Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 27th, 2011, 07:40 PM   #16
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 69
Kelly offers some excellent advice. Also note that you're going to need more than one camera. And I strongly suggest that you refrain from any steadicam work until you have the basics locked down. A good tripod with a fluid head is absolutely essential.
Lance Watts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 27th, 2011, 08:15 PM   #17
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Green Bay Wisconsin
Posts: 553
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amanda Duncan View Post
Also, I'm not as ignorant as I came off to be.
Seriously Amanda, there's no reason as long as you are well versed in interchangable lens cameras to not go DSLR. You run into time limitations on the Canons and not sure if the Nikons do or not. Panny has the GH series and those have no overheating issues nor time limitations.

The big thing right now in video is insanely fantastic image quality and shallow depth of field. To gain that you are either going to go through contortions, or go with an interchangeable lens camera. The other thing you can pick up with interchangeable lenses is a low light capability most convention camcorders won't ever have.

The shooting style is different from a conventional camcorder, but in your case, you aren't going to have to be "unlearning" anything, you are going to learn DSLR shooting right from the start.

If you already know your way around this piece of gear, you are way ahead of the ballgame compared to the 80. You will go in with a comfort level already established, which makes a huge difference in learning.

You say you already are comfortable shooting in manual, so with a DSLR that opens up the use of older cheaper legacy glass. If you already have some lenses, all you need are adapters and you are already part of the way home.

What you are going to lose most likely going DSLR is quality audio capture on the cam. This can also be accomplished with external recorders and using Plural Eyes to sync the audio to your video. If you go pocket size Audio Recorders and lav mics, your upfront costs for quality audio are far less, getting you in the game cheaper and maybe quicker.

The hidden benefit of DSLRs is the size and weight aspects of the gear that you are NOT going to drag around. I have Manfrotto 3246 tripods which worked great for my DVXs. Now with the Panny GHs, they are up to the point of being stupidly overkill.

That's just my opinion, of course YMMV.
Chip Thome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 27th, 2011, 08:26 PM   #18
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Mt. Vernon, Illinois
Posts: 27
I looked at the Canon XL2 also because of the interchangeable lenses. That was appealing to me. I don't know. I might try both and see what feels good. I just wish I knew which direction one way or the other. I do know I have every intention on keeping my bride brain though. Someone posted that I should give it up. I know I run the risk of a gender war, but let me tell you that you boys are tech minded doesn't mean you know how to get everything you might think you should get. I know my way around a wedding backwards and forward. I know what women want. I know what women need. And I just have to figure out how to capture and give it to them!!!! I appreciate all the help. I will think about DSLR. Although I'm considering the hmc80, would there be a befefit of spending the same amount of money on used equipment that might be better? Like the XL2...how would it compare? Like the idea of interchangeable lenses and the ability to capture stills.
Amanda Duncan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 27th, 2011, 08:35 PM   #19
Obstreperous Rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: San Marcos, TX
Posts: 26,262
Images: 513
Hi Amanda, I really can't recommend the Canon XL2
(and I'm the guy who ran the largest, most popular XL2
site on the internet). The problem is that it's only SD
(standard definition). You really want to be shooting
HD these days. It doesn't matter if you're delivering
only SD, you should be shooting HD. The XL2 ain't it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amanda Duncan View Post
Someone posted that I should give it up. I know I run the risk of a gender war...
No worries; I've looked through this thread and didn't see
anything like that. Here at DV Info Net we don't do gender
wars -- I'll escort anyone showing a gender bias right off
the site. We have stellar shooters here both male and
female so of course gender makes absolutely no
difference in this business. Hope this helps,
__________________
CH

Search DV Info Net | DV Info Net Sponsors | A Decade of DVi | ...Tuesday is Soylent Green Day!
Chris Hurd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 27th, 2011, 08:43 PM   #20
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Green Bay Wisconsin
Posts: 553
IMHO, what you really need is low light capability. Those Walmart cameras, DSLRs, the 80 and just about every other cam out there is going to shoot nice footage in bright daylight. It's when you take the cams indoors that you really separate the good from the "also rans".

On the Panny side, the HMC150 is the killer low light performer. That one now is being reduced from it's original list price, indicating it is nearing an end of life for Panny. Those I have sen that were used, were not much less than the cheapest new one out there. Panny gives a 3 year warranty with a new cam (I beleive) so consider that as well if you look used.

I don't know Sonys or Canons, maybe someone else can describe which works well there.
Chip Thome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 27th, 2011, 09:17 PM   #21
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Mt. Vernon, Illinois
Posts: 27
Chris,

I am so impressed with this site. It's off the charts. I am far from a stellar shooter. At this point, I simply have stars in my eyes!!! I am just in info overload. What would you suggest as far as a good cam goes? I'm not opposed to buying used but would like to be in the 2500 range{ish}.
Amanda Duncan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 27th, 2011, 09:18 PM   #22
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Hamilton Ontario
Posts: 769
Your love of photography/video is shared by many here, including myself...
But realize, that this is a business, and holding the record button, and the thrill of getting the great shots are a small part of something bigger...

Booking clients, knowing the locations, dealing with people, deadlines, hardware issues, and the enormous responsibility can put a lot of stress on you...
And once it does become a business, then sometimes the love of what you chased for ends up dying..

I'm not trying to deter you, but trying to suggest to shoot with an established company. See what it's like being on your feet from beginning to end...Find your strength, weaknesses, likes and dislikes...Take it from there.

My 2 cents....
Peter Manojlovic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 27th, 2011, 09:54 PM   #23
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Mt. Vernon, Illinois
Posts: 27
It's not that I am not hearing what you are saying. But, if there is anything I know, it's weddings. Not just because I had my own. I've been around the wedding block since I was a teenager. I'm turning 35 in Feb. I know weddings in and out. I just have to figure out how the camera plays into all of it. It's already exhausting!! I know the "on your feet" drill. And, this has gone through much adult thought for several months. My husband and I have done our homework for sure. It's worth a shot. And weddings aren't the only thing I'm interested in. In fact, I have some other projects in mind that I think will be more fun in the long run. I just have to get started so I can kick the learning curve. I am not afraid of the biz aspect at all. What I am afraid of it the technical piece of it. I just don't have the knowlege or the practice. I am pretty aware of the fact that I need some really good practice and I'm cool with taking the time to do that. I have even thought about some film courses. Another thing you have to know is that I really don't need to be detered. I work with abused children all day long. At this point, cleaning sewer systems would be an awesome profession. No matter what could go wrong in a days work of film can't possibly measure up to coming home with the amount of emotional stress that I do. I just want to try and any help that I can get is one step closer to emotional peace. If videography isn't the way to go, I'll chop up my degree in the kitchen as a fry cook!!! But until then, I at least want to try. I have a supportive husband and I know we can do it. There is NO ONE in our immediate area. I wish you guys were closer. I wouldn't mind paying for some tutoring!! And, I know it's more than "pushing the record button". I just need the time to learn.
Amanda Duncan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 27th, 2011, 09:57 PM   #24
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 907
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amanda Duncan View Post
Just wish I could have someone make my mind up who has some experience. I am looking at the new Panasonic AG HMC80. Any thoughts? I'm crazy about the idea of the merlin steady set up. I want smoooooth work. Need some advice on audio. Should I use a seperate recorder or just go directly into the cam via xlr?...
Hi Amanda,

You have already been given some good advice. I will add this. Since you are considering the HMC80, I would allow just a little more money and get the HMC150. I have seen used HMC150s sell for $2200-2500 and since it is NOT a tape based camera, I would not hesitate buying used. The HMC150 is better in low light and since you mentioned wanting to do steady cam work, you can fly the HMC150 much easier and cheaper than the HMC80. I do not have any experience with the HMC80, just the HMC150 and HMC40. I am not sure, but I think the low light performance of the HMC40 and HMC80 are similar. You can read reviews I did on each camera here.
EventDV.net: The Event Videographer's Resource

EventDV.net: The Event Videographer's Resource

For now, I would not spend time or money are a steady cam type of device. I know the shots look cool, but you need to get the basics down, capture the moments and tell the story. Content trumps eye candy every time.

Before we go on to audio, let me throw this out there. Since it sounds like you are familiar with DSLRs, you will probably end up shooting some video with one at some point in the future. Maybe a little, maybe a lot. We are currently shooting a lot of Prep and Reception with DSLRs and Ceremonies with the HMC150s. You can do great work with either or both. Don't limit yourself to one or the other until you have some experience under your belt. They each have their own advantages and disadvantages. A lot of it comes down to personal preference, and only you can decide what is right for you. Many of our recent vimeo clips have a combination of both and some are all DSLR. You can check them out here.
Mark & Trisha Von Lanken on Vimeo

For audio, it's a toss up. If you go wireless, you can record straight to the HMC150 or HMC80. If you end up going DSLR, you will need an auxilary recorder, but you can send the wireless feeds to the auxilary recorder. When I'm shooting with the HMC150 I send the two wireless feeds to the cam. When I'm shooting DSLR, I send the wireless feeds to the H4n. I also have four H2s with lav mics, so I can record audio with those or go the wireless route (Sennheiser G2s). Good audio also trumps steady cam shots, so spend your time and money getting the audio squared away.

I highly recommend shooting 2nd or 3rd camera with an experienced company. Since you are right between St. Louis and Evansville, you have a couple of larger metro areas to look to. Additionally, I am familiar with your part of IL. I grew up around Decatur and my parents live DuQuoin. I currently live in Tulsa, OK, but have driven through Mt. Vernon dozens of times. I also know a few companies in smaller towns in your area. I will send you a private message with their information.

Lastly...being a woman can be a big advantage. I know there are several companies that only have male shooters, but if I had to shoot and edit without my wife, I would be very limited and not nearly as good.
__________________
Mark Von Lanken
www.VonWeddingFilms.com
Mark Von Lanken is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 27th, 2011, 10:11 PM   #25
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Mt. Vernon, Illinois
Posts: 27
Thanx for that. I researched the HMC-150. I just knew that I couldn't afford to buy new. I am trying to start with a couple of cameras and just don't have the budget for super high end stuff. If I could get two cams for 5k, I'd be happy.

The audio is the part that isn't so intimidating to me. I have spent a lot of years around a mixing board. Just need to catch up with technology. I looked at the pocket recorders. Pretty impressive. I'd like to see them up close and personal. They are way smaller than the older style and pretty cool looking. Is the audio sync to video a heavy process? Are you using outboard mixing or simply running everything to computer and using software?
Amanda Duncan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 27th, 2011, 10:35 PM   #26
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 907
You are welcome Amanda. You are very smart to watch your startup costs. I don't know how much you can get for a wedding in Central IL, so it is very important to watch your costs. If you cannot get enough money to make it worth your while, at least you have a couple of larger markets, that is if you are willing to drive a couple of hours.

You can use a program called Plural Eyes to sync aux audio to the cam audio. No, I do not use outboard mixing. For a typical ceremony I have a mic on the minister, groom, podium and strings. When possible, I use the two wireless mics, one each on the minister & groom and use Zoom H2s on the podium and strings. I just sync in post.
__________________
Mark Von Lanken
www.VonWeddingFilms.com
Mark Von Lanken is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 28th, 2011, 01:54 AM   #27
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Chania Crete Greece
Posts: 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amanda Duncan View Post
I looked at the Canon XL2 also because of the interchangeable lenses. That was appealing to me. I don't know. I might try both and see what feels good.
Just like Chris said, this camera is not recommended at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amanda Duncan View Post
I do know I have every intention on keeping my bride brain though. Someone posted that I should give it up. I know I run the risk of a gender war, but let me tell you that you boys are tech minded doesn't mean you know how to get everything you might think you should get. I know my way around a wedding backwards and forward. I know what women want. I know what women need. And I just have to figure out how to capture and give it to them!!!! I appreciate all the help.
I think that's great! Keep your bride brain, it's the right decision, just add to it the buisiness brain.

BTW since you know what the brides want you can share it with us. We will give you our knowledge on tech stuff you can give us your insights about what brides want, isn't that fair?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amanda Duncan View Post
I will think about DSLR.
You should.

Just as Chip said sinse you are just starting now you will not have to adjust to a new way of working so it will be much easier.

A couple Panasonic GH2s and 3-4 lenses would be my choice.
Spiros Zaharakis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 28th, 2011, 01:55 AM   #28
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Manchester UK
Posts: 1,212
Amanda, you've got a continuum of good advice here, note how many people agree you should work as second string.

However, two things scream at me from this thread.

First is the guy who you rather dismiss as making a living using Walmart camera and iMovie. From what you say he's got the market too and you're going to be going head to head with him with nothing on your plus side except you're married and you love weddings. He's got history, experience, reputation and price. Against that you've got higher costs, no experience, no reputation and possibly a higher price if you have to fund your capital investment.

Second, I'm not sure you've fully appreciated how important it is to know your craft. I know I bang on about knowing your craft but it's the element which gets you out of scrapes and unforeseen calamities. Right now you should compare yourself with the actor who wants to direct. Many of them do, many of them try but most of them fail.

I share the view that the business of the wedding business is at least if not more than knowing your business. You can have the greatest talent and technical skill in the world but unless you can market and sell it (and they're two completely different things) no-one will ever know.

Good luck - the tougher it is to succeed, the sweeter is your success.
Philip Howells is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 28th, 2011, 05:32 AM   #29
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 5,603
Hi Amanda

Good advice from Philip too as he runs a very successful UK operation and has good marketing experience. If you are doing it alone then unfortunately you do need some marketing skills and even selling skills. My selling skills are no good at all but I do tell the couple I'm seeing that "I'm a videographer not a salesman" and they appreciate the honesty and also know that they haven't got a "hard sell" salesman in the house with them. You will also need a decent website and some online directories with your details (also more money to spend!!!) You can be the best videographer ever but if brides cannot find you there won't be any work!!! Marketing is an essential part of the operation. Being a woman you do have a distinct advantage talking "girl to girl" as most brides are the ones that decide who to book!!

Mark's info on the HMC150 is worth looking at..it's lighter than the 80. I was "weaned" on shoulder mount cameras so I have always owned one!! I guess there is nothing wrong with a 150 with a shoulder-mount rig???? I must admit I like the stability of the 70 and 80. I use a stedicam BUT only for the photoshoot..it's cool I know but really too space restrictive in a Church and there is seldom enough time to get into the rig when things are happening at lightning speed around you!!!

Keep asking questions !!! You will learn a lot!!

Chris
Chris Harding is online now   Reply With Quote
Old January 28th, 2011, 05:50 AM   #30
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Erie, PA
Posts: 374
Great points Philip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Howells View Post
First is the guy who you rather dismiss as making a living using Walmart camera and iMovie.
I knew several production houses like this when I was starting wedding video in the 90's (except back then they were all still shooting/linear editing on SVHS). While we "professionals" scoff at their choice of equipment, the truth is that these people know their markets -- that's why they stick around so long. It's a good idea to take them seriously and learn from them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Howells View Post
Second, I'm not sure you've fully appreciated how important it is to know your craft.
Amen again. There are certain skills, habits, and ways of thinking that can only be cultivated through hours and hours and hours behind the camera and in the editing suite. You'll be able to predict problems, and deal with unforeseen circumstances (which are the norm at weddings) without them ruining your production.
Corey Graham is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Omega Broadcast
(512) 251-7778
Austin, TX

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 




Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:42 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2014 The Digital Video Information Network