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Old March 14th, 2009, 03:04 PM   #1
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What's your typical wedding video duration?

After reading the thread about the "45min wedding short", it sparked my interest in how long most of you guys' wedding videos typically last.

I may be completely and totally off here, but as I stated in that other thread, keeping someone's attention span to a wedding video (IMO) isn't exactly easy. I personally haven't seen too many wedding videos that didn't feel like watching an agonizing slide show of a family vacation or something.

I will discuss with clients what they want, but then they also understand that I have a way that I shoot and cover things. If they wanted something different, then they wouldn't have contacted me in the first place. The entire length of my first wedding video was just under 16 minutes and the clients were thrilled with it.

Video duration.....discuss.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 03:16 PM   #2
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'Typical wedding'? As I include the speeches in full, the participants themselves get a large say in determining how long their film lasts.

20 mins up to 2 hrs 20. What may seem like an agonizing slide show to you might well be poured over frame by frame by the sniffing bride.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 03:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Kellett View Post
What ?
Most ceremonies are longer than 15-20 mins, so how can you get the whole day into 15-20 mins ? Are you going to cut down the ceremony ? You can't do that, it's the most important day of their lives.
I don't cut the ceremony or speeches, even if they are boring, if the client gets fed up with watching those parts then they can easliy fast forward to the next chapter.
It's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

Paul.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Cook View Post
I don't understand this mindset and this is why I offer something different. I don't want my clients "fed up" with anything. I want them glued the whole time.

Besides....they cut corners so badly that the DJ was ridiculously horrible and the audio from the reception was useless. Literally useless. Plus, the MoH and Best Man's speeches were dumb, and hardly heartfelt. Everyone was like..?? I wouldn't have wanted it in my OWN wedding video. It was borderline laughable and I don't mean in the "haha" way. The clients paid nothing for my video, and she loved the end product (cried). I don't see where the problem is.

Anyway, we don't need to discuss this here anymore, I started a thread for it. This thread is for Gino.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post
'Typical wedding'? As I include the speeches in full, the participants themselves get a large say in determining how long their film lasts.

20 mins up to 2 hrs 20. What may seem like an agonizing slide show to you might well be poured over frame by frame by the sniffing bride.
And I understand that. I have a way of doing things and if clients like it, great! If they don't then there are several different people they can go with. I guess what it boils down to is artistic impression and useable content. I sell what I sell. If the client wants the raw footage, they can have that too. I don't want my videos to have long boring sections. It's not the way I operate.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 04:21 PM   #4
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Hi Brad,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Cook View Post
The entire length of my first wedding video was just under 16 minutes and the clients were thrilled with it.
Video duration.....discuss.
I took a look at your work - I think it was the wedding you're talking about - on vimeo. You've got to realize that a wedding video is as long as it has be. There is no absolute limit to the amount of time a person will be interested in a movie. Take into account that someone can do this for a long time and build up a set of skills that allows them to keep people entertained for a lot longer than 15 minutes. And that's without the photographer's images as you integrated into the wedding you cut. Its about real audio, substantially more coverage, multiple angles, backstory, time-shifting and q and a with the people involved to add a story-telling element. To say after editing one wedding that 15 minutes is longest it should be just isn't fair to yourself. As your shooting and storytelling improve I think you'll see that as a limitation.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 05:05 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Joel Peregrine View Post
Hi Brad,



I took a look at your work - I think it was the wedding you're talking about - on vimeo. You've got to realize that a wedding video is as long as it has be. There is no absolute limit to the amount of time a person will be interested in a movie. Take into account that someone can do this for a long time and build up a set of skills that allows them to keep people entertained for a lot longer than 15 minutes. And that's without the photographer's images as you integrated into the wedding you cut. Its about real audio, substantially more coverage, multiple angles, backstory, time-shifting and q and a with the people involved to add a story-telling element. To say after editing one wedding that 15 minutes is longest it should be just isn't fair to yourself. As your shooting and storytelling improve I think you'll see that as a limitation.
Joel, thanks for the response and it makes a lot of sense. I guess I shouldn't look at it as a "set" duration. I get the question from clients already though, so what would I tell them? "I don't know, it depends on how much footage I get or how I feel like piecing it together"?

I'm definitely not telling anyone here how videos should go. No way. I'm just stating that it's all in how I feel it should go. There is no set formula for this industry in my mind, and if there is, I just refuse to follow it. I will take all advice into consideration and I appreciate all of it. I'm looking for all the help and ideas offered. I grew up being a very artistic person, and I hated being graded in school for my personal artwork because either it did or it didn't fit what the teacher thought I should be doing.

I did learn something from your post though.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 05:24 PM   #6
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My wedding videos typically run about 2 hours and up to 3 hours.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 05:30 PM   #7
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My wedding videos typically run about 2 hours and up to 3 hours.
...wow...

Is there a lot of rolling footage? How long does it take you to do an edit?
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Old March 14th, 2009, 05:45 PM   #8
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I've been doing wedding videos for only a few years, so I'm still learning.

What i'm finding is that many (not all, but many) of my customers want more footage, not less.

Initially my videos were about 45 minutes. But I'm in a price range ($1500) where many brides believe more is more. I am not a high-end cinematic videographer, obviously. that is where I was originally headed, but I like the middle to low end better, I'm more comfortable there.

It seems the higher you go in the market, the less they need/want volume wise. That is a generalization, of course, but it is what I seem to see.

Working stiffs with small lives and low paying jobs who have relatively few interests outside of their home could sit through ten hours of nothing but movies of themselves. The higher income folks seem to be somewhat less enthralled with watching themselves for more than an hour. Again, these are generalizations based on my observations, and not true in all cases.

In the end you need to know your customer base and what they want. People in Cincinnati are extremely family oriented. It is also a blue-collar town with deep German blue collar roots. Family is everything to many people here, so there videos are very important, and the more footage the better they like it. I have a friend who has given six single layer discs to a bride for one wedding. His wedding videos are typically 3-5 hours long. He is the largest wedding videographer in the area and does hundreds a year.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 07:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
I have a friend who has given six single layer discs to a bride for one wedding. His wedding videos are typically 3-5 hours long. He is the largest wedding videographer in the area and does hundreds a year.
Unreal. Wow.

I don't want anybody here to get the wrong impression of me like I'm a rebel or that I like to cause trouble or go against the grain "just because". I just refuse to put that kind of time/work into a wedding video unless I really felt led to create a masterpiece of epic proportions for myself. My attention span isn't that great. haha Seriously though if bride is looking for someone to make a video that long, she won't find it in me and I will kindly suggest someone else. If I lose a client, I lose a client. Each videographer has their own thing. I'm not saying I'm stuck to 20 minutes, but I'm also not going to make a 3 hour long video just because thats what the client wants. I guess I won't make it very far in this profession if that's the case.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 07:24 PM   #10
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Yes you said it. If you don't want to give the client what they want, you won't get very far. To be in any business and to not want to give the customers what they want doesn't even sound right.

Even the phrase "just because that's what the client wants" is hilarious. Sounds like you are doing them a real favor by serving them. Your customers are lucky indeed.

I hate to be sarcastic, but I don't know how else to respond to your post, other than not respond.

You'll find your calling eventually. It sounds like wedding video may not be it, but who knows, maybe you'll find a niche.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 07:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
I have a friend who has given six single layer discs to a bride for one wedding. His wedding videos are typically 3-5 hours long. He is the largest wedding videographer in the area and does hundreds a year.
Jeff, It makes sense that your friend is the largest wedding videographer in your area doing hundreds wedding a year, because clearly he is not spending much time editing the weddings he shoots. 3-5 hours of output from a single day event is way too much in my opinion.

I come from a market (south asian) which primarily has the mentality of "more the better". In the past, I've given DVDs which runs up to 3 hours. But from last season, with applying much tighter/cinematic edits (without loosing content), I managed to cut down the output to approx. 1.5-2 hrs. Although, I feel there is still room for improvement; considering the longer (hindu) ceremonies and the expectation of 'wanting to see more' of the parents of the couple, I feel that 2 hrs mark is pretty reasonable at this point.

One of the great things about DVDs is its ability to chapter and separate clips from each other. This way I'm able to produce my main feature in a more tight/cinematic way yet still be able to provide the things that are appealing to the parents in a separate chapter. This helps me keep the main feature more clean and story oriented.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 08:01 PM   #12
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It all depends -
Having shot a 15-20 minute ceremony and under 1 hour reception... it was hard to make that last TOO long...

On the other hand, some weddings/wedding days are a longish affair, with many out of town relatives, and lots of interesting people... not to mention interesting traditions. To say that one could do justice to that in 15 minutes is to disparage and do great injustice to the client.

Sure the ceremony is the same blah-blah that you've heard too many times if you shoot weddings (unless something interesting and out of the ordinary happens), but it's THEIR day, and for them it's a special deal.

I find that one of the most important things is to get friends and relatives on tape - it's all too often one or more of those older relatives will pass on, and the memories or words they shared on that video may mean more than anything else that happened.



If you'e talking about a short ceremony and reception, MAYBE the final product would be short, just because of the lack of content, but to say 15 minutes... nope, you're not trying hard enough.

I usually shoot for around an hour plus or minus of tightly edited high points - fit on one DVD with chapters and menus so it's easy to jump around or find the part you want.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 08:44 PM   #13
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Ok, I think I'm getting off on the wrong foot here. Not my intention. Especially to you Jeff.

I'm already learning from you guys and I want to get something from this. Obviously I can't have much of a solid foundation for an opinion because I have ONE wedding video to my credit. I don't really think I could turn someone down, so I would have to learn to adapt.

I can honestly tell you though, that 16 minutes was the MOST I could get out of that first wedding. There really wasn't much content to deal with. It was a very quick ceremony and reception.

Playing large parts of it would have really killed the mood of the video (which I may remind you was loved by the recipients). I made it more like an extended music video. I let the music carry mood and the pace of the video. You can see the link in my other thread. I think I have it stuck in my head that all my videos should be that way, and I'm realizing that they won't be.

Again, sorry for being stubborn headed. All I know is I worked hard on that 16 minute video, so maybe it's hard to fathom 3 hours! haha.

Here's one question for you:
If bride-to-be's have seen my work and like what they see and want to hire me...knowing that the whole video was 16 minutes long....then what do I do with that? Am I to assume that I'm doing something right because they like it, or am I wrong because "16 minutes isn't near long enough for a wedding video" like some have stated here? It seems contradictory in a sense.

Take care,
-Brad
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Old March 14th, 2009, 09:30 PM   #14
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I believe that length of dvd depends on the event itself.

I.e. if you have full ceremony in church which lasts full hour (or more), and B&G wants most of it, then you will end up with 45mins of ceremony on dvd (that's from my experience).

Then there is reception - sometimes the party simply sucks, and there is nothing to show in the video. But sometimes the reception is so great that guest and B&G are not getting off the dance floor till 2am. It would be a shame to eliminate such an interesting and colorful footage. Most of my customers also do not want to give up on anything from the reception. Sometimes they ask my for tapes with raw footage - I have to tell them that there is no need for because I'm not cutting anything out during the edit.

That's how I end up with 3hrs dvd's - for me it's simply booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooring, but customers wants as much as possible for the money they pay - they do not understand that shorter dvd's would be much more interesting, better crafted and more artsy (since I could devote more time into visual effects).

I started offering such option (for shorter dvd's) at lower price but still - nobody is interested in my area.

P.S. My customers are mostly Polish folks.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 09:36 PM   #15
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Intro,trailer,baby pictures,toghether pictures,family pictures
ceremony,reception,hight lights.............60 minutes..more video
go like bonus at the DVD menu!!!
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