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  1. #1
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    First time taping a wedding-- need preconsult advice!!!

    a friend of a friend wants to meet with me to talk about my bro and i doing her wedding video. we've never done one before- we have only done wedding photos. we are nervous and i want to get it across to her, that we are not professionals and its our first time, but i am pretty sure we will do a good job.

    Any suggestions as to what I need to ask, explain or be sure we both know before we move forward?
    i.e. schedule of wedding, her expectations...

  2. #2
    Hi Ted
    A non-repeatable event like wedding video is a tough call as you only have one take so you really need to be prepared and highly organised. The big difference between wedding photos and video is sound and lighting!! It's a little tough to do a "how to shoot a wedding video" in one post but essentially you need backup of everything!!! Ideally two cameras but if you are using just one make sure that you position yourself near the front of the aisle and start off wide angle and then do a slow zoom when the vows begin. You will need a radio mic on the groom and also one on the lectern when they do readings. Lights are seldom allowed in Churches but during the reception you WILL run out of light so you will need an on-camera light too!!!

    I would Google "wedding video hints and tips" for more information and you are more than welcome to visit my site as well if it helps
    http://www.weddingvideoswa.com

    What gear do you currently have to attempt this job so far???

    Chris

  3. #3
    Hi Ted, I've filmed a sisters wedding, and am planning on filming another friends wedding so I figured I'd give it a go. My advice is to find out exactly what the people getting married want. Like what for them are the highlights of the ceremony, etc.
    Good luck!
    Emily

  4. #4
    Good advice Emily!!

    Also I make a point of filming all the guests once they are seated too!! That way you make sure that at least everyone is on the video..just go around the tables and film everyone while nothing is going on and they are waiting for the wedding party to arrive!!

    Chris

  5. #5
    First off tell the couple exactly what you said in your opening, you've never done one before but you're think you'll do a good job. You sound as though you know your way around a wedding day as you've taken wedding photographs (I'm assuming as a contracted job). But keep in mind that this is to be the bride's big day so don't promise what you can't deliver. If the couple are happy with that then plan. Ask them what sort of coverage they are expecting. do they want some of the preparation recorded at home, have they got permission to record the ceremony, will you need to obtain recording permissions and copyright licenses or will they do that. As for the actual coverage, plan to shoot as much as you can (I am assuming that you will be editing before they get to see it).
    If you are not familiar with the venue visit it it before and establish where is the best position to record the ceremony from. If you're going to use radio mics make sure they wont conflict with the venue's system. If it's a church try and speak with the vicar/minister and establish what you can and cannot do during the service. Don't worry too much about the exterior shooting if there is to be a stills photographer, liaise with him/her before if you can, you'll no doubt know how essential it is that the stills and video are not in competition and should work in harmony and generally allow the stills to "direct" the event.

    Then on the day, before you even leave make sure you've got plenty of battery, spare tapes and fresh batteries in any mics that need them. Take your chargers. Arrive at least an hour before. If you have equipment (i.e. tripod, microphones, try and get them in place before people arrive. If you'll be using personal clip mic's attach them so that they don't rub on clothing. The one thing that is easiest to get wrong on a video recording is the audio. For most of the shooting you'll be able to get away with whatever you get but for the vows and readings you'll want to hear what is said. Ask the groom what time he'll arrive and be ready to start shooting then. Get lots of close-ups and detail as well as some wider shots that you can use as bridges when editing. As it's your first time don't get too adventurous with your camera work, but equally try not to use the camera as you would for stills remember you are making a movie so go for shots that have movement rather than static (people chatting rather than looking at your camera). Don't get in peoples way but equally don't be to shy, after all you are there to do a job.
    If you're asked to record the speeches try and get microphones on the table and your camera on a tripod. Depending on the situation you may need to adjust or add some lighting. Beware of windows behind the top table. With a still camera you can throw in flash but with a camcorder you'll have to either open wide or add light.
    For the spoken pieces remember continuity. Try and get the position to work from before the speaker begins. Unlike shooting stills it will be more problematic to try and move around once they have started. Try not to block the view of the guests.
    If you plan to shoot the evening you will need some additional lighting. Even low-light cameras need some light unless you want it to look like grainy surveillance footage.

    As it's your first time plan for at least 20 hours editing, unless you just agree to hand them the rushes, which in my opinion is a bad idea as a regular wedding videographer will want to go through and tidy things up before showing. And remember that if you want your work to stand as and promotion for future work people will see what's on the screen and rarely will a story go along with it. The bride and groom won't necessarily explain that you shot it as a favour, or cheaply or that you'll edit it later, as far as people watching it will be concerned it will be the wedding video.
    Plan well, don't build up expectations you don't think you can deliver, stay calm on the day and I'm sure that you'll get great satisfaction from producing a good piece of work that your couple are happy with and you can be proud of.

  6. #6
    Camera Operator/Producer lake54's Avatar
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    Great advice there GeoKil, I'll certainly be referring back to that plenty of times in the future I think!

    James

  7. #7
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    Great advice there GeoKil, I'll certainly be referring back to that plenty of times in the future I think!

    James
    Hi James. I'm glad you found my comments interesting. I don't like to think of myself as a "been there and done it" sort of person but having filmed weddings for about twenty years I do think I've got a lot of experience and understanding of what is good practice and where pitfalls might be. I am now happy to shoot multi camera and multi audio at weddings both with assistance and solo (working to peoples budgets) with the same attention to detail. Even though my wedding count is into the hundreds I am mindful that the very next is the first for my couple and they deserve the same attention and enthusiam as my very first.
    Although wedding video is a substantial part of my income I keep in mind that it is their day and they deserve to get what they expect so I am prepared to pass on a job if I don't think that what I offer is what they want, and I have done. Equally I have walked away from jobs that I know from experience will bring more trouble than they will be worth. Believe me some brides (or there mothers) can have expectations beyond practical achievement and beware the techno freak grooms or fathers who would rather be doing it themselves.
    If you have any specific questions about wedding video, or any live event production, I'm always happy to pass on what I know, whatever it's worth. It may not necessarily be the definitive answer but it will be based on true experience.

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