"Only Professionals use tripods"

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Gladders
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Joined: Apr 28 1999

As I have been asked by friends to video their son's wedding, I have been checking about permits etc. I also asked the groom to confirm that the vicar will allow me to video in the church. I have heard back that as long as I don't use a tripod it will be OK, but that use of a tripod will clasify me as a professional, and thus will mean a charge will be made.

Now this may be getting distorted or misunderstood by someone along the line, but if this is the actual policy of the church or vicar it seems to show a very strange understanding of the term "professional". I had intended to use a monopod, will this render me "semi professional"? Maybe the thinking is that anything shot without the use of a tripod would be so shaky as to be unsaleable. I am doing it as a favour, no money is involved.

I will be going to the practice so will be able to clarify this with the vicar. But I will obviously have to comply with his policy, however daft. Unfortunately I don't find it easy to accept these sort of crazy edicts, but will have to bite my tongue.

Has anyone else come accross these sort of policies before?

Paul

Paul

Alan Roberts at work
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Joined: May 6 1999

Yes, it's happened to me. I've been told that I can use a monopod in various places, but not a tripod. My usual answer is to pull just one of the legs out and say "will this do?". So far, they've all said yes, and not noticed when I pull the other two out as well.

But seriously, I think it's as much about professdional approaches to the matter, as to the money. A professional will usually take more care over safety, have insurance, more solid kit etc.

All that said, thoug, I'd just talk to the vicar and explain the situation. If he's reasonable, you'll be fine.

DAVE M
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Joined: May 17 1999

It's all down to perceived hassle.
You'll find that many places like museums, churches,shopping centres, royal parks, etc have a similar rule. I know that it sounds daft, but I can see their point.
BR (and I'm sure Railtrack) would allow you to get away with hand held stills/video, as you might be taking holiday photos. Use a tripod, and they'd throw you off the station.
Jo Public on holiday (mostly) doesn't use one, and might want to film Mrs. Public in /outside an Abbey. Most places now allow amateur use of cameras provided that they're not a pain. If you use a tripod there's the hassle of blocking gangways etc. You're so much more "there" with a tripod.
The royal parks allow hand held filming, but you need a £300 permit to use a tripod. I've even had Royal Parks Police hold my tripod for me, while I do stuff off the shoulder. Museums generally behave the same way.
They have to have some distinction between what they will allow and what they won't. So it's the tripod.
Having suffered from an annoying git with a tripod and enough gear to film War & Peace once, I can sympathise with the vicar. - he might have had a bad experience with a Cecil B. wannabe.
I'd talk to him, consider monopods, bean bags and any other means of support that you might have. He's only trying to do his job, and I'm sure that he's got the best interest of the couple at heart.
best of luck

red
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Joined: Oct 1 2000

It never fails to amaze me what the clergy come up with regarding wedding videos but go and talk to him yourself and you might be pleasantly surprised.

If he insists on a charge (£25-£60 round my way)then I would counsel the Bride and Groom to pay it and use a tripod. It's once in a lifetime (hopefully) and it would be tricky to keep even a monopod steady for the whole service.

Do not upset him under any circumstances. A stroppy vicar can spoil the day for everybody.

I've been refused entry to a church on the grounds that the clergy wanted to keep the service 'pure'.

Stuck in the belfry "out of the way"

Told under no circumstances to record the hymns being sung although it was o.k. to record the words of the service.
They are covered by the same licence and I hold it, but could I convince the vicar of this?

No.

Gladders
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Joined: Apr 28 1999

Just a little post script. At the rehersal the vicar agreed to me using a monopod after a demonstration of what it consisted of.

The wedding was on Saturday. I think I was as nervous as the happy couple at the start. Because of this I decided to leave the camera on auto. The results are not too bad, I should be able to cobble a passable video from what I took. But now that I have done it once I would definitely use a lot more manual control IF I ever did it again.

I'm now trying to decide how much of the service, hymns, prayers etc. to include. I have a continuous soundtrack from a minidisc and took a fair number of cutaways before the service started.

Paul

Paul

DAVE M
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Joined: May 17 1999

You have the advantage of being able to talk easily to the couple. I'd try to talk them out of having the whole thing - 20 mins is about what most people can stand. It depends on wha footage you've got, but with luck, 20-30 mins should be enough to give it pace without cutting out Aunti Ethel.

Too many people insist on an epic that you need to steel yourself for before watching.

Gladders
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Joined: Apr 28 1999

Yes,up to 20 minutes is about what I was aiming at for the service. Just the essential "We are gathered..." and "Do you take.." etc and the signing. Talking of Auntys, she was playing the organ, so I'll need to keep at least a representative amount of that in. Plus there was a solo by a friend of the bride. She was also extemely nervous, especially if I pointed the camera at her, so I avoided filming her. I have her on minidisc though, so can use the best bit over the signing.

The rest can be the more informal stuff in the churchyard, Hotel grounds and the edited speeches. I will be getting a copy of another guest's video to add to the pot. They took a lot more of the dancing than me, so may be useful.

I took a few general shots of the photographer's session and the confetti throwing with a wide angle lens held above the guests with the monopod. Looks like I was up a tree or something. I also got a brilliant view of a suprise confetti attack from behind the couple in this way.

Paul

Paul

Bob Aldis
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Joined: Mar 7 2001

I have only done weddings for family, but I found that most were happy with 20 minutes of edited material. I always stick everything on a 3 hour VHS behind the edited stuff. Closer members of the family tend to want to see all the "warts" My 10 minute shots of my shoes with background talking are well known. I don't know how a paying customer would like it though.
BobA

Bob Aldis

Gladders
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Joined: Apr 28 1999

Adding the unedited stuff at the end after a suitable gap is not a bad idea, Bob. They can then see how a silk purse was constructed out of a sow's ear! Just the Bride and Grooms copy though. I was thinking of giving them the full sound track on a cassette as well.

Paul