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

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Old November 7th, 2005, 12:42 PM   #1
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Another Newbie enters the Biz

Hey guys,

Well I did my first wedding this past saturday. I've always just done xtreme sports video but oppurtunities kept coming up to do weddings but i never did them because I wasn't financially able to buy all the extra equipment i would need (mics, tripods, lights, etc)

So when this offer was tossed to me i finally decided that it's probably time.
I got referred By a friend of mine who is freinds with the bride. She told her that I was real good with video and if they wanted a video guy she could ask me for them. I was nervous to say yes but i decided everyone has a first time and I know how to shoot so i believed i can do this.

I have a GL2 and I borrowed a friends VX2000 (both with wideangles). I bought 1 74 inch tripod and I borrowed another just as tall. I also had a monopod and I bought a Rode Videomic. So no wireless mics and no lights....i just kept my fingers crossed.

I went to the rehersal and found out what i would have for shooting locations and checked with the priest and the bride about where i can go. The wedding was in a tent outside and a priest was doing the ceremony. He was a very easy going guy, he said i can go whereever i needed to.

Well i've got all the footage in the computer and I really think i nailed it.
A few screw up here and there but for the most part i'm really happy with the job i did.

the good -
- I got alot of beatiful shots from the ceremony. I worked 2 cams on tripods and would pull one down to get better angles on certain things.
- The formals were shot at sunset so i got lots of great shots with great golden light.
- The DJ was great at getting people dancing and having fun so I got alot of great shots and i could put them together to make it looks like one hell of a party.
- alot of my experiments really came out nice ie:
--- I set up the GL2 on interval to tape the sunset.
--- I also did time lapses of the crown entering the tent and the reception hall
--- Some experiment shots like a tight forground focus on a candle and then afocus on the background to the ceremony.

the bad -

- audio is iffy. Didn't have many options, just worked with what i had.
- Late into the reception the lights got lower and lower so my shots got grainy, but not super bad, I worked with whatever light i could find (ex: the DJ had a black light pointing at the dance floor)
- Shaky cam....the Bestman made an 8 minute toast. 8 MINUTES! I can't hold a camera still for 8 time, have the tripod or monopod ready. Luckily i had a camera on a tripod also recording the toast.

Overall i loved shooting the ceremony, slow, controlled situation that follows a schedule.
The reception was hard work, lots of moving around, lots of tough calls on what and who to record and how much of it to record.
I'm really excited to edit this thing up now.
Jim Ioannidis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 7th, 2005, 05:54 PM   #2
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Welcome to the wonderful world of wedding videos! I had to chuckle to myself as I remember borrowing a extra tripod on my first wedding shoot. I think you will find your work even better on your next wedding asnow you can anticipate some of the things that go into a wedding video. My worst moment on my first video was after having set up the tripod and getting the shot lined up for the bride coming down the aisle....I did not realize that when shestarts her walk and the music starts that everyone stands up! Man oh man I still remember the moment of panic and saying to myself that I didn't expect that to happen. -ha

Good luck with the edit!
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Old November 8th, 2005, 11:39 AM   #3
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Location: NY, NY
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One thing I've learned is to shoot as much as possible.

And not to use zoom every shake and movement is magified 10x turn it off and move closer. Audio is key because "people don't just watch a movie they listen watch a movie the 2 senses are intertwined."

Also we have to kinda engage the people so that they can bring out much more in the video. Well do your best with the edit and remember:

"Only good editing can bring life to a motion picture!
The Various shots are just so many odd pieces of film until
they are skillfully assembled to tell a coherent story.
Cutting takes up the slack of the film."
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Old November 8th, 2005, 02:37 PM   #4
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"Shaky cam....the Bestman made an 8 minute toast. 8 MINUTES! I can't hold a camera still for 8 time, have the tripod or monopod ready. Luckily i had a camera on a tripod also recording the toast. "

hehehee 8 minutes?? wait till u hit the 90minute speech marathon... now thats a friggin nightmare..

congrats on gettin ur first wedding shot, and with weddings, and like any live event, being prepared is the key...

I sometimes shoot with 2 cameras, and when i do, i always have one cam on sticks shooting the speaker (speechmaker) in full.. the second cam which is handheld is shooting cutaways.

i usually ask my clients how long they think the speeches will be before the actual wedding date and i advise them that if they want to take advantage of the dancefloor and actualy have fun, dont let speeches go over 30minutes in total.. also i dont have to edit speeches if theyre not that long...and its actually watchable as oppsed to someone feeling the limelight and just babbling on like a moron (which is quite common)
As speeches arent a common thing for most of those speaking, they forget that theyrr actually there to toast the bridal party.. instead, some try to be comedians, while others like to bask in the limelight... numerous times ive given the speaker the windup signal when i notice theyve been taklin for 45minutes... they dont like it, but it works..
im not rude about it, but they need to be considerate to the other speakers as well as the guests.. not to mention the couple who are sittin here for almost an hour, paying big bux for this party reception only to listen to this tripe..

speeches suk
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Old November 10th, 2005, 12:30 PM   #5
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I've never heard a toast go longer than 2 minutes so i wasn't ready for one so long. Just one of those things that only experience can teach you.

And yea, it's like you said, the speech kinda got away from toasting the couple and into a comedy routine. The DJ pretty much had to tell him to "wrap it up"

I can't fully trust what my tripod camera is shootting because maybe someone got in the shot, or bumped the tripod etc I was getting the shot with my in hand cam as well. I did scroll around a bit and focus on the couple, things like that..
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Old November 14th, 2005, 01:53 AM   #6
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I had a speech go beyond 10 minutes this summer. It was the governor's daughter's wedding, and at the rehearsal dinner, he gave a very lengthy speech. The worst part is that the speech was actually very good (not surprising, when it's the governor giving the speech). So, I knew that no matter how long he went, I needed to get it all and get it good. Same thing happened the next day during toasts at the wedding. Sheesh.

I also remember my first wedding ever, watching in horror as all the guests stood while the bride entered, and then remained standing for the next 5 minutes of the ceremony. Luckily I use a 3 camera setup, and only 1 of the 3 cam's was blocked. The operator eventually just disengaged and went handheld until everyone sat down.
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Old November 14th, 2005, 10:26 AM   #7
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I'm going thru editing the ceremony now and i didn't realize how long the priest was speaking. Probably because i was busy moving from camera to camera making sure things were looking good.

So now i gotta figure out what to do with his speech. i'll have to sit thru it a couple times and figure out whats good and whats fluff.
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