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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old May 17th, 2005, 12:39 PM   #1
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Anyone use a crane when shooting weddings?

Does anyone use a crane when shooting weddings?

If you do, do you use it during the ceremony or reception?

Do you charge more if you do or is it just a standard thing you do?

I'm thinking about buying a Kessler Crane since it seems to be built the best for the price.
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Old May 17th, 2005, 11:54 PM   #2
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to be honest with you, i think a crane would only be suited at a wedding reception. There is no place for a crane in a church, sorry but to me, i would feel that as a producer, im puttin my production before their wedding and that defeats the purpose of being invisible

as for the reception, i would only use a crane if i had to.. and only during their entrance and maybe during the cake cutting, but even then, what people see is a guy with a robotic monstrosity (irespective of its size and height people WONT forget that.. )

for the prep shots, id use for the establishing shots

Sure enough i think the shots u get from it would be incredible, however theres a time and place for cranes..
I do know of a guy who frequents here who uses cranes for weddings, but the clientelle i deal wth would rather not have anything like that..

instead of a crane, have u considered a glidecam or steadicam jr or magiqcam?? U can get some awesome shots with those by starting low and outstretching your arm crane like and u can walk up a 3 step stepladder to get the height...

like i said, i think the shots would be awsome with a crane, however weddings arent the best place for them. Obviously people will think im wrong and thats cool too
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Old May 21st, 2005, 11:56 AM   #3
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I think cranes would also look great for shots, but i think most people would notice the "eye sore" more than the excellent angles you got with them. Plus it would just be one more thing to set up and take down. I belive a crane would also be somewhat intimadating for the audience.
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Old May 21st, 2005, 03:07 PM   #4
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I agree with both of your comments. I'll just not use it during the ceremony or the reception but maybe for establishing shots at the Church and the reception hall (if I get there early enough or maybe the day before).

I have an 8th grade graduation ceremony that is coming up so maybe I can use my crane there. I bought a bescor remote pan tilt tripod head for my second camera and about 150' of cable so I can put it up on the alter and remote control it from by my crane where i'll have a monitor setup. I know it won't do smooth pans and might be a little noisy but I have alterate audio recorders (Marantz), and I will just use the pan/tilt remote to position it and zoom in/out. I would be nice to one day have 3 or 4 cameras with remote pan/tilt heads that you can record the whole wedding with viewing through monitors... NOW THAT WOULD BE AWESOME!

Eric
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Old May 21st, 2005, 03:29 PM   #5
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I've gotten some real nice footage with a monopod raised high overhead for a 'hail mary.' I use an on-camera light (with softbox). It's great for dance footage. You can use the pattern thrown by the light to help you aim. I agree that the ceremony itself is no place to be messing with a crane.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 04:49 AM   #6
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I thought about buying a crane just to get a "safe" camera above the guests in small churches. I did one wedding last year in a little church and could not get my "safe" camera to a location where I didn't get the backs of heads when the guests were standing. Made me consider getting a small crane for the back of the churches but then I don't think there was room for a crane in that church even if I had one.......
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Old June 13th, 2005, 01:19 AM   #7
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I have a crane (DIY) but haven't used it for weddings - there are numerous ways I'd love to put it into action, but it's a logistical problem for the time being - slow to setup, slow to take down, drawing a crowd, hard to practice or repeat the shot, timing, etc.

Unrelated, but regarding other weird wedding rigs... I do use a dolly (also DIY) for a number of things (esp. outside) - I built it so I could set it up and tear it down in about 45 seconds each way.
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Old June 13th, 2005, 11:38 AM   #8
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Funny... I met with some potential clients yesterday and they asked if I used a crane throughout the day-I polietly asked if they were crazy. My wife and I film together using four cameras and I admit that a crane would get some good shots, but the time invested for those few shots just doenst seem worth it to me in such a run and gun business. I think a carefully held monopod will work wonders to get that up high shot, never as good as a crane, but I just dont think it would be feasible to use crane.

On the other hand, I have often thought about buidling something to use as a dolly and probably will. To be really practical, I was thinking of something almost like a child's wagon (big inflatable tires to roll over most surfaces) that would also let me use it as a dolly to haul my equipment.
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Old June 13th, 2005, 11:50 AM   #9
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Cobra Crane demo video

In the video advertising the Cobra Crane, there is a small segment about using the crane at the reception.

http://www.cameracranes.us/cobracran...1-2/index.html
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Old July 5th, 2005, 06:08 PM   #10
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Beware

Not to be a wet blanket, but a crane/jib is a huge liability. Whack someone in the head with a jib arm, and you are in a world of doo-doo. Professional jib owners carry hefty insurance policies.

Wayne
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Old July 6th, 2005, 12:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Orr
Not to be a wet blanket, but a crane/jib is a huge liability. Whack someone in the head with a jib arm, and you are in a world of doo-doo. Professional jib owners carry hefty insurance policies.

Wayne

Yes I was just going to add that. It's a good idea to have robust liability insurance when operationg something that extends over peoples heads, etc. A crane can, however, yeild some fantastic dance floor footage and can actually be very in-intrusive beings you don't physically have to be rubbing shoulders with the dancers on the floor to get your shots.
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Old July 19th, 2005, 04:53 PM   #12
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I ax'd the idea of using my crane at weddings... But I started booming my camera up on the monopod at the reception for dance footage... It works very nicely.

Eric
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Old July 19th, 2005, 10:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Holloway
<snip>

I would be nice to one day have 3 or 4 cameras with remote pan/tilt heads that you can record the whole wedding with viewing through monitors... NOW THAT WOULD BE AWESOME!

Eric
It is. I use Sony EVI-D70P cameras mounted on mic stands (the boom gives xtra height for shooting above the crowd). The cameras are wired back to my van, where I have both vision mixing and camera control (plus audio mix etc). Typically I have one camera operator (my son) in the church as local "eyes". He is on intercom link with me in the van. He uses a Sony Z1 for his camera. So we use 3x EVI and one manual camera.

We shoot to Internet, Firestore, DVD (burn on the fly, linear edit later) and hard drive.

And its a load of fun.

I have 6 preset camera positions per camera, on a tally board by the mixer, and basically run the gig using preset positions and switching between them. For a slow event like a wedding (ie not sports), this is so much fun.

The EVI cameras are pretty well invisible in a church hidden by flower stands. I have more on order.....

Rich
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Old July 20th, 2005, 11:07 AM   #14
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Rich,

That sounds awesome! But how does the video look coming from a non 3CCD camera? Also, how much wire do you run from each camera to your van? Sounds like 300+ feet. How long is your setup time? That's the only part that would kill it for me.

I'm glad that someone out there is doing it though :)

I currently use an xl1s as my main cam and a gl2 for my second cam. My wife is usually there wo-manning the gl2 but if she's not, I bought a bescor remote (wired unfortunately) pan/tilt head that mounts on a tripod that I put my gl2 on. I bought 150' of wire so I can control the second camera from where I'm setup on my main cam. It works pretty nicely. I'd eventually like to buy varizooms pan/tilt system which is way expensive but is strong enough for my xl1s. Then i'd like to setup a small table in the back of the church with 2 varizoom 5.5" TFT monitors that both cameras are hooked into and just remote them from there. Still recording to the tape though... I don't want to deal with live switching.

Eric
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Old July 21st, 2005, 06:08 AM   #15
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We use both Magiqcam and crane at weddings, never at the church. The crane we use at location shoots (park, gardens, beach) out of the way of the public and with very few people hanging about.

Stabilised systems during the service tend to draw attention away from the bridal party, but used at location, the effect is seen on the finished product, we get lots of calls from people that hav seen 'so & so's wedding video and want that same effect...

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