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


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Old April 3rd, 2008, 01:20 PM   #1
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first wedding shoot

Hi, I'm shooting a wedding tomorrow, and it's my first experience in shooting a wedding/non-repeatable event.
It'll be outdoors, and I just need to shoot the ceremony for around 2-3 hours.

I have a Canon XH-A1 (stock battery + 2 non-canon higher capacity batteries), a Canon HV-20 (stock battery + 1 Canon 2L14), 2 manfrotto tripods (one with a video head and one with a normal head).

I don't anticipate to be recording at night but I also have a canon vl-10Li with a battery that'll last apparently about an hour.

For audio I have a Rode videomic which i'm thinking of putting on top of the HV-20; I plan to have the HV-20 on the normal manfrotto tripod getting a constant angle (any advice on what angle I should try?) and perhaps running around getting different angles with the XH-A1.

I've bought 5 sony DVM63 tapes and got some TDK miniDV tapes free with the HV-20; I'm guessing I should be using the sony tapes?

Any advice for a first-time wedding videographer? One problem I'm anticipating is getting clear audio from the bride/groom/priest bit of the wedding; had a look at portable recorders but they were all pretty shifty, and advice on that?

Thanks in advance for any replies.

EDIT: oh yeah, planning on shooting HDV at 25f.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 04:24 PM   #2
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Your biggest problem is really going to be audio. Your on camera mic (Rode in thei case), really won't pickup squat, especially outdoors.

You were on the right path in regards to recorders, and if anything maybe go out and pickup an Olympus recorder at Circuit City or something.

I can recommend many recorders for you to use, but at this late stage I don't think that there will be any place that yo could get one at this late time. It would have to be local at a place like Guitar Center or such.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 04:27 PM   #3
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Michael,

Would you please recommend some other recorders. I haven't ordered one yet.

Thanks,

Bryan
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 04:39 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bryan Lawler View Post
Michael,

Would you please recommend some other recorders. I haven't ordered one yet.

Thanks,

Bryan
Well, there are a several different recorders that can be used for different uses.
Right now I would recommend as the best small recorder that I have tried (I have used M-Audio Microtrack, Edirol R09, Marantz PMD620, Zoom H2, Zoom H4 and more), I would say the Marantz PMD620 is the best. Great build quality and manual controls, very quiet pre amps, good built in mics and separate 1/8 mic and line in inputs. It's very good for line input, external mic or even internal mic usage.

The Edirol R09 is also way up there in my book, and I give some manual control advantage to it. The reason tat I recommend the PMD620 over the R09 is the R09s questionable 1/8 jacks which have caused problems for some.

If you are looking for a recorder that is setup and go for use of onboard mics, then the H2 is great as it has 4 separate built in mic elements and can record from both sides of the unit in surround mode. It has a pretty good build quality, and decent pre amps. The problem that you might have with this is keeping sync with your video at any recording rate. If you are using this recorder for background and non sync audio it will be great. I don't edit in real time for this use, as I use various time shifting and other clips from different points in time and occasionally go back to whats being played in audio and video, then I just resync if needed.

The Zoom H4 is good if you have use for dual built in XLR capability. It does not have 1/8 inputs as it's too large to use on someone with a lav anyway. For that use stick to the H2 if yo go with Zoom.

If you are looking into doing multi track field recording, then take a look at teh upcoming Edirol R-44 4-Track SD recorder. I have it on pre-order, as I used to use the R-4 (which is hard drive recordable), but loved the smaller form factor, better controls, and best of all no moving parts since it recorders to SD card. I use 4 track recording for live band and recital use, by taking board feeds and live micing, or even live micing the venue and feeding it into a track recorder for a perfect mixing. Then I just sync in post later.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 04:57 PM   #5
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Thank you so much for the replies;
I actually live in the middle east so finding decent models of specialist equipment (like audio recorders) is nearly impossible. Might try finding a recorder tomorrow if I can.

I found an old iriver mp3 player/recorder (T30 I believe) in the cupboard, it has an inbuilt mic which I used a few times for recording interviews, it might just have to suffice. Not sure how long batteries last on it though.

It's possible the whole wedding ceremony will use microphones/speakers to some extent which might make it easier.

I'm still not sure which camera I'll have the rode on-- if I have it on the stationary camera I may pick up a decent overall sound while if I have it on the A1 I can go in nice and close when they're finishing the ceremony (vows etc) and pick up half-decent audio.

I'm still not sure where to even point the HV-20, should I put it at the back of the seating so I get a view of the audience and the marriage or right up near the ceremony?
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 06:38 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Sam Johnston 853684
Hi, I'm shooting a wedding tomorrow
So much for planning ahead. :)

Script out your movements. Rehearse them. Learn the cues that will tell you when to move to your next position.

That's about all I can say to somebody who is doing their first wedding in a few hours. :)
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 07:46 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Sam Johnston View Post
Thank you so much for the replies;
I actually live in the middle east so finding decent models of specialist equipment (like audio recorders) is nearly impossible. Might try finding a recorder tomorrow if I can.

I found an old iriver mp3 player/recorder (T30 I believe) in the cupboard, it has an inbuilt mic which I used a few times for recording interviews, it might just have to suffice. Not sure how long batteries last on it though.

It's possible the whole wedding ceremony will use microphones/speakers to some extent which might make it easier.

I'm still not sure which camera I'll have the rode on-- if I have it on the stationary camera I may pick up a decent overall sound while if I have it on the A1 I can go in nice and close when they're finishing the ceremony (vows etc) and pick up half-decent audio.

I'm still not sure where to even point the HV-20, should I put it at the back of the seating so I get a view of the audience and the marriage or right up near the ceremony?
All things being said I would keep your HV20 wide center isle (make sure it's up high), for cutaway backup shots.

Then man your Canon on the side on the grooms side to make sure that you get shots of the bride. You can use your HV20 for shots of the both of them for cutaways during vows.

Setup your HV20 to shoot wide.
Place yourself down low shooting up the isle for processional and when bride is handed off go to your preset tripod on the side.

Or it also might be better to place your HV20 up front on the grooms side, and you man the Canon in the center isle. That way you can zoom in and out accordingly.

BTW after you have your center shot framed, leave your camera, and go over to the HV20 to make sure that your shot if properly framed and in focused.

Then go back to your center isle camera and shoot from there for most of the ceremony.

And make sure that you changes tapes in the other camera during the ceremony, not to mention to make sure that both cameras have fresh tapes in before the start of the ceremony.

Sorry that I can't help you with audio, but you don't really have much to work with.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 01:44 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Rick Steele View Post
So much for planning ahead. :)

Script out your movements. Rehearse them. Learn the cues that will tell you when to move to your next position.

That's about all I can say to somebody who is doing their first wedding in a few hours. :)
Heh. I've assisted in photographing a few weddings (perhaps 10+ by now?) and seen a few wedding videographers in action, so I've got a fairly decent idea of how to setup stuff.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 01:50 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Michael Liebergot View Post
All things being said I would keep your HV20 wide center isle (make sure it's up high), for cutaway backup shots.

Then man your Canon on the side on the grooms side to make sure that you get shots of the bride. You can use your HV20 for shots of the both of them for cutaways during vows.

Setup your HV20 to shoot wide.
Place yourself down low shooting up the isle for processional and when bride is handed off go to your preset tripod on the side.

Or it also might be better to place your HV20 up front on the grooms side, and you man the Canon in the center isle. That way you can zoom in and out accordingly.

BTW after you have your center shot framed, leave your camera, and go over to the HV20 to make sure that your shot if properly framed and in focused.

Then go back to your center isle camera and shoot from there for most of the ceremony.

And make sure that you changes tapes in the other camera during the ceremony, not to mention to make sure that both cameras have fresh tapes in before the start of the ceremony.

Sorry that I can't help you with audio, but you don't really have much to work with.
Thanks for the advice; will definately try it out. Pretty much thinking about keeping the HV20 at back centre-isle, and keeping the A1 on a monopod with the videohead so I can get close-ups etc.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 01:50 AM   #10
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I have a similar setup. I am using XH-A1 as the main cam, HV30 second cam at wide, another HV30 on merlin. I put together some tips at the other thread.

http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.ph...956#post800956

Feel free to ask if you have any question.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 02:57 AM   #11
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Hi,
Managed to pick up a SONY ICD-MX20 this morning; has a bi-directional mic and a pretty decent recording capacity; sadly no lavalier mic to use with.

Should I just put it on the table at the beginning of the wedding recording and leave it?
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