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


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Old March 6th, 2009, 02:43 AM   #16
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Lots of good advice already so I'll try and skip what has already been said.

I shoot with two GL2 cameras and a more consumer-ish Panasonic GS320 (still a 3CCD camera, but with virtually no manual controls and horrible low light performance).

I also use a wireless Lav setup (AudioTechnica 1820 2-chan receiver & two lavs) as well as an on cam shotgun (AudioTechnica 897) as well as a Sony MiniDisc recorder for audio from PA systems.

I have found that gettign clean audio from a PA system is virtually impossible if you plug in. There are all sorts of voltage & power problems that give horrible hum & buzz in the feed. I now prefer to stick one of my Wireless Lavs on top and draping in front of, the event audio system's speakers. I turn the gain almost down to nothing on the mic so that only the sounds from the speaker are picked up. That should help eliminate wind & crowd noises.

As far as the cam angles, I tend to put the best cam on the Groom's side of the aisle (Right side) facing the bride. The second cam goes down the aisle. Third cam goes on the Bride's side facing the groom.

If you have two consumer cams, then chances are they may not have Mic inputs for additional audio devices (aka shotguns, etc). If you rent an audio system, plug that into the GL2 and wear headphones so you always know the quality of the audio coming form your setup.

But the most important advice (which has already been said) is to PRACTICE with the cameras and cam ops. And by practice I also mean you need to sit with these guys, record the footage from tape to HDD and play it back and critique the footage.

I would ABSOLUTELY roll tape at the rehearsal. This is the perfect time for you to see what the natural inclinations of your cam ops is and to correct for it before D-Day.

Looking at footage is THE ONLY way I've really learned from my mistakes. Live review & critique is also a pretty quick & dirty way to bring the other ops up to speed, but you will all learn much faster. Record the rehearsal and then as soon as possible, record all the footage to your computer, or just rewind and playback with the cams plugged in to a TV so you can review the footage in real time.

NOTE: Dont forget aspect ratio differences between consumer cams & the GL2. The GL2 is native 4:3, but can capture 16:9 with an in cam squeeze. Plan out ahead if you are going to need to do a post-production crop of consumer cams that shoot in 4:3.... because this means your cam ops on the 4:3 cams will need to leave more room top & bottom of the frame to allow you to crop to 16:9.

If possible I would point your cam Ops to some of the samples on Vimeo (posted here in this forum or on member web sites) so they get an idea about what a real wedding video production looks like.

Even with very little experience, armed with input from DVInfo and with a basic idea about what you can do, your three cameras will provide a product that is above any amateur single cam production.

Feel free to call me (phone # is on my web site) with any specific questions about the GL2 & mixing in post with consumer cams (because I do this every time!).
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Old March 7th, 2009, 10:31 PM   #17
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Matt, I agree with Chris - the couple really does not get to know what happens during this special day. Married 21 years ago, I do have a video that was done, and despite being somewhat amteurish (was one fo the first thiss person did), it is a most prized possession of mine. Footage and comments form my father (now deceased) and a good friend who is also deceased, that I did not hear except on the video. As perspective, being able to see these comments from people I care about, wwwho cared enough to come and wish us well, make me totally ignore all the small stuff that I worry about on my shoots (smooth cuts, correct WB on different cameras, etc). Get the comments, try to get hose audion bits right, and you will give them a valuable keepsake for the rest of their lives, imo. Sometime I forget that myself - I would rather be able to give someone a very personal and emotional experience, rather than a technically perfect production. I believe the recipients value that more.
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Old March 10th, 2009, 03:47 PM   #18
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A few final questions as i come into the home stretch of preparation

So I'm renting a Sennheiser body pack Transmitter w/ME2 omni lavalier and portable Receiver to put on the groom ... Do yall think that should be enough to pick up the audio, or should i rent and employ a back up shotgun mic just in case?

If i were to get a shotgun mic, would you suggest putting it on the GL2 which i will have close to the bride and groom, or since the GL2 already has a better mic (albeit omni) and will be closer than the consumer grade cameras that my friends will be using should I set it up on the closest consumer cam?

what is basically boils down to is which of these is better...

Situation A
Senheiser Omni lav (on groom)
GL2 onboad omni mic 5-7 yards from bride and groom
1 shotgun mic 10-15 yards from bride and groom
1 crappy worthless consumer cam mics far away

Situation B
Senheiser Omni lav (on groom)
1 shotgun mic 5-7 yards from bride and groom
2 crappy worthless consumer mics far away
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Old March 10th, 2009, 03:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt McElhaney View Post
what is basically boils down to is which of these is better...
Situation A
Senheiser Omni lav (on groom)
GL2 onboad omni mic 5-7 yards from bride and groom
1 shotgun mic 10-15 yards from bride and groom
1 crappy worthless consumer cam mics far away
Situation B
Senheiser Omni lav (on groom)
1 shotgun mic 5-7 yards from bride and groom
2 crappy worthless consumer mics far away
Have you checked to make sure all the consumer cams have mic input? I bought one (Panasonic GS320) and was quite uncertain if I would use it as much as I wanted because it did not have mic input).

Also, you don't mention where you Senheiser receiver is going. On GL2? On one of the consumer cams? Whoever operates the cam with the wireless receiver will need to know how to get good audio, keep things from peeking, etc. I would also put the wireless mic on someone before the wedding, record and as you record say out loud what settings the mic / receiver are on. Then play it back and pick the best setting. Sometimes the lav systems record louder than you think depending on how you monitor the audio.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 03:26 PM   #20
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Hey I went ahead and snagged a Shotgun, and XLR cable and will use it for the GL2, I figure I will be close enough to get a solid back up track just in case theres a problem with the wireless lav. Also I was actually planning to be recording the wireless feed directly to the harddrive of my computer, and just will sync it up in post production.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 11:39 PM   #21
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Oh man am i wiped ... today was the big day ... all in all it went pretty well, there were a few minor snags that came with inexperience, as well as having family duties being Brother of the bride and all. However with a little creative editing, and plentiful tape (11 hours of tape!)

My sister says theres no rush at all for a finished product, so I'll take my time in editing (or rather it will take my time in uploading and watching lol). I'll post my drafts here for yall to tear apart lol :p

Thanks for everyones advice and input, It was all REALLY helpful
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Old March 14th, 2009, 11:51 PM   #22
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Congrats Matt. You are making a memorable experience for the happy couple.
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Old March 15th, 2009, 02:51 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt McElhaney View Post
Oh man am i wiped ... today was the big day ... all in all it went pretty well, there were a few minor snags that came with inexperience, as well as having family duties being Brother of the bride and all. However with a little creative editing, and plentiful tape (11 hours of tape!)

My sister says theres no rush at all for a finished product, so I'll take my time in editing (or rather it will take my time in uploading and watching lol). I'll post my drafts here for yall to tear apart lol :p

Thanks for everyones advice and input, It was all REALLY helpful
Congrats! now sleep like a baby till Monday! And next tiem buy a really nice pair of comfortable Dr. Schoels work shoes. Your feet will thank you!
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