Recap Q&A: What Gear for Weddings?

More questions this week that range from what camera I'm using on Collection Day, to the order of rolling sound and camera on a take, to recommended gear on a wedding/event shoot. Hopefully I answer everything without sticking my foot too far into my mouth. I have big feet and a proportional mouth to go with it.


Anonymous said…
The most important accessory for me on a wedding or event shoot would be an assistant. :-)

No, not merely a go-fer to run errands or haul equipment (though an extra set of hands is helpful). The assistant should be competent in audio recording -- if you are not. Or a decent cameraman if you plan on handling the audio setup yourself. Whoever does the audio should also be able to capture extra video in addition to the main footage.

It is somewhat important for the second shooter to be unobtrusive, for the most part shooting from the wings or the balcony if possible. A tripod-mounted camera in the balcony could even be left unattended after a decent framing of the wedding party was attained (allowing another camera to be used for additional footage).

In a similar vein, a fixed mount camera located on stage might be just the ticket for a close-up of the bride and groom, or a shot of the minister (as mentioned in a previous Frugal Filmmaker episode).

Also, try to get some good shots panning across the audience taken from the altar area. This should be done before the wedding starts, while the people are sitting waiting for the ceremony. I found that by my taking center stage and fiddling with the microphones or pretending to shoot the altar/ceiling/aisles, I would attract the attention of the audience so that my assistant was able to capture some nice, unaffected B-roll from the wings. I've only done a few weddings, but the brides really appreciated all of the shots of the guests "watching the ceremony".

As a final comment, at some point prior to the wedding try to get sound recordings of the bride and the groom saying "I do" (during rehearsal just tell them you're just doing a sound check). The minister will either be mic'ed (in which case you can get a tap from sound board or mic the PA) or his voice will project well enough to be picked up; not so for the bride and groom. You may not ever need it, but having the option of dubbing in those two special words everyone is on the edge of their seats for is well worth it if they are otherwise inaudible.