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


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Old April 27th, 2003, 02:16 PM   #1
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Wedding Dance filming

I just had occaision to film my first wedding, and all went well until I got down to the first dance. I didn't like having the camera on the tripod, and hand held tended to be shakier than I'd like when walking around the B&G.

How are you all handling these situations?
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Old April 27th, 2003, 02:35 PM   #2
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Sit down or stand agains a wall or a pillar, or put the camera on a table, the ground, anything that will give support. Not something unique to wedding dance filming I guess ;-)
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Old April 27th, 2003, 02:37 PM   #3
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Just hold the camera with both hands as steady as you can. Usually the right one in the grip and the left one under it, and don't use the zoom. Lean against something if you can.
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Old April 27th, 2003, 02:59 PM   #4
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I use a mighty wondercam mini rover, but any L grip will work. The added grip allows you to hold the camera tightly and close to your chest.Your arm position and torso form a tripod of sorts. The mini Rover is $50 and you can pick up an L bracket for $12 at most camera stores. Use the mighty wondercam link below for the rover. the moini rover has an accessory plate that I mount my radio mic to. My shotgun is mounted on the pistol grip. I also have a manfrotto monopod and sliding camera plate which I mention below.

I just finished posting this stuff on the next thread. i'd like some questions answered myself so let's get started.

The steady stick? http://www.tiffen.com/steady_stick.htm

The Studeo 1 (HabbyCam) brace (standard and Super DV) does not offer a belly bar.
http://www.habbycam.com/products.html

The Varizoom and the Mighty Wondercam do offer belly bars.
http://www.varizoom.com/pages/lsp.php
http://www.videosmith.com/

The image 2000 looks like a sturdy rig.
http://www.zgc.com/html/image_2000_shoulder_support.html
http://store.yahoo.com/cinemasupplies/im20haglshsu.html

And finally the monopod I use, the manfrotto 457B/Bogen 558B has a sliding plate quick connect. the sliding plate allows you to balance the camera.You could also use it to hold the camera overhead with a reasonable degree of stability.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bh2.sph/...specifications


I want to buy a shoulder mount and like the look of the varizoom LSP. The image 2000 and the Habbycam(studio1) look well built but don't have a belly bar.

The might wondercam shoulder support while well made is not very wide or well padded. their mini rover on the other hand is extremely robust.
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Old April 27th, 2003, 04:19 PM   #5
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Harry,
To be perfectly honest there are a dozen things you can do. Remember I use a 150, so it's similar to a 2000. IMHO, These cameras are to small to handhold for looooong periods of time especially if you have any kind of additional attachments, IE WA lens which I pretty much use as standard equipment at ALL receptions, cam light, long shotgun (ME66 type) possibly a wireless receiver and a big battery. OK, now we're set to go right? I use a tripod all the time every time no questions asked (almost; read on). I have a Bogen 3067 dolly so I can and do move around some usually 1 or 2 sloooow circles around the couple, Now having said all of that, here's the exceptions. Some of the newer places are using ceramic tile on their dance floors. 12 inches square with real nice 1/4" to 1/2" grout lines. Guess what, NO TRIPOD! I use my shoulder brace because the grout lines give a really nice shaky bumpy look to the video that can't be fixed. Oh yeah, another time I don't use the tripod is in a really old place with a banged up parquet floor. Again too many bumps. So there it is, carved in stone. I use a tripod on a dolly, MOST of the time, and the other times I use a shoulder brace.
I hope that answers your question with authority, (HEHHEH)
Seriously, I try to use a tripod whenever I can for those dances and the rest of the reception of course is handheld (should brace).
Your choice.
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Old April 27th, 2003, 04:31 PM   #6
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That dolly idea really strikes a chord, Don. That would have been just the ticket, last night at the dance, and also at the wedding. That's something that I never considered before. Will also check out those stabilizers.
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Old April 27th, 2003, 04:47 PM   #7
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I always use a dolly on the tripod Harry, last night a good example. My daughter in laws sisters wedding, small room at a hotel, I'm in the aisle, my second all set up ready to go at the back (no where else to set it up). My other son was there as a guest so I had him looking thru the cam just before the start, he says the shot doesn't look good, he says better if the cam is moved about 7-8 feet to the left that way he could aim over everyone standing easier and have a better angle to the front. Easy to do roll,lock check the monitor for frame and fire away. Otherwise, pick it up don't kick it don't get the spiked feet caught in the carpet, you know the usual stuff. Plus a dolly has allowed me to move furniture in my house :0 really!
Well worth the investment. There are of course many options to holding a cam, tripod, monopod, shoulder brace, bean bags, chair backs and hands. They all have a time and place!
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Old April 27th, 2003, 05:46 PM   #8
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*******POSSIBLE STUPID QUESTION ALERT*******

I have a new Miller DS-10, and am curious about a dolly. However, the Miller dolly is pretty pricey (duh). Can a Bogen dolly be suitably adapted? Are there generic dollies out there, suitable for all tripods, in theory? Any other interesting dolly stories out here? I've had a devil of a time trying to choose a stabilizing type thing (Steadicam etc. is out of my range right now, since I emptied the vault for the DS-10). Anyway, any dolly-adaption ideas would be quite appreciated.
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Old April 27th, 2003, 07:43 PM   #9
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Barry,
A very sensible question, indeed. I have a DS-10 as well as a Bogen 3056 folding ("auto") dolly (which is of excellent design and construction). The DS-10 does not fit well into the dolly. The spiked feet do not mate well with it and the dolly's diameter is just a bit large for the DS-10 when it's at low height. (An example where the DS-10's mid-level spreader works against it by constraining leg spread.) The Bogen auto-dolly and the DS-10 can be forced to get along with the use of some grip tape at the feet. But it's not pretty.

Curiously, my Sachtler DS-6 tripod works very well with the Bogen 3056 dolly, almost as well as the tripod for which the dolly was originally designed.

I think that Bogen makes another folding dolly, their model 3137, that offers a variable diameter feature (although lacks the quick-lock pedal of the 3056). It may work a bit better with the DS-10, although it probably does not solve the foot-fit problem.

Like you, I just couldn't bring myself to spend such an outrageous sum for Miller's dolly, which has an inferior usability design to that of the Bogen.
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Old April 27th, 2003, 07:54 PM   #10
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Thanks for the insights--it seems like a great need Bogen or other accessory-minded manufacturers could fill, if it's technically possible in an uncomplicated way.
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Old April 27th, 2003, 09:57 PM   #11
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Ken,

Can't you remove the mid-level spreader when you use it on the dolly? The dolly will supply the bracing, so no need for the spreader. If it's not removable, that's a design flaw. It's forgivable, though, considering the price of the DS-10.
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Old April 27th, 2003, 10:07 PM   #12
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Harry- Look at the Varizoom Flowpod. You can use it as a regular monopod for steady shooting, or colapse it and use it as a steady cam for moving around.
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Old April 27th, 2003, 10:56 PM   #13
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Jeff,
Yes, indeed, you can remove the DS-10's mid-level spreader. It's attached to the legs via a pin-and-eye connection and is actually quite easy to remove.

The most prominent mating problem with the Bogen dolly is really the difference between the Miller's feet and the Bogen dolly's feet receptacles. You really have to tape them down to prevent the Miller's legs from coming free.
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Old May 8th, 2003, 11:47 AM   #14
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The "Dolly" idea struck a chord with me, and until I can afford something better, this is what I am sometimes doing. . . I went to Home Depot and purchased 3 - 6" "Super Dolly's". These are small triangular shaped 3 wheel platforms for putting under furniture that you want to move. I set 1 leg from the tripod into 1 each of the little dolly thingies, and off I go. Warning, these are a little noisy if using an on-camera mic. I haven't detected any unsteadiness in the legs, to speak of. Works pretty good in a pinch.
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Old May 8th, 2003, 12:16 PM   #15
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Necessity is the mother of invention. Remember at a wedding I'm not using the dolly to make hugh Hollywood dolly moves. Just a little to get a better angle and for the dances well it's so noisy anyway I doubt anyone would head a squeak from the wheels, just watch the areas where the floor comes together if its parquet, that's usually in 4X4 sections and screwed together.
Nice thinking!:)
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