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


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Old July 22nd, 2010, 01:11 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
One of my rules is to try to get to the ceremony venue at least 1 hour prior to the ceremony time.
When working alone that is never possible here as there is always a legal ceremony in the town hall just before the church wedding, that means you always arrive at the church at the same time the bridescouple does. So when you are trying to find a parking space the limo is already standing in front of the church and if your lucky you get the shot of them stepping out.
Arriving a hour early would solve a lot of problems indeed and limit mistakes.
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 01:43 PM   #17
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Ah, yeah that can make it tight. Well you could always clone yourself. ;-)
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 02:11 PM   #18
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That's what happened! - I pressed record twice by mistake. The brightness of the outside light and hectic pace I was moving, I didn't notice the tape was not moving over. As I was following the bride I was anticipating the direction and place I needed to dash to, I simply missed the tape counter.
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 03:48 PM   #19
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This has happened to me and I am now paranoid about it. About two years ago I missed the bride coming up the isle when I "double dipped". Luckily I had the rear view from my second camera but the sinking feeling I got when I realised went down to my gut and since then I look at that red record light through ceremonies and speeches like I suffer from Compulsive Checking Disorder.

It wil probably happen again though. We are not infalliable. I just hope it's not when I am the only camera and miss someting of utter importance.

But planning is everything. Like Don I get to the church an hour before the ceremony to make sure I have time to set up with no fluster, check everything is in place before wiring the groom up and filming guests arriving. Get the stress out of the build up to the ceremony and thigs run a hell of a lot smoother.

Stress and lack of time = mistakes.
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 06:05 AM   #20
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Do you single shooters manage with the preps and getting to the church to set up in time for the arrivals? I am finding that stressful.
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 06:31 AM   #21
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Hey Charlie

I'm assuming you mean two cameras and one operator??? That's me too!! What I do on preps is tell the bride that I have to be at least 30 minutes ahead of her so if she's being picked up at say, 2:30pm..I'm out of the prep venue by 2:00pm. If she is not in her dress by 1:45pm then I tell her she will lose out!!! Regardless of whether I get all the footage she and I want or not..I'm GONE at 2:00pm!!!

This usually works a treat and they make sure that they are on time...and yes, I have left a bride before she had her gown on ..but she knew the rules. 99.9% stick to my time schedule.

By being 30 minutes ahead (and the bride is usually a bit late as well) that gives you enough time to setup a fixed camera, hook up radio mics to the groom etc etc and STILL gives you time to catch your breath while waiting for the bride to arrive. The last thing you want to do is have to rush out of the Church, hot and sweaty as the limo pulls up....that's a sure case for "double dipping"

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Old July 23rd, 2010, 06:45 AM   #22
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I talk to the bride well in advance and go over the timeline of the event, explain to her I need to be at the ceremony at a certain time and why I need to be there and in almost every case they understand and change their timeline. Not hours but in some cases just an hour sometimes less. Move things up (earlier) to accomadate me. Not a big deal. So if for instance the ceremony starts at 3PM and the church is 30 minutes from the prep spot, I want to be at the church by 2 or 2:15PM so I'll back out the time and figure out when I have to leave the prep and then go back an hour or so from that. So if I need to leave the prep at say 1:45PM then I'll start at around 12:30 stay for about an hour then off I go to the ceremony. By and large it works out but yeah sometimes it gets tight, traffic, road construction, maybe she's running a bit late but luckily many times I'm in a venue I've worked at before and know the church people so I know the rules, what I can and can't do and have a system to get set up fairly quickly but yes, it can be stressful but that's part of the game. 3 deep breaths and hit record, ONCE! ;-)
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 06:50 AM   #23
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Hi Chris,

I am finding 30 minutes is pushing it. I of course go to the church before the preps for the establishing shots but the vicar is usually not there then. So by the time I unpack and move the gear from the car, wire the microphone and establish my camera position, the photographer is already at the scene with the first guests.

What's also awkward is that I promise to be discrete so it's difficult to get past people when in a hurry to get to the vantage point.

The wedding in question when I started this thread was in a tiny chapel and they didn't want any tripod, just one camera so I was shoved in the corner to the side. They're not getting all the ceremony of course, so it was slightly easier in that respect and it's how I think I'm going to go about it from now on. Tell the client up front I only shoot segments of the ceremony and speeches - like the photographer.

Why make a job more stressful than it needs to be? Glidetrack, steadycam, multiple cameras, etc.

Last edited by Charlie Wiser; July 23rd, 2010 at 10:01 AM.
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 08:30 AM   #24
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The timeline from Bride prep to Church is indeed the most stressful part of the day. You barely have enough time to set-up, locate the Groom to mic him, find parking.

Just last Saturday, I missed the Bridal entrance at the Reception, we finished the park shoot at 9:00 pm, the Reception starts at 9:00pm, there's no way I can make it on time. The couple has the luxury of having a limo, I have to park 2 blocks away from the reception. If you have ever done a Shoot in downtown Toronto, you'll know what I mean. I immediately told the Bride what happened, she was cool with it. Next time I'll hire a driver/assistant if I am shooting in Downtown Toronto.
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 08:32 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Charlie Wiser View Post
That's what happened! - I pressed record twice by mistake. The brightness of the outside light and hectic pace I was moving, I didn't notice the tape was not moving over. As I was following the bride I was anticipating the direction and place I needed to dash to, I simply missed the tape counter.
Charlie been there as well. Now it is 2nd nature for me to check REC ON before anything else, sometimes I push record way before I frame the subject. Hopefully, the B-cuts will fill in the spaces.
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 08:33 AM   #26
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Hi Chalie it dpends how pro you want to go.

I cover EVERY ceremony with a minimum of three cams, often 4. Me at the front, camera down the isle, camera at the pulpit/lecturn, camera at the guests, and even sometimes another camea with me to zoom in on the rings going on while the main camera is filming them from waist up. PLus the groom is micced and there's a Edirol r-09 on the lecturn!

I might trim down a verse or two of All Things Bright and Beautiful but they get the service, and if for some reason I have double dipped I am now well covered. Ad I am single videographer, no second cameraman.

This all needs to be set up so I get to the ceremony an hour before kickoff. I very rarely get the bride in her dress at home. I lave before she gets it on and the first time it is seen is getting out of the vinage car at the ceremony.
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 09:14 AM   #27
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I've done this a few times as well, hit record twice or not pressed the button enough. Fortunately (knocking on wood now) it hasn't happened during something critical like a processional, toast, etc.

I can't count, though, how many times I've checked the footage after the wedding and had a GREAT shot of a reception wall for about 15 minutes because I didn't STOP the recording!
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 09:32 AM   #28
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I think we've all done it at some point. Not just video. I just spent a day on location recording multitrack audio. For this kind of thing I have a very tall racked flightcase, with pull out monitor for the dedicated computer, audio interface, and it's got video monitors too so I can see what I'm recording. Really clever, works very well.

Spent all day recording, watching 7 lines of waveforms and big red recording icons. So I was happy I was recording, a few times we needed playback to check things and hooking one of the outputs to an amp let them hear the playback.

Back at base - I transferred the files - lots of them, to the editor and discovered every track was identical - I'd routed mic 1 to all the tracks, 6 of the 7 mics were active, but not recorded - with just one working!

I feel really stupid. Luckily, the musical performances were a little flawed, so they apologised and asked if I'd record it all again - of course I would, I said! Phew!
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 12:46 PM   #29
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Several years ago, I had an assistant shoot a simple 15 minute ceremony. He arrived at the site early, tested his camera, but didn't realize it was still recording. He recorded 50 minutes of nothing on a mini dv tape. When it was time to start the ceremony with only 10 minutes of tape left, he didn't have time to rewind. He ran out of tape just before the kiss. His spare tape was in the car.
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 01:01 PM   #30
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"he didn't have time to rewind"

That's why i'm so glad I have a external recorder to go to tape and harddisk simultaneously. Some time ago during a ceremony which took much longer then expected I ran out of tape, just before the vows there was a 1 minute window I could exchange tapes. The back-up tapes I use now (the hvr-dr60 is my main recording unit) are all used once and I had rewind them all right after the first use, I thought.., when I pressed record I got a "end of tape" message. Luckily I could just fire up my dr60 and continue, otherwise I would have been s****** :)
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