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

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Old April 4th, 2005, 02:07 PM   #1
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Location: Somerville, MA
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Getting better moving shots?

This year, I'd like to try more tracking (slow walk) type shots that some of you are doing with great success. I don't want to use a stabilizer yet but would rather work on handheld technique.

I've done some practice at home but when I play back the tests in my NLE at different speeds, it's blurry and jumpy. That might be due to Premiere 6.5's handling of slo-mo but is there something else I should be doing? I'm using a PD-170 with shutter at 60.

Aside from the NLE issues, I'd welcome any advice on dynamic shooting tips to help keep the camera steady. I think I can get a smoother result with a monopod as opposed to just hand held shots.
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Old April 4th, 2005, 03:43 PM   #2
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That, also, is a particular area of concentration in my own work. As I do love the glidecam but they are more suitable for longer tracking shots rather than the short and equally dramatic handheld dolly, and crane shots.

You really couldn't have asked this question at a better time because Mark and Trish VonLanken JUST released training material that cover this EXACT topic. I've known about this video before it's release and have been anxious for it's release. When I saw they were for sale at this past week's WEVA Town meeting I didn't hesitate. After getting home and taking the time to watch it I must say it is AWESOME! I've never seen any training material that covers these kind of techniques but this one does so..and in spades. It covers handheld shooting with both shoulder mounted cams and handheld cams alike. Monopod, and Glidecam techniques as well. The name of the training video is "Moving Camera Techniques" and can be purchased here:

It's one of the best investments I made this year for my wedding videography business this year- I highly recommend it. If your not familiar with Mark & Trish's style go check out the rest of their site to see sample videos. They, in my opinion, have the best handheld shots in the none. I'm thankfull Mark has been so kind as to share his secrets and techniques with us.
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Old April 11th, 2005, 08:57 AM   #3
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Just watched my copy. Some of it is basic knowledge of things like using DoF and exposures. Some of the stuff is very inventive.

If nothing else this got my crative juices flowing with respect to trying new angles, approaches and techniques. They certainly show you how to move from average video to much more impressive stuff. Makes the video look like you've got all kinds of wacky gear comming to bear. Nice.

Definitely worth seeing. The price tag was a little steep though, not sure how much of a bargain it is. No doubt this pushed me a little farther out in front of the competition and in business, that's priceless.
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Old April 11th, 2005, 09:47 AM   #4
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Just got my copy also. Wonderful techniques. The tip on the wide angle lens purchase alone was well worth the price. They are clearly pros and I was impressed with their inventiveness.

Thanks Glen for the recommendation.

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Old April 12th, 2005, 06:33 PM   #5
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I'm no pro at this yet, so I would definately caveat this with a FWIW, but I would suggest learning some Tai Chi. Seriously. The slow smooth movements of Tai Chi/Chi Gung are a perfect match for handheld moving camera work...its the next best thing to turning yourself into an Industrial Lights and Magic robotic precision camera device, wouldnt you think?

Some well worth while Tai Chi videos are made by the fellow who wrote The Complete Idiots Guide To Tai Chi....they're about 70 bucks for the 3 tape set (or you can get DVD, dont know how much those were...been a while now.) and just start incorporating your camera into your own custom exercises and movements. It will help you to synch your breathing to the movements too, which is one of the keys to the whole thing. Sure, you may look a little funny to those watching you shoot, and they may start making "wax on, wax off" remarks to you, but you'll be gettin some smooth video.

Maybe even practice walking on rice paper with your camera without making a tear!
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Old April 12th, 2005, 07:25 PM   #6
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Hehe- never thought about it that way but I know what you mean. Mark does indeed look like he's practicing Tai Chi when going through the exercises!
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Old April 12th, 2005, 08:56 PM   #7
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Same with a crane

I came to that conclusion after an exhausting session with my newly-acquired SkyCrane Jr. unit. Moving the camera through 180 degrees horizontally and from floor to ceiling requires a lot of effort to keep smooth.
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