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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...

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Old October 29th, 2014, 10:20 AM   #1
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Location: UK/Yorkshire
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Using live audio

As a general rule I use live audio from multiple sources for the speeches and ceremony (plus beginning/end of the first dance) and any obvious bits of audio that need including such as recently during a prep the bride read out a card from future hubby. For the rest of the day however, other sequences are set to music as even with the best will in the world all I manage to capture is unfocussed chatter, usually because it's a case of many people crammed into a small room complete with bar, or they are drowned out by the saxophonist or string quartet! Not only that but when I have experimented with leaving the audio in, if the guests are in a room with music playing then the different edits result in lack of musical continuity that simply sounds bad - I use a Rode NTG-2 BTW - Am I missing a trick?

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Old October 29th, 2014, 10:44 AM   #2
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Re: Using live audio

I find indistinct chatter nerve racking, especially in too small crowded reception rooms, can't stand it for longer periods. That's why I never use that particular sound in my films and cover them up with music. Some time ago the couple hired a band to play live during the reception and then I try to record some of their music with my zoom h1 when they just start playing, usually guests are slowly arriving so the room isn't full. I do get some background talking as well but it's bearable, if they play a known song I start with the bands music in my film and transition to the original music they are covering so the chatter also disappears.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 06:23 PM   #3
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Re: Using live audio

For my long edit, where I like to use original audio, I'll use the audio from one long clip, then layer the video footage from that sequence over it. So, showing people at the reception hall, part of establishing shots? Show the first clip for two/three seconds, but keep the audio going underneath the next 2-4 clips. Helps avoid those hard audio cuts.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 07:02 PM   #4
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Location: Decatur, AL
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Re: Using live audio

For everything other than the ceremony, I use minimal audio from the day. Of course, it's good dialogue I'll use it, but in my neck of the woods that is a rarity.

Typically what I'll do for Pre-Ceremony stuff is a 3-5 minute montage of the best moments of the morning.

The Ceremony - it is what it is.

The Reception - I always start out with a 3-5 minute montage set to canned music that shows the couple meeting their friends before the reception, some of the photos (if all weren't done before the ceremony) all the décor and cakes etc of the reception then jump into wedding party entrance, first dances, cake cutting. Sometimes I'll put a 1 or 2 minute segment in here of the couple meeting more friends during dinner, dancing etc. Then I'll jump right to the bouquet and garter toss and then the exit. Typically I'll layer some "Live" band or dj audio if applicable and am able to during these segments. If the wedding party is really fun and outgoing, we always gather them up and haul them off to a private location and have them do a big interview session, one at a time, where they give best wishes to the couple. This is probably the most popular and most commented on thing, because it can get pretty wild and fun.

I always set up my camera on a tripod and let it run and try to get 2 or 3 songs if there's a live band, and if there's A LOT of dancing to some of the more popular dance tunes, I'll add that in as "bonus" footage section at the end, where it's just the wide shot with everyone dancing. Everyone seems to love it, and they think they're getting something extra. Which I guess they kind of are.
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