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


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Old July 3rd, 2011, 10:14 AM   #16
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Re: Too many videographers?

We shot a large Asian wedding yesterday (700 guests) & there were three photographers none of whom apparently had a lens longer than a 24-70mm which meant they were up close & personal with the bride & groom all the time. The three of them were working together & they were generally apologetic about getting in front of our cameras but as they were working so close to the couple much of our footage includes at least one of these photographers. However we probably had a better view of the bride & groom than most of the guests as we were using a crane & thus at least one of our cameras was shooting over the heads of the photographers. There were two of us shooting video & while at times were both in the same place this was so that we had footage of crucial portions of the action from different angles avoiding the official photographers & the scrum of guests with cameras.
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Old July 3rd, 2011, 12:12 PM   #17
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Re: Too many videographers?

Photographers complain too much, sure four people seems like an overkill but if thats the contract the bride signed than so be it. I've worked with four photographers at a wedding before and it was tough. What did I do? I did the best that I could having to establish myself as an important aspect of the wedding as well. Instead of complaining and moaning I just worked harder and tougher, not think of ways to baby out with a contract because im too special to work with that many other people. This is the same reason we started offering photography services, too many whining photographers that think they are gods......
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Old July 3rd, 2011, 01:23 PM   #18
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Re: Too many videographers?

Imagine 4 videographers, and 4 photographers at the wedding. Everyone is shooting 5ds, so in the eyes of the guests, everyone looks like photographers. 8 photographers constantly scrambling, trying their best to get their shots. At some point, when too many people are trying to get the same shot, production value will go down instead of up. At what point do we say enough is enough??
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Old July 3rd, 2011, 08:12 PM   #19
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Re: Too many videographers?

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Originally Posted by Warren Kawamoto View Post
At what point do we say enough is enough??
I think Alexandru said it best . . . the B&G hired them all, signed the contracts and paid money for everyone to be there. It's up to us to be creative and resourceful -- we're supposed to be professionals who solve problems, not complain about them.
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Old July 4th, 2011, 07:08 AM   #20
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Re: Too many videographers?

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I think Alexandru said it best . . . the B&G hired them all, signed the contracts and paid money for everyone to be there. It's up to us to be creative and resourceful -- we're supposed to be professionals who solve problems, not complain about them.
I'm not sure if the bride/groom always know how many photographers/videographers are going to be present. If the b/g knew there would be 7 or 8, I don't think she would sign that contract. I just worked with a wedding planner that showed up with 5 crew members. The bride wasn't very happy. 3 photogs, 1 video and 5 wedding planners in her house.
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Old July 4th, 2011, 02:49 PM   #21
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Re: Too many videographers?

Cannot imagine shooting a bridal prep with more than 1 videographer, it's bad enough scrambling around the rushing and madness between you and the photographer, let alone 3 other videographers. Sounds like a bad case of incompetence, all relying on each other 'just in case'.
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Old July 4th, 2011, 04:18 PM   #22
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Re: Too many videographers?

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I just worked with a wedding planner that showed up with 5 crew members. The bride wasn't very happy. 3 photogs, 1 video and 5 wedding planners in her house.
Someday soon, the vendor list that the bride and groom will have to feed will exceed the wedding guest list. lol
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Old July 4th, 2011, 11:06 PM   #23
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Re: Too many videographers?

The only time I have ever wanted more than 2 videographers is at the ceremony. Bride and groom prep are perfect with 1 at each place. Having 2 videogs at the photo session makes it a breeze, although I can easily shoot it alone. And I've never thought I had to have a third at a reception. What do you shoot?! Unless you're producing an SDE then I think 3 is pretty good, one mostly just to capture and edit though.

Whatever floats your boat and gets you the jobs I guess but personally 2 is my magic number.
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Old July 5th, 2011, 12:08 AM   #24
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Re: Too many videographers?

David, there's an easy answer, Cam 1 tight on the speaker, Cam 2 wide on the top or speakers' table, Cam 3 reverse angle guests reaction shots. I'm not asking for a poll but which shot can you afford not to have? Hell, even the local 6pm news uses three cameras.
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Old July 5th, 2011, 12:30 AM   #25
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Re: Too many videographers?

talking about speeches alone I have 1 camera on speaker, 1 camera on B&G, if the speech refers to a guest then B&G angle gets the guest. I can set up an unmanned camera on B&G if I want as well, so there really is no need for me to have 3 operators.
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Old July 5th, 2011, 02:06 AM   #26
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Re: Too many videographers?

David, we're not being very scientific in our descriptions but at the speeches, assuming your camera on the B&G is facing them, then in most cases the guests will be facing them and all you'll get as a reaction shot is their backs.

I'll be specific about my general placements, Cams1&2 co-located opposite top table, Cam 3 to one side of it. If the economics could justify it I'd have a 4th camera at the other end. Client's reaction to the reaction shots indicate they're very much appreciated and the operator needs to be listening to the speech so as to be ready for the reaction as well as watching for the next shot to frame to ready for the next reaction.

Whilst Cams 1& 2 are co-located, the wide will cover any off-camera activity as well.

As far as the ceremony is concerned, if you don't have three cameras then you can't have clear, full-on pictures of the three people involved, the bride, the groom and the celebrant. Who's the least important and can be satisfied with a rear quarter or back shot? Do none of your grooms ever have a tear in their eye at the vows?

IMHO, this whole business about the number of video cameramen isn't a matter of numbers but about the degree to which they impose on the event. Go back again to the Royal Wedding and tell us how many cameras you spotted?
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Old July 5th, 2011, 03:12 AM   #27
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Re: Too many videographers?

Yeah, 4 videographers at bride prep is overkill. Although the photog decision on banning videography at prep is such an over-reacting act too.

Sure there are bad vendors, but you shouldnt go to the extent of telling the bride of what to and what not to do on her wedding day. You can give her warning and take the job, take the job and risk co-working with a bad vendor, or simply refuse to take the job altogether.

In the end it's the client's call.
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Old July 5th, 2011, 06:54 PM   #28
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Re: Too many videographers?

Phillip, I shoot with several unmanned cameras so I think that is why I dont see much added benefit to having an extra operator, the shots are all gotten by 2 operators and all my stationary cameras.

Clearly we have different ways of shooting that work for us, but here's a question for you. What does your third operator do during the preps? is s/he only scheduled to show up at the church while the other two shoot preps? so the work day is different for the third shooter?
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Old July 5th, 2011, 10:19 PM   #29
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Re: Too many videographers?

What kind of video does that yield when bride is overwhelmed by that many cameras?
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Old July 6th, 2011, 01:36 AM   #30
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Re: Too many videographers?

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Originally Posted by David Schuurman View Post
snipped What does your third operator do during the preps? is s/he only scheduled to show up at the church while the other two shoot preps? so the work day is different for the third shooter?
David, we shoot the prep time with one camera but since we use the prep shoot to also do one-to-one interviews with the bride and groom, I am there also. My wife is the camera op and in just one case when a bride didn't want any men present, she did the whole job herself.

We generally drop off the main gear and the third cameraman at the church before going on to the preps. He starts and often finishes the setup including the static mics. That means we're ahead of the game and ready for any eventuality whilst the guests are arriving. If the distance from the preps affects the schedules then he also starts the guests arriving coverage.

We work as a team but in a pattern which usually means that on arrival at the reception venue for example Cam 3 does the venue establishment shots, Cam 2 the guests and bridal party arriving whilst Cam 1 is setting up for the interviews, but these are patterns only and flexible to suit the occasion.
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