Wedding Videography - Beginner's Questions - Page 3 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 27th, 2004, 06:56 AM   #31
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Somerville, MA
Posts: 360
James,

I don't offer VHS any longer. I try to get as close as possible to avoid long zooms.

If you're going to be doing weddings professionally then I would encourage you to join WEVA. There are many experts there who can help you along.

Good luck.
Bob Harotunian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 27th, 2004, 09:14 AM   #32
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Port Lavaca, TX
Posts: 64
Much appreciated, I'm looking into WEVA.
__________________
It's not a bug, it's a feature.
James Sudik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 30th, 2004, 08:41 PM   #33
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 2,933
Some notes for you wedding videographers from my experience.

*Use multiple cameras (I use 3 GL2's) for the ceremony.

*Instruct your operators to really minimize their use of zooms and pans, and they should never stop recording during the ceremony.

*As much as possible, stick with tight, close shots of the action, because video is a personal medium. The wider your shot, the less engaging it is. Notice this the next time you watch a movie.

*Have a set plan for tape changes. For example, have one operator ready to do a tape change when 10-15 minutes are left on the tape. Have the second operator do a change with 5-10 minutes left. And you change tape at 0-5 minutes. This will ensure that you aren't changing tapes at the same time (very bad).

*Always make sure your operators have at least twice as much tape as you think they'll need.

*Purchase the biggest, baddest batteries you can for your camera. My GL2 batteries can go around 6-7 hours straight if I don't use the LCD, so I really usually get around 5-6 hours. Keep the battery that came with your camera (usually a 60-minute) ON YOUR PERSON as a backup. Just in case.

*Don't rely on your built-in mic for ceremonies. Try and use a wireless whenever possible.

*Use a shotgun mic like the DM-50 for everything else, because you can switch it from directional to omni with the flick of a switch (use omni if you're filming people dancing to music, otherwise, the directional will pickup the music differently depending on where you're aiming).

***Make a checklist that you go through before every wedding. Don't try to just remember what you need to bring/check. And ALWAYS check everything (battery strength, make sure tapes are rewound and NOT copyprotected, etc.). Don't ever assume anything, always check.

There's obviously a lot more to the process, but that should be a good start from a tactical standpoint.
__________________
Black Label Films
www.blacklabelweddingfilms.com
Travis Cossel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 30th, 2004, 09:01 PM   #34
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Litchfield Park, AZ (W/of Phoenix)
Posts: 502
Fantastic advice for anyone doing this type of work.

I have a question for you, what process do to use to train your crew?

I have a kid that is about to embark on a couple of projects with me, he's very much into the hobby and is looking at a run at Full Sail here in Orlando to get formal education on video and audio.

I've gone over the basics that you covered such as don't ever hit the stop button on the camera during a ceremony etc., but I'm curious what do you tell the guys, how do you bring them up and get them trained so that you don't have to micromanage the shoot?

<<<-- Originally posted by Travis Cossel : Some notes for you wedding videographers from my experience.

*Use multiple cameras (I use 3 GL2's) for the ceremony.

*Instruct your operators to really minimize their use of zooms and pans, and they should never stop recording during the ceremony.
Miguel Lombana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 30th, 2004, 09:29 PM   #35
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 2,933
Well, it is difficult. I try to find people with previous camera experience, but often that doesn't really mean much. I had a seasoned news photog run a camera at one weddding and all the zooms were really fast and harsh, and the operator didn't hold shots for longer than 5 seconds usually. But that is how news is often shot.

My advice would be to set up the camera to the best of your ability before handing it over to the operator. For example, set your shutter speed in advance. Set your white balance in advance if possible. Switch the focus to manual and then zoom in all the way on the farthest object you can find, and focus, and now your focus is set to infinity, and you won't have to worry about auto-focus screwing things up. Turn your ND filter on or off depending on the circumstances. Just basically have as much as you can set and ready in advance.

Then, emphasize to your operator the types of shots you want. I usually need tight, steady, non-panning, non-zooming shots, so I emphasize this need before I teach them anything else.

Next, teach them how the exposure works and how you want them to use it. For example, I explain that I need good exposure on faces and important details, and that underexposure is always better than overexposure. Overexposure in lights, or unimportant details is not important as long as the primary objective is in good exposure.

Show them the basics of zooming (if they're new to camera-work, set all zoom controls to a non-variable speed setting, probably slow, or perhaps medium). Show them the basics of the tripod operation, and explain what they see displayed on the LCD or in the viewfinder. Show them how to change tapes, and change batteries.

Keep in mind that it is important to not just show your operator 'how to do things', make them do it while you are there, before the event starts. This way they'll remember better, and if they have questions, or don't understand, you're there to provide the answers.

Finally, re-emphasize the shots you want. Chances are you'll need to remind them of that at this point, because no matter how well they operate exposure and zoom, if they aren't getting the shots you want, it won't matter.

Other than that, just instill confidence in them that you know they'll do a great job. You don't want them operating the camera scared.

Hope that helps.
__________________
Black Label Films
www.blacklabelweddingfilms.com
Travis Cossel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2004, 11:58 PM   #36
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Akron, Ohio
Posts: 496
I honestly didnt read all the other posts. With that in mind, I do many weddings now, and can give you a list of what I recommend, and use the most. Tripod, fluid head, lanc controller for head, beachtec(or similar) XLR adaptor, OMNI directional wireless mic, on board light, shoulder pod, computer and software.




John
John DeLuca is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 5th, 2004, 07:42 PM   #37
New Boot
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Silver Springs Nevada
Posts: 24
WOW, I just want to thank everyone for all the tips and suggestions. I'm also wanting to get into shooting weddings and after reading all of the post I feel a lot more confident in doing so. I have shot video at some rock concerts and outdoor festivals and a promo video for a local band. But was not to sure of what other equipment I will need to do weddings. Thank you all!

Now, off to look for a wireless mic and light!
__________________
Once you start you just can't stop!
Thomas Gay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 8th, 2004, 10:42 AM   #38
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 21
<<<-- Originally posted by Travis Cossel :
Switch the focus to manual and then zoom in all the way on the farthest object you can find, and focus, and now your focus is set to infinity, and you won't have to worry about auto-focus screwing things up. -->>>

This is a point that I need clarification on.

If I'm filming a stage play, how does setting the focus to infinity keep all the actors in focus?

Thanks,
--Steve
Steve Garfield is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 8th, 2004, 10:47 AM   #39
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Flagstaff, AZ
Posts: 473
Steve,

There is a point on all lenes past which everything is in focus. That point can vary depending on Fstop but is usually somewhere between 50--100 ft. If you are that far or further away from your subject (In your case, behind the audience) you can just leave you focus alone once it's set for max.
Rob Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 8th, 2004, 10:58 AM   #40
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 21
<<<-- Originally posted by Rob Wilson : Steve,

There is a point on all lenes past which everything is in focus. That point can vary depending on Fstop but is usually somewhere between 50--100 ft. If you are that far or further away from your subject (In your case, behind the audience) you can just leave you focus alone once it's set for max. -->>>

Thanks Rob.

The last theatre production I shot, on day one I shot from behind the audience and on day two, I shot from a seat in the front row.

There was a huge difference in how the video felt when I watched it. Closer was so much better.

So in that case I was about 10 feet in front of the stage.

How does that figure in?

Thanks,
--Steve
Steve Garfield is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 8th, 2004, 05:27 PM   #41
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 2,933
Well, first of all, anything is going to look better if you just move closer rather than use your camera's zoom. A good rule of thumb that I use is 'zoom with your feet'. In other words, whenever possible, just get closer to your subject. Your footage will always look better.

Regarding the zoom/focus trick, I'm not certain of the physics behind it, I just have learned that if I zoom in on something on the stage (especially if it is somewhat behind where the action will be), and then switch to manual focus and adjust so that the image is in full focus, then I'm set. I can zoom back out and for the rest of the shoot, as long as I don't move the camera, I can zoom in or out from that position and leave the camera on manual focus, and not have to adjust the focus at all. Everything will stay in focus.

Hope that makes more sense.

Keep in mind this is not a trick you can use when your camera position, or the position of the action, or both, is moving. You'll have to go with auto-focus or get real good with the manual focus for something like that.
__________________
Black Label Films
www.blacklabelweddingfilms.com
Travis Cossel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 8th, 2004, 05:58 PM   #42
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 21
<<<-- Originally posted by Travis Cossel :

I just have learned that if I zoom in on something on the stage (especially if it is somewhat behind where the action will be), and then switch to manual focus and adjust so that the image is in full focus, then I'm set. I can zoom back out and for the rest of the shoot, as long as I don't move the camera, I can zoom in or out from that position and leave the camera on manual focus, and not have to adjust the focus at all. Everything will stay in focus. -->>>

Thanks!

I'll try it.
Steve Garfield is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 8th, 2004, 07:05 PM   #43
Outer Circle
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Hope, BC
Posts: 7,527
I find it easier to just using auto if I plan on doung a lot of zooming in/out for effect, especially during reception/dance scenes.
Frank Granovski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 8th, 2004, 10:31 PM   #44
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 2,933
Oh, I agree, for situations where I'm moving with the camera, the GL2 auto-focus works just great. However, when I know my camera isn't going anywhere, and the action isn't changing locations, especially in high-contrast lighting situations, I'll use manual focus. This eliminates any chance that the camera will have to 'search' for proper focus, a problem that can occur with high-contrast lighting situations (like stage performances).
__________________
Black Label Films
www.blacklabelweddingfilms.com
Travis Cossel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 9th, 2004, 06:36 AM   #45
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 205
I do as much as the bride and groom permit me to get away with. I use my own lighting at the ceremony; this is a must, even if I have to buy some stand alone lights from the Home Depot. The guests aren't paying for the wedding. To have poor lighting in your video is something that is very hard to correct in post. I care more about it than audio; generally the offociating minister in most of my weddings is at a mike stand anyway speaking thru a PA system. If necessary I can also buy a wired battery powered mini mike from the Radio Shack and plug it directly into the GL2, pinning it to the arch. I always use a good set of Sony headphones to check audio though.
Bill Hardy is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:15 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network