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


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Old August 6th, 2004, 07:40 PM   #16
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If cameras are perceived to be less intrusive, just use the movie mode on some Point & Shoot cameras. I've used my little Canon S40 in events/ where video cameras have been prohibited.
The new Sony 828 Nikon 8700 do a good job on movie files, but they approach the size of a small camcorder.

Earlier this year, I grabbed a few movies in the church. Three videographers were all over the place and really perturbed the event. The tripods, gear, lights, and crew were all over
the place trying to get placement for the best shot. In my mind,
they dragged the event, because that's pretty much all I remember.

I just sat in row2 with my S40 and recorded the musical soloists.
I wish I had a slightly better angle, but oh well. The image quality was noisy and sub-DVD rez. It would have been nice to have better audio, so in the future, I'll use a portable mp3 recorder with external microphone.

Just catch the important stuff: the ring exchange and the musical soloists. It sounds like you have the rest covered
in a situation in which you are unable to use your best equipment.
Just my two cents. I am not a pro-anything videographer, just an enthusiast.
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Old August 6th, 2004, 07:41 PM   #17
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>I just can't believe how the Vicar is taking the most important >moment away from you, and the bride.

How did we ever get by before video?
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Old August 7th, 2004, 01:58 AM   #18
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hmmmm.. interesting.. ive had a vicar say no to cameras.. reason being for the lights and flashes used..
THis one church in particular was vry dark, and he was about to say no to me (he saw the light on the cam) and i told him i wouldnt use it..
He was ok after that coz he saw wher i positioned myself (groom had a lav mic so audio wasnt an issue).. be clear and there shoudl be no reason to say no..

Jsut coz theyve had a bad experience, you shoudlnt have to bear the brunt of it..


see alot of the times, if the priest says no fotos, most couples go elsewhere..

one major way to get rid of weddings is to say no fotos.. alot of them use this tactic..

either way, the bride and groom are payin fo the servise.. but if i was to have someone so linear as to continue to say no even after my assurances, i would tell teh bride and groom to look elsewhere.. if they didnt want to, id record audio, then for teh video, create a photoslideshow using pics taken from the fotoshoot..

its more work on ur part.. so charge them accordingly..
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Old August 7th, 2004, 07:02 AM   #19
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"How did we ever get by before video"

I don't know... That was what? 100 years ago? You would have to ask someone who was around back then... Ken Tanaka maybe?
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Old August 7th, 2004, 08:23 PM   #20
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Photographers are much more intrusive today, than they were 60 years ago. I've looked through my parents wedding album (all B&W) and it its much less commercialized and gaudy than todays photography. It was a simpler time.
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Old August 11th, 2004, 08:29 AM   #21
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"Photographers are much more intrusive today"

yup.. they pretty much run thhe show here, theyre much like makeshift choreographers for the day.. which is why i dont get involved in their politics.. i jsut follow the B&G
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Old August 19th, 2004, 06:13 PM   #22
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We've also been subjected to some very cranky priests but so far no show stoppers. Just about 50% of our weddings have been outdoors or at non-religious facilities. I would bet that there is a trend away from church weddings for the very reasons originally posted here.

But if true, that would be a loss since some of the churches we've taped in were very impressive structures. I'm sure you folks across the pond have a few classic cathedrals also.
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Old August 27th, 2004, 02:50 PM   #23
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Wear a nice suit and sit in the aisle like a guest.
Hopefully you have a small camera like a vx2000
or a GL2 and then just do your best from the pew.
You'll be surprised at how good it can come out.

I did one this way once the shakes weren't that
bad.

Again sit as close as possible.
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Old August 29th, 2004, 05:13 AM   #24
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I think i may have a solution. The vicar has said we cannot film during the actual ceremony but he will now let us film after the event, so we will be restaging walking down the aisle, ECU so you dont notice there are no other people sitting in church. Same with the vows and the ring exchange. And walking back up the aisle. I will be recording theaudio on mini disk so will have to overlay the shots to this track and then do a montage to fillm the gaps. I'm quite looking forward to this one now as it will be a bit of a challenge and different from the norm.
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Old August 29th, 2004, 08:43 AM   #25
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Carl, id say organise a hidden cam somewhere.. and taht couple must be pretty despereat to accep these kind of conditions which the preist has put onto them . ie no filming..

i mean did he say why he doesnt want it to be filmed?? is he jst a lil nervous?? if he is he shouldnt be in the robe, but im harsh when it comes to this sort of thing.. IMO its not about the priest or teh "church rules" coz there are actually no rules pertaining to cameras and its up to the priest to decide.. i still think its bizarre an di honestly would be trin o convince the couple to either choose a differnt prist or go to another church.

you DO realise that their whole day is now dictated by a selfish idiot, and your workload for this element of the wedding has just increased..

one thing abotu restaging the event.. persoanlly, it jstu doesnt catch the stunned BANG WOW factor a bride gives when she comes down the aisle.. its just not natual and i personally wouldnt consider doing this as its fake. Id stage it as a dream ssquence more than an actual "pretend" scen

If your gonna do this, you may as well be dynamic with it.. get the church empty and have the groom sit in a pew.. with some soft elegant music (inserted in post), have the groom read his vows (either via radio mic, or minidisc...) or better yet, u can even set this up before hand.. ie i would suggest would be to mic up the groom and get it LIVE as hes sayin the ORIGINAL vow.. then use that as the voiceover.. far more authentic really...

Now as we hear the groom say his vows.. we see a series of differnt angles and cuts of one man alone in a church... (wide, near, heavy DOF shots showing the location and windows..
And if theres a tower in the church take the bride up there, do afew shots, nice close ups.. some scenery and make sure u get a nice DOF shot.. then have her walk down thru the staircase as cutaway dream sequences as his vows are still being read...

Now have the bride walk in through a glowing white (entrance) have her walk down the aisle to him as his head is bowed down in his Vows..
As she reaches him.. have her touch his shoulder, he looks up with tears in his eyes (use glycerin if he isnt crying) and then have her say her vows directly to him..

The shot changes to wide centre aisle with just the 2 of them with the altar and main window behind them.. or something..
then cut to extreme closeup..

They swap rings and kiss and there u have it.. at least if it IS staged, your doing someting DIFFERENT with it.. dont pretend to reenact coz itll look silly and half cocked as you will be wasting time (and light).. by attemtpting to re-enact the scene.

fake, cheap and very boring as the adrenaline is gone. the mystery is gone and the emotion of the original spoken elemets will no longer hold any weight..
I really mean that.. they wont want to do this, and the amount of thoughts goin on thru their minds re-enacting something so seriosuly as to trying to act out their own wedding is just something they wont want to do.....

Now, not only will styalising offer a dynamic way to present the vows to the viewers, but as a styalised piece, it can be used as future promotional work.

If u have to stage it, make it deliberatly staged.. and make it classy.. dont ask people to act things out.. it just doesnt work, especially considering what theyre acting and the time/light restrictions which are invloved.. not to mention the distractions and self concious mindset they will have in knowing that theyre doing something JUST for it to be filmed..

The above idea wont take more than 10 minutes and may be a better solution. Its intense, very dramatic (if dome properly) and its original..
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Old August 29th, 2004, 02:38 PM   #26
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Peter,

Thanks for the lengthy reply, it's aprreciated.
My thoughts were on the lines of a dreamy recreation as opposed to a straight re-inactment, having said that you have given me some really good ideas, i'll let you know how I pull it off.
I've printed off your post and will put it to the B & G to seek their views.

Thanks again. Carl
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Old September 1st, 2004, 11:02 PM   #27
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OK here's couple of interesting experiences I have had in the past month.

Church A - The wedding coordinator tells us that the videographers must remain stationary over in the corner once the service begins. However the 2 photographers and 2 assistants are free to roam wherever they want, whenever they want. I POLITELY question this and she pulls out the church's rulebook and, sure enough, there it is in black and white. The bride and her father both object when they find out, but rules are rules and I have to stand in the corner.

Church B - I have a wedding coming up in a few weeks, but I will film the pre-ceremony, post ceremony and reception. Why not the ceremony you ask. Good question. The bride and groom are told by the church's wedding coordinator that their rules are so restrictive that there is no good way to film the service. BUT - here's the "good news" - the church has a built in video system (too bad it's just VHS and not digital) and for just $300 the church will provide them with a video of the service (but only the service)

As a strong Christian this really bothers me, but I am not sure what to do about it. Fortunately these situations are rare, but sad none the less.

As far as problems with videographers causing these types of rules, I don't buy it. I've actually seen more rude and inappropriate photographers than videographers. I don't see these types of rules applying to them.
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Old September 2nd, 2004, 08:09 AM   #28
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Tony,
You just never know what church rule curveball they'll throw at you sometimes. Went to a rehearsal earlier this year and the priest gruffly tells me: "You stand in the corner under the Blessed Mary statue and you can't move but the photographer can roam." This position he assigned me was behind the podium so when the B&G were at the altar and kneeled, just their heads would be visible to the camera. How rediculous would that look?

This circumstance nearly kept me up all night and the next day I pleaded my case with the priest again. He came to his senses a little and let us position the camera so we could get a left side frontal. Not what we wanted but better than taping the podium.

What really ticks me off is that we are silent and almost invisible during ceremonies while photogs are firing off flashes with audible camera noises. Go figure.
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Old September 2nd, 2004, 08:20 AM   #29
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yeah well, that why its best to do some reseach..

pu tit this way, if there are "rules" my contract CLEARLY STATES thats permission to film is on the heads of the Bride and groom..
on top of that, its a REQUIREMENT that they "shooting safe" and provide "tripd safe" areas for us to place our gear or fo ran area where we can roam.

If these arent followed, i clearly advise the client that if we dont get what WE NEED as a producer, we cant produce to the best of our ability and were ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE for it..

remember guys, this is business.. how are u expected to paint a prtrait if theyre taking away the paint.. ??
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Old September 2nd, 2004, 03:10 PM   #30
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I posted to this question some time ago. Let's lay it on the LINE!

A DONATION TO THE RESPECTIVE RELIGOUS SERVICE, JUST, MIGHT, GET WHAT YOU WANT.

Sorry to be so blunt!
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