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  1. Member
    Join Date: May 2007
    Location: United States
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    Hello, I am currently using Pinnacle at work to do a little video editing, nothing professional level.

    I want to start filming weddings and editing using something like Final Cut. I have a first gen macbook 1.83ghz-dual core. I also have a sony digital 8 handicam that has a firewire output. Although I may not use this, it is available.

    What would be a good affordable setup to start doing this as a business this summer? Would Final Cut Express work? What would be a good camera setup (2 camera setup).
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  2. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: Northern California, USA
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    Originally Posted by producertravis
    Hello, I am currently using Pinnacle at work to do a little video editing, nothing professional level.

    I want to start filming weddings and editing using something like Final Cut. I have a first gen macbook 1.83ghz-dual core. I also have a sony digital 8 handicam that has a firewire output. Although I may not use this, it is available.

    What would be a good affordable setup to start doing this as a business this summer? Would Final Cut Express work? What would be a good camera setup (2 camera setup).
    How much can you spend?
    Have you mastered iMovie and iDVD? Which Pinnacle product have you used at work?
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  3. Member
    Join Date: May 2007
    Location: United States
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    I have become an Imovie MASTER! BWA HAHA....ok maybe not a master but I know it up and down.

    I am very familiar with Pinnacle, croma key alot for our video announcements at church. We shoot to DVD and import titles in Pinnacle to edit.

    As far as budget, I want to start off in the $1000-$1500 range. My Macbook doesn't have a dvd burn drive, so I'll need a burner.
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  4. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: Northern California, USA
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    Originally Posted by producertravis
    I have become an Imovie MASTER! BWA HAHA....ok maybe not a master but I know it up and down.

    I am very familiar with Pinnacle, croma key alot for our video announcements at church. We shoot to DVD and import titles in Pinnacle to edit.

    As far as budget, I want to start off in the $1000-$1500 range. My Macbook doesn't have a dvd burn drive, so I'll need a burner.
    So your starting priorities:

    1. A MiniDV camcorder with mic inputs. The Digital8 can be your #2 cam for now. For the ceremony you always need a second camera wide shot to cut to during editing.

    2*. Two good quality tripods.

    3*. Two or more good quality wireless mics. One for the preacher or PA system pick off. The other a shotgun to get the bride and groom voice. A third for any speakers. The wide stationary camcorder will get ambient sound and audience response. The handheld cam will get mostly useless sound so use it to record the wireless mics.

    4*. Supplemental lighting if necessary.

    5. Final Cut Express software.

    A camcoder like the Sony PDX-10 (used) is a good choice because of all the audio features that help connect the various wireless mics + four audio channel record capability. A PD-150 would be even better.
    http://www.dvinfo.net/sony/reports/pdx10-ir1.php
    http://www.dvinfo.net/sony/reports/pdx10-ir2.php


    * These can be rented by the day in most cities. Have the rental shop instruct you on all the bits needed. Rehearsal is key to plan sound and camera angles. Best to take an audio feed from the house PA system for peacher sound if possible. Rent before you buy. This stuff is expensive but reasonably cheap to rent.
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  5. Member
    Join Date: May 2007
    Location: United States
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    Can I import video using final cut express, like from dvd titles?
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  6. Member terryj's Avatar
    Join Date: Sep 2002
    Location: N3525.24068, W09734.204
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    non protected ( read: Commercial) dvds, yes with some minor
    effort (usuing MpegStreamclip to extract the video and save it
    to DV Stream for importing into FCE).
    "Everyone has to learn, so that they can one day teach."
    ------------------------------------------------------
    When I'm not here, Where can I be found?
    Urban Mac User
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  7. Being you've got a laptop, you might also explore what kind of audio input options/software are available for your Mac -- I do mostly concert recordings myself and it's great to have 2 cameras and 2 soundtracks; I can usually get much better control over audio from a mixer to a line input to my own laptop (PC, Adobe Audition), recorded at 48khz (so it syncs).

    It's definitely a bit more work, but for those once-in-a-lifetime events, redundancy can be your friend!
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  8. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: Northern California, USA
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    Of course it will be unethical to place unpaid commercial music on a wedding video intended for your compensation exposing your "client" to lawsuit over music royalties due. Their lawyer will certainly come after you and your parents.

    Use non-royalty music. Also you need insurance covering a wedding guest tripping over your wires or tripod. Ask dad if this is covered under his home owner or umbrella policies. Or if the wedding party will indemnify you and your parents. Fat chance on that.

    Those who do wedding videos gratis as a gift absorb all these risks.
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  9. Originally Posted by edDV
    Of course it will be unethical to place unpaid commercial music on a wedding video intended for your compensation exposing your "client" to lawsuit over music royalties due. Their lawyer will certainly come after you and your parents.
    You can even get in trouble if there's a DJ at the wedding and you record whatever CDs or tapes he's spinning. And if there's no DJ but just a band, always make sure to tell the band leader what you're up to, sometimes you can get really lucky and patch into their sound board.
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  10. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: Northern California, USA
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    Originally Posted by ozymango
    Originally Posted by edDV
    Of course it will be unethical to place unpaid commercial music on a wedding video intended for your compensation exposing your "client" to lawsuit over music royalties due. Their lawyer will certainly come after you and your parents.
    You can even get in trouble if there's a DJ at the wedding and you record whatever CDs or tapes he's spinning. And if there's no DJ but just a band, always make sure to tell the band leader what you're up to, sometimes you can get really lucky and patch into their sound board.
    Yes, have your lawyer review their music license for music video use. They may have already paid BMI or ASCAP. But they may want you to share in payment for the license.

    Those companies pay bounties to goons who monitor local papers for wedding announcements.

    This is why higher profile weddings generate lawsuits. The main criteria for trouble would be either of the wedding party families, their main contractors or your parents having enough wealth to warrent a lawsuit for any contrived reason.

    Best defense is you did it for free hence had no financial gain. A good lawyer on the other side might say your services were worth $5000 hence somebody must pay the license. Whatever the settlement, the wedding party will sue you to pay even if you did it as a gift. You can protect yourself from that by getting the family to agree in writing to pay the music license up front. They want Elton John? They need to pay for Elton John.

    You thought a wedding video business was about camcorders and Macs?
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  11. Originally Posted by edDV
    Those companies pay bounties to goons who monitor local papers for wedding announcements.
    The "cover story" on slate.com today just happens to be all about the wedding industry, and man oh man is it truly an Industry -- I think the "average' wedding cost today is around $25,000.

    So while some people out there might think it's overkill to have a lawyer looking over this kinda stuff (like music clearance) before you go in (like wedding videos), there's a lot of $$$ out there to be made at weddings, one way or another!

    EDIT: Back in the 80's I used to do film to video transfer and we had a small collection of royalty-free tapes we'd put on (silent) film transfers for a minimal charge, I think it was $5 a 2-hour tape or so. We only had about a dozen tapes (60 min) to choose from, and we did thousands of transfers; one of our most popular choices was "Big Band Hits" done by some reasonably decent swing band, and to this day I can sing along to pretty much every Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey song! :P

    If people brought in their own "background music," they had to sign a disclaimer that my boss' wife, who was a lawyer, drafted. It was two pages long! We also did NOT copy copyrighted videos, or even movies taped off broadcast or cable TV, for obvious reasons. We did the transfer work for a small but significant number of "photomat" type stores (Bay Area, CA) and not a month went by where we didn't find some "questionable" tape submitted that pretty much screamed ENTRAPMENT ATTEMPT!

    They always had nice handwriting, though. :P
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  12. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: Northern California, USA
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    Originally Posted by ozymango
    Originally Posted by edDV
    Those companies pay bounties to goons who monitor local papers for wedding announcements.
    The "cover story" on slate.com today just happens to be all about the wedding industry, and man oh man is it truly an Industry -- I think the "average' wedding cost today is around $25,000.

    So while some people out there might think it's overkill to have a lawyer looking over this kinda stuff (like music clearance) before you go in (like wedding videos), there's a lot of $$$ out there to be made at weddings, one way or another!
    Weddings at that level usually have a "planner" They usually subcontract video to their crony under umbrella insurance. Typical senario is the family rejects paying $7500 or so for video and ask you to do it for free or a token amount. It will be the wedding planner who calls in ASCAP/BMI to make trouble. Also expect major problems with cooperation unless you take control yourself with family backing. I suggest you get close to the brides mom who is usually the power player.

    ***I think there is a movie script here.
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