wedding video duration at DVinfo.net

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

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 23rd, 2010, 02:53 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 32
wedding video duration

When the ceremony is 30 minutes and speeches 45-60 minutes, how long should the final presentation be? I see some videographers hand over 2 hour edits and others only 30 minutes.

We are paid to document the day on video but to make it entertaining and watchable a lot of formal stuff has to go, which might not be appreciated by the family.

The contemporary editing styles we see on the net inspire us. But for a wedding memory, many see them as contrived. It is this reason why Super 8 is becoming popular again.
Charlie Wiser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 23rd, 2010, 03:52 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 588
Answer - around 90mins.

Include everything, plus everything in between. It's their family history. Don't mess with it. That's my style. Add some artistic montages in for good measure (prep, photoshoot, web highlights)

Smothering video in the latest magic bullet effects and cropping a whole day down to 15mins might be the current fashion amongst the WEVA award hunters, but I prefer a more traditional approach - so do my clients. ;)
John Knight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 23rd, 2010, 04:10 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 32
I like your answer. I provide an uncut version and a shorter one in double cases, I'm not sure the client appreciates the time and effort involved.
Charlie Wiser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 23rd, 2010, 04:20 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
Posts: 415
Hiya Charlie..do you do follow up calls after delivery? Most of the time that is when we get the accolades from the couple.

In terms of length, same here, about 60-90 minutes, anything more would be overkill in my opinion.some may argue that "cinematic edits" are the bee's knees but i just don't feel right about chopping everything to 20-30 minutes. Unless you are in the EventDV top50 list better play it safe..

Preps- 5 minute music highlight
Church- 20-30 minute highlight with live audio during bridal march, vows and ring exchange.
Photoshoot - 5 minute music highlight
Reception- 30-40 minutes with speeches, performances,dances and cake cutting..

Cheers,

Kren
Vertical Video Works | www.verticalvideoworks.com
Kren Barnes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 23rd, 2010, 05:00 PM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 32
Do you include the prayers and all three hymns of the ceremony? I shouldn't think the top 25 do.
Charlie Wiser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 23rd, 2010, 05:08 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: arlington, texas
Posts: 420
IMO... this has everything to do with YOU... it has nothing to do with what everyone else is doing. I would absolutely hate editing together a 60 minute+ video for every wedding. I would have to charge an extra $XYZ just to pay for my time to edit that! My videos would be extremely boring and hardly have the story to keep their attention. we want to suck them into the events of the day right? Why do you think commercials are only 30 seconds long? Just like a feature film, the story is what draws you in... if you say you just want to document their day by standing in the back of the room not engaging people (being "unobtrusive"), you're more like a peeping-tom-paparazzi than a documentary filmmaker right? If we watched a documentary that was shot like that we would turn it off in 30 seconds (I know I would). If we watched a documentary that engages people (it might get loud, supersize me, etc...) we would watch the whole thing and probably watch it again (if we enjoyed the story, editing, etc...). Is it a challenge to create the most story packed documentary wedding video in 30 minutes or less? Absolutely! What about 5 minutes or less? Are you charging extra for this additional footage they get or is your approach just trying to be competitive with what everyone else is doing? How did the EventDV top 25 get to where they are today?

Maybe this will give people things to think about... maybe you will just think I'm crazy. If I engaged you enough to question/think about anything I wrote above, I have done my job.
Cody Dulock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 23rd, 2010, 05:36 PM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Provo, UT
Posts: 38
I agree with Cody in that it varies depending on you as filmmaker/videographer, but it's also about what your client wants. I've done the long wedding video. I used to shoot Polynesian receptions in Hawaii (we're talking 3-4 hours of dancing, speeches, etc.) and they'd want the whole thing on DVD! That's fine, and there are a lot of wedding videographers out there who are happy to oblige. I've since chosen to go the cinematic approach, creating a tightly cut and entertaining 30-35 minute documentary about their wedding and reception, and I include some fun extras to go along with the main film too.

I say if you like doing it one way, then do it that way and be the best you can possibly be. You will appeal to a certain market, you'll keep busy, and your clients will be happy because you made their video in the style that they saw on your website. If a potential client tells me they want something very different than what I do, I happily refer them to any one of a number of other wedding videographers out here. No harm no foul, just different tastes. If one style is more apt to win some award in the current climate, whoop doo! Doesn't mean those skilled artists who take a different approach are any less awesome!

And from all the samples I've seen from you guys and many others here on this forum, I can honestly say that, differences aside, you are very good at what you do.
Michael Winget is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 23rd, 2010, 06:02 PM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 32
Cody, I agree with you but knowing which approach is right..

It's not that I am competing, I want the customer to be happy with what they paid for and I don't want this to cost me more than what it is worth in time and effort. Creativity is a choice, business is the objective, and the product needs to be the best possible quality.

I have not been making wedding videos that long and I'm just trying to establish a good work flow. I ask what others are doing out of interest, to see what wins approval of their customers. The long version probably will get shoved away (yet treasured) and the tightly edited and fashionable documentary version is likely to get passed around. The watchable edit will probably bring in more business for the videographer. But if we leave out half the ceremony and speeches, that's half the wedding forgotten.

The choices have to be the right ones. But the problem is, people have different tastes.
Charlie Wiser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 23rd, 2010, 06:14 PM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Hi Charlie

My DVD's usually end up around 80 -100 minutes as well. What I always do for Church weddings is ask the bride if she wants all the extra ceremony stuff like blessings and with Catholics (the homily which can be LONG!!) Otherwise what I do is film the entire ceremony. You are there so you might as well do it!!!
I then produce a short form "watchable" ceremony that's not boring for viewers ... cutting out any long prayers etc etc BUT also do a long form version and supply that as an option to the couple. A shortened ceremony is better to watch..just the essential stuff but they have the full ceremony also on it's own DVD!!!

With the reception I do all the speeches and when it comes to the dancing (I normally limit this to 2 songs (about 7 minutes worth) but that excludes the first dance song.

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 23rd, 2010, 06:43 PM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: arlington, texas
Posts: 420
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Winget View Post
I've done the long wedding video. I used to shoot Polynesian receptions in Hawaii (we're talking 3-4 hours of dancing, speeches, etc.) and they'd want the whole thing on DVD! That's fine, and there are a lot of wedding videographers out there who are happy to oblige.
Very good points Michael! Depending on the culture's wedding traditions, that would definitely give a different outcome. I haven't shot an Indian wedding, but I understand they can last days.
Cody Dulock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 23rd, 2010, 07:34 PM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 32
Chris, that's probably the best approach. How long does it take you to edit one wedding?
Ideally, to make this a business and once I've established my work flow, I wouldn't want to spend more than a week on each one. A photographer spends a maximum of 3 days.
Charlie Wiser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 23rd, 2010, 08:27 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Lyndhurst, NJ, USA
Posts: 408
Charlie - it's an old topic which comes back every few months here. And every thread looks the same - avg 90 mins but it also depends on the market you're targeting. Different religions, traditions, and regions of this country (and world) have different expectations about your product.
Lukas Siewior is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 23rd, 2010, 10:43 PM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Hi Charlie

People freak out when I tell them but with the raw footage on the drive to DVD creation ..10 hours!!! In practice I usually transfer footage and transcode on a Sunday (I edit in SD as all my brides have DVD players only...so my renders are fast)
I edit each segment on a Monday or Tuesday and then burn the DVD's and print the covers.

Remember I do budget weddings!!! $1500 for 10 hours on site so it's costed out at 20 hours @$75.00 an hour. I shoot in HD so if I was editing in HD to BD then the price would at least double as there would be huge rendering times. Sony Vegas renders my SD edit at about 5 mins per 10min clip ...just going from AVCHD to SD a 10 min clip takes 80 mins!!!

For my market I cannot afford to have the 'puter rendering a set of clips totally 80-100 mins and be tied up for 13 or more hours!! Obviously if you are doing creative work on your footage then edit times will probably double or triple!!! Apart from the two cam shoots of the ceremony and speeches..everything else is single cam footage so there is no syncing needed so editing those bits is very fast ... plus I work with templates for titles etc etc!!!

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 24th, 2010, 01:42 AM   #14
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Manchester UK
Posts: 1,212
As Lukas said, this is a subject which rises regularly here and the responses so far are typical of the variation. I'd add just two points.

Firstly, Cody sneaks in a couple of red herrings, interesting but irrelevant. Commercials are 30 seconds long because that's all the buyer can afford in that format; shopping channels are the result of unfettered commercial opportunity. And whilst his points about the feature film are right, the audience we have to worry about is not the producers (for their profit), the public (for their entertainment) or the makers (for their awards and future work) but the couple's. As long as they're happy they'll pay the bill and tell their friends and unless you're bothered about winning awards or getting into the top 25 of anything, that's the best there is. I've never won an award, but I've always eaten and always been paid. As Groucho said, I wouldn't want to be a member of any club that would have me.

Secondly, the technical restrictions imposed by film and tape which meant that most viewings started at the beginning and ended at the end or when people fell asleep no longer apply. Properly chapterised DVDs and Blu-rays offer the user an infinitely variable way of watching. So, making a 2hr edit of a full day - observing all the rules and cadences of good programme making - and delivering it on dual-layer disks so the 8000Kb/s quality is maintained, is no longer wrong.

Let's not denigrate long films just because there are some great short films around; neither Gone With The Wind (the real best-grossing film ever when the value of the dollar is taken into account), nor 2001, nor Avatar - (and I could go on a long time) - are 17 min art house movies or 56 mins made for TV films.

In my view the short answer for Charlie is "as long as your client wants and the material will support".
Philip Howells is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 24th, 2010, 03:50 AM   #15
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Sacramento, California
Posts: 195
My presentations usually end up around 45 mins. After doing this for a few short years, I just ask myself, what would I really want to see over again, in a shorter version of the day. The short version of the ceremony pretty much only includes the events the family took part in. For some weddings, that means it's only 5-6 minutes. Maybe more if there is a solo. I include a full version of the ceremony as well, so there is no guilt of cutting anything. The short version cuts everything from "dearly beloved" to all the scripture passages. I'm not saying these things are not important, but when it comes to a short version, just the bare bones version does great. Family who watch the short version don't even realize that it's been edited as it looks so natural.

If it would look better shorter, I cut it. There was a family friend that did a prayer that took 5 minutes. Quick camera change and it's down to 20 seconds. After the sand blending ceremony, the bride and groom just stand there for 4 minutes while a Michael Jackson song finishes playing. After a quick juggle of the timelines, 4 minutes is cut out. You can also cut out aqward pauses. 2 or more cams can make this look seamless.

For the reception, I once again, focus on the events that took place. I do show some open floor dancing but I don't make it go forever. I also skip the money dance all together and just place it in the extras on the DVD along with the full ceremony. That might be something only I do, but to be honest, imho, the money dance is dull and boring (on video) and brings the presentation to a standstill. If there's some cute moments in the money dance, I throw it into the highlight.
Tim Harjo is offline   Reply
Reply

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

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

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

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

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

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:17 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network