Trends in wedding video at

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

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

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 3rd, 2009, 11:42 AM   #1
Major Player
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NYC
Posts: 260
Trends in wedding video

I'm doing a presentation of trends in modern wedding video and photo to a groupo of wedding planners.

Photo is simple - I can supplement our experience with the portfolios of innumerable wedding photographers online.

Video is proving more difficult. The wedding highlight reels of five years ago have now largely been replaced by wedding trailers. And rather than concentrating on the narrative highlights of the wedding day - procession, ring exchange, vows, speeches etc. - they are more like a photo shoot with the most visually interesting shots taking precedence. That seems to be a trend. But how does that relate to the wedding video itself?

Is it accurate to say that wedding video coverage (like wedding photography coverage) is moving away from the "non-repeatable" parts of the day, and on to scenes staged specifically for the camera?
Doug Bennett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 3rd, 2009, 05:16 PM   #2
Major Player
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Lyndhurst, NJ, USA
Posts: 408
I think wedding video has changed from "effects-loaded" to pure document with artsy bits. It changed more on delivery side. Since we can go tapeless, the production time has dropped significantly also allowing to offer such features as SDE. Also the cameras are better and allowing to shoot in more difficult situations - that means you can be more creative. And finaly I see another change in very near future - V-DSLR weddings. Short forms with some crazy visual effects thanks to new DSLR's.
Lukas Siewior is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 3rd, 2009, 06:50 PM   #3
Major Player
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 643
Doug, I think your assessment is off. In fact, I think it's the exact opposite. Take a look at a few studios that were on the EventDV top 25 as well as some of DVinfo's very own forums members and see that the non repeatable parts are alive and well in their trailers/highlights/sde's.

You may mistake a lot of the "non-repeatable moments" as "staged shots" because the anticipation skill set of many of wedding film makers has grown to being very aware as to what is going to happen and BEING there ahead of time.

I'm curious as to where you're pulling your samples from....?

If you want to talk about trends in the wedding cinema industry today :

-shallow depth of field
-rack focusing
-slider shots

Are a few to name. NOTE : these are NOT bad things to have as tools when used appropriately. Also, wedding photography has been moving away from "staged shots" to a photojournalistic approach within the past few years so I 'm curious as to where you're getting those samples from as well.

Randy Panado is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 4th, 2009, 09:51 AM   #4
Major Player
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NYC
Posts: 260
Randy - I'm not sure I want to get into the tech details. More the overall style. If we match the devices you list to a style, it would be more towards the cinematic end of the spectrum than the journalistic.

As far as photography goes I'm fairly confident in predicting that our biggest sellers are likely to be the shots where the photographer is interacting with the subject, not necessarily a formal portrait, but - "Could you move round to that side of the cake", or "could you stand away from the car while the bride gets in". Now with more emphasis on slideshows, artbook style albums etc. It's not always so obvious. But where prints are the main money maker, posed shots are top of the pops.

I'm sure that's not true for everyone, but I think it is the norm.

As far as video goes - I have no idea of how representative the trailers are of the finished videos, especially with highly cinematic trailers. But going just on trailers I would say there is a growing emphasis on before and after the "non-repeatable events" than on the events themselves i.e the ceremony, the speeches etc. I've done many weddings where large parts of the ceremony or speeches are cut altogether or are featured as separate chapters on the DVD, rather than under the PLAY button.

In terms of trends I need to stay away from high-end. The type of video that can be produced by one photographer and an assistant in a 6-8 hour day. 60-80 hours in post. Middle of the range. It's not a "lifestyles of the rich and famous", more "what can a bride expect from a professional wedding video in 2010?"
Doug Bennett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 4th, 2009, 11:22 AM   #5
Major Player
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 643
I apologize, I'm still not seeing your point. Cinematic and journalistic can go hand in hand. Tools are just that, tools. But they help in the overall styling of the look and style of the current market. There's a forum I belong to that has wedding videographers/film makers there with a plethora of different styles and 98% of them have 5Ds/7Ds. So you can't stick those tools to a particular style.

Have you watched any same day edit's recently? The majority of those are "non-repeatable" moments.

Please state your source(s) of trailers. I still don't know what you're basing your views of off. A link would be great. If you have no idea how representative the trailers are of the final product, why do you use that as the basis of your talk? You take something you're not even sure about as the foundation of your point.

BTW, I see more same day edit's and highlights compared to trailers online. Not trying to argue or debate but where are you looking?

As far as pricing, there's studios that do great work at an affordable price. But that's all relative. What is your middle range price value? And why stay away from the high end?

I see plenty of limitations which narrow the field of view on your talk therefore making it a bit skewed and unrealistic of the true state of wedding videography/film making today. I'm seeing a lot of holes in your research which may be the reason why it's proving a bit more difficult in putting your talk together.

Again, I'm not looking to argue but genuinely help you with this. Let me know if you'd like some links to some companies that produce work that is a bit more reflective of the current state of wedding videography / filmmaking.

Randy Panado is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 4th, 2009, 12:05 PM   #6
Major Player
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NYC
Posts: 260
Hi Randy - thanks for taking the time. I have not made a study, but it was a clip in the samples section here that prompted me to ask the question about repeatable vs. non repeatable.

Same day edits are definitely a more recent phenomenon, but I think it's more of an add-on rather than a standalone product. Like a trailer, it's an upgrade. It's like

The high-end is a great place to be, but it's a tiny world. Offering "high-end product at affordable prices" is a recipe for bankruptcy. In my experience wedding video is like many other things - you get what you pay for. Thinking that you will get a Bentley Coupe for the price of a Lexus is foolish. These wedding planners are successful business people, convincing them otherwise would be a really hard sell.

My "talk" is an semi-formal get-together, at a world class ski lodge. and the main focus is to educate planners so that they can encourage brides who are not considering video to give it a second look. I am also going to be filming them on the slopes, so plenty of time for informal chat. I am thinking there are 3 main reasons that brides are not going with video:

1. They don't know what modern wedding video has to offer
2. Cost
3. The media circus aspect

I would definitely appreciate "links to some companies that produce work that is a bit more reflective of the current state of wedding videography / filmmaking." Filmmaking not so much though, but full-length wedding videos would be fantastic.

To be honest I have not really been able to find any websites that display anything other than highlights/trailers.
Doug Bennett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 4th, 2009, 12:23 PM   #7
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Posts: 1,200

I agree with Randy's point on this, and if you have 'no idea' as you say, then you are right to ask for advice before addressing the group of wedding planners whose opinion regarding advising clients toward or away from video really matters.

I would say that I watch 'a lot' of samples on-line and the progressive movement is towards making those non-repeatable moments more cinematic. This is done using camera movement and shallow dof where appropriate. I don't think there are many that aren't moving in this direction, if you use the wedding shooters on this forum as an indicator of trends. And as you are aware, this is a pretty active forum.

We still need to play it safe somewhat, by using multiple cameras, but I'm quite certain that most are not just breaking out the 5d's, the steadicams, and the sliders to put together a good 4 minute clip. That footage (and more), substantiate the wide, safe shots of the general coverage.

You are largely missing the point entirely if you think that this type of shooting is limited to the "Rich and Famous" weddings.

The trend toward producing a higher quality wedding 'film' is being collectively pursued by us, a group, to raise the status of wedding cinema, from the negative stigma of cheesy wedding videos of the 80's and 90's which featured shaky camera work, tacky wipes, and on-camera audio (with apologies to anyone who was producing good stuff in the 90's).

Have you noticed that when a new member posts a 'first wedding video sample' how much positive support, and constructive criticism he or she gets. By raising the level of production for everyone, we raise the collective perception of Wedding Cinema in general. I don't even use the term 'wedding video' because of the negative connotation.

If you look at some samples of the work here, and follow the links to their homepages, and look at their pricing, you'll see that that these weddings are more affordable in most cases than mid-range photography.

If there is a trend, it's that superior wedding video has been made more available by:

- the sharing of hi-end production techniques via video samples on this forum
- the affordable new technology, which includes:
- pro level NLE
- much greater computing power to handle HD and grading
- camera stabilizers
- affordable DvSLR's (provide the ability to shoot in low light)
- affordable HD cams with multiple xlr input capability to allow for hi-end multi cams at weddings
C100, 5DMk2, FCPX
Ken Diewert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 4th, 2009, 07:55 PM   #8
Inner Circle
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,271
Hi Guys

It also depends a lot on your market!! I offer cinematic styles as well as documentary styles and 99.9% of brides seem to choose the doc style so every moment of their day is carefully documented. The only time I tend to get creative is during the photoshoot which is done on Stedicam otherwise it's basically the events of the day for the bride to re-live in exactly the way it happened. We are on the West Coast and people seem to be more conservative here..I see plenty of videographers on the more affulent East Coast of Australia advertising "wedding films"
Essentially I am oblidged to follow the brides supplied running sheet and can really only express a little creativity during the photoshoot!

Then again the US videographers often talk about $8K packages and a good dozen Ferarri's and Lambourgini's parked at the reception...I guess for that market one would expect more than just a documentary ???

Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 4th, 2009, 08:47 PM   #9
Regular Crew
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Echuca, Victoria, Australiamate
Posts: 179
Yep, You would want it transferred to 35mm and open simultaneously in cinemas nation wide...

Over on the east coast, most brides want the doco style, but with arty farty bits tossed in - but not detracting from a visual record of the day.

She wants to see how she looked on the day, and wether or not her B*m looked big in the dress.... because as one client said to me, she was too stressed to enjoy the day and she wanted to remember everything that went on.

Ben Longden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 5th, 2009, 08:05 AM   #10
Inner Circle
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
Folks, it seems to me we have a couple of dierent things going on here.
Raise your hands if when you shot a wedding all you KNOW you'll need for a Cinematics highlight and ONLY deliver that. Hmmm, I don't too many hands.
Don't we as a group generally go in, capture the entire event, (speaking broadly here) prep, maybe the guys get ready, preceremony stuff, ceremony, postceremony, reception til whatever point and then edit all of that into whatever style we proclaim is ours?
I think the trend is what it has been for many years. IMO brides and grooms want the same thing today as 20 years ago. SOLID, STABLE, Well Exposed, Well Framed, video with really good audio AND then, all the rest is details. You see where I'm going here? Shoot the job with good footage and good audio, then edit your heart out and call it whatever style you want, but don't try to tell me that all you give the couple is what you show us here as an online sample. Don't get me wrong, much of it is great stuff, great useage of the tools, great techniques and use of steadicams, gliders, DoF all that stuff, BUT don't grandma and mom want to see the whole thing? Gerenally speaking they do and the "pretty stuff" is a nice add on. They might like it they might not. Now I know we're not doing this for grandma and mom but still...
So to me the trends are the new creative things we see today, steadicam, gliders, DoF, 5Ds, 7Ds, booms, 3,4, 5 camera shoots but what good is all of that if the ceremony itself which many brides feel is the MOST important part of the day, is crazy bad. Color off, bad framing, firehosing trying to "get the shot"...Get the shot "in the can" THEN get as creative as you want unless you've got a large crew shooting with you and designate 1 or 2 to be the documentarians and the others to look for creative opportunities.
Just my early morning thoughts, maybe wrong, maybe not.
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
Don Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 5th, 2009, 08:28 AM   #11
Regular Crew
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Reykjavik, Iceland
Posts: 95
Deliver only cinematics highlight is not what B&G want. I capture the hole ceremony and all what goes on at the reception. During shooting I have in mind to edit in more that one style. Have lot of b-roll to cover long segments of a speaker. I have highlights on youtube for B&G to see but I have been asked to show them a compleated wedding DVD.
Asvaldur Kristjansson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 5th, 2009, 10:08 AM   #12
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Santa Clara, CA
Posts: 1,104
In my opinion, cinematic highlights, if that's all that is delivered, is just code for shooting poor and incomplete footage. As some have already mentioned, couple's, family and friends want to relive the day. That includes seeing the entire ceremony. A complete package should also include an artistically created highlights piece. But this highlights piece should be in addition to the full coverage, not in lieu of it. The only places where "cinematic", highlights only wedding "films" are popular are at convenings of self acclaimed video gods where they take turns telling each other how great they are. But these surreal little self serving fiefdoms are not indicative of real world expectations from clients - you know, the ones who pay money.
Jim Snow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 5th, 2009, 11:37 AM   #13
Major Player
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 643
I think this is being skewed the wrong way. Doug is saying setup shots are the norm in trailers which he then thinks that is all that is being delivered. Few things to address there, those setup shots may very well be spur of the moment shots caught due to good anticipation. It is also unfair to assume what is being delivered without knowing for sure then pass it off as truth to a bunch of planners. And finally, what sources is he pulling his info from?

For the record, I shoot for both highlight and documentary styles (like most of us do....maybe that is a trend? hehe).

Ken - Cheers bro. Well said.

Chris - Market definitely plays a huge role. Which is why it's really important to know what you want to offer and what you're market is. I'm sure you could one day transcend your market and do the type of weddings you want as well as get paid what you want. Those $8k package studios didn't start out offering $8k packages for the most part, why couldn't you one day get there? :)

Don - I've done a few of the highlight only and have a couple for next year like that. I still shot as though I would delivered a full ceremony so totally agree with what you're saying. Also provides the opportunity for up-selling possibilities should the couple decide they do want the "whole thing".

Asvaldur - How can you make that statement that cinematic only highlights are not what B&G want? Maybe in your market that's not the case, but couples do choose highlight only, same day edit only, or documentary only packages. It's all based on the couple...which is why it's important to know your market and know what you're TRYING to market.

Jim - You imply that "cinematic" highlight only wedding "films" are not related to clients who pay money. I'd beg to differ that those who offer those type of services get paid more than those who only offer documentary coverage.

Who are these self acclaimed video gods you speak of? Call a spade a spade rather than take digs at anonymous studios. :)

Cheers fellas.
Randy Panado is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 5th, 2009, 12:18 PM   #14
Major Player
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 857
We feel obligated to do both Cinematic and Documentary, and we are EXHAUSTED at the end of the day, but I can't imagine this being fulfilling any other way. Our web site has 45 music videos from the last year or so, so potential customers see everything we've been doing. I use it as a selling point to say that they don't just get to see a polished demo, but our consistent work. The videos go viral online and get us more work. Facebook is huge to us, so relying on an old demo doesn't seem effective in our business plan.

We're far more conservative when we film, conservative in long form, but flavorful in the highlight reel -- I dedicate a whole day for it, since that's what their (single) friends see on Facebook. Some couples ask if we film everything and not just the highlights, so their is that perception to address...

I think you can do Documentary with a Cinematic flavor and blow away the clients who want either. It's hard work, but I feel it has the most impact and couples seem to appreciate it.
Weddings | Corporate | HMC150s | FCPX | Encore | Lion
Dana Salsbury is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 5th, 2009, 01:25 PM   #15
Major Player
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NYC
Posts: 260
To simplify matters:

A bride looks at Bob's highlights clips and then says "I'd like to book Bob to video my wedding, but I don't want a highlights reel, just the wedding video"

Would Bob be confident that the video will meet the Bride's expectations? Or should Bob say "no that's a trailer, your wedding video will look nothing like that"?
Doug Bennett is offline   Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

(800) 223-2500
New York, NY

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Texas Media Systems
(512) 440-1400
Austin, TX

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

(800) 323-2325
Mineola, NY

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:41 AM.

DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2018 The Digital Video Information Network