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


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Old November 24th, 2006, 06:06 AM   #1
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getting into weddings...

Does anyone have any tips on getting into filming weddings? I have a Canon XL1 and a Manfrotto 351mvb2 503 tripod, is that enough gear?
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Old November 24th, 2006, 07:29 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Fraser
is that enough gear?
Enough gear for what?

To charge $3500? To make a living? To do freebies?

I see lighting and audio as your two primary issues right now. At least another camera too. Can you edit footage?

It would help if you put forth a little more effort and explained what your expectations are and how much you're willing to spend.
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Old November 24th, 2006, 08:04 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Fraser
Does anyone have any tips on getting into filming weddings? I have a Canon XL1 and a Manfrotto 351mvb2 503 tripod, is that enough gear?

Andrew,

You got this posted in the correct forum, now please go and read the other posts in this forum, many on the same subject.

The have been numerous posts on starting up, and gearing up. Maybe hundreds of posts covering what you are asking. By reading these and learning as much as you can, you can then ask very specifically targeted questions to find answers.

Rick starts with some basic questions for you, and others will chime in, but please go and read some posts. You can use the search function for specific topics, and by using the advanced search you can search only in the Wedding / Event Videography Techniques forum. This will save you time in getting up to speed.

Think of wedding videography as a process, from acquiring clients to delivering the finished product. That will cause you to think it out, how to get clients, what gear(Cameras, Audio Equip., Lights, Editing computer, Editing software, Special wedding related software, Music-Royalty free, DVD Burners-Printers....Etc.

What is your experience level? What have you done before? I have looked at some of the wedding video posted here, and it is absolutely beautiful and imaginative. I could not do them with the best equipment in the world at my fingertips. There are others here who could probably do the job with a camera phone!!!!

Weddings are a tough thing to shoot, as you only get one chance. If you screw it up, the bride and groom are not going to stage the day again and let you redo it.

Mike
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Old November 24th, 2006, 08:18 PM   #4
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What I meant was is that enough gear to do a simple wedding, I have had a look around the forum and there are some useful articles around
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Old November 24th, 2006, 08:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Fraser
What I meant was is that enough gear to do a simple wedding, I have had a look around the forum and there are some useful articles around
If it is your brother and it's his 3rd wedding, yup you got it made. Otherwise you need extensive audio gear, i.e. wireless systems, you need at least one other camera, probably some lighting equipment and you need an assistant to help you out.

"I don't do weddings," but I did one last Saturday!!!! It was a disaster! Not my fault, but theirs and the natural elements. Good thing it was a freebie and it would not have occurred if I did not volunteer to do it. Err, not the wedding, the videography!

You would think I would have learned not to "Volunteer" after seven years in the US Army! Alas, it will be the subject of a new post soon, but for now just understand that my difficulties were not of my making, but that doesn't mean that all would understand that, if they were paying clients!! They will be grateful for whatever I have, but paying customers would likely not be so understanding.

Read the posts again and understand that what you are endevoring to do has many aspects and responsibilities. Get more equipment and help and then charge more for a professional service.

Mike
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Last edited by Mike Teutsch; November 24th, 2006 at 10:44 PM.
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Old November 24th, 2006, 10:34 PM   #6
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When I started doing weddings 20+ years ago I did 1 camera wedings because that was all I ahd and all I could afford. Today, even if I shot 3 cameas I still shoot as if the others aren't there. Why? Cause they COULD break, stop working get blocked, knocked over or any 1 of a hundred different things could go wrong with them. Having said all of that here's why. Yes, you most definately can shot with 1 camera. SLOW careful moves at the right time, no sniping (panning and tilting looking for the shot) slow easy zooming ONLY when 100% necessary. Remember even if it's your brother getting it on for the 3rd time he still wants something halfway decent. A 2nd camera (even a cheap 1 chip consumer would wbe OK at this time) for cut aways would be great to have but remember to shoot as if it doesn't exsist.
OK whats next---SOUND! the on camera mic will be useless. Rent a wireless if you need to but get at least one for the groom-this should also get the officiant talking. If possible use either a 2nd wireless to a second camera OR something like an iRiver or M-trak for the lectern.
For the reception an on camera light is just about your most valued tool. If it's anything like they do here in my area it will get dark in the room about the time they start dancing and as good as the Canon might be in low light it ain't gonna work with out a light. A 20 to 30W with some sort of diffusion should be fine. Also if you have an independent recorder (iRiver or such) this is another good time to use it to get a clean track of music and speeches for use in post. Personally I either get a feed of the DJ board OR place a wireless handheld or shotgun behind the DJs speaker to get clean audio but its up to you.
NOW, can you do WITHOUT all of that and still do a 1/2way decent job? Yeah but believe me it'll be a whole lot easier with the wireless and light and you'll have much better footage to boot. Use the tripod for the ceremony thats why you have it, rock solid steady footage is a great start but CONTENT to me supercedes that if need be.
As far as an assistant, well they're nice to have but but you can do the job very nicely without one.
Anyway just my $.03 worth (adjusted slightly for cost of living)
Most important thing, relax, take a breath and have fun!

Don
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Old November 25th, 2006, 11:00 AM   #7
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What are you going to use for editing video? Windows Movie Maker or iMovie will probably work fine, but it would be better to invest in a some real NLE software, even more so if you have more than 1 camera angle to edit with.

Does anyone know if you can still rent editing workstations? I assume it will probably cost more to rent a workstation for a couple of months than to go and buy some software for the computer you have now.
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Old November 26th, 2006, 04:15 AM   #8
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Ive already got adobe premiere pro 2 and encore 2 to use for editing
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Old November 26th, 2006, 07:46 AM   #9
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Andrew,

You are being very conservative with your words and we are trying to figure it all out for you with little information. Long replies to short questions!

How about you start again and give us the full details regarding your experiance level, your camera equipment,accessories, computer, software, motivation for getting into weddings, everything? List all that you have and tell us more.

Mike
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Old November 26th, 2006, 09:58 AM   #10
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Don, does the music at the reception sound good if the mic is placed behind the DJ's speaker?
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Old November 26th, 2006, 12:05 PM   #11
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Depends on the mic you use.
I used to use a shotgun (AT897) in front of the speaker but found that some DJs would start blasting away as the evening went on so I was constantly "riding the wheel"-so now I use a caroid type mic behind the speaker to get the lows and a hypercaroid on my camera that gets the highs and ambient sound of the room. In post I can split the track and adjust to taste so I guess in answer to the question, yeah it gets good sound and generally I don't have to worry about it clipping off.
Don
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Old November 26th, 2006, 10:32 PM   #12
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Thanks for the reply Don. Seems like I'm always in a quest for better audio.
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Old November 27th, 2006, 07:46 AM   #13
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Thanks for the reply Don. Seems like I'm always in a quest for better audio.

Speaking with much less wisdom than Don, but I picked up a tip one time on this forum and decided to put my wireless mic on the dj's speaker. Thanks to who ever had that tip on here. It works well. Since we run two cameras at the reception, it works out well.
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Old November 27th, 2006, 08:25 AM   #14
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Speaking with much less wisdom than Don, but I picked up a tip one time on this forum and decided to put my wireless mic on the dj's speaker. Thanks to who ever had that tip on here. It works well. Since we run two cameras at the reception, it works out well.
Steve I think that was me, as I place 2 mics in front of the DJ's speakers, one AT822 feeding into either my Edirol R-09 or Zoom H4 recorders (for backup audio), and the other is my Samson Micro32 wireless handheld fed into my main camera (I ride the levels accordingly during the night).
Lately, the audio that I have been getting into my camera from the wireless is more than sufficient enough to use for wedding video usage. Although it's always good to have that backup audio from another source like a digital audio recorder.
When I record recitals I take a feed from the soundboard and feed it into my PSC Promix3 field mixer as well as feeds from 2 other mics, and mix them down, sending one signal to my recorder and the other to my camera via wireless. Very clean and controlled.
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