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


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Old May 13th, 2007, 05:16 PM   #1
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First wedding shot - now the edit

Oh dear what a hassel it was too.

One week before the wedding I decided to get a Firestore FS4 HD to go with my JVC GY110HD - just bragging lol

The fs4 arrived two days before the wedding, not really enough time to aquaint myself with it! I made a power cable to tap off the d-tap connector - no I havent found a source of a d-tap plug either! Also adapted a mounting system to suit. I ended up takiing the Friday off from my day job to do this!

Wedding day arrives and I go through my mental checklist - cant find cleaning tape!!

I looked at all the "luggage" I had to carry - decided I needed a set of wheels to move it around!

So its off shopping on the way to the wedding. Since this wedding is a freebie to get me footage for my demo reel I wasnt expecting food, so called in at local supermarket and bought water and sandwiches.

Then 12 mile treck to Maplins to buy collapsible sack truck and cleaning tape. 11am and I needed to be at wedding venue for 1130 - 25 miles away. Fortunately its a motorway drive with 5 minutes either end of local roads. Got there by 1133, not bad.

The sack truck payed for itself there and then - got all my gear into the venue.

ran the tape cleaner - it just grabbed the drum slowing it down and generating drum failures, pannnniccccc. Put tape in to check - all recording OK so assembled rest of gear, plugged in the firestore ..... wouldnt work on synchro slave hmmm manual record then... yup it looks like its working... Onwards and upwards.

The additional flowers posed a positional problem, the photographer left his tripod in the best spot - I assumed he was taking shots from there so left me with few opportunities. Only got glimpses of the bride walking down the aisle!

Felt like I was on top of the couple too! I was lol, wide wasn't wide enough, my tripod was too low. oh dear....

After the service I noticed that the disk used counter wasnt going down at all... hdd wasnt working - still I was using tape. After the ceremony I noticed that the firewire plug was in the computer IO not the cam IO.... doh! Strike 1 to unfamiliarity...

During the photoshoot I noticed that the power lead I made for the firestore had failed. Actually the plug broke - back to the drawing board there! I also switched the white ballance to 3200K during daylight instead of gain - EEEK!!

During the speeches, instead of the original plan of a PA, they just stood at the top table in time honoured tradition and talked loudly.. I used a shotgun mike and could hear the roar of the fire (venue was an old hall), I got useful sound on SD cam placed close to the top table.

Later on in the evening I found that the back focus had gone out, focusing on zoom would go out on wide. A quick fix worked on that so only lost a couple of shots.

Sorry for the long post, but I thought it would give the old hands something to laugh at (hehe) and some of the new blood some pointers...

Ians top tips

1. Dont use brand new untried equipment
2. Do get a decent tape cleaner
3. Know your gear
4. Plan your shoot and have an alternative plan
5. Know how to fix the minor problems (I am an engineer so wasnt phased by the technical issues too much)
6. Get a set of wheels to move your gear around (My gear consists of sound equipment case, bag of cables and chargers, Large camera
bag, small camera bag and 2 tripods)

Ian
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Old May 13th, 2007, 05:41 PM   #2
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On to the edit....

Editing woes...

Footage on the firestore was good and if it hadnt been my own issues, would have been easier to transfer.

So I set off on the capture route. First tape said "Nicola and Rob tape 1" Popped this into the JVC and set the NLE to capture (Avid liquid 7.2) No picture but sound... What???? looked at the cam - "switch 1394" flashing in the viewfinder... switched- nothing... First thoughts were blown firewire port - common issue on th GY100 series if you hotswap firewire. Then thought bugger, I recorded in SD.... Wrong, I had picked up the SD b-roll tape!


That sorted, I captured the footage. Well I started to, I had the presence of mind to shoot some cut aways during my recce visit. These were on the first tape. My first attempt ended up with a black screen with ! in the middle - no idea, restarted Liquid and tried again. Eventually the whole shoot in HD, all 2h30 of it. For some reason the sound is not actually linked to the video, I can move either around without affecting the other!

The plan for this week is to colour correct the bad bits, and try fix the sound issues I had, level some shots that got a little tilt in them and then edit.

As this wedding was priimarily my demo I have the following edits to do:
1. a demo reel - Number 1 priority!
2. the main programme
3. a 10 min short.

The couple want the whole day so they will get about an hour plus the 10 min short.

Sorry I am rambling again....

I will post a link when my new demo is up ;)

Ian
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Old May 13th, 2007, 05:45 PM   #3
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Ian

I'm just down the road from you.

Your story sounds very similar to my first wedding last year. It'll get better and it is a bizz. My worst disaster so far was plugging the line output form radio mic reciver into the headphone monitor socket. Fortunately the sound was just about still usable.

Ian
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Old May 13th, 2007, 06:17 PM   #4
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Hi Ian

Done that too ;) but not on a wedding. I have a paying job booked for next month, I hope I remember to pick up on the issues I had heheh.

Ian
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Old May 14th, 2007, 10:23 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Ian Briscoe View Post
Ian

My worst disaster so far was plugging the line output form radio mic reciver into the headphone monitor socket. Fortunately the sound was just about still usable.

Ian
LOL! Trust me, I'm not laughing at you. I am simply laughing because I just did this on Saturday! I take comfort in knowing I'm not the only one! I could have died when I realized what I did. THankfully, the sound in the church was okay anyway, and the vows are fairly clear from one camera I had set closer to the front. Not the best, but usable!
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Old May 15th, 2007, 10:11 PM   #6
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I can relate! I did my first wedding last weekend. As prepared as I thought I was, I learned some good lessons.

1. Ceremony was outside in a Gazebo which gave me a lot of options for setup of tripod for bride and groom vows. I reviewed with the officient the exact location of where the B&G would be standing. I did not anticipate one of the groomsman would park himself right in front of the camera. Lesson - notify all in the wedding party where I will be shooting from.

2. Messed up several scenes as I left the ND filter switch on camera after moving from sunny location to shade. Likewise, missed some audio because I forgot to toggle back from XLR to on-board mic. Lesson - become more familiar with camera and settings.

3.Forgot business cards. Several people asked for one and I had to scribble out on my number on a napkin - very professional!

4. This was a solo shoot with three shooting locations, bride prep, ceremony and reception. I was running like a madman until I got to the reception. Lesson- give up shot of bride either getting in or out of Limo or get help!

5. My gear consisted of two cameras, light kit, steadicam, sound kit, two tripods. Moving from ceremony to reception required me to walk up a steep hill carrying all my crap. Lesson- bring help or cut down on gear

6. At one point I hastely moved my A1 from my Merlin to the tripod and missed the rail on the adapter bracket. I almost lost the A1!. Lesson- be careful. Missing a good shot is unfortunate. Crashing a $3000 camera is catastrophic!

Anyway - I survived and on my way to the edit....
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Old May 16th, 2007, 09:01 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Art Varga View Post
Missing a good shot is unfortunate. Crashing a $3000 camera is catastrophic!
On the other hand, a camera can be replaced but a missed shot can't be. While we're on that topic, keep all recorded tapes in your pocket at each event, so just in case some of your equipment gets stolen you still have your work to deliver to the client.
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Old May 17th, 2007, 06:06 PM   #8
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Missing a shot .....Mmmmm Well, I found that whilst grading I have missed the confetti shot!!!! shock horror. I was sure I pressed the record button, its not on the tape and not on the firestore! gremlins - gonna shoot the blighters!

The good part is that 90% of the footage I recorded was great. I am gutted about the confetti shot, I wanted it in slomo for the final edit. At least it was a freebie...
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Old May 17th, 2007, 10:35 PM   #9
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Yep - brings back memories of my first couple of weddings!

I keep a small notebook and write down notes as soon after the event as possible - sort of a personal debrief. Hopefully this stops me from making the same blunders - I just keep inventing new ones :o)

Last wedding I muffed the speeches - the father of the bride changed positions and the venue was so small I was trapped in a corner and could only get him side-on at best and his back at worst. Fortunately I got OK audio and got very creative with still photos that I sourced from bride's parents illustrating the bride as she grew up, met the future groom etc etc.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 07:42 AM   #10
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Hi Ian,
Well what a day!
Glad you managed in the end, missed the confetti shot myself as they were not allowed to do it in the church grounds so it happened as I was packing the gear away at the church on the road outside! No one had said anything so I had no idea it had happened until I walked out of the main gates and saw it all all over the floor DOH...................

Been there done that with new kit though, I had a all singing all dancing flash for my DSLR burnt out a few pics and under exposed the rest! All I can say is RAW (and capture one) is your friend! :-)

I must admit i was out over and over again filming .........er crap with the video cameras before my first one and I still set the XL2 to Auto when it had a full manual lens on it footage looked ok though (didn't know it worked on at all auto to be honest) as I've always set it to manual exposer and shutter speed there you go though.

Good luck with the next one anyway!!
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Old June 7th, 2007, 05:43 AM   #11
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Well I got it finished - or so I thought....

A TOP TIP - check spellings on titles, especially unusual names! The couple got married it a historic venue called Samlesbury Hall, unfortunately the phonetic version, like what most people speak it round hear soften the 'sam' to 'salm'. so I accidentally spelt it "Salmlesbury". Doh!!!!

Best of all I should have known how to spell it, my full time employer has a factory there lol

Redoing it to correct :) Also I decided to split the DVD into 2 discs, main and highlights with messages, highlights and a HD wmv version on the disk too - that way it will all fit :)

Learn and adapt is the name of the game :)

Ian
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Old June 7th, 2007, 06:02 AM   #12
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another hint:

just as you're nearing the end of your edit, email the B+G, (or one of their close friends/family if they aren't avail) and in the email ask them to double-check all the full names of locations and the bridal party, from your original planning sheet.

saved my bacon a couple of times with weird surname spellings!
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Old June 7th, 2007, 07:33 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Ian Broadbent View Post
Missing a shot .....Mmmmm Well, I found that whilst grading I have missed the confetti shot!!!! shock horror.
Ian, not that you probably want an idea, or maybe you do, but here's a way to salvage missing the confetti shot. If you can get some pictures of the confetti shot, then go to your green screen (or white background) and over lay confetti dropping over the picture, with the right music, it might actually work.

Just an idea.

Everyone in this business has had thier first wedding. Our first one was a 3 camera shoot, with two operators. I can remember it like yesterday, August 90 plus degrees, high humidity, light rain, and outside.
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Old June 7th, 2007, 12:30 PM   #14
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yea check my post for some good blunders. I`m also editing right now to find my firestore C corrupted alot of footage and half speeded audio on alot of footage...lots of it had no tape back up. I also had my gain on +12 for half the day not realizing it from a previous low light shoot, AND i missed the bride coming down with her father...ouch. I`m doing my best to still have something presentable... thank goodness its only 'practice'. And I second everyone who says....bring help!
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Old June 10th, 2007, 07:04 AM   #15
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Only problem with "practice" videos is the couple expect perfection for free ;)

On the "Bring help" Oh I wish lol. I had a wedding on Friday and one on Saturday. I used a new camcorder for the B roll shots on both, so I had to manage 2 cams, tripods and mikes. Rig and de-rig at the church, all on my own. Friday was a Long hot day with a 1.5 hour drive each way. Saturday was just the service and photos fortunately, in town too so I was home by 5pm.

Now I have problems importing files from the B cam into it in Liquid :( The new cam is 1080i and my main is 720p. Hours of conversion to do in Liquid, because Liquid does not like the audio on conversions I did in TMPG Xpress 4!

Who said Wedding videography was easy ;)
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