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

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Old December 27th, 2005, 05:51 PM   #1
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OK I Got a Client Now What lol

Well here is my problem. As I have stated before and really want to get into filmmaking but I wanted to start doing Wedding videography to learn shot composition, video editing, ect just to get a good idea of the film making process. Now I have NO equipment with NO experience just a idea of knowing this is really want I want to do. Now my wife nephew is getting married on like June 19, 2006 and she told him that I will film his wedding WITHOUT me knowing.("thanks A bunch")Now I have decided that I will not be charging him because he is family and I need the experience to start building a profolio. What advice could anyone give in order to make this project a success. I have read $30.00 film school like 3 times lol and I am planning on getting a Mac G5 with FinaL Cut Studio in Feb. I want to buy the sony Z1u and rent another camcorder(s) sometimes to pratice a 2-3 camera coverage for his wedding. What more can I do between now and then so I can be at least 80%-90% prepared to put out a good product for this event and others down the line. ( equipment needed, classes, experience, ect)
Thanks for everyone help in advance! You guy and girls at DVinfo are the best. PS If Shannon Rawls see this post please provide a way for me to get at you so I ask some specfic info regarding filmaking in general. I read several post along with others on this site and I trust you and your coworkers advice.
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Old December 27th, 2005, 06:19 PM   #2
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Why not start shooting now?

If money is tight, you could look at:
A- Seeing if you can find a deal on the camera you want... like trying to buy it used locally.
B- Not getting the G5 and Final Cut Pro Studio. It's a nice system and possibly the easiest to get into. But you can get Sony Vegas, which is just as good (if not better). If I had a choice between the two, I would pick Vegas even though it's the cheaper system. Very similar performance (it flip flops depending on how you count it), Vegas is more powerful without exporting to external applications, Vegas has better audio, and a better price tag. It's on Windows, which I don't find as easy as OS X. I can't really think of much disadvantages versus Final Cut.
Anyways, that's my little bit of Vegas envangelism. :)

2- Perhaps the best thing to do is to learn by doing.
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Old December 28th, 2005, 12:02 AM   #3
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RE. Ok I got a client now what?


You may want to post this in the wedding forum within this site. There'a a lot of videographers that shoot and produce wedding videos on that forum....I think you will get a much bigger response to your post.

One of the biggest challenges you are going to encounter shooting a wedding is that you only get "one" shot to make it right....for the most part. It's UNLIKE film making in general......because you can't usually light your scenes or your subjects nor can you say cut and get a second take. You need to be on it. Trust me on this....go to the wedding forum and re post your thread, you will get a lot of advice.

You really need to be shooting and editing now though......get on it!
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Old December 28th, 2005, 01:17 AM   #4
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Well you've got 6 months to learn so my advice would be to read up on camera operation and shot composition and how to frame etc... - you'll find many great sites via google about these.
Then get your hands on a camera (even if it is not the one you are planning on purchasing - borrow from a friend if you can) and just shoot everything you can think of - parties, bbq's, just around home and practice those principles.
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Old December 28th, 2005, 01:10 PM   #5
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THanks for all your help. I didn't realize until after the fact that there was a wedding fourm link on this site. I will repost there. Again thanks a bunch for all your help. I going to get my friend 1 chip camcorder to start and buy a cheap editing package and just start learning the basics. I keep yall posted on my progress.
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Old December 28th, 2005, 03:53 PM   #6
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Hi Edward,
Rather than duplicate posts in multiple forums (that's called "cross-posting"), we just move them to the new forum if that's needed. (Moved from Open DV to Wedding). Best of luck preparing for the "big day." At least you have some time to practice up!
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Old December 28th, 2005, 04:50 PM   #7
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I suggest that you beg, plead, and grovel your way onto another, experienced, wedding videographers production. Find an experienced company or individual in your area, let them know your situation, and ask if you could assist them in the spring with some of their weddings (no pay if need be but a small sum would be appropriate). It will almost certainly take more than one call, you may be turned down a few times, but stay with it and find someone who cares about the business as a whole and wants to assist someone who's willing to learn.

You can read about weddings video's, but until you've gone through the day as a dedicated camera operator, sound operator, etc., you won't have a real understanding of what's needed at the event. Nothing wrong with that, it's called gaining experience. Try and let someone teach you the skills of the craft rather than trying to go at it cold turkey on the day of the wedding.

You can go at it alone and gain knowledge bit by bit, but I think that you'll enjoy the experience much more if you have someone to help you as you learn.

Ben Lynn
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Old December 28th, 2005, 07:32 PM   #8
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Hey Edward,

If you can swing it, I would suggest you head down to Florida for the 4Ever Group convention (4evergroup.org). It's a crash course in everything wedding video related and the best way to get as much knowlege about wedding videography in one place. Hope to see you there!

Chris Watson
Watson Videography
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Old December 29th, 2005, 01:43 AM   #9
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Weren't you an actor? :-)

I'd suggest that you get a few other friends to help provide cover for the wedding. Different angles, backup audio. This is all just-in-case coverage should something go wrong. You can always leave the additional material on the cutting room floor but you'll be glad you have the coverage if a camera fails, a mic acts up, someone doesn't hit "record" or whatever else might go wrong.

Beg or borrow equipment until you have the capital to get your own. Or at the very least, have something available for this first job. Or rent. Whatever the case, spend time getting to know the gear before setting foot at the venue.

During the ceremony, one camera covers the overall scene. One covers the bride, one covers the groom. Either of the closeup cameras can get occasional reaction shots from the crowd or bridal party.

I'd certainly recommend FCP and a Mac as a workstation. If you're going to do a lot of these things you'll certainly make good use of its multicamera editing capabilities. And if you're going to get FCP, then get the entire suite of software. You're going to need Compressor and Final Cut Studio. Livetype is a nice titler and Motion might come in handy eventually.

Plan on getting external SATA hard drives. Also go ahead and invest in a four-channel SATA card. You might start off with just two drives but you will eventually expand to four.

Always invest in the best equipment you can afford. Better to spend a bit more and get something that will last you a while than having to spend much more upgrading frequently.

And never be afraid to ask questions! :-)

Good luck!
Dean Sensui
Exec Producer, Hawaii Goes Fishing
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Old December 29th, 2005, 02:04 AM   #10
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Don't forget to check the sticky post on Training Resources.
"Ultimately, the most extraordinary thing, in a frame, is a human being." - Martin Scorsese
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Old December 31st, 2005, 01:20 AM   #11
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Edward, I've been "volunteered" by friends or relatives to do weddings or other social events-----I'm sure we all have had that happen. My best advice is to keep the whole production as simple as possible the first time around. You want to use the skills you're learning, but don't let that increase your chances for problems. Even though you're doing this for free, you'll be held in perpetual blame, if the wedding video doesn't turn out to be glitch-free enough to be passable.

I'd concentrate on the subject matter, making sure to get all the important action and dialogue and get good shots of all the relatives and friends,
so no one is missing from this permanent record. Talk to the bride and groom and close relatives and make a list of who these people are and at the rehearsal, try to familiarize yourself with them. You might also use the rehearsal to get a bunch of short interviews and humorous remarks from people who will be hard to pin down at the wedding. Plan all your shooting positions and talk to whoever is in charge of the ceremonies, to make sure you'll be allowed in those places. Determine what the level of lighting will be and figure that into your plans. Don't be bashful about lobbying for more lights, if the plans are for a darkened area. Usually, some compromise can be reached about this. Obviously, your choice of mikes, their locations and operation will need to be thoroughly worked out, tested and practiced. Running your own dummy wedding with a few volunteers, in the location, the day before, is a good way to work out bugs in the miking and other things. I went into my first wedding shoot without any of this planning and if it hadn't been for the forgiving capabilities of my marvelous little Canon A-1, I'd have been a dead duck.
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