Sports/News shooter has to learn a new style at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 17th, 2007, 02:03 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 512
Sports/News shooter has to learn a new style

So my cousin's getting married next month and she knows I'm a professional cameraman. So of course she's begging me to do her wedding video for her. For free of course.

Problem: I don't own any gear, I use what the TV station gives me.
Problem: Just because I shoot news and sports for a living doesn't mean I know how to shoot a wedding. I've never even watched a wedding video so I have no idea what the product should look like.

The answer to the first problem is that she's going to hook me up with a handycam. I'm hoping you guys can help me out with the second.

Of course I have huge qualms about this since really she should be hiring somebody who is equipped and experienced enough to do this. I am well aware that with the price of quality gear falling way too many people are getting access to gear without the talent to back it up, and even worse they're getting gigs by underbidding the people with actual talent. I really don't want to be one of those noobs who gets a gig without knowing how to pull it off. But I figured that if I flat out refuse she's probably not going to hire a videographer anyway, so I might as well give her *something.*

So long story short... what tips can you guys give me that will at least keep it from looking like a total disaster? Bear in mind that I *do* make a living shooting news and sports for local TV stations, I just don't have a clue what to do around a wedding. I haven't even been to one in over a decade.
Stephan Ahonen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17th, 2007, 02:28 PM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 2,965
I think you'll find many opinions on this board, mine included. So hear goes. If you want to do this thing close to correct, you'll need gear. Camera, wireless mic etc. If you are in a town where you can rent this stuff, that's great.

But honestly, I wouldn't do the wedding for free. I would consider it a huge liability to my reputation and relationship to them if the video goes in the crapper. About the handy cam, think about this, "oh yeah, my cousin is a professional camera man, and this is what he did."

I usually go with my gut if I have an 'iffy' feeling about a gig. If you believe that at this point in the process it's full of issues, then you can only imagine what it will be like 'working for them.'

That's my 2 cents. I don't work for free, unless it is charity or marketing.
__________________
What happens if I push the 'Red' button?
Steven Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17th, 2007, 04:00 PM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Apple Valley CA
Posts: 4,866
Hi Stephan -
WELL, considering I started out shooting friends weddings because I had the camera (not necessarily the knowledge...), I guess you've got a shot at it!

HMMM... handycam.... I'd check it out WELL in advance - I did a couple weddings (including my own w/someone else running cam) with some Sony Dig-8 cams... still get complements on them... go figure.

WHATEVER cam you shoot with, log some time with it and find out what it can and can't do. maybe shoot some footage and show your cousin what it will look like if you use that camera... see if there's budget to rent something better? Hey, if the bar is low enough, and you won't get "credited" for stuff that looks bad, maybe it'll fly.

"handycam" has a wide range of connotations - everything from $200 Mpeg units up to 2K prosumer cams... they even have throwaway video cameras now... I'd want to know what I'm shooting with personally. You can do some passable stuff from a low end cam with some post - but it's a LOT more work than having GOOD footage to start from. IMO, a good camera pays for itself in less post time VERY quickly.


SECOND thing - find a SECOND CAMERA, & a decent tripod - this is the "save your bacon" kit if you set it wide in the back (stop by to zoom it in a bit after the first part of the ceremony) - gives you something to cut away to if you miss with your main cam. You could also use this up front to get closeups of the bride if you can't get in with your main cam. That's also a suggestion that a "third" cam and tripod couldn't hurt depending on the venue.

Audio? Lots of discussion on that on the forums - knock back a root beer or two and peruse! Wireless is better, some sort of small recorder is also doable, maybe if the venue has a nice sound person who can record the house for you (haven't had a good one yet, but there's always that chance...). On camera mics if you've got decent house sound is always "possible"... how low was that bar again??

Attend the rehearsal. plan your shots then - test angles and positions, remember if there's a photog, they will be after the same shot list typically - intro yourself and try to work well together.

Footage to get....

wedding party getting prepped.
wedding party arriving if limo
guests arriving
"location" footage of venue/floral displays, stained glass, etc.

CEREMONY-
processional - look out for the flower girl and ring bearer - they're short...
here comes the bride - shoot up the aisle
handoff "who presents..."
speakers/music talent
<go to tripod from back>
blah blah blah
vows
ring exchange
candle/sand/blending
communion if they do it
<cam off tripod if you want to track the B&G out>
first kiss (reinact stuff "up front" if you couldn't get in close during the actual ceremony)
"proudly presenting Mr. & Mrs..."
walk up the aisle and out....

RECEPTION
(presuming your borrowed handycam can shoot under the typical low light conditions...)
B&G entering
toasts
speakers
first dance
M&G dance
D&B dance
Garter and bouquet toss
Cake/cutting/"sharing"
People/kids getting crazy on the dance floor
the getaway car and exit


I'm sure I've forgotten a few things, every wedding is of course different, and if you can take in a wedding or two so you get the flow it might help too...

That's a "quick and dirty" overview, but if you're already good at high stress shooting, weddings won't bump that up but half a dozen notches <wink>! It's probably not unlike covering a fire in an earthquake while jumping out of a plane with the defensive line coming at you... should be no sweat for ya!

DB>)

PS - I hope your cousin appreciates your doing this for her - the end result will last a lifetime!
Dave Blackhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17th, 2007, 04:26 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 481
All the above are great advice, but you never mentioned whether you are going to edit the video or not. Since you don't even know what kind of camera it is, I'm getting the idea that you haven't thought about editing. In that case, you might want to think about "in-camera" editing. Here's the thing, you know what makes up a good shot. Framing is framing. Use your "rule of thirds", do your basic 3 shot sequences, and listen and shoot for in camera editing. That way you can give it to her, say "congratulations", add a card and you are out of there. She may show it to friends, but why should you care? Unless you plan on getting the equipment and doing weddings on the side. It's a nice way to give her a personalized present that will be better than "Uncle Bob" and may be just as good as the "low ball" people in town. If you plan on trying to start a business on the side, and you plan on editing, then make sure you rent the equipment to do it right.

Good luck.
David Stoneburner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17th, 2007, 06:38 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 512
Thanks for the tips everybody.

Wedding video's not a business I'd like to get into. I'm quite happy doing news and sports and I've already got plenty of material in the demo reel. I'm not worried about the final product casting a bad light on me, since I'm not trying to break into weddings and also because anybody who'd see it would be in Florida, and I work in the Minneapolis market. I'm more worried about it because I just want to do a good job for my cousin.

I have thought a little bit about editing, but it's mainly along the lines of "who can I pawn this off on." Let's just say there's a reason I'm in the side of the TV business where the longest thing you'll ever edit is about 2 minutes long. I really find the whole post production process tedious and boring, I'd rather be out in the field getting more shots than sitting in a room waiting for stuff to render. If I have to edit at all I'd rather edit linear, it's just so much more immediate.

Renting gear would cost money. Nuff said. If she wants a good wedding vid she'll get what she pays for. I never have any problem saying that no matter who it is I'm saying it to.
Stephan Ahonen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17th, 2007, 08:19 PM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Huntsville, Alabama
Posts: 111
Hey... a fellow cameraman in tv!!!
What market are you in? I've been shooting for more than 10+ years and have taken up weddings on the side after the folks on this board have shown me 'how it's really done.'
Colby Knight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17th, 2007, 10:01 PM   #7
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 1,585
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephan Ahonen View Post
So my cousin's getting married next month and she knows I'm a professional cameraman. So of course she's begging me to do her wedding video for her. For free of course.
Run...run like the wind....
__________________
.
http://www.nosmallroles.com
Vito DeFilippo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 18th, 2007, 09:52 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 512
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colby Knight View Post
Hey... a fellow cameraman in tv!!!
What market are you in? I've been shooting for more than 10+ years and have taken up weddings on the side after the folks on this board have shown me 'how it's really done.'
I'm in the Minneapolis market, #14 or so.
Stephan Ahonen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 18th, 2007, 06:55 PM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Huntsville, Alabama
Posts: 111
Market #84 here.
I gotta admit... I used to HATE doing weddings. I would try to fake my own death to get out of doing one.

Then I found this site... saw the samples these folks post... and it made see the light!
Colby Knight is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:50 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network