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


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Old June 4th, 2005, 11:09 AM   #1
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Wedding Startup

I'm planning on setting myself up to start shooting weddings and other special events. I've done plenty of editing before, so on the computer side I'm already set up. I've been thinking about getting the XL2, but what other things should I get to start? Should I go with two GL2's so I can have versatile shots or is one cam enough? Tripod suggestions? mic/windscreen suggestions? anything else i'm not thinking about? Just wanted whatever feedback you guys could give me to start drawing up a business plan
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Old June 4th, 2005, 12:12 PM   #2
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2 cameras-that way you've got a cover shot while making any moves and if 1 camera craps out on you you've got a back up-audio (wireless and perhaps some iRivers or something like them), on camera lighting, tripods (good solid ones) with at least a semi fluid head-a monopod is very helpful, a set of wheels for the tripod is good to have and lots of batteries. The biggest ones you can get for the cameras. At least 3 per camera and if you use a light that runs on on-board batteries at least 3 for it as well. Nothing is worse than running out of power in the middle of the job except losing the tapes.
When you're doing a once in a lifetime event like a wedding you can't go back and do it again so you have to be properly equipped meaning backups for most everything you have.
I hate spending your money ;-) but don't short yourself or your clients by trying to cut corners in the wrong places.

Good luck,
Don
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Old June 4th, 2005, 01:58 PM   #3
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I actually started off with an XL1, then bought a GL2 as a "backup" camera. I ended up liking it so well that I sold the XL1 and bought two more GL2's.

Now with 3 GL2's I am very happy with my decesion. They are much less expensive (i've bought mine for under 2k), the camreras are VERY protable and light, meaning you dont have to buy really expensice tripods, heads, etc. Not to mention that my back doesnt hurt after a 8 hour shoot. Regardless, multiple cameras are the way to go. Having an extra camera angle will make the final video look much better and speed up your editing time.

In the future, I plan on upgrading my cameras to HD/V rigs once I feel its a stable format.
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Old June 4th, 2005, 03:12 PM   #4
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Once the HD format is stable, I still see a problem with storage media and rendering times. A five minute spot is one thing, an hour video is another. For editing I think I foresee the need for a 50 Ghz processor, a 10 terabyte hard drive and 5 or 10 Gigabytes of RAM.
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Old June 4th, 2005, 03:17 PM   #5
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On the other hand...

When I started with DV (and Final Cut 1.0) I thought storage would be impossible. I remember paying 500 per 45 gig drive and using software that was very unstable on a 3k machine.

So while I share your concern, remember the pricing will come down. After all, thats why Im not going to buy the first generation of HD!
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Old June 6th, 2005, 12:40 AM   #6
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Consider the Sony PD170

You may want to consider the Sony PD170. It's excellent quality low-light capability make it a favorite with many wedding videographers. It will allow you to shoot quality video in low light situations that would be unacceptable with the XL1S/XL2 or GL2. I just switched from a GL2 to the PD170 and I'm very happy.

I love the ergonomics of the PD170. It gives you better/easier control over manual settings of gain, shutter, and iris (f-stop). Plus it is a 1/3" CCD vs the 1/4" of the GL2. It has built-in XLR inputs (with phantom power option). Do a search for PD170 and PD150 in this forum and you will find many recommendations.

Good luck with your new business.
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Old June 7th, 2005, 07:15 PM   #7
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Hey guys thanks for all your input! I thought about your use of the 3 GL2's, and I think I might go that route. How much of a noticable difference will there be between the video of a GL2 vs. XL2, and for that matter for a second cam how much quality would I lose for going down into the Optura 60/500 range?(at least until I can make enough to afford a second GL2) I dont want to sacrafice too much image quality, but I don't have enough cash flow right now to buy two GL2's plus wireless mics, lights, filters, wideangle lenses, shotgun mics...ect. What sorta budget should I prepare for for absolutely everything I'll need, also what other hidden costs should I think about such as a lawer to draft a contract(i've been reading some problems with non payment of clients) and other sort of operating costs?
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Old June 7th, 2005, 10:38 PM   #8
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Sony for night

Just thought Id throw my two cents in. Just finished a wedding assisting Patrick Moreau. I used my XL1s for better part of the day but at the reception we more or less relied on his sony pd170 and his back up sony vx2000. Very easily see the difference in low light. Sonys far better I thought. May be worthwhile to consider vx2000 as it is cheaper. Thats what Im considering.

Steve
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