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Old February 23rd, 2012, 01:25 PM   #1
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Wedding with TV Crew

Hi,

Long time reader, first post...

I'm filming a wedding in a few weeks and have just been informed by the Bride that the wedding is being featured on a high profile TV show.

Anyone ever done a wedding alongside a TV crew? Did you have any issues?

So far I have been told that they are "fine" with us being there and they are bringing a crew of ten (yes, ten) people.

Any advice greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Old February 23rd, 2012, 01:55 PM   #2
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Re: Wedding with TV Crew

If you are using wireless mics, I would make sure that you and the film crew are on diferent frequencies so that you dont pick up any interference. I would also suggest at least one other source of audio that is not wireless based just in case.
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Old February 23rd, 2012, 02:32 PM   #3
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Re: Wedding with TV Crew

Thanks Kevin, good advice. I do have a non-wireless back up. Was wondering who gets to mic the Groom. Hoping that they use a boom for their sound.
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Old February 23rd, 2012, 02:39 PM   #4
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Re: Wedding with TV Crew

For everyone's sanity on the day of the event, I would see if you can set up a quick meet between the director and yourself and talk through the event so you have a general idea of how to stay out of each others way. It sounds kind of negative when I phrase it like that, but Im sure both sides would be thankful when it comes down to crunch time and everyone is getting the absolute best shot they can.

You don't want a handheld following the bride and groom down the aisle when you were relying on that shot, when it could easily be avoided by using a slash cam from another frontal angle and they are fine with that too, etc etc...
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Old February 23rd, 2012, 02:57 PM   #5
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Re: Wedding with TV Crew

Just did one back in November. TLCs Four Weddings. The crew I worked with were good folks. Mostly local from Chicago but a couple including the Producer came from New York. They had 1 Producer, 3 cameramen, 3 Assoc. Producers, a PA and a PC plus a sound guy. I talked for a few minutes with the Producer, told the sound guy the freqs I was using and honestly, it was a very pleasant event. We didn't fight over territory or get in each others way. Maybe it was just the crew I worked with but it went quite well.
I doubt you'll be able to talk to the producer much before the day of but make sure to take a few minutes on that day to talk to him/her. Also introduce yourself to the camera operators and talk to the sound person to let that person know the freqs you're using so any adjustments can be made BEFORE the event starts.
At the wedding I did they didn't mic anyone. They used a boom for some stuff and on cam mics for other stuff. They' really weren't interested in the vows. One I did a few years ago, Dateline was there and we both mic'd the groom. I've done events where the speaker had as many as 4 lavs on. 2 per lapel. Different freqs of course.
Other than that, just try to work with them and you should get along just fine.
I find that a few minutes of polite talk before the event goes a long way to happiness.
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Old February 23rd, 2012, 03:08 PM   #6
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Re: Wedding with TV Crew

Thanks for the advice. I will grab the Producer on the day and talk everything through.

@ Don. Yes, same show for TLC. Glad it went well, hopefully this one will also. Did they put any restrictions on you on the day? Or were you ok to film as normal?

The Groom for this wedding is singing his vows. Should be fun!
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Old February 23rd, 2012, 04:14 PM   #7
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Re: Wedding with TV Crew

No restrictions. Keep in mind the bride is paying for your services so the TV crew is kind of an extra. I just used the common courtesy I would expect others to give me and it worked out just fine.
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Old February 23rd, 2012, 04:30 PM   #8
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Re: Wedding with TV Crew

I'd double check with the bride as to what she thinks is most important, because you can bet your bottom dollar that whatever you agree with the TV people in advance will fall apart. It's happened to me twice in my theatre work. They promise to remain in the background and not intrude, but all of a sudden one of the camera crew just walk out right in front to get their best shot - they get in the way of the other technical people and worse still, the people watching - they'll probably talk quite loudly to each other when they are not shooting and be totally immune to complaints on the grounds that it's tough and they'll be gone soon. A crew of ten means ten times your intrusion level. Be very careful. Keep in mind the TV programme have their own agenda, and it's not a normal wedding video!
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Old February 23rd, 2012, 05:10 PM   #9
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Re: Wedding with TV Crew

Honestly, in all the work I've done over the years with other video crews at the same event, I've had fewer problems with them than the still photogs.
As for promising to stay in the background, well, it's called repsect for one another. I've never had a problem with other vid guys crossing into my shot. As for talking loudly, nope, the crews I've worked with have all had ClearComs or some other form of radio communication. As for speaking with the bride to find out which is more important....uh, I'm sorry but IMO that wouldn't necessarily be a great thing to do as 1st, shes thinking about her wedding not the vendors or TV crew. 2nd, that's for ME to work out with the crew. She is paying me for, in part, my professionalism and has been choosen by this particular TV show to showcase PARTS of her wedding in hopes of winning a prize and in this case there are 3 other "guest" brides attending. I have worked these weddings including the "celebrity" weddings I have done over the years like any other wedding. I'm polite, talk to the other video and still people like I want to be talked to, we try very hard to stay out of each others way as well as the guests way and do our job without running to the bride and groom. They have 2 jobs that day. One to get married, the other to have a worry free fun filled day.
Craig, do the job the way you know how, communicate a bit before with the TV crew, and the job should go fine. BTW, when you leave at 11PM or midnight or whenever, they still have anoher 4 to 6 hours to go. They do interviews with all of the guest brides as well as the B&G then have to strike, pack, load out and go. It's a long day for them.
Of course, if they DO get in a shot or 2 you have to protect your ground and have a word or 2 with them but I think you'll find they're decent to work with.
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Old February 23rd, 2012, 05:25 PM   #10
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Re: Wedding with TV Crew

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Originally Posted by Craig Vincent View Post
Thanks for the advice. I will grab the Producer on the day and talk everything through.

The Groom for this wedding is singing his vows. Should be fun!
Craig, on the day is too late, I'd talk to the producer asap to find out how they intend covering this wedding.

Ten crew sounds like it could be an OB truck with multiple cables into the church and 3 or 4 static TV cameras.

If so there's a few options for you, they'll probably set up the day before, to plan your moves you could go there and see where they'll be positioned,
meet some of the crew, check the light, the church music etc.

If not they'll still check out the venue, meet them there. See if you can include them in your shoot, maybe some of their finished footage.
The singing groom is important, meet up with him and check your mic and levels out. Yes it's not your usual wedding I'd get on it now.

Cheers.
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Old February 23rd, 2012, 05:51 PM   #11
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Re: Wedding with TV Crew

Thanks guys.

Yep, I've spoken with the Bride and asked her to put me in touch with the Producer before the event. She's fairly ok with everything, I did explain that we "may not" be able to get the shots we want, just so she is forewarned.

Yeah, I guess it comes down to the crew on the day. Hopefully they will be respectful of us, but as Paul said, they have a big budget show to produce, and I don't. I like to shoot candid, so it could be fun to have one or two shots with them in, it's all part of her wedding day after all. Fingers crossed it will go with no problems.

@ Allan. Murphy's law, I am shooting a different wedding the day before, so no chance to go and see if they have set up. I'm guessing I will need to be there a lot earlier than usual. Thanks for the tip about audio levels with the Groom, so used to grooms practically whispering their vows....

Again, thank you for all the advice guys.
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Old February 23rd, 2012, 06:36 PM   #12
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Re: Wedding with TV Crew

Having done this show I can tell you that 1) they will most likely be using EX1R, no cable running all over. 2) 3 cameras, 3) 1 sound guy 4) 1 producer 5) 2 Assoc. Producers. The Prod and APs will most likely have Marshall Monitors powered by AB batterys and a remote reciever while the camer op will have the transmitter going to the appropriate camera. One AP for each camera while the producer generally seems to stay with the guest brides. The sound guy also pretty much stays with them except for the ceremony when he'll be with one of the camera ops. Here's the tricky part. In most cases theres a camera back center for a master shot. There's a camera on the altar or close to focus in on the bride and one to focus on the guset brides. The groom is only in the shot because he's there. Watch the program sometime, you'll see the groom is an after thought. Since this groom is going to sing his vows (or is it the blues? ;-O) he might get some additional airtime from the camera trained on the bride. This show is about the bride, not the couple. Sounds goofy I know but that's how it is. Also trust me when I tell you, they won't be at the rehearsal the day before.

Generally the production people are local crews that may or maynot have done weddings before, the produce and perhaps the APs will come from New York but they have no reason to attend a rehearsal. They know the story they want to tell, how they want to tell it and what they need to do to tell it. The only question for them is will the church let them set a manned camera on the altar. Believe it or not the larger percentage of them do.

While they will be on tripods for the ceremony (in most caes) after that, they'll be runnin N gunnin. Some use some sort of shoulder mount others don't. The use Litepanel minis at full power with a 3200K gel and ZERO gain for EVERYTHING. They not looking to make art, they looking to shot a medum budget TV show.

I'm saying this because I've been there and while they have a job to do, so do you. Do what you do, and everything should work out fine. It's nothing different than any other wedding except for more video cameras and crew.

AAMOF the episode that I was shooting for the B&G is airing on 3/2/12.. It's Erika and Chris.
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Last edited by Don Bloom; February 23rd, 2012 at 06:38 PM. Reason: forgot to add
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Old February 28th, 2012, 06:52 PM   #13
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Re: Wedding with TV Crew

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Vincent View Post
Hi,

Long time reader, first post...

I'm filming a wedding in a few weeks and have just been informed by the Bride that the wedding is being featured on a high profile TV show.

Anyone ever done a wedding alongside a TV crew? Did you have any issues?

So far I have been told that they are "fine" with us being there and they are bringing a crew of ten (yes, ten) people.

Any advice greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Hi Craig,

Interesting reading from the other guys - Full on Don!

Although I do not know about this particular production, you can bet your last dollar on red that they will be concerned about what they want and not what you've been contracted to deliver.

A few weeks ago I had a call from a guy telling me he was looking for couples for a TV series for BBC3 here in the UK. Okay I said, "first let me tell you all my clients are on exclusive contracts..." Our conversation was short. My contract says that I am the exclusive video producer for their event - as such, I have exclusive rights to produce.

Simply, it stemmed from me doing Asian Weddings which often meant the other half of the family hiring their own video crew. Often they come with camera head lights (in the middle of the day) and just get in the way doing "Yuuuth TV. (Youth).

Imagine I came to you after you've been hired to do a project and said I am also going to come and shoot my own production cos I've been hired by KABC or any of the other alphabet soup west of the Mississippi. Oh, by the way, have you met the other six members of the crew!

My contract wording is there to say, "keep out of my way"; "Or if you want to take over, you can buy me out."

Personally, without such a clause, I would be well annoyed. But of course the Bride will go for it - her chance of more than YouTube.

It's not too bad here in the UK (at the moment) but I'm sure we'll catch up.

:)
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Old February 28th, 2012, 11:36 PM   #14
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Re: Wedding with TV Crew

Hey Craig,

I worked on 4 weddings last summer in Chicago and can pretty much echo what Don said, we focus mostly on the guest brides who are going to be judging the wedding and stay pretty low key. A cam is on the guest brides all day, B cam covers the event (all handheld) and there is a C cam/Utility that will most likely shoot the Ceremony and bits of the reception, then disappear to build a backdrop.

Yes, they do have ten people in the crew yet most are hidden outside other than the Ops. Producers and AP's are hooked up with camwave transmitters and generally hide in a corner somewhere. The Producers and AP's are from NY, the rest will be locals. All of the producers are cool - Say hi for me!

If you have any other questions feel free to PM me.

-J
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Old March 19th, 2012, 08:00 PM   #15
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Re: Wedding with TV Crew

Quick update.

We did the wedding. It was "ok".

Basically it really added to the amount of work we had to do. The crew used 2 full time camera guys, and they were both great, they were very respectful of our shooting and worked well with us. The last camera guy was a freelancer and to be honest, I felt he must have been told to ignore us and get the best shot he can. He was CONSTANTLY standing in front of our cameras. I lost count of the times I politely asked him to move.

We like to shoot from a discreet distance, especially during the Ceremony, this guy was practically standing between the officiant and the couple. The reception wasn't much better.

The Producer (also freelance) had no interest in talking to us except to wave a release form under our noses.

They filmed EVERYTHING, they have must have got 8 hours of footage each, I feel sorry for the Editor of the show.

Generally it felt like a media circus. Each camera had an asst, producer following them around with a monitor.

I'm glad it's over, not looking forward to editing this one, thankfully I forewarned the Bride that there "may be shots with the camera crew in them".

Honestly, I think I would turn the job down, before ever doing it again.
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