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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old June 10th, 2008, 05:33 PM   #1
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Average length of videos...

I have found myself wondering this very question for quite sometime now. How long are the videos on the actual DVD that you delivery to your clients? For example, my DVDs usually consist of this:

Love Story (optional video) - 8-15 minutes (depending on the client)
Pre-Ceremony - 3:30-5 minutes (depending on the length of the song being used)
Ceremony Highlight - 3:30-4 minutes (short form ceremony put to music with voice overs)
Full Ceremony - 25-35 minutes (depends on the actual ceremony, minimal editing)
Reception Highlight - 5-15 minutes (this highlight depends greatly on the amount of dancing and events at the reception, we recently had one turn out to be only 3 minutes long because there was nothing but hugs and kisses at the reception)
Day-in-Review - 3:30-4 minutes (depends on the length of the song being used)
Bridal Portrait (optional video) - 3:30-4 minutes (depends on the length of the song being used)

Am I short changing the client or does this seem about right for the "cinematic" approach to wedding videos? Honestly, I think you get all emotion and events covered within the length of these videos if edited correctly.

So, what about your DVDs?
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Old June 10th, 2008, 05:38 PM   #2
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Zach your timing is about the same as mine. I film Quinceanera's exclusively and the reception part is 25-35minutes because of the group dances they perform. A little more on that end than you. The videos average 45mins to 1hr 20mins. If you feel you have told the story of your clients event in that length of time you are not short changing them at all. Some can do it in 15mins some need 30-45mins and some need an hour or greater.

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Old June 10th, 2008, 05:41 PM   #3
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You might as well ask "How long is a piece of string?" My times are nowhere near yours, but that's not surprising. Can you seriously expect to find a "correct" average time?
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Old June 10th, 2008, 06:01 PM   #4
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This isn't for my sake, I just like post that everyone joins in and shares how they do things. I'm more wondering what a client sees when they look into multiple videographers. Do they see an average length amongst them all or do they find that each one is different in his own way. Does the actual length of the DVD matter versus the effect the video has on them? Post your thoughts and lets see how it differs within the different regions of the world.
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Old June 10th, 2008, 06:40 PM   #5
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A few comments ...

In general, the clients who are most concerned with the length of the video they receive are the clients who are also most concerned about price. They are looking for the best deal. There is actually a videographer in my market that distinguishes his packages based on the length of the final edit. His top package actually advertises something like "8 hours on 4 DVD's". My opinion is that if you're delivering 8 hours of footage then you aren't doing you job in the editing room, but hey, this guy books all of the people who would take one look at my prices and run, so whatever, right?

My most popular package generally breaks down like this:

15-20min short-form edit of the wedding day
3-5min highlights video
15-30min real-time ceremony edit
15-30min real-time reception events (cake cutting, toasts, dances, etc.)
15-30min deleted scenes

Seems like most of the time I'm pushing 105-110min, although I shoot for 90 min. Just depends on the wedding.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 10:59 AM   #6
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The last wedding I did ran 23 minutes total. I felt it was just long enough that the couple would watch it again and again and not fast forward thru any parts. Plus, I don't want them to ever feel they have to 'drag' their video out again and watch the whole thing.

I do like knowing how long other videos are.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 11:57 AM   #7
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My edits run somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 minutes, with a few being 90 minutes.

This includes:

Bridal Prep Intro through processional (2-5 minutes) (the Bridal and Intro are usually done for one song)
Ceremony (15-25 minutes) (sometimes full length if it's short. If it's a Catholic Mass it's compressed down)
Reception (20-25 minutes) (All formals and 2-4 dance montages)
Highlight video recap (2-5 minutes)

Bonus footage (some full length clips of dancing, cake cutting, bouquet/garter etc. as these are edited down in a mix on the feature video).
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