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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...

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Old August 28th, 2006, 03:59 PM   #1
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Shooting your own wedding?

Ok, this may seem silly. I don't know.

In about 2 weeks I'm getting married in a small chapel. Small wedding, etc.

The chappel wants $80 for a DVD of the ceremony, they won't just give me the raw footage either. Just the DVD, and it has what I would consider "sales" stuff in it too. So I told them "no thanks" on that. They did, suprisingly, say I could have someone else film or my guests or whatever.

So my idea is to set up 3 cameras on tripods. One in back, one on each side towards the front. Possibly also giving one of my guests a camera to do some closeups, not sure about that yet.

Then I'd edit all those together with reception video and maybe some stills (who knows) into a nice DVD of what I think is best, not what the chapel likes to show off thier place.

Have any of you ever done something like this? Do you think that setup would work at all or deliver a lot of nothing? At the very least, I'll be setting up my good camera in the back to film the actual ceremony. Not sure what to do about sound though - maybe a wireless tucked into the groom's jacket somewhere?

If anyone can give advice/hints/tips, etc on this, I'd be most appreciative.
Lisa Shofner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 28th, 2006, 04:03 PM   #2
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Don't leave your gear unattended. I tried a one-person, two camera wedding once, and nearly had a coronary when I saw a 4 year old grab the tripod and start shaking the crap out of my brand new XL1s. Best advice is to grab a few trustworthy helpers to stand guard over the gear.
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Old August 28th, 2006, 04:48 PM   #3
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Shooting your own wedding

You might want to consider your role for the day....videographer or groom?

If it were me, I would hire someone to shoot and turn the raw footage over to me...because I am sure you'll be caught in that camera being more concerned about the video than the wedding....

Just my two cents.
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Old August 28th, 2006, 10:13 PM   #4
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I agree with Bill,
u can always ask afew friends to man the cameras during the ceremony to ensure that framing is ok. U can set your manual focus and configure your exposure to suit, all they have to do from there is point the camera in the right direction...
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Old August 29th, 2006, 10:38 AM   #5
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My advice, hire someone to do the video for you.
I talk from experience, as I hired someone to just shoot my wedding day and turn over the raw tapes to me.
Well 2+ years later and I still haven't edited it. The reason is I have too many paying jobs to edit as it is.
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Old August 29th, 2006, 06:33 PM   #6
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I shoot with 3-5 cameras and one to two videographers and in my opinion, I haven't had any experience like what Keith suggests. I often have our photographers there as well so there is more than just one person, in most cases, to keep an eye on things. The footage from stationary tripods can work pretty well although I would personally want one person manning the whole operation and getting close ups and what not. In the end, I think your idea works and will make something viewable.

If it is important to you, hire somebody to do it right, whether they give you a polished product or raw footage. If it isn't important enough to pay, then you should be more than happy with what you can get from stationary cameras and having guests help out.
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Old August 30th, 2006, 07:15 AM   #7
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My advice is to pay someone to shoot then edit yourself.

Even if you have friends do it, they won't frame it correctly and they'll zoom in and out too much----not to mention they don't know how to operate the equipment to give you the best results (i.e. "I wonder what this button does?").....
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Old August 30th, 2006, 07:58 AM   #8
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for $80, which sounds damned cheap to me, why not buy go ahead and buy the DVD, rip it, and do a re-edit, taking out the sales stuff, and adding your own material. you could set up your own video camera as well. that way, if you put the editing off for two years, at least you'll have something. and if their sales stuff really bugs you, well that would be motivating...
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Old August 30th, 2006, 09:26 PM   #9
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I would say go for it. You know you can do better than the chapel...just about anyone could if they think the process through.
That is the key. Think the shoot through, beginning to end. Place "spike marks" on the carpet to mark key positions for everyone in the wedding party. Rehearse. Above all, hire one videographer to manage one camera. You will need at least one camera position to adjust for the unexpected.

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Old September 3rd, 2006, 01:22 PM   #10
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Kind of similar. I just did a friends wedding video and was best man. Made for a really interesting day I can tell you! Mother of the bride was not keen on getting the ceremony filmed. Eventually got her to agree to a static camera up in the gods of the church. I was jumping all over the place trying to do all my various duties and film. My heart nearly stopped when during the ceremony I looked up and could no longer see the Rec lamp lit on my camera (all you see is me looking up and then a look of horror on my face and something said that shouldn't be said in a church being mouthed....shame on me!!!!!). Turned out it was fine oh my.....not good for the nerves. Then the speeches......the usual nightmare scenario strongly backlit. Got my wife to man the camera whilst I did my speech. Would I do it again.....NO NO NO. Way too much hassle and worrying about everything and...I couldn't have a drink at night as I was still working.

For my brothers wedding which I was also best man at, I hired another guy to do the filming and he just handed me the raw tapes which I edited. I'd recommend this as I got to watch him sweat all day. His nightmare was when the camera wouldn't power up as the bride came up the aisle (he's rolled it into standby as he carried it).

Didn't cost much and was nice to see how someone else worked.
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Old September 3rd, 2006, 07:10 PM   #11
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Shooting your own wedding could be as dangerous as extracting your own teeth, or giving yourself an apendectomy...
Just kidding. Good luck.
Bruce S. Yarock
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Old September 12th, 2006, 01:45 PM   #12
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it's over

Well, the wedding is over now. It was Sunday.

I ended up using 2 cameras - I had one set up in the back to capture the general thing. I showed my brother how to use my GL1, and he even took the time to read some shooting info (like the rule of thirds, and balancing the picture). From my first glance, I think he did a great job. I'll definately have something to work with for the editing.

I wasn't worried about any of it at all during the ceremony and it all went great. Next week I'll start the editing for the DVD for family members.

Thanks for all the advise you guys. :-)
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