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Thread: Filming our own wedding

  1. #1

    Default Filming our own wedding

    HI all,


    I am getting married in September and want to buy two HD video cameras so that my guests can film footage on the day. We will then get that edited to make our own wedding video. We want to do it all ourselves so need to get a couple of good quality video cameras that will capture the footage but are easy enough that non professionals can use them. Has anyone got any tips? I had hoped to spend 500 max on both cameras but could go for a little more expensive...


    Cheers


    Johnny

  2. #2
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    At that price point, you're better off getting your guests to film on their smart phones.

  3. #3

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    Thanks but is that really better than buying something like this? http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00H...AC_SX110_SY165

    I make videos at work and her teams to film themselves with a camera a bit like this. We then get it edited. Interested to know if anyone has any recommendations at this price point. Cheers johnny

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    Quote Originally Posted by earthcraike View Post
    Thanks but is that really better than buying something like this? http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00H...AC_SX110_SY165
    Depends how you defined "better". I assume that your aim of getting people to film your wedding is a) to maximise the amount of footage and b) minimise costs. This is on the basis that if cost wasn't an option, you'd pay someone to film. In my mind, this would be achieved by asking certain people to film on their iphones, or use their still camera.

    Quote Originally Posted by earthcraike View Post
    I make videos at work and her teams to film themselves with a camera a bit like this. We then get it edited. Interested to know if anyone has any recommendations at this price point. Cheers johnny
    We have done similar things at my work, but we used iPhones (everyone has a company iPhone). The danger with asking people to film with one of two cameras is (1) they just get left on the table or (2) they get hogged by the same people.

    Quote Originally Posted by earthcraike View Post
    Interested to know if anyone has any recommendations at this price point.
    At this price point, pretty much anything will be "OK". If you're really set on buying some, perhaps you could set one up as a static camera (and used as a video booth late on) and one given to be shared between an agreed set of people. I've edited a lot of other people's footage, and believe me, with a little guidance the footage could have been so much better.

  5. #5

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    Firstly, absolutely get your wedding filmed. No matter what you have in terms of photographs, only video can really bring moments back to life. A lot of people either don't get it videoed or skimp out on the video side of things because they think it's as easy as turning up, pressing record and it's all going to be the same as you'd pay a professional to do. It's not and it won't be.

    There's a huge part you're missing, even if you buy those cameras. You're missing AUDIO and STABILITY.

    I don't know if you're getting married in a church, a civil venue or registry office, but in all cases you need audio to be recorded as clearly as possible, and as close to the source as possible. Having someone stood at the back or even at the front won't capture the audio clearly, they'll just be capturing the sound as it's bouncing off the walls.

    While you and other people watching can put up with some pretty crappy video, if the audio is bad due to the echo present in most locations then no matter how good the video is, you won't want to watch it for long.

    Next, at least during the ceremony and speeches you are going to want the video to be steady - rock solid in fact. Nobody should get seasick watching their own wedding video. The biggest sign of any amateur shooting it shaky footage followed closely by bad audio. so, plan on some decent tripods. No one can hand hold those for long without shaking badly.

    Will the cameras you linked to do the job? Much will depend on how they are used on the day and how good your editor is. If they are shot on automatic then be prepared for odd colours, changing exposures and relatively poor audio. If you just hand them to a friend then automatic is what you're going to get.

    We no longer advertise weddings and only do them when specifically asked as referrals from other jobs we've done previously. I got tired of people calling me and the first words out of their mouth were "how cheap can you do our wedding?" Also a number of times I've had people ask why prices seem to get jacked up whenever the word wedding is involved, yet in reality professional wedding videos are hugely subsidised, either because the people shooting it have other (none video) jobs or because they are used as fillers between commercial shoots.

    Using BECTU recommended rates for camera operators, editors etc that we use for commercial shooting, I calculated that the weddings we shoot should really be in the range of 2600, not the 500-1000 that most couples are willing to pay.

    Coming back to what others have said, get people to film it on their smart phone ANYWAY (even if you buy these cameras) because you'll get a lot more footage to play with - but please, get them to shoot horizontally and not vertically. That's the biggest danger you have with smart phones. At least with video cameras the orientation is pretty much guaranteed to be right! Of course, the next problem with smart phones will actually by getting the footage from people. Most people won't actually want to hand it over, or won't know how to do it easily. Someone would have to be responsible for coordinating it all.

    If you're not sure how to get your audio cleanly, at least for the vows and rings, get any cheap dictaphone from Sony or Olympus in the groom's inside pocket and add a relatively inexpensive (5-10) lav mic on the groom's lapel. This will pick up both groom and bride during vows / rings as well as get some of the person talking the ceremony. Speeches are a whole other problem because of how spaced out the speakers will be. Recording them using the on-cameramics will be less than ideal.

    We'd usually capture up to 9 sources of audio for later mixing during the edit. These would including wireless mics on the groom, vicar, lecturn (for readings) and also for each of the people during the speeches. In a civil venue there's no lectern so any readings are typically done stood in the middle of nowhere. These are some of the hardest to capture well and need good shotgun microphones. I realise theses are beyond your means at this time, but it goes someway to explaining the difference between a professional shooting your wedding and doing it yourself.

    BTW - while you may find people on gumtree and other sites offering 'professional' wedding videos for 500, but that's not what you're usually getting. They have very little gear and are relatively inexperienced. For many they are a waste of time - except - they are dedicated to capturing video rather than being a guest, drinking / eating the refreshments etc. Guests miss so much that professionals will catch because they don't know what they need to capture to make continuous coverage or story telling possible.

    So, to come back to your original question, is it possible to shoot a wedding using those? Yes, but simply shooting the wedding is not all there is to it. You need to record it as well, and then edit it too. A professional may cost you more but everything is included in the price, not just the hire of the people coming along.

    Oh, one more thing, if you're recording either a church or civil ceremony you should be aware of the rules for audio capture, which includes the need for an MCPS license (recording and reproduction) and then PPL licensing for the use of any commercial music you may choose to add to the sound track. Note that MCPS & PPL won't cover you for posting it on the web, which is a whole other ball of wax! I totally realise that most people just wing it because they aren't going to get caught or sued, but be aware of it as some vicars have in the past asked to see the MCPS certificate before allowing filming in church.
    Last edited by David Partington; 05-18-2015 at 03:43 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Partington View Post
    Using BECTU recommended rates for camera operators, editors etc that we use for commercial shooting, I calculated that the weddings we shoot should really be in the range of 2600, not the 500-1000 that most couples are willing to pay.
    I'm not sure that's a reasonable comparison David. Getting Elton John to play at my wedding would have stretched the budget, so I went for what I could afford (the band were great by the way). I also saved a few pounds by getting some dodgy blokes from a video editing website to film for me, and I edited it all myself. People don't want to spend thousands on a wedding video, and I can understand why. If you've spent limited money on the actual wedding, why double that with a video (and no matter how well filmed, two people getting married and bunch of people having a party is still just that)? You have to see it in terms of the entire budget, not just the video. If that's what the market pays, a whole industry will cater for it. And with any industry, there's people doing great things that charge a small fee.

    I just wanted a five minute montage of the day, and my wife wanted the full ceremony and the speeches. I'll be honest with you, I think most people are the same. And there's a whole host of people that do a great job on a 500 budget. Sure, it's not broadcast stuff, but then my wedding reception wasn't like a glitzy award ceremony. It was just a small room with some tables and a dance floor.

    If you're curious, this was my wedding:




  7. #7

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    I wasn't saying that people should pay BECTU rates, I was merely making the point that wedding videos are fairly heavily subsidised by other jobs.

    As for people just wanting highlights, it seems there is a major split in opinions there. Some people do, and to be honest those are the easy jobs. Making a music video where you don't care about the sound is trivial, but then in 25 years time when you're tired of that music you may just wish you could hear the vows and rings (or maybe you won't).

    When talking things through with couples I've found that actually most of them do really want the entire ceremony and speeches, including the audio, not for 'now' but to look back on in years to come. As I said, making a music video version of a wedding is trivial, doing a full production takes a little more planning, experience and equipment.

    The question anyone needs to answer, without the benefit of hindsight, is will a music video be enough or will you regret not having the audio too? The answer will of course be different for different people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Partington View Post
    I wasn't saying that people should pay BECTU rates, I was merely making the point that wedding videos are fairly heavily subsidised by other jobs.
    I still don't think that's the right way of looking at it. Corporate work is a completely different ball game and charge our rates vary accordingly. It's not a "subsidy", it's supplemental income. In fact, anyone that does both would see it as an opportunity cost (the marginal cost of not doing a corporate gig).

    Quote Originally Posted by David Partington View Post
    As for people just wanting highlights, it seems there is a major split in opinions there. Some people do, and to be honest those are the easy jobs. Making a music video where you don't care about the sound is trivial, but then in 25 years time when you're tired of that music you may just wish you could hear the vows and rings (or maybe you won't)..

    When talking things through with couples I've found that actually most of them do really want the entire ceremony and speeches, including the audio, not for 'now' but to look back on in years to come. As I said, making a music video version of a wedding is trivial, doing a full production takes a little more planning, experience and equipment.

    The question anyone needs to answer, without the benefit of hindsight, is will a music video be enough or will you regret not having the audio too? The answer will of course be different for different people.
    I got both!

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    Hi Johnny,

    I represent GradedBlue, a film and video production company based in the South of England, and we've just expanded into wedding videography - so we are looking to build our demo-reel. We saw you were looking to do things on a tight budget, so we'd like to offer our services to you for around your 500 limit. We would bring several thousand pounds worth of film-making equipment to shoot your wedding and any preparations that you'd like to feature. We can edit it into a longer video of the ceremony and a shorter highlight reel, or we can edit it to your liking.
    If you're interested, please send me a PM or an email to angus.mcdougall@gradedblue.co.uk

    Kind regards,
    Angus

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