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Help with a Wedding Shoot

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joe cinquina
Help with a Wedding Shoot
on May 8, 2006 at 3:42:13 pm

I have been asked by my friend to shoot his wedding. I have done many other things but never a wedding. I have really had no desire. Non the less, I told him that I would. I would just like to appeal to all of your expertise in this area. I have a few questions.

In my mind I can't see doing the ceremony with only one camera. It seems to me that you would need some sort of master shot and another camera taking mediums and close-ups at different times and events during the ceremony (exchange of rings, kiss, the I do). Can it be done with one camera?

What are the money shots? The absolutes?

What about the reception? Should I interview the attendees? Maybe they can give their wishes for the new couple.

What about before the ceremony? Arrival?

One good thing and I guess bad. It will be outside. I will not need to worry about lighting. Then again, there


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Steve Wargo
Re: Help with a Wedding Shoot
on May 9, 2006 at 6:04:28 pm

You'll probably find what you need at http://www.weva.com



Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona

It's a dry heat!


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Bob Cole
Re: Help with a Wedding Shoot
on May 11, 2006 at 10:37:00 pm

I did a freelance job once for a cable show about weddings and this is what I learned:

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BRIDE.

If you have one camera, put it in a place to catch the BRIDE'S expression.

etc. etc. ad nauseum.

All you need to know, aside from: IF SOMEONE ASKS YOU TO SHOOT HER WEDDING, JUST SAY NO.

Actually that's not fair. But a wedding photographer told me that every time he hears the Electric Slide he thinks he might go insane.

-- Bob C


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marafilms
Re: Help with a Wedding Shoot
on May 14, 2006 at 9:19:16 am

Hey Joe,
Hope this helps:

Can it be done with one camera?
Yeah, though usually medium to high end shoots are done with two. One from the back getting a wide to med 3 shot (bride, groom, and minister)... the other set up between groom and minister to get wide, meds, and CUs of bride and ugly side shots of the other two. Sinlge camera shoots usually only set up like how I described the second camera, though it may not be very appealing to the groom, it covers the bride and all the "money shots" nicely.

What are the money shots? The absolutes?
The basics anyone would think of. Ring exchange, B/G vows, kiss, certificate signing, crowd shots, etc.


What about the reception? Should I interview the attendees? Maybe they can give their wishes for the new couple.

Hmm... sometimes we used to shoot message for the main guests which the couple could watch after the whole affair is over with. Though short interviews "how are you doing?"s from the bride and groom (and maybe parents) is always a nice touch. This is usually nice before and after the ceremony, especially since they are always nervous and its great to get a response... the only trick is to get them to actually answer and not be camera shy.

Good luck.

marafilms


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Maria Luisa Gambale
Re: Help with a Wedding Shoot
on May 16, 2006 at 2:08:18 pm

Just some quick thoughts:

A friend and I are documentarians and we have a wedding video business that we pay very little attention to, but we offer a cinema verite approach. We just shoot as if we were at any regular documentary shoot and make it very natural. So, we avoid the whole cheesy interview thing unless someone asks us to do it. Basically, don't feel constrained to make a typical wedding video - your friend is asking you because of the things you do, so bring your aesthetic and your usual sense of judgment into it.

Two cameras are also helpful because there's a healthy period of time before the ceremony that the bride and groom are often separated. If they are, it's nice to spend time with both of them, though if they are separated beforehand (not always the case in our modern times) you would probably go with the bride. But if a good editor is working with it, you can get totally decent coverage with one camera.

And take the personality of the couple into consideration. Not every wedding is 'bride, bride, bride'. If they're a fun couple you'll want to get great coverage of both of them. That will give them a video with more of the personality of them and of the day.

Also, remember that your main customers here are the parents. Talk to them a bit to get a sense of your atmosphere.

Important moments after the ceremony: the bride/father dance, the groom/mother dance - might be nice (with either two cameras or one) to get a bit of the son/daughter asking and a bit of the father/mother anticipating; the first dance as a couple; the cake; and then just get coverage of a couple of the songs later. The bouquet and boutonneire toss; the departure. Get some coverage of the people who are there because these are the people the bride and groom and their families have invited and they'll want to see them in the video.



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cow
tom
Re: Help with a Wedding Shoot
by
on May 25, 2006 at 11:28:01 am

As one just said go check out Weva. Look at local videographers demos and you will see what you need. Gets real boring, I mean 5 minutes of a couple holding hands and looking into each others eyes or 45 minutes of people dancing. After you do so many of them they are really all the same.

good luck happy editing

Tom


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tweekskratch
Re: Help with a Wedding Shoot
on Jun 9, 2006 at 2:44:43 am

I shot a wedding a few weeks ago... and let me tell you... make sure you have your angels set. But i think that my biggest mistake was not renting a better camera than I had. prob. your best bet would be to get two of the same cameras, that way they are somewhat consistant. Good luck! happy importing!



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Chip Johns
Re: Help with a Wedding Shoot
on Jun 12, 2006 at 6:09:47 am

Just to add to all of the other great advise

Ask the couple what they want. Each couple has their own idea of what should be part of the video. Make sure you include these shots that they want. Also, just stay on your toes. Things will happen that will be good for you to get, only you don't know they are going to happen.. Stay on your toes. Shoot as much as you can.


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Mike Cohen
Re: Help with a Wedding Shoot
on Jun 21, 2006 at 4:41:52 pm

As chip said, pay attention. Between main events, shoot some static shots of flowers, certerpieces, table of gifts and cards, both in and out of focus, can make good backgrounds for graphics or dvd menus.

It is a good idea to check with the band or disc jockey, as they often have a rundown of the order of events. Also introduce yourself to the stills photographer, so you don't get in each others' way.

I also eat a sandwich before shooting an event. Inevitably you are going to be shooting somethng when the good food is served and then whisked away before you can sit fown - if you get fed at all.

I have an outdoor wedding coming up. Even with a wireless lav, the wind can be a killer.


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Chip Johns
Re: Help with a Wedding Shoot
on Jun 21, 2006 at 8:05:39 pm

Quote...also eat a sandwich before shooting an event. Inevitably you are going to be shooting somethng when the good food is served and then whisked away before you can sit fown - if you get fed at all.

This is an interesting subject. I have in the past explained that "on your wedding day, I get started at 10 in the morning and go to 10 at night (or later) and this means that I need to eat sometime during the day. If you do not supply a meal for me I will need to get something to eat somewhere else and this will take my time away from your wedding."

Make them understand that it is their responsibility to provide you something to eat. And, find out what it is in advance... (NOT a PB&J) You'd be surprised what some caterers will provide for Photographers and videographers. Make specifically what you eat part of the contract!... They need to feed you! If you wait until the day of the wedding, you are screwed...

I know this isn't a problem for you since this is your friend, but this is something to think about if you do any more weddings..


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Pete Sneathen
Re: Help with a Wedding Shoot
on Jun 18, 2009 at 12:49:08 am

Include the number of meals your videography company needs in your contract. Also, don't forget the three secrets to effective and successful wedding videography...communicate, communicate, and communicate. If you are meeting with the bride and groom at their ceremony faclity prior to the wedding day, remind them of the meal arrangement and why (as explained previously). Ultimatly, the meal is to ensure maximum wedding day coverage. If you are not meeting with the bride and groom prior to the wedding day, make sure to communicate with them via phone to discuss any details of the day, you can remind them at this time as well. Try to meet or call the bride 3 weeks prior to the wedding date, as most caterers requier a minimum of 2 weeks notice to add meal counts.

One last tip, communicate with the bride. Let's not pull any punches here. The day is more focused on her than anyone else, and for most brides, this is a day she has dreamed about for a long time. She will remember all of the details of the wedding day. The groom will only remember the details of the bachelor party. Then again, there are exceptions to every rule. I recently did a wedding for a bride and groom, where the groom was a City Planner for Detroit Michigan and the Bride was a bank teller with a very high energy level / ADHD. I was able to qickly identify who was the planner in this relationship, and it was not her.

Good luck.

Pete


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nick
Re: Help with a Wedding Shoot
by
on Jul 17, 2006 at 4:08:17 am

"I have been asked by my friend to shoot his wedding. I have done many other things but never a wedding. I have really had no desire. None the less, I told him that I would."

hmm. i make a lot of short films (so my friends/family assume i'll do any video stuff). my friend who is an architect asked me to shoot his wedding (for free), so i asked him to design me a house for free. i try not to get sucked into this kind of stuff, because, especially with family and friends, they dont understand that a 12-hour shoot and then the 30 hours to edit and master a dvd is worth thousands of dollars.
BUT, sometimes if there's good food it can be worth it.
good luck!
nick


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Steve Wargo
Re: Help with a Wedding Shoot
on Jul 17, 2006 at 6:42:12 am

We have been in the business 25 years and did weddings regularly from 83 till around 89 and then got into the corporate video world. We're still asked to shoot weddings on a regular basis. We accept the jobs and price them like any other corporate event, starting at around $2995 and up. I then hire really good wedding videographers and add 50%. Usually, the one who hires us is a corporate connection and they simply want the best. They don't necessarily need us to shoot it but rather make sure that it gets done to our standards.

The wedding video business is big bucks but you have to stay away from the discount jobs. These are the people who want the world for nothing. And, as I said before, join WEVA. They have great books and equipment resources. They also have members who do nothing but edit. You send the tapes and get a finished product in about a week. They have all of the right jumpbacks, the music and effects that the brides go nuts over.

We did a wedding last year for a high ranking Intel executive and shot it with two Sony CineAlta HD cameras. We had a jib, a steadicam and a regular live shoot production crew. And the food was very good.

Hey, money is money.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona

It's a dry heat!


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