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Thread: Planning & Filming a Wedding Video

  1. #1
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    Default Planning & Filming a Wedding Video

    Hi guys, i've been asked to film my brothers wedding in july and i havent ever made a propper video in my life. As i've been talking to other cameramen here at granada they tell me they are the worst films to shoot. I was wondering if you guys had any tips, unforseen problems i might face or just general guidance to help me create the perfect video for the happy couple. then i have to set up my edit suite[/b]

  2. #2
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    I'll tell you in two month's time after I've filmed my mate's wedding!

  3. #3
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    For what it is worth, I gave the following advice to a firend of mine who was in a similar position last year,


    1. Black the tapes (put the lens caps on and press the record button until the tape is finished and then rewind). This writes timecode to the tape and saves any hiccups at the editing stage.

    2. Attend the rehearsal, if there is one. This allows you to get permission from the priest, minister, rabbi etc to film the wedding and gives you a good idea of what is going to happen on the day. It also allows you to check if power points are available. If not invest in extra battery power.

    3. Use a tripod. This makes a tremendous difference to overall film quality (less of the wobbles)

    3. Use good, uni-directional microphones. This directs sound to the happy couple rather than the motor of the camera (or in my case the heavy breathing of the camera man). Earphones are also useful, this means that the cameraman hears what the camera hears (you'd be surprised how the sound changes when the camera pans - don't miss those vows)

    4. Try and film the wedding with two video cameras if possible. This allows 'camera 1' to concentrate on the bride and groom, whilst 'camera 2' can concentrate on the incidental crowd shots (Fairly useful for 'cutaways' at the editing stage)

    5. Get some additional footage outside of the church/registration office/synagogue/mosque/whatever. This allows for good intro and title sequence shots.

    6. Get fotos (or video) of the bride and groom when they were younger, preferably of a similar age. eg baby, toddler, starting school, with grandparents (this is good for including people in the video who have passed on) and their engagement fotos etc. This is good footage for intro sequences.

    7. Don't miss the vows.

    8. Don't miss the speeches.

    9. I find a good idea is to interview the principal guests and ask them to record their best wishes for the happy couple. This is good for breaking up the end result and is particualrly effective if it is done without the knwoledge of the bride and groom. Also good for including people who couldn't make the wedding (assuming that you can film them outwith or they can provide film).

    10. Keep filming. Remember video tape is cheap, memories take a moment and last a lifetime (don't miss them).

    11. Cameraman doesn't talk/laugh/cry etc (may be difficult in the unlikely event of an original speech)

    12. Have a plan! Yes scribble down a few notes of what you want to film. Have an idea of what you want the final footage to look like. You would be surprised at the difference this makes.

    13. Check the lighting and adjust the camera settings accordingly. Video cameras do not (despite what the manufacturers say) perform well in poor light.

    14. Enjoy the day, filming a wedding is good fun. Even more fun editing and producing the final video (nerve wrecking too first time round).


    Enjoy yourself and good luck

  4. #4
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    Good tips It's always the simple things that get overlooked, and certainly having some kind of "gameplan" is the way to go. You could be the be the most skilled artist behind the camera (and infront of a PC), but if you're in the wrong place in the wrong time, you've simply got nothing to film!

    I suppose the most important tip would be to film a rehearsal - if anything, just to ensure you get the best vantage point with nothing obsuring the view. Or establish the best place to leave a static camera - something you can keep rolling for cutaways.

    Ensuring people are HEARD is always my downfall. Its amazing how poor built in mics can be, so investing in an external mic would give a good return.

    The last wedding I went to had disposable cameras placed on all the tables at the reception - a good way of ensuring a whole range of photos. It wouldn't be possible to do this with video, but has anyone ever passed around a camcorder? Some people can feel put off by a camcorder thrust in their face, but they may warm to the idea of picking up a camcorder that;s been [assed to them. May get a few rough diamonds that way LOL - but probably an idea best consigned to the "bad idea" category.

    Well, I think I'll make this a sticky to see if we can get some more ideas

  5. #5
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    Thanks very much lads, thats a massive help to me- i never thought of using stills, and the idea of some stills as kids for the opening is excellent! i knew sound may be a slight problem, but i'll find a way. I'll let you know how it goes!
    Thanks again

  6. #6

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    I am going to have to film my brothers wedding in about a month and I was a little worried about how it would turn out. Those tips are really good and I will use all of them to shoot the wedding. Thanks
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  7. #7
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    Perhaps it would be a good idea if those contributors who were about to film some weddings could feedback how they got on.

    Were the tips useful? What advice, post event, would you add?

    Cheers

    COMPAQ something or other with 500Gb Boot Disk, 1Tb external Firewire Disk, 4Gb Memory and a super duper sound card, 19" TFT Monitor etc etc etc
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  8. #8
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    The tips would have been helpful if I'd PLANNED in advance! It doesn't matter how good your camera, how steady your shot or how well framed the subject - but if you can't find the "right" place to stand, you're knackered!!! So if you can't go to a rehearsal, make sure you scout ahead and get there early.

    Just as importantly, get an itenary for the day and start a new tape for each "key event". This will both ensure that the tape doesn't end "mid speach", and make for easier capture and placement in "bins".

    Another tip would be to to talk to the photographer. Perhaps I was unlucky, but the photographer at my mate's wedding was completely unhelpful. One time she walked past the cam in the middle of a speach!!!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by purejammy
    1. Black the tapes (put the lens caps on and press the record button until the tape is finished and then rewind). This writes timecode to the tape and saves any hiccups at the editing stage.
    Please excuse my ignorance here .... I admit that I am a complete "newb" & have no idea on this video editing matter. With that out of the way ... what does the above mentioned tip do for you? I don't completely understand. I understand the fact that you'll get the time & date stamp on the tape ... but how does it save on hiccups?

  10. #10
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    The reason it saves on hiccups is because (quite often) amateur footage has very small gaps of blank tape (no timecode written) between shots.

    Most video editors, and their software tools, will use timecode to capture various scenes. If there are gaps in the time code then each shot (after the gap) starts again at zero. This makes the timecode method of capture worse than useless and increases the amount of time the Video Editor has to put in to capture video.

    So black (write timecode to) the tape and avoid the hassle.

    Enjoy


    COMPAQ something or other with 500Gb Boot Disk, 1Tb external Firewire Disk, 4Gb Memory and a super duper sound card, 19" TFT Monitor etc etc etc
    Sony TRV33e : Sony TRV310e : Canon XM2
    Sony Vegas Studio editions to v11

    Remember, there is always more to learn than there is to teach.

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