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


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Old March 27th, 2014, 06:05 PM   #1
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Micing up the father of the bride

Just curious whether anyone does this.

I never have.

But given that he often says something during the ceremony, wouldn't it be better to get that audio?
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Old March 27th, 2014, 06:22 PM   #2
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Re: Micing up the father of the bride

I just tape a yamaha c24 onto the mikes handle, works for everyone who speeches, men or woman and audio quality is more then fine.
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Old March 27th, 2014, 06:25 PM   #3
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Re: Micing up the father of the bride

Nope, no reason to. Adrian, if you keep mic'ing people up you're gonna need a audio guy with a 12 channel mixer on his chest. Remember, you're not shooting a feature film. ;-)
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Old March 27th, 2014, 06:34 PM   #4
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Re: Micing up the father of the bride

By the way, have people seen this pocket recorder?

'Little DARling' from juicedLink is a Set-It & Forget-It Mini Audio Recorder for Lav Mics No Film School

The main interesting feature seems to be "audio bracketing" -- it records a second track at a lower volume in case of peaking.

I'm pretty tempted, if the price is right, to just turn up to weddings with a bag full. "Everyone, here, take a mic! Let's have a mic party! Mics all around!"
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Old March 27th, 2014, 07:27 PM   #5
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Re: Micing up the father of the bride

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Nope, no reason to. Adrian, if you keep mic'ing people up you're gonna need a audio guy with a 12 channel mixer on his chest. Remember, you're not shooting a feature film. ;-)
+1 Don.
The more you add on to wedding filming, be it more cameras, more sound recorders, more crew, what you are ending up with is MORE work. A lot more quite often, and as likely as not for the same price as before.

I spent years filming weddings with one camera and a remote mic plugged in and never had any client complaints. I used to edit the next day and deliver the same week. Now it requires multi camera editing and multi audio dubbing but the profits don't seem to be any bigger.

Roger
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Old March 27th, 2014, 07:38 PM   #6
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Re: Micing up the father of the bride

if you're hoping her dad will say something, then why not her mom, his mom, and his dad? What about the Best Man and Maid of Honor?
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Old March 27th, 2014, 07:58 PM   #7
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Re: Micing up the father of the bride

Right on Roger!

Even people here will say to me, you work on your own, no assistant?? Things are getting way to complex Adrian so please don't make them more complex otherwise soon you will need Don's semi-trailer service to get to a wedding!!

Already people are crying about small profits but will have 3 cameras and an assistant for each. All my weddings are 2 cams and a GoPro and just a mic on the groom .. and yes I always get Dad if he does say anything ... I'll drop a second lav and transmitter on the lectern if it's a Church wedding.

Receptions for me are always just one camera (except speeches) so much the same as Roger! Why get over complicated especially with lots of camera people, and overuse of gear. AS a priest said to me last weekend "You are recording the ceremony, you are not part of it" and having 3 videographers all over the Church seems a bit intrusive surely. when one could do?

Chris
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Old March 27th, 2014, 09:37 PM   #8
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Re: Micing up the father of the bride

I didn't start using multiple cameras until somewhere around 2000. Until then I was using a full size cam the last being the JVC X2s and if you recall those, they were expensive and I couldn't afford more than 1. I used 1 audio system and frankly I should have stuck to 1 camera and 1 audio system. the more you use the more work, the more work the more hours, the more hours the less money because at least around here, the price of the work (I'm speaking weddings) didn't go up in proportion to the gear used. BTW, I've got a semi I'm looking to sell. (that's a joke BTW)
Honestly, I found that for my doc style weddings 2 cameras and 2 audio systems worked just fine. I always had a safety shot to go to if needed, I had audio at the ceremony that worked out just fine and the gear wasn't that ungainly to pack and carry. Especially when I used 2 small form factor cams. (Sony PD series)

You need to think about this. Would adding whatever I'm thinking about adding really make that much of a difference and make my work stand out that much more from the other guys work that I can justify charging more for my effort? This is in conjunction with the other threads about pricing and making more money. BTW, let me express my opinion here about making money in the wedding business. Will you get rich? Depends on your idea of rich, but keep one thing in mind. Regardless of whether you are doing video, photo, DJ, photobooth, working as a planner or whatever, your income is based solely on what YOU can do. IOW, you want to earn more money, then you need to do more work. Unless you feel you want to hire others and book multiple jobs every weekend, hire extra editors, and put up with the headaches of running that model of business. I know a lot of people that have that and they are all envious of the good old days when they did a limited number of weddings but didn't have the headaches that go with a big box type business that does 300+ weddings a year.
As a boutique type business you are going to earn X amount and that's about it. Now I'm not saying that you can't earn a really good living, I have. I earned enough over my years to have (in no particular order) a decent place to live, decent cars, nice vacations, raise 3 kids that turned out just fine, decent equipment and a fair retirement package of which I am taking some advantage of. Rich? Nope. I personally know people that could pretty much fix the deficit of the state I live in, and have plenty left over but I can't complain. I've earned a good living and had some fun doing it. What more can you ask for.
Go light, try using the least amount of gear to produce a great product, I know it can be done. You'll have less stress and make more money and oh yeah, more time to spend doing the things that are not video related that mean something to you.
End of sermon. Go forth, make video!
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Old March 28th, 2014, 05:51 AM   #9
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Re: Micing up the father of the bride

Another great post from Don, which got me thinking about the whole way wedding video seems to be heading.

The industry seems to gradually being taken over by frustrated film makers, who want perfect sound, filmic and cinematic style and music for emotion. This involves multi cameras, sometimes multi operators, multiple sound recorders, loads of ancillary equipment and hours of editing. The thing is, are the couple getting what they actually want or are they buying what is available?

Adrian's question about micing up the Bride's Father prompts the question WHY? I filmed a wedding recently in Ely Cathedral in January, one of the biggest and oldest in the UK. The cathedral had about a 3 second reverb time and every sound wafted and drifted around the vaulted arches and huge chamber. The officiant had a radio mic and there was one on the lectern for a reader. the PA speakers were suspended high up and I have no idea where the sound system itself was.

The whole point of how I work, is to enable the couple to see their wedding day the way that it actually was and the way that others saw it. I could have tried to attach a recorder to the cathedral sound system, and put a recorder on the officiant and each of the main wedding party. The point I am making here though is that the sound of the voices, choir and organ in the cathedral was magnificent, that it the way it was and that was what what I wanted to capture. I put a recorder on the groom to be able to hear their vows, but why try to change the natural sound swirling around 1000 years of history.

What about multi cameras? I work very quickly with one manned camera one locked off and sometimes a GoPro. I know exactly what each one is filming and only use the two fixed ones for ceremony and sometimes speeches. Even so, it still requires more editing time. Multi operators would seem to be a pain in the a** for a wedding as you could never be sure what the other operators were taking and whether it was the shot you would have liked. Also in my experience, working with other operators can lead to a false sense of security when you feel that there is always another camera with a backup shot should you need it. The trouble is, it seems that quite frequently, the other operator/s were also changing their shot at exactly the same time as you and you all missed the same bit. When you are on your own, that just doesn't happen.

Of course, when it comes to editing, you have then got to trawl through every camera shot to work out when in the sequence of events each operator took their various shots, which can become a logistical nightmare. Frequently it seems to me that the more cameras and sound recorders that are used, the less important the output from each one seems to be, with the thought that one of the cameras and recorders would have got the shot somewhere. To me, that is FILMING BY NUMBERS. Little subtlety or skill necessary, more picking the appropriately numbered camera to go in the numbered timeline box.

Of course all this has absolutely no relation to real film making where every movement is storyboarded and rehearsed and each camera and sound operator carefully directed. That's before we even look at the lighting rigs, specialist mics and audio gear, set preparation and continuity.

There is space for every type of wedding video offering, but I think that sometimes, the video producer can get lost in the search for what they see as technical excellence at the expense of capturing what really happened and replacing it with a sanitised, shortened and artificially enhanced piece of cinema.

Roger
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Old March 28th, 2014, 06:12 AM   #10
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Re: Micing up the father of the bride

Hi Roger

Well said and I also feel that a lot of self-titled cinematographers/film-makers are setting unreasonable goals for wedding video simply because that's what they think will impress the bride and more often than not is hardly what the bride even wants ... Sure, it might satisfy their own standards but are we not running a business and in that business surely we should supply what the bride wants not what we give her cos we like it!

Like you I was also a muso (keyboards and later bass) and when we did a gig we often used to put particular songs in our sets because we liked them and played them well ...never mind what the people on the dance floor wanted ..we liked the songs and of course, quite often, the floor quickly emptied and we were mystified ..these were our "best" songs so what was wrong with people??

I shoot straight forward doc style purely because the bride wants coverage of her day and in my opinion that gives her the best result. OK, it's not very creative for me and I'd probably love to rush around most of the wedding with my vest and stedicam doing mind boggling moves BUT that wouldn't be an accurate portrayal of the day would it??

We admittedly look at shallow focus shots as very creative but a bride might be puzzled as to why her new hubby's face is blurry?? She knows nothing about resolution, contrast, slick camera moves and no offence but I doubt whether she can even spell cinematographer .. whty? because she doesn't have to! She wants to look pretty, the guys must look handsome, the pink bridesmaid's dresses must look pink and she expects a sharp picture and clear audio.

We really need to embrace this simplicity because it makes editing so much easier and we finish faster and make more money ... if we have creative energy by all means unleash it in small doses BUT you don't need to have 3 extra shooters to achieve it.

Maybe if we listen to what brides want instead of telling them what they are going to get, our task will be far less of a burden?

Chris
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Old March 28th, 2014, 06:55 AM   #11
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Re: Micing up the father of the bride

Roger, Chris...We are dinosaurs! ;-) But we've made our mark and I don't think any of us are looking to change much.
There is a big big market even here in the states and remember I'm in the 3rd largest market in the USA that prefer and want doc style. While it may not pay quite as well as other styles, it pays the bills and I don't have to sit there for 60 hours editing so my dollar per hour is pretty decent. The real point though is what I've been saying for years. Give the couple solid stable, well composed, properly exposed footage with really good audio, authored in a sensible manner so they can see their day and they are happy.
I'm sure you both remember in camera edits on the VHS. Hand them the finished product at the end of the day. Did you ever have people calling you back and saying you missed this or that? Probably not.
Maybe we can't keep up with the young ones ;-) but I promise we have less headaches and at our junction of life today, I know I want simple and I'll be you guys do too.
See we've got AUS, UK and USA here and well all agree. Video for world peace! ;-)
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Old March 28th, 2014, 07:59 AM   #12
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Re: Micing up the father of the bride

Amen to that too Don!

I miss the convenience of the full VHS days!! I used to put a tape in the camera and then film the wedding invitation as a start title. Then off to the wedding and shoot carefully in sequence (yep just one camera) and at the end you eject the tape (already with labels on it and hand it to the bride and hold your hand out for your money. No editing at all but my Panasonics did have some in camera dissolves and wipes (M10 Standard VHS) that I could also use. Now that was efficient shooting apart from the horrible low res BUT the bride got the original tape so she got best quality possible!!

Then came linear editing, two VHS or UMatic machines and lot's of cursing and swearing and from then I think we started to go downhill!!!

Chris
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Old March 28th, 2014, 08:22 AM   #13
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Re: Micing up the father of the bride

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Then came linear editing, two VHS or UMatic machines and lot's of cursing and swearing and from then I think we started to go downhill!!!

Chris
Now suppose you 'could' go back to one camera, one tape hand it over at the end of the night, how much less would you now be charging? This is the thing I see with some local people charging pennies (actually 95 all day), they say you get the tape at the end of the night - done. That's the ultimate 'same-day-(non)-edit" and unfortunately you don't have a copy of what you did in case they complain about not being able to hear the vows or speeches etc, just like it used to be!
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Old March 28th, 2014, 08:30 AM   #14
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Re: Micing up the father of the bride

Hey Dave

and I could also pour boiling water on my hand!! but it's not going to happen... linear editing was a pain but with cards and NLE's things are great now of course. It was just fighting two really bad attitude recorders that used to frustrate me.

Do people seriously give the bride recorded media on the night ?? MiniDV or VHS is obviously out as they couldn't play it ..I guess a DVD camcorder might work IF they are still available ... I haven't seen them here for ages.

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Old March 28th, 2014, 08:41 AM   #15
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Re: Micing up the father of the bride

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The whole point of how I work, is to enable the couple to see their wedding day the way that it actually was and the way that others saw it.
Ahh, but that's not entirely true, is it? You put a recorder on the groom so that you could hear the vows, for instance. We've all been in a spot where guests couldn't hear the vows at all, or some baby or coughing uncle was making noise and we'd never actually tolerate that in the video.

So what we're really talking about is degrees of non-reality.

For instance, I'm not a fan of going completely crazy into the cinematics, though I do like having 2nd and 3rd cameras for closeups of the B&G during vows and 1st dance.

Incidentally, I understand keeping it simple, but sorting those multi-cam files into order of events is easy. You just have to make sure the date/time stamp on your cameras is correct. Then, once on your computer (I label them camera A, B, and C), you sort by the time stamp.
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