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


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Old March 25th, 2004, 01:46 PM   #1
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Single cam wedding shoot

I have to shoot a wedding this weekend and, since I'm doing it for free, I won't have a crew. Just me and a GL2, as opposed to having two extra camera guys there.
I never do one camera weddings, but I had to take this one on account of it being family.

My idea is to get some b-roll stuff - particularly faces in the audience - for cutaways to use later. I was thinking that on some parts during the ceremony (like while the couple steps down to light the unity candle), I could cut to these shots, keeping the audio from the original playing over it. I could also move the camera to a new location at certain times, knowing that on those parts I'd be adding cutaways.

Obviously, I would have to get creative since the people in the audience wouldn't be reacting to what's going on at that time.
Maybe we could act it out ahead of time. I could hold up signs with different emotions written on them and have the audience perform that. LOL! Only joking there.

As you can tell, I don't want it to look like a regular home video.
I don't know. Has anyone here done something like this before? Any advice would be really appreciated.

,Frank
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Old March 25th, 2004, 01:49 PM   #2
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it sounds like you've thought of some good ways to try and cover the lack of a second camera.

is there any way you can get a second camera and just set it up on a tripod for a safety wide shot to use inbetween the one you will be operating??

matthew
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Old March 25th, 2004, 02:08 PM   #3
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Definitely leave the camera running throughout the ceremony so you can get the audio. The most important thing is to get the ceremony itself; everything else is icing on the cake, so to speak. I have a friend who does single camera weddings, and he always puts a wireless lav mic on the groom, and it picks up the bride and minister quite well, since they're always standing close together. The above suggestion is good too--if you can borrow another camera, put it on a tripod on a wide shot and just let it run to cover yourself.
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Old March 25th, 2004, 02:20 PM   #4
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Those are good suggestions!

As far as another camera that I can use for free - my only choice is an old analog camera. Even though I don't like to mix with lower-res vhs or vhs-c, I may just do that for coverage.

Thanks, guys!

,Frank
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Old March 25th, 2004, 02:30 PM   #5
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I'd like to also add that there is nothing wrong with re-enacting certain scenes from the ceremony, like the bride looking lovingly into the grooms eyes, or putting the ring on the bride's finger, etc. This can all be done after the ceremony before or after the pictures. Also, go early and get LOTS of b-roll. Sometimes I think I get too much, but when it comes to editing time, I never seem to have enough b-roll.

I agree with Bill, don't turn the camera off! You can use a Minidisk record to mic the groom, thus saving the $$$ on wireless mics that sometimes work/sometimes don't. You can mix the audo from the cam with the audio from the minidisk record to get ambience of the wedding facility, and to time everything properly.

If you can have another cam there, that would really help you out. I do weddings with two cams - one in the back that I use for cut-away shots, and one up on the stage/alter that I use for all the closeup shots. You could possibly use a mask to blur the edges of the analog video so it's shortcomings are less noticable also.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,
Mark Jefferson
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Old March 25th, 2004, 02:32 PM   #6
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Excellent!

I feel more confident about the reenacting thing now. You guys have given me a lot of hope on this!


Thanks a lot!
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Old March 26th, 2004, 05:02 AM   #7
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b-rolls are OK. Sure you need them.
Another solution (that I use often) is to move quickly with the camera, like panning fast from the grooms to the audience. This takes less than a second. Mabe half. When edditing, take 5 - 10 seconds OF VIDEO (you leave the audio alone) from before or after the pann and slomo just to cover the half second pann. Do the slomo on the part where you wouldn't notice the sound being out-of-sync. For example, if one of the grooms is saying something and you would notice the lips moving slowly than the sound, than leave this part alone and do the slomo on the 2nd video, where the audience is just stearing at the grooms. It's a kind of J-cut or L-cut...
In the final video, nobody will notice the slomo. It looks like you had two cams on the job!
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Old March 26th, 2004, 08:56 AM   #8
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another option, i saw a demo reel from a women in our area who's background is in documentaries and she does a wedding documentary where she follows the various people around shooting short pieces ofthe various activities.

she shoots so specifically that she often has clients who are very happy with just her rough shots with no editing.

i guess her background as an editor has helped her "edit in camera" as she calls it, which to her just means being more selective about what she points the camera at and when she hits the red button to record.

that could be an approach, don't use b roll, but rather shoot it as an "on the go" kind of live thing?

matthew
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Old March 26th, 2004, 01:13 PM   #9
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Excellent tips! That is very creative. I have thought of something similar before but not with using slow-mo. That helps out a lot!
That's pretty good to be able to get rough shots that people like enough to not have to edit!

Thanks!
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