Newbie gal needs help with interviews - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 05-08-2012, 08:47 PM - Thread Starter
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I am a bridesmaid in an upcoming wedding and The bride has asked me to create a video with a mixture of "speeches" from every member of the wedding party. It will be played at the reception. I have already been strongly advised to find a camera that has an external audio input available. I am on a tight budget. Any advice on cameras and mics to do the job? Thanks!
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post #2 of 11 Old 05-08-2012, 09:00 PM
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I suggest hiring a professional, especially if the bride is into SDE.
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post #3 of 11 Old 05-09-2012, 03:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Oh no! I have all summer to do it!
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post #4 of 11 Old 05-09-2012, 04:24 AM
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You have no idea what you are getting into. Anyway, a bride should not ask a friend to do something like this.
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post #5 of 11 Old 05-09-2012, 05:30 AM
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Will you be taping these comments at the people's homes ahead of time? (Trying to shoot this after the ceremony and before the reception, and removing unwanted footage, might be difficult). Will it be shown with a projector or a (or several) large screen TVs? If a projector, will it be HD?

Bill
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post #6 of 11 Old 05-09-2012, 09:28 AM
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This could be fun.

For quality video on a budget, I suggest you look at a Sony HX9V or the Panasonic FZ150. Both are cameras that have been widely reviewed with overall positive results. The HX9V may be hard to find. It has been replaced with the HX20V. (The HX10V should be the replacement, but Sony left out a critical video component.)

Those cameras are "hybrids" meaning they are expected to do both high quality video and high quality photography. And they do. You will get personal use from them far beyond the wedding.

If you want something to look more like a video camera, the Panasonic HC-V700 is well liked. It replaces last years Panasonic SD-90 that many found excellent.

If you are on a severe budget, consider using a smartphone. Google around a little and you'll see people are using the latest versions of phones and tablets and getting good results.

Forget about the mic. For what you are doing, it will only add complication. The FZ-150 has a mic input, but that is usually not found on cameras until the price goes up more.

Cameras are the easy part.

Regardless of what you're shooting with, getting people to talk to a camera and making it into something interesting will be your biggest challenge.

Watch some YouTube, TV or a Hollywood movie. Pay attention and you'll notice that everything is made up of 3 to 10 second shots. You will have to learn how to do that or your project will be an embarrassingly dull disaster.

Borrow something, or use anything you have, that takes video. Find three people at random and record them talking about a common subject like what kind of car they have or their favorite makeup. It doesn't matter.

Now the hard part. You have to turn those video clips into a movie that is interesting enough to watch. There is a learning curve. All of the cameras I suggested come with editing software that will work. Macs and PC both have some limited editing software. In the under $100 range, many find Adobe Premier Elements 10 and Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD 11 are powerful editors.

Along with the editing software, you will need to learn how to deliver it. Will you be watching it on laptops scattered around the reception hall? On several TVs, like in a sports bar? Are the TV connected to DVD players or Blu-Ray players? Will it be projected on a screen? Will your project be a featured event where the lights are dimmed and all watch at once? Or, will it be background entertainment? All of these choices require you to produce different video file types and media. What will play on one thing, will not work on the other.

With your editing skills, turn the car or makeup clips into a 3 minute, or less, video. If you can do that, you are ready to start making the wedding videos.

The way I see it, you have a month to learn and plan, a month to shoot and a month to edit.

As I said, it could be fun. But, it won't be easy.

Bill
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post #7 of 11 Old 05-09-2012, 09:45 AM
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Rent a Sony EX1 from a place that rents professional AV gear, a camera-mounted LED light, and a Sennheiser 416 shotgun mic (which is fine to mount on the camera too). Be sure to check sound levels before the wedding, wear headphones to monitor, make sure the levels hit 0db on the UV, but do not peak into the red (distortion zone).
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post #8 of 11 Old 05-09-2012, 11:23 AM
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Let me do the bachelorette party.
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post #9 of 11 Old 05-11-2012, 09:03 AM
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People gotta make this complicated. Frankly, I can't imagine a more undemanding shoot. Almost any HD camcorder (or hybrid as bsprague says) will do. Mount it on a tripod, sit the "talent" in a chair a few feet away, aim the camera at them, framing for the upper torso and hit record. You can make it fancier, with your camera in motion, for example, but your audience cares more about what your subjects say than your production values. Assuming you record them indoors in a controlled environment I don't think you'll need an external mic - I've gotten very usable audio under more difficult situations using a built-in one. For the best results indoors you should consider adding a fill light, which you could achieve with a cheap reflector (e.g., one of those foldable car window shades) if you're near a window. A cheap backdrop (think bedsheet suspended on a rope) will also improve the look.
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post #10 of 11 Old 05-11-2012, 12:14 PM
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The OP has only made two posts and they are both here. I think she gave up and went elsewhere for help!

I agree with GI Joe, the camera equipment and shooting should be pretty easy. But, turning it into something watchable and delivering it to appropriate media will have a learning curve that is steeper than the shooting.

Bill
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post #11 of 11 Old 05-11-2012, 01:25 PM
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@GI Joe, the OP asked for "advice on cameras and mics to do the job" so I gave it to her, she wasn't asking for advice on technique. I don't take making videos that seriously (certainly not as seriously as I used to), mostly it's all just a bit of fun. At the end of the day, it's just a video.
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