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


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Old July 8th, 2007, 01:20 AM   #1
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My first wedding shoot today..

So I did my first real wedding video today, (first one where I was in charge) .. all in all I think it went okay.. i'm not going to say great, because the spot i ended up shooting from made it hard for me to see the brides face, (which means i was more on the side toward the grooms face so I got good footage of him) but of course shes the most important part of the video, but the side I could have shot her from had a POND smack dab in the middle, and then at the last minute they decided to put benches up from for the parents (outdoor wedding btw) and the parents were in my shot so yeah i don't know where i could have shot from to get better footage, there was no way to shoot behind the bride and groom from either side because the woods were right there.
The reception went well enough, but i was sitting there waiting around for the father daughter dance, but then ended up combining it with the money dance, and they played the father/daughter song during it, so the bride only danced with her father for a few minutes before someone cut in, .. and it's not like they were short on time.. it just wasn't a very formal event.
There was alot of me standing around with NOTHING to film because NO ONE was dancing and i was to worried to go around shooting anything else because i didn't want to miss the dance.
I realize I had moments like this.. when you don't have anything to film.. and you don't want to waste all your battery but you don't want to miss the beginning of an important event.. So i kept thinking "maybe I can turn it off now?" and then I would and i'd see something worth shooting, i'd turn it back on, and the moment would be over (nothing big.. just people, and cute little kids doing silly things)
Anyways, all in all the day went alright, now to the editing, which I will begin tomorrow.. This was for free, but i'm still going to do the best that I can do so i can use it for a demo video.

I will definetly recommend investing in a good tripod, both of my tripods weren't cutting it, they weren't panning smoothly and it was hard to use when I was zooming in for important moments like the exchange of the ring, etc.

Secondly I ALMOST forgot to mic up the groom (i had an iriver and a giant squid mic) and HE remember luckily! my 2nd videographer was supposed to remind me in case I forgot and both of us forgot!!! I'm glad the groom was on top of things.
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Old July 8th, 2007, 02:29 AM   #2
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Waiting for something to happen can be quite boring, an average weddingday lasts about 14-15hours for me and I actually film 2 to 3 hours meaning 12 to 13 hours walking around and sitting. Especially receptions last forever.
Once you get to do more and more weddings you can tell in advance when something is about to happen, here allmost every wedding follows the same tradition which makes it easier for me to know when to be ready, in the evening I just sit on a chair and switch to eagle eye mode :) Anything I see then worth filming I jump up and film.
Once I missed an important event (The speech) in the beginning of my carreer, I had to go to the toilet and when I was sitting there I heared someone speaking in a microfoon. :))

In regard to tripods, definetly yes, invest in a good fluid head tripod, they make a world of difference, I started with a cheap tripod and it doenst' look professional when the cameramovements are not smooth. Now I use a manfrotto with a 701rc2 head which give very smooth pans and tilts. Only I find it a bit heavy.

I wish you good luck with your business and share some more of these nice stories.
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Old July 8th, 2007, 06:38 AM   #3
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Good job, Jenna, you did the best you could. Be proud of yourself!

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
I just sit on a chair and switch to eagle eye mode :) Anything I see then worth filming I jump up and film.
Noa, you gave me a laughter there! :D
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Old July 8th, 2007, 08:40 AM   #4
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Noa, you gave me a laughter there! :D
At my age you are glad that you even manage to get up from your chair. ;D
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Old July 8th, 2007, 08:54 AM   #5
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At my age you are glad that you even manage to get up from your chair. ;D
As long as you manage to "jump up" at your age (100 years?) your'e perfectly fit. ;)
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Old July 8th, 2007, 01:40 PM   #6
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question about harddrive size and footage

Hey, i got a question for you guys.
Okay, so i have 70% free on my regular harddrive and i have a 2nd harddrive with 89% free.. I know video takes up ALOT OF ROOM and i realize i can't upload footage to my 2nd drive or it goes really choppy like it's strobbing and the audio strobes as well, so my problem is, i know i'm not going to have enough room to upload EVERYTHING at once..

Here is my idea..

I was going to upload a bit at a time, like a tape or so, and then weed through it to find usable stuff, put it on the timeline, burn it to dvd, delete the original large file, and import the burnt dvd... then I was going to continue the process until i had everything usable, and then combine it all onto on final dvd. Do you think this will work? I figured i could do the whole ceremony, put it on a dvd, and then the reception, the highlights, etc, and then combine them all on one or two dvds depending on how much can fit.

Will the quality of the video degrade from export to dvd to import back onto my computer?
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Old July 8th, 2007, 02:07 PM   #7
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Why not just import a tape, cut it down to what you want to use, then export the timeline to a Quicktime file? Repeat and rinse.

If you export to DVD and recapture from the DVD your quality will definitely be lower because video on DVD is compressed video. Then you will be recompressing the video when you make your final DVD. I would highly recommend against doing that.
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Old July 8th, 2007, 02:32 PM   #8
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You could:

1) Ask the client for a down-payment to fund a 250 GB external USB hard disk. Would save you a lot of time (and frustration?). Or if you have a really sure payment coming up, ask for a loan for the hard disk from a family or friend you have a good relation with.

2) Do it the old way: record the tapes to VHS with the timecode printed on the screen, and do a pencil tape-log, then plan the whole dvd in your head, then import to computer what you need. This will have two benfits: a) you will have a overlook of all the material before you start to choose for the edit b) it will train you in a very good skill, to think through your edit before you start the actual cutting. It can actually be time-saving but will wear the dv tapes one (or more) extra time.

3) Do as you proposed. If you burn the raw avi (or .mov in FCP) files as a 'data dvd' in an external burning program, there won't be a loss, just watch that you don't do a MPEG2 dvd (dvd player compatible dvd), as it will destructively compress the files. Try first with a smaller chunk, reimporting the files all the way to the edit timeline to be sure. A normal dvd holds about 4,7 GB, and as you know DV takes up about 2 GB per 10 min running time.

4) Do any other smart thing proposed by smart people here.

Edit: 5) Import a tape to a timeline, make a pencil tapelog from the timeline, then delete the media files, do the next tape until you have made tapelogs of all the tapes, then plan your whole film, then recapture what needed.

6) If your program supports it, you could capture a tape and do the log in the program, making subclips and note them good or bad and a description and tape number, and then erase the media files so that the clips go offline but stay with their timecode information, saving your project continously, then when you have logged all the tapes you recapture the good ones with the "relink media" function or similar.

Last edited by Urban Skargren; July 9th, 2007 at 09:09 AM.
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Old July 8th, 2007, 03:52 PM   #9
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Jenna -
what are your system (computer) specs - you're shooting SD, IIRC, so you shouldn't be getting too much stuttering if the drives are 7200rpm and set up properly. I think a little fine tuning your 'puter and you'd be AOK as you are - may be worth a shot before making too much work for yourself - depending on the editing program I think you can also preview you tape and mark in and out points so it only records what you tell it to - I usually don't bother, just dump the tape, cut later... saves wear on the cam/deck.

Just FYI the .avi files will be approx 4G every 20 minutes - how many tapes do you have?

I originally edited on an 1800+ AMD single core, it was slow, but doable. I think I even did some stuff on a 1200 T-bird Athlon at one time... come a ways since then.

System optimization for video editing is slightly tricky, but you might want to fiddle with it first, unless you're dealing with a really antiquated old beast of a computer!

You might also check the help files of your editor and see if they give optimization hints too. Kill all un-necessary process, sometimes reconfigure the drives either in software or hardware, those are a couple things offhand!
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Old July 8th, 2007, 04:50 PM   #10
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Big Trouble!

Well big problem here, I just started uploading the footage from my second camera only to realize it is corrupted!!!!!!! I had a problem with it before, but i thought it was fixed, apparently i was wrong.

So, the pixels on the RIGHT side of the frame, only about.. maybe half an inch or less into the screen, are lagging behind badly. This means that anytime a zoom is done or the tripod was moved in any way, the pixels from the previous frame lag behind momentarily and it looks terrible, the ONLY clips i can use are the ones where NOTHING moved, included whoever or whatever was on the right side of the frame, luckily the center and rest of the frames are fine, I thought perhaps I could do a vignette to hide the corruption, or I could just avoid using any frame with movement it in it, but the bad thing about that is there are moments that the 2nd cam captured and different angles that i'd like to use!

Even when the camera wasn't moving, the people on the right side of the frame (the groomsmen) were swaying to and fro and this caused the pixelating thing, I thought I could be clever and freeze frame a clip, and use a matte in after effects on that small section so it looks like the person is standing still. I don't know if it will worth but it is worth a try. I am just so upset, I haven't even looked at the reception footage yet! i know i can use SOME clips from that cam for the ceremony, but the reception.. i highly doubt, because there will be way to much movement in the right side of the frame.. (people walking by, people talking, people dancing) it was less noticable at the ceremony because everyone is standing still.

Anyone know what the cause of the problem is!??? Oh and the audio is ruined to, but thats okay cuz my cam got the audio, plus i had him hooked up to an iriver, but it's choppy, like it only captures a bit of sound every second.. it's very odd..
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Old July 8th, 2007, 05:16 PM   #11
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Jenna -
Your cam has alignment problems... that's the bad news... NOW, here's a couple options -

SOMETIMES if there's a misalignment, it will play back OK in the camera it was in, if using a different cam to download, OR, put it in the other camera, and fast forward it about 20-30 seconds, then rewind... sometimes if the tape alignment was so off that it spooled the tape wrong, FF/REW will realign the tape in the casette mechanism, and you'll get playback once the automatic tracking can get the tape in tolerance enough to track properly. The bad thing is if the alignment is bad enough the tape edge will be chewed, and there will be lost data... you can open the casette to examine the tape condition by pushing a little lever and then the cover will open - take a look at the tape, it should be shiny with smotth edges. If it is, there's a chance you'll recover the footage.

I had a TRV900 that would ONLY play Panasonic tapes or it would do what you describe, so for future reference you may want to try using a different tape stock. I like to record about a minute of video and play it back when loading my cams for a shoot, that way I can have at least a little confidence in whether the cam will record OK... been in your shoes, so feel you pain right about now.

HTH
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Old July 8th, 2007, 06:06 PM   #12
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Really sorry to hear all of that, Jenna. Hopefully Dave's suggestions help.
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Old July 9th, 2007, 12:58 AM   #13
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The problem with that is, the camera that i recorded the footage in wouldn't take the tape, I kept trying to put it in and shut it but it kept popping back up. I have had this camera chew up at least three tapes (luckily it wasn't really important footage) I think what i'll do is use my canon to upload the tapes, and THEN after i have it on my computer, i'll see if your trick works,

see before i fixed the problem by running a tape head cleaner, and after that i was fine, but the day of the shoot it starting giving me that same message "press the reset button".. which i had done in the past and it didn't help, only when I ran a tape head cleaner was I able to get away from the "blue screen" and actually record. I was to afraid to keep trying to get the tape to go in the camera and then have it ruined.

Anyways about the hard drive space for my computer, today I decided to try to copy some of the uploaded video files to my extra drive to see if they would play correctly (because i've had success before, but most of the time they shutter) but to my surprise, they played fine, and i was able to erase them off of my regular harddrive and stick around the 70% i was originally at.

I am having one problem though.. don't know if it's my editing software, never had a problem like this before but, during some playback it will like... play in slow motion, and the audio skips.. (similiar to how it would sound if i unsuccessfully tried to put it on my external drive) .. Then I'll just go back, and start it again from the beginning of the clip and it will work, but it just keeps going back and forth.. is this some sort of RAM problem?

I am going to put as much footage as I can on my extra drive to see if I can avoid having to dump it to dvd and then back again.

I hope i don't have any continuty problems with my footage seeing how I cant really use much from my back up cam, I'm going to try to fake it, and i'm doing a "blurred" edges effect to see if I can hide the pixelation. Maybe before I give the final project, i'll upload some of the clips and you guys can give me your opinions as to whether or not it looks well enough to use in the final project. Thanks for all of your help!
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Old July 9th, 2007, 07:16 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenna Klingensmith View Post
...

I am having one problem though.. don't know if it's my editing software, never had a problem like this before but, during some playback it will like... play in slow motion, and the audio skips.. (similiar to how it would sound if i unsuccessfully tried to put it on my external drive) .. Then I'll just go back, and start it again from the beginning of the clip and it will work, but it just keeps going back and forth.. is this some sort of RAM problem?

I...!
I had playback issues like that when my video card's fan went south and the card began overheating. The card was an ATI card with overclocking that was mainly intended for gamers and it slowed the clock down if it got stressed and overheated. You might open up your computer and see if dust accumulation plus the warm summer weather is leading to overheating.
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Old July 9th, 2007, 11:24 AM   #15
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yeah i think i have an ATI card to, lol, you might be right, my computer room gets dusty, thanks for the tip!
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