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

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Old August 30th, 2010, 11:52 PM   #16
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Manchester UK
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Originally Posted by Claire Buckley View Post

Nice marketing to exclude others that haven't got 4 camera rigs, although I wonder how you go on when faced with a church policy that says one camera and one official video camera only - back to basics eh? And besides I think people are looking for value (not cheap) and we charge much less than most as we have very low overheads and a very good workflow - so for us it's a two camera shoot.
Claire, firstly, don't let me mislead you; as our site states we're usually three cameras because frankly four tends to over-face especially in the church, but if the venue and the wedding justify it then yes we'll go to four. For that our preference is high to one side of the altar, usually clamped and fixed or (if the floor is modern) on a dolly in one of the side aisles - both depending on the cooperation of the church of course.

However. your real point is what happens when we can only use one camera. Firstly all three cameras can be mounted on hotheads and operated by remote control, no wires etc. That usually overcomes the objection. If, not then frankly the bride probably isn't talking to us anyway because we'll be far too expensive for her.

Regarding the 1,2,3 camera argument, any fewer than three means that one of the three main participants at the ceremony are either three-quarter rear views or voices off. Presumably the single camera outfits concentrate on the bride, but regardless of which they choose, one of the clients is going to get the secondary treatment. That doesn''t seem to me to be anything like the description of "full coverage".

You are absolutely right though about value being the watchword - which is why we publish a chart for the clients to complete which allows them to compare for themselves our value against any competitors prices. Until I see my competitors copying that I'm not going to be losing sleep.
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Old August 31st, 2010, 05:47 AM   #17
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Travis, OK buddy we'll meet in the back alley......;-)

I get what you mean and I think you and I think the same way. When I talk to the officiant in a church I've never been in before if I get shut down I actually record that (I carry a camera cradled in my arms and hit record while talking to the officiant so if anything comes up later I have it on tape), anyway, I'll mention it to the B&G so they are aware and if they wish to speak to the officiant, fine, if he changes his mind, fine but to be honest, in most cases I don't get a hassel and he doesn't change his mind.

I said what I said before mesning in most case the couple is aware of any limitations well in advance of the wedding and have a choice at that time. Either abide, ask the officiant to bend the rules and be prepared to go along with whatever is changed (good or bad) OR change churches. Alot of the weddings today, the couple doesn't belong to the church but are getting married there because they liked the way the church looked or because they had heard the officiant before (usually another wedding) and liked the way he did the wedding.
Oh well, see ya in the alley
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
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Old August 31st, 2010, 01:30 PM   #18
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Location: UK
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Thanks for the overview and the greater detail. Sounds pretty good.

I'm retired from a 30-year career in broadcasting but still make this my full-time job as I just love keeping all those past skills polished. Doing weddings is something different - getting invited to attend a strangers biggest day - and getting paid for it - priceless.

Doubt though I would extend further than to what I can do on my own. I have the two-camera setup fairly well sorted but it's always nice to have that extra angle - but my prices reflect this.

I think keeping it simple has a lot going for it, and although I refer to all projects as productions my product is in its simplest terms a moving memory of the day packaged using doco production techniques.

Women don't hit harder, they just hit lower!
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Old August 31st, 2010, 01:57 PM   #19
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I think you have to remember that the sanctuary is "sacred", and if you're in there you need to be respectful - I venture that the "bad experiences" of video and photogs that climb around like a bunch of wild monkeys to "get the shot" probably sour the "powers that be", and I wouldn't blame them for a milisecond!!! I'd be peeved too.

Showing you're willing to "follow the rules" (I think it was Vito who mentioned the officiant became more willing to be helpful once he saw he was respected) goes a long way. If the church officials figure out you respect them, respect the sanctity of the building and the service and are prepared to be as close to invisible as humanly (and technologically) possible, you'll probably find a sigh of relief and a bit of relaxation of "the rules".

The problems start when you get "professionals" that don't understand the basic rules and formalities of a church environment - there are "casual" churches, some with better video and audio setups than most of us have, and then there are the old "high church" churches, with lots of stained glass and formal traditions... old ornate buildings, and more formal people, some of whom may have been in the church literally forever, or close to it, and are VERY interested in "protecting" it from the aforementioned "monkeys". Respect the venue, respect the people that have a vested interest in it, you'll probably get a lot further... just hope you don't end up right behind a crew that didn't!

I'm in the camp with Phillip of shooting multicam, but my remote cams are small, and can be set up VERY discretely - the biggest challenge is the taller tripods if I don't have an alternative place to set the cams. Love to have hotheads, but with careful placement I can get what I need from a couple "fixed" cams up front.
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