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


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Old March 10th, 2004, 05:02 PM   #16
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Rodger, how much does this DVRig Pro cost complete (w/o light) for use with the DVX100? It looks great from the pictures. If you can, send me an e-mail and tell me all about it please.

As someone who does event (wedding) work and who migrated from Sony's to DVX-100's as a way to bridge the gap to HD (sounded good at the time), I have often thought that I purchased the wrong camera for my work. The DVX's are superb for scripted shots but my experience with the Sony's are that they are simply easier to use for events where shooting conditions change quickly. But I still do not regret buying two DVX-100's over a year ago. (now I'm thinking "a")

Lighting for wedding receptions is often a hot issue. Some clients just do not want lights on your cameras shinning in the faces of their guests. And when you tell them that you will loose color and add noise, they say "whatever" (or they say that the other guy said he could do it with his camera). But when they see these images afterwords, they always complain about either how dark they are or how bad they look. Wedding customers are often not as reasonable as corporate or other customers. No amount of extras in post will compensate for even small portions of video with low audio (during ceremony) or dark video. Their expectations are that they must have paid for Steven Spielberg and his production team if they pay you any more than a grand. That being said, I do, as do most wedding videographers, use a light. I use a light with a dimmer and when used properly, this helps. But I still get "dirty looks" from guests and participants when using the light even at dimmed levels. As a wedding videographer who relies on word of mouth for new business, you really have to walk a fine line between being a distraction at the reception and providing an acceptable product. If you fail at either, you will not get the referral.

I cannot say if the Sony's are better at low light, but I do agree that an on cam light with a dimmer is the way to go with any camera in this price range.
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Old March 10th, 2004, 05:29 PM   #17
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<<<-- Originally posted by Mike Morrell : light even at dimmed levels. As a wedding videographer who relies on word of mouth for new business, you really have to walk a fine line between being a distraction at the reception and providing an acceptable product. If you fail at either, you will not get the referral.

-->>>

All I'm worried about is if the B&G are irritated by the light. Who cares if Cousin Vinny is distracted- it's all about the client. Granted I *do* try to keep my distance while using my light to at least give them some distance- it can definitly be blinding up close. Problem is most catering halls purposely dim the lights..they claim it helps get people on the dance floor. Kinda ironic I ruin the mood by using onboard light- but a clear clean image is most important. If any guests scowl, thats what editing is for.
There are, however, times during the reception I *don't* use the light and it's during the formal dances. Usually I luck out and the lights aren't dimmed to cave'like darkness at that time.
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Old March 10th, 2004, 05:51 PM   #18
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Its interesting to hear the different strategies used for wedding clients. The formal dances are something that I usually do have the light on for. I do usually stay pretty far away from the dance floor though. Shooting strategies are always judgment calls and often you have to make your decisions quickly when you are documenting the event and do not have control of the surroundings.

I will have to say that you never know who might be your next referral. I got a referral recently from a Bride's brother. So even cousin Vinny can be someone that you try to please too.
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Old March 10th, 2004, 06:12 PM   #19
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Absolutly all my business thus so far has been from referrals. I get excited when I get a gig from a new couple- I think to myself...a "new" circle of friends! Seriously...for every bride I shoot I end up doing at least two of her friends weddings.

You make a good point but my referals haven't been based on me using or not using a light- it's been on my final product. Even if, say, a possible client was irritated at on camera lighting I used at her friend's wedding- she'd change her mind once she saw the finished product. The proof is in the pudding is suppose, but that's not to say presentation and manners aren't important as well. If lighting posed enough of a problem I would surely work to fix the situation. It's just that the most I get are a few dirty looks. A few dirty looks vs grainy color-less video.....it's a no-brainer. Thanks for the input.
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Old March 10th, 2004, 08:02 PM   #20
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Well guys, again pure amateur at setups for weddings and still shoot off his mouth -- but as long as you don't write it in the contract NOT to use lights, I would if needed. I might even have a clause in there that I CAN use lights if ambient light is unsuitable. But then again, if that Vinny guy you both seem to know came over to me and started making faces, I'd probably blow the whole deal anyway ;>).

So, here's another option. When it is really too dark, try and use 24PA and 1/24th shutter. Pan really slow or not at all unless your following a target. Use a steadicam or stabilizer of some sorts and maybe you will get some wonderful low light shots you would never have found otherwise.

DVRig Pro is just about $600 bucks. Over priced for what it is, but what it is has no equal at the moment. It is very close to, but not quite, a steadi-something. I will say, if you're good to great shooting freehand, this will be a steadicam for you.

Just some thoughts.

-Rodger
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Old March 16th, 2004, 02:31 PM   #21
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<<<-- Originally posted by Stefan Scherperel : rad, you got the dv rig pro
I wish I could get that, but I just bought my dvx a month ago and my wife is still trying to get over that. Want to buy one for me too? -->>>

Tell your wife that with the DvRigPro. you will never complain about back pain or neck pain again, So you will be able to help more with the house work...
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