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weddings, multi cam shooting and editing

freelife2g's picture
Last seen: 2 years 3 months ago
Joined: 02/25/2009 - 6:01pm

What's up everyone. I am a hobbyist continuing to learn every chance I get which is why I love these types of forums. Currently I am working on my event skills. A few people have asked me to video their weddings. As always I like to do my homework. Between the weddings I have been to and the ones I have seen on you tube, I know a couple of things.

1 - I have to work on shooting in low light, because I hate those on cam lights that blind everyone facing the camera.

2 - Documentary style seems to be most common, plenty to learn in order to produce consistent quality products.

3. I really want to get good at the cinematic style videos. Definitely a lot to learn here. Can't wait!

I have 3 cams in my arsenal right now, a Canon HV30, a Canon Rebel T1i, and a Canon XHA1.

I would appreciate tips and info on setup, camera placement and use for each camera, and editing footage from different cameras. Monopods vs Tripods. I saw one videographer using tripod with a dolly setup. Never saw the final product, but she was rolling around the room all night. Question, can you do a multi cam shoot with only 1 cameraman? If so how would you do that? I have a couple of people in mind that I may be able to use as an assistant but for now I have to assume that I am a solo crew until I get that worked out.


Jack Wolcott's picture
Last seen: 11 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 01/02/2008 - 11:51pm
Plus Member

Freelife2g, I don't mean to be too harsh about this but what you're asking would take a book to answer. If you're serious about shooting weddings, first take a couple of Videomaker seminars to answer your basic shooting questions, then go to a WEVA convention and pick brains regarding the niceties of wedding videography. See if you can sign on with a local wedding videographer as an unpaid assistant -- an apprentice. That's a great way to lean, too.

There's really only so much you can expect in the way of basic help from the forums and you're kind of pushing the limits. One specific question at a time works best.

Jack

VideOccasions


freelife2g's picture
Last seen: 2 years 3 months ago
Joined: 02/25/2009 - 6:01pm

Thanks for the response sir. Definitely don't expect to get it all in a forum post, like I said, I know there is much to learn. Just looking to get a few gold nuggets along the trail as I mine for gold. Thanks again.


Ian Kirkpatrick's picture
Last seen: 4 months 2 days ago
Joined: 07/06/2008 - 1:38am

As you ar a hobbyistmaybe Jack is being a bit hard on you.

The most important thing for you to remember when you are videoing a wedding is that the important event of day is the wedding. Remember you are not the photographer, you are there to record ofthe events of the day, and not there tomake a Hollywood production. This dosen't mean you can turn out an inferior product, it needs to tell the story of the day in a warm and happy way andbe of a professional standard.As the videographer you must be low profile on the day andfit around the happenings of the day, you are not the "director".

So you must be well prepared which includes visiting the venues and the rehearsalif there is one, talk to the celebrant and MC if you can, to find out where people will beduring the variousparts of the weddingso that you can have camera angles etc in your head before you start. But stillbe prepared as things can change at the last minute, they usually do.

I havevideoed dozens of weddings and always remember what a bride once said to me when I asked what she would like in the video. " I would like a video so that my children (to be) and I can look backat my wedding and see everyone enjoying themselves."

So dollys, camera lights and anything obtrusive is out. And yes it is possible for one person to do a multi camera shoot. I usually have three cameras. One camera is set up on a tripod to take a reasonably wide view, from either a left or right quarter, started prior to the service or reception and let run. The A camera set up on a tripod with a fluid head, usually around the other quarter (remember the 180 rule) with a Manfrotto remote control arm which ensures smooth panning and zoom control. The third camera, I use a Canon HV20, which is the main B camera, hand held for close up shots such as exchanging rings, cutting the cake, throwing the flowers and the many other activities which you couldn't possibly keep up with with a tripod.

To keep them all in sync, ensure that they are all recording audio. There are usually enough sound on all of them to easily allow syncing in post. I record the main audio on the A camera usually with radio microphones.

When the bride rings or sends you a card to thank you for their wonderful wedding video and ordersextra copies and says somthing like, "how did you manage to get so much when I hardly even saw you there", you know you have done a good job.

Cheers Ian


freelife2g's picture
Last seen: 2 years 3 months ago
Joined: 02/25/2009 - 6:01pm

Thanks Ian. I appreciate the info. I understand what Jack is saying too. Asking one specific question makes it easier for some people to help. No offense taken. I'm just striking up conversation and getting insight from others. I'm open to all responses. It's all good. Got a lot out of your post for sure.

I agree a wedding videographer should have a low key presence. I was in a wedding last year and not only did the guy have this bright light blasting each of us in the face as we walked down the aisle, but this guy stood 5 feet away from us with his camera and walked backwards. He even followed the bride and groom up to the alter and stood next to them with his camera ! I saw the final product about 5 months later. This guy had about 10 minutes worth of self credit rolling before he even got to the video. He didn't include any of their music... it sucked.

So you're shooting a wedding as a 1 man crew. Your A - cam is on a tripod with a fluid head and a remote, lets say on the left front quarter. Your C - cam is also on a tripod positioned on the left back quarter, basically this one is stationary with a wide angle view, set to just record throughout .Your B - cam is hand held, and used to move around the room to get spur of the moment shots, close ups etc. Did I get it right? Also you mentioned that the B - cam is the main cam...correct? I wasn't sure if you meant the main B as in backup to the main camera, or main cam in general ( just labled B cam for reference ).


chuckzootz's picture
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 02/07/2012 - 7:16pm

Regarding your question re: multicamera shooting. I just finished editing a three camera shoot of a concert. I operated the camera doing tight shoots and following the players, had one camera on a tripod framed and focused for a medium shot of the stage and a third camera set for a wide shot to include the crowd. As long as you plan your camera placement and do your set up properly doing a multicamera shoot can work well, but remember planning is required.


Ian Kirkpatrick's picture
Last seen: 4 months 2 days ago
Joined: 07/06/2008 - 1:38am

The thing about videoing a wedding or any live event for that matter is that you only get one chance. If you miss somthing it is missed forever, so I take as much video as I can, but only a small percentage gets into the final video.

I may have confused you with some ofmy terminology.

My "A" camera is the main camera with the remote control arm, on the tripod which allows nice fine smooth control of the camera. (in your case this would probably be your XH-A1). This is the main camera I use for the wedding service, reception etc and is set up in a position in say the left front quarter. I usually man this camera so as to be able to follow action, apply some smooth subtle zooming, keep an ear on the audio being recordedetc. I do however sometimes leave this camera running unattended,framed on the action, while I slip away, with the HV20 to get closeup shots of the exchanging of rings etc.

The other fixed camera, in the other quarter looking at the same action which runs unattended, is not looking at a totally wide view but is wide enough to accommodate some movement of the participants. During a wedding service often the bride and groom are facing each other with the celebrant standing in front. With the two cameras positioned in this way you can usually, in post, cut between the angles to get a balanced view of both the bride and groom. (In your case I would probably use your HV30 in this position). This I would call the B camera.

When it comes to outside arrival scenes, location scenes bride geting into and out of the wedding car and the dozens of other continuity and reaction shots that you will want in your caseyou would probably use the Rebel T1i. I prefer to use a video camera soI usemy Canon HV20 or XA10. This is both a A and B camera depending upon what is going on at the minute.

I make extensive use of local sounds and music, especially where they have a live group or soloist. Providing that the group agree and I have never had a refusal yet, I often run another old Sony digital camera (with the lense cap still on)sometimes using the camera microphones, sometimes with a couple of reasonable quality external microphones, to capture the live music. Beingin video format, it is easy to use in post. I often use this music as continuity music to run under other parts of the video.

I don't want this topic to be hijacked into an argument on infringement of copyright, but providing you have a few shots of the music group in the video, playing the same tracksyou are only using ambient sound and it makes for great continuity.

Good luck.
Ian