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


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Old April 21st, 2005, 09:35 AM   #1
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16:9 Shooting Tips

I am doing a favor for a friend for thier wedding. I will be shooting with two Sony Z1u's. I will use shotgun mics on both cameras. I have a Mini-Digital Sound board that records to Compact Flash, and has four or six channel sound recording. I am running some wireless mics and main sound system feed into this board. My question is about shooting techniques for 16:9 in a wedding. I have shot a lot of widescreen footage before, but i have never had to frame two cameras for a wedding setup. any tips on framing or the setup would be greatly appreciated.
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Old April 21st, 2005, 10:40 AM   #2
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Are you shooting solo or do you have an assistant to man the second camera.

If solo a good setup would be to place one of the cams high, in the balcony with a wide establishing shot. That way you'll have it as a cutaway.

I usually shoot from the grooms side as to get more of the brides face. Some shoot the vows directly down the center isle- which MAY be beneficial in your case if your shooting solo. Any time your going to the center isle, however, be mindfull of the photographer.
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Old April 21st, 2005, 01:12 PM   #3
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I will have two maned camera's, sorry I did not state that. I have done a couple weddings before so I do understand the basic setup of the wide and closeup camera. I was hoping for tips on panning and zooming with widescreen. I have noticed that with widescreen generally the camera does not do a lot of zooming when footage is show. so what I am getting at is what would the do's and dont's be of shooting with widescreen for wedding features. This will also be the first time I try out HDV.
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Old April 22nd, 2005, 09:25 AM   #4
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Panning and zooming tips

For what it's worth from a forum and DV newbie, the best tip I can come up with regarding zooming and panning - regardless of whether its in 16:9, HD, or whatever - is ... don't do it! I think of the zoom ring as something done to frame your shots once you've chosen the camera position, done between takes rather than something that's done to change perspective *during* the take. Pretend the zoom is really a bag full of various fixed focal length lenses. With fixed lenses you'd have to stop tape to change the lens and IMHO you should do the same thing if you're going to change the focal length of a zoom lens, if not when shooting at least when editing by cutting the zooming frames out altogether. Of course there are exceptions but usually I hate to see zooms on-screen, especially when unmotivated or when they're being used as a poor-man's dolly shot. To go from a MS to a CU, for example, it's far better IMHO to cut rather than zoom. If you absolutely HAVE to zoom because the action is unfolding in real time and you can't pause, cover the focal length change with a cutaway or reaction shot. Maybe my old brain hasn't been adequately tuned into the video game age, but the current fad for the camera to be continually bobbing, weaving, and zooming all over the place drives me batty!

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Old April 22nd, 2005, 10:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House
For what it's worth from a forum and DV newbie, the best tip I can come up with regarding zooming and panning - regardless of whether its in 16:9, HD, or whatever - is ... don't do it! Steve
Except that everyone has to pan and zoom, if for no other reason than to set up a new shot. The reality, however, is that the event will not be repeated. Unless the camera operaters are in perfect unison there is a good chance some part of a pan or zoom will have to be included in the finished video.

My policy, slowly learned, is to determine the path of a pan or zoom before I start. By giving the camera movement a specific purpose it is much easier to integrate in post.
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Old April 22nd, 2005, 02:34 PM   #6
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Pan and Zoom

I realize that there may be times where you just can't avoid it and there may be times where it's motivated and legit to use - for example, a slow pan across an audience showing their reactions while listening to a speaker might be preferable to showing a static wide angle shot where their faces are so small that one is unable to see the reactions. But to use the zoom as a push into the speaker from a medium shot to a closeup while keeping his face on screen just doesn't look right to me. I'd much rather see the audience reaction as a cutaway while the audio of the speaker continues under it, cutting from the MS of the speaker to the audience reaction and then back to the CU of the speaker after the zoom is complete, using the cutaway to cover the focal length change. There's nothing to say that the audience shot has to have actually been recorded with a second camera at the same time the zoom on the primary was in progress.
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Old April 22nd, 2005, 02:48 PM   #7
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I'm a firm believer that any rule in videography can be broken depending on the situation. However...in general I do feel that zooms can sometimes give footage a more novice look. Just watch any motion picture and look for a zoom...you won't find one- they dolly instead of zoom.

The only time I use a zoom OTHER than to re-frame a shot is if it's a manual slow crawl.

I don't think there are many more "rules" to be concerned with when shooting 16:9 as opposed to 4:3. The rule of thirds still applies.
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Old April 24th, 2005, 06:46 AM   #8
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"I'm a firm believer that any rule in videography can be broken depending on the situation."

i totally agree 100%
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Old May 1st, 2005, 04:42 AM   #9
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I agree with the rest of you guys about breaking the rules, well said!

I used a tracking dolly for the first time at a wedding reception a few weeks ago and though I could hardly call my mode of operation unonbtrusive; DSR500 on Vinten Tripod and dolly in the middle of the floor!! I got some good footage.

It was only in post that I realised how 'different' and 'movie-like' it looks. I rarely use zoom (apart from the occasional V. slow one or for a particular effect driven shot), but of course I use pan. However dollying in and tracking accross the assembled guests for just a few shots looks good, and 'different'. I hope the clients like it.
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Last edited by Stephen M. Crawford; May 1st, 2005 at 04:49 AM. Reason: spelling
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