Shooting the march at

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

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Old July 3rd, 2007, 11:53 AM   #1
Regular Crew
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Medellin, Colombia
Posts: 187
Shooting the march

Hi! I'm curious how you guys shoot the marching-into-the-church. My client having a marriage in a medium/small sized church asked me to shoot from in front of the altar (having the aisle straight in the picture), but there are some things to be aware of:

1) How to focus the wedding couple. Autofocus (risk of camera misunderstanding object) or slowly trying to pull the focus by hand (risk of getting out of focus or moving the tripod head) or setting it to about 10 meters (out of focus partly). On could also want to slowly zoom out.

2) As soon as the couple comes to the front/stage, the camera has to be moved away not to be in the way of the couple (and attention), and at the same time camera nr. 2 will get camera nr. 1 in the frame. Moving camera with tripod and filming at the same time = risky.

Shooting from the side must be done from the side preaching pulpit though (normally 2 meters up around here), else the standing spectators are in the way...
Shooting from the side of the stage somewhere (0,5 meters up) could be an alternative, but it could be hard to really get above the spectators heads. Or standing in the back corner at the side of the altar. The latter won't give the "coming straightly towards the camera"-feeling and could also be hindered by spectators.

I am going to repeat one last time with the clients the day before and I am sure I will solve it somehow, but I am just curious how others do it (after all it's a very important moment of the couple's and their families' lives). I have shot many other types of films, but not very many weddings. Will use two manned A1:s and (I hope) one unmanned cam at the rear second floor with a wide view.

Edit: I think at this particular wedding the groom will wait at the altar, but anyway the bride will come in with the father, maid etc.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 01:03 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
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I typically shoot the processional from the front off the altar but near center. Just slightly to the brides side of the aisle. This allows me to do a number of things. I set focus to my side of the center of the length of the aisle, with DoF I'm in focus from back to just about the camera. As the wedding party walks into frame I let them walk out of frame I don't follow them. As the Bride comes down the I start to pull back slightly to capture the moment she is handed to the groom. As the couple walk up to the altar I have 2 choices. 1) I can either move around behind them to the center aisle and then move to my position OR I can go over to the side aisle and then move to my position. It depends on the church. I work on a tripod with dolly wheels with a full sized camera burt use a remote zoom and focus control so neither has ever been an issue. As for the 2nd camera in the shot, so what. It's only for a moment and no one will ever notice and if they do, oh well.
This set up is fairly common andtypical so don't let it worry you. If you don't feel comfortable with manual focus then auto focus but don't move the camera until the bride comes down the aisle that way you'll lessen the chance of the auto focus hunting. When I get lazy I will use auto focus and it works just fine as long as you're not moving the camera to follow any of the other bridal party.
I have also had to shoot from some bad angles where people standing have blocked me, well almost blocked me. If you know in advance that's where you're shooting from go up high with the tripod-and I mean high. 8 feet would clear you and it can actually give you a whole different perspective of the event.
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