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Old October 1st, 2014, 09:47 AM   #1
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Finally doing 'Ceremony Only', what to film?

Hi, guys,

I've finally started agreeing to some not-all-day wedding jobs. I've already done a few 'Uncle Bob' style simple wedding videos as an add-on to my DJ service. This Saturday will be my first time filming 'just the ceremony' and then going home (no DJ). Afterwards I'll give them two videos, the full ceremony, and a one song highlight.

I'd love any ideas or suggestions on non-ceremony things to focus on.
My current plan is:

*establishing details: location, rings, decorations, flowers, guest book, and she hasn't let me know, but if there are any heirloom details (like lockets/jewelry).
*5 minutes with each the bride and groom, alone, talking to the camera (how they met, favorite thing about each other, message for each other).

Then it will be the usual *guests arriving, programs being handed out, and trying to get smiling/laughing faces of VIPs and arriving guests, until the ceremony starts.
After, I'll get a bit of the receiving line. Then I'll go home with 2 hours on site at most. There is no B&G departure or send-off to film.

Any other suggestions of what to film? Or things to get them talking about on camera?
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Old October 1st, 2014, 10:18 AM   #2
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Re: Finally doing 'Ceremony Only', what to film?

Wow. You're doing a lot more than I do.

For my Ceremony Only - I start recording when the processional starts and end when the minister invites everyone to the reception. That's it. No before. No after. I only give the complete ceremony video, no highlights. Of course, our weddings are typically less than 30 minutes...

If I'm going to be filming all that extra stuff... it would seem to send it into another category. I may have to thinik about that.
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Last edited by Kyle Root; October 1st, 2014 at 10:20 AM. Reason: more
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Old October 1st, 2014, 10:45 AM   #3
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Re: Finally doing 'Ceremony Only', what to film?

I think of the single camera from the back as the 'Uncle Bob' and I only offer that to my DJ clients.

What I'm doing Saturday is a modestly priced compromise. I'll do 3 camera, solo shooter, with pocket recorders for good sound. A similar wedding before took about 4-5 hours of work (on site and editing), then $50-$100 in expenses (USB, case, one song license).

For this, I figure I'll be early anyway, just in case, might as well use that time to do some establishing shots that will give me 30-60 seconds of pre-ceremony.
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Old October 1st, 2014, 11:08 AM   #4
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Re: Finally doing 'Ceremony Only', what to film?

I should have clarified - I was mostly referring to all the establishing shots and detail shots of decorations and people etc etc before the Ceremony starts. I've never done that for just a Ceremony only video.

I usually arrive an hour before it starts and set up 3-5 cameras depending on the size. I also do audio recorder setup on musicians and additional mics and mic stands if required. Then I set up wireless mics. Next it's on to white balance settings on the cameras and DSC Lab chart shots for matching in post and color correction.

I shoot these solo also, so the 1-hour time frame before hand is just enough time to get everything from my car to the site, set up, and checked. There is no time in there for me to be shooting before the thing actually starts. lol

I think everything you've mentioned sounds great. If I were doing a highlight reel, that's exactly what I"d be shooting too. I can't think of anything else off hand..
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Last edited by Kyle Root; October 1st, 2014 at 11:11 AM. Reason: more
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Old October 1st, 2014, 07:28 PM   #5
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Re: Finally doing 'Ceremony Only', what to film?

Hi Rob

The only extra thing I do is a 15 minute max stedicam shoot at the venue with the couple set to their favourite romantic song so that takes the place of a highlight I guess.

Yeah just guests arriving, the ceremony itself, the signing stuff and guests congratulating the couple. I cost and allow for 3 hours total on site. It's actually quite nice to zip out in the mid afternoon shoot the ceremony and be home in time for dinner ..an easy shoot. Same as you I use my two main cameras and then one high up in case the photog gets in my way!!

With costing what are you thinking of charging for ceremony only?? You have to remember that whether you are on site for 2 hours or 8 hours you still have to factor in travel time, set up time, booking the bride so your cost cannot be 25% of what you would charge for an 8 hour gig ..it has to be significantly more than that to cover your off site time and effort

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Old October 1st, 2014, 08:18 PM   #6
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Re: Finally doing 'Ceremony Only', what to film?

This time will be $500, which I suspect will be a little low, but it's a first time for this, and combined with the short notice, I was OK with that price. For now, it's a decent price... if you don't count gear :(

Time:
Travel: one hour total
On site: two hours max
Edit: 3 hours max

Costs:
USB drive ($8)
Custom Case ($25)
Song License ($20)

The only package we've done has been two shooters, for 8 hours at $1600+. This will be *much* simpler. In fact, I might try to turn it around in 48 hours.
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Old October 1st, 2014, 09:03 PM   #7
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Re: Finally doing 'Ceremony Only', what to film?

I used to charge $600 and it was:
one hour travel
2 hours on site
20-30 minutes editing
Turnaround time : DVD's are ready the following day

Costs:
Gasoline $7 average
2 DVD discs with plastic covers $2
Printed sleeves with their photo and date $ 1
Song license 0 ( use only 1 intro song that my cousin organist recorded for me at church in 1997 )

I just make sure I get the invitation card before I start, this way when I begin I fade into it close-up and slowly zoom in and out of it followed by a dissolve of the church or venue. I do a few exterior and interior establishing shots followed by guests arriving, place the wireless on the groom and then wait for the limo to arrive. I use a shoulder support and capture the entire ceremony non-stop just zooming in and out. It helps that my camera rig only weighs 6 lbs. I don't use tripods/monopods as I can quickly dodge out of the way or position myself for the best angle. I make sure I get a few shots of the parents and family as they are seated looking at the couple. This I do when there is singer or when when the officiant is doing his/her speech. I never pause the camera but very slowly pan to different areas.
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Old October 1st, 2014, 09:15 PM   #8
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Re: Finally doing 'Ceremony Only', what to film?

$750 for up to 1-hour Ceremony coverage.

I only do these in my city, so travel time is only 10-15 minutes each way.

If it's a 1 or 2 PM wedding, Usually edited same day and delivered online that night.
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Old October 1st, 2014, 10:10 PM   #9
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Re: Finally doing 'Ceremony Only', what to film?

When I did a ceremony only I would arrive 1 hour prior to the ceremony start time. This was a usual thing for me regardless of whether it was a "full" wedding or ceremony only UNLESS I was also doing prep. then my arrival was usually about 30 to 45 minutes prior.
For ceremony on I would set up my 2nd and 3rd cams if I was using 3 (mostly 2) do some establishing shots of the church or wherever the venue was (almost 100% of the time it was a church)...exteriors, interiors, detail shots. Then the procession, the ceremony, the recessional, pack up almost all my gear except my A camera, spend a few minutes with the bridal party and B&G for some fun stuff with them (maybe a total of 15 minutes) bid my goodbye, finish packing up and I was gone.
I could edit, render for DVD and author burn and print the DVD in about 3 to 4 hours. I charged $750.00 and honestly it was the easiest money I ever made. I would have done 2 or 3 a weekend if I could have gotten them and not done any full weddings at all.
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Old October 7th, 2014, 12:10 PM   #10
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Re: Finally doing 'Ceremony Only', what to film?

Thank you, guys, for all the info. I pulled back a bit on what I was going to do, but I think, in the future, I will get the B&G talking to the camera IF I talk to the pastor and he seems dull, to make sure I'll have voice over.

I arrived one hour prior, did some establishing. 3 cameras on the ceremony, a wireless mic on the pastor back to one camera, one pocket recorder on the groom, and another pocket recorder on the table where the readings took place.

One mistake: the B&G stood on the opposite sides that I'm used to, so before vows I went and switched the lens on the camera covering the bride... and didn't hit record after, so the close-ups of her during vows are lost to the ether.

After ceremony, I got the hugs and smiling, said my goodbyes when the receiving line died down, and was gone. Total time on site: just under two hours. Edit time was under 4 hours, but I didn't keep good track.

They get a one song highlight and the full ceremony, delivered on USB.

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