COLLECTIVE RESOURCES // Filming Guidelines


//Arrival

  • When you arrive to your first location, please contact the day of planner or a family member to let them know you've arrived. 
  • Introduce yourself to the bride and groom before filming with them (unless they are extremely busy or in the middle of doing something that should be filmed).
  • Also introduce yourself to the photographer when you're able.
  • Remember, when you're on a shoot for Toast, you are a representative of our company so please represent yourself as a professional member of the team:).  Many times, you are the only person from the company that the couple/photographer/wedding planner will meet in person so it is important you represent yourself professionally and as a member of the Toast team.
  • If the couple or wedding planner asks you a question about any specific detail you do not have the answer to, please take a note of it and let them know the project management team will respond with an answer.  It is okay to say you don't know specifics about contract details, due dates, etc.

 

//appearance

  • We do not have any specific dress code but please dress as any other guest of a typical wedding.  Please do not wear jeans (unless they're awesome jeans), grubby sneakers, t-shirts or hats.  

 

//Photographers

  • Our policy is to give photographers priority on where they need to be and you will have to work around them.  As long as you communicate clearly during each part of the day you should be able to get all the necessary shots without getting in each other's way.  It is a team effort so both videographers and photographers can get the shots we need but when in doubt, defer to the photographer.  

 

//Technical Specs:

  • 1920x1080 HD for entire day
  • 4K (if capable, not required) for CEREMONY ONLY
  • Frame for Anamorphic aspect ratio (top and bottom of frame will get cropped in edit)
  • Shoot with a flat profile or Log (be sure to not overexpose highlights or wedding dress when shooting in a flat color profile!)
  • 23.98fps (and 60fps or 120fps for slo-mo shots)
  • 48Khz 16bit audio (please ensure all cameras and external recorders have identical settings)
  • Please ensure audio is being recorded to channels 1 / 2 separately.  Some cameras have more than 2 channels and will record to channels 3 and 4.

 

//Gear List:

  • 2 Cameras
  • 2 Tripods (monopod if available)
  • 2 wireless lavs for ceremony (or non-wireless lavs such as the Tascam DR-10L), one on the groom and one on officiant (put a 'professional loop' in the lav so it looks clean)
  • External audio recorder for backup audio and getting a direct audio feed from soundboard
  • Long zoom lens for medium/close shots of ceremony
  • Various other wide lenses
  • Mobile led light or similar, for speeches, dances, etc. during reception if it's dark

 

//Audio:

Audio is just as important as video for our films.  It must be captured cleanly.

  • If ceremony is outdoors, use a windcover for the lav.
  • Coordinate with DJ at reception to get a direct feed from the sound board.  If direct feed from sound board is unavailable plug in directly to back of a speaker.  If all direct feeds are unavailable, set up an external recorder close to the speaker so audio does not sound echoey.

HAVE A BACKUP!!  If you are able, record the lav audio into a recorder and/or camera and also record directly off a sound board if available.  Make sure to triple check audio for ceremony before you start recording.

Set everything up in the exact spot they'll be standing during the ceremony and test audio with the receivers in the location they'll be while you're recording.  There is a good possibility you'll be running around so the audio receiver will have to be sitting somewhere close to the bride, groom and officiant.

Recommended Equipment:

 

//Common pitfalls (IMPORTANT!!!):

  • Steadicam!  Use Steadicam to achieve specific shots but do not shoot the entire day on a steadicam.  Movement is great if it is motivated but only use when necessary.  Beautiful frames, exposed properly, in nice light will always take precedent.
  • Audio //  Always have a backup and check to make sure your feed is clean.  
  • Exposure // Do not use auto exposure in any circumstance. The wedding dress when filmed outdoors is most commonly overexposed item.  
  • White Balance //  Make sure white balance and color balance matches on both cameras and is also appropriately set for the environment.  Extremely orange video when going from outdoors to indoors is a common mistake.  If using 2 different cameras please test your color profiles ahead of time to make sure both cameras match.
  • Sensors // and lenses/filters clean!!
  • Shutter // Do not crank your shutter to adjust your exposure.  Shutter should always be double your frame rate. (i.e. frame rate 23.98 = 1/50th shutter)  Use an ND filter on the lens (if your camera does not have internal NDs) when shooting in bright light so you can achieve a shallow depth of field when shooting outdoors without having to adjust your shutter.  
  • Slo Mo //  If shooting 60fps or 120 fps make sure the shutter is double your frame rate.  If you're shooting 60fps and the shutter is 1/60th that slow motion effect will look jittery and not smooth when it is slowed down in post-production.
  • Horizon //  Make sure your horizon line is level at all times and shots are not crooked.
  • ISO //  Find out what your cameras maximum ISO is and do not go over that unless absolutely necessary as it will cause extreme grain in the final image.
  • Clip length // During parts of the day that will be shot with 2 angles, let the clips roll as long as possible on both cameras so audio syncing will be easier in post.  (i.e. Do not shoot 50, 10 second clips) Continue to roll even if you are adjusting the camera for 30-60 seconds as we'd rather scrub through the shaky camera than have multiple clips to sync.
  • Shaky Cam // Use lenses with stabilization to avoid the shaky effect.  If you are not using a lens with stabilization, use a monopod so there is no jitter in the shots.  See link for a comparison between stabilized vs non stabilized shots.  
  • Zooming In/Out // Do not zoom in/out unless you are doing it to move between a wide shot and close shot.  We will not use the actual zooming movement in the final edit. Here is an example of the world's worst zoom:).
  • Focus // When setting up the unmanned, 2nd angle for ceremony and reception, make sure the iris is not wide open so your depth of field is too shallow.  If someone moves closer or further from the camera and your f-stop is 2.8 they may fall out of focus.  Try staying around f/9 for unmanned shots to give yourself some wiggle room if people move.

 

//Shot List: (please try to capture as many as possible)

General

  • Exteriors of Buildings - get at least one wide shot of each location exterior
  • Scene Setting/Landscape Shots - shots of the details like leaves blowing in the wind, birds chirping, sunshine or possibly rain are nice to set the scene
  • Details in each location for transitions.  Wedding Programs, Flowers, Place Setting Name Cards, etc.
  • AT LEAST ONE SHOT OF EACH IMPORTANT FAMILY MEMBER AND WEDDING PARTY MEMBERS.
    •  Grandparents, Parents, Siblings. (This is important as it's the largest request we get for reEdits is to have at least one shot of each of these people in the film.  Best if you can get a group shot of them all for safety.)

PreWedding

  • Girls and Guys Getting Ready Separately
  • Dress Hanging
  • Rings Close Up
  • Getting Hair Done
  • Reading their letters to each other (if necessary, see day-of info sheet)
    • Have the person read the letter out loud if they're comfortable.  If they would like to first read it silently, capture the emotion and then have them read out loud.  
    • Get a clear shot identifying that the letter is written to them (i.e. A shot of the envelope with their name on it as they open it.) Also, get a few Close Up cutaways of the text on the letter AFTER you have filmed them all the way through reading it aloud.
  • Any details you can find unique to the couple
  • Family Members! (Be sure to figure out who each important immediate family member is and make sure to get a shot of each of them at some point)

Questions for Bride/Groom Interviews (if necessary, see day-of info sheet)

-Don't be afraid to improvise and get them warmed up to the interview.  Also, make sure they're saying complete sentences or we won't be able to use their comments.  The gushier the better.

  • How do you feel today?  Explain how you're feeling.
  • Describe your fiance'.
  • Why is your fiance' the perfect match for you?
  • What specific things do you love most about your fiance'?
  • What are you looking forward to in the future with your fiance'?
  • If there is one thing you want to tell your future self about this day what would that be?
  • Anything else you'd like to say?

 

//Photo Session

  • Cinematic shots during photography session (60fps)
  • Shots of just the groom
  • Shots of just the bride
  • Shots of Groom/ Bride with all the Groomsmen/Bridesmaids
  • Follow the lead of the photographer and jump in only if you need a specific shot for video. Remember, capture as much as you can in the moment and try not to compete for the photographer's time.  Shoot 60fps if you are able but DON'T FORGET to turn it back to 24fps for everything else. 
  • Details like their hands holding, rings on hands, flower bouquet, etc.

 

//Ceremony

  • Safety shot in center down the aisle that is a medium shot of bride and groom and officiant. (Use the long lens for this)
  • For the unmanned camera shots, keep in mind that people may move and fall out of focus with a shallow depth of field.  Give yourself some buffer so you have a wider range of focus. (i.e. instead of shooting at f2.8, try f9 if light allows)
  • Empty shots of venue
  • Program
  • DO NOT move both cameras at once for safety so there is always one angle recording. (You can in the beginning)
  • Shots of bride coming in from behind and from the front. The shot from behind can then be used as the center cam.  It's okay to miss the first few moments of the ceremony from the center angle.
  • Camera in front should be close as possible and a one shot on whoever is speaking.  When in doubt, be ready for the bride. BE READY FOR THE VOWS!!

 

//Reception

  • Couples Entrance
  • Reception hall empty and all set up before couple comes in
  • First Dance, Mother/Son Dance, Father/Daughter Dance
  • Speeches - Capture one angle on a tripod of the speaker and one angle of couples reactions
  • Cutting the Cake
  • Dancing
  • Bouquet/Garter Toss

 

//Full Day Edit Notes:

All of our weddings are edited into a Full Day Edit so all of the moments below should be captured in their entirety as seamlessly as possible.  (There will be times when a clip break has to happen or cameras need to move and that’s okay but keep this in mind when capturing the event).  

  • Ceremony (one camera filming the couple on tripod and one camera roaming getting Medium and Close angles)
  • Speeches (one camera on couple, one on speaker)
  • Dances
  • Cake Cutting
  • Interviews
  • Prayers
  • Reading letters to each other
  • First look(s)
  • Any other event that seems to be a stand alone moment

 

As with anything, use your best judgement but this list covers the basics.  Some shots you might not be able to get and that's okay but get as much variety as you can.  Make sure you keep track of the schedule and BE READY FOR THE BIG MOMENTS!  It's best to keep checking with whoever is in charge of the day-of-schedule to give you a warning for the big moments.  Sometimes the schedule can change and you'll be off getting a shot when they announce a speech or dance, etc.

PLEASE WATCH VIDEOS ON TOASTWEDDINGFILMS.COM to familiarize yourself with our style.