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Old May 22nd, 2009, 04:06 PM   #1
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Advice for shooting a double header weekend?

This weekend I have my first ever double header wedding shoot. As in, wedding on Sat and on Sunday. That means the 9am rehearsal on Sat for the Sunday wedding comes right in the middle of the bridal prep time for the Saturday rehearsal.

Any advice from those of you that have shot back to back weddings? I am a little concerned about getting enough sleep for wedding #2 due to being up late from wedding #1. I usually crash into bed for 12hrs of sleep after a 14hr wedding day. No time for that this weekend because 9am sunday is prep filming for wedding #2.

Also, it will be quite a rush Sat night to unpack all the gear, find the batteries nad charge them up and then re-prep the gear for the next day!

Unfortunately for my allergies the reception for #1 is outside, which means I might be in the middle of my allergic reactions when attempting to shoot wedding #2!

It will be interesting to see if I can still be technically competent and come up with artistic shots after roughly 30hrs of filming in two days.
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 04:41 PM   #2
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Jason, I don't know how your energy level is but when I do double or triple headers, it usually bites me at the Reception. I just want the event to finish. I stick a tripod and document the event. I am dead tired by that time.

Just take Red Bull perhaps and double check your gear before leaving the venue, it's during this kind of shoot that I tend to forget things. And resist the temptation of prepping the morning of.

my 2 cents
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 05:32 PM   #3
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Skip the Red Bull, your crash will be worse than before. But nutrition/hydration is important. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and find some PowerBars/Cliff Bars or Protein bars like bodybuilders eat. You want low-glycemic index type foods that provide enough energy for extended periods of time without the roller-coaster effect of sugars and caffeine.
Try to snack every 2 hours...and drink a full glass of water every hour. Your body is an engine and it won't run without fuel.

This might go without saying, but I should mention it anyway, avoid alcohol.

Maintain your cool and pace yourself each day. Think of ways to prevent running back and forth to equipment.

Best of luck.
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 06:05 PM   #4
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I suggest during the reception of the first wedding have batteries charging for the second wedding.

I just came off a shoot (non wedding) where I had an 18 hour day 1 (7am-1am) followed by a 5:30am crew call the next day for an 8 hour shoot day. I almost vomitted on the drive to the first location but felt much better after a 5 hour nap afterwards.

the trick is definitely healthy nutrition throughout the day.

good luck man
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 06:41 PM   #5
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The trick is to be in shape! As discussed earlier, drink lots of water. Eat a small meal every 3 hours. I have 2 weddings tomorrow (Saturday) 1 on Sunday, then on Monday I'm playing in a volleyball tournament at the park! I should be fine though.... I'll probably sleep in on Tuesday.
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 06:52 PM   #6
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My advice is a little late, and with the way bookings have been this year it would be hard to take, but I would say don't double-book a weekend. We refuse to do this anymore, even this year with the slim bookings.

I go all out on the wedding day, and trying to do another wedding the next day just results in lower quality work. So we just don't do that anymore.


But like I said, too late for that advice now, lol. I would just be very careful to have the dates and times clear and organized so you don't get the schedules for the two days mixed up.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 01:28 AM   #7
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But like I said, too late for that advice now, lol. I would just be very careful to have the dates and times clear and organized so you don't get the schedules for the two days mixed up.
I'm actually printing out the schedules now so I can hopefully keep them straight.

The only reason this double booking happened is because the family connection really meant I "had" to do it. The wedding Sat is family, the second is full price paying customer. And to make matters worse the reception for Sat is on a grass lawn (to which I am horribly allergic). So I'll need to spend less time on the lawn so I am not in the middle of an allergic reaction (eyes swell up / shut) for the second wedding the next day!

As far as scheduling, I suppose I could try not to double book, but honestly, it was a welcome $600 (for the Sat wedding . . . yeah I know, you all can wag your fingers at me for that) and I'm using it as a practice for the "real" weding the next day. I'm trying two new things, a dedicated steadicam camera (instead of swapping off & on to the multirig based tripod) and a small 6 channel mixer to take house sound and combine with an audience mic and send that into my PC recording the house sound. There is a house sound setup for recording the service but . . . you guessed it, the sound guy that got stuck doing the wedding doesn't know how to run the garage band system to record the service, so I'll have to get my own audio.

I'm also experimenting with two aisle cams.... one un-touched for a cut-away wide (the cheap GS320) and the other another GL2 operated by my wife for second unit. If all goes well, then I'll use this setup for my client on Sunday (which is actually my biggest wedding package of the year ... everyone else took the lowest package I offered).

Thanks for the tips on food, I am usually HORRIBLE at getting food on wedding shoot day. My diet resembles that of the nation of Israel on Yom Kippur (aka it is a 24hr fast day, no food, no water). :-)
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 04:51 AM   #8
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good luck

Hey Jason let us know what happen afterward. Just wondering how much is your low package and your highest package and GL2 it just DV cam not HD and that still sell??? just wondering...
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 07:35 PM   #9
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Another reason to NOT shoot double weddings...

I just did that last weekend and as a result of standing for sooooo many hours I ruptured the bursa sacs in my right knee....otherwise known as bursitis.

So now I'm icing, elevating, and taking antoi-inflammitories.

I'm getting old and will not be booking doubles again :(
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 08:17 PM   #10
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Let us all bow our heads and say a short prayer for a quick recovery for sister Kelsey, and that brother Jason will survive the fortnight. Amen...

And may we all learn a lesson in our own mortality... I too suffer the ravages of being older than 20... dang. Have to find my reading glasses and my notebook and make a note to remind me not to double book... now where are those glasses...
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 10:29 PM   #11
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Let us all bow our heads and say a short prayer for a quick recovery for sister Kelsey, and that brother Jason will survive the fortnight. Amen...

And may we all learn a lesson in our own mortality... I too suffer the ravages of being older than 20... dang. Have to find my reading glasses and my notebook and make a note to remind me not to double book... now where are those glasses...
Amen!

And I think your glasses are probably on top of your head...just a guess?
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 10:48 PM   #12
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Hey Jason let us know what happen afterward. Just wondering how much is your low package and your highest package and GL2 it just DV cam not HD and that still sell??? just wondering...
One wedding down. Unfortunately my left eye is nearly swollen shut due to some allergic reaction (rehearsal dinner food may be?). Standing around on grass for the reception didn't help either. :-)

Packages: my lowest is $800 for just ceremony OR for all day coverage with no edit (just raw footage). My first "real" package is $1100 for 2 cams. And yes GL2 (standard def) bookings are still strong in my area. We are hit pretty hard by the recession AND the area hasn't had a strong HD push yet. I haven't EVER had a request for HD. That could partly be because even in the first few breaths of talking to a potential client I tell them that we shoot SD still.

So far I haven't had a single complaint about lack of HD. But also, the HD end of things is already taken in our town with Travis C. right here on DVi (and he does a great job too).
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 11:10 PM   #13
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We do back-to-back weddings regularly in order to maximize the number of bookings we can do each year (still only do around 30). Like many have said, I would say the words of advice that stick out to me would be to:

a) drink lots of water
b) pack up and organize everything the night before (do NOT leave that until the next morning and instead get everything ready and then go to sleep)
c) pack early in the day Friday and then relax at home before the shoot(s) to clear your mind and get your body ready

At least by now your first wedding is done - sorry to hear about the swollen eye. We are in a similar boat in a few weeks with a 12-hour + SDE on June 6th in Vancouver, 12-hour + SDE on June 7 in Vancouver, fly to Hawaii first thing on the morning of the 8th and then film a 10-hour wedding + SDE the next day on Maui. Later in June we're filming 2 weddings in Vancouver on June 27th and then I'm flying on a red-eye to Peoria, Illinois that night to film an 8-hour wedding and do a SDE the next day that has to be done by 3pm.

Good times!!!! Planning ahead and being as mentally and physically prepared as possible will set you up for success. Best of luck on wedding #2 - I'm sure it will go great - can you sleep in on Monday at least?

Bruce
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Old May 24th, 2009, 01:25 AM   #14
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Thank you

Thank you Jason for the repsond. Well good luck 1down 1 more to go.

Bruce how do you manage to do SDE when you are out of town. You edit on laptop. What NLEdid you use. did you bring the whole crew with you???
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Old May 24th, 2009, 10:00 AM   #15
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Thank you Jason for the repsond. Well good luck 1down 1 more to go.

Bruce how do you manage to do SDE when you are out of town. You edit on laptop. What NLEdid you use. did you bring the whole crew with you???
Hey Thanh,

We edit our SDEs on a laptop and talk to the AV people in advance to make sure we have all the right cables/connectors. For our Maui SDE I'm taking my 2nd shooter from Vancouver and also will have a talented colleague of mine fly over from Honolulu for the day to assist. For Peoria, one of my shooters from Vancouver and an assistant are flying to Illinois on the Thursday to pick up gear on Friday and shoot b-roll on Saturday before the wedding on Sunday. I'll have me and my normal crew filming one of the weddings in Vancouver while a colleague of mine from the US and one of my 2nd shooters from Toronto fly over to cover the other one. Like I said...good times - I think I'm nuts...

Don't want to hijack the thread though - I hope Jason has a great second shoot - they do take a lot of getting used to for sure.
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