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


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Old June 4th, 2006, 12:23 AM   #1
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ALWAYS bring backup equipment!

Always! My story:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=68769

I almost forgot the thing, too...
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Old June 4th, 2006, 09:15 AM   #2
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If there is anyone who doesn't feel it's necessary to bring back up gear then all I can say is good nite and good luck.
There are only 2 types of shooters, those that have (had equipment breakdowns) and those that will, it WILL happen and possibly more than once. How do you go to the client and say 'well gee mr. client I can't finish shooting the job that you're paying me for because my camera broke and I don't have any back up-so I guess I'll get going now and I'll bill you when I edit the stuff I have. Hope you like it' Yeah and that would go over like a lead balloon.

BACK UP BACK UP BACK UP!

John, sorry it happened to you but you gave a valued lesson.
Always be p]ready for whatever can and eventually happen.

Don
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Old June 4th, 2006, 09:41 AM   #3
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I can also share one story of a 'no backup strategy' fiasco. I was filming on location in Africa and, of course, wanted to save on weight. Mistake. Ever since, I just carry the extra weight. This said, in recent months, airlines have gone into gouge mode and that extra weight is becoming very expensive. On a recent trip the extra weight cost us more than the tickets for a crew of three.
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Old June 5th, 2006, 10:14 AM   #4
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knock on wood i havent had this issue, but yes backups are a definite... considering teh fact that your making money from this, and there is no way to reshoot the event itself, its STUPID not to have a backup. Sorry, i know ive prolly hurt afew poeples feelings here, but hey, this is BUSINESS and YOUR MAKING MONEY TO ARCHIVE SOMEONES SINGLE DAY

forget effects and transiitons and flashy shooting techniques.. all this is SECONDARY to teh fact that your primary role is to ARCHIVE THE DAY. Everything else is a bonus. However if u cannot even do the basic archive, then your screwed. These people pay good money and TRUST that their investment will be safe with you. If you do not have a Plan B in case of failure, loss, theft accidents, then your not only fooling your clients, but your also fooling yourself.

Sorry, but i feel VERY strongly about this, as i have heard at least 3 stories from families of my own clients who have had this issue happen. In turn, those 3 people have spread the word about the companies in question and the in turn to that, has affected peoples outlook and consideration of the Video service in general which makes it harder for everyone else.

In the end, the client has the right to litigate and claim losses on your failure to complete your contracted task.

Your walking around with a loaded gun if u have no backup plan. Even a cheap arsed bastardised consumer unit would be enough to save your butt..
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Old June 5th, 2006, 02:29 PM   #5
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Peter, your rants always crack me up, and you're right too. :}
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Old June 5th, 2006, 02:29 PM   #6
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Question about back-up equipment

First, is your backup equipment equal in quality to your primary equipment? Second, do you just leave it sitting out in your car during the day unless you need it? I also have back-ups, but leaving them in the car all day/evening makes me VERY nervous......
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Old June 5th, 2006, 03:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer Graves
First, is your backup equipment equal in quality to your primary equipment? Second, do you just leave it sitting out in your car during the day unless you need it? I also have back-ups, but leaving them in the car all day/evening makes me VERY nervous......
My backup is a Panasonic PV-GS120, as seen here:

http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content...der-review.htm

I don't know if they still make the 120, but the 150 is pretty much the same thing, with (I assume) some minor improvements. I've sung this little camera's praises so much here, people must think Panasonic's paying me to do so. If you have a cam like this, get at least one $90 long-life battery. This, plus the smaller one that comes with the camera, will get you through most all-day shoots provided you keep your charger handy. Oh, and a light is a must with this one, although its low-light performance isn't really that bad. It's much better than the Sony VX1000, for example.

I keep all my odds & ends in a duffle bag on wheels, and the camera, in its little padded case, doesn't take up much room. The duffle bag goes where I go, so anything I might need (power strips, extension cords, audio cables/connectors, camcorders) is right there.

Oh, and Sony won't fix my camera for free because the serial number is outside the "affected" range. Never mind that it exhibits the same streaky green image as shown here:

http://esupport.sony.com/graphics/ne...camcorder1.jpg

$575 down the freaking drain...

Last edited by John Harmon; June 5th, 2006 at 05:04 PM.
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Old June 5th, 2006, 04:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Davis
Peter, your rants always crack me up, and you're right too. :}
Im a raving lunatic at 3am with no coffee or cigarettes... ;)
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Old June 5th, 2006, 04:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer Graves
First, is your backup equipment equal in quality to your primary equipment? Second, do you just leave it sitting out in your car during the day unless you need it? I also have back-ups, but leaving them in the car all day/evening makes me VERY nervous......
To be honest with you, any backup is a good backup. ideally ppl would have the equivalent gear, but why lock it in a boot when u can put it to good use and use it as a selling tool?? Consider that you taking a backup with you anyway, WHY NOT use it to add content for ceremony and reception footage? U have the tools, use em.. :)
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Old June 5th, 2006, 10:48 PM   #10
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The quality of the equipment depends on the level of production. There are times when you simply cannot cheat. If the shoot is on a Varicam, and the entire film is on Varicam, anything less will show. This said, I am indeed guilty of sometimes carrying a lesser model as backup.

Of note, cameras are not the only piece of equipment that can ruin a shoot. Make certain your mic is redundant. We carry two of each because on board cameras will just not do in 90% of cases. And when we have lavaliers, we carry a spare of everything as well.

Have I ever had to use the backups? Yes! I've had mics, cables and cameras let go in crucial moments. I've learned my lesson well.
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