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


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Old September 24th, 2005, 10:57 PM   #1
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Filming a wedding in harsh lighting

Hi
I have been persuaded into filming a friends wedding which i am beginning to feel nervous about. As a first wedding im filming I guess Im lucky as the bride said she doesnt want any special effects or anyhting too fancy she just wants raw footage that documenst her day. It will be edited ofcourse.

it a small wedding really (about 50 guest i think) and I will be doing it on my own. i will have limited relief help during the day though, through friends that are guests that will help lighten the load or film something when i cannot be at two places at once.

The church is pretty new with windows all round. living where I do the sun is pretty harsh so I run the risk of overexposing the footage if i dont plan right.

May main concern is though, as with many, the audio. A wireless mic or lavier is notreally an option right now. I was going to use a senhesier either on a stand close to the altar or attached to my camera (pd-150) I also thought of getting misc near the church speaker to record the sounds from that too (the music and priest always has a mic)

The recpetion presenst a whole new challenge! It starts about an hour of so before dusk. There are windows the length of the room behind the bridal table. As the night falls, they are no drapes to cover the window, so i assume they will be reflective. Are there any considerations to take into account over that?

Id appreciate any comments about what precautions I should take over the above filming conditions.
thank-you
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Old September 24th, 2005, 11:39 PM   #2
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my advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nessa Rose
Hi

it a small wedding really (about 50 guest i think) and I will be doing it on my...

The church is pretty new with windows all round. living where I do the sun is pretty harsh so I run the risk of overexposing the footage if i dont plan right.

May main concern is though, as with many, the audio. A wireless mic or lavier is notreally an option right now. I was going to use a senhesier either on a stand close to the altar or attached to my camera (pd-150) I also thought of getting misc near the church speaker to record the sounds from that too (the music and priest always has a mic)

The recpetion presenst a whole new challenge! It starts about an hour of so before dusk. There are windows the length of the room behind the bridal table. As the night falls, they are no drapes to cover the window, so i assume they will be reflective. Are there any considerations to take into account over that?

Id appreciate any comments about what precautions I should take over the above filming conditions.
thank-you
Well I am no seasoned wedding videographer, however I've kept my mouth
shut long enough to learn a few things. Well as far as sun goes just adjust the camera accordingly. You best bet is to underexpose as some do and then adjust in post (meaning in your software).

Audio is Key since people don't just watch a movie they listen watch,
the 2 senses are intertwined. Shotgun mic can be used on camera, but you would find XLR more helpful when getting audio from the sound system.

Wireless will shine during vows or interviews. As far as the wedding being small it will give you more room to move around and get some nice angles, just don't be afraid, make sure you chart everything out from your placement to your next move to mics.

With the reception you'd want to keep in mind shooting something straight on can make it lose it's depth and look flat. Try the angle right or left but not both don't cross your axis. When at an angle it will also kill the glare if not try another position even at the same angle as the table they all are sitting at, where everyone will be seen from the side.

And don't worry You'll do fine!!
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Old September 25th, 2005, 09:20 AM   #3
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Go the church a week before the wedding same time as the wedding,take a friend to act as model.Check out the angles that light the model's face the best.(The sun will be on one side or the other)Record some tests, but I would normally expose for the faces and let the rest blow out.It can actually look very cool if you apply a slight glow filter in post.
Audio is paramount, but I take you dont have a big budget.What about iRiver on the groom,they are not that expensive.Use the Senn on the speaker.
The reception ,try to shoot at an angle to the windows so the reflections dont come back at you.Again expose for the faces.Use some fairly tight shots.
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Old September 25th, 2005, 05:34 PM   #4
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Hello-
I just did my first wedding by myself a few weeks ago. @ cam shoot. I was afced with almost the same dilema your in.
The church was full of windows but it was diffused somewhat so it was not a problem. Reception was 3PM here in "sunny" california. Just imagine that the B&G were sitting on their long table with that bright sun behind them. I guess the correct way would be to shoot at an angle as stated in prior replies. (which I did not do) So I am now having problems in post. Subject are a bit dark.

The main problem I faced was the lack of time. So be aware of the time you have to set-up, shoot and put things back. The wedding I did was suppose to start at 1PM. Bride was late so wedding did not finish till 2PM. 2 - 2:30 I ended up shooting extras and their departure and guest of course. Receprion starts at 3PM. By the time I was packed and ready to head on to reception, it was already almost 3PM and I still had to drive another 35mins. Got to reception late so I missed out on a lot of shots.
Good thing was that B&G are my friends and I did it for free.
So my advice.....always look at the time. Pass on some shots rather than be running like a chicken without a head. I'd be more careful now especially if it's a 2 cam operation.

Regards and be confident. YOU CAN DO IT!!!
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Old September 25th, 2005, 08:30 PM   #5
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Shooting at an angle isn't always an option nor is it the best shot so to get the most you can out of a situation you MUST know how to use your camera in manual mode.
Since you're using a 150 its actually fairly simple.
FIRST, put the camera in manual-slider switch on back left into middle.
SECOND, zoom in TIGHT on subjects face and push the AUTO IRIS button, in front of the LCD on left side, it will take the iris into manual mode AFTER it has set an exposure. You are now locking it in. You MUST zoom into the subject to get the proper exposure. You will see the F/stop in the LCD and then you can zoom out to frame the shot. Can you do it fast and while you're moving. YES, a little practice goes a long way. Same for the reception, even shooting at an angle will not always guarentee you won;t get hit with the backlite problem, so manually setting the iris is the way to go.
I have NEVER used automatic exposure on either of my 150s in over 4 years of use and well over 200 weddings. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE! As for audio you would be doing them a disservice without capturing the vows properly-no shotgun is going to do that in ANY church unless you have a professional soundman who is booming the mic directly over the "talent" so you can try an Iriver OR rent a wireless for the day-probably wouldn't run very much. Also, make sure you have at least 2 preferablly 3 BIG batteries for your camera-you can NEVER have enough battery power, a tripod or monopod is an excellent and sensible thing to have even if the tripod isn't the best. I don't know of ANYONE who can handhold a 150 STEADY for more than about 5 minutes. Last but not least would be a small on camera light for the reception if only because of the sun going down and the lighting in the room going down as well. Here in my area its the general practice to make the reception as dark as possible for dancing. A Sony 10-20 light is a good thing to have BUT if you cant do that even a little 3W would be better than nothing.
FINALLY, RELAX-take a deep breath and have fun!

Don B
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Old September 25th, 2005, 11:06 PM   #6
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I appreciate everyone's advice. I ve already checked out the church once already, but I will have another look tomorrow and whilst i find it unlikely to get permisson i am going to try and see if I can get the sound system sound in addition. I am looking into getting a wireless too.

thanks for evryone's help and i will let you know how the day goes

Nessa
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Old September 27th, 2005, 09:07 PM   #7
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I now have two options

Given everyone's suggestions great thought I treid to track down a wireless. The usual hire place is out of service and evereywhere else is just too much.I know have the option of a lavelier or a hand-held wireless microphone. Is the lavelier the best option?
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Old September 27th, 2005, 10:16 PM   #8
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Yes. Mic the groom to get the vows-you should also pic up the officiant while he is close to the groom. Of course you'll also or at least should also get the vows of the bride although her voice may well be a bit softer. Go for the LAV!

Don B
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