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

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Old May 1st, 2006, 08:18 PM   #1
New Boot
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Indianapolis
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First Wedding - Mics, Filters and Insurance

My first paid wedding gig with my FX-1 will be outdoors in June (if the weather is nice). The wedding is for the sister of a co-worker and her needs were very basic: shoot the ceremony and burn it to a dvd, with no editing. I'm starting to think the no-editing option might've been a poor decision on my part, but the decision's been made so I'm going with it. If it turns out I need to do a quick edit because there are shots that absolutely need it, then I'll do the quick edit and eat the time spent.

On to my questions...from what I've read in these forums, it seems like no one is using their on-board mics and that I'll need to purchase a better microphone. I've seen numerous recommendations for using wireless lav mics, which paired with the BeachTek DXA-6 would add more than I'm wanting to spend right now. That doesn't mean I won't purchase this combo, but it's more than I'd want to spend. :) What budget wireless lav mics are recommended? Has anyone ever run into any issues with the wireless lav or mic creating static while recording? The Sam Ash guy was suggesting that I purchase an audio board that could hook up to my camera via the mini-plug and control the mics from the board. I liked the idea (because it was relatively inexpensive), but it didn't seem very portable since the audio board was bigger than the BeachTek. Does any one use this type of setup?

I also saw a few recommendations for shotgun mics on this foru:
The Sennheiser MKE300 and Rode Video Mic are currently the leaders on my wish list. Are shotgun mics really that much better than the on-camera mic? From what I've read, it seems that the answer is yes, but I thought I'd ask again.

Do I need a lens filter kit to ensure that reflective light is kept to a minimum or is this something I can do without for now (basically, is a filter an absolute must for outdoor weddings)? I was considering the Sony filter kit.

What about business liability insurance? I received a quote from my homeowner's insurance agent for $300/year, which would cover my equipment (up to $15,000) if it was stolen and I believe it would cover any liability (if someone tripped over my tripod and broke their neck) for up to $1,000,000. I'm thinking this is probably the smart decision, but it's tough to keep spending all of this money up front.

Answers/advice to any of the above questions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Chad Martin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 1st, 2006, 09:36 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
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The only time I use an audio mixer is if I'm running more than 2 wireless systems and I don't do that at weddings so I think the Beachtek and a decent wireless system is what you need.
I'm not familiar with the 2 mics you've mentioned but if you search the audio forum I know they've both been talked about a lot.
In 23 years of video work the only filters I've ever used are a UV filtr (all the time) and once in a while a polarizing filter depending on the situation. I don't think you really need a filter kit except for the UV to help protect the lens.
The insurance to me is a big MUST have. I know some might say 'well it's only 1 wedding and he's not really even getting paid' Right, and all it takes is ONE person to trip on a piece of gear you laid down or left out for 1 minute to do something else and BAM! It can run into some big money. PLUS what if you set you're camera down to go to the bathroom and you come back out and, I shudder to say it, ITS GONE! Now I'm sure the folks that will be at the wedding are nice folks and wouldn't do anything like that BUT what about the people that work at the venue or are just "passing thru" QUICK STORY; last smmer a guy I know set an unmanned camera up in the balconey of a church in a very nice area of the city of Chicago-he went downstairs to get some setup shots went back up about 10 minutes later and, yep, you guessed it. Camera was gone and so was the tripod. Now you might say well he shouldn't leave the camera there. Maybe you're right but it was in a CHURCH and no one else was around. Bottom line, insure yourself and if you have to RENT the audio gear. The audio gear won't do you any good without a camera or if you go into litigation because gramdma "tripped" over your tripod and you end up sellin your camera to pay the legal fees.

Not trying to be negative but pointing out the realities.
Anyway good luck on your first and always remember to have fun on the job. Lifes to short to stress!
Don Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2nd, 2006, 01:55 PM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Indianapolis
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Thanks for the reply, Don. I'm definitely leaning towards purchasing the business insurance. It's helpful to hear this advice from someone else because it reaffirms that I'm making the best decision.

I'm going to look into the UV filter options and try to search the audio forum for the best budget wireless lav system. Although, I still haven't ruled out the shotgun mic options.

I think I do need to remember to have fun with this work (I'm already a little nervous about the first wedding). I imagine once I'm a little more comfortable with my new camera and equipment, the tension will ease.

Thanks again for the advice!
Chad Martin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2nd, 2006, 02:04 PM   #4
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Location: Chicago, IL
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I would be more interested in looking at a wireless than a shotgun because no matter how good it is there are 2 things to remember.
1) shotguns are notoriuosly bad indoors UNLESS it with in a couple of feet of the "talent"
2) Your chances of getting clear audio with the shotgun are close to ZERO-thats why the wireless is so important. Wire the groom and you'll get the bride, goom and in most cases the officiant when hes up by the couple. The vows (at least in my opinion) are by far and away the most important things said that day-everything is just fluff.
You'll pick up alot of ambient room with the shotgun which is fine but I would guess you would be too far away to get the vows.
I know money is a consideration but don't go to cheap or you'll just end up frustrated with the sound and you'd be better off with a UHF system.
Perhaps you can find one used!?!
Nervousness is OK but keep a cool head and remember that stuff happens!

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