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


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Old March 25th, 2010, 12:58 PM   #1
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losing wedding footage

Have you ever lost wedding footage? I just recently lost about 15mins of footage on a sony minidv tape, filming with Canon XH-A1. Was it the tape or the camera, cause all of a sudden the picture came back on the tape pixelly and then everything was working again.
thoughts? it just sucks!
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Old March 25th, 2010, 01:15 PM   #2
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Oh yeah - my first wedding. The footage from my second cam was totally unusable. To make matters worse, I did not shoot non-stop during the ceremony with camera 1 because I was counting on footage from camera 2 to fill in the gaps.

The couple basically got a "highlight" version of the ceremony. Nobody complained and I got many compliments, but I knew better.
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Old March 25th, 2010, 01:19 PM   #3
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Just predictable suggestions really - try playing the tape back on some other cameras or decks. Once you have captured all that you are able to from the tape, you might like to try to record on the affected part of the tape on another camera to get a definite answer to whether the tape was to blame.

As for losing footage, while playing the organ at a wedding I witnessed a videographer missing almost the entire ceremony because his camera was off. I asked the minister if he was up for running a take 2 on the ceremony - no problem. The poor videographer drew the short straw and he had to ask the bride and groom if they would mind staying on a bit and doing it all again. I think it all worked out in the end.
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Old March 25th, 2010, 05:02 PM   #4
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Andy,
I'm very happy to say that I have lost footage from a wedding. Whew!

Chris, this is why I always say "shoot as if the other cameras aren't running". Your story proved my point. Once the processional music starts my A camera is not shut off until the recessional has past by. You just never know what's going to happen to either the people or the gear. Batterys die, tapes can jam, shots get blocked but that's the chance we take when we run an unmanned camera. Hey I run one too and sometimes I get as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs until I see the footage.

Colin, I sit here in wonderment when you say the guy didn't realize the camera was off. Was it off or did he forget to hit the record button?
If it was off, shame shame. How can one not know the camera is off. If he forgot to hit record, shame shame. The letters REC is flashing in the VF or LCD in RED on most cameras (or some variant of that). Every camera I've used in the last 26 years has had some sort of warning that the camera was recording. He's very lucky to have had a couple that was willing to do a take 2.
I'm sorry but to me that's inexcusable.
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Old March 25th, 2010, 05:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin McDonald View Post
The poor videographer
The 'poor videographer' should have bent down and kissed your feet. Can you imagine if you hadn't helped him out and he had gone home with no footage? Now THAT's a short straw!
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Old March 25th, 2010, 06:03 PM   #6
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Hi Andy

My buddy here did his first wedding last Saturday and decide to move his one and only camera to a new vantage point during the ceremony. He thought he had hit the record button to pause the tape but in fact hadn't!!! In the new position (a few seconds later) he did hit the record button to start the tape rolling again (but, of course, it then went to pause) He lost the entire ceremony!!!!! Dunno how he felt but even I had that feeling in the pit of my stomach!!!

I think it's really easy, in the heat of the moment, to double press the record button and that puts the camera back to pause which is a disaster!! I guess the only really good advice is to monitor everything!! Watch the EVF/LCD and make sure that the tape is actually rolling!!! My HMC's have two tally lights..one in the front for the talent and one at the back for the operator..that's brilliant for me cos I can simply glance at my static camera and see that it's running!!

Don is also right...use all your cams to record footage..I have my B-Cam on my shoulder at all times and if the A-Cam suddenly failed/got bumped/blocked, I can take over instantly!!

Guess this is one advantage of multicam shoots???

Chris
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Old March 25th, 2010, 06:05 PM   #7
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Don, he said later that the battery had failed. I was not particularly watching him, but I remember vaguely wondering whether there should have been a red LED on his camera. Then I saw him suddenly realise that the camera was not running and he turned various ghastly colours in quick succession. As soon as I had finished the bridal march I asked him if I was right in thinking that he had missed the ceremony, and when he confirmed this I felt I had to help if possible. I still don't understand why he wasn't monitoring the camera even though it was locked down. On this list we are fairly hard on folks who don't monitor their audio then find a problem afterwards, but not monitoring the video is very hard to understand. It's just as well he filmed weddings rather than flew airliners for a living!
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Old March 25th, 2010, 06:21 PM   #8
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When I saw the title "Losing Footage", I cringed. I have two recurring nightmares, 1) Being hit by a train, 2) Forgetting to show up at a wedding. And if there was to be a third nightmare it would be losing the footage. Thankfully, that's never happened to me. But what a scary thought.
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Old March 25th, 2010, 07:23 PM   #9
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Hmmm the old "battery failed" thing huh? lol.

I guess my next question then would have to be "why use a battery that may or may not be charged fully or use a small capacity battery on any camera unless it' an emergency battery in an emergency situation.
I'm sorry to sound so harsh but to me it's inexcuseable. First make sure all the gear that's going to be used is properly and fully charged, has fresh battery's in audio gear, etc etc.
It's just hard for me to be forgiving in cases like this.

Chris, why did he stop recording to move the camera? To me, it's much easier to hit the button and just let it go regardless. Your audio isn't broken, your TC stays so if shooting multiple cams it's easier to sync for editing and you never run the risk of making the mistake your friend did.
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Old March 25th, 2010, 07:23 PM   #10
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I reviewed the footage and when I rewind the tape I can see the video but it is all pixelated, so it was recording but you cant tell oh is in the picture. I went and recorded over 10sec of it and it recorded just fine on the tape. Should my xha1 tell me when the heads need cleaning?
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Old March 25th, 2010, 07:56 PM   #11
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I had a Canon GL2 which pixellated. On the left hand side of the frame. Not always, just every now & then. A head cleaning tape worked a bit, but after a while I sent it back to Canon. They basically fixed the 'Drive Gear Assembly, and Idler Gear Assembly' on mine at least.


As for losing footage, I've only shot a few but I don't stop recording during the ceremony, and I save & pre-label a single tape for the ceremony & the ceremony only. No matter how much room was left on the tape I ejected it as soon as it was over.
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Old March 25th, 2010, 08:46 PM   #12
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A videographer I have worked with on many occasions had at his first wedding ( not paid mind you, just for friends as a demo) he shot the entire ceremony with a nervous feeling that the audio was not recording clean. He could see the monitors but didn't have his headphones so he was nervous the entire shoot.
as soon as it was over he quickly rewound the tape 15 mins or so and had a good look and listen. everything was great. relieved he went on to tape the reception and was so excited to have a wedding under his belt... until he got home and saw the footage and realized he never advanced the tape again after he rewound it and taped over the 2nd half of the ceremony!
The couple got a wedding video of mostly photos to music etc and they were still thrilled cause it was more than they had budgeted for anyways.
hard lesson learned eh?
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Old March 25th, 2010, 08:50 PM   #13
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Hi Don

He's a newcomer at this and probably was in a panic!! A photographer moving to video as competition here for photogs is huge!!!

That's the problem with just one cam on a tripod..if I need a new angle the 2nd cam does the job and even if the main cam is blocked you still get the audio continuous!!

Come to think of it I DID have a disaster during the speeches (and my buddy ALSO messed up the speeches as he ran out of tape) My battery went flat during a speech !!! After that (many years ago) I always made sure that before the speeches start the cam has a new battery AND a new tape...nowdays if there is less than 60 mins on the main cam's SDHC card before speeches, a new card goes in..(and a fresh battery)

Andy's problem sounds like a head clog issue OR a faulty drive train. When I was still running tape I replaced cameras every 24 months, regardless!! That way you have new cameras and can get a reasonably return selling your old ones. I must admit I never had a drive problem (as the cams were always fairly new) and never a head problem as I always used pro tapes, brand new and used only once!!

Weddings cannot be repeated so we need to take every precaution possible. My friend now is trying to get the bride to do a repeat "staged" ceremony but I don't think he realises that it's more than just putting on her wedding dress!!!

Chris
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Old March 29th, 2010, 01:36 PM   #14
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Wow this thread is making me cringe... I just had a mini freak out and had to go back and check all the footage from the wedding I shot on the weekend!
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Old March 29th, 2010, 03:18 PM   #15
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A few years back, I taped an outside wedding with two wireless mics. The receivers both came out as static. Luckily I had a Rode NTG-2 on my third camera, plus I was recording to two external recorders - one through the sound system, and one on the officiant. That was probably my biggest panic moment. In between the back-ups, I was able to still get some good audio. The lesson I taught myself then is to always have backups for your backups!
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