Do you let the camera roll during the ceremony? at DVinfo.net

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Old January 28th, 2010, 10:52 PM   #1
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Do you let the camera roll during the ceremony?

For people who shoot to hard drive with a two camera shoot.

Do any of you just let the camera roll pretty much during the entire ceremony?

Why or why not?
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Old January 28th, 2010, 11:12 PM   #2
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Hi Kelly

My A-Cam is on a tripod, just off centre of the aisle and as close as they will let me to the ceremony. That way I don't get idiots standing in front of the camera so that remains a fairly tight shot on the couple and officiant. I start that cam just before the bride starts her entrance and it runs right up until they go for the register signing. I stop the A-cam during the register and then start again when the couple are presented.
My B-Cam does everything else...cutaways, bridal entrance and exit and all my wide shots (all shoulder mount). If there are readings, I just pan the A-cam across to the lectern and then pan back to the vows and cover that little bit if needed with a cutaway.

I suspect others work differently but I got really tired of having heads in my footage!!
The A-Cam carries two wireless receivers into each XLR channel with one lav on the groom and the other wrapped around the mic on the lectern (don't trust Church audio systems!!!)

Chris
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Old January 28th, 2010, 11:14 PM   #3
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I never stop the camera during the ceremony because it is a live event and stopping the camera will break the audio recording.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 11:35 PM   #4
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Shooting with one camera, and unless I have a request to have a full ceremony on the video, I start and stop, after a few hundred ceremonies you know what's next, so I shoot only what I need;
with two cameras we just roll, much easier to sync.
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Old January 29th, 2010, 01:04 AM   #5
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What if that one long file becomes corrupt? Has this happened to anyone? I start and stop as much as I can between breaks. I'd rather a portion of the ceremony be missing rather then the whole thing. Then take the extra time to sync in post.

Does anyone have the same fear?
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Old January 29th, 2010, 02:05 AM   #6
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Hi Kelly

Never had a corrupt file yet!!! I do keep an eye on the LCD from time to time and if something did go wrong I can spring into action with the B-Cam and just take over!!
Moving from tape to card was quite daunting for me last year but I've now shot over 20 weddings since August without any issues. I guess even with tape, your drive could fail or shooting direct to a drive also has issues if the driver fails. I guess the safest would be shoot to card/tape and send the signal to a Firestor or similar at the same time.

Card is a way cheaper option than tape and you can easily afford to replace cards halfway thru the season just to be sure. However I must admit in 20 years of filming I have never had an issue with tape footage...then again, I only used to keep my cameras for 2 seasons and also use brand new tapes every time. Cards are supposed to be good for 10,000 inserts but the cost is so low now that you can afford to ditch them on a regular basis.

I always do a preshoot of a few minutes on both cameras before the wedding...run around the garden, film the cat etc etc and it's highly unlikely that if your cam has just worked well, that it will fail later!!! Shooting a wedding with your 12 year old camcorder, with tapes you have recorded over 10 times, is probably risky but modern pro gear is pretty fail safe!!!

Chris
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Old January 29th, 2010, 03:01 AM   #7
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Kelly you've raised two issues. The first issue is procedural. We record with three cameras, zero the time code before leaving base, set on free run, as soon as the ceremony starts all three cameras run until it ends - it's simple to multicam edit and provides six clear channels of sound, plus two on the H4. Same at the reception, and the first dance.

The second issue refers to failures. You specify one but it could be any. The only solution is to look after your gear, have it serviced regularly, buy the best you can afford and double check everything you until it's second nature. My understanding according to a Sony engineer (challenged by others I have to say) is that if you're running on HDD or CF cards and a file gets corrupted you lose the file (4Gb), if you're using S&S cards you lose a few seconds.

The real point is you're dealing with technology and it isn't perfect. Have you never heard of a wedding car break down? A reception meal spoiled by a power failure or fire in the kitchen? There was an incident last year in the UK when the horse pulling the bride in a fairytale carriage bolted.

In closing I'd add what a Sony engineer told me recently and that is "the fewer moving parts you have the less there is to go wrong." Disk drives will all fail eventually simply because the rotating mechanism will wear out. I'd ditch the HDD and buy a card recorder.
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Old January 29th, 2010, 04:52 AM   #8
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I use 3 cam, two are stationary on tripods. I never stop recording during the ceremony to get sound continuity. In post I sync them once and then it is easy to edit like a multicam production. I always use new tapes. Not sure with cardbased cameras if there is a risk of one file getting corrupt. Then it would be wise to stop briefly to make a new file in stead of having all the ceremony lost.
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Old January 29th, 2010, 09:08 AM   #9
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We use at least two manned cameras. Wedding- Let 'em roll!
Reception, we stop-start as needed.
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Old January 29th, 2010, 10:50 AM   #10
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The way you manage your cameras for a wedding is dependent on the style of your final production. If you produce narrative pieces, you need to have at least one camera (preferably more than one) recording continuously for the continuity of the production. The typical approach with a single person production is to man one camera and have other unmanned camera(s) in strategic locations.

If you are doing cinematic style productions, you may not need the full recording of the entire ceremony however it is still worthwhile to have unmanned camera(s) rolling. There are often spontaneous and unpredictable things that happen at wedding. The unmanned cameras can catch these and provide some valuable additional material.
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Old January 29th, 2010, 12:19 PM   #11
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I use 2 or 3 cameras and let the roll the whole way through.

In post, I open up 'pluraleyes,' count to 20 and my clips are all synced.
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Old January 29th, 2010, 02:33 PM   #12
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Whether we're doing 1 camera or 5 cameras during the ceremony, once they are started, they aren't stopped until it's over. It makes it much easier to do multi camera syncing.
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