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


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Old June 18th, 2004, 10:45 PM   #1
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Wrong-Way Bride

No, we are not talking about gay weddings, not that there is anything wrong with that.

I just came back from a rehearsal, and the minister and the bride decided to face the wrong way, the couple facing the guests, and the minister's back to the guests. Screw up my regular shooting angles.

Have you guys seen many of these?

To top that, it is in a VERY small chapel, and to be packed jam. The bride's maids and groomsmen are so plently that they will line from one wall of the chapel to the other, and the guests will be so jammed that they will come right up to 3 or 4 feet from the groomsmen/bride's maids.

And the bride and groom will be standing on the alter, elevated good 2 to 3 feet above my camera eyelevel.

Usually my emergency shooting angle is to go to the back and shoot down the aisle, but this time because of the wrong-way bride, the minister will be standing in the aisle blocking the bride and groom, at least the bottom 2/3rd.

Any idea?

Only way I see right now is to hijack one of the front row sit in the corner, and simply stand on the bench to get the elevation, of course my tripod has to go high also. Hope the ceremony does not go too long...
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Old June 20th, 2004, 11:59 AM   #2
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Law,

Any windows on the side walls that you could shoot through from outside?
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Old June 20th, 2004, 09:52 PM   #3
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No, pretty modern building, all bay windows, not "openable" windows.

Any way, of course, the wedding is over by now. Tell you it was bad, but not as bad as can be. The "jammed packed" crowd never materialize, it was a decent crowd. I was able to stand on the 1st bench at one corner with the camera elevated 2 feet above the normal height. Stood there for half an hour though, did not fall down. :-)

So, nobody has encountered a single wrong-way bride?
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Old June 20th, 2004, 11:44 PM   #4
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wrong way bride

Law,

I have been shooting weddings in the DFW area since 1985, and although it's not common, I have had an occasional bride and groom face the guests to recite their vows.
The ONLY solution to this and many other problems shooting weddings is to:
1. Attend the rehersal
2. Arrive early enough before the wedding to overcome obstructions to your shot i.e. flowers, candles, arches, etc.....

Shooting weddings is not a scripted, "let's do that once more from another angle" kind of shoot. You have one chance to get it right, unobtrusively, and within the confines of the facility you are shooting in.

A wedding is about the bride and groom, not about the video, but ironically, as a professional videographer, they expect you to present them with a video shot from perfect angles.

The saying "forewarned is forearmed" was never more true than it is in shooting weddings. Ask the couple questions about their ceremony, and the facilites when they book with you. Take notes to refer to the next time you shoot there.

Advise your clients you plan to do the best and most professional job possible, but there are limits to what you can do and still remain unobtrusive.

Lastly, if you do have a problem the day of the wedding, with "whatever", do not trouble the bridal couple with this problem. Seek help and assistance from coordinators, florists, clergy and if all those fail, the person who paid you.....the parents (usually).
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Old July 29th, 2004, 10:14 AM   #5
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Advise your clients you plan to do the best and most professional job possible, but there are limits to what you can do and still remain unobtrusive


thats it in a nutshell...

ive had it happen to me, which is why i always run 2 cameras regardless of the job payrate
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Old July 29th, 2004, 12:57 PM   #6
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We're encountering a similar situation this weekend. Except we have a twist. The beggining of the ceremony will have the B&G facing the audience with the officiants back to us and then half way through they are going to be switching spots, but the rest of the bridal party (groomsmen, bridesmaids) will be facing the audience still. Why they are doing this I can only conclude is to keep us video guys on our toes but that's the way it's going down.
My big question is, we are shooting with two cameras likely one on each side of the audience. At times we will need to be infront and behind the party to get the B&G properly. This means we will be basicly shooting a complete 360. What can we do if anything to not break the axis, and have the problem of people appearing to switch places. The only thing i can think is to make sure we edit in that switch of places so people understand what's going on.

Any other ideas?
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Old July 29th, 2004, 01:20 PM   #7
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Sounds like you're going to have to rig one of those wire cable overhead mounted flying cams like on Monday Night Football. They've sure complicated it for you, just talk to them upfront and maybe present a couple of storyboards of what they will see on the final video with you remaining fixed while they 'dance around' up on the stage.
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Old July 29th, 2004, 01:41 PM   #8
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Hmm i saw place a third camera if possible at a higher up location and then use that as a master shot if you will, which will set up the positions of everyone and you can go back to it time to time in order to establish everyone's place. Good idea? :D
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Old July 29th, 2004, 03:32 PM   #9
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Ya third camera as a master will work hopefully it can capture enough; it will be quite far back. I do like the cable cam idea though. hmmmm, ya that's all i need to start rigging up now. Would make some great walking down the isle shots. Damn you Patrick now I want a cable cam LOL.
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Old July 29th, 2004, 03:40 PM   #10
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Yeah, probably a little much. If you have to fly the camera down the aisle and out of the church to catch the escaping bride or groom running like a wide receiver, I don't think they'll want the finished product of an 'almost wedding' anyway.

Can you imagine the insurance coverage you'd need to rig up that type of overhead gear? Speaking of which...(I won't hijack this thread, but I will start another one on insurance).
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