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


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Old August 18th, 2009, 02:26 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Jeff Dinges View Post
Since this thread is already off-track, and i'm a newbie. What do you do about sound? I mean when you say "cut away all the panning" if you're on 1 camera you have to screw with the footage without ruining the natural sound.

I think any event videographer should strive for natural sound, overlaying a track is cheesy.
you may not have to mess with audio (too much) if you plan you pan. Hmmm, didn't mean to be poetic.Anyway, most weddings especially church wedding have a lot of air during the ceremony. For example, the priest says "and now MAry will do the first reading". While she walks up to the lectern it could take 30 seconds. You need to pan to get the lectern in frame, but it doesn't take 30 seconds. CUT! Perhaps dissolve to it whatever, but now the air and pan movement is gone. Audio goes with the footage.
If you are panning during music say following the couple to place flowers you probably aren't going to cut that anyway. So no harm no foul.

If you do need to cut a pan move and it's over important audio you can do any number of things to cover that. Be it slowing the footage down SLIGHTLY or using a cutaway shot that you got earlier or later (parents, g-parents even perhaps a beautiful stained glass window, if appropriate). Honestly that's really the last thing I worry about when I shoot and even though I use 2 and sometimes 3 camera I ALWAYS shoot as if I'm shooting 1 camera. That way I don't do anything I shouldn't do, like wild swish pans or crash zooms.
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Old August 19th, 2009, 09:58 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Dinges View Post
Since this thread is already off-track, and i'm a newbie. What do you do about sound? I mean when you say "cut away all the panning" if you're on 1 camera you have to screw with the footage without ruining the natural sound.

I think any event videographer should strive for natural sound, overlaying a track is cheesy.
Jeff:

I think for most short/normal ceremonys, the ceremony is generally in real time on the final product.

If someone shoots 1 camera and something is cut (panning), obviously the ceremony (& audio) is no longer real time, it can't be. However, the room tone & noise is usually so uniform, no one would ever notice any change in the audio. I don't see a problem.

On two or more camera shoots, one of the cameras (and/or audio recorders) is usually a static "safety" camera and the audio in those cases can be continuous and uninterrupted, although in post you would tranisition the audio to the appropriate source for what is happening, recorder covering music, wireless channel covering vows, line in covering readers on house sound, etc.
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Old August 19th, 2009, 12:03 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Jeff Kellam View Post
If someone shoots 1 camera and something is cut (panning), obviously the ceremony (& audio) is no longer real time, it can't be.
I use a zoom H4 and 2 irivers meaning I have 4 audio sources, audio is never a problem for me in the church while filming with one camera.
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Old August 19th, 2009, 01:46 PM   #49
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When shooting multicam and with multiple backup audio tracks, you can just sync everything up on the timeline, then cut "dead spots" if desired or just mix/cut and render to a continuous "feature", or remix as desired. This is where even one extra camera angle comes in handy... and if your "backup" camera (which you should have anyway) is sitting in a bag/case anyway, why not fire it up at a "safe" angle, locked down on a tripod?

The extra sound sources aren't to REPLACE ambient audio, but to ENHANCE the audio tracks for the best final result. Think how a Hollywood feature is shot - boom mic's to get audio from the actors (we use lavs), plus a sound track, ADR and Foley to enhance the experience. No reason not to use the "tricks of the trade" as needed to achieve a "better than being there" experience for the client, right?

Let's say that the priest forgets to turn on his mic, and there's NO "house audio" - so nothing to get from ambient mic'ing! BUT, if I've got a lav on an iRiver right on the Groom (and obviously you can mic the priest, etc.), and maybe a couple small wireless bluetooth mics strategically placed and recording to center channel on B/C angle cams... I've got a CHOICE of "real time audio" including good to excellent audio from the "hot zone" for the vows, and that "missing audio" because the priest "forgot" to turn on his mic...

This is from the "Video Scout" handbook:
Rule #1... BE PREPARED!

For "live fire", one shot events, you can never know what will happen, so being prepared for ANYTHING is "better safe than sorry". Such is the lot of the wedding vidoegrapher.
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Old August 21st, 2009, 12:51 PM   #50
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I don't want to sound consdescending but aren't people being unrealistic trying to cover a live event with one or even two cameras? And not even attending the rehearsal? Shooting a feature film with one camera may be OK but weddings aren't feature films. They're unrehearsed amateurs doing a one-off performance. They're nervous and often self-aware and embarrassed.

We consider ourselves professionals; we use three Z1s and wouldn't consider fewer. Two operators, third camera on a radio controlled hothead mounted on a tall tripod (15ft). Sorry if readers consider this excessive but when did you last see even the local news made with fewer than three cameras?

This may also reflect the fact that most UK churches and civil venues either disapprove of or don't allow cameras to move during the ceremony. I've seen still photographers asked to leave the church because they were standing on the church wall (modern church chancel rail) "to get their shot".

Sorry but my 2c.

Philip

Last edited by Philip Howells; August 21st, 2009 at 01:21 PM. Reason: Clarity
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Old August 21st, 2009, 01:19 PM   #51
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Gee Phillip, JUST three? <wink>

Nice setup, BTW!

I shoot smaller cameras so the investment isn't as large, but I consider 4 a minimum for ceremony coverage (reception is one or two), and I carry a boatlaod of outboard gear - excessive? Maybe, but better prepared for anything than caught up short!

I've never shot less than 2 cameras. Even when just starting out, I borrowed a second one! It's FAR more frustration and trouble to NOT have a cutaway in edit, than to roll a second cam... as the OP found out... In THEORY, you can always move your "manned" camera to get the best shot, but what if you CAN'T? You'll have some 'splaining to do if you've got no cutaway with a decent angle.

I still say, if you are being paid, you MUST have a backup camera, and sticking it on a cheap, high, well positioned tripod to cover your a** should be a professional duty, not an additional charged option! The additional equipment costs are nominal compared to the aggrivation you save.

And having proper equipment is another differentiator between a professional and "uncle Bob"! Even if Uncle Bob has a video camera, will he remember to push the button or have backups rolling if he blows a shot? NOPE. That's why we get the big bucks... ummm, yeah...
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Old August 21st, 2009, 01:29 PM   #52
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Dave, I didn't want to make our policy and practice too over the top but thanks for your endorsement. Like you we carry additional gear,including a Zoom H4 for the choir/organ with a couple of AT4040s if we can be discreet.

I always try and give encouragement to youngsters just getting into weddings - they're hard work but fun and it's a great environment - after all who goes to a wedding to be miserable? Compare that to a carefully scripted and rehearsed corporate in which the CEO explains why 15% of the workers are going to lose their jobs. No laughs on that production.

However, weddings are unpredictable as hell and I often use much of 30 years experience in corporate etc on a single wedding. Makes me smile when youngsters sometimes tell me they're "starting in weddings before going on to proper TV and video work".

Best regards

Philip
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