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

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Old May 6th, 2006, 11:20 AM   #1
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One camera problems and solutions?

I am pretty new to filming weddings. I just filmed my 5th one 2 weeks ago. I bought a panasonic dvc 30 with the xlr box and a shotgun mic. I have been doing friends weddings and friends of friends weddings. I'd like to start offering my services on a web site on the internet. I shot 4 of the weddings with 1 camera and 1 wedding with 2 cameras. Obviously 2 is better for editing in cutaways. My dilema now is, I have the dvc-30 and I can't use my old 1 chip cameras because of the obvious quality differences. The first few weddings I shot for free and the expectations were not very high, they also went really well. The last Wedding I shot I charged the B&G and I used one camera, the dvc-30. I used some natural lulls in the ceremony to do some cuttaways and used them in the edit. The problem is I did a long edit on the ceremony and I had several bad things happen with rude guests and photographer. One lady started breast feeding while I was filming Grandpa coming in to be seated. I didn't notice the breastfeeder until the edit. I also had people get up in front of my camera during the vows!! At the reception I was slammed into by an amateur photogrpher just as the bride was throwing the bouquet. What do you guys suggest for a single camera guy and these types of problems. Any fancy editing advice or tricks to save things when the worst happens? I guess a 2nd camera is in my future. Any advice on a camera that would match well with a dvc-30?

Thanks in advance, Tim
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Old May 6th, 2006, 11:40 AM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sauk Rapids, MN, USA
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get tons of cutaways...turn them into reaction shots...before and after the ceremony are perfect times to get them when folks are seated and the actual stuff isn't curently happening. Get closeups and try to get reaction looking shots so you can put them at the appropriate places when folks do annoying stuff during your shoot...the only options you really have is to set yourself on the groom's side closer to the fron on the very side of the church...less chance of folks standing in front of the camera etc...and the bride being see on camera is more important than the groom. Try to place yourself where people can't run into you on a tripod with a defensive (but pleasant) mindset and stance. Eye to the cup means you can't defend your area, so use a flip out LCD or an external monitor for framing. Tripod mount will get you better footage and are easier to defend. shooting with fewer folks between you and your subject decreases the chances of them standing in frame. Your job is to capture the event while not impeding anyone's enjoyment of's a hard task.
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Old May 6th, 2006, 05:42 PM   #3
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Location: Durango, Colorado, USA
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First, I feel you could continue using the one chip camera for wide angle shots. I have a feeling the quality difference would not be as noticable. However, note I have never owned a single chip dv camera, so I am not completely confident.

Second, as already mentioned, you must secure a lot of shots specifically for cutaway use.

Third, if you do choose to use only one camera, give a lot of thought to how you will pan and zoom. This is particularly important during the ceremony where editing may not be possible.

My method in this regard is to learn as much as possible about the content of the ceremony and then listen very carefully during the event. There is a certain logical flow to the ceremony, and officiates, particularly ordained ministers, are quite skilled public speakers. There is conscious design to their delivery, including carefully planned pauses and foreshadowing. In wedding ceremonies I have noticed the ministers commentary often signals changes in attention focus. Most of this relates to movement of people during the ceremony. Some clues are for those who listen to what is being said.

I use these signals to initiate pans and zooms because I feel sure they will be normal.
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Old May 6th, 2006, 11:36 PM   #4
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sauk Rapids, MN, USA
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tape a program to the tripod as well and attend the practice if could plant the 1 chipper somewhere zoomed right at the middle of the altar...the 1chip will get decent footage overall, but will break down when zoomed out. small objects take up too little chip real estate and start to look like objects out of old atari console games.
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