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


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Old February 20th, 2009, 04:02 AM   #1
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Our Common Mistake

I am trying to collection a list of common mistake made by us as a Wedding/Event Videographer. By listing those mistake, it may help us to improve our production value.

I'll start one.

# Forget to start/stop recording
Normally happen while I was distracted in a middle of recording. The next thing you know, all the those you 'think' you are recording wasn't captured and you end up with some rubbish footage. I am the operator of a JVC GY-HD101 with a Harddisk. So when I press the rec, there was no time code running. The only thing indicate the camera recording is a small icon turn from white to red.
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Last edited by SiuChung Leung; February 20th, 2009 at 04:34 AM.
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Old February 20th, 2009, 05:57 AM   #2
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My biggest mistake when I started shooting events (not weddings) was not investigating and understanding how events were going to unfold before they began. This would leave me playing catch up in following the action resulting in partially missed shots. It still happens when the participants occasionally go "off script", but at least I have the basics now. This underscores for me how critical preparation and planning are.

As to forgetting to hit the record button. I did that... once. I mentally flogged myself for that so hard that I'm now completely obsessive about seeing that little red light.
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Old February 20th, 2009, 06:53 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Tripp Woelfel View Post
As to forgetting to hit the record button. I did that... once. I mentally flogged myself for that so hard that I'm now completely obsessive about seeing that little red light.
Perhaps lots of us have done that. I know I have, and with the same reaction as you. I once very artfully and carefully taped an entire first dance with the camera on standby.

How about forgetting to shoot lots of cutaways, then kicking yourself when you struggling to find material in the edit.

Always change battery and tape at the beginning of the ceremony. I forgot to do this ONCE, and of course that's the time the battery dies right in the middle of the vows.

Map out your day to make sure you know where you are going. The first wedding I ever shot I was riding along with the photographer who "knew" where we were going. He got lost on the way to the ceremony and we literally ran into the church when the bride was half way up the aisle.

Always shoot the entire ceremony. I am continually getting tapes from other shooters who think "Oh, long prayer. I'll just stop recording for a minute." Then they miss the beginning of a reading or some other important moment. WTF? Tape is so cheap, why would you ever stop taping in a ceremony. What about the couples that are serious church goers and maybe WANT to hear those prayers?

Okay, rant off...
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Old February 20th, 2009, 08:21 AM   #4
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Stopping and starting multiple times instead of letting it run straight through. Then you have too many places to sync instead of syncing one.
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Old February 20th, 2009, 08:27 AM   #5
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once or twice forgot to keep extra tapes in my pockets during the filming of speeches. bad mistake. quite unprofessional to go off stage to get more :)

the last wedding i did, the B+G PROMISED me the speeches wouldn't exceed 25 minutes, as it was all planned out in advance. thank god i had extra tapes coz at my last look of the timeline the speeches exceed 1hour20.....
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Old February 20th, 2009, 08:31 AM   #6
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I make a list of mistakes after every shoot, Forgeting to hit the record button is probably at the top of everyone's list. Here are some others that I've made.

1.) Forgot to switch audio from onboard mic to XLR out (for wireless) - or vice versa.
2.) Didn't bring enough tapes
3.) Didn't shoot enough B-roll (you can never have enough)
4.) Didn't change tape and came close to having to make a change in the middle of an important shot
5.) Forgeting to white balance
6.) Plugged in but didn't screw in the mic cable into wireless tranmitter - fell out during ceremony when groom fixed his jacket.
7.) Didn't scope out alternate shooting positions in church and got boxed into a bad spot
8.) Focus not sharp enough ( got myself some eyeglasses!)
9.) Pans too fast ( especially for 24P)
10.) Forgot to reset gain switch when moving between indoor and out
11.) Shooting myself in windows and mirrors
12.) Forgot to bring snacks!
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Old February 20th, 2009, 08:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vito DeFilippo View Post

Map out your day to make sure you know where you are going. The first wedding I ever shot I was riding along with the photographer who "knew" where we were going. He got lost on the way to the ceremony and we literally ran into the church when the bride was half way up the aisle.

Totally agree on this one, always have the addresses of the church, the park, reception, etc. Don't ever have the mistake of following the limo, first on the highway they are pretty fast and 2nd during the wedding season there's a bunch of limos on the highway on any given time. I made the mistake of following the wrong limo one time, I made it in the nick of time at the reception never got footage of the receiving line. And please get the cel number of the Maid of Honor or Best Man, the B & G do not carry their cell phones with them.

My 2cents
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Old February 20th, 2009, 08:45 AM   #8
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I have on several occasions thought I was recording only to realize I wasn't when I hit the Rec button to stop but then it started to record. I was too concentrated on the framing and focus to realize the little dot was green instead of red..

The worst occasion was when I missed the ENTIRE introduction of the wedding party at the reception!!! yikes! But that was years ago... ;)
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Old February 20th, 2009, 09:10 AM   #9
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Not giving myself enough space for handles at the beginning and end of each shot. Though that apply's to any production, yet I have done it at wedding more often than I would like to admit.

Not having enough battery power. I have never run out, but I hate charging batteries at the reception because it's another thing to keep track off. Now I take the number of batteries I need for the shoot and double it so I don't have to worry at all.

Not labeling tapes beforehand.

Although it's been mentioned, don't stop recording during the ceremony. I have edited many tapes from other shooters who constantly turn the camera on and off during breaks. It is a huge pain to sync.

Similarly, during speeches, if you're shooting for reactions, begin the take by shooting the speaker. I often receive tapes where the B cam is entirely pointed at the couple. It's easier to sync if you simply record ten or fifteen seconds of footage of the speaker and wait for a flash or something distinctive to use as a sync point, rather than going by audio.
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Old February 20th, 2009, 09:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SiuChung Leung View Post
I am trying to collection a list of common mistake made by us as a Wedding/Event Videographer. By listing those mistake, it may help us to improve our production value.
One I'm guilty of: Devoting too much time on inanimate details to the point that you miss the real personal moments that are happening all around us.
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Old February 20th, 2009, 09:20 AM   #11
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Not a common mistake but a mistake none-the-less

Forgot to monitor the hired operator of camera "b", and during the 5 hour layover, they found their way to the bar. Let's not even go there on what the footage looked like for the 2 hours afterward.

Not a common mistake, more like a horror story.
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Old February 20th, 2009, 12:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SiuChung Leung View Post
I am trying to collection a list of common mistake made by us as a Wedding/Event Videographer. By listing those mistake, it may help us to improve our production value.

I'll start one.

# Forget to start/stop recording
Normally happen while I was distracted in a middle of recording. The next thing you know, all the those you 'think' you are recording wasn't captured and you end up with some rubbish footage. I am the operator of a JVC GY-HD101 with a Harddisk. So when I press the rec, there was no time code running. The only thing indicate the camera recording is a small icon turn from white to red.
That reminds me when - years ago - and nothing professional , just me and my camcorder. I went to the Earls Court Motor Show in London, I wanted to see the new James Bond car. I had this huge Pansonic shoulder mount full VHS camera (very much the poser!) but it had a problem, the red light in the viewfinder that says 'recording' was very low and most of the time you didn't see it. Somehow I must have pressed record by accident, so when I actually wanted to record something I hoisted the camera to my shoulder, pressed record, and...of course... that switched it off. When I finished recording I pressed the button again and...well, you know the rest.

The end result almost two hours of people's legs and feet!
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Old February 20th, 2009, 12:42 PM   #13
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Changing tapes

Recorded a recital (for a friend) and there was a lull in the action, I did not change the tape, half way through the third movement the muisc stops for 30 seconds & there is a note on the finished DVD that says, "changing tape".

I offered to re-record the music, but it never materialized.
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Old February 20th, 2009, 02:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SiuChung Leung View Post
I am trying to collection a list of common mistake made by us as a Wedding/Event Videographer. By listing those mistake, it may help us to improve our production value.
- The first time I used my HD camera for a short film, I had left it in SD (from doing re-shoots for an older project). Didn't notice until I loaded the short film footage in my NLE three days later. Thankfully it was all to be output to DVD anyway; :-)
- forgetting to white balance (common I take it);
- reflections in glass.


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Old February 20th, 2009, 02:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripp Woelfel View Post
My biggest mistake when I started shooting events (not weddings) was not investigating and understanding how events were going to unfold before they began. This would leave me playing catch up in following the action resulting in partially missed shots. It still happens when the participants occasionally go "off script", but at least I have the basics now. This underscores for me how critical preparation and planning are.

As to forgetting to hit the record button. I did that... once. I mentally flogged myself for that so hard that I'm now completely obsessive about seeing that little red light.
It happens to me sometime at reception. I miss first couple sentences of the speech.
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