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


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Old October 25th, 2010, 01:40 AM   #1
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Urgent Help Please B Cam Died

I just shot my first wedding yesterday and things couldn't have felt more hectic. First my b cam turned off on me; I know I pressed record, but after the ceremony was over I noticed the camera was off and nothing was on the tape. I knew the tripod camera was not going to be that great, but it was something to use for a different angle. Basically my problem now is I've only got 2 hours of hand held footage, alot of which has poor framing and blocked view just form movement. I also have footage from the main parts of the reception.

Does anyone have any suggesting on a good method to edit single cam stuff, and if I should reimburse some of the cost because they paid in full day of the wedding 300 bucks.
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Old October 25th, 2010, 02:21 AM   #2
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Hi Matt. Have you promised your clients anything in terms of what they'd be getting? If possible, I recommend you make a highlight type of movie (15-20 minutes) that still includes the vows/speeches but edited to a movie style. Therefore instead of using different angles during the vow/speeches, just use different part of the day clips so you can make use of your 2 hours worth of footages!

If I were you I wouldn't reimburse 'some' of the money. I either charge full or give free instead. But most important thing is to learn from mistakes and improve on next wedding. All the best mate!
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Old October 25th, 2010, 12:51 PM   #3
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Really all that was stated was i would give them all the raw footage and give them an edit of some sort nothing more was really stated.
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Old October 25th, 2010, 04:34 PM   #4
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Matt it sounds as if you learned some of the basic lessons of shooting weddings. Alibet the hard way but now you've learned so next time you won't make the same mistakes again.

I always shoot as if my other cameras are either blocked, have died or simply have a bad shot for any number of reasons. Second, I always shoot my A camera on a tripod, there's no reason not to. In MOST church settings (at least around here in the Chicago area) there's little if any moving around so there's no reason to go handheld. Not to mention that no one can handhold a camera steady for an hour. At least no one that I've ever met in 27 years.

An example was Saturday. The priest who I have worked with numerous time over the years is very open to doing pretty much anything. OK great, I set a camera to get a nice front shoot of the B&G at the kneelers, I set another camera opposite of that of the altar (about a 45 degree angle) to get the B&G and officiant while standing at the altar except the bridal party blocked BOTH of them for a short time the service until the priest did his opening prayer. My A camera which is on a tripod with dolly wheels is moving from the front to the middle now because I know the priest wants me out of the way after the bride gets handed off to the groom and as they make their way to the kneelers. I make that move nive and slow and always try to make sure I've got the bridal party in frame so I can use it if need be, but the photographer managed to get in front of each of my cameras at one time or another during the ceremony, so I shoot as if there is no other camera running.
Unless the other camera(s) are manned you can't depend on them. Battery's die, tapes get jammed, people stand in front of them, all kinds of bad things can and do happen, but now you have learned. Put this in your book so next time you know, this is how we get better.
As for THIS job, I agree, make the ceremony a 15 or 20 minute highlight feature, and let it go at that.
I give you kudos for joining the wacky wonderful of weddings, just remember there are only 2 kinds of event videographers. Those that IT has happened to and those that IT will happen to.
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Old October 25th, 2010, 07:03 PM   #5
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Yeah i wasn't really sure where to place cameras because i couldn't make it to the rehearsal. Im going to try to make a decent highlight as long as possible but I only have 2 hours of tapes. Everything seemed so hectic i wasn't even giving a head up that the ceremony was starting.

I am so rethinking doing wedding videos unless i can get some sort of crew.
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Old October 25th, 2010, 07:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt McMeans View Post
Yeah i wasn't really sure where to place cameras because i couldn't make it to the rehearsal. Im going to try to make a decent highlight as long as possible but I only have 2 hours of tapes. Everything seemed so hectic i wasn't even giving a head up that the ceremony was starting.

I am so rethinking doing wedding videos unless i can get some sort of crew.
Matt, I have 18 years in the business and its still hectic every weekend. It seems everything is a battle. But maybe that's what makes it challenging?
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Old October 25th, 2010, 08:09 PM   #7
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Matt,
I agree with Micael. Even after 27 years it's still hectic every time I go out. I rarely have "a crew" it's rare for me to have more than me shooting and honestly some people can't do it. It get's to be too much for some, wanting to be everywhere, shoot everything, be as creative as possible, but a lot depends on your chosen style. By and large I do doco style with a bit of cine style in there. Are there times I wish I had a crew of 3 or 4 all the time, sure, could I make a decent living that way around here. Probably not. I know my market place but regardless, I don't think 1 wedding can tell you whether you are cut out for it or not BUT it can tell you if you have the mental toughness to do it. I have said for many many years that to be sucessful in the wedding business you need to be as tough as nails mentally and be a better business person than a shooter or editor.
Only you can determine if you have what it takes.
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Old October 25th, 2010, 08:13 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Matt McMeans View Post
...Everything seemed so hectic i wasn't even giving a head up that the ceremony was starting....
My experience, such as it is:

I've shot precisely two weddings, both for a cousins Son #2 and Son #3.
The cousins only regret is I didn't get into video in time for Son #1.

I've shot hundreds of hours of church services at my church.
I frequently am the guy running the sound board for funerals.
I live close by and can be gotten on fairly short notice.

I may get shot down on this, but it has been my observation that the technical people (sound, video) never, ever, ever get a cue that 'the program is now starting'. You have to be ready and waiting for them.

My 2 cents. And Best Of Luck for Next Time.
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Old October 25th, 2010, 08:17 PM   #9
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Bill thanks for mentioning that. I forgot to.
I generally start my B and C cameras about 5 minutes by the clock before the sceremony is supposed to start and my A camera (the one I'm handling) as I see officiant in the doorway to start coming down the aisle. I have been fooled and started too early but better early than late.
As I 've said for years, You can't edit what you haven't shot.
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