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wedding shooting tips


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#1 Raul C Palma

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 02:09 AM

Hi everyone,

I am going to be shooting my friend's wedding this weekend and I wanted to get some inside tips by anyone that has shot weddings before or anyone with any helpful tip.

The ceremony is at 3pm outdoors I do not have info on the reception yet, most likely the it will be indoors going through the night.

These are the best cameras at my disposal:

Canon 1014 xls
Nikon R10
Beaulieu 4008ZMII

Which of these cameras do you thinks is a better choice? I like them all, but want to here your take on a wedding scenario.

I am going to use Tri X and Plus X for color stock what do you guys suggest?

Tripod, hand held or both?

All tips are welcome and appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your help.
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#2 John Carreon

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 03:35 AM

Bring all of the cameras.

Make sure you have something ready and loaded when the important stuff comes around...rings, "I do's"

I shot a friends wedding on a Bolex 16mm several years back and felt like a complete Jackass when I got caught reloading as the rings came out.

I think I was sweating more that day then on the days when I'm loading for two cameras, 400' mags, one take per mag!!!

Of course loading a Super 8mm camera is hell of a lot quicker...but poop happens. Hell bring a friend and get some B roll.


(also, I didn't type poop...apparently it changes bad words for you...I feel like 5 year old...or a soccer mom saying that)

Edited by John Carreon, 11 May 2009 - 03:37 AM.

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#3 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 11:53 AM

Bring all of the cameras.

Make sure you have something ready and loaded when the important stuff comes around...rings, "I do's"

I shot a friends wedding on a Bolex 16mm several years back and felt like a complete Jackass when I got caught reloading as the rings came out.

I think I was sweating more that day then on the days when I'm loading for two cameras, 400' mags, one take per mag!!!

Of course loading a Super 8mm camera is hell of a lot quicker...but poop happens. Hell bring a friend and get some B roll.


(also, I didn't type poop...apparently it changes bad words for you...I feel like 5 year old...or a soccer mom saying that)



Well, I've been roped into shooting a few weddings over the years so for better or worse (good wedding lingo!), I've learned a couple of things.

First, if you plan on editing this too, then forget the film cameras no matter how much better it'll look. Why? Because COVERAGE is key to cutting a wedding. The last wedding I did (for brother in law) I used five cameras: one BetaSP and five borrowed Hi8. I operated the Beta and locked off the rest in various places around the ceremony.

I used the Betacam mainly because I needed to use radio mics and the sound had to go somewhere. I put a mic on the priest and one on the groom. That operated shot was essentially from the back of the aisle so I had an clear shot of the alter area. The other shots were an assortment of wide shots and semi mediums of the bride/groom (for their coverage) and the congregation. And very important, one camera is dedicated to the music.... lock it off near the organ (or wherever the music is coming from). That gives you consistent sound levels on the music and you can use that as the main audio track to do insert edits over.

BUT, almost more important than all of that is to remember that no matter how much or little work you put into this, most people watch their wedding "video" once. They fast forward through the boring parts and then never watch it again. The reception is an important thing to spend a lot of time on because that's where you'll get friends and family talking to the camera wishing the bride and groom well. You cut those bits in with some B-roll of the dancing, the cake cutting, the garter moment...

I like to cut the ceremony down to the key pieces knowing that nobody will sit there and watch it all again anyway. And the reception cut is around 15 minutes tops.

My recommendation to anyone who asks me about shooting a wedding video is to not spend a lot of money doing it mainly because it's a lot of work for a single viewing. Instead, take the video money and use it to get a better still photographer. The photos are what people leave out forever and look at over time. "Uncle Bob's" shaky video from the seats is likely going to be good enough to remember by and likely more entertaining. As much as we want to make a slick wedding video, it'll never look as good as a feature, with great close-ups and camera moves, so ultimately, it winds up being fairly yawn inducing.

Film will look nice if you're just out to capture the "Feeling" of the day, so if that's what you want to shoot with, I wouldn't recommend trying to capture it as an "event." Use the "romanticism" of the film-look and play up the beauty of the day, sort of like a "tone poem" kind of thing. It's like the difference between watching televised coverage of a football game vs. watching something from NFL Films. Event coverage versus "emotion." Maybe I'll do that next time instead! :)
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#4 david savetsky

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 03:10 PM

IF YOUR IN THE STATES, USE K40 SOUND FILM WITH YOUR 1014XLS.I HAVE A FEW ROLLS FOR SALE

IV'E BEEN SHOOTING WEDDINGS SINCE1973 AND MY LAST SHOOT WAS 5 MOS AGO THE FILM IS NEAR PERFECT TO XPOSE
DAVE
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#5 andy oliver

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 04:59 PM

Hi everyone,

I am going to be shooting my friend's wedding this weekend and I wanted to get some inside tips by anyone that has shot weddings before or anyone with any helpful tip.

The ceremony is at 3pm outdoors I do not have info on the reception yet, most likely the it will be indoors going through the night.

These are the best cameras at my disposal:

Canon 1014 xls
Nikon R10
Beaulieu 4008ZMII

Which of these cameras do you thinks is a better choice? I like them all, but want to here your take on a wedding scenario.

I am going to use Tri X and Plus X for color stock what do you guys suggest?

Tripod, hand held or both?

All tips are welcome and appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your help.



Hi, have you filmed a wedding before?, if yes or no, look on vimeo for super 8 weddings, its great for ideas, styles etc. Does the couple know what style they like, i've got one later this year and the style is an intimate home movie, so short scenes, the occasional blurry image, one or two jump cuts, the zoom in and going out of focus etc, but included ( hopefully ) quality footage.. Tripod, until a couple of years ago i would of said yes, no question. But now, i would probably go hand held. If they want a wedding video approach but on super 8, then yes, tripod. If your shooting from a long way off for the cereomony, then tripod.
Cameras, what lens is on the 4008?, mine is the 6-80 T1.4 angenieux, for the ceremony ( generally indoors, over here ) i use the 4008 with blimp, as wide open, the lens is sharper and lets more light onto the film than cameras with a beam splitter.
My choice, 4008 for low light footage depending on lens, otherwise r10
1014xls for well lit footage
Take all three cameras, canon 1014xls is the best run and gun cam, r10 has the sharper bottle.. Given i used an R10 last year on a wedding, i would not use one again as although the film indicator said the film was transporting, infact it was jammed!!! I've never experianced this problem with my late 1014xls, or current leicina special and 814xls.
Take a small 50-100 watt light with you.
Plenty of film, batts, lens cloth.
assume you got arrival times of the groom, bride, ceremony, get a complete running order of the day with times, locations, arrive very early, check out the venue.

if your not filming the bride getting ready, it maybe worth considering, leave in plenty of time to arrive at the venue though.

take food and drink with you
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#6 Adam Garner

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 05:35 PM

Hey Carlos:

I do this for a living a small percentage of the time. While the pointers above are reasonable, here's my experience doing this for the better part of 2 years.

The best camera is really whatever you feel most comfortable fumbling with during the ceremony, or first dance, or cake cutting. For me, I swear by my 1014XL-S because a: it has a 220 degree shutter in the XL position, and b: I prefer the way the macro works as opposed to my R10. The viewfinder is probably not as bright as the R10 viewfinder (for night shooting) but it has very cool light up exposure readings and let's you know (in finder) when you're about to run out of film. Honestly either is a good camera (both top of the line). I would lean towards the 1014XL-S though.

Pointers: You've been to a wedding right? If you budget your film you can shoot in 10 rolls or less. Just shoot the essentials. You're not supposed to be shooting 6 hours of video tape. The art is in the "knowing" what to shoot and what they'll want to remember. My clients don't watch this once. This is a "film," by any definition. They will watch it a LOT. Don't shoot everything. Shoot the things that matter. This gets easier with experience. EDIT IN CAMERA and you won't waste film or time in post.

PLEASE remember that anything closer than 5 feet to the camera requires you drop it into macro, and this takes finessing. It's not easy to focus in macro. Practice. Learn to pin-point focus your camera. Zoom in to get accurate focusing. You'd be surprised what looks "in focus" through the viewfinder isn't actually in focus at all. A lot of this depends on how low-light you are too. With wider aperture comes shallow dof. You'll have to get really good at pin-point focusing in darker conditions.

Lastly, transfer it well. You can shoot awesome footage but if you slack on the transfer you may as well just flush it down the toilet.

This takes a lot of practice and skill. Not too many folks do this right on the first, second or third try. Shoot a test reel. There's a reason some of us make a living at this!
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#7 Raul C Palma

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 12:26 AM

Thank you all for all the tips. Once I am done I will post the results.
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#8 Andries Molenaar

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 04:48 AM

Take all three cameras, canon 1014xls is the best run and gun cam, r10 has the sharper bottle.. Given i used an R10 last year on a wedding, i would not use one again as although the film indicator said the film was transporting, infact it was jammed!!! I've never experianced this problem with my late 1014xls, or current leicina special and 814xls.
.


That would happen with most if not all super-8 cameras. The transport-indicator is connected to the drive axis and just goes up and down while this rotates. The drive stops when the gate feeler senses the cut-away at the end of the film.

Don't blame the camera for jammed cartridges :)

All cameras will keep the motor running and let their pickup-driver slip. Better listen to the sound of the film unwinding in the cartridge. Or mind unusal sounds.

Edited by Andries Molenaar, 19 May 2009 - 04:51 AM.

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#9 Will Montgomery

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 09:11 AM

A good idea is to supplement a videographer with film. Don't be the only person shooting the wedding... make sure they hire a videographer to capture everything with sound.

Then you'll have the freedom to shoot film it short segments at only artistically appropriate times. Always remember that it's for the Bride and make sure she understands that a film version is more about capturing an essence and not a literal experience. That's why I recommend also having a videographer for those family members that don't "get" the film thing. Plus, as has been said, you don't want to miss a moment reloading.

Think of your job as more of a still photographer rather than a documentarian.

100D for outside and V3 500T for interiors will give a nice retro look. Plan on spending money on a good transfer.

Adam's suggestions are spot on. TEST TEST TEST. Know your cameras before you do this.
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