Second Shooter Add On - Page 3 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old August 12th, 2015, 10:36 AM   #31
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: LIncolnshire, UK
Posts: 2,051
Re: Second Shooter Add On

I can see that if you want to shoot lots of Bride's Preps and Groom's that a second shooter would be a help, but I have rarely been asked for Groom's preps as there just isn't the same buzz as with the girls. The Guys are usually either in their pants (jockeys) or dressed, so usually very boring. The guys also always arrive well in advance, so there are lots of opportunities to get them before the ceremony.

I also agree with Steve that unless you are adding lots of Guys preps, there really shouldn't be any more footage with two shooters.

It amazes me that it was only a few years back that nobody even had Bride's preps let alone Groom's, and two shooters or even cameras was unheard of.

Roger
Roger Gunkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 13th, 2015, 03:58 AM   #32
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: UK/Yorkshire
Posts: 2,066
Re: Second Shooter Add On

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
however I would put the cameras on my double tripod and clamps before going into the church, so the actual set up time in the church only involves placement which is very quick.
Roger - A little off topic here but am I correct in thinking that I saw a picture of your setup with 3 cameras on a tripod a little while back? I have just come back from a rehearsal and this would be the 3rd church on the trot where I have to position myself in a choir stall - no room to spread a tripod so a monopod it is - I like a monopod for the agility but keeping it steady for 40 minutes or so is taxing - how do you deal with that situation and your rig?

Pete
Peter Rush is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 13th, 2015, 04:12 AM   #33
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Romsey, UK
Posts: 1,105
Re: Second Shooter Add On

Hi Peter, I regularly use a monopod and it really is a useful bit of kit. The ability to quickly raise it during a Ceremony should the Best Man block your view of the couple. Quick to move about and takes up less floor space. Like you I had a Ceremony which coincidentally I'm editing right now. Where I was asked to sit not stand at the front of the choir stalls. Monopod between my legs; I had to raise it up on high if I wanted crowd shots.

Thankfully to answer your question, my monopod has these 3 little legs and can balance on its own with my GH4. Though I'm careful I've even been able to leave it standing and check another camera, though don't leave unattended like that for more than 10 seconds. For a 40 minute Ceremony, I had no trouble and the shots were as stable as a tripod.

Tripods have their uses, but nothing beats a monopod for flexibility.
Steve Burkett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 13th, 2015, 04:16 AM   #34
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: LIncolnshire, UK
Posts: 2,051
Re: Second Shooter Add On

Hi Pete,
The picture of my multi camera rig was to show how much equipment you can get on it. I often use it in that configuration with a performance shoot, but normally the clamp camera would be clamped on a pew, screen or somewhere for a different view.

I sympathise with the choir stall scenario, I get a lot of those. My tripods are very light, and I can quickly kick the legs together to use it like a monopod. In the choir stall, I place it like a monopod, then kick the legs as wide as I can for some lateral support. The velbon tripods that I use, have a central column that extends to about 18", which means that the legs can be spread from lower down than with head mounted legs, so you can get them under the stall benches easier.

Roger
Roger Gunkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 13th, 2015, 04:25 AM   #35
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: LIncolnshire, UK
Posts: 2,051
Re: Second Shooter Add On

Steve posted while I was, so just to mention that like Steve with his footed monopod, I often kick in the tripod legs in and lift it up over my head if the view gets blocked.

I considered a monopod like Steve's, but because I use a 12" wide tripod plate and often detach cameras while working, I thought it would tend to unbalance it. I also like the flexibility of being able to level a tripod on uneven ground. A footed monopod would be very convenient for fast use with a single camera though.

Roger
Roger Gunkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 13th, 2015, 05:09 AM   #36
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: UK/Yorkshire
Posts: 2,066
Re: Second Shooter Add On

I have the Manfrotto with little feet which is ok for long shoots such as in a church, but I also have the Manfrotto Neotec which is awesome for adjusting height quickly but the rubber foot is rubbish and keeps falling off - I am now on my 3rd at 25 a go!

Now if I could put the little feet section from my 561BHDV onto the bottom of my Neotec that would be a dream - sadly it looks like it can't be done (by me anyway)

Pete
Peter Rush is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 13th, 2015, 05:11 AM   #37
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,064
Re: Second Shooter Add On

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
I started using 2nd shooters about two years ago and to be perfectly honest I think it was just a status thing .. they gave me issues (despite having a Uni degree) and I realised that I was paying someone simply because I wanted to show off and be the "boss"
I have been shooting solo for 10 years so I know the advantages and disadvantages, I have tried working with a second shooter 3 times but they each time did not deliver, all 3 had a videobusiness but hardly any experience shooting weddings. Last saturday however the client wanted a second shooter because so much was going on throughout the day and I eventually asked Craig if he could join and it resulted in the video I posted about here:http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/wedding-...ing-ghent.html

Could I have done this wedding by myself and make it look like it is now? No, while I was covering brideprep Craig took some shots from the hotel and surroundings and he followed the groom around while they still where doing some last minute preparations. When they first met I also had 2 manned camera's and I could focus on the grooms reaction while Craig followed the bride. Then they went of to a family photoshoot and Craig followed them again while I ordered a taxi to bring me to the church. It was a luxury to have so much time available to set up 4 camera, secure audio on the lectern, the priest, the musicians and I could set up my steadicam which I otherwise never use in such an occasion because there is no time. Then I would wait for people to show up. During the ceremony we used two gh4's on a tripod which where both manned, one ax100 from teh back and a rx10 for guest headshots.

After the ceremony they all went on a boat, Craig again followed while I went to the venue to set up for the interviews and to shoot the arriving guests, shoot venue details and when Craig arrived he did a one hour interview while I continued to cover the reception and prepare my audio for the speeches later on. Once the couple had entered the venue and the speeches started I had 3 camera's running, one on the speaker, one on the couple, both manned and I took some c-roll of guest reactions. During the dancing part Craig when outside to shoot some stunning scenery shots from the city while I was shooting the dancing and when he came back we both shot a lot of dancing and got some really great shot from either steadicam or monopod.

Did I get that that feeling that hiring Craig was to show off and be the "boss"? Absolutely not, his contribution was equally valuable to what I was doing at that moment, without his help I never could have delivered the same film as I was able to do now. I think you only can get that feeling when the second shooter doesn't know what they are doing and when you mainly use them to carry your gear around, also much depends on your shooting style, adding a second shooter in my case for this particular wedding has made a hugh difference, my stress levels where l lot lower and the production value was of a higher level.

There are many weddings I do though that would not benefit that much from a second shooter if there is not much going on throughout the day and if the venue is located in an not so nice looking area. But it would still look better then my current solo work because you have got 2 operators. This ofcourse will only apply if your second shooter is experienced enough to make it work, otherwise it's just a recipe for disaster. That was the main reason why I put so much emphasis on the fact that hiring just any freelancer is not going to cut it.
Noa Put is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 13th, 2015, 09:08 AM   #38
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Re: Second Shooter Add On

After watching your film Noa, I could see why you needed Craig and yes, you did hire someone who was experienced and also enthusiastic. I would endorse a 2nd shooter for a wedding like that simply due to the fact he did his fair share and contributed greatly to the overall production!

So called "experienced" shooters that I have hired and paid a decent rate and have been told to go and go the guys prep have come back to me with sometimes less than two minutes of footage with the excuse "they didn't want to be filmed" ... I'm quite sure Craig wouldn't do that and the footage I have seen proved it! I have had qualified film "professionals" who have given me about 19 minutes of footage all filmed directly against a huge glass window with the sun coming in ..this was someone who had done a 5 year film course at a University and graduated with Honours ....HUH??? and they do not even know the basic rules of shooting. You can see why am so pessimistic!! The only shooter I ever had (sadly she moved away) had absolutely no filming experience and no qualifications but was enthusiastic and willing to learn and really she was the only one who I can honestly say gave me footage I could use!!!

If Craig is reading this ..you did a brilliant job too!! I'm sure Noa was happy with what he got!!
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 13th, 2015, 09:41 PM   #39
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 1,148
Re: Second Shooter Add On

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Now, seriously, do you REALLY need a 2nd shooter ?? If so I would like to know why and what they do that you cannot do yourself?? Even for prep (what I used them for) there is nothing wrong with doing the guys early and then doing the girls so I can not think of any wedding where having a 2nd shooter was a make or break situation!!Please tell me ???
Hey Chris, even for prep, it depends on logistics. What if bride and groom are getting ready far apart from each other? Or what if bride has traditions at her house just before she leaves for church? Macedonian brides have this thing where they give gifts to all the guests, and they also have a little ritual at the front door just as they exit.

But, in general, I think the answer to your question is that it depends on shooting style. For me and companies I've worked for, it's sort of a case of we box ourselves in with methods of shooting, and so create our own problems. You then need a second shooter to ameliorate the problems.

I hate how most of the threads in this forum turn into DSLR vs traditional camcorder, but unfortunately I do think the second shooter question often starts with DSLRs. DSLRs are unreliable -- they have short batteries, short recording times, and focus is tricky. Using multiple DSLRs gives you backup for the unreliability, and also in theory a higher production value, because of the multiple angles, but it also gives you a host of other headaches -- for every extra body, you now how to do more fiddling every time you want white balance to match, you've got to worry about another body's cards and batteries, you've got an extra tripod to carry, and you've got to worry about what lens is best placed on which body. Using prime lenses compounds the problems -- now you have to be more careful as to which lens is on which body, you may have to do lens swaps at inconvenient times, and you have a backpack or two extra to carry.

Having a second shooter isn't necessary, as such, to deal with the above, but it's a hell of a help.

Some other things that add to headaches and make a second shooter really helpful:

-- amount of gear -- it can easily get to the point that one person can't carry it
-- scheduling that doesn't allow you to set up at reception and do photoshoot after ceremony
-- no parking for photoshoot, because they're doing it in middle of CBD (so one person then drops off the other and drives round the block till photoshoot is over)
-- sliders, jibs, etc. All of that stuff can be very fiddly and time-consuming.
-- deeming multiple angles to be necessary shots. For instance, two over-the-shoulder shots during vows. Or cutaways of audience as well as speaker at reception. One videographer can get it with locked off cams, but can't guarantee it -- what if bride/groom move around during ceremony, what if speaker wants to wander around at reception?
-- clothing, ring, shoes, accessory shots, and inanimate and fancy "furniture" shots in general -- you want to set up a dress on a mannequin and do a slider reveal with focus pull and lens flare? i'm sure the bride will love the shot for the two seconds it's on screen. Why wouldn't she? But that could easily be 30 minutes of cleaning the room, setting the dress up, lighting the dress so it's less contrasty against background, fiddling with slider on tripod, trying different lenses, and repeating the move till you get the focus right. In the meantime, you're missing the action, you're missing the people shots, unless you have a second shooter.
-- complex sound setup; if you really do want to have backups of backups, it takes time. And what I also find is that it can be time you don't have at the last minute before things kick off. The ceremony area might not be set up till 20 minutes before start time, so you might have no idea where to position things. Priest might not want to wear a microphone till just before it starts. DJ might not let you plug in till he's properly set up, etc.
Adrian Tan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 13th, 2015, 11:45 PM   #40
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Re: Second Shooter Add On

Hi Adrian

First of all (just to make you happy) I don't think cameras have anything to do with it! I ditched my shoulder mount cams in Winter and I'm now shooting on Panasonic bride cameras ..in 4K too and believe it or not, it's faster and easier than my big cameras so I can do everything solo with no issues.

It's completely different taking Noa's scenario where you can't be in two places at once .. we are doing a wedding in October where the bride is coming in by boat and the groom by limo and both arriving at the same time so that will need a 2nd shooter obviously! For actual shooting I can manage easily on my own but remember I'm also cheating on everything except the actual filming ..my wife does the photography so she can assist on almost everything else so she plays the role of "assistant and gopher" too

As per my previous posts yes a 2nd person is useful but you also have to be fair to them ...I can't expect a good 2nd shooter to sit around for months waiting just in case I need them so if one feels that a 2nd shooter is a big advantage I think it's only fair to give them enough work in the season to be faithful to you and attend every wedding with you so at least they can also have a predictable income source.
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 14th, 2015, 06:28 AM   #41
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: LIncolnshire, UK
Posts: 2,051
Re: Second Shooter Add On

Hi Adrian,

Reading your post underlines to me how far apart in what they offer so many wedding videographers are. Not only that, but it is impossible to offer advice on second shooters when there are so many variations in methodology, equipment and end product.

Your list of requirements and shots, is probably what you normally do, but to my way of working it sounds like a blockbuster movie production. Sliders, jibs, double manned over the shoulder cameras, missing photo shoot while you are setting up loads of equipment at the reception, mannequin for the dress and lighting it after 30 mins clearing the room for slider reveal, lens flare etc. WTF! I live in a completely different world where the dress looks it's best doing what it's supposed to- looking beautiful on the bride, not hanging on a tree in an ornamental garden, or bathed in golden light to be revealed to the world.

Some companies obviously spend hours setting up equipment, preparing shots, using multiple crew members etc and some probably put all of that fabulous work on an 8 minutes glossy video. My end of the spectrum means setting up nothing for the camera, but using experience and camera technique to capture different angles and details that are unfolding in front of me thoughout the day. If the dress is chucked on the bed, that is how I will film it because that is how it was on the day. I'll make a feature of it of course, but I won't influence the wedding at all if I can avoid it. Brides may well love your 30 seconds of artistic dress shot, but they also love my capturing of the way it actually was, without stressing over what I might be doing with her valuable dress.

As for missing the photo shoot while setting up equipment, I would be more likely to be doing the photo shoot as part of a joint package, getting video and stills. I don't need to spend ages setting up mics and cameras for the speeches as I will be doing that quickly as they have their meal.

I would find the time needed to set up lots of equipment and stage manage different scenarios as much more stressful than the fast and light way I work. I would also worry about missing things that were actually important while faffing about over artistic setups.

So there are so many variations in ways that we film weddings, but no one way is right or wrong, so advice for one would be pointless and irrelevant for another in so many cases unless you know exactly how they intend to work and what they intend to end up with.

Roger

Last edited by Roger Gunkel; August 14th, 2015 at 06:30 AM. Reason: double entry
Roger Gunkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 14th, 2015, 08:37 AM   #42
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 2,965
Re: Second Shooter Add On

I too shoot dual, we've done it for years. Although I'm married to my second shooter. I can say that when I do hire someone else, it's a crap shoot, sometimes they know what they are doing and sometimes they need more help.

In my area though, second shooters want to make more money than I do for my event, so it's kinda comical to watch the wage demands come in. I'm like, it's a second camera roll, I could almost train a monkey to do it.

If I could just get Noa P. to second shoot for me, then I'd be set.
__________________
What happens if I push the 'Red' button?
Steven Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 14th, 2015, 08:55 AM   #43
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Romsey, UK
Posts: 1,105
Re: Second Shooter Add On

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
Your list of requirements and shots, is probably what you normally do, but to my way of working it sounds like a blockbuster movie production.
As someone who uses sliders, jibs etc I have to say its use doesn't necessarily equal blockbuster productions. They're tools to grab certain shots. Bit like setting up a light stand for an indoor photo shoot - just a means to grab better looking shots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
Brides may well love your 30 seconds of artistic dress shot, but they also love my capturing of the way it actually was, without stressing over what I might be doing with her valuable dress.
For me it's the Photographer who sets up the dress and I simply grab slider shots once in position. It looks a lot better properly presented than just lying on the bed. After all this dress will likely never look so good than that moment, so if the Photographer didn't consider moving it, I would.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
I would find the time needed to set up lots of equipment and stage manage different scenarios as much more stressful than the fast and light way I work. I would also worry about missing things that were actually important while faffing about over artistic setups.
Faffing over arty shots vs faffing over group photos. Really why should one detract from capturing the moment and not the other. Not covering photos gives me time to grab arty shots. And what is important? Ceremony, Speeches, Cake Cutting, Bouquet toss, 1st Dance - do use of sliders and jibs hinder capture of these moments. Not really. I can't say for others, but using such equipment in the right sections of the day has not caused me to miss shots and in fact has resulted in considerably better looking videos.
Steve Burkett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 14th, 2015, 09:16 AM   #44
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Re: Second Shooter Add On

I'm lazy of course! You would find me dragging in sliders to a prep ..Just on handheld camera ..I let the photog set up and fluff the dress (I'm also married to her so that's her baby) She will do all the photo shots and all I will grab is the dress (just one tilt down) and the bouquets. The little bits and pieces are the photogs job but with so many photogs moving to video they are in the habit of shooting the perfume, the make up and the shoes so I guess a slider is needed otherwise they become stills ..with video I stick to the people not any static objects ..those belong to stills.

The prep is also crowded so having a 2nd shooter at prep sounds crazy to me!!!
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 14th, 2015, 09:31 AM   #45
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Romsey, UK
Posts: 1,105
Re: Second Shooter Add On

Chris, I'm not sure a 2nd shooter also at the Bridal Preps is what's been suggested. If I had a 2nd shooter they'd be with the Groom, not hogging valuable space with me.

As for still objects being just for photo, I'd say yes and no. Some of my couples this year have requested it, even expect it. I shoot plenty of people too of course, but shots of the dress, shoes etc have their place in my video. Using sliders just means I'm being creative with such shots and not just ticking a box. It really depends if your video places itself firmly in being a documentary, or if like mine, a documentary edit but with shots that are more.. well cinematic for lack of a better word. Using primes and sliders, shallow depth of field and the like.
Steve Burkett is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:58 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network