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


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Old March 15th, 2003, 12:37 AM   #1
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Planning to get into wedding videography

Hi all, I just recently bought myself the XM2 and I must say I am over the moon with this amazing new cam.

I want to get into shooting wedding videos and I know there are a lot of experts here that are already in the industry.

Could you please tell me what gear I would need to get me started.

So far I only have the camera and canon wide angle lens.

What gear do you think is essential and what gear is a "nice to have".

I much appreciate your advice & tips.
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Old March 15th, 2003, 12:40 AM   #2
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Here's a good site for wedding stuff:

http://www.videouniversity.com
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Old March 15th, 2003, 01:18 AM   #3
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Get yourself a really good quality UHF wireless lav mic, and a good on-camera light for shooting the reception.
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Old March 15th, 2003, 01:26 AM   #4
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And try not to step on the bride's train. <g>
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Old March 15th, 2003, 01:45 AM   #5
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Dylan, can you recommend a good UHF Lav and On-camera light that won't blind the couple.
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Old March 16th, 2003, 03:19 AM   #6
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Audio and on camera lights aren't my specialy, but I'm sure the other kind folks here will give you lots of options. One thing they will want to know is "what is your budget?"
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Old March 16th, 2003, 04:20 AM   #7
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The last thing you need to put on top of your camera when shooting social engagements is a really bright and harsh sungun that sucks the lifeforce out of the moment. That's just such a classic wedding video moment when the videographer turns on his 75watt sungun in a dimmed down function hall and points it at people's faces expecting to shoot good b-roll. Right away people will turn or cover their faces and say "turn that thing off!". It's a good way to not be asked back.

The Canon VL-3 video light seems to be just the right amount of light, not too bright, just enough to fill in people's faces and it is diffuse. Also, you can pick it up for just aboput $40. Well worth keeping in your pocket.

The Sennheiser EW-100 series wireless kits are a good choice. Made out of metal and small, with a lot of range. UHF so you won't get stepped on by television transmitters and frequesncy sleectable. You can put anything into these transmitters with the proper cable adaptor.

Let us know how you make out!

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Old March 16th, 2003, 06:23 AM   #8
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Light - 20 watts absolute max, be sure it covers a wide angle. Lower wattaged may be better.

The wideangle is essential.

When shooting and editing a wedding, tell their story, not yours.

The harders part is that it is a party, and you are working, not playing with the crowd. Also, wedding thed to take place during prime play time, like weekends.

Have spares for everything essential. Test all gear before the event. In general there are no retakes for shots you missed. Work with the maste of ceremonies or DJ to get the timing for events.

FInd out who the family and important freneds are so you can get them at their best.

Churches oftern have rules for videographers and photographers. Be sure to find out what they are. SOme places have very strict rules thanks to past thoughless videographers and photographers.

Recording all iportant sound can be an issue depending on the size of the venue, where speakers speak, music, etc.

A wireless on the groom can cover the vows well, but may miss other speaking parts from the podium, etc.
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Old March 18th, 2003, 04:20 PM   #9
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Ok, this is great stuff guys. So summarizing what I have been recommended so far:

The Canon VL-3 video (20 watts absolute max)
The Sennheiser EW-100 series wireless kits

Ok, I have a few more questions:

-What is a good recommended tripod
-Surely wireless mics are not enough - Would I also need a shotgun like the me66 to capture vocals from the podium or is the built-in mic sufficient. Would it need to be boom mounted or is it better to have it mounted to the cam?.

What about those rainy days - I know it rarely happens but when it does - what is a recommended jacket for the cam?

Should I shoot in frame mode or normal.

I really appreciate your feedback.
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Old March 18th, 2003, 08:05 PM   #10
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Tripods are a tradeoff between weight, sturdiness and cost. I use Bogen 3021 legs and 501 head. Works for me and cost is moderate.

Suggest using normal mode unless you really want the frame mode look/feel. Movement and pans can be distracting in frame mode. But best to try each in a test to decide what you like best.

ME66 maybe overkill for weddings, but is an excellent mic. Problem may be running cable from podium to camcorder.

Boom may require a boom operator - not likely to be allowed at many weddings.

How to best mic a venue depends on how the event will run. Scope it out in advance. Options may include a mix of wireless mc on groom or preacher, MiniDisc with small mic wher needed (e.g, choir, podium, etc.), ambient sound from the camcorder, perhaps mic set near PA speaker, etc.

Churches tend to have too much reverberation for any mic at the camcorder to to get good voice.
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