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


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Old August 30th, 2009, 09:40 PM   #1
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Never done a SDE - Need Help! :)

Hello to all,

We have been producing wedding films for the last three years now. So we are finally feeling like we know what we're doing and what to expect during a long day of shooting a wedding. But, we just had our first client request a SDE quote and I don't know what to do. I have a lot of questions and I promise I'll do my best to keep my questions to the point! :)

1. I have a pretty good idea of how to price this add on. This would be according to this EventDV article: EventDV.net: Producing and Promoting Same-Day Edits Does this sound correct?

2. I would love to just go straight from my MBP (I edit on FCP) DVI to HDMI to projector. But I've read that playing from a computer is not the best idea. Is anyone playing straight from their computer and having good success?

3. I shoot 720p (detail of my gear below), Is there a recommended projector to rent? And what would the day rate be on one?

4. What do you do about Audio? Do you run it through the DJ or rent/own your own?

Here is my current gear I'm working with:

-HVX200 (Good I'm set up with tapeless, but not exactly the best for weddings I know)

-Need to have a 2nd HD camera by June of 2010. This would be either rent a Sony Z7U, Canon A1, Panasonic 150, **or purchase a Canon MarkII or Panasonic DMC-GH1K (if they ever ship them!)

-17in MCP: 4GB Ram and FCP6


I think that's it. I would love all help and advise. I have to send a quote tomorrow to the groom, so any help would be SO AWESOME!!!! :) I am very glad to be here at DVInfo and looking forward to learning from everyone.

Best,

Beau Brotherton
Reel Memories Wedding Films
Houston Tx Wedding Videography - Reel Memories Wedding Films
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Old August 31st, 2009, 02:39 AM   #2
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Hi Beau,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beau Brotherton View Post
Hello to all,
2. I would love to just go straight from my MBP (I edit on FCP) DVI to HDMI to projector. But I've read that playing from a computer is not the best idea. Is anyone playing straight from their computer and having good success?
I present right off the timeline with FCP to the projector via a very long DVI cable with Cinema Desktop Preview mode. The MacBook Pro recognizes the projector as the second monitor and sets the resolution automatically. I edit with HDV footage on a 1080i ProRes 422 (LT) timeline. The footage comes from Canon A1's. Audio comes from the headphone jack to the dj or band's board or to my self-powered speakers. Doing this way I have for over a year and never had a playback glitch. Its also the easiest way to project an HD image with my equipment. You're only limited by the resolution of your projector.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beau Brotherton View Post
-HVX200 (Good I'm set up with tapeless, but not exactly the best for weddings I know)
-Need to have a 2nd HD camera by June of 2010. This would be either rent a Sony Z7U, Canon A1, Panasonic 150, **or purchase a Canon MarkII or Panasonic DMC-GH1K (if they ever ship them!)
Just be aware of the limitations of some of the formats these cameras record if you're planning on a fast-turnaround. As a test I set up a timeline of raw video files from the 5DM2 available online and exported a movie that is 12 minutes long at the current settings. To simulate editing in the field I used a 'droplet' to encode the file using drag-and-drop. (I could just insert the CF card and drop the original file directly to the droplet without transferring the file to the laptop first.) A new file would be created (1080 x 1920) on the internal hard drive that can be edited very easily in FCP. The test was simply to see how long the encoding process would take on my current SDE laptops: an aging pair of Intel Core Duo 2.16 gHz 17" MacBook Pro's. 12 minutes of 5DM2 footage transcoded to ProRes 422 (LT) took 46:20. A calculation using standardized benchmarks for Apple computers shows that even with the fastest currently available MacBook Pro the encoding would still take over 30:00. If you're working on a corporate project or even a wedding without an SDE that is more than acceptable - just set it up to output your files overnight. A pain but acceptable. But for SDE's I'd have to use workarounds (scan through the footage before I convert it, for one) that, because I work alone and I depend on SDE's for inquiries, would offset the image quality improvements the camera has to offer.
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Old August 31st, 2009, 12:32 PM   #3
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Hey Joel,

AWESOME!! Thanks for the help and for giving me peace of mind that going straight from the mac can be done. And wow, even straight from a FCP timeline!! That is even easier! :)

Thanks also for the help with my 2nd camera choice. I know that I'm already playing with fire by not having two of the same cameras. I love my HVX for corporate and indi-film work, but it is a little weird for weddings. If they book with me and choose the SDE, I'll be be testing the SDE edit work flow on practically every wedding until then. :)

Just a couple more questions if you don't mind:

1. What projector do you use? Own or rent?

2. Would around $1000 for the SDE add on be a good price for myself and the client with this being my first try?

Thanks again! :)
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Old August 31st, 2009, 02:03 PM   #4
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One advice is to "memorize" the music you'll be using, keep the music in mind while filming ...keep the editing simple...bring extra cables you require..table to set your laptop and projector..when we shoot SDE's i have a dedicated AVCHD camera just for that, i also primarily shoot the SDE while 2 of my partners covers the usual happenings during the wedding..we convert the final edited footage to a 720 x 480(Im a PC, PproCS3))and play it from our laptop.. i also make a DVD copy as backup. I wouldn't worry about HD or SD for now (The great Jason Magbanua still uses SD for his SDE's). like what Mr. Peregrine said you are limited to the resolution on your projector anyways. It's such a rush to do SDE's !!

Good luck !!

Ken
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Old August 31st, 2009, 04:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beau Brotherton View Post
Hey Joel,

AWESOME!! Thanks for the help and for giving me peace of mind that going straight from the mac can be done. And wow, even straight from a FCP timeline!! That is even easier! :)

Thanks also for the help with my 2nd camera choice. I know that I'm already playing with fire by not having two of the same cameras. I love my HVX for corporate and indi-film work, but it is a little weird for weddings. If they book with me and choose the SDE, I'll be be testing the SDE edit work flow on practically every wedding until then. :)
Great idea. I do them at weddings that haven't chosen one - instead of being projected I place the laptop out in a conspicuous place and let it loop. It always gathers a crowd and is very much appreciated by the couple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beau Brotherton View Post
1. What projector do you use? Own or rent?
I have an Epson EX70 as a main projector and an older Powerlight S1+ as a backup. The EX70 is a 16:10 1280x800 native LCD. I like the way it looks but don't have any experience with others to compare it to other than the older Epson, which is substantially dimmer, less sharp, 4:3 and has a contrast ratio that renders blacks as dark gray.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beau Brotherton View Post
2. Would around $1000 for the SDE add on be a good price for myself and the client with this being my first try?
That's a completely subjective decision. Even though it goes against the opinions of the 'get paid what you're worth' crowd I will always do SDE's because they keep me busy regardless of how much they boost the contracted total.
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Old August 31st, 2009, 05:09 PM   #6
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Awesome Joel! Thanks again. I love your idea to still show the SDE on the laptop even if the couple doesn't want it. I was just thinking about trying it as practice, not thinking I could do anything with it. I would love to still actually get some traffic to our table and show it off for the 200+ guests/future referrals!! :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kren Barnes View Post
..when we shoot SDE's i have a dedicated AVCHD camera just for that...
Hi Kren, thanks for your advise as well. Would you mind elaborated on your "dedicated AVCHD camera"? I apologize I'm not fully sure what you mean by this and would love to learn how to better prepare myself. Thanks! :)

I apologize for the excitement, I'm just really glad that I joined this forum and getting so much help! :)

Best,

Beau Brotherton
Reel Memories Wedding Films
Houston Tx Wedding Videography - Reel Memories Wedding Films
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Old August 31st, 2009, 05:29 PM   #7
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Oh yeah, I totally forgot ......... What about the screens that y'all have?

1. Brand?

2. Size?

3. And what would one cost?

Thanks again!! :)

Beau Brotherton
Reel Memories Wedding Films
Houston Tx Wedding Videography - Reel Memories Wedding Films
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Old September 1st, 2009, 10:54 AM   #8
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Hey Beau!

Welcome to DVInfo. A great forum here. I would check with any of these places locally in Houston for projector rentals: (I'm not affiliated with any of these places so I hope it's OK to post them??)

VSA (Houston)
http://vsahd.com

MicroSearch (Houston)
MicroSearch.com: Houston's Digital Media Training Center: Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, Avid, Audio, Lighting, and Camera Training

Visual Interactive Dynamics (Houston)
Visual Interactive Dynamics - Dealer of Consumer, Professional Audio, Video, and Presentation Equipment.

Industrial A/V (Houston)
Welcome to Industrial Audio/Video, Inc
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Old September 1st, 2009, 11:03 AM   #9
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Sweet!! Hey David, I'm so excited that I know someone on this forum!! :) Thanks for the links, I did call VSA yesterday and will certainly give the others a call asap.

Thanks again and I'll see ya next week! :)
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Old September 1st, 2009, 11:14 AM   #10
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Some additional thoughts:

1. Have an "out". Our SDE's start with a pre-produced love story or photo montage (charged accordingly). If for some reason the SDE doesn't get completed on time there is still something to show.

2. We use the DJ's or band's setup. Call beforehand - DON'T wait till the day of - and discuss with the person who's going to be there what you need for input. You will get way better cooperation on the day of because you've made prior contact.

3. I second the "memorize your music" comment. In fact, pre-produce the whole thing on your timeline. Insert slugs and markers - big text blocks that say "PREP", "DETAILS", "BRIDE WALK" with the audio laid out and save the file as a template.

4. Relax. I know very good videogs who won't do weddings because they are stressful, one-time-only events. An SDE will take your stress level off the chart. But when they succeed it's the most exhilarating feeling there is, and you will be the hero of the day.

good luck & have fun!

Last edited by David McKnight; September 1st, 2009 at 01:37 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old September 1st, 2009, 04:48 PM   #11
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Great, thanks David! And thanks to everyone for all of your invaluable advise. :)
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Old September 1st, 2009, 09:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
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But when they succeed it's the most exhilarating feeling there is, and you will be the hero of the day.
Absolutely right. Now I should point out I've only done one. I did it for free as a test. I hired an additional cam op / assistant, and it cost me about $300 in screen & projector rental. BUT, the experience was very valuable.

I made the mistake of not pre-planning ANYTHING. Nada. I wasn't even settled on the song. I wanted to clear it with the B&G first, so I burned it to a CD and had a portable DVD/CD player with me at the prep. I played the first option and it got the best result so I didn't bother playing the rest.

Shot selection. I choose shots from two cams, but that meant I had to have secondary cam op rewind through footage on cam #2 to find key moments, which means I needed 3 cams, two for shooting at the reception, and 1 for tape-deck use. I probably spent 1/2 of my time just paging through the ~2hrs of footage to find the money shots. Took probably 1hr for the whole edit with lots of interruptions.

Incidentally, my first SDE is available here to check out.

Stats: Canon GL2 x 2 - Vegas 8 Pro, Alienware Lappy, played to SD projector using external monitor hookup (was a PITA.... next time will just burn DVD and play from DVD player)
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Old September 1st, 2009, 09:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beau Brotherton View Post
Oh yeah, I totally forgot ......... What about the screens that y'all have?

1. Brand?

2. Size?

3. And what would one cost?

Thanks again!! :)

Beau Brotherton
Reel Memories Wedding Films
Houston Tx Wedding Videography - Reel Memories Wedding Films

Rule in choosing screen size is one inch per person (diagonal length of the screen), so basically if the audience is 150, the screen size should be 150 inches.
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