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


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Old July 8th, 2007, 10:48 PM   #1
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Many questions from a newbe

okay I just finished filming two weddings that my wife volunteered me for and now have a paying one coming up and she thinks I should make a business out of this so I have a lot of questions for all of you. First of what is a good starter package of equipment to get? Right now I shoot on my XH-A1 and two small crap cameras. A complete list of anything I'd need would be greatly appreciated. The second question I have is do most of you put the whole ceremony on the DVD or do you put an edited short version of it? My last question is the best way to figure out what to charge. I know it all varies depending on where you live and what you offer. I've looked at some of the companies around my area but still don't really know what I should be charging. I've included a clip I'm working on right now so let me know what you think. It still needs some work and I have already figured out I need to buy a good tripod and not use my monopod just have to find one I can afford or at least one the wife will let me buy LOL. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Oh almost forgot have any of you had a problem with a wedding running long and running out of tape? I haven't had this problem yet but I'm always worried about it.

http://www.theywonthostmyclips.com/s...theWedding.mov
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Old July 9th, 2007, 05:36 AM   #2
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Kevin,

Do YOU want to get into this business? It sounds to me like your wife wants you to do it much more than you do. This is a big step, so I'd suggest the two of you talk it over before you start buying equipment, etc. Do you enjoy the work? Is this something you can do together? Just something for you and she to consider.

Your questions are good ones but have been asked by many others, so you will find some great advice if you look back at previous "threads" on this forum. There's tons of helpful material if you take the time to look. Otherwise, you may be asking the "regulars" here to simply repeat themselves, which many don't have time to do during this busy season.

Bill
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Old July 9th, 2007, 07:06 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Myhre View Post
...Oh almost forgot have any of you had a problem with a wedding running long and running out of tape? I haven't had this problem yet but I'm always worried about it.
Tape is cheaper'n dirt - take along at least twice as much as you think you'll need and practice changing quickly. You don't need to rewind the old tape before replacing it with new, for example.
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Old July 9th, 2007, 11:09 AM   #4
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In the years I've been doing weddings I have never run out of tape. I know how much I need to take with and usually double that. I just keep it in the bag. I keep 1 tape in my pocket at all times so I don't have to run to my bag to get it and even for long ceremonies the tape change which I know will occure in my primary camera happens during the communion of the masses. Since it's generally the backs of peoples heads it's no biggy.
As Steve said tape is cheap-buy it in quanities and it's even cheaper. Stock up and keep 10 or 12 in your bag at all times. You never know when something will pop up.
I agree with Steve 100%-do not rewind the tape unti lyou get home and are ready to load it in-no reason to unless you want to chaeck something out but then again wait until after the job. If you DID miss something at the wedding you probably wouldn't be able to go back abd reshoot it anyway.
Don
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Old July 9th, 2007, 04:31 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice. I normally carry quite a few extra tapes with me but am always worried about running out of the one that's in the camera at an important part. I do enjoy filming weddings that's why my wife wants me to start a business out of it. It would be nice to start getting payed for them instead of just being volunteered to do it because I have a nice camera.
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Old July 9th, 2007, 05:13 PM   #6
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Ah different thing. My advice is don't worry about it. I have done wedding of just about every religion and I have never missed an impotant part. After a while you get the "feel of when things are going to happen at a ceremony and just know with the amount of tape you have left that you're either OK or you need to swap out. For the typical non catholic ceremony they usually run about 20 to 35 minutes so there should be no worries there. For full mass ceremonies if you start with a fresh tape of 60 minutes (63 if they're panasonic PQ or MQ) you should be in like flynn. IF you need to change tapes do it during the communion of the masses. For the reception I finish off the tape thats in the camera from the ceremony and photo session during the pre reception stuff. Cocktail hour, receiving line -B footage of the cake sets ups etc. Then just before introductions I swap out tapes and sometimes batteries. Battery because I use a full size camera and with the light it sucks up th ejuice. If you're using a small formfactor camera you'll probably be fine. A fresh tape of 60 minutes or so gets the intros, toasts, blessing, cake cutting and generally the first dance, father daughter dance, mother son dance and the bridal party dance. This of course depends on how long winded the speakers are and if they are doing anything special during the dinner hour that might need to be taped. After the DJ or band announces open dancing, you're good to go. If you stop taping to reload a new tape what have you missed? Probably just the same 11 people on the dance floor acting stupid ;-) For the bouquet and garter if they do that, you don't need but maybe 5 or so minutes of tape.

After a few weddings you'll pretty much know whats going to happen when and if you make "friends" with the DJ or bandleader they can become your best friend and keep you informed of whats going to happen next and when it's going to happen at the reception.

So the moral of the story, keep an extra tape ready to go in your pocket and start the day with a fresh tape start the reception with a fresh tape and you should be golden. So as Bobby Ferrin said in his famous song, "Don't worry, be happy" ;-)

Don
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Old July 9th, 2007, 05:35 PM   #7
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And when the 5 minute warning comes up, be ready to make take that opportune moment to do a 20 second tape replacement. And get fired back up.
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Old July 9th, 2007, 05:40 PM   #8
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Don, I'm just curious here, how many one hour tapes do you use during a full day wedding? I take it that the 10-12 tapes in the bag are for a 3 cam set up?
When I started my business (I work alone) I filmed about 3 hours average on a full weddingday, now after 3 years I manage to use only 2 tapes (2hours) and get all I need. from that between 30-50min is left over on the finished dvd. For that reason I only take 4 tapes with me.
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Old July 9th, 2007, 06:17 PM   #9
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I do 2 camera ceremonies and 1 camera receptions-unless they are paying for a 3 camera cermony and 2 cams at the reception. Typically it's the first option and even though I carry 10 or 12 tapes I generally run thru 4 sometimes into the 5th tape. One of those is for my unmanned 2nd camera at the ceremony-it also depends on if I'm doing bridal prep (they pay - they get it-no pay no shoot) but usually 4 tapes. I don't try to get cheap about it or cut off what they get but frankly after you've gotten so much dancing how much of aunt Harry and uncle Sally doing the bugaloo do you need ;-)
I'm not cheap about it but I know what I want and need on tape. I get it and pretty well call it a night.
Don
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