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


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Old September 9th, 2008, 11:38 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Marshall Levy View Post
If I did nine cameras,
What in the world would possess somebody to need 9 camera angles at a wedding where the talent pretty much stays put?

How do you switch those cutaway shots without driving a viewer's eyes batty?

And what knucklehead would pay for such nonsense?

And what guest would want to walk in and sit in this environment?

But if you're getting $10k+ for such gigs... disregard all this. :)
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Old September 9th, 2008, 11:51 AM   #32
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One was an Indian wedding, a good 500 or so guests, in a massive church. The groom was very particular with the shots he wanted and while I don't push added cameras as I think it's overkill, if it makes the client happy, then they shall receive.

In terms of the 'obtrusiveness' or whatever, it's a heck of a lot less intrusive than photographers, or guests, who run all over the place. I parallel what the guests do and have never had any issues.

As far as cost, yeah, it gets up there, but they paid for it and I'm good to go.

Regarding editing, I switch shots when appropriate, anywhere from 10-15 seconds to a few minutes. This wedding I mentioned was about two hours or so.

I've done other crazy-number cameras but it really doesn't phase me at all...
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Old September 9th, 2008, 12:42 PM   #33
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I would never show up for any paid video shoot with less than two cameras, since you never know when one camera might conk out. And if I have two cameras with me I'm going to run both to the extent it's convenient to do so, even if I'm the only shooter and one camera is a fixed shot on a tripod. This way I have more footage from more angles to work with in editing, and can be more creative with the manned camera shots. Plus this gives me another reason to justify higher fees for my work, and avoids "nickel and diming" customers for something which should be considered standard these days. All modern wedding videos should make use of at least two cameras, and more if you can swing it.
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Old September 9th, 2008, 01:25 PM   #34
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All modern wedding videos should make use of at least two cameras, and more if you can swing it.
Yep, at least 2 plus one backup.

I don't even offer a single camera package or base my prices on how many I'll use like I see a lot of other folks do. I charge them extra for an additional operator but will always shoot with 3 regardless of how much a client is paying.

Why should I penalize myself in post by having to scrounge around for decent camera angles for less money? Sure, it's more footage to process but a lot less stressful. If you have the cams, use 'em.
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Old September 9th, 2008, 01:32 PM   #35
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Couldn't have put it better myself Rick and Kevin. And all I'll add is that should you have to use your backup cam in earnest, make sure it's as good as the Nr 1 cam.
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Old September 9th, 2008, 03:53 PM   #36
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And all I'll add is that should you have to use your backup cam in earnest, make sure it's as good as the Nr 1 cam.
I never understood this "mismatched" camera strategy myself. I know it's cheaper putting a crappy consumer camera up in the balcony but you never know when you'll have to rely on that thing for more than you planned.

And I actually like using some static, wide footage from my #3 "backup" camera every now and then. It just makes sense to cutaway to this angle for a few seconds when the minister is addressing the congregation or something less than stellar is happening. You can even put a subtle pan/zoom on it to make it look manned.

But I certainly wouldn't do this that often if the footage didn't match the other 2 or I had to put all kinds of lipstick on it in post. (I've been here before).
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Old September 9th, 2008, 04:24 PM   #37
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What % of you guys use 2 cameras (2 cameraman) for weddings?
For me, 99.9% of weddings uses only 1 camera (1 person) because people are not willing to pay too much for a wedding video. And people are very happy with the finished product with 1 camera.
*Note that most small weddings still don't have a videographer because of the cost but they always have a photographer.
Now that I have the emergency cam (GS320) I run two at all weddings. GS320 up the isle and GL2 facing bride. The only variables is if I have a 3rd camera. THen I can actually get some new or creative shots.
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Old September 10th, 2008, 03:53 AM   #38
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@Marshall: I like the idea of having cams faced to the grooms/brides parents...

Though I personally never would use that number of cameras.

On one hand here in germany budgets for a wedding video are quite small compared to other EU countries (Italy...) or USA. Other things are rated as more important, well ok, I am working on it ;-)

On the other hand, people dont want to see too much of camera work in the church (and there are usually not more than 80 people in the church, a pitty..), so I am happy with my one camera setup. German weddings always follow the same liturgy , so I know exactly when to do what. Sometimes a 2nd cam helps, I have always a backup with me.

(Once the CRT viewfinder died 10minutes before the ceremony!)

ULI
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Old September 11th, 2008, 08:35 AM   #39
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Our Clients always get 2 cameras 2 videographers, no extra cost. Being a husband & wife team does have some advantages, My wife is the main editor & I am the main shooter.
supplying her with a HV30 to Suppliment My A1 and training her to shoot has been a big bonus. Besides having a backup shooter ,being there working with the clients helps her to better understand the individual bride & groom & helps to produce a product more specificially suited to them.
Seems to work great for us, also the brides seem to be more comfortable with a female shooter during the pre ceremony get ready. So this arrangement seem to work out well
for us anyway.
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Old September 11th, 2008, 04:20 PM   #40
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....the brides seem to be more comfortable with a female shooter during the pre ceremony get ready.
What? So you have to work WITH your wife, plus miss the best perk of the job?? Man I've got it good....
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Old September 12th, 2008, 01:43 PM   #41
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What? So you have to work WITH your wife, plus miss the best perk of the job?? Man I've got it good....
Yes , But fortunately She is actually a very good Working Partner and calming influence, I am usually the one that turns into the bastard from H***,under stressful conditions.
Ahh so I miss out on a little excitement occasionally ;)
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Old September 14th, 2008, 12:52 PM   #42
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Okay, I have only done one wedding in my life, and I didn't even shoot it cause it was my sisters wedding and I was in it.
But I used four cameras (3 XL1s, and one trv900) all manned, cause I had some friends that had the cameras anyways. Anyways, long story short, I didn't regret it at all, being as all the operators were very amateur except one who was supposed to be professional, who endded up being a total twerp who thought he was the god of weddings and video. he did things like completely rearranging the chairs just before the wedding... so yeah, when it came to editing, I needed all the footage I could get, to cover up all the mistakes.


So when you shoot a wedding with one manned camera, how do you do it?
How much do you move around?
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Old September 14th, 2008, 02:10 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by William Dortignac View Post
So when you shoot a wedding with one manned camera, how do you do it?
How much do you move around?
In the church or civil ceremony - not at all.
For the rest of the day I move around a Great Deal, I can tell you.
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Old September 14th, 2008, 04:23 PM   #44
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In the church or civil ceremony - not at all.
For the rest of the day I move around a Great Deal, I can tell you.
Bingo. Any time you move is footage you cannot use. So either time your movements to well thought out and planned breaks in the ceremony (like when someone gets up out of their seats to read a scripture, or when the musicians get up to play their number, etc).

If you didn't attend the rehearsal or are not VERY familiar with the order of events, then just plant yourself on the groom's side facing the bride and get lots of B-roll before & after to provide more interesting footage before and after.

One trick I did was use a still camera and capture some stills of the family sitting watching the ceremony. That way I could cut to a still if something catastrophic happened to the video footage (like a big bump, or someone standing up in front, etc).

Many people here frown on the use of stills in a wedding video, but if you are doing a single camera shoot, then it probably already is a rock bottom priced package so you might as well use everything in your tool kit to produce what you can for the customer's price.
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Old September 15th, 2008, 02:15 AM   #45
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I have another philosophy - if I'm doing a two camera shoot and one of them is unmanned (as it invariably is in my case) then shoot as if the unmanned camera wasn't there, and as if it had no tape in it.

Why? Because once I set that camera going at the back of the church / high in the balcony, I let it be, and position myself so that I cannot be seen by it. I've had guests, priest, organist, bell ringers and even a stills photographer 'helpfully move' the tripod it sits on, rendering its hour of footage useless.

OK, the audio is a backup and not to be sneezed at, but again - treat your own cam as the footage they'll see and hear. Make no sudden moves. Shift position only when you must, and like Jason says - choose your timing well.

Come the edit and the second camera's footage is perfect - rejoice! An added POV to enliven the service.

tom.
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