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Old April 15th, 2009, 11:51 PM   #1
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Church Wedding Question

I have not much experience in church weddings. I like to know a good way to cover the event with 2 cameras. I like to have one camera on sticks on the side, used for cut away shots.,The other is on the move.

I was thinking to have the moving one on a stabiliser rig but I'm concerned of losing those tight shots that needs to be done handheld.

Ideally I would have the static on auto, and 2 cameras on the move. One in a stab rig and the other handheld. What do you guys think?

I can't afford to have 3 cameras so i hope to get some inspiration. Thanks!
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Old April 16th, 2009, 04:12 AM   #2
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For starters there's probably not many churches that would be happy for you to be moving about treating it like a film set.

Next, wear all black - don't be obvious if caught unintentionally on your other cam.

If possible I have my unmanned cam on axis with the aisle, up high in the balcony. Great shot to cut away to at any time. Avoids crossing the line. I tend to leave this camera in auto (perhaps with some EV compensation dialled in) as the light can change a lot during a service.

I have my tripod mounted camera (hidden from the balcony camera)on the groom's side, so that I can see the bride's face She's Nr 1 on this day.

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Old April 16th, 2009, 04:19 PM   #3
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One thing to keep in mind is that everyone stands up during the brides processional. If you aren't mindful of this, you are likely to have a completely blocked shot if you don't keep that in mind when you are planning your shot positioning.
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Old April 16th, 2009, 05:26 PM   #4
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IF you can have two manned cameras, you might have some flexibility, but even getting a small cam for cutaways wouldn't be a bad idea... just have both cameras plan their cues and minimize movement as best you can.

You probably want to scope the layout, as camera positioning can be "interesting", and the officiant may be restrictive. Remember that floral arrangements and forgetful wedding party members can magically kill your perfect angle...

For a fixed forward cam, I've used a cam shooting groom side on the bride, a cam in the front trying to get everything (no fun shooting around the officiant...), and I currently use two cams crossfire - positioned right I get a good angle on both B&G and can zoom them in during ceremony if I'm able to discreetly visit them...

I've considered a two manned camera approach for "budget", and if you plot it out right, you should be able to get pretty decent coverage.
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Old April 16th, 2009, 06:08 PM   #5
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Sean,
Good info has been given here but there is one major challenge as I see it.
You are in Singapore and none of the replies are from anyone there, so no matter what info we give you it MIGHT be wrong.
I would talk to the officiant about what you can and can't do in that particular church AND find out how the bridal party will be positioned during the ceremony. Those things will determine where you might set any cameras for the ceremony. You might find they are very open to your placing cameras where you want or you might find them quite restrictive. Ask the church and you'll get the info that will pertain to that church for that ceremony.
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Old April 16th, 2009, 10:31 PM   #6
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Thanks guys! Your inputs are very informative. I have seen that the local churches vary in practice. Most of them does not allow shooting behind the officiant. So far the cross fire approach seems pretty viable to me but I will focus on the bride if I have to move the other camera a bit.

Wearing all black is a good suggestion.
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Old April 16th, 2009, 11:21 PM   #7
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Church Shooting

Hi

I shoot Right down the gut half way down the aisle. Get there early and stake out my spot.

I get the bride coming up the aisle and then follow her up. then back off. I feel that if I shoot right up front I tend to get caught running around to the back. My back up camera is in the balcony with a wide angle shot of the event and my wireless mic capturing the sound.

Many church's make it difficult and alway give the photographer free rain. If you ask the priest with the bride present where you can stand this gives you a head up if the bride does not like the footage because of the church's limitation for video guys.
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Old April 17th, 2009, 03:55 AM   #8
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I was thinking a lot on how a guy on a steadicam rig can integrate into the whole event. I'm not sure if one should be in the rig for the entire mass or it is only for the march in. I would think it would be interesting to capture many things going on at the same time like the audience, etc.

That said, I would be comfortable if i had 3 cameras. One on auto shooting wide from the top, and the other manned at the couple while the steadicam makes its rounds.
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Old April 17th, 2009, 02:11 PM   #9
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Picking up an HV20/30 or something similar for the extra angle might be worth considering, depending on the location - you say "mass", and to me that means at least some risk of a dark "old school" sanctuary (hard for some of the small cams, but maybe the new Sony XR series?), and the shoot will be an hour or so long, depending on the officiant... making steadicam a tough thing on the operator. I'd scope the location well in advance if you can, as it can affect how you will shoot and what obstacles you might face.

15 minute "protestant" ceremonies there's barely time to get the cam off the rig and onto a lockoff tripod and back, but for a "Mass", I'd have a tripod preset and transfer to it, or at least have a good safety angle locked off from the balcony or high tripod in the back.
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Old April 17th, 2009, 04:02 PM   #10
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Sean,
While I either handhold or use a monopod or even tripod (depending on circumstances) for the processional and while at times I DO wish I had a stedicam unit, If it's a Catholic mass ceremony that would be a long time in my estimation to be in the rig while holding a lock down shot. Since 99% of the wedding ceremony is basically a lockdown and many mass ceremonies run at least 45 minutes and many longer, you have to ask yourself, can i stay in the rig that long and hold a lockdown.
Now IF you have a 2nd operator and you're doing some type of reaction/creative type shooting while the 2nd op is manning the cam to get the lockdown of the ceremony then I suppose you might be OK but it's my experience that most Catholic churches don't want people running around even down the side aisles during a mass.
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Old April 18th, 2009, 08:04 AM   #11
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Yeah I agree. Better not be moving ard during the mass. It will be crazy to attempt a lock off for an hr! I think i will prob remove the steadicam after the march in is done. I'll have the other manned camera to ensure everything is captured while I am getting out of the rig.
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Old April 18th, 2009, 08:13 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Sean Seah View Post
Yeah I agree. Better not be moving ard during the mass. It will be crazy to attempt a lock off for an hr! I think i will prob remove the steadicam after the march in is done. I'll have the other manned camera to ensure everything is captured while I am getting out of the rig.
You should try to do this in some other place - not in church. You'll make a noise with undoing the vest, which disturbs ceremony. Sometimes you can walk out through side entrance and do that outside (maybe even park the car nearby to take the equipment back to the car). The biggest issue with all that is possibility to miss something important that your 2nd cameraman might skip as well - stressful situation.
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Old April 18th, 2009, 08:19 AM   #13
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yeah i was intending to get the rig off outside the church. Yikes but the thought of loosing footage is scary!
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Old April 18th, 2009, 01:10 PM   #14
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Not very sure on Steadicam models.. but I've seen those working without the full steadicam vest, only the stabilizer (Glidecam types)... seems to me as a portable solution rather than the full vest. Removing the camera from the stabilizer won't take as long..

shots might not be so fluid smooth .. but should be a workaround option.
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