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Thread: shooting the speeches

  1. #1

    Default shooting the speeches

    So do you guys just have one camera on the whole room and another on close-ups and then insert ALL speeches - even if they go on for an hour, or do you just include segments of the best speeches? I know one guy that likes to include every word and another that will be much more creative. I'm not sure what I would do..if I ever get the job.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Blog Entries


    It very much depends on what the client wants. If they'd like the speeches in the entirety, then that's what you'll be delivering. I they want the edited highlights, then you'll be a little bit more creative. Either way, you'll need to film all of the speeches and you'll therefore need to have either a two camera set up or at the very least prepare cutaways when you have the chance if this isn't an option.

    Having a second camera is of course an easier solution, but doesn't add much if it isn't manned. The cutaway shots work best for re-actions to a speech, and also allow freedom to change the main angle, zoom or position. In this way, you'll want a variety of different cutaways to chose from, which a locked camera may not provide.

    Using a one camera set up to film the cutaways is risky. It means choosing your moments to get reaction shots and using unused segments to fill the gaps if need be. You won't always have 'realtime' continuity for example as a reaction shot may well be in response to another event. You can also use cutaways filmed just before and after the speech within the speech itself.

  3. #3


    As Marc says, 1 cam is risky, but not impossible. Though it is extremely dull even for those that want all the speeches.
    2 cams give flexibility in coverage. reaction shots from the guests and with coordination between the 2, creative main camera shots as well.
    Personally we always film speeches in their entirity. It's not hard work and they can flip to the next chapter if they choose.

    Cutting the speeches into highlights only leaves the editor with a unsolvable problem.
    Whichever highlight is chosen, the client, or their guest speaker will require another portion entirely. Some drool over their labourious speeches and will take great offence at their masterpiece being trimmed.
    Much easier to leave it all in, as one day someone, somewhere, will want to watch it all

  4. #4


    Thanks guys. Yes, from a stranger's point of view it would be dull as hell but for the family they would probably later wonder "I paid how much? - where's the rest if it?". IF I get a wedding I know I'm either going to have to hire another camera operator or make the most of my small HD camera in a fixed position.

    Do you have both cameras on tripods or one free to hover around the room - like the Oscars, for example?

  5. #5


    Personally, hand held always looks amateur, unless it's done with a really creative touch.
    Even an unmanned cam, trained on guests and at your side to capture the reactions allows a lot of freedom and can be refocussed quickly when required.
    Tripod mounted allows tight close ups from a distance without the hand held wobble.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Bristol uk
    Blog Entries


    In a perfect world... I would like a tripod cam for long zoom reaction shots, I like the 'strager looking in' vibe of that - then cutways to an intimate h held composition filmed close to the person.

    No ideally - dont shoot all the speeches - shoot the speechifiers - most of them are dull and repetitive - lol.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Manchester UK


    Assuming you want to do this professionally at least eventually, I can only tell you what we do.

    Two operators, three Z1s. For the reception, two cameras co-located (ie in same position), one on hothead and high tripod (16ft or ceiling) for the overviews/wides/top table etc, the other on tripod for close up on speakers the third manned on tripod off the end of the top table for reaction shots. Radio mic groom, father of the bride and best men (why are so many in twos?), plus short guns (AT897) on any remaining channels. Sync all three cameras and multicam edit in Liquid - piece of cake!

    Remember that everyone will stand for the toasts so we put the two manned cameras on fully extended Vinten 10s but be prepared for anything - the watchword in weddings.

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