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

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Old October 9th, 2006, 07:36 AM   #1
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Your greatest technical disaster..

,how you dealt with it and what was the final outcome?
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Old October 9th, 2006, 09:06 AM   #2
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losing a whole hard drive at the rendering time..

was running vegas 4 at the time, and it nuked a HDD.. recovery.. well i keep all projects on one drive, and all capture media on a seperate drive, and all music on another drive..

replaced the HDD in 5 minutes, let Vegas reeeeeeebuild the project with timecode on its own. Worked a treat. Took me out for abotu 2 days while i worked out what the probem was..

was a windows 127gb limitation on HDD, so i had to flash the ide bridge to handle larger capacities.. yup THAT long ago..

umm.. what else.

had wireless mics get a bit of interferance when trans go over.. and one time i hired a couple of brothers to shoot for me once.. it ended up only being once... instead of moving that cam a little to block the backlit flaring which blew out the grooms face, they left it there.. so as he said his vows, u jsut see this shadowy head with all chin detail fried. Had to run it through combustion and afew other high end apps to recover, turns out the photos were worse and after my 3 days of hair pulling, the client didnt really mind.
Funny thing, was that they shot wit a DSR300 (i was using a DSR570 at the time (sept last year) and i know these cameras inside out, but from what they had told me, compared to their actual skill and experience, thy had NO clue... The camera CAN handle this type of environment, even better than a smaller CCD unit..

My biggest disaster was my own and that was not having the boys tag with me on afew shoots before i offered them a job on their own...
that may not fall into the technical category, but if u hire somone whos got no clue, even though they show u work they claim is theres, trust noone. else there WILL be a technical disaster..
Oh there was also the 5.6k WB issue.. they were indoors.. candlelit, but OK ambience. THe camera can hold up to this envion without an issue, but they used an outdoor preset for inside and everythings washed in red.
They lied to score the job.
Now though, i wont pay anyone until they shoot with me for at least 2 weddings..

umm what else..
knock on wood, ive never had a cam failure.. but i always carry a back up anyway..

oh.. this ones funny..
I was doing a slideshow at a recpetion.. and i carry the projector in a medium sized port with the DVD player etc etc (i use a laptop now)
Anyways... back then i was shooting in a location about 120km's from home..
everything was set at the venue.. screen was up, i unpack the bag, set up all the cabling, run a sound check and now its time to plug in the projector to some power..

No cable..

Proprietary Panasonic cable too, so a normal 3pin kettle cord wouldnt fit..

Lucky for me, i been to the venue many times so they know me by name.. within 5 minutes they saved my ass..
Now i hardwire the power cable to the projecotr with cable tie.. lol

I think thats about it..
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Old October 9th, 2006, 09:43 AM   #3
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Forgot the camcorder

Three years ago. I thought I packed them both, but when I got to the church, I realized I had only 1 camcorder for a 2 camcorder shoot.

Did not have enough time for a 2-hr round-trip drive to get the camera; didn't have a hidden spare key for a neighbor to get in the house to p/u & bring the camera.

The fix: Did bring all the audio equipment & recorders, so had that part covered. Before the ceremony, made a lot of B roll with the "A" camera -- candles, flowers, the organ player, tight shots of seated guests (a big bunch of views of these), and so on. Moved the camera more than usual during the ceremony, and did a lot of creative editing with the B footage, especially inserting the seated guests shots. I got enough of them, with just the right expressions & looking in the right direction, to appear as tho they were captured with a second camera during the ceremony.

It's is not on my demo for a 2 camera shoot, but almost could be.
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Old October 9th, 2006, 10:06 AM   #4
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Forgot the tapes.

Delayed the ceremony long enough for me to go get new tapes.

I use hard drives now.
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Old October 9th, 2006, 12:46 PM   #5
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I left the time and date on one camcorder (pd150) while I was shooting with the other. The date and time were left on 4hrs of footage :(

Fix: through helpful suggestions I did a letterbox and lowered the y axis on the video to cover up the date entirely. Funny thing is that was my biggest account to date :(
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Old October 9th, 2006, 06:03 PM   #6
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Many years ago, when video was a very small part of my life, I was staging a national sales conference for a Fortune 500 company. The opening event of the very first day of the conference was a 35mm slide presentation consisting of 27 slide projectors, all driven by a single computer. The overall complexity of the entire conference was so technically complex for me I flew in a collegue from another division on the other side of the country to manage the projection equipment.

The pre-show runthrough was flawless. However, somewhere before the opening presentation my collegue decided to do some "cable management" and left one very important data cable disconnected. I can't prove what actually happened, because I didn't stay to watch, but I can recite the production protocols in my sleep. To this day my collegue won't admit making a crucial error, but I know better.

Well, the presentation visuals would not start. The opening event of a very important conference was a flop. The producer of the show was third party, the production bill was over $25,000US, and no one wanted to pay.

What would you have done?
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Old October 9th, 2006, 06:13 PM   #7
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did 2 live dance shows, one at 2, other at 8 pm. audio feed from board. in second show a board fuse blow.........
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Old October 9th, 2006, 06:29 PM   #8
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Wireless interference with house system

I was covering a wedding at the local Roman Catholic parish, where I had many years of video experience. I was using an Audio Technical UHF diversity system, along with ambient audio on one channel of the camcorder getting the radio fee, plus a minidisc recording or their PA system, plus ambient audio from a second camcorder and the second channel of the primary camera. I noticed in passing that the priest also had an Audio Technical wireless transmitter, but thought little of it. I place my transmitter on the groom.

I was working alone and got the processional from the floor. It passed and I was on the way to the balcony to operate the main cam.

I noticed some unusual snaps, crackles, pops, and growls as the priest got close to the groom. It was too late to stop things. The noise affected the house system too, so all sources of audio got nailed. It would have been a good moment for Scotty to beam me up!

Fortunately, this only affected about 6 minutes of the 45-minute ceremony. I told the bride thereafter that I wasn't sure about the cause of it, but that everything would sound fine in the result.

I made a captioned VHS of the affected parts, with lines repeated about 5 times. I got the bride and groom separately to re-state their vows. Then I visited the priest, who was very cooperative, and re-recorded his parts. I also visited the church and recorded some roomtone.

I put everything down on my timeline and substituted the best takes of the corrected lines, using the timeline waveform display as a guide. I saved this as a single audio file and added some reverb to mimic church acoustics and mixed in some roomtone.

The result was perfect, actually better than what I would have gotten for real audio, and when the couple watched their video, there was no mention of the interference problem.
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Old October 13th, 2006, 11:56 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Monday Isa
I left the time and date on one camcorder (pd150) while I was shooting with the other. The date and time were left on 4hrs of footage :(

Fix: through helpful suggestions I did a letterbox and lowered the y axis on the video to cover up the date entirely. Funny thing is that was my biggest account to date :(
somebody did that at my work too. also did letterbox to fix it. One of my biggest disasters was when I changed computers with my external drive to make the DVD and my hard drive crashed, luckly I had a quicktime master that I had made on my desktop as a backup of the edit, otherwise I would have lost 3 days of work.
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Old October 14th, 2006, 05:37 PM   #10
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Years ago on a no-budget indie movie, I once moved a 5K over a few feet in a mansion's second floor master bedroom, but accidentally parked it under a sprinkler head; the heat of the lamp caused the whole sprinker system on the second floor of this mansion to go off and it took us fifteen minutes to find the shut-off valve, meanwhile flooding the house.

When we finally broke the news to the owner of the mansion, she was surprisingly not upset -- turned out that she routinely rented her mansion to film crews waiting for them to damage something (and they always did eventually, just not as spectacularly as I did) because the insurance would pay for her to renovate.
David Mullen, ASC
Los Angeles
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Old October 14th, 2006, 11:35 PM   #11
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Fogot to turn on my microphone one time during the best man's speech. For some odd reason the father of the groom was recording everything on an iriver for himself and gave me an mp3 to put back in thankfully...still don't see the point in just recording audio when you're on the beaches of Thailand???

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Old November 17th, 2006, 05:56 PM   #12
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We forgot the DAT recorder...

On an indie shoot some years ago, I was picking up the sound guy, when he got into my car he asked if i brought the Dat recorder - with a silly smile on his face...
I said no with an equally similar silly smile on my face, both of us thought the other was kidding, our shoot was far away at a small airfield, using two cessnas propeller planes, and by the time we found out it was too late to go back.

The dialogue was carefully written down, and we did a good job at dubbing the thing, but it never came across as good as it should have...

I hate sound...
RED ONE #476

Last edited by Eirik Tyrihjel; November 17th, 2006 at 05:58 PM. Reason: typo
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Old November 19th, 2006, 09:18 PM   #13
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Forgot to record a ceremony

I was doing a three camera shoot of a wedding with one assitant. She _thought_ I turned on the unmanned camera (master shot) and started to record. All I did was turn it on. Every once and a while she checked the angle of the camera for composition (probably looked great), but it was only at the very end of the ceremony that we realized the mistake.

Fix- Creative editing with the other two cameras. This is exactly why I would NEVER film anything important with only one camera.
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Old November 19th, 2006, 10:55 PM   #14
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I have two, one was not me though :)

Working recently on a _very_ big music festival, we were capturing the live feed from the cams to beta decks under each stage (there were two). I was supposed to be in charge of both decks which would have been a stretch as it was a 10 minute venture getting through the crowd each way. The two people I was working with found someone else (semi-qualified) to work the 2nd stage deck while I manned the first. At the shows conclusion, they come to me after packing up and say that the guy they found to help switched the tapes on time and everything, but only pressed "rec" on the decks and not "rec + play". So the deck was armed the whole time but nothing was recorded. No footage from stage 2. My end was fine, however :P

And then on a film I was working on, I had three scene files set up the same except one was 60i, one 30p, and one 24p. Well the dial got pushed from 24p to 30p (which doesn't go to 24p nicely) and I shot two hole scenes this way. Yikes! A re shoot was schedualed before we left the set.

Turned out OK, however.
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Old November 19th, 2006, 11:33 PM   #15
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Yesterday, I was scheduled to shoot a pilot for a gardening show and it had been raining for three days straight. It was a weather permitting shoot. Even the night before, I was thinking 'No way'. I didn't even have my stuff packed. Producer phones me Saturday, 'the weathers breaking, Let's go!'. I scramble to get my stuff together. I was using my wireless lav for the first time. I arrive at the shoot without my headphones. Would have been an hour round trip to get mine. I sent the producers son around the neighborhood to borrow a set of earbuds from someone's ipod.

Good thing, because I had to constantly tweak the mic position. Teenage girl comes over a couple of hours later looking all pissed off. Turns out they were hers and someone had lent them out without asking.

Definitely not the worst screw-up ever, just the most recent.
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