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


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Old September 3rd, 2008, 04:54 PM   #1
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Starting fresh...

If you could start fresh knowing what you know now, what would you do different in wedding video? Different camera? Why? Different lighting equipment? Why? What would you get, and why?

I've been contemplating starting up for some time now, but I don't want to just kinda do. All or nothing. What do you suggest?

(Please don't 'suggest' 3 RED cameras)
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 05:11 PM   #2
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never buy a secondhand camera without knowledge.

Learn from my mistakes i suppose and i don't think you can go thro life without mistakes.
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 05:16 PM   #3
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Yeah 3 RED cameras is way over kill. Just get 2.

Just kidding. If I Could start now I know I would want a Steadicam. I would also want a wide angle adapter lens. I would also want 2 Cameras. Both HD, I would go tapeless now, although I like my tape workflow. I would also want to be more organized. I remember my first few weddings I was so disorganized it made it more difficult.

So I would get either the XH-A1 (for lower budget start up) or the EX1 for a hight budget start up. (but if you think there is the chance of photographers going flash crazy on you then you better not get the EX1 because of a rolling shutter problem with flashes)

Also get a good quality light, one that is dim-able would be helpful for all situations.
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 05:42 PM   #4
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My biggest piece of advice would be to buy quality. No matter what it is. For example, I can't tell you how many tripods I've been through in the last 4 years because I wanted to save a buck. This goes for everything else that is mentioned like lighting, audio, etc. It's hard when starting up because you may not have the funds to spend that kind of money, which is exactly the case for most people and why I did buy things cheaper at first. If you do have the money though and can get piece by piece, go with good quality equipment once instead of cheap equipment that you have to replace year after year. As far as the tripods I mentioned, I now have 3 high quality bogen tripods and it really does make a difference in my shots....and they'll last a long time!

Instead of going into any specifics on equipment, I can tell you that I'm very very pleased with my current setup and need no upgrades or replacements at this time. Here's the list if you are interested.

Professional FAQ MediaInnovations Video Blog !

Matt
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 05:54 PM   #5
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hi Matt, Quote:
we typically use for every wedding.

We’re now shooting with the following:
2 Canon XH-A1’s
1 Canon HV20 - backup & capture
1 Canon XL-H1A

3 Bogen 503 Tripod Systems
Glidecam 2000
Steadicam Merlin
3 Olympus voice recorders
3 Audio Technica AT875 Shotgun Mics
Sennheiser G2 wireless mics
Raynox .3 Wide angle lens
2 Bescor camera lights
1 Arri spotlight with 10 ft. stand
Goodie bag with any extra things we may need…cables, tapes, batteries, etc.



why do you need theses extras below for weddings, i think its over kill:
1 Canon HV20 - backup & capture
1 Canon XL-H1A
3 Olympus voice recorders
3 Audio Technica AT875 Shotgun Mics
Glidecam 2000
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 06:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Bishop View Post
My biggest piece of advice would be to buy quality. No matter what it is. For example, I can't tell you how many tripods I've been through in the last 4 years because I wanted to save a buck. This goes for everything else that is mentioned like lighting, audio, etc. It's hard when starting up because you may not have the funds to spend that kind of money, which is exactly the case for most people and why I did buy things cheaper at first. If you do have the money though and can get piece by piece, go with good quality equipment once instead of cheap equipment that you have to replace year after year. As far as the tripods I mentioned, I now have 3 high quality bogen tripods and it really does make a difference in my shots....and they'll last a long time!

Instead of going into any specifics on equipment, I can tell you that I'm very very pleased with my current setup and need no upgrades or replacements at this time. Here's the list if you are interested.

Professional FAQ MediaInnovations Video Blog !

Matt
Matt,
You're list is super impressive! I can't wait until I have that kind of equipment!
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 07:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Smith View Post
why do you need theses extras below for weddings, i think its over kill:
1 Canon HV20 - backup & capture
1 Canon XL-H1A
3 Olympus voice recorders
3 Audio Technica AT875 Shotgun Mics
Glidecam 2000

?? because i want to .... :-)

1 Canon HV20 - backup & capture

I have this camera for capturing at home and take it to weddings if we're doing a same day edit. Sometimes also used for wide angle shots, time lapse shots, etc.


1 Canon XL-H1A

I have this camera for other events and depending on situations we're shooting in, I'll use it instead of the xh-a1. I don't always take it to every wedding.


3 Olympus voice recorders

Why NOT have these!!?? I use these alllllllll the time on additional people, podiums, musicians . More mics, better all around audio!


3 Audio Technica AT875 Shotgun Mics

These are the mics that I've put on all three of our main cameras...they're part of the camera.


Glidecam 2000

because I use the glidecam more than the steadicam. I tailor my setups to each situation and certain equipment performs better at certain times than others.


thanks for looking

Matt
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 07:25 PM   #8
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^ sounds like a movie production !! :)
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 07:33 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Anthony Smith View Post
^ sounds like a movie production !! :)
I do what I can ! I used to carry a much lighter load, and trust me, it was much easier....but I am always adding on to improve each aspect one by one and I believe the end product is well worth the extra hassle that we have sometimes.

by the way, I just updated the page with our current stuff....it was actually outdated by a few months ha :-)
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 09:36 PM   #10
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I think I would spend less on equipment, and more on being better able to use it with skill and artistry. I've seen so much substandard work from guys with great equipment.

I would learn to edit to improve your camera work. I couldn't believe how stunned I was to find out what a bad cameraman I was when I started to edit my own material.

Oh, and a marketing/business management class. I'm still working on that one...
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Old September 5th, 2008, 05:25 AM   #11
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I would learn more about understanding light ... no point in having the best gear available if you don't understand how to take advantage of the available light in any given situation.

Learning to better understand light has been the single #1 thing that has improved the quality of my footage.
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Old September 5th, 2008, 07:24 AM   #12
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If I were starting over I'd take more time to understand the business side of it. From understanding the tax side of it to simple stuff like developing a filing system before I had a bunch of papers and folders laying around the office.

Get organized! Track every cent that comes in and out, keep receipts, and make sure that a system is in place before you get going.
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Old September 5th, 2008, 08:40 AM   #13
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Wonderful Thread by the way and for me its even great because I am actually starting fresh :).

I did a lot of research for months before deciding on the equipment that will best suit my needs for weddings and other events. I ended up purchasing Canon XH A1 which just came in the mail 2 days ago along with Glidecam 2000, and the Davis-Sanford Pro Vista tripod. I was going to buy the Libec 38 but for now I am just trying to first improve on my video shooting skills and getting better at editing so I wanted to try out a simpler Tripod but I have heard the tripod is very descent. I wont start shooting professionally until next year and my goal is to get at least 2-4 wedding for next year just so I can get my feet wet. I have yet to buy lights, mic, audio recorder for ceremonies and I think for next year I will be fine and i can then purchase more equipment depending on what else I might require. My goal is to practice, practice, practice and more practice until December 2008 just so I can get used to my camera and learn its features so I know exactly what to do during the day of the shoot. Right now i was spending a lot of time editing and I have created some sports video very amature looking but all my buddies and the players from the team loved it and it made me feel great. Eventually it will keep getting better with more practice though.

Now I am researching on lights, wide angle adaptors and mics and my budget for light and mic is around $500.00 and not sure about wide angles yet but maybe around $150-$300. I know my budget is less for those but for the time being that is what i can spend and i dont need to buy them right away either so it might go up by beginning of next year. But i will be investing in another camera most likely the HV20 or HV30 but that would only be if I am able to book at least 2 events for next year.
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