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


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Old October 16th, 2008, 06:37 PM   #1
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What purchases would you not trade for the world?

Every now and then you come across an item that saves your life. It either cuts your effort during shooting in half, or makes your production so much cleaner or crisper or easier. What are the things that you love and swear by? Whether it's a certain design of tripod or certain carrying case, just the best products for shooting weddings.

For example, we've gotta say our wireless mics have been essential. That and the GPS! That investment saves us having having to remember to print out faulty Mapquest directions, or running out of paper, ink, etc. When you get lost, with printed out directions, you're up the creek. Plus having an ETA on there is great!

What items or products have been indispensable in contributing to your well-oiled wedding video-making machines?

Last edited by Miraj A. Berry; October 16th, 2008 at 09:37 PM.
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Old October 16th, 2008, 08:35 PM   #2
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What a great thread topic!

For me personally, I love all of my equipment, but if I had to pick some things I couldn't give up ...

- my Olympus DVR's
- my Merlin
- my Dr. Scholl's shoes

(my wife has a Garmin GPS, and that would be at the top of HER list) d;-)
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Old October 16th, 2008, 09:35 PM   #3
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Forgot to add...

Our Epson Stylus R380...for printing on the discs.

There may be a better one out there, but it's our first and after years of fussing with lining up the template with the adhesive precut DVD label stickers, I still think it's the bees knees!
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Old October 16th, 2008, 10:28 PM   #4
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Ace MiniDV printer labels!
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Old October 16th, 2008, 10:44 PM   #5
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DirecTV Tivo unit...
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 02:19 PM   #6
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My can't live without items are:

- GPS. You can get lost and still get to your destination!

- Nightshot. One time the bridal party started entering the dark reception without any warning and I didn't have my on-camera lights ready. I had to rush over there but it was so dark, I couldn't see anything on screen. Fortunately, my cam has Nightshot so I was able to get a usable picture. I wouldn't have got anything without it.

- Camera stabilizer. This device has vastly improved the look of my images more than any other equipment I own. I started with the Indicam Pilot as it is the best value for a full stabilizer rig, in my opinion. I have recently purchased the Steadicam Pilot and am excited to put it to use!

- iRiver audio recording device. I have 4 of these to plant in various places to get several audio sources. On camera mics are a last resource and I don't want to worry about interference with wireless. iRivers are awesome! Too bad they don't make them like they used to anymore. The current ones don't have external mic inputs, just line-in inputs :(
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 02:37 PM   #7
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Man, what a great thread...

- DVX100. Took me from shooting video, into real thoughts about cinematography. Raised the game to a completely new level, and suddenly I was doing "work" with camera.

- Firestore. FS-4. I was having to record 3-6 hour conferences with 3 dozen people. And with the DVX as great as it was, I had to stop the entire proceedings every hour to "change tape". I also had to tie up an entire day doing it when all that was needed was a wide shot. The Firestore completely changed that. I could roll all day without interruption.

- C-Stands. Yea, the lights were important, but these things are indispensable once you have lights. Again, changed me from being "A guy with some lights" to lighting design. Now I can shape light, bounce light, flag, etc. If you don't have C-Stands and you've got lights, you're just "A person with some lights".

There are others but these are the biggies.
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 03:40 PM   #8
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There are a few things I wouldn't trade for the world.

-Steadicam Pilot

-GPS Navigatoin

-Blackberry

-XH-A1
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 04:00 PM   #9
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It's funny, we're all saying basically the same thing, but I'll echo some of the comments.

GPS - damn you google maps.

Stedicam Merlin - added a dimension I was missing

Olympus DS30 - thanks Travis for telling everyone about these. Love mine. Now if only they'd make one that would sync properly.

My all time #1 best purchase:

Sony MZ-R55 Mini Disc Player/Recorder - yeah, it's old technology, and it's held together with electrical tape and love, but darn it, the thing still works 10 years after I bought it, has a mic and line input for pulling audio off just about anything and has paid for itself 20 times over. It's made out of freakin titanium and magnesium, it's a tank that weighs in at only a few ounces and has a very small footprint. It'll be a sad sad day when she finally dies. No, I'm not crying...

Worst purchase? 10 pounds of blue crinkle paper. Don't ask.
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 04:30 PM   #10
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Aside from the obvious and necessary...

My Manfrotto 561B monopod. Great when I need to keep steady but also move from place-to-place a lot. I can also hold it above my head and get some nice overhead shots, and attempt to manuever it like a crane for some nice effect :)
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 05:27 PM   #11
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-Century Optic .7x wide angle lens.
-A light case with wheels
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 06:12 PM   #12
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I suppose I should've added Dreamweaver.

Which means I should also add "Dreamweaver for Dummies."

Last edited by Miraj A. Berry; October 23rd, 2008 at 08:00 PM.
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Old October 24th, 2008, 08:12 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Miraj A. Berry View Post
I suppose I should've added Dreamweaver.

Which means I should also add "Dreamweaver for Dummies."
You can have all the web and html you want. I'll gladly let someone else do that for me.
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Old October 24th, 2008, 08:49 AM   #14
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Cartoni Focus. Made a huge difference in trying to get smooth tilts and pans. About US$1,600, but so well worth it.

BTW... SatNav is great but whoever did the maps for my part of New Hampshire didn't get it right. Major roads are missing but they list footpaths and trails. Odd.
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Old October 24th, 2008, 09:27 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
- C-Stands. Yea, the lights were important, but these things are indispensable once you have lights. Again, changed me from being "A guy with some lights" to lighting design. Now I can shape light, bounce light, flag, etc. If you don't have C-Stands and you've got lights, you're just "A person with some lights".
I know you're not talking about C-Stands for weddings, cause great as they are, they aren't easy to transport. Love me a C-Stand, but hate trying to get them out on location. They're much more suited for studio work.
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