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


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Old July 25th, 2007, 01:12 AM   #1
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1 Manned, 1 Unmanned Camera... First time, for a friend...

I'm just wondering what you guys suggest, I'm filming this for a friend, I've never done a wedding, I never plan to do it again, but he offered $300 and bought my old camera (he's using it to film his honeymoon) It's a 3 hour drive there and back, but I was already planning to be in the area, I'm just staying another night

It's all HD... I have an HV10 (which I'm selling to him) and an HDR-FX7...

I have one fluid-head and 1 photography tripod, I figure I setup the HV10 to shoot wide-angle non-moving shots, that I can play around with in post... but where do I set that up?

Where do you think I should setup/stand for the ceremony? I've really never done this before, and I told him not to expect anything amazing, I just... don't know what to do :)

The video is just for him, his wife, and parents... close friends etc.

Any examples would be nice...

Should I go hand-held for any of it (I can be super-steady at wide-angles... just anything zoomed in I need a tripod for) maybe the dancing?

Haha, I really suck at this... either way, any help would be nice (Wedding is this sunday)

Also how many tapes do most of you use? I just ordered a 50 pack for $100 off ebay of Sony Premium, and am not sure how many I should bring...
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Old July 25th, 2007, 02:00 AM   #2
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Tape stock - depends on the ceremony and reception length - most times you can use the same tape for the ceremony and part of the reception. if you think you'll need 4, bring 6-8...

go to the rehearsal if at all possible, and experiment with angle,s keep in mind that floral displays typically pop up right in front of your chosen spot... be flexible...

Oh yeah, be sure to clear your positions with the co-ordinator or the officiant.

a couple possible setups:

1 - your HV up front on a tripod or a minipod or maybe a clamp pod... depending on the layout - shoot from groom side towards bride - set it up as close to the right angle and zoom as you can, crop in post. Then tripod the 7 in the back, zoom in as needed. This is pretty simple, but it will work...

2 - set the HV in the back on as high a tripod as you can, or in a balcony if available set wide, try to pass by and zoom it in afer the processional, so you've got a tighter shot on the bridal party up front. Handheld the 7, start up front, shoot processional, bride coming forward, handoff, then move back, tripod if you prefer for the majority of the ceremony (or stay up front, and zoom in while trying to stay unobtrusive). The digital zoom of the 7 will let you get in fairly tight for most things while shooting from the back, so that's not bad - get the kiss, candle lighting, etc. You can re-enact after the ceremony if you think you missed anything critical.

be at the back center (go handheld if your tripod-ed for the ceremony) for the presentation and the recessional, you can play some with zoom and back out - think the shot through, and you'll probably get some ideas.

Main thing is to think through where you'll want to be, and this is where the rehearsal is VERY helpful, especially if you've never done this <wink>.

Audio - read some of the other threads for suggestions there.

Reception - co-ordinate with the DJ if they've got one, he should know when toasts, intros, cake cutting, first dance, M&G, D&B dance, bouquet toss, garter toss and all that stuff are going to happen. most will give you a heads up so you can set for the shot.

Try to make friends with the photog too - if you work together, things go smoother - read this forum more for how that works <wink>.

Do "Jaywalking" style interviews with guests (get a outgoing friend of the family or member of the bridal party to emcee) - if you have even a cheap wireless or stick mic with a long enough cord, this is good if the reception is loud. Lighting can be a problem at receptions, so if you've got a 10/20W light handy...

HTH
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Old July 25th, 2007, 02:06 AM   #3
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No mics or lights... just an FX7...
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Old July 25th, 2007, 04:35 AM   #4
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Hi Joe -
yeah, figured you'd be pretty basic, but never hurts to suggest just in case any of the stuff was handy. If you had more time there are some pretty cheap ways to improvise, but...

Since it's a favor for a friend you should be pretty safe - that's how I ended up doing this and collecting all the miscellaneous equipment... I shot my first as a favor using method #1, and it was not really bad at all, not the dynamic productions that the guys here can crank out in their sleep (I still need to keep one eye open...), but it memorialized the event.

For the ceremony, there might be house sound and you might get lucky... but the vows are tough if you don't have something in there tight and the house system doesn't pick them up.

Even a really cheap lav mic and pocket recorder on the groom would be better than nothing, and for the reception a mic with a 10-15 ft cord and the 1/8" plug could work for the interviews if you wanted to try that - if the music's not cranked the onboard mic might get you by, but you're in trouble if the "ambience" is too loud...

Wedding shooting is not too much worse than shooting paintball (except it probably will feel like everyone's shooting at you...), try to make the rehearsal, and either make notes or good mental pictures of where things will happen, and you'll be fine!
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