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


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Old March 2nd, 2006, 12:22 PM   #1
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sde laptop advice

We shoot (3 cams) weddings and receptions, and in June will start Same Day Edit presentations at reception.
Anyone have best practiced suggestions on what laptop/capture card to use, and how you playback to your projector?
I plan on using PPro 1.5 and capturing clips direct from my PD170s to lay in a pre-rendered timeline thats preceding by the photo montage.

Any and all advice will be greatly apreciated. Thanks in advance.

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Old March 2nd, 2006, 12:37 PM   #2
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Wow, you're going to pull footage from three cameras to do a same day edit? I respect that man. If you need to capture all of that footage in order to have it done that same day I would suggest investing in some Firestore or other DTE device, as that is a lot of footage to pull in and manipulate in that short amount of time. I do SDE's, but not from three camera's worth of footage and it's also quite different the way we do them here in our area.
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Old March 2nd, 2006, 01:40 PM   #3
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not quite so ambitious

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Oveson
Wow, you're going to pull footage from three cameras to do a same day edit? I respect that man. If you need to capture all of that footage in order to have it done that same day I would suggest investing in some Firestore or other DTE device, as that is a lot of footage to pull in and manipulate in that short amount of time. I do SDE's, but not from three camera's worth of footage and it's also quite different the way we do them here in our area.
Mike, you give me too much credit. Thanks for your reply. I plan on capturing the processional from center cam, the vows from the bride cam and the recessional from the center cam. I am looking into Firestore as well as an external 7200 firewire drive. Like always, the first one will be the best teacher.
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Old March 2nd, 2006, 02:02 PM   #4
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Ok, that sounds much more manageable. If you had at least one Firestore and your laptop you could capture the footage from the vows (since it is most likely shorter than the processional/recessional footage) and then head right into the edit with the Firestore providing the additional footage. That might be one way to approach the workflow. There's lots of ways to go about it. If you're a Premiere Pro user I'd recommend a hefty laptop, something with a little more punch than your average "ultra portable". In terms of hardware I'd recommend an AMD 64-bit processor and a gig of RAM. Aside from that try to get a quick hard drive (like the 7200 rpm external you mentioned) and you should be good to go. I don't own a laptop and don't regularly use one so I'm not the best one to turn to in terms of actual use. Hopefully someone else will chime in with what works for them.
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Old March 2nd, 2006, 02:52 PM   #5
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If it's feasible with a particular camera placement, you can record direct to a laptop from a stationary camera while shooting (while recording to tape as well). One thing I picked up is a 25' firewire cable to attach a camera to my laptop (cost like 15 bucks from newegg I think). Gives me a lot of flexibility as to where I can have the laptop sitting while capturing. Also allows for considerable movement of the camera if desired (tethered to the firewire, of course). Along with a good size external USB hard drive, you can record for hours. I use a freeware capture utility, called WinDV, because it buffers input (lots of payware doesn't) and that can reduce the chances of getting dropped frames considerably.
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Old March 2nd, 2006, 02:59 PM   #6
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For what it's worth, Edius works quite well on a laptop with impressive real-time editing capabilities, including the option to output in real time from the timeline via firewire on a sufficiently fast computer. For example, do your edits, play the timeline back to your camera (with little or no rendering) and connect to a projector from that. Plus Canopus allows you to install one copy of Edius on both a laptop and desktop system, for transferring projects back and forth between them.
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Old March 2nd, 2006, 03:06 PM   #7
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Another option would be to play the rendered piece direct from laptop. I've never used it, but my HP laptop has an S-Video out.
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Old March 2nd, 2006, 03:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip Goodrum
Mike, you give me too much credit. Thanks for your reply. I plan on capturing the processional from center cam, the vows from the bride cam and the recessional from the center cam. I am looking into Firestore as well as an external 7200 firewire drive. Like always, the first one will be the best teacher.
How's this for the mother of all nightmares... ceremony just ended and you're ready to start your edit and the God Da@#! camera drive you had so much faith in won't mount! Then after a restart it mounts but you get a perpetual spinning beach ball of death every time you try to read the files on the drive. I can't imagine the fallout if I had the courage to go completely tapeless that day. The scary thing was that I foolishly considered it.

Do you know the feeling imediately after you just cheated death? That's how I felt when I hit eject on the camera and that precious tape popped out. I felt like Golum with the ring... "ohhh my precious" "my precious miniDV tape... my precious miniDV tape" "you're sooo precious..."
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Old March 2nd, 2006, 03:36 PM   #9
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I sure wouldn't want to record one time events like that exclusively to hard drive. Got to have that tape rolling in the camera for backup. If you have technical difficulties that make it impossible to deliver the SDE, that's one thing, but no video at all is the mother of disasters (the WILL throw tomatoes at you for that!).
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Old March 2nd, 2006, 04:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip Goodrum
...Anyone have best practiced suggestions on what laptop/capture card to use, and how you playback to your projector?
I plan on using PPro 1.5 and capturing clips direct from my PD170s to lay in a pre-rendered timeline thats preceding by the photo montage...
SKIP
www.rememberdvd.com
REMEMBER THE DREAM
Hi Skip,

Someone already mentioned this and it's a great idea. We use an nNovia drive on the front camera and then capture straight to the laptop on the back camera.

What the nNovia does that no other DTE offers is a scene mark feature. As the ceremony is going on I hit the "MARK" button when the guys walk in, the Brides enterence, the vows, the kiss, etc, anytime something happens that I may want to use in the SDE. When I hit the "MARK" button the nNovia makes a seperate, but seamless file. That way we only have to transfer those files and not the entire 30-45 minute ceremony. By the way, we do run tape in all of the cameras. Feel free to contact me privately as I know where to get a really good deal on nNovia drives.

I use Edius on my laptop, which makes the entire SDE real-time with slomo, letterbox, B&W, etc. When looking for a laptop buy one with an 800 FSB. It really does make a difference.

Here's our most recent SDE.
http://tulsaweddingvideos.com/video/WRWWDE.wmv
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Old March 2nd, 2006, 04:59 PM   #11
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From what little I know about the wedding video world, I have garnered that Mark is one of the heavy hitters. The news that the nNovia drives work well, especially for event work such as this, is good to know. I've heard of others having problems with the nNovia drives, and I've been trying to decide what might work best. Thanks for the post about those, especially the "mark" feature. That seems extremely useful for event work.
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Old March 3rd, 2006, 10:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Oveson
... The news that the nNovia drives work well, especially for event work such as this, is good to know. I've heard of others having problems with the nNovia drives... Thanks for the post about those, especially the "mark" feature. That seems extremely useful for event work.
Hi Mike,

I hadn't heard about problems with the nNovia drives. I have been using the nNoiva a little under two years without any problems. I recently did check into the new Shining DTE because they offer an HD model at a very affordable price, but I have heard of several problems, but I have no personal experience with the Shining product.

The "MARK" feature saves us so much time and when doing a Same Day Edit, every minute counts.
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