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


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Old July 21st, 2010, 03:05 PM   #1
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I thought I was recording!

Anyone made this mistake? I thought I was recording a really good take of the bride getting out of the car and walking to the church and for some reason I didn't notice I knocked off 'record'! Only when it came to uploading the footage did I notice the mistake. I think I might have fired myself from this job.
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Old July 21st, 2010, 03:53 PM   #2
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Forgot to hit record, forgot to turn a mic on..... oh yeah.... count me in there too !!!!

The last time, I made the mistake of mentioning my mistake to my second shooter. Since then when I do critique what she is doing I have been told "at least I hit RECORD". :-)
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Old July 21st, 2010, 06:06 PM   #3
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Hi Guys

It's so essential to watch the EVF information and make sure the little red light is on and the time is actually rolling over!! A mate of mine (pure nerves as it was his first wedding) was shaking so much that he pushed the record button twice and the camera went into record and then back into pause. He did the entire ceremony with the camera in pause!!! Disaster!!! ... that wasn't enough and he also did the same with the speeches!! Luckily he used footage from the brides brother who also was filming!

My HMC's have a extra red tally light at the rear of the cams which is great to check that you are recording when the camera is on tripod and you are standing watching.... Yeah Chip...the Rode mics now get turned on and left on as soon as I arrive and turned off when I get home!! Been there and done that!!

Chris
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Old July 21st, 2010, 11:24 PM   #4
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Like Chris I used to rely on the Z1s rear tally light - now we've switched to MRC1 recorders (not in camlink mode because although we don't run tape the only way to remove the annoying tape out flashing in the viewfinder/screen is to put a tape in) the tally light no longer glows reassuringly - in fact for the present the realisation that it isn't glowing sends a momentary chill down the spine every now and then.

Fortunately our MRC1s are mounted on a custom-made bracket at the rear of the Z1s (rather like Sony's option but costing considerably less than Sony's UKL100 each) but the tally light on them is so small it's like watching for a glow-worm at noon.
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 12:15 AM   #5
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Guilty of all of the above at different times early in my 'career' as a part-time shooter! Now have a printed check-list taped to the inside of my camera-1 gear case!
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 03:07 AM   #6
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last weekend, not with my camera but with my zoom h4, when I arrived at a castle where they were doing the wedding outdoors I had virtually no time to set everything up, I had to mic the groom who I couldn't directly find as he was hiding behind a building just before the ceremony started but forgot to tell me, nobody knew where the priest was so I had to find him as well to put on his wireless mic, then I had to run and set up my 2 camera's (one small one unmanned and my main camera) and then off to a small group of violists to put my zoom h4 and there it went wrong, with the zoom you need to press record twice and I could swear it was running but at the end of the ceremony when I collected it and pressed the button again to make it stop I noticed that the time indication started running. Later on I saw I did not have any sound recording from this group. It is not a major disaster as I have background sound recording from my second camera which was closer to that group but it was a lot of wind so I will be limited what I can use.

Stress is a very important factor at weddings which often can lead to mistakes, as I work alone I always try to be as calm as possible but I can tell you that I age a few years everytime I do a wedding. :)
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 07:45 AM   #7
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Noa; been there, done that; in fact I think it's one of the most unsatisfactory things about the Zoom, sadly not the only one. We've resuscitated our mini-disk.
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 07:54 AM   #8
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Years ago I did the same thing on a dance recital. Halfway through one of the numbers I was shocked to notice the rec light wasn't on. At intermission I sheepishly explained the situation to the husband & wife owners of the dance company. We had a pretty good relationship since I'd done a lot of work for them -- so it turned out near the end of the show, they announced to the audience that they liked a particular routine so much they were going to ask the dancers to perform it one more time. They saved my face, basically. I never made that mistake again.

With dance this sort of thing is recoverable. Much harder to do on a wedding though.
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 08:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
...not with my camera but with my zoom h4,...and then off to a small group of violists to put my zoom h4 and there it went wrong, with the zoom you need to press record twice and I could swear it was running but...when I collected it and pressed the button again to make it stop I noticed that the time indication started running.
If it makes you feel any better, the Sony PCM-D50 works the same way.
And the mistake I made was identical, even if the circumstances were less disastrous.
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 09:05 AM   #10
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Hey Noa

I agree about stress. When things go wrong and you start to panic that's when you do stupid things like forgetting to record. I've learnt now that I control what I can and forget what I cannot!! I used to panic and stress like crazy when the photog used to walk in front of the camera but now I just cover it with a cutaway. If something is going to be "not as perfect as you expected" just relax and things normally sort themselves out. It's probably better to just "go with the flow" and your footage will more than likely turn out just as good!!

The key, of course, is also preparation...getting to the ceremony 30 seconds ahead of the bride and trying to setup is a recipe for disaster. There is always a less stressful solution too!! A photog and myself arrived 30 mins ahead of the bridal arrival time once to find the limos had dropped her and gone to park..instead of panicing, we simply asked her to "do it all again" ..and got a perfect arrival. (I have actually had a situation where we completely re-shot a civil ceremony just to get better video and everyone was more than happy to oblige.. only happened once in my life but it was a solution!!)

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Old July 22nd, 2010, 09:34 AM   #11
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A couple of years ago, I was recording the IEEE National Robotics Championship in Lubbock, TX., I somehow stopped recording during one of the contenders runs. Fortunately, someone else was also recording. Sometimes I kick myself.

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Old July 22nd, 2010, 10:11 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
.getting to the ceremony 30 seconds ahead of the bride and trying to setup is a recipe for disaster.
Often it is like that, here we don't do rehearsals, the only preparation I do assure that I have everything I need within handsreach and then it's like a robot, you make split second decisions what to do first and where depending on the situation which changes everytime. The problem is not getting everything in place in time, the problem is the lack of time to recheck it's functioning properly. This means I have to do it right the first time. Now in case of the zoom I was almost sure I saw the timeindicator running but those digits are so small I probably have misjudged.

There is actually no way to be absolutely sure nothing is going wrong. During an event I also can't monitor the zoom and one iriver I have live to check up on their functionality, even if the appear to be running, a bad sd card, bad batteries which run out too early f.i. can ruin it as well. Therefore I use more then one external audio recording and even if that would give me 5% chance of one device not functioning (one that I cannot monitor live) I can live with that.

Just take my Canon xh-a1, 1,5 year ago I recorded a wedding all day onto new unused hdv cassettes, no problem, untill I got home and checked my cassette containing my church recording. I had over 100 drop-outs which appeared to be unrecoverable. I immediately bought a HVR-DR60 as extra recording source and now I record to minidv tape for back-up and at the same time to my sony recorder. After that disastrous recording the mini-dv cassette recording showed no problems anymore so I thought it was a one-time problem (I had the camera checked at Canon and they couldn't find a problem either.)

Two weeks ago I needed to get a part from a mini-dv cassette because I was too late turning on the HVR-DR60 (that takes 14 seconds) and what did I see, every 10 second a drop-out again all through the tape. I did a new recording to test and all was alright again without any drop-outs.

So you see, I do what I can to get what I want but as long as most wedding couples are not willing to invest into second shooters (I always work alone and they never, ever want to pay extra for a second cameraman) they have to take the risk into consideration as well. (I tell them exactly that but they are all OK with that.)
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 11:10 AM   #13
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One of my rules is to try to get to the ceremony venue at least 1 hour prior to the ceremony time. Not always possible but I really try hard to get there that early. As for forgeting to hit record and stuff like that, there are only 2 kinds of video people. Those that it has happened to and those that it will happen to. We're human and mistakes happen. All you can do is grin and bear it and try not to let it happen again but stay around long enough and I can say with assure that it will.
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 11:37 AM   #14
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Well similar thing happened to me about 5 years ago. One of my best friend asked me to film when his mother was about to see him for the first time in 10 years. So we have been waiting her at home and when she rang the bell I jumped from sofa grabbed the camera and......it was so emotional moment!!! you can't even imagine....well after like 3 - 5 min of "filming" I realised what I DID! Most important that we still best friends! ))
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 12:03 PM   #15
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A news shooter friend had a name for when you press the record button twice by mistake (therefore creating a tiny little clip a few 10th's of a second long - he called it double-punching. It's happened to both me and my wife more than once. It's easier to do with some cameras than others, but if the button is rather soft or the switch is old, it's easy to do.

We just always look for that red light now... more than once. We are also using an MRC-1 with an XH-A1s and I look on both the cam and the MRC unit to make sure we are red lighted on both.

It is a horrible sinking feeling to get back to the edit and realize you didn't get the shot. One other mistake I've made with the Canon 5D is taking a still shot by mistake instead of starting the video - different buttons, but still easy to do sometimes in the heat of the moment (especially if you are shooting some stills along with your video for your cover, webshots, etc...)
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