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Old September 22nd, 2006, 09:48 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,189
Wedding Ceremony camera positioning

I wanted to know what's the standard setup for a two camera cermony shoot.

CAMERA 1: I know the first camera goes up in the balcony on a tripod. How should be framed? Wide shot of all the pews or a medium shot of the altar and just the first couple of pews?

I've read that wireless equipment should be on the balcony camera so the second camera won't be weighed down and can be mobile.
While this sounds like a good idea, I have two concerns:

1) the balcony camera will be unmaned so I won't be able to monitor and adust the audio levels.

2) not sure if the wireless will have enough reach. I'm using high quality audio-technica setup and I can test this during the rehersal. I'm just used to using my wireless lav for 5-10 ft interviews.

CAMERA 2: I've heard the side aisle on a tripod is a good location, My only worry is that when ppl in the pews stand that they could block my view, especially during ring exchange. My dad shot an amature video of my brothers wedding from sitting in the front row. It seemed like a good location my only concern is that its reserved for immediate family and they would take offense at me setting up there.
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 11:16 PM   #2
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Location: Chicago, IL
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1st I never set a wireless somewhere where I can't monitor OR at the very least perform a sound check. There are times when a 2nd or 3rd wireless system must be set uop on an unmanned camera-however I would never set my primary (for a wedding the grooms mic) on an unmanned camera.

As for camera positioning well it depends on the venues and they're rules. I've been in venues 30 or 40 times in just the last 5 years where I can't set up a camera up front and have to set the unmanned camera in the balconey or off to a side. I also been in venues 30 or 40 times in the last 5 years where I can set up a manned camera on the altar. There is no hard and fast rule however IF I have to set up the unmanned camera in the balconey it is what is commonly called a safety shot. It covers you when you move and it can be a very nice shot wide and dramatic. Heres a tip though, shoot your primary camera as if the other camera(s) aren't there or aren't working. Plan any moves carefully, make 'em slow and steady and depend less on the 2nd camera. One day it may not work and if you get used to thinking it's not there IF it does crap out on you or get blocked or whatever you've still got enough good footage to make a good video. Many many years ago when I first got into the video business I only had 1 camera they were pretty costly then (and big monsters) so you had to learn how to shoot smooth and steady. Today sometimes I find myself getting too dependent on the 2nd and 3rd cameras so I remind myself that I only have 1 and my footage once again has gotten smoother and steadier.


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Old September 23rd, 2006, 07:59 AM   #3
Join Date: May 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,189
thx for the advice:

so, i'm definitely going to keep the wireless on my main camera where i can monitor it.

as far as movement: I'm thinking of only changing my position for the procession, recessional, and if i'm allowed the vows.
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