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Old July 6th, 2011, 01:36 PM   #1
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Banquet halls with little room for Videographers?

Last weekend we shot a wedding at a resort several hours from where we live, so we didn't have time to check it out ahead of time, and when we arrived, we found that the banquet hall was *packed* with tables. There was almost *no* room for one tripod, let alone two or three plus a light stand or two.

As usual, I talked to the banquet manager upon arrival to talk about our set up, but he really didn't have any helpful advice. If we set up where he suggested, we would have been shooting the speakers at a ridiculously unflattering angle from across the entire hall, which would mean we'd have servers etc., in the shots too.

In the end we squeezed ourselves in between tables for the speeches, which annoyed the servers but meant we got the shots we needed. The frustrating part is that we'd told the couple ahead of time that we need room in the reception hall for fairly wide tripods and light stands, but clearly that was forgotten about.

What do you do if a venue has virtually no room for tripods / lights / camera gear?
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Old July 6th, 2011, 02:32 PM   #2
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Re: Banquet halls with little room for Videographers?

The Magic Arm. It's a sweet little contraption that you can mount a camera to, then clamp onto anything 3" wide or less. It really saved me in a cramped wedding a few weeks ago. It's very sturdy and reliable.
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Old July 6th, 2011, 03:38 PM   #3
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Re: Banquet halls with little room for Videographers?

Had the same situiation last year, I guess we can't do anything but adjust no matter how claustrophobic our set-up would be. I had to literally convert my tripod to a monopod to squeeze in between the tables. The first dance was basically a tight shot all the way, they didnt do a bouquet throw coz the distance is less than 4 feet. They cleared 5 tables to make room for the public dance.

As long as we have our shots that is all that matters I guess.
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Old July 6th, 2011, 03:40 PM   #4
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Re: Banquet halls with little room for Videographers?

I must admit that when I read the thread title I thought that you were going to tell us about a thoughtful banquet hall that actually provided a little room where videographers could stash there gear:-)

If the camera is manned then using a monopod has a much smaller footprint than a regular tripod. Doesn't help for locked off & unattended cameras though.
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Old July 6th, 2011, 03:51 PM   #5
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Re: Banquet halls with little room for Videographers?

Both small clamp type pods that can clamp or lash to anything handy and a monopod (something like the Bogen 560/561/562) should be in the arsenal - if you're ever doing a wedding on a riverboat, you find such things quite handy to have in the kit! They'd work equally well in other tight/cramped quarters.
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Old July 6th, 2011, 06:01 PM   #6
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Re: Banquet halls with little room for Videographers?

Thanks for the suggestion re: clamping the cameras; I'd never thought of that before. I frequently convert my tripod to a monopod for tight shots, but I'd be hesitant to use a monopod for zoom stuff. We were shooting with a focal length of 200mm non IS on a Canon 5D, so any little movement would be noticeable.


We actually have been given a small room for our video gear twice this year. We've started offering a "video guestbook" service during the reception, which is essentially a backdrop with a camera, light, and handheld mic. We tell couples that if they want to book it, we need a 10x10 space for it outside of the main banquet room. Two venues set us up in rooms adjacent to the banquet hall with a locking door. *Very* handy for storing gear when it's not in use. (It's also probably the easiest and most enjoyable part of our job.) I'd highly recommend something like a video guestbook to everyone here.
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Old July 8th, 2011, 09:14 AM   #7
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Re: Banquet halls with little room for Videographers?

I've shot in a lot of tight reception venues before. All you can do is pull out a wide angle lens and scoot up close.
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