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


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Old November 11th, 2008, 03:40 PM   #16
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It depends on the package. With my lowest priced offering, I do the ceremony in it's entirety, a short cocktail hour montage, Entrance of the bridal party, first dance, parent dances, toasts and blessing, cake cutting, bouquet and garter, as well as a short (3 to 4 minute) montage of the general dancing. The video ends with recap set to music. Length is typically 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

With the higher priced packages, I do a short form edit (20 to 40 minutes), which includes the bridal prep, ceremony highlights, first dance, shorted versions of the parent dances, highlights of the toasts, and dance montage. While I am not doing heavy "time shifting", the edit has some non-linear elements (i.e. I will use the toast segments as connectors between other reception events, or as a voiceover during the ceremony). In addition to the above, the client also gets the complete ceremony, and main reception events in their entirety as extras on their DVD.
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Old January 14th, 2010, 03:31 AM   #17
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Wedding Films

Our Films are Cinematic at the begining and Documentary throughout the reception
We usually include the following:

Getting Ready set to music + Locations(Cinematic)
Shortened Ceremony (processional, Vows, Rings, Kiss, special parts, Recessional,) (Cinematic)
Photos/Guests/Glidecam shots of the locations (Cinematic)

Bridal Party Entrance (Documentary)
1st Dances /Cake / Toasts (Documentary)
Ending music video chapter of dancing/departure.

Separate chapter including entire ceremony (basic editing between cams)
1-3 minute Trailer-Recap included for larger packages

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Old January 14th, 2010, 04:01 AM   #18
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I'd endorse Jeff's advice and only add, ask the client before the day what they want to see. Press them if they're vague because that'll be the best way to get first time satisfaction.

Our clients complete a fairly lengthy questionnaire before the day and so that their wishes in writing - even though we always amend to suit the clients' comments/wishes, 70% of our programmes are accepted at first edit - thanks to the questionnaire.
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Old January 14th, 2010, 09:34 AM   #19
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I deliver :

* wedding film (15-20 minutes) cinematic
From bridal preparation to reception
* Highlights (3-4 minutes)
* optional package : interviews
* overal snippets of the footage (only color corrected) (1 hour)

But I was wondering.
If you film for a cinematic result, that is really difficult to deliver
those snippets, because most shots are little shots of for example
the candles, etc.
How do you guys solve this ?
I'm thinking now of just setting up 1 fixed camera during the ceremony, record it
in 1 take and give that instead.
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Old January 14th, 2010, 09:42 AM   #20
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Bart, forgive me if I sound harsh but your new idea sounds about as exciting as watching paint dry.

Whilst I'm sure it would have the merit of stability, I think your clients might feel that Uncle Joe's handheld from the front pew had a tad more excitement.
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Old January 14th, 2010, 12:46 PM   #21
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Yeah Philip, I know.
I really hate doing the overal snippets, but most people
expect a wedding video to be 1,5 - 2 hours.

I think if they have a nice video of 15-20 minutes of the day and then
a highlight video of 3-4 minutes, that should be enough.
All the important moments are captured.
But that's just my opinion.

Most of the wedding couple's opion is, the longer the video duration is,
the better it is.
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Old January 14th, 2010, 02:12 PM   #22
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The actual contents on a given DVD vary for us by couple and by package, but this is a pretty typical composition:

cinematic short form (15-20 minutes)

-special features-
highlights video
full ceremony edit
full edits of major reception events (toasts, cake cutting, first dance, etc.)
deleted scenes
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Old January 14th, 2010, 02:49 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart Wierzbicki View Post
Yeah Philip, I know.
I really hate doing the overal snippets, but most people
expect a wedding video to be 1,5 - 2 hours.

I think if they have a nice video of 15-20 minutes of the day and then
a highlight video of 3-4 minutes, that should be enough.
All the important moments are captured.
But that's just my opinion.

Most of the wedding couple's opion is, the longer the video duration is,
the better it is.
It's true I've had some clients who, at the outset, wanted the longest possible programme but even then what they really mean is that they wanted the longest wonderful programme. In my view part of our job is to advise, counsel and persuade people that their programmes should not only be wonderful but watchable. Show them by example of your excellence that audiences for this type of programme have quite a modest a duration tolerance.

In fairness I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt that you really want to make wedding programmes that the clients want. One interpretation might be that you want to make programmes that suit you not the client. For me the excitement is to make programmes that are better than the clients ever imagined. That means resisting any risk of producing formulaic programmes, instead striving to make each programme slightly different to what we've done before.

I'm currently producing a programme shot between Christmas and New Year for a client whose sister's wedding I shot in 2008. Obviously they're going to compare and my dual challenge is to make a programme that knocks the socks off both the brother and the sister but doesn't leave the sister feeling she was short-changed. The second programme has to share many of the characteristic of the first because that's why we were chosen but making it sufficiently different - that's the delightful challenge. It's the creative edge which separates us from mere mechanics or technicians.
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Old January 14th, 2010, 03:35 PM   #24
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Yes, I want to make movies that my clients like. That's the final goal, but it starts by making what I like.
That's the reason why people will hire you to do the job. They have seen previous videos from you and they like that specific style.
And just as what you're saying. Always try to push the boundaries and try to create something better then the clients would have imagined. ;o)

And I know the feeling of doing another video for someone related you already worked for.
It's always tricky. hehe ;o)
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Old January 15th, 2010, 11:25 AM   #25
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It all depends on what the couple hires for.

The Ceremony and Reception are pretty standard.

For the Ceremony we start when the wedding ceremony starts. Anything before that (guests coming in etc) we consider Pre-Ceremony and is an add on deal.

For the Reception, we structure the video as:

- outside
- wide shot of venue
- close up of decorations
- inside
- food
- table decorations
- cakes
- bg arriving
- wedding party intro
- random people shots/greetings
- first dance
- shots of the venue with people eating/mingling
- cake cutting
- b&g toss
- exit

Generally speaking the ceremony video will be about 30 minutes, and then the reception video can be as short as 10 minutes to as long as an hour, all depending on the wedding party size and how interactive they are, and if there are toasts etc.

We do things in more of a docuemntary style and keep it simple in terms of stylized DVD offerings.

If a couple orders our biggest package (which is 15 hours of coverage over 2 days), then the final video is usually about 1 hour and 45 minutes and includes:

Rehearsal
Rehearsal Dinner
Pre-Ceremony
Ceremony
Reception
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Old January 15th, 2010, 04:39 PM   #26
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We always believed that a wedding movie should only really be about an 1 hour max or less...anything over that, the majority will most probably never have the time to watch it again...

Here's how we do it: Each of these are separate chapters on the dvd...

+Prep Highlights for both the B&G set to music = 8-10 minutes
+Ceremony Highlights set to music except during the ring exchange and vows where we include the whole scene with live audio = 15- 20 minutes

+Photoshoot Highlights set to music = 5 minutes
+Reception Highlights set to music except during speeches, first dances, cake cutting and bouquet and garter toss = 20-30 minutes

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Old January 15th, 2010, 08:49 PM   #27
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Hi Guys
I do agree that you need to give the bride what they want not what's easier for you. I don't think that anyone wants to watch 2 hours of wedding video anyway. Mine are 99% documentary but with cinematic parts and the entire DVD runs just over an hour usually.

Bridal Preparation - set to music but also with ambient audio!!
Bridal Arrival - set to music with ambient audio
Ceremony - live audio only- I mic the groom and the lectern for the readings (2 cam shoot)
Congratulations - set to music with ambient audio
Photoshoot - fully cinematic set to music only (I shoot it all on Stedicam)
Pre-dinner drinks - live audio only as these are mini "vox pops" interviews and comments
Bridal Entrance at reception.. live with 2 cams..one on the couple and one on the MC who is wired for sound
Speeches - live audio ( 2 cam shoot) on on the speaker and one for cutaways
Cake cutting and first dance - ambient audio only
Bouquet and Garter toss - ambient audio only
Dancing - Just a couple of songs shot live
Farewell - live audio again and follow the couple to the getaway vehicle!!

My DVD is menu driven and the bride can choose Prep, Ceremony, Reception start, Speeches and Events.

Works pretty well down here and most brides are happy with the format and seldom change it but if they want something different I give it to them!!

It's interesting to see what different areas do!! I have had just ONE full cinematic video request in the last 5 years!!! All seem to prefer an accurate record of the day with creativity during the photoshoot only!!

Chris
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Old January 19th, 2010, 10:00 PM   #28
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How about your DVD/Blu-Ray menus? I have always took extra effort to make advanced motion menus (dating back to using ReelDVD because it was the only app to do this besides Scenarist which is a PITA).
I typically create exciting fly-bys in 3D space in After Effects with fully animated buttons, backgrounds and menu transitions.
The main menu typically consits of three buttons "Play" which plays the beging to end cinematic scenes with documented wedding/reception (both two camera typically unless couple pay for 3 or more cameras) all the way to ending credits (always do a credit roll at the end with everybody in bridal party in credits as well as DJ/Band and Photog)
Then the "Scene Selection" with animating buttons and background.
and finally "Special Features" which is also animated and usually includes:
Photo story
Love Story
"Out takes"
Bride/groom comments or Guest comments
Recap video

I have about 6 different menu designs and they will each be customized for each couple with their own video in the background and drop zones.
Typical wedding video total content is 2+ hours.

I would NEVER hand a couple a DVD/Blu-Ray with a static menu.
The first (and last) impression means the most.
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