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Old March 3rd, 2006, 08:34 AM   #1
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When to use body mounted stabilizers at a wedding?

I recently grabbed a Magiqcam and was curious to know how the others out there who use body mounted stabilizers fit it into the day. I thoguhtit might be useful for some preps if you have a nice open location, possibly the beginning and end of the ceremony, and photosession if applicable as well as the first dance, cake cutting and events like that, other than speeches, at the reception.

Any good or bad expeirences with trying to us it for other parts of the day? Anybody use it for part of the ceremony and then attempt toget the unit off and get to a tripod mounted camera without creating a disruption?

Thanks for any input.

Patrick
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Old March 3rd, 2006, 10:14 AM   #2
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I think it really depends on the event. The idea is to video the show, not become it.

The only places I have had the physical room and event ambiance consistantly are the photo shoots, outdoor ceremony starts and finishes (brief bits only), establishing stuff and sometimes receptions (later in the evening, not for events).

You have to guage the crowd pretty well, I really don't like getting reaction shots of people looking at me. One thing I have been doing more of is shooting zoomed in from a distance. This, of course, takes quite a bit of practice but you can occasionally get that smooth shot candidly and that is a cool thing when it happens.

Mike
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Old March 3rd, 2006, 10:22 AM   #3
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We run our magiqcam (with the XL H1) all day along side another tripod mounted or handheld xl2. However here in utah we do mostly "Temple" weddings so we are outdoors filming the bride and groom interacting after they have already had a private ceremony. However if you are doing a traditional ceremony and only have one cameraman, It could be a tough transition. I like to walk up the isle and approach the groom for a bride perspective shot, then follow the bride down the isle as she is looking past the camera at the groom.. so after that there is not a lot of time to throw it on a tripod (if you only had one camera), unless you have the same quick release for both the stabilizer and the tripod.

For traditional weddings we feel it is critical to have two cameramen so that any problems that may arise can be easily resolved.

*With the XL H1 I can leave it on the rig, put the camera against my shoulder and keep it steady enough to get good 'tripod-like' footage.
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Old March 3rd, 2006, 10:46 AM   #4
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Look into buying a quick-release plate to mount ontop of the stabilizer. It will cut down tons of time switching your camera from your system to a tripod.

Eric Hansen
www.ehansenproductions.com
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Old March 3rd, 2006, 11:14 AM   #5
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yup, the QR's are a must. All our cameras, tripods, stabilizers, monopods and other mounting equipment all share the same plates. Worth every penny.

Mike
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Old March 3rd, 2006, 11:23 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies thus far.

Okay maybe I should have given a little more info into our situation. I am shooting with the Magiqcam which comes with a standard bogen quick release plate. All weddings that I will use the body mounted stabilizer for will have a second videographer and a total of 4 cameras for the ceremony.

I'm more interested in how people are using the body mounted stabilizers and minimizing reactions from the crowd, if they are getting reactions from the crowd and how/when to switch back and fourth to tripod mounted.

I would have guessed that the first dance would be a great oppurtunity to use the stabilizer from the outside of the dance floor.

Eric and Lowell, do you use a handheld or body mounted stabilizer and if body mounted, what links on your site were shot with it, for either weddings or love story shoots?

Thanks.
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Old March 3rd, 2006, 11:39 AM   #7
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We use a combination of the body stabilizer and a second camera mostly on a tripod. As far as links go, both the date videos were shot with the bodycam while the one in the corn maze was shot with the bodycam and a second camera on tripod, the other date video was just bodycam. The Salt lake clip was filmed with the bodycam and an 8' crane, so most the shots you see are all from the bodycam. Here's two links as well that we used the system for you to compare.
Sorry though, I don't have any traditional wedding demos on-line where we used the system, but as far as crowd reactions, we don't seem to get any negative reactions. The only reactions we've gotten was how professional we looked while using it. One thing we do though is talk it over and show it to the bride/groom and ask if it would be ok to use, (up/down the isle etc.) and show them what the difference is and they love it. but here's some links, hope we helped.

www.ehansenproductions.com/sameday.mov
www.ehansenproductions.com/Joel&Jill.mov

Eric Hansen
www.ehansenproductions.com
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Old March 3rd, 2006, 11:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowell Oswald
I like to walk up the isle and approach the groom for a bride perspective shot, then follow the bride down the isle as she is looking past the camera at the groom...
Lowell, I would love to hear more about this. I imagine you can quickly get the bride POV shot of the groom prior to the entrance of the first bridesmaid. It would have to be tight, though, since the guests won't be standing at that point. Or do you get this shot at a different time?

For the shot tracking the bride coming down the aisle, are you standing a few yards in front of her in the aisle?? I didn't think that was even acceptable, but I'm not sure how else you could get that shot from ground level with the guests standing.

Sorry, I'm new to all of this, and I'm just trying to figure out the logistics of these shots you're describing. With a second camera on a tripod covering the master shot in the balcony (or back) of the venue, it's very exciting to think about the editing options utilizing these POV shots.

I hope to invest in a Glidecam or Magiqcam in the near future as I've been very impressed with Eric Hansen's work posted to this board.
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Old March 3rd, 2006, 11:51 AM   #9
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Eric,

Thanks for taking the time to write, I appreciate the feedback. I'm going to look over the clips you forwarded now. How long have you been using the magiqcam for weddings (roughly how many shoots)? Do you mind if I contact you via email with some questions/opinions about the magiqcam and what not? We've been using a glidecam like handheld stabilizer for a while and just invested in the body mounted unit so I would be very interested in discussing some of the strategies with you especially because I do find our styles are similar.

Patrick
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Old March 3rd, 2006, 12:04 PM   #10
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First off before these shots can be pulled off we meet with the couple ahead of time (like Eric mentioned) and describe some of the angles we'd like to get and make sure everything is cool with them.

The tracking shot is quick. I don't follow her down all the way, just enough to see the smile on her face and eye contact with the groom. I get out of the way fast so that I'm not a distration as the crowd follows her down the isle.

One way that we've found to avoid "negative reactions" is to show up early so that many of the guests are used to us and our equipment and by the time the ceremony starts the "wow factor/strange looks" wears off.

Patrick- Eric and I work together, he does more of the editing, I do most of the work with the magiqcam. We've only had the magiqcam system for about 6 1/2 months(magiqcam elite+glidecam 4000), before that we used glidecam 2000s with our GL2s. If you have any questions go ahead and email me. I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
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Old March 8th, 2006, 09:56 AM   #11
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I was at a guest at a wedding last year where the videographer was using a steady shooter. The strange looks might subside but the impression of "what a dork" does tend to linger. If they work for you great. But at this wedding the bride and groom took a lot of flak for it. Both said they would never have allowed it if they had known. Certainly tends to reinforce the idea that wedding videography is for geeks. They have become more affordable the last year so a lot are appearing at weddings. My prediction is they will disappear pretty fast.
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Old March 8th, 2006, 10:05 AM   #12
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Thanks Doug but I'm really looking for advice from people who shoot with these devices, not those who have been to weddings and seen them- although that is a valuable perspective it is not what I am interested in in this thread.

As Lowell also mentioned, discussing these issues with the couple before hand tends to resolve most of the potential problems you could encounter by using lighting or stabilizers.
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Old March 8th, 2006, 10:28 AM   #13
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Doug, I totally agree that we look like dorks doing the steadycam work at weddings. But when we're doing our sameday edits (which are becoming more and more popular) anyone who thought it looked nerdy forgets about it when they see the kind of footage that comes from using these rigs. I've had a few people at the receptions tell me how funny they thought I looked, but were amazed with the results.

I was a little self conscience wearing the rig at first, but hey, if being a videography geek makes good money, I have no problem being one.
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Old March 8th, 2006, 10:52 AM   #14
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Lowell absolutely with you on the "business first" philosophy. For the industry as a whole business is not good. Photographers get 2 or 3x the money for a fraction of the work and investment. Photographers are (typically) perceived as cool, wedding videographers as dorks. Changing this perception is vital to the long term health of this industry.

edit: Patrick just saw your post, do not want to hijack your thread.
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Old March 8th, 2006, 11:21 AM   #15
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Doug,

I shoot both video and photography at weddings. Shooting both professionally for years, I can say the workload is about equal, so maybe you are unaware of all the hidden backend work that goes into digital photography. To say photographers make 2 to 3 times as much is not counting the extra cost to the photographer for albums, labor, prints, ect. It all adds up. Most videographers have much lower cost in comparison.

I do agree with you about the respect photographers get over videographers....truly unfortunate.

-John
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