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Old September 2nd, 2008, 11:02 PM   #1
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What does short form edit mean to you?

I really want to change my style into the more contemporary 'short form' edit. Currently I am editing my videos down to about 45 mins to an hour for a ceremony + reception shoot. And about 1hr to 1.5 hours if pre-ceremony is recorded. I use 3 music pieces. One for the opening credits, one for the photo shoot and one more for the highlight. Closing credits have music too. Here's my current latout:

Opening Credits: Set to music about a minute or so long
Pre-ceremony: Documentary style edited down switching back and forth between the bride and the groom.
Ceremony: I edit this down to usually 15 minutes.
Photo shoot: set to music usually 4-5 minutes.
Reception: documentary style usually 30 minutes. I'm currently showing all of the formal dances uncut, and editing the rest, but still documentary style.
Highlight: Set to music: usually 5-7 minutes long
Closing credits: set to music

I actually did do a short form last year. I asked the client if I could try a new style and they agreed. What I basically did was instead of showing the pre-ceremony in a "real time" sort of way, I instead made it just a 5 minute highlight. I did the same for the ceremony and reception using a couple of different songs. The result was a continuous 'music video' for about a half hour.

Here's the real question.... If you do this short form edit and it comes out to a half hour (the one I did was a 10 hour day), what do you do with the rest of the footage? Part of the appeal of our wedding videos is they get to see what went on that day using a documentary style. If I just make it into a 5 minute highlight, the couple wont see that pre-ceremony documentary.

What I ended up doing was putting the documentary in another part of the DVD. Those of you that do short form, how do you do it? Do you just give them a 1/2 hour presentation set to music? and if so, do you just scrap the rest of it? Put it in another section? Ask them to purchase the raw tapes if they want to see their documented day?
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 11:39 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Harjo View Post
I really want to change my style into the more contemporary 'short form' edit. Currently I am editing my videos down to about 45 mins to an hour for a ceremony + reception shoot. And about 1hr to 1.5 hours if pre-ceremony is recorded. I use 3 music pieces. One for the opening credits, one for the photo shoot and one more for the highlight. Closing credits have music too. Here's my current latout:

Opening Credits: Set to music about a minute or so long
Pre-ceremony: Documentary style edited down switching back and forth between the bride and the groom.
Ceremony: I edit this down to usually 15 minutes.
Photo shoot: set to music usually 4-5 minutes.
Reception: documentary style usually 30 minutes. I'm currently showing all of the formal dances uncut, and editing the rest, but still documentary style.
Highlight: Set to music: usually 5-7 minutes long
Closing credits: set to music

I actually did do a short form last year. I asked the client if I could try a new style and they agreed. What I basically did was instead of showing the pre-ceremony in a "real time" sort of way, I instead made it just a 5 minute highlight. I did the same for the ceremony and reception using a couple of different songs. The result was a continuous 'music video' for about a half hour.

Here's the real question.... If you do this short form edit and it comes out to a half hour (the one I did was a 10 hour day), what do you do with the rest of the footage? Part of the appeal of our wedding videos is they get to see what went on that day using a documentary style. If I just make it into a 5 minute highlight, the couple wont see that pre-ceremony documentary.

What I ended up doing was putting the documentary in another part of the DVD. Those of you that do short form, how do you do it? Do you just give them a 1/2 hour presentation set to music? and if so, do you just scrap the rest of it? Put it in another section? Ask them to purchase the raw tapes if they want to see their documented day?
For us, short form edit is 25min - 30min edit. It is tempting to want to keep everything in but the client wants you to "edit" the footage. We include in another menu selection the entire ceremony.
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 01:09 AM   #3
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Hi Tim

We are struggling with this one right now - there are so many options!!! At the moment our edit is about an hour long, but that includes the full ceremony and full speeches, so if they were edited it would probably make 25 mins.

I am really keen to go with the "cinematic" style of the short form and offer the ceremony and speeches in full as an added extra. Not sure how it will go though.

I think it really depends on what direction you want to take. Some brides just want the moment-to-moment document of their day, while others are looking for a more cinematic condensed version. I think decide what you wish to do in your business and then market to the brides that are looking for that type of wedding video.

THanks
Emily
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 03:27 AM   #4
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We keep the ceremony almost full (cut down on the hyms) and the speeches in full. The rest is edited down. Weve seen some vids where they show the pre-ceremony almost in full and its boring. Just watching people walk up and wave or ignore you. I know couples say they want to see what happend but in many cases nothing happend.

Every shot should have a purpose, a reason to be there. does it make you smile? does it fit with the story or is it just there filling time?

Our layout is similar to yours although the reception is cut down to formal dance and then a one song long highlights. The aim is the final product is enjoyable to watch and you can chapter skip past the speeches after the first time youve watched them.
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Old September 10th, 2008, 10:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Harjo View Post
Here's the real question.... If you do this short form edit and it comes out to a half hour (the one I did was a 10 hour day), what do you do with the rest of the footage? Those of you that do short form, how do you do it? Do you just give them a 1/2 hour presentation set to music?
Hey Tim,

I give all the (trimmed) raw footage on 1-2 separate dvds. The main dvd has the ceremony and the short form on it.

I deliver 3 full sets to the couple so they can give all the footage to their families, too. But if they want more, I typically only sell DVD #1 with the short form and ceremony - that's all those outside the immediate family are interested in seeing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Harjo View Post
Those of you that do short form, how do you do it? Do you just give them a 1/2 hour presentation set to music?
Kinda...here's a sample (20 minutes).

Shelly and Clay, Documentary

As far as the workflow to create it, I'm putting that into a training dvd for my editors, so if you're interested, perhaps you can get ahold of one once I get it finished.

jones
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Old September 10th, 2008, 11:49 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone. One of the things I was discouraged by was that when I put together a highlights vid or any other vid put to music, I only have so many creative shots. So that got me thinking that if I didn't have to worry about doing a 'documentry' then that really changes - well - everything. Right now for pre-ceremony, I go with the groom and my wife (second shooter) goes with the bride. For most of the time we just stand there recording, waiting for something to happen that will make it into the edit.

Now if I were going to shoot for short form, I now see what I would change. Instead of waiting for things to happen, I can make things happen by moving around and getting different angles of things, even if it means asking someone to move an elbow or to wait a second so I can get in a different position. The biggest thing is, if there is really nothing happening, I can shut the cam down for a break and not have to sit in the editing room watching people sit and let the time pass.

Right now when the bride is getting her makeup on, my wife just stays in one place and captures what's happening in the room. She never zooms in. Without the obligation of having to try and capture everything at once, she can now zoom in to different parts of the face and capture smaller details, as it will be put together in more of a 'montage' rather than a 'real time' edit. I suppose we could have done this all along anyway. Just thinking of a different and better way to do it than I am doing now. Or rather, something that I would enjoy putting together more and something that I will be more excited about presenting to brides as my style.
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Old September 11th, 2008, 06:23 AM   #7
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short form is different things to different people and even Robert Allen the father of the 30 minute edit (back in the early 90s) admits that 30 minutes doesn't need to be 30 minuts-it could be less or more. For me it's not the lenght as much as it is the story. A 'short form' ceremony for example has to tell the story of the day. Taking a 45 minute ceremony and just cutting it, well it doesn't cut it. I start the ceremony (not the preceremony or opening bit) with the Bride coming down the aisle. Not the bridal party. The bride and her escort (usually her father but not always) I then will adjust accordingly to fit that particular wedding but I'll generally include a little of the homily IF IT MAKES SENSE to place it in at that point and then the vows, rings, lighting of the unity candle if they do that, flowers to the parents if they do that, flowers to the holy family family if they do that the final blessing and the announcement of marriage the kiss and the walk out of the bride and groom only.
PLEASE understand that is a general look at it. Not carved in stone. My ceremony might run about 7 to 12 minutes depending on how it feels to me but it tell the story and gives the essence or flavor of the day. The receptions are done in the same overall fashion but again nothing is carved in stone.
I also give them an uncut version of the ceremony and reception in real time as I may do time compression in the other version and it's no big deal to burn off a DVD on the ceremony and reception for their archive.
I've been doing short form for about 8 or 9 years I guess and I wouldn't do things any other way but regardless of which way you go IMO it has to tell the story and it has to make sense.

Don
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Old September 15th, 2008, 09:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris P. Jones View Post

As far as the workflow to create it, I'm putting that into a training dvd for my editors, so if you're interested, perhaps you can get ahold of one once I get it finished.

jones
Hey Jones - Are you putting together a training dvd that will be available for all of us or just a select few? I'd be interested in getting one of the dvds

Thanks
Mike
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