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Old January 29th, 2010, 03:54 PM   #1
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Best locations for multiple camera viewpoints during the ceremony

I only have one camera now but plan to get more. So I was wondering how many cameras you guys use and what locations.
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Old January 29th, 2010, 05:20 PM   #2
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Most important... Get the BRIDE!... usually on the right side from the doors in the rear. Right side of alter.. Bride usually stands on the left of the groom.
Then, one in back, and one "floating" or on the left front to get groom.

Again.. be SURE to get the BRIDE!
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Old January 29th, 2010, 07:30 PM   #3
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Same as Mike - 3 cameras - 1 left front, 1 right front and 1 rear center (aisle or balcony).
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Old January 30th, 2010, 07:45 AM   #4
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Here in the Northeast, some priests are extremely restrictive about where you can set up. What has been suggested is great, but in case you aren't allowed to shoot from the alter, set the camera in front of the first row of pews on the groom's side. As others have said, it's most important to get the bride. A note about that; if you're in an unfamiliar church or temple, always ask what side the bride is on. 99% of the time, she will be on the left (facing the alter) but in Armenian Orthodox churches, it's reversed. Never assume.

Also, if there's is a balcony, that's always a good spot, especially if it's an unmanned camera. It will give you a safety angle to go to in the edit - and usually no one else is in the balcony so the camera is relatively safe up there.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 08:57 AM   #5
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It all depends on what the church and bride (and mother) will allow you to do.

Typically we prefer to do:

1 on the left side (for wedding party entering, dismounts for bride and walks down to front isle, then goes back to tripod once bride is by the groom)

1 on stage usually in the choir area (for wedding party entering and bride coming down the isle, crowd shots, and close ups of the couple)

1 at the rear/balcony for wide shots and when the wedding party exits. Also gets medium shots of wedding party while on stage.

We have been in situations where only 1 camera was allowed. In that case, we play conservative and the shot is generally wide all the time, until the vows, then it gets close up.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 08:59 AM   #6
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Here in Belgium, the B&G spend most of the ceremony facing the priest, with their backs to the audience. I keep one camera on the altar, usually on the groom's side, facing the couple. This is also a good angle for audience reaction shots. It is also good for the entrance, when I'll be right in the middle on the altar, looking down the aisle(I usually have to reassure the priest that it's just for the entrance.)

The altar camera is not so good for readings and such, so camera 2 is in the aisle, about 7 meters back, facing the couple's backs, but good for shooting people at the lecterns.

If I have time, I'll set up an unmanned third camera in the balcony.

If I had a third operator, I'd like to have a camera in motion for the entrance and exit, and also for more reaction shots.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 09:20 AM   #7
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In the corner up in the chior loft is a sweet spot if there is a large wedding party and the stage is high up. Always in the corner, so you're not in too many pictures. I'm filming a wedding today with that set up, and it's the only way to get a good close up of the bride.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 09:22 AM   #8
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IMO opinion it has nothing to do with what the bride will allow you to do...it has everything to do with what the officiant and the rules of the venue will allow you to do so there is no one perfect placement. I've had venues/officiants that have told me "anything you want-stand next to me if you want" and others that won't let you get anywhere near the altar-gotta shoot everything from the back balconey.

Whatever the rules or limitations are please abide by them. Maybe you don't care about them but the next person that goes in there, like me, will get the short end of the stick and then my couple gets shorted and I get really mad at the last guy that was in there and screwed me and all the others to follow. Then I start looking for you, to put a contract out on you...not pretty. (kidding about the contract not about tracking you down and having a discussion with you-I've done it)

There are so many variables in the OPs question. How many cameras total, how many are manned, what are the rules of the officiant/venue, what type of ceremony (outdoors non-secular, Greek Orthodox, Jewish or any of the mulitpude of others) so the best thing I can suggest to the OP is go to the rehearsal, talk to the officiant and find out what he/she says and go from there. Use some good common sense and camera placement will fall into place.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 10:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
IMO opinion it has nothing to do with what the bride will allow you to do...it has everything to do with what the officiant and the rules of the venue will allow you to do so there is no one perfect placement.
Funny you should mention this. I had a bride's mother yell at the coordinator and the church over the fact that the church said we can't be in the altar, and can't even put an un-manned cam up front! The mother was furious! She was yelling and said "Excuse me... we paid a lot for this... there WILL be a camera up front!". We didn't argue about it.. The mother of the bride did.

Guess what?.... We had a camera up front.
+1 Mother of the Bride



I really don't think it changed anything for future videographers/photographers.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 10:24 AM   #10
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The Mother of the Bride can be a force! Never mess with the MOB!!
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Old January 30th, 2010, 10:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
Whatever the rules or limitations are please abide by them. Maybe you don't care about them but the next person that goes in there, like me, will get the short end of the stick and then my couple gets shorted and I get really mad at the last guy that was in there and screwed me and all the others to follow. .
You said it, i have been in locations where whatever the video guy did before i came there, turned them into monsters to deal with.
I have always respected thier buildings and religions and cultures, and rules, and yet i have been verbally "accused" When i walked up to ask with my equiptment still in the van.
Grrrr.

Placement can so totally vary depending on the locations and all, we created robotic cameras for a few of the models (although models keep becomming obsolete :-( so we could get a view from somewhere.
i really do not like a camera just parked, everytime i have done that things change, and a slight adjustment would have fixed it. but now with HD and the ability to pan in the desired section for SD display, a unoperated camera becomes more viable.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 10:40 AM   #12
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and go to the rehersal to find out. during a rehersal they have more time , you have more time, and you can see most of what is important to get there. right before they change it on "The Day" .
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Old January 30th, 2010, 11:39 AM   #13
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Mike, I would say it probably didn't change anything for people working there later on, because it was the MOB that raised the ruckus and I would have to guess it was the church she and her family attended so she had some pull, but in general, if you or I did that, the end result of the conversation might not be so good and while I have never in 26 years been banned from a venue I know of a few that have been because when you piss off the guy wearing the collar bad things can and usually will happen. Now there are venues that I choose not to work in anymore because of stupid rules that are in place some because of videographers and or photographers that pushed the bounds and limits and ticked someone off. So they changed the rules and made it hard on everyone.
So I guess in your paticular case everything worked out well but from what I know of and have heard of, generally, not so much.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 12:11 PM   #14
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One thing to keep in mind when you consider camera placement is that the audience usually stands during the processional and recessional. Some camera angles may be blocked while people are standing. You may still want to place a camera where it will be blocked when people are standing because of the useful vantage point while they are seated but you need to plan to have at least one camera in a location that won't be blocked while the audience is standing.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 12:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty Welk View Post
and go to the rehersal to find out. during a rehersal they have more time , you have more time, and you can see most of what is important to get there. right before they change it on "The Day" .
I was just about to mention this. This is great advice IMO. Much easier to see what your dealing with the night before....
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