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


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Old March 25th, 2004, 11:42 PM   #16
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Chris, I didn't mean right in the front. I usually go close to the front and off to the side. Every church is different. So I can't suggest the spot or spots best suited to set up. Have you visited this site? http://www.videouniversity.com
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Old March 26th, 2004, 06:30 AM   #17
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someone else recommended that videouniversity website, but its been down for a while now.

What do they offer on their website?
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Old March 26th, 2004, 07:36 AM   #18
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Chris,

I have looked at this forum on & off for months and picked up a lot of tips along the way. I had planned on going all out for weddings only but have changed my mind but you will still learn an awful lot here.

http://www.videouniversity.com/wwwboard/wedding/

Good luck
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Old March 26th, 2004, 08:32 AM   #19
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Chris,

I use a VL-10li light on a regular basis with my XL1 mainly for shooting in night clubs and a few times at local press conferences and I think that it is a great light for the money. I never used it for a wedding but I believe that it would do very well.

Of course, at more than 6 feet it will be less effective but anyway, you do not want to kill the atmosphere by illuminating all the room. And if you want to be sure to not blind anyone, cut a little square of diffusion gel and attach it in front of the light with velcro.

Hope this help,
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Old March 26th, 2004, 09:55 AM   #20
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Thanks for all your input. It's been a great help...

I think what I may do is buy the canon external mic and borrow/rent a wireless mic for now. Im sure the audio-technica shotgun mic is much better, but the canon one fits my budget better and it's supposedly very good for the price. Does anyone know where I can rent a wireless mic in the Kansas City (Missouri) area?

Im still debating on lights. The VL-10 is much cheaper, but it seems the more expensive ones have great benefits (more power, dimmable, etc).

Also, how do all the video pros in here shoot wedding receptions? I had thought to set one camera in the back and record a continuous wide shot, and then run around with the other camera and attached light hand-held. Would this work best? Or do you think I should keep the reception to only one camera?
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Old March 26th, 2004, 10:05 AM   #21
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Chris,

This combination was and continues to work for us:

1. If possible, always use 2 GL2s and 2 shooters for ceremony.
2. Make sure 1 cam is always on tripod.
3. Get a diversified wireless mic system (Samson UM32 recommended)
4. Get a BeachTek audio adapter for your primary GL2 and you'll have 2 channel XLR audio.
5. Get an on-board light system. 20W will be enough for the GL2 but if you have extra money, get the Frezzi Micro-Fill 35W because it's dimmable.
6. Get an on-board XLR type shotgun mic.
7. Go full manual and always white balance (very important).
8. Make sure at least 60% of your shots are tight or medium.
9. Most important for professional work...keep camera as steady as possible and don't overuse zooming and panning.

Bob
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Old March 26th, 2004, 12:50 PM   #22
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Thought I might jump in here. This thread has answered a lot of questions I have also Chris! Thanks for asking them. I wanted to add a few more, for clarification, and because they fit the topic.

1. I will be shooting my first wedding this June. I have 2 Samson Airline receivers, 2 lavs, and 1 XLR plug. Should I "lav" the groom and officiant since I can, or would it be best to lav the groom and use the AT897 mic on-camera? (I have the XLR pro)

2. I have 1 GL2, and a 1chip Sony camcorder (TRV19). Is it worth it to set up the TRV19 in the back on a tri-pod, or will the quality difference be severe? Regardless, would it be best to have the GL2 on a tri-pod (or monopod) or will that limit my ability to change location quickly (and unobtrusively).

3. Are any of you fellas lighting any part of the ceremony? Or is all the lighting info aimed at the reception or b-roll footage?

4. I have a lot of questions about editing, but I'll be brief. Software used by you folks that are getting paid on a regular basis?(I have Sony Screenblast now, but am considering upgrade to Vegas)

5. If you sync the 2 cams with a obvious point, how do you take advantage of that in post? I have done a lot of amatuer NLE work, but have never had input from anyone that actually knew what they were doing, so I am sure I do a lot of stuff the hard way. I have not been able to peruse the editing section of these forums much as of yet. I just edited footage from 5 cameras (6+ hours, about 80 gigs of data. Yikes) down to 45 minutes. It was a painfull, time consuming process, so I know I have a lot to learn.

6. Lastly, what about tape length? What type of tape (timewise) is best? I just have this fear (well, one of many) that I will run out of tape in the middle of "I do" or something awful like that. What steps do you take to ensure you will have tape to spare once you start rolling on a non-stop shoot like the ceremony? And how many tapes do you normaly use on a wedding vid?

I know that is a ton of questions, but I promise to pass along any info shared with me to the guy that follows me in. Thanks.
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Old March 26th, 2004, 01:11 PM   #23
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James,

I will jump in for Item 4 only - check out Pinnacle Liquid Edition for editing, I have used it since last July (1st real editing suite) and it is just awesome. There is some great Webcasts showing you the product etc here http://www.pinnaclesys.com/docloader...roduct_ID=1474
At the moment you get Wavelab free too- I didn't get it :(
Of course I am sure you will get lots more feedback from others.
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Old March 26th, 2004, 03:12 PM   #24
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Chris, videouniversity is not down. As the other member said, it has a lot of useful information about shooting weddings.
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Old March 26th, 2004, 03:15 PM   #25
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Shooting weddings are not difficult. I just find that they require a lot of work; and every wedding offers different challenges. You can make a good wedding video even with a 1-chip cam, if you shoot it correctly.
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Old March 26th, 2004, 03:20 PM   #26
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James,

1. You said you have two receivers and 1 XLR input? Not quite sure what you actually have but if you have 2 complete wireless systems, consider using both, one for each channel. You'll need to have them set to the same Group but each on a different channel. You'll find that the on-board shotgun won't help much and in a large church, the echo will be a big problem. Absolutely put one lav on the groom and one on the podium.

2. Put the GL2 on a tripod. It is very important to capture the processional so you might have to move your camera.

3. Do not use a light at the ceremony. Reception only.

6. We have done plenty of Catholic ceremonies that usually last 45 - 60 minutes. Make sure you have a new tape loaded and you should have plenty of tape for everything. We've only had to change a tape sometime around communion. But, just in case, keep another tape in your pocket. BTW, I expect to use 1 tape for every 2 hours of coverage...others may vary.
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Old March 26th, 2004, 04:51 PM   #27
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Thanks Bob. To clarify; I have the XLR Pro adapter (two xlr connections mounted below the cam as well as two other aux line inputs) and two seperate wireless receiver/transmitters on different UHF freqs. So you recommend one lav on the groom, and one lav (I could go wireless hand-held or shotgun mic here) on the podium, not the officiant. Yes?

Is it common practice to reposition your cam (primary cam/on tripod up front) during the ceremony? And, do most run non-stop during the "official" ceremony (soloists, etc)? Not having done a wedding (although my wifes wedding was done :) I have watched every demo on the net, I should pull my own wedding vid out!) I assumed it would be "edited" a bit with obvious respect to the key sections. But now I am thinking the only editing during the actual service will be of #1cam to #2cam (if available), or b-roll inserts. I really appreciate people reading through this muck and offering advice. Don't focus on my questions specificaly (especially if they are repetitive and frustrating), I am mainly seeking any pearls of wisdom I can find, knowing that I have a lot to do on my own. Thanks.
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Old March 26th, 2004, 08:18 PM   #28
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James,

I would mic the groom for sure. I prefer not to mic the officiant since I just don't think they're very receptive to the idea. Also, there's no guarantee they won't cover the mic with their garment or even lose something.

Go to the rehearsal, learn the house rules and meet the groom and best man. Plan your camera placements and let the best man know where you'll be so he'll be less likely to block your shot.

If it's a small church, the on-board shotgun and lav combo might work but if it's a large cavernous chuch, the shotgun won't help you at all. Consider a second lav on the podium. We also use a mini-disk recorder for capturing ambient sounds or musicians and vocalists.

We use 2 GL2s, one is fixed on the tripod and the second is mobile. The mobile cam gets the bride's arrival, processional, readers and B-roll. Check out our short streaming video for sample processional shots.

http://www.beaconvideo.net/wedding.htm
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Old March 26th, 2004, 09:45 PM   #29
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Hey thanks Bob. I enjoyed looking through your website. Man, sometimes I feel so motivated about this, and other times I feel overwhelmed and way out of my league. What is the average length of your finished product (your most commonly sold package)? And how often do clients request copies on VHS? You realize I will probably keep asking questions until you start ignoring me, hehe. Seriously, thanks.

edit* One last thing I really wanted to ask; assuming you are able, do you normally place your tripod GL2 as far away as possible and rely on the lens to get you up close? (I am thinking this is the cam that will be used for the majority of the ceremony shot, and will be placed generaly in front, to the right of the bride) In particular, once you place that cam, do you normaly move it for better/different angles, or is it only moved if there is a line-of-sight problem
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Old March 26th, 2004, 10:56 PM   #30
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I am doing my weddings on DVD. For now I'm just using iDVD's wedding themes (which look pretty good) until I can learn DVD Studio Pro.

For those of you that author DVDs of your wedding videos, do you just have one long feature that includes the ceremony, reception, and any other extras? I am more inclined to make the ceremony, reception, photo montage, highlights, etc, each their own menu selection on the DVD. And then within have chapter markers within each segment.

For example: your main DVD screen could have Wedding Ceremony, and a Ceremony Scene Selection which breaks down different parts of the ceremony, and do this with the Reception as well.

What do you all think?
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