I would be glad to do this for no charge. Let me know if you are interested.

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Old September 29th, 2007, 09:09 PM   #5
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Hmm.... cool.

In that case, having the glidecam would be nice, if you do have a backup :)
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Old September 29th, 2007, 09:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Ross View Post
Careful, Sean.

It's quite true that the untrained eye appreciates video work much of the time without noticing technical aspects.

But... using their wedding as practice is a terrible idea, IMO.

This is their ONE wedding.

If you don't know what you're doing with the device, then go use it. Walk around a park and film stuff. Doesn't really matter.

Of course there will be a first time you use it for a real wedding, and that's fine. But don't use that to learn what you're doing.

I think it does sound somewhat promising, but at the same time probably overkill for a wedding. Wouldn't you get tired? With a tripod you can relax your shoulders whenever you want. With that.... well... hope you get a good night's sleep before.

If you have some time to switch the camera around (and you probably will, right?), then it's not a bad idea at all to take it and use it for some parts. But I'd think a tripod would fit best for the main parts of the wedding ceremony. You won't be moving around much.
I wouldn't expect him to use it without practice. He stated in his post that he had practiced with it, so I was assuming he has a feel for it. You are very right. It is their one and only wedding. Like he said, he wants to use it for planned shots. Not for the ceremony, which would be a huge risk.
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Old September 29th, 2007, 10:19 PM   #7
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Fair enough. I just would go with any doubt if you have it. Bad idea to risk messing up the wedding. But if it's just for some shots, no problem, likely.
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Old September 29th, 2007, 10:48 PM   #8
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Thank you all for your advice. I have used it for the past few weeks and I do feel comfortable enough to use it, just trying to get over the slight anxiety of trying something new. It wouldn't be for a full ceremony, just a short photo-shoot-style video. This isn't your "standard" wedding video. Things can be a bit different here in Utah.

Lloyd, your offer is extremely generous. It's on Wednesday at the Salt Lake Temple. Ceremony's at 11:00, so they'll be out around noon or so. If that fits your schedule let me know. Thanks again for the offer. The gesture alone is much appreciated.

I agree that this is the couple's ONE wedding, and that I can't go back and reshoot it if I don't get it right. That's my wife's major reservation, and she's really level headed. That's why I wanted to get the opinion of those who have been at a crossroads such as this before. In terms of changing from Glidecam to tripod, there won't be much time as we'll be moving about quite a bit to different locations (all within a two-block radius). If I had an assistant, and preferably a quick release plate, it would be easier but as I am solo on this it would be hard to carry my tripod and maneuver the Glidecam. Even if I'm carrying the tripod in a carry bag I think it'd be difficult. Anyway, I'm open to any other comments on this as well. Thanks again to those who have posted.
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Old October 4th, 2007, 03:20 PM   #9
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Well, I did it. Thanks to Lloyd's generous contribution I decided to shoot with the Glidecam. Lloyd, who coincidentally lives just about a block from my parents, is a really nice guy and a great videographer. With him shooting second cam I was able to move in with the Glidecam and get some shots I'd always wanted to get but never really had a way to. Anyway, I've got a little sample clip.
Glidecam Clip It's a quick edit of some of the photo shoot from yesterday. If any of you have time to review this I'd love to hear your opinions.

Also, I'd really like to thank Lloyd Coleman in this public forum. He is a very nice guy and he was so helpful to me on this shoot. He even went so far as to bring over a Litepanel to the reception in case I needed some additional lighting. Compared to other videographers I've met up with (not all, just some) I'd say Lloyd is a diamond in the rough. I've been helped by a lot of generous people on this board and I think it's great when we do pull together and cooperate like this. This board itself is an example of how much good can come from cooperation. Thanks to everyone for helping me to develop my skills & business in ways that would have taken me far longer to accomplish alone.
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Old October 4th, 2007, 03:39 PM   #10
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If you're using the glidecam for a LDS "after the wedding" photo session, that's fine. If you have a second shooter, that is wonderful! The only thing I don't like about steadicam/glidecam is that you're basically restricted to wide shots. Go crazy with the glidecam. Use those shots as transitions or between locations, and rely on the second camera for closeups. Together, I think you can create a really cool-looking package!
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Old October 4th, 2007, 04:07 PM   #11
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Well, I agree with some of what you are saying. Though you are restricted more to the wide sweeping shots with a Glidecam, I found I still could get in for the closeups. Have you watched the clip? Everything in it came from the camera I had on the Glidecam. I agree with what you are saying about two shooters. Though I didn't use any of Lloyd's footage in this clip (due to time constraints) I was VERY excited to have him along so that I could get double the coverage. Makes me want to recruit my wife to come along as a second shooter all the time so we could really use the best shots.
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Old October 5th, 2007, 01:07 PM   #12
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Nice job!

Well done shots. I did notice a little bit of shake back and forth when doing the real big sweeping zoom-ins but it was pretty minimal.

Did you create the poses for the couple or was a photographer involved? In any case, I liked the shots, the last reflection shot was very slick.
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Old October 5th, 2007, 02:40 PM   #13
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Jason, thanks for taking the time to watch it. That back-and-forth shake is the hardest thing I've found with a Glidecam. It's not very hard to get it to be smooth, but keeping your subject framed correctly is difficult. I need a better monitor. I actually did all of the framing off the viewfinder, which is not easy in full sunlight. Or any light for that matter.

I used the photographer poses for some of them. Usually they'd be ending a photo pose and I'd just have them look at the camera or do something else that I told them. It worked out really well. That's another side effect that I hadn't anticipated. Because I HAD to direct them what to do instead of just getting the candid shots that I usually get in such a shoot, the entire video looks much better because they are doing things specifically for the video. I haven't been very assertive on getting in there and having them do specific things, but it certainly makes a difference.
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Old October 5th, 2007, 09:16 PM   #14
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Here are some things I've learned about getting good glidecam shots:

1. Get the balance perfect. Too often folks settle for less that perfect balance because it makes setup easier. This is a bad idea, however, as it will impair point number 2:
2. Touch the guide shaft as little as possible. Practice starting the camera in the motion you want it to go and leave it alone. If you can avoid touching the guide shaft (or whatever it's called) your shot will be perfectly fluid. Of course, this is the part that takes most practice.
3. Try not to change directions. This goes along with the previous point. When you change directions mid-shot, it requires your hand to guide the glidecam. This is when shaking is introduced into the shot.


These are all I can think of for now but I will add more if I think of anything (feel free to chime in if you have any other hints).
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Old October 6th, 2007, 01:05 AM   #15
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Mike,
Enjoyed the clip especially the motion shots around the pool and with the temple in the background toward the end. Noticed a couple of shots with your shadow showing up (couple leaning on the temple) but I'm sure you'll deal with that in post. By the way, I shoot with a PD-170 and live in Hooper. If you need a second cam, drop me an e-mail. If available, I'd be glad to help out for the experience.
Randy
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