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


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Old August 24th, 2008, 10:34 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Allentown, PA
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Recommended Support Equipment For a Single Cam

First let me say how fortunate I've been to have found this forum. The amount of free flowing information circulating here is incredible.

With that being said I'll introduce myself a fledgling wedding videographer currently operating as a single cam shooter. It's likely that I'll be a single cam shooter [on my own productions] for quite some time because this will mainly be on a part time basis [5 - 10 weddings per year] but that's subject to change based on increased interest.

I've searched the forum and found a few [informative] threads on tips for shooting weddings with a single cam but there wasn't too much detail on what equipment was being used.

When I got the call in '07 to tape my wife's best friend's wedding [my first wedding] I went in with the following:

JVC Everio G series GZ-MG555 HDD camcorder

Then to "appear" professional I went out and bought the following:

Sunpak Monopod
Sunpak 7500 "Pro" tripod
Rode Video Mic
Canon camcorder bag
Ulead VideoStudio 11 Plus to edit

LOL!!

Believe it or not the finished product came together really well and the bride & groom had inadvertently become my business cards.
They received matching iPhones as wedding gifts and asked if I could format the wedding montage I put together with the song they used for their dance into something they could play on their iPhones. They could now show everyone the highlights wherever they went and they did! 3 weeks later I was asked to shoot another wedding. By the end of '07 I had completed 2 more weddings and I was booked for 1 wedding this year and 4 [so far] in '09.

With the increase in demand so comes the need for better equipment. This became painfully obvious at my 2nd wedding - picture this. The venue is an old masonic temple building, ORIGINAL lighting fixtures probably from the mid 1950's, NO WINDOWS and a single chip CCD camcorder.

So last month I went out and purchased a Canon XH A1, Sony Vegas Pro 8, a Manfrotto 680B monopod and a Manfrotto 128RC mini fluid video head. These items and the purchase of a wireless lavalier mic system will finish off my budget for video this year. Being that I'm only doing one wedding this year it all should suffice until next year when I replace or upgrade.

Any recommendations/listings from any past or present single cam shooters will be greatly appreciated.

I'm already considering on-camera lighting, a replacement for the Rode Video Mic and replacement for the Sunpak tripod.
Laurence Scott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 24th, 2008, 11:08 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Bedfordshire, UK
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I think a second camera will really help. Similar to you we had a single decent camera but decided to spend a bit of capital to go for a second HD camera and havnt looked back. Even on your own you can set it up at the back or to the side. Its great to go from a nice wide shot to a really good close up of the rings or kiss.

As a single shooter I dont know if there is much else you need. A glidecam/steadicam is nice but you need the static shots and moving from static to glide could loose precious seconds at key moments.

Lights work best if there bright but at a distance. Close up low intensity is the other option. Maybe 10w for closeup.

And hi to a fellow Vegas user!
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Old August 24th, 2008, 04:10 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2008
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Thanks for the input

Thanks for the input -
I've spent some time crunching the numbers on getting a 2nd XH A1 next year. If all goes well with the sale of our present home I might be able to get it before this year is over.

Vegas worked out better than I thought - I like working with it. At first I wasn't sure that I'd be able grasp it being that I've been using the Ulead VideoStudio line since version 4. A friend had let me edit some footage with his Adobe Premiere rig and even though it's great editor the learning curve is too steep for me. By chance I ran in to a friend of my brother who told me about Vegas 7 during that same time Vegas Pro 8 had just released. DL'd the demo and I liked all the functionality it offered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny O'Neill View Post
I think a second camera will really help. Similar to you we had a single decent camera but decided to spend a bit of capital to go for a second HD camera and havnt looked back. Even on your own you can set it up at the back or to the side. Its great to go from a nice wide shot to a really good close up of the rings or kiss.

As a single shooter I dont know if there is much else you need. A glidecam/steadicam is nice but you need the static shots and moving from static to glide could loose precious seconds at key moments.

Lights work best if there bright but at a distance. Close up low intensity is the other option. Maybe 10w for closeup.

And hi to a fellow Vegas user!
Laurence Scott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 24th, 2008, 04:57 PM   #4
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Location: Miami, FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence Scott View Post
I'm already considering on-camera lighting, a replacement for the Rode Video Mic and replacement for the Sunpak tripod.
I tried to send you this in a PM, but when I click on your profile that isn't an option for some reason. Anyways, I'm selling one of my Davis-Sanford Pro Vista tripods (75mm ball with FM-18 fluid head, also dual-pan handles and a carry bag) now that I'm using a different mount for my 3rd camera. It cost $250 brand new and is in essentially that same condition right now, and I'm selling it for $75. If you're interested, email me back:

info@dreambigproductions.com


Sorry to drop this in the thread, but I had no way to give you this info outside of the thread, and I thought you might be interested.
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Black Label Films
www.blacklabelweddingfilms.com
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