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


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Old April 25th, 2013, 10:08 PM   #16
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Re: 10 videographers at a wedding!

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And this whole notion that the camera is unmanned is bull. it's still cost, equipment, time, work, before, during and after. And it's also multiple locations.
I shoot concerts with multiple cameras simply because I cannot do as good a job as I wish without them. And if I were to shoot a wedding, I'd want to use a lot of cameras there as well because I don't believe I could get the coverage I want to get without them. Setting them up is not a huge amount of work in the whole scheme of things, and my software allows me to handle quite a few cameras easily.
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Old April 25th, 2013, 10:28 PM   #17
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Re: 10 videographers at a wedding!

Chris,
First let me say that comment was not directed at you are anybody specifically. My comment was more broad in nature.

But I think most of us know what things cost and how much time is involved. But the point is we're running a business. I'm an Edius user as well. But there's a limit to editing multiple cameras that is more of a business decision as opposed to how many cameras Edius will handle.

What we are starting to do is give away the store just because we can or because we feel we can't tell the story otherwise. The bigger question is where does this fit into the financial side of our business?
It sound like a client calls for a job and my plan is to just throw everything I got at it because I could?

I could see if the business model was as it is in a normal production environment. You want 1 camera you pay this. You want 2 cameras you pay for the second. On and on. Say for instance when I contract a audio guy on one of my shoots and I tell him I need a mixer, 2 lavs and a stick, fine, he gives me a price. If I call him the night before the shoot and say the client wants to add 2 more lavs and they want a digital recording, I get billed for that. And I have to pass it through to the client. He's billing me for time and equipment as he should. He's not just saying cool, I'll just throw that stuff in the bag because I got it. He's running a business.

But it seems as there is a new breed of videographer who has just thrown pricing for service and equipment to the wind?

Is it me? Does anybody else see that happening?

And again that's why i think the average videographer doing these types of shoots would be embarrassed to tell what they really make for this.
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Old April 25th, 2013, 10:36 PM   #18
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Re: 10 videographers at a wedding!

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I'm astounded that more wedding videographers aren't using remote control cameras. I can see so many potential shots in the ceremony that are basically fixed positions to get specific events, requiring only minor adjustments.
Many years ago, I tried shooting 4 cameras via remote control with the Grizzly remote system. Big time fail. During the processional of the ceremony, I could shoot wide/medium wide shots as the bridesmaids came down the aisle. No closeups were possible of the bride/father as movement was too fast for the remote control. In essence, I was stuck with a bunch of wide shots that had no impact. During the ceremony, as the mass proceeded with homily, songs, candle lighting, vows, etc, I could only move one camera at a time, which ultimately was too slow for what I needed. In the end, I worked with 4 wide shots from different angles which looked like crap! I know you're thinking it's not so difficult to set up a shot ahead of time ( I thought that too) but actually doing it remotely was a whole different story! I would never attempt it again. Ever. Live and learn.
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Old April 25th, 2013, 11:45 PM   #19
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Re: 10 videographers at a wedding!

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Many years ago, I tried shooting 4 cameras via remote control with the Grizzly remote system. Big time fail. During the processional of the ceremony, I could shoot wide/medium wide shots as the bridesmaids came down the aisle. No closeups were possible of the bride/father as movement was too fast for the remote control. In essence, I was stuck with a bunch of wide shots that had no impact. During the ceremony, as the mass proceeded with homily, songs, candle lighting, vows, etc, I could only move one camera at a time, which ultimately was too slow for what I needed. In the end, I worked with 4 wide shots from different angles which looked like crap! I know you're thinking it's not so difficult to set up a shot ahead of time ( I thought that too) but actually doing it remotely was a whole different story! I would never attempt it again. Ever. Live and learn.
I'm shooting concerts using two pan-tilt heads from cross angles, one wide, two manually operated and two fixed and close up on drums and keyboards.I'm not trying to cover a lot of movement with the pan-tilt heads. I'm moving them while covering something else with the manually operated cameras.

It's worked out well for me, but I'm looking at a much faster pan-tilt head. The Grizzly looks like it's based on those Bescor heads that look like they were designed back in the days of VHS-C camcorders.
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Old April 26th, 2013, 06:20 AM   #20
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Re: 10 videographers at a wedding!

I run 2 to 3 cameras at a typical wedding ceremony. If I can I get someone to run one of them for me and have one lock down, if not 2 lockdowns. I shoot as if the camera in my hands is the only one running. So far, it's worked for me.
More cameras of any kind (unmanned) means more setup/strike time, more gear to carry around, more things that could go wrong, and frankly more headaches than I could possibly want at this stage of my career. HOWEVER, having said that IF you're in a situation and have the man power and it's an appropriate venue and type of event that you could use more cameras, great, go for it. As I said before, I've done some where we had 4 to 5 cameras all manned BUT we each had a specific responsibility and weren't going helter-skelter. I agree with Al to a point, don't just throw gear out there to cover yourself (I'm talking weddings here not seminars, trade shows or concerts ---all very different animals) and as importantly, if you're going to put 10 cameras out, CHARGE for it. If not, IMHO, you're lowering the value of all of us.
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Old April 26th, 2013, 11:43 AM   #21
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Re: 10 videographers at a wedding!

Guys,

There's that old "law of diminishing returns" to consider.

I offer a substantial discount for single camera shoots, but explain to the client the pros and cons. Personally, from a business point of view, the single camera shoots are not only less hassle, but usually more profitable as well, even with the discount. In the "olden days" we called it "shoot to edit."

It still works. And as I get older, I appreciate not lugging so much gear around. Plus less chance of gear disappearing too.

The only time I really push multicam to a client is when I feel it's really necessary to do a good job. Like recent trade show where I was shooting product demos of boom lifts etc. Having one camera with wide angle was essential to show the extended booms properly while second camera handled the spokesperson, closeups of the equipment etc.

For the wedding clients I explain single cam is like having a professional news videographer shooting the wedding with pro gear vs. a friend with a cell phone or handy cam. And of course, the professional editing. Just only one camera. Plus save a little more money for the honeymoon.
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Last edited by Roger Van Duyn; April 26th, 2013 at 11:51 AM. Reason: clarity
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Old April 26th, 2013, 02:02 PM   #22
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Re: 10 videographers at a wedding!

******Personally, from a business point of view, the single camera shoots are not only less hassle, but usually more profitable as well***************

I agree Roger and I always kept my base price profitable in relation to time spent. When you figure the cost of equipment and the hours spent in filming, plus post, a lot of videographers have just created themselves a low paying job, nothing more.

And that's happening in a lot of industries, even more so because of the economy. The temptation is go low and at least I will have work.
It works to some degree for the individual doing it, but the industry as a whole suffers.
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Old April 28th, 2013, 12:00 AM   #23
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Re: 10 videographers at a wedding!

I don't do weddings, I do concerts, and always do it with multiple cameras. I suppose, at the end of the day, I do it for myself. To try to do what I do with a single camera - unrehearsed, with no idea who is going to play what - would be a LOT more work than setting up and breaking down a bunch of cameras. So by shooting with multiple cameras, I always have something to go to.

And it's not that much work. I shot two two-hour concerts today with six cameras. I've already transferred all the footage into my editing system and have all the cameras synced (manually - I've never gotten PluralEyes to work, and in the time it takes to prepare the audio for syncing, I'm already done). I'll render proxys tonight, and I can start cutting tomorrow.

I can understand the philosophy behind offering customers different levels of service, but I choose to offer one level and use all the equipment I feel I need to meet my own standards
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Old April 28th, 2013, 06:25 AM   #24
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Re: 10 videographers at a wedding!

I shoot weddings and concerts and as far as I am concerned they are totally different animals.

A wedding is shot from various positions in usually a number of different locations, with constantly changing and often unexpected things happening. I usually film with one lightweight rig and sometimes with an additional locked off camera. I have used a second operator but rarely find it necessary.

Live concerts I always shoot with a minimum of 4 cameras, centrally monitored and with inter communication. Sometimes all cameras manned and at others with a couple of cameras locked or on remote, depending on circumstances. Concerts are always predictable with a clearly defined performance area and pre planned camera placings. There is also always time to set up equipment properly including any sound recording. There is a starting and finishing time and not many unpredictable bits.

I do think that some wedding videographers are not comfortable following quickly unfolding and changing events with only one or two cameras. This can lead to wanting to stage manage a wedding to some extent, with multi cameras and pre planned angles and action, which to me intrudes too much on the couple's personal family day and can appear contrived, although this of course is just a personal opinion.

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Old April 30th, 2013, 10:25 AM   #25
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Re: 10 videographers at a wedding!

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Originally Posted by Chris DeVoe View Post
The Grizzly looks like it's based on those Bescor heads that look like they were designed back in the days of VHS-C camcorders.
Yes they were, and it was back then that I tried using the system and failed at a wedding.
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Old April 30th, 2013, 10:34 AM   #26
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Re: 10 videographers at a wedding!

I shoot my weddings with an additional locked off camera at the back of the room/church and a GoPro somewhere appropriate - I also have a locked off camera up near the alter for those churches that will not let me set my tripod in the alter area - If I did not have that camera then I'd see precious little of the couples' faces as quite often the priest will have them stood right at the alter step giving my only a side-on view.

I find multiple cameras like this make an uninteresting 40 minutes or so much more watchable and don't really take up much more editing time IMO

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Old April 30th, 2013, 08:57 PM   #27
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Re: 10 videographers at a wedding!

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Yes they were, and it was back then that I tried using the system and failed at a wedding.
People have recommended them to me. I looked at them, and they just struck me as 20+ year old technology. I'll be putting together my own pan-tilt system using servos.

Last edited by Chris DeVoe; April 30th, 2013 at 09:02 PM. Reason: Added link
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Old May 7th, 2013, 12:26 AM   #28
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Re: 10 videographers at a wedding!

weddings is 90% of my business, and my regular weding is 2 to 4 cameras depending on what part of the day we're at, but 10 cameras? Who's going to edit that nightmare?
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Old May 7th, 2013, 03:30 AM   #29
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Re: 10 videographers at a wedding!

No quite sure why the issue of multiple cameras is up for debate. Whilst I agree 10 cameras and operators is excessive, I film with 3 cameras for Ceremony, Speeches and 1st Dance - with recent upgrades to my cameras I have the equipment and I like the variety of camera angles when it comes to editing. There are other advantages too. A recent Wedding where the Priest made it clear both Photographers and myself were to stay at the back of the church would have been a real problem especially as during the vows, the Bride and Groom were surrounded by the Bridesmaids in tight formation due to the small size of the church. With a single camera I would have gotten very poor shots - backs of heads, except I was able to negotiate the placing of an unmanned camera that captured a perfect shot of the Bride giving her vows. I'm not going to be persuaded to give up a multicam workflow anytime soon.
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Old May 7th, 2013, 04:59 AM   #30
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Re: 10 videographers at a wedding!

There is a big difference between using three cameras & what Rod Liddle in The Guardian referred to as a Goatfuck
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Massive scrum of reporters, radio people, photographers on ladders, television cameras etc at a press conference. The goatfuck frequently takes on a life of its own as all participants heave around to get closer to the the object of their journalistic desire. This can lead to unseemly behaviour.
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