Just a couple of little things I learned at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 16th, 2005, 04:29 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 66
Just a couple of little things I learned

I am a small one-man show and find myself doing more and more weddings. After each one I always sit back, reflect on what worked, what went wrong, what I would do differently etc etc.

I suspect many of you do the same and maybe many of you have already discovered what I'm about to tell you. But here are some extracts from my notebook entries after my last wedding...

The wedding was out doors in a garden with a mix of lawns and paved areas. I always attend the rehearsals and always mark my camera positions. When indoors I always use gaff tape, but on this occasions had to come up with a different solution as the tape was OK (just) on the paving, but not the lawn.

My solution was to dash out and buy a pack of coloured golf tees which I then pushed into the lawn and some chalk which I used to mark my spots on the paving.

Don't forget to collect the golf tees after the event so that they don't become unguided missiles next time the lawn is mown.
__________________
Wayne

If there's no Internet in Heaven, I'm not going!
Wayne Starick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 16th, 2005, 05:28 PM   #2
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 2,898
That's very interesting. I always attend rehearsals as well but have never really been as scientific in regards to my exact camera placement from the day before.

I do, indeed, however litterally write a list of notes after each wedding- shots to try again, shots/angles to explore further or improve upon. Things to avoid, logistics and timing (ie Packing up enough during the photosession that the bridal party wont leave for the reception hall before you get all your gear in the bag!) lol...it's happened to me once when I neglected to pack up and went stright outside for the photosession.

Granted I have a rather low number of weddings under my belt compared to many of you but I do find each and every one to be a learning experience. Whether I lean from positives or negatives.
Glen Elliott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 16th, 2005, 07:53 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 66
G'day Glen,

One other thing that I forgot to mention that was a 'big learning' this time was to survey the route from ceremony to reception.

Had I cut it fine (which I didn't) I could have got badly snarled up in roadworks and would have been pushed for time at the reception end!
__________________
Wayne

If there's no Internet in Heaven, I'm not going!
Wayne Starick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 17th, 2005, 02:00 AM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Aus
Posts: 3,884
things to learn.. there are MANY.. lol

first thing i learnt was KNOW YOUR CLIENT.. imperitive to getting a good feel for their tastes, likes and dislikes..
they see the product, and they know what to expect, but each perosn is differnt and its learnign those quirks that can make or break eh day.. (havent had a day break on me yet.. lol )

another trick is to get yoruself a NavMan PiN, which is a small PDA device with a built in GPS navigation system. Its the best thing i have bought for the business recently and im never late or lost..
it saves a huge headcahe considering the amount of travelling i do..

If i have time, i try to attend rehearsals, however im usually too busy to be able to do that. From the amount of actual work that i have backlogued here, and the amount of new work that comes through, i dont have the opportunity to take afew hours away from editing or corresponding with potential clients to attend a rehearsal.
Usually i ask for a floor plan and i try to get to the venue at least half an hour befor eit begins.
Im a one man band with afew helpers when i need.. but attending a rehearsal jstu doesnt work for me unfortunately.. although id love to be able to do it.. its jsut not possible for me right now.Another tip is totake a flask of water. A thermus one might say and make sure its full.. also some high keytone drins like V or gatorade to keep ur sugers up.

I also give myself half an hour buffer between all venues, jsut in case of any unforseen delays (liek traffic and freak forces of nature)

With the fotoshoot, some couples expect you to go to all venues.. sometimes up to 6 different locations which jsut isnt possible..
I plan my packages and i advise them that we only attend ONE.. so long as i have 10 minutes worth of footage, and i can get afew of my classic shots in there somewhere, i know i'll be safe.
If theres more time, i may head off to the other location, but most of the time, the couples understand that alot more prep is involved with video as opposed to just taking snaps..

One thing abotu the whole thing is to be clear and precise to the client as sometimes clients can get a little miffed if theyre not in the know about certain things.
Peter Jefferson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 17th, 2005, 04:47 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Mariposa, CA
Posts: 200
In six years, I do not think that I have ever gone to a rehearsal unless I was paid to film it. I guess I never thought I got paid enough, especially not enough to go to a rehearsal! Instead, I show up about 2 hours before I am supposed to be there and scope it all out. That way I can line everything up and get my sound setup properly, which I would need to do anyway. I also bring my lunch/snack to eat before the wedding.

This method works well for me--I shoot with four cameras and two operators, so we can always check camera's composition while filming. The biggest lesson I can tell anyone is to always prepare for bad traffic, even if you're going 2 blocks away, it will happen. There have been times when I cut it really close because of major traffic accidents. Then it becomes really fun to scout, setup, test, and operate everything in under 10 minutes. Suddenly I might wish I had gone to a rehearsal....
Patrick Pike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 17th, 2005, 08:23 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Somerville, MA
Posts: 360
Call me paranoid, but I always go to the rehearsals so there won't be any nasty surprises on wedding day. Of course, there's always Murphy's Law but at least I'll get advance notice of any weird house rules.

Like the time a priest told me that I had to park my camera at the back wall behing the podium. That location would have given me a shot of the B&G's heads only when they kneeled at the altar with the podium in every frame. Totally ridiculous, so I pleaded with the priest and he later relented with some intervention from the parents. If I had not gone to the rehearsal, this priest might have ruined the ceremony video.

I use the time before the rehearsal to tape location shots and believe me, it gives me a relaxed opportunity to capture scenes I would'nt have time for otherwise. The rehearsal also gives me an opportunity to tape the wedding party. I use that to review who's who with my partner.

I always drive to each location a couple of weeks in advance to make sure I know the way. I'll use that time to get some location shots of the reception area especially if scenic.

I think our biggest learning tool is reviewing the raw footage. My wife assists me and we watch the tapes going over what worked and what needs improvement. The problem for us to really improve is practice but bookings seem to be getting tougher to get each year. I guess that's another topic.
Bob Harotunian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 18th, 2005, 08:37 AM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Aus
Posts: 3,884
"Like the time a priest told me that I had to park my camera at the back wall behing the podium. That location would have given me a shot of the B&G's heads only when they kneeled at the altar with the podium in every frame. Totally ridiculous, so I pleaded with the priest and he later relented with some intervention from the parents. If I had not gone to the rehearsal, this priest might have ruined the ceremony video. "

If a priest is dictating to me how i should do my job, i tell him to disucss it with the couple and then THEY can tell em to move... i usually plant myself where i can have a perfect shot and if he tries to ruin that, i wont be liable.
"Permissoin to film" and "tripod safe areas" are a part of teh contract. Its the clients responsibility to ensure that i have a good spot and that my documenttioan on their day is not compromised.
Most of the time, issues arise from previous bad experiences, so they expect were all gonna be the same..
I jsut tell teh priest that if he has an issue with me filming, he should have adressed that with the couple, and the couple have a responsibilty to adress it to me.
This isnt home video.. its not like uncle bobn is floaintg around with his handycam.
We are professionals and deserve teh respect and flexibilty to do our jobs. If we arent given the opportunity to do that, we cant be responsible..

Hell, one tim a priest noticed me puttina wireless onto a groom, He came running up and YELLING to take it off.. why?? becuase the church jsut invested in a new PA ssytem.. if it worked, i could have taken a feed but it didnt work.. but the priest still refused..
so... before teh ceremony, i took the groom aside and planted a mic under his jacket..

I have a job to do and NOONE is gonna stop me from doing that job except the Bride and Groom. Sorry but its THEIR wedding and on teh day, theyre my boss..

People say to respect the priest etc etc.. and sure enough i do, but there comes a point where this couples investment to my business with their 2500 in my pocket would go to waste. Its the same clients here that would come back and expect a refund for a bad shot which we arent responsible for.

jsut make sure that if that does happen, ur contract covers u
Peter Jefferson is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:16 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network