How Many Cameras were at the Royal Wedding?

The most famous British royal couple of the day, Prince William and Kate – newly married and newly titled as Duke and Duchess, are probably still attending the many celebrations, formal functions and royal pageantry from today’s wedding. Many people all over the internet have quipped: “Who cares?” Well, apparently, according to the polls, millions of people do.

As I was watching the news this morning I was amazed at the amount of coverage this wedding garnered, on all stations, networks and satellite feeds. It made me wonder – how many cameras to you think were covering this event?

How many TV news cameras?
How many newspapers and paparazzi cameras?
How many home video enthusiasts were shooting with their camcorders?
How many Smartphones and cell phones recorded the event?


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The Wall Street Journal posted a report that CNN was sending 125 journalists to the event, whereas CNN only sent 50 to cover Japan’s earthquake. Then there’s ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, and the rest of the worldwide press.

It’s daunting, actually, to think of all those cameras – I’d wager at least one camera for every 4th person watching the fanfare outside, and there were thousands of people outside. Inside was a different story. It seemed like every angle was covered. And the images were so clear and in perfect focus! No shadows, no shots of the bride lost behind a huge bouquet of flowers, no contrast issues or low light/bright light concerns. None of the usual “Wedding Video Woes”!

Can you imagine the pressure on the crew hired to be the official wedding video producers? Wedding videography is a big booming business, but we all know sometimes the best shots are lost when the unexpected happens, your battery dies, someone bobbles the camera, the best man drops the ring or a bridesmaid faints.

Weddings like this one are choreographed to the nth degree, still, things can happen. With live coverage costing the television networks millions for a link to the live feed, I’d assume an intern wasn’t manning a camera!

It sometimes seems that everyone with a camcorder nowadays calls themselves wedding videographers, and many terrible wedding videographers have made the rest of us true event videographers look bad. Videomaker recently won a Telly Award for our Wedding Production DVD series, if you want to stand out from the crowd, royal wedding or not, be sure to check that out. And for more tips on stellar wedding shooting, here’s a “Sneak Peak” at a well-written feature from our upcoming July 2011 issue, “Make Wedding Videos that Wow!” by Jay Montana.

Just for fun, (it’s Friday, after all!) Here are a few statistics about the numbers of people watching at some major televised events and historical moments:

According to the Wall Street Journal and Nielsen research:
180 million watched the 1963 coverage of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination and funeral and murder of Lee Harvey Oswald.
600 million watched the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing and the first man-on-the-moon walk.
750 million watched the 1981 wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana.
2 billion watched Princess Diana’s 1997 funeral procession.
715 million watched the Italy vs France 2006 World Cup soccer final game.
1 billion watched the Summer Olympic’s 2008 opening ceremony in Beijing.
1 billion watched the 2010 coverage of the miners being rescued in Chile following 69 days of begin trapped underground.

With the internet and the over-abundance of coverage at today’s wedding, I wonder how many people watched at least a part of the ceremony or following events. Makes me glad I’m not manning a TV news camera anymore!

Jennifer O’Rourke is an Emmy award-winning videographer & editor.