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Thread: Absolute beginner needs help

  1. #1

    Default Absolute beginner needs help

    Hi, sorry about this post but i need some help. I am starting from scratch and need help on the right camcorder and editing software to use. I am going to a friends wedding in cuba next month and they have asked me to shoot the wedding video so any suggestions on the camcorder to buy (spending 300 quid or so) and advice on shooting the video when i get there. (it gonna be on a beach) all help is gratefully received.. Kev

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Bracknell, Berkshire, UK


    Make sure the camcorder you are going to buy is a Mini DV camcorder. Don't get one of those record to a small DVD ones if you intend to edit the footage after.

    Buy and take a tripod.

    Save some money for some half decent editting s/w. I'm familiar with Adobe and know you can get a full editting package able to author and burn DVDs for about 60 or less. Other companies do their own equivalent. If you have time download, install and play with a number of demo versions to see what you like.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Western Europe


    In the days before the wedding try and get some scenic shots of the area where the wedding is taking place and you can then edit them in later on the main video. Get yourself an extension microphone so you can hear the bride and groom (I'm assuming) exchange their vows, also get as close as possible to them, but don't intrude, so you can capture their expressions aswell. Get shots of parents, grandparents and relatives who may have travelled many miles to attend the event. Get yourself a camcorder bag and some sort of cover for the camcorder in case sand blows into it and damages the inside. I worked with a Panasonic a few years ago and a single piece of grit managed to get inside the camcorder and attach itself to the inside of the lens, I still can't figure out how it happened. A polarising filter is a good idea to cut down on glare on the beach, you may need to keep an eye on exposure levels with bright objects making the camcorder shut the iris down and give you underexposed images. As Alan said, the tripod is a must, it will give your video a much more professional look than hand holding the camcorder, but do take the camcorder off the tripod from time to time to record candid shots. Record plenty of cutaways, cut ins and reaction shots if you can, and maybe stage one or two if you are the only camcorder person shooting. They can all be used to cover 'cracks' in the main video and they will allow you to cut out un-necessary scenes and dialogue to keep the narrative flowing.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006


    Ask your mate what he'd like to see in his video. Ask his bride to be. Her opinions probably trump his.

    Ask yourself what the most important aspects of a wedding are. There are some obvious elements, such as the bride arriving, vows, ring swapping, kissing, dah dah. Make yourself a 'shopping list' in advance of the elements you'd like to film.

    Think about the emotional elements you would like to get across. This is the most special day of at least 2 peoples' lives, not including proud parents etc. Think about trying to convey that in the film you make.

    One thing I tried at a friend's wedding was to grab a sound-bite off each of the bride and groom. At two points during the evening reception, I got them to one side (separately) and asked them something like "so what is it about him/her you love so much?" Mushy, I know.

    I kept the lens cap on and just recorded sound. The resulting soundbites were laid over a brief musical sequence later in the movie. When the couple first saw the movie, they were really touched by what the other had said.

    Don't let the groom get too drunk before you get his soundbite though - guys tend to jibber a bit, or are a bit crude. (The groom's first response was something like "'Cos she's got big tits!" - I had to ask him to do a more suitable retake.)

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