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

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Old December 30th, 2009, 05:53 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
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Losing equipment

So I was filming this band at this club last Saturday. I wanted my bases covered with the audio, so I placed my H2 near a speaker (also got a board tap from my I-River). Anyway, for some reason I remember to take everything BUT my H2. I didn't realize it until the next morning and I thought for sure someone swiped it. I decide to call the club anyway and hope for the best.....they had it! I was amazed! There was so much cigarette smoke in the place that it tinted my clear cover a nice warm yellow! But I'm glad to have her back.

So has anyone else left a peice of equipment while shooting a wedding or other event? Was there a happy ending like me? Or was it gone for good?
Sony HVR-Z5, Sony PD-150, Canon HV30, Adobe Creative Suite 4
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Old December 30th, 2009, 06:04 PM   #2
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Hi Will

Sometimes we are simply lucky and get honest people at venues! I was doing a outdoor ceremony at a reception venue and after the paperwork was done I took the radio mic transmitter off the groom and left it on the table and went off to do the photoshoot!! When I returned later the gazebo was bare and my mic was gone. I talked to the resort manager and "hey presto" a staff member appeared with my precious mic she had taken into safekeeping.

I was lucky as you were!!! It's way better to be security concious!!

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Old December 30th, 2009, 10:18 PM   #3
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Two weeks ago I left my Steadicam between two pews at a church. The wedding party searched for it (I was already at the reception sight) and came up empty. So after freaking out for an hour, the photographers arrived and started chatting about a funny looking "tripod/monopod thingy" that had been kicked underneath the pews!

They were nice enough to shove it into their trunk (assuming I had forgotten it). :)
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Old December 31st, 2009, 01:58 AM   #4
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Honolulu, HI
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Happens to me more than I want. I've left Sachtler tripods in ballrooms, Lectrosonic transmitters on podiums, mp3 recorders on a table, light stands in the corner, spare batteries on the charger, and even a camcorder in a bag once. Luckily we have honest people here. Despite forgetting stuff almost a dozen times now, I've never lost anything permanently...yet.

The problem seems to be that as we're breaking down, I assume my assistant will take care of equipment A, and my assistant assumes that I'm taking care of equipment A and it gets left behind. At least every piece of equipment has my name and number on it....
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Old December 31st, 2009, 07:42 AM   #5
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Houma, La.
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I've left my audio recorder 3 times now. For some reason I can remember to take everything else, but seem to forget the audio recorder.

I've also left a Sony light with the 970 battery on it and never saw that guy again.

-Ethan Cooper
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Old December 31st, 2009, 10:02 AM   #6
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Location: Hamilton, ON Canada
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Last summer I had a Olympus recorder with a lapel mic wired up to the podium mic for the reception speeches.

I realized the next day that I had forgotten it and luckily my parents happened to be going to check out the gardens at that venue and managed to go in and retrieve it for me. Still attached to the podium. I was so relieved!
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Old December 31st, 2009, 12:11 PM   #7
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Wow, lots of stories about leaving stuff. Now I won't say I've never left anything, but usually it's a cable or something of that nature. (Especially when I was a playing musician).

Here's a tip that has helped me greatly so far with remembering everything. I got a briefcase-sized Pelican-type case with customizable foam inserts. Then I made "holes" for everything of value capable of fitting in there. That way, at the end of the nite, if there are any empty holes I'm forgetting something. It has really, really helped keep from leaving small stuff behind. For big stuff I usually keep a count in my head.
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Old December 31st, 2009, 01:56 PM   #8
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I hate to say it (actually I'm happy to say it) but in 37 years as either a still photog or vid guy I have never left or lost anything more than an occassional lens cap, perhaps 5 or 6 over the years.
I'm very anal about my gear, specifically leaving with everything I came in with so whether or not someone else does help me breakdown or not, I do a last out "walkthru" of my bag(s) to insure I have everything. It takes about 1 extra minute.
My wife accuses me of not trusting anybody but that's not it. I learned a long time ago, check, double check, triple check. I have spendt too much money on my gear to lose it so I do what I have to to make sure I don't.
Just my personality.
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
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Old December 31st, 2009, 10:46 PM   #9
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I was lucky early in my career to leave behind a brand new light kit in a briefcase at a wedding reception site about 1 hour from my home. I say 'lucky' because it taught me a valuable lesson. I had always taken the precaution of putting a name/phone sticker on my gear, but didn't expect it would be of much help (in unscrupulous hands, at least). It was sheer luck that my 'hiding place' for the light kit was far enough from prying eyes that It was recovered the next day when I called in. That led me to begin what I call the 'idiot check', as in..."What did you leave behind, you idiot?".

Now, with small gear like audio recorders, it's tricky not to leave something behind...especially since I use 2 or more at certain events. A combination of 'idiot check', plus tagged gear, plus custom foam cutouts or cases has saved my bacon in those few times I'm ready to run out of the venue. Perhaps a checklist would be of use to some. All depends on how regimented you are. At the least, put your name/phone on anything you consider valuable.
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Old January 1st, 2010, 12:50 AM   #10
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The idiot check has never let us down and often saved us from being made the idiots.
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