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


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Old August 10th, 2011, 09:11 AM   #1
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Toasts

How many cameras do you run during the toast. One on speaker, one on B&G and one on audience?
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Old August 10th, 2011, 09:19 AM   #2
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Re: Toasts

Yep - manned cameras on the speaker & B&G and fixed camera on the guests to grab applause, toasts etc
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Old August 10th, 2011, 09:48 AM   #3
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Re: Toasts

Hi David

I just run two...main cam on the speaker with a softbox as well so we get neat lighting and that is basically "semi-manned" (I check it now and again as our speeches are all done from a lectern) The 2nd cam is on my shoulder to shoot cutaways in general and also lock onto whoever the speaker is talking about so I run around the room a bit trying to figure out where Aunt Jessie is sitting who is being thanked cos she made the cake. Most are just the guests, guests raising their glasses and then plenty of the bride and groom and wedding party.

Chris
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Old August 10th, 2011, 10:12 AM   #4
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Re: Toasts

Thank you both. I ran two this weekend. One on the speaker and one on the B&G. It seemed to work well except I framed the speaker to close so when they started moving around I was stuck a bit. (DSLR - Prime lens)

I do love the prime lens but it looks like I am going to have to give them up for zooms.
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Old August 10th, 2011, 10:44 AM   #5
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Re: Toasts

I also run two - one on speaker, one on B&G. A lot of times they are in the same place, so I can do a wide shot with all three of them in one shot, and a tighter shot with just the speaker. I will also move the wide shot around some, to get crowd shots, etc. I sync these two with audio I capture from the sound board (if available). If there's a speaker stand, I'll also put an H4n there.
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Old August 10th, 2011, 08:26 PM   #6
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Re: Toasts

Three cameras ... on tripod with 70-200 on toaster ... on tripod with 24-70 on couple ... on monopod with 70-200 for tight audience reactions.

I asked in the other thread why you were using all primes but maybe it's better for you to answer here in your own thread.
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Old August 11th, 2011, 07:35 AM   #7
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Re: Toasts

I shouldn't be using all primes. I am a photographer and have been doing video for business for the last year. The primes are not a issue when producing a short business video.

I do need to let them go though... I am actually thinking about selling the 5dii + primes and buying 3 t3is with 24-70's. It pains me in a way but I have looked at Joel's stuff (weddingfilms.com) and it looks nice. He uses 3 or 4 t2is . The fact that I can hack the firmware and the t3i will automatically restart after it hits the 4 gig mark makes me happy. + 24-70 using x3 digital zoom gives me all the range I need.
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Old August 11th, 2011, 09:47 AM   #8
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Re: Toasts

I'd say you're on the right track then. At the end of the the day I always say do what works best for YOU. I will say, though, that there is a bit of a fanatical craze in the industry right now to use all primes. Often it's touted as a snobbish badge of honor .. as in ... "I'm shooting all primes." ... as if this magically makes one a better filmmaker or storyteller.

Obviously this doesn't apply to everyone, but trust me I see/hear it all the time. The truth is you don't 'need' a single prime to tell an awesome wedding day story. Do primes have advantages in certain situations, of course. But in many situations at a live event they are more of a liability than people will admit.

The zooms we use the most are the 17-55 2.8, 24-70 2.8 and 70-200 2.8. I'm not so happy with the 24-70 though as it seems a bit soft to me. Might be replacing it with something else.
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Old August 11th, 2011, 12:09 PM   #9
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Re: Toasts

Funny you say that. I sold my 24-70 to get the 35 1.4 because the 24-70 was to soft. Might have to look else where on that....
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Old August 11th, 2011, 12:58 PM   #10
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Re: Toasts

Interesting. I was wondering if it was just me. Guess not.
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Old August 11th, 2011, 01:44 PM   #11
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Re: Toasts

I'm not experienced in the matters of primes vs zooms. I have, however, in the last few years paid close attention to aspects of photographers workflow, as I tend to be friendly with them, and I ask lots of questions, it's just my nature, as I'm interested in what they do.

The way an individual photog works seem to depend mostly on their level of experience. Many have told me they used primes when they started out, but virtually every one moved to zoom lenses at some point.

They use primes for certain situations, and seem to regard primes as specialty lenses.

IMO, overusing primes causes one to have to adjust your shooting to accomodate your lens, whereas a zoom allows you to capture the story more efficiently. Primes cause a "tail wagging the dog" scenario oftentimes.

Beginners use kit lense, then discover primes, and think they have found the "secret" that everyone else is missing to great images. Primes are great, but this is a scenario that has been playing out for years with photographers, it's a syndrome. And yes these guys become insufferable snobs about it.

We have hundreds of videographers new to interchangeable lenses who are going through this now. Eventually, those that stick with this format for any length of time will move to zooms, as there really isn't much choice. Primes cause needless work, and are a major pain when doing event work.

I run a 20mm or 30mm and a 50mm, and on rare occasion a 135mm. But I also use two zooms at the same time. I love the looks of primes, can't be beat. Everyone knows this. But as experience takes hold, primes because less important than the ability to get the shot.
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Old August 11th, 2011, 06:57 PM   #12
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Re: Toasts

I agree - there's a few times when primes can shine but uncontrolled situations at weddings are generally not one of them.

I only ever use my Pentax 50mm f/1.7 when it's too dark and I have no other choice, because it is just not flexible enough. Maybe if I had a 30mm or 24mm I would use it more, but, even for something relatively predictable like speeches at a lecturn, the ability to quickly and easily recompose is great. You never know when a 6'5" best man and a 4'9" maid of honour are going to decide to do their speech together and leave you caught out unable to fit them both in the frame.
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Old August 11th, 2011, 09:17 PM   #13
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Re: Toasts

Unpopular answer, but:

1 camera (almost always). I work alone, but for an occasional assistant -- and that assistant is often only for the ceremony. I am still able to get reactions shots in toasts, though, which is totally doable if you are at the right angle and time everything right. And I always tap into the soundboard for good audio and use an LED for good light, etc.

I post this in part just for the sake of promoting the idea that one can have a successful business going it alone (I do most of the time) with careful camera work, editing and all the rest. Not to take away from the other responses here -- not at all! But I do want to give an occasional shout-out to the one man business model. I work in a competitive market, but I see too many companies (at least in my neck of the woods) falling prey to the idea more is always more.
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Old August 12th, 2011, 12:26 AM   #14
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Re: Toasts

Hi Tim

Nothing wrong with a single person shoot at all..I have been doing it for years without any issues. I do use an assistant however if I'm doing both the groom prep and bride prep, especially if they are miles apart!!
My assistant will do one prep and I'll do the other and then she will assist at the ceremony.

There is really no reason at all to have an assistant at the reception IMHO, what can you really give the bride that's better??? A dual angle shoot of the first dance?? More often than not you would end up with footage of your assistant.

During the bridal entrance here, I use on camera on the MC (who is behind a lectern and therefore stationary) and just let it run and then use the second cam to film the bridal party pairs arriving in the room.

In fact apart from the ceremony, bridal entry and speeches I only need one camera to adequately cover the event.

Chris
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Old August 12th, 2011, 01:24 AM   #15
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Re: Toasts

I'm with Chris and Tim.

Single (real) video camera for speeches. Slow pans between speaker and head table. Crash zoom to wide on applause. Edit out the crash zooms.

After surveying a few couples, I've found most say the didn't even rewatch the speeches as the were 'funny at the time' but boring as hell afterwards. Why bust my balls making it epic.

That being said - I had this AWESOME genuine couple once... bride was a total fox and the whole day was quite emotional. I used a second unmanned camera as a closeup for reactions and it added a whole new dimension to the speeches. Really really worthwhile.

But most my clients are total munters so they wouldn't appreciate the extra effort and are probably yawning or knocking back the booze - which looks bad on cutaways. For the right couple though - it's worth it.
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