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


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Old May 7th, 2005, 02:25 PM   #1
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first Wedding Assignment, am I missing anything?

Hi, first off, I'm not a wedding videographer but more a photographer but I've gotten tired of losing clients to photographers/videographers (because couples prefer dealing with one supplier ) so i decided to offer videography myself.

I've bought a used xl1s, have a little external light for emergency situations where it gets too dark, have around 6 batteries, 2 hi capacity 3 hrs each, and 4 mid capacity, have around 6 dv tapes, no external microphone, I took film classes and did small film assignments in college so I have a little background.

I've hired a cameraman to shoot footage of the wedding and I plan to edit it myself using final cut pro after. I'm getting a 200bg external hard disk and i don't have a dv deck or anything but plan on using my old Sony trv-20 as a player for capturing clips.

I've also informed the couple that this will be a test wedding for me, they weren't planning on getting video but they agreed to pay the cameraman fee and I would edit the wedding footage for my portfolio.

* BTW I'm not sure how most videographers are but I hope I'm not offending anyone by offering both photo and video, too many suppliers do it here in Manila for me not too offer it. For those video purists out there, apologies in advance*

Don't have an external mic though, I plan on using the xl1s' mic in the interim till I know what to buy.

I was hoping that the more experienced videographers might be willing to share technical or practical advice, I've tried to cover all the bases with hypothetical guidance from the internet but am I missing anything major or crucial?


Thanks
Terry
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Old May 7th, 2005, 05:59 PM   #2
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Have you missed anything crucial?

Yes.
Audio.
It's the most important element of this.
The only time the picture is more compelling is during the park/photo shoot post ceremony, pre reception.
At a minimum you will need transmitter mics for the groom and a handheld option for interviews that has low sensitivity, short range.
It'll cost about $1K for a nice sennheiser combo along with an MA100 adapter for the cam for xlr input.
Once you have the stuff, do a complete mock run so you will understand levels, sensitivity and gain.
Also, an expensive set of headphones is key.
Anything less will sound and appear like a handicam product supplied by uncle Roy and his "hobby".
Sorry to spoil your weekend ... some shopping is in your near future.
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Old May 7th, 2005, 06:15 PM   #3
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Thanks

Unfortunately I wouldn't quite know where to begin with this, and your right, some shopping is in my future. I've still got a week and I've crammed before. Thanks for the heads-up.
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Old May 7th, 2005, 09:34 PM   #4
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You also want to get a solid set of sticks (a tripod). Bogen legs with a 503 head is the minimum I would recommend for an XL1. Prices will be starting around $650 and going up. If you want an extremly good system then a dv miller or vinten set will cost between $1500 and $2300.

Nothing says amatuer more than handheld footage of the entire ceremony. During the ceremony keep the handheld footage for cutaways but always keep your main camera's on tripods. Since you only have one camera it should be on a tripod for the entire ceremony. If you want more variety in shot selection and location buy a second camera.

At the reception you'll need the tripod during the toasts and some of the other events.

Ben
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Old May 8th, 2005, 12:04 AM   #5
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First of all I admit that audio is very important but you are putting the cart before the horse. Rather than spend money on wireless microphones and fancy tripods what you should really get is a high definition video camera. Take it from me Filipinos like high definition. Both my cousin and my nephew owns an HDTV and i just finished shooting a Filipino wedding in high definition. They said the footage looks just like a movie. High definition video cameras are a lot cheaper then they used to be. JVC sells one starting at $2000. Also most Windows XP computers can play high definition footage with a few modest upgrades so your clients don't even need an HDTV to view the footage. Nevertheless you can always downconvert to standard definition when you edit. With the Canon XL1 you have already made the switch from analog to digital so why not go all the way and make the switch to high definition digital video? I really don't think that your customers will pay more for a high definition video but if they are willing to pay more for a digital video you can make your profit there.
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Old May 8th, 2005, 01:17 AM   #6
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Thanks

[QUOTE=Ben Lynn]You also want to get a solid set of sticks (a tripod). Bogen legs with a 503 head is the minimum I would recommend for an XL1. Prices will be starting around $650 and going up. If you want an extremly good system then a dv miller or vinten set will cost between $1500 and $2300.

I checked out the Manfrotto tripod yesterday, and yes, it's amazing but for the money I feel I'll be better served using my older photo tripod, which is a Slik, it's not as stable obviously and with OIS, there's a fair amount of shake but I've noticed that the OIS goes a long way to stabilizing the camera shake, at the very least it's better than handheld. I'll just tell the cameraman to pan conservatively.

The monopod is a good suggestion though, I'll be adding that to my shopping list.
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Old May 8th, 2005, 01:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy James
First of all I admit that audio is very important but you are putting the cart before the horse. Rather than spend money on wireless microphones and fancy tripods what you should really get is a high definition video camera. Take it from me Filipinos like high definition. Both my cousin and my nephew owns an HDTV and i just finished shooting a Filipino wedding in high definition. They said the footage looks just like a movie. High definition video cameras are a lot cheaper then they used to be. JVC sells one starting at $2000. Also most Windows XP computers can play high definition footage with a few modest upgrades so your clients don't even need an HDTV to view the footage. Nevertheless you can always downconvert to standard definition when you edit. With the Canon XL1 you have already made the switch from analog to digital so why not go all the way and make the switch to high definition digital video? I really don't think that your customers will pay more for a high definition video but if they are willing to pay more for a digital video you can make your profit there.
I saw a hdtv presentation and it was amazing but right now here in the Phillippines the demand for hdtv weddings is very small, and I'm reluctant to be a beta tester for a fledgeling standard.

The reason also why I'm with the xl1 is I like the modularity of it, I got a great price for it, clients are impressed with it's form factor and I really like the look of Frame mode ( btw is Frame mode considered 30P? )
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Old May 8th, 2005, 01:50 AM   #8
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Howdy from Texas,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy James
First of all I admit that audio is very important but you are putting the cart before the horse. Rather than spend money on wireless microphones and fancy tripods what you should really get is a high definition video camera.
Woah. I strongly disagree. You can produce excellent video and make good money in the wedding video business with any decent 3-chip standard definition DV camcorder. What are you giving to the bride? If it's a standard DVD, then I can't see the necessity for an HD camera. What's the point if you're just going to down-res for a standard DVD anyway. You'll be much better off by improving your shooting skills and increasing the audio quality of your video. Whether you're using a Canon XL1S, or a Panasonic DVX100 or a Sony VX2000, so what if it's a few years old, it does not matter -- how well you handle it, plus how good your audio sounds, will do so much more for your business than a transition to an HD camcorder. Hope this helps,
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Old May 8th, 2005, 01:52 AM   #9
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Also Terry, yes Frame mode on an XL1S is an emulation of 30p.
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Old May 8th, 2005, 04:00 AM   #10
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Terry, I wish you nothing but success as it sounds like you are working very hard to do this. But combining your photography equipment will have you working in a hybrid state that will produce questionable results. Here's the thing: Shot composition you can likely handle, but plopping an xl1 on a photo tripod w/o a fluid head and attempting to pan with the OIS on is a cobble job. The result will be worse that handheld.

The best way to do this is to take your cam to a rental firm or multimedia supply house and get advice on equipment from some pros. It will really help.
This way they can give you the Coles notes on the setup and have you ramped up to speed quite fast.

As for the indication that you should drop your XL and find an HD option, I just can't support that statement. You can't distribute anything yet, the editing isn't stable yet and if you pay no attention to the audio, imagine watching a WMV-HD on a plasma screen with a gorgeous picture showing dialogue but no sound card. This isn't putting the cart before the horse, this is called getting a cart period!!!

Last edited by Jimmy McKenzie; May 8th, 2005 at 04:18 AM.
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Old May 8th, 2005, 05:10 AM   #11
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[QUOTE=Here's the thing: Shot composition you can likely handle, but plopping an xl1 on a photo tripod w/o a fluid head and attempting to pan with the OIS on is a cobble job. The result will be worse that handheld.

Hmmm, do I have to buy the tripod as well or will the fluid head almost sort of suffice? I have a manfrotto photo tripod, that's fairly large and capable of handling a pro film camera body with a large lens. maybe I can just plop a 501 head on it???
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Old May 8th, 2005, 05:17 AM   #12
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Perfect! The 501 will be just right for the XL1. Remember to keep OIS off when on the tripod. My second xl sits on a set of 144 sticks that are just stable enough at full height. No spreader, so they are more for photo. Your heavy photo sticks should be ok.
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Old May 8th, 2005, 07:31 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy McKenzie
Perfect! The 501 will be just right for the XL1. Remember to keep OIS off when on the tripod. My second xl sits on a set of 144 sticks that are just stable enough at full height. No spreader, so they are more for photo. Your heavy photo sticks should be ok.
Thanks jimmy, will do. I have to admit that 501 head feels gorgeous.
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Old May 8th, 2005, 08:08 AM   #14
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Audio questions

I still need help with the audio side and I've posted another topic in the appropriate forum

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=44229

but i would appreciate it if a few of the advisers here chimed in there as well, thanks for the good advice received here so far.

Terry
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Old May 8th, 2005, 12:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
Howdy from Texas,


Woah. I strongly disagree. You can produce excellent video and make good money in the wedding video business with any decent 3-chip standard definition DV camcorder. What are you giving to the bride? If it's a standard DVD, then I can't see the necessity for an HD camera. What's the point if you're just going to down-res for a standard DVD anyway. You'll be much better off by improving your shooting skills and increasing the audio quality of your video. Whether you're using a Canon XL1S, or a Panasonic DVX100 or a Sony VX2000, so what if it's a few years old, it does not matter -- how well you handle it, plus how good your audio sounds, will do so much more for your business than a transition to an HD camcorder. Hope this helps,
What Chris said.........
and read it again... and again.. and again..

ROFLMAO...

go get a HD camera.. yeah ok.. maybe when the HVX200 is out, i'll consider it..

in the real world we deal with current issues and work out solutions which pertain to todays business needs for each individual person..

If HDV is for your.. good luck :)
but there are many more factors behind it..

sorry im just in a grumpy mood.. i need coffee
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