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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old February 23rd, 2009, 03:07 PM   #1
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Short Wedding Films

Hello everyone,

I see a lot of beautiful Trailers, Recap Edits, Highlight Reels, etc. but does that acurately convey the final product. How many here do Wedding Shorts 30 min. to 40 min. or so which is what we prefer to do. Locally most of my competitors use promo reels to attract and influence clients and it probably works. Our entire wedding film on the other hand is gracefull, finely edited and maticulously set to the music score. As a whole its emotional and engaging but if a client drops by our booth at a lul in the story he equates this to the entire film. Fortunely most of our work comes to us non solicited from friends and relatives of former clients and those that take the time to investigate the local offerings. My question is directed to those here that specialize in short form weddings, should I just produce a few promo reels for wedding shows instead of showing an entire wedding short form.
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 05:31 PM   #2
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Hi Gino,
While we don't offer short form edits, we do offer a highlight which is taken from our work and accurately depicts what the final product will be as far as composition, exposure, WB, etc... If you look at a wedding show, we really only have 20-30 seconds to grab their attention, and hope they ask questions. If they come at a lul time in the video you are right they will assume that is what you offer. If you produce a highlight reel which accurately shows the above mentioned things from their final piece you might grab their attention at any point in the demo. If they are intrigued by what they view in that 20 seconds, they will most likely move onto price. If the price fits they will come see what a final piece looks like. If you have fully engaged their senses, price won't matter as the final product will sell itself. I think the key is to deliver what you say or show. Meaning if your demo piece blows them away but the finished piece doesn't because you used your best in the demo you will be in trouble. At a wedding show we want to wet their whistle and get them craving to see more, and once you get them into the studio show them the stuff that really blows them away. Keep in mind that at the wedding show you have all the competition surrounding you who are also trying to market their stuff, so make sure that if you get to have the second meeting that you don't show them what they already have seen and that is where the amazement comes in. You sound as though you are lucky enough to get the referrals which keeps you busy, which is the best marketing you could ever want. Very rarely are wedding shows successful, they are just a way of hoping a few people will follow up rather than just going through the phone book and base it on price without seeing your work. Best of luck.

JB
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 08:20 PM   #3
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I do short form but for a show I use a disc that has a small number of highlights only. However when/if I do meet with a client (in many cases I don't-it's phone and email) and they want to see more I will show them a past clients wedding so they have a perspective of what their wedding will look like.
I do not send DVDs in the mail-I meet with them for a number of reasons but I digress.
On my site I have a number of different peices but no ceremonies or receptions only highlight, post ceremony pieces and a couple of openings and a bridal prep.
Even with 35 to 45 minute finished product we always end up FF thru a lot of it.
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Old February 24th, 2009, 01:55 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
Even with 35 to 45 minute finished product we always end up FF thru a lot of it.
Hehm, that is what chapters are for. my last production had 16 chapters. :-) I don't like to FF.

but to answer OP topic, I only went to me shy with highlights & trailers. I did also have a few full DVDs (long form edits 45-120min) bit I didnt' show those. They were only there so I could show a specific section if requested.
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Old February 24th, 2009, 04:07 AM   #5
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Jason B; I am actually surprised on the actual calls I get after a show. I thought it should be much higher but if your experience is similar then I'm probably reading more negative into it than necessary. I agree that demos are a more targeted approach since we only have a very brief opportunity to grab their attention.

Don; when we get clients at the studio we too skip here and there and mainly because I want to show them many of our other works. In our region Wedding Shorts are relatively new so its almost a hard sell, which it shouldn't be. Once they take the time to see a short in its entirety it sells itself and rarely do they opt for the more economical styles. I'm curious is this your experience as well?

Jason R; I as well use chapters a great deal but often times we don't get the opportunity to engage clients enough to use them. I'm beginning to think that a creative reel is probably the best approach, it grabs their attention right away and may open the opportunity to develop a connection with them.

Thanks for the responses fellas its appreciated. I've never experienced anyone else's Wedding Short here or on any other sites. No one seams to be selling the idea enough because its rarely brought up. I'd be very interested in sharing perspectives and ideas on the subject. I'd even post an entire short if it would help start a discourse.
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Old February 24th, 2009, 06:48 AM   #6
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Actually I think a lot of people do short form but don't really talk about it. Actually it WAS talked about a couple of years ago IIRC.A rather long and lengthy thread here.

I started doing short form about 10 or so years ago when all we had was VHS tapes and it was a wonderful thing to do. However with the advent of easily burnable DVDs I think a lot of people went back to long form. No one complaining about "missing" anything. Just go to the next chapter or FF thru to the part you want.
Again, I think short form is far more popular than most people think. As for posting a ceremonyor reception, why? I never cut them the same. Depends on what's going on, the couple and the story I'm trying to tell.I have a general set of "rules" that I cut by but more often than not they all get broken.
BTW, are we talking about a short form edit or a highlight packagesince they are different?
Short form edit may run from 25 to 60 minutes (give or take) a highlight at least in my experience is generally about3 1/2 to 4 1/2 minutes depending on the music.
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Old February 24th, 2009, 08:22 AM   #7
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Hi Don,

I was talking about short form 30 to 60 min. Our ceremony segment probably only lasts about 5 min in total, we mix in music with the highlights and then present the complete vows and finaly close with music again highlighting the departure from the mass.

I totally agree with your statement about "missing". To make it easier on the couple's decision we offer what we call a Bonus DVD. This DVD has the complete, edited and properly produced Long Form Edits of the Ceremony, Toasts and Speaches, First Dances and a Deleted Scenes Montage. This is produced au gratis with the Short Form Packages. As you stated we have to provide this to counter the "missing" anything scenarios.
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Old February 24th, 2009, 08:32 AM   #8
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I pretty much do the same. Long form complete ceremony and reception from introductions onall in real time since a lot of what I do in the edited version is time compressed. That way, mom and grandma can see it all and everyone else can see it with just 1 bowl of popcorn;-)

sounds like we are on the same page.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 09:05 AM   #9
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There is no right or wrong way to present the video you capture at a wedding. Everyone is going to do it differently. Sure there are some ways that are not that great.

Being a little older than most, I tend to shoot weddings from the perspective of it being viewed 10, 20 or 30 years down the road, when the B&G are telling their kids who the attendees were who are no longer living are in the wedding.

So my style is pretty documentary and captures the attendees probably more than the B&G. They always tend to be as long as I have good material for, about an hour usually.

A lot of people on here shoot awesome artistic videos. My market and demographic leans toward documentary style.

The bottom line is, don't BS the B&G on your style with a demo DVD that is too polished or far from your style.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 10:15 AM   #10
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Quoted by Jeff Kellam:

"The bottom line is, don't BS the B&G on your style with a demo DVD that is too polished or far from your style."

Jeff,

We use an artistic style on the entire Short with a series of sequences set to music. Each sequence can be the equivalent of a polished demo piece. But being a short we also have a series of short passages that move at a slower pace. If we happen to get prospective clients that pass by at one of these then the imagery may not be able to hold their attention. Don't get me wrong the imagery is still very good just may not be as captivating as the stronger passages or perhaps a well done trailer. It has to be taken as a whole and as such it is truly an emotional journey for the B&G and everyone so far that have experienced it are truley captivated by it.

I'm with you as far as BS is concerned, its actually a bit of a soar point with us. Too often customers get enticed by trailers/demos that really don't represent what they are going to get in the final presentation and are tainted because of it. I really want to be clear, I am not advocating that this is typical for all companies that post trailers. We feel so strongly in fact that we are constantly urging clients that are unfamiliar to our work to make informed decisions and carefully review actual wedding videos, not just the demos.

Regards

GMan
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 02:26 PM   #11
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Hello Gino,

We offer both long and short form videos, but 90% of our clients chose the short form video which we call The Heirloom. Depending on the type of ceremony and/or bride prep and how much activity the reception footage generates, the finished product can be between 20 - 30 minutes in length. Plus we burn the raw footage to a stand alone dvd recorder. And actually only 50% of the clients are interested in the raw footage after they receive the edited version.

A typical New Orleans wedding consists of a full Catholic ceremony, then we're rushed to the reception venue by police escort and once there, the reception lasts 3 hrs. sometimes 4 and that includes the photographer's photo session. We don't have sit down dinners or toasts. So it's basically a 2 1/2 party.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 04:25 PM   #12
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Hi Terry,
good to hear from you again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Taravella View Post
Hello Gino,
A typical New Orleans wedding consists of a full Catholic ceremony, then we're rushed to the reception venue by police escort and once there, the reception lasts 3 hrs. sometimes 4 and that includes the photographer's photo session. We don't have sit down dinners or toasts. So it's basically a 2 1/2 party.
[sigh] I could only wish :-()
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 05:04 PM   #13
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Hey Don, Thanks.....

yeah we love our New Orleans weddings. That's why after Katrina and during our evacuation and shooting all around the country during that time, I couldn't wait to come back home to our NOLA style weddings. They are soooooo easy!
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