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Old July 16th, 2009, 07:33 AM   #1
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Filming from Balcony in Church

A couple of weeks ago I filmed a wedding inside a church. The reverend had a few rules regarding photography and videography. No photos at all in the church, including the professional, but will allow the photographer to photo after the registry.
No video is done except on the balcony and only by a professional, no other video is allowed. Also the videographer must stay put and not move from his spot.
This was no problem for me, visually that is, but my audio suffered because of being quite a distance from the bride and groom while exchanging the wedding vows.
I was not able to see the reverend before the wedding day, but only saw her on the morning of the wedding.
I had no wireless equipment, but a long extended lead that would have reached the couple, but not even this was allowed. So I was stuck up on the balcony with my external Microphone. The audio suffered.
I was probably about 50 feet away from the bridal couple. Would a wireless microphone system work? Are there any other suggestions that maybe I could have done under these circumstances? Has anyone else been in these circumstances?

Thanks.
Below is the link to a clip that I shot in this church and gives some idea of the distance I was from the wedding couple.

Video captured from Balcony of Church on Vimeo
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Old July 16th, 2009, 08:32 AM   #2
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I don't even understand why you'd ask if a wireless system would work. Of course it would work that's why they make them, that's why people buy them. Your situation was the perfect time to use one. Alternatively you can use a small voice recorder with a lavaliere mic, stick it in the grooms jacket pocket and pick it up at the end of the ceremony.

The lighting in that church is wonderful, I'd give my left arm for a church that's well lit like that.

Was the zoom broken on your camera?
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Old July 16th, 2009, 08:43 AM   #3
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A good wireless would have worked. I used to have the Azden WLT-PRO system and that would most certainly have had dropouts and interferrence at that range. I now have the Sennheiser Evolution G2 100 Series and that would have had no trouble at all. The difference is that the Azden system is $150 and the Sennheiser is $600. If you're going to pick up a wireless system, don't get a super-cheap one.

Would the pastor have allowed an unmanned hidden camera at the altar? I had to do that once. The pastor would allow no video other than outside of the sanctuary or from the balcony. I got him to agree to an unmanned camera in the front as long as it was invisible. I used a consumer 3-chip palm-sized camera hidden behind some plants. I got a great (albeit unchanging) view of the B&G.
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Old July 16th, 2009, 09:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Cooper View Post
Was the zoom broken on your camera?
As I stated earlier - 'gives some idea of the distance I was from the wedding couple'

I showed only a piece of the clip that shows the distance between the camera and the couple. 99% of the time is zoomed in.

Thank you Chris, your input is most appreciated. The wireless system I have does not reach 50 feet before drop-out occur, I will look into your suggestion.
I asked the Reverend about an hidden camera or recorder for audio and her answer was, 'rules are rules in this church' and the answer is no

Also thank you for your input Ethan
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Old July 16th, 2009, 10:48 AM   #5
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Definitely get a wireless. I also have the Sennheiser and I can get 300' out of it no problem. The clip doesn't look like you were that far out, what camera are you using? My GL2 with 20x zoom would have been able to get right up there.
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Old July 16th, 2009, 12:21 PM   #6
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The clip doesn't look like you were that far out, what camera are you using? My GL2 with 20x zoom would have been able to get right up there.
Your quite right, looking at another section of the video, it looks like the clip I uploaded is zoomed a little closer than where the camera is. Problem is, most of the time I'm zoomed in, and it's difficult to find a piece where I'm wide open.

I have Canon XH A1 20 X zoom. When I zoom into the couple, you get good head shots of them.

I just a had a good look at the Sennheiser and it looks good and descent price, thanks for your input Adam, many thanks.
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Old July 16th, 2009, 03:16 PM   #7
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yuuck... the audio is pretty bad. I also have done wedding in church they absolutely won't allow going inside at all. Have to shoot from the last row of seats through a glass. Needness to say, good clean audio is impossible. They made it so hard for videographer to get good video because they are also selling the church is also selling their video taping service from the balcony. I even have the church people standing next to my camera to chit-chat. It's like, their whole point of existance is to ruin my work.

I have given up using wireless mic. There're many issues involving range and interference. I am now using the Olympus voice recorder with a wired lav mic. It works very well.

L.A. Color Blog | Wireless Mics vs Voice Recorders

one time a church people force to remove the lav mic from the groom claiming it will interfere their wireless system. I told them mine is just a voice recorder like an MP3 player. Not wireless and thus no interference. But there're some brutal church people out there.
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