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

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Old March 29th, 2005, 01:54 PM   #1
Major Player
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 221
First gig...


I'm a 17 year old, junior in HS and I have been offered an opportunity to record several speakers at a trail meeting for the park authority in my county. It isn't paid or anything like that, but I do want to do the best job I can because it may turn into a real paying job.

The event was not expected to be recorded until I said I could do it, so I do have the comfort of knowing that if I screw up, it will not be the end of the world. Of course, I still would like to minimize the possibility of a foul up so I am wondering if any of you have any advice for this first time venture?

Thanks in advance!
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Old March 29th, 2005, 02:27 PM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,707
Focus more attention on audio than you planned. That's #1. If it's an outside thing and you just need to cover it...I'd use a shotgun. If it's inside and you have access to some microphones and a mixer...try using those.

Find out from the person in charge as much details of the environment, power situation, the time and if you can get a place to record without being bothersome (or being bothered). Also, don't forget to tell them that they need to make everyone aware it will be taped. You don't want people freaking out on you because they now see themself on local television....or worse.....television 24 hours a day for 7 days straight!! That's local cable accesss programming for you...

I'd also remember this...small town politics are just like big city politics. They can get nasty, mean and downright scary. Stay clear of getting into trouble because at the end of the may seem unlikely, but in fact most (if not all) of the people in small towns have an agenda and you are quite expendable to them. Once you start waving a camera and microphone around...bizarre things happen.

Do a test run before the real thing - get a few friends to help if you can. Remember, it's the audio that's the most important thing..not the video. It's easy to run "auto" on video, but "auto" on the audio can mean certain death to the project!

If you haven't already hookup with your local cable access station. They have lots of resources for you and are there to help you with projects like this one. I'd volunteer there and tap all their equipment too. If you live in a large town/city....chance are you're sitting on a gold mind of equipment available to you. Just check the will have to put your projects on television. That's usually the #1 rule...beyond that they'll tell you the rest.
Christopher C. Murphy
Director, Producer, Writer
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Old March 29th, 2005, 04:17 PM   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Visalia, CA
Posts: 66
Christopher has some good advice.

I'm under the impression that you're using a consumer camcorder that may or may not have an auxiliary in...if that's the case, you might be stuck unless you have the means of borrowing or renting one with at least an auxiliary audio in. If your camera has one, then a good shotgun or cheaper vhf wireless mic would be a good investment (you can get them for under $100)

A decent tripod is the next biggie. Nothing looks better than having a rock-steady shot. (cheap ones are about $30 if you don't already have one).

Digital zoom is trash...try to avoid it.

Don't mean to pry, but knowing what you already have and/or your budget would be helpful on the gear and advice you need. If you're like I was in high school (that's back when Def Leppard was in the cassette player) I was too broke to pay attention... 8-)
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Old March 29th, 2005, 04:49 PM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Richmond, VA
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Thank you for taking the time to reply guys, it means a lot.

I will be taping indoors in a class room. The speakers will not be assisted by microphones at all. I have the choice between an Optura (30, maybe a 40) and my own Pana GS200. So the quality won't be superb, but I think it will do. (I will be using the pana as I know what I am doing with it). I will be using a Senn MKE300 on the camera (no way for me to get it closer) which I have found to be much better then the internal mic. I also have a tripod. A basic one that was $40 but it is a tripod.

I have made dozens of movies with friends and such so I have a general idea of what I am doing, I have just never filmed under these conditions before. Since this is the county we are talking about here, there is no budget of any kind, but I can safely say they are not expecting any sort of high quality here. The guy who normally does this will be using the main cam (a pd170 if I am not mistaken) during the time when this is going on and the next best cam is the one I own. Really all I am doing is setting the camera up and changing tapes. I then take the tapes and hand them to someone at the end of the meeting/presentation.

Not a hard job at all, I just want to leave a good impression.
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