What Would You Add To This Equipment List? at DVinfo.net

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 24th, 2012, 05:40 PM   #1
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 1,554
What Would You Add To This Equipment List?

My business partner and I are getting into wedding video after being asked many times since we have also done photography. We already do TVCs, demo reels, events and shorts so wedding video won't be our sole revenue source.

So, here is what we currently have:
1 - Sony F3 with Sony Primes (35, 50, 85 f2) and Nikon adapter to rent Nikon lenses as needed.
1 - Sony FS100 with Nikon adapter
1 - 5D mkII and 7D; Canon 14mm, 35mm f1.4, 50mm f1.2, 70-200 f2.8 II
1 - Sony EX1
1 - Sony EX3

We have access to another F3 with primes, AF100, EX1r and EX3, Zeiss ZF.2s, Zeiss CP.2s in PL mount and a slider (thru friends we work with on a regular basis). We are looking to purchase a Steadicam but haven't decided which one yet (go the cheap route and use the 5D on it or somewhat expensive for the FS100 or $10k for the Zephyr to use with the F3). We also have a couple Zacuto FFs and Arri MBs, the S-Log upgrade and a PIX240.

The 5D and 7D would normally be used for photos and the occasional candid video.

Assuming we have the basic accessories (wireless lavs, shotgun mic, tripods...), what would you add to this list?

Thanks
Steve Kalle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 24th, 2012, 07:41 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Manchester England
Posts: 435
Re: What Would You Add To This Equipment List?

I would suggest you shoot a few practice weddings and all will become clear.
Tariq Peter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 24th, 2012, 08:42 PM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Re: What Would You Add To This Equipment List?

Hi Steve

Probably the most important thing whether you are shooting DSLR or Video is double up on everything else. If something stops working you do need a fast backup!! I take two tripods into the venue..I have duplicate radio mic systems, at least quadruple batteries per camera and dual on camera and fixed lighting setups .

If you have just one of something look hard at it and think .."Do I have an alternative if this piece of gear stops functioning?"

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 24th, 2012, 08:46 PM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Byron Bay, Australia
Posts: 1,142
Re: What Would You Add To This Equipment List?

I have a feeling the F3 might get left in the bag a bit at weddings. An amazing camera, no doubt, but weddings require speed, ease of use, mobility, and simplicity to setup.

Persoanlly I'd put the DSLR's on the steadicam and get an appropriate sized rig. At weddings, you're not going to have much time to get suited up in a full-on vest with monitors. You'll want something you can just pick up and run with, unles you are planning on having a dedicated operator for it all day.

I'd add an audio recorder as well - Something you can use to either plug into the sound feed if possible, place on the lecturn, or stand next to a speaker to get back up audio. 90% of the time you might not use the audio from it, but weddings are all about being prepared and having a contingency plan.
John Wiley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 24th, 2012, 08:48 PM   #5
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Byron Bay, Australia
Posts: 1,142
Re: What Would You Add To This Equipment List?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
If you have just one of something look hard at it and think .."Do I have an alternative if this piece of gear stops functioning?"

Chris
Excellent advice Chris. This is what I was getting at by having back-up audio, but it goes for every other piece of equipment as well. Have two of everything, right down to a spare set of clothes.
John Wiley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 24th, 2012, 09:05 PM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Re: What Would You Add To This Equipment List?

Hi John

Perth is in the middle of a heat wave at the moment and set to hover around 40 - 42 degrees (that's Celcius guys!!! ...over 100 F!!!) so at the moment maybe a triple set of clothes????

Yeah, I didn't think about the backup audio ...you not only need spare equipment but also muliple equipment at each station. I had a priest trying to fiddle with the Church lectern mic and he saw my transmitter underneath and switched it off!!!! These things happen!!! At the very least backup the lavs with extra portable recorders and I even have shotguns on on each camera..you never know what will happen next!!!

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 24th, 2012, 10:16 PM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
Re: What Would You Add To This Equipment List?

Steve,
great advice so far. My old drill seargent told me once a long long time ago "better to have it and not need it than to not have and die for it". Well you won't die but it'll make your job tougher if you have a malfunction and don't have some sort of backup.
As for the F3, leave it at home. For weddings IMO it's a no go. Just in the last 11 years I've done over 600 wedding mostly in the greater Chicagoland area and frankly, to me, shooting a wedding is like shooting news. It happens fast, it happens once and you really don't have the luxury of playing around with a lot of settings on the camera. If it were me, I'd use the EX1/EX3 and the 5D/7D for some of the creative stuff after you get the real shot "in the can".
The F3 and FS100 are great cameras but not really made for weddings.
__________________
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
Don
Don Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 24th, 2012, 10:59 PM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Re: What Would You Add To This Equipment List?

Hi Don

Well technically you won't die but if your audio disappears in the middle of the vows you will certainly feel like dying!!!
I agree 100% with run 'n gun situations...apart from a photoshoot you really don't have time for fiddling with settings...I know it's frowned on but whilst on standby at receptions my cams are left on full auto cos something can happen in a split second and by the time you have set exposure and focus it's over!!! At least in full auto I get the shot so fiddly cameras don't belong at a fast paced event at all!!

In fact when I set up main cameras in the Church they are in full auto too..I then assess the exposure and focus and go manual if I'm unhappy...what really convinced me to NOT use fiddly controls was a dance floor shot when I nailed the exposure to perfection, the focus was awesome and the framing thruout the dance was excellent....would have been even better if I had remembered to press the record button!!

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 25th, 2012, 02:45 AM   #9
New Boot
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Estacada
Posts: 21
Re: What Would You Add To This Equipment List?

For weddings my crew is set up w' the Canon dslr systems, and before hand, we set up the "C" settings for several different settings (C= custom on the shooting choice dial) .Useful for avoiding the automatic route.

If you have a 7D, it has three customs, and if you have the M/manual mode set up, essentially you'll have four custom choices, so set one say, for outside, one for the dance hall (lit), one for the dance hall, (DJ lit..ie dark!) and one for the ceremony,etc etc. based upon your location and lighting situations.


If you go the Dslr route, SmallHD makes really handy monitors, and combined with the Okii focus puller gizmo, helps us easily get the shots we need, whether we are moving or locked off, tho we can pretty much go from one to the other with the Manfrotto Fluid Video Monopod W/Head. Shoot above the crowd, low to the ground, etc using this thing, and the above mentioned bits.

One of my crew likes to use his tripod in both standard form, as well as using it as a sort of brace, so he can walk about with it resting the whole thing against himself. (two legs over the shoulder, and the third resting against the waist area)

Do up your audio in triplicate! I like shotguns directed at the B&G, a backup field recorder (Olympus LS-10 is a beaut) around the alter area, wireless lav on the groom, & all cams record sound for easy sync in post.

Cheers,
Julius Kuziemski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 25th, 2012, 09:53 AM   #10
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 1,554
Re: What Would You Add To This Equipment List?

I'm trying to understand something - the DSLRs are probably the hardest to setup and use for video with very few buttons for quick adjustments whereas the F3 and FS100 have many buttons for quick adjustments, but everyone uses DSLRs and many are saying to not use the F3 and FS100.

Also, the F3 is just like the EX1/3 in its layout and I am very experienced with these XDCAM EX cameras so I don't find it difficult for run 'n gun work. Heck, my very first time using the F3 was driving around on a golf cart shooting interviews at a large parade while several EX1/3/1r where filming the parade and I had no problem getting up to speed.

Not to sound arrogant, but when non-video people see a fully rigged F3 with MB on a Zacuto rig, they are in awe. One of our selling points is the higher quality hardware we use and own.

For audio, I have 2 G3's and 2 sets of Sony as well as a Tram TR50 for the G3 and the Tram TR79 adapter for hard wiring. I have 3 Rode NTG 2 and 1 NTG 3.

My partner and our friend shot a wedding last year with 2 F3's and they said it turned out great. Now realize that each F3 was heavily geared up with Zacuto rigs and EVFs, FF, MB.

Btw, we will NOT use S-Log and the PIX240 because that certainly makes things more difficult for this type of shooting, not to mention none of the other cameras would mix and match very well. Also, we plan on using a minimum of 3 camera operators and 4 cameras (F3, FS100, EX3 and either an EX1 or 5D). I would operate the FS100 while our friend who owns a F3 would operate a F3. My partner would operate the EX1 or 5D since he owns both. In addition, we have a a friend who is going to college for film studies and is willing to work for very cheap; so, we would use him as an assistant.

Another question for you guys - does the size of space for the reception dictate how many cameras/operators you use? So, for a smaller location, would you limit how many people you have running around getting shots? Also, can you have TOO many cameramen during the ceremony (ie., would 4 cameramen be a distraction?)

THANKS!

Last edited by Steve Kalle; January 25th, 2012 at 11:43 AM.
Steve Kalle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 25th, 2012, 10:24 AM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Santa Ana, CA
Posts: 499
Re: What Would You Add To This Equipment List?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kalle View Post
Not to sound arrogant, but when non-video people see a fully rigged F3 with MB on a Zacuto rig, they are in awe. One of our selling points is the higher quality hardware we use and own.
.
That may be true at the ceremony, but not during the getting ready or reception. People are afraid of camera's, you want to blend in, have them mistake you for the photographer and get authentic emotions out of them. With that kind of rig they are going to be a deer in headlights. Customers can't really differentiate between the quality of camera, what they care about is the emotions of the day and the film makers story telling abilities.
Check out stillmotions canon caravan on vimeo for good tutorials on the basics for wedding coverage. Dslr's let you rack focus and get up close and personal. You want the footage to feel intimate. Why else is the top 25 wedding film makers not using other camera's than dslr's (and at $10k a wedding they can afford to)? But then again, a good film maker should be able to do a good film with any tool. I've seen films done with a red camera.
Monopod is a must. Slider would be a good add. I would keep it simple the first time around. Things go wrong and its better not to get stressed out. +1 to the small hd for professional peaking features, and get a lockport to save your hdmi port. Also get a good set of ND filters, or helious variable nd.
Greg Fiske is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 25th, 2012, 04:03 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: NYC Area.
Posts: 550
Re: What Would You Add To This Equipment List?

Hi Steve,

I completely agree with you on all your points and I believe you and I come from similar backgrounds of working outside the wedding world and doing weddings on the side / for fun / to break up the monotony of doing the normal corporate film.

I have shot weddings with many different types of cameras but the 5D and 7D are quickly becoming not my favorite.. Too many people confuse you with the photographs and stand completely still. (and I don't want to deck it out with a matte box and other accessories when I don't need them just to look more like video)

Unlike everybody else, I thikn that the F3 is a better camera than the DSLR's to shoot weddings. You get a better quality video, nobody expects you to to take their picture, you look more profession, and all at the same time there are added benefits to you as well such as easier access to change things, aperture and focus are both on the lens and can be changed with out "clicking" up.

I am using a RED Scarlet for all my 2012 weddings so don't be afraid to use better gear than the average person that is what will set you apart.

To answer you question about crew: I do believe that there is such thing as having too many people working for you on a wedding day. I try to keep it between 2-3 depending on the assignment. I usually have 2 people working the preps (one at each location) and during that time I get the third person just to get shots of the church or wherever the ceremony is taking place. At the ceremony I have between 2-3. Either 1 at each camera, or 1 on each side and the third camera rolling on its own with out an operator (for the most part, I do switch which camera I'm running based on what is happening, going to happen next) and then at the reception I never have more than 2 people. If I had 3 earlier that day I send the third person home. The second person at the reception usually doesn't shoot that much (only use a second camera for the formalities) but when they're not shooting they help get batteries, set up the camera, and make sure everything is functioning normally. If I'm running low on CF cards (or this year a REDmags) then they'll offload it to an external as well as back it up.

I wouldn't say you are lacking any gear as it sounds like you have enough to get a few weddings under your belt and I won't tell you how to do the job because you sound like you know what you're doing... Just remember weddings can be hectic... as long as you keep your head on your shoulders and you do what you already know... you'll be fine.
__________________
Red Epic available for rent, starting at $500 per day, Scarlets, and Lenses available too. rentals.maddalenamedia.com
Louis Maddalena is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 26th, 2012, 06:39 AM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK
Posts: 3,445
Re: What Would You Add To This Equipment List?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kalle View Post
I'm trying to understand something - the DSLRs are probably the hardest to setup and use for video with very few buttons for quick adjustments whereas the F3 and FS100 have many buttons for quick adjustments, but everyone uses DSLRs and many are saying to not use the F3 and FS100.!
Personally I find the Canon 5DII very easy to setup & use for the very reason that it has so few buttons. There are all that I need i.e. dedicated WB & ISO plus a dial for aperture & another for shutter speed (not that this gets changed often). I don't know about the F3 & FS100 but it's very irritating on my Canon XF camcorders that gain is only adjustable as Low/Medium/High & the actual dB values are set in menus. It's far easier to change ISO on the 5DII.
Nigel Barker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 29th, 2012, 04:28 PM   #14
New Boot
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 16
Re: What Would You Add To This Equipment List?

The 5D is an excellent supplemental camera for weddings but IMHO you really need a traditional video camera as your primary,

Below is a trailer that was produced for the client, before the long version was released. Almost all of the setup, back camera during the ceremony and slider shots were done with the 5D using mostly existing light. The primary camera was a Sony EX1 and 2 wireless microphones.

This was a 2 man shoot at one location (12 hour coverage), which gave plenty of time for set up shots. The long version used mostly footage from the EX1.


Julie & Mark’s I Do Blog Thomas Bowen Films
Joe Lowery 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...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

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

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

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

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 04:47 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network