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


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Old August 27th, 2010, 10:31 AM   #1
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How long do you allow for editing/pre delivery?

Just curious. Videography for me is a hobby/part time job until i can pull in enough work to go full-time. I shot a wedding on July 31st, and i am up to the speeche's in post. I am shooting another wedding this Saturday, and then another at the end of September. I am going to be swamped with work, in between this and my other 30 hour a week bread-and-butter job. Stress levels are high which i hate, as it harms my creativity which ultimately degrades the final quality of the film! So, i probably allow at the least a month's work for each wedding post-production, which really isn't good, but it's the best i can do.

How long do you full time/part time videographers allow/tell your clients before they can receive the end product?
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Old August 27th, 2010, 10:37 AM   #2
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Hi Jordan, I give myself 60 days but I try to deliver in 45. I use to promise 30 days but when I started shooting weddings every weekend, I made it 60. Too much stress doing 9-5, editing at night, shooting in the weekends.
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Old August 27th, 2010, 10:59 AM   #3
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I work another 40-hour full time job. Between April and November of this year, I'll have filmed almost 20 weddings (so an average of 2.5 per month), which has been great but obviously kept me busy also. One thing to point out about mine is that a couple of these have been ceremony-only and require fewer hours. I am usually able to deliver within 4 to 5 weeks. I try to have their trailer ready within 7 to 10 days, for them to start sharing with family and friends online.

If I feel like I'm going to be pushing it to have it ready in 4 weeks, I do my best to keep the couple updated on my progress, so they know that they are being served and not forgotten. I'm sure it's the fear of many brides that the videographer or photographer will take off and never be heard from again.
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Old August 27th, 2010, 01:22 PM   #4
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I can tell you that once you get "smooth" with your workflow your post time will drop a lot. When I started it was taking me at least a month to work on a project. Now I'm down to a week and a half - but that's only possible if there are no other family/full-time-work issues to take care off.
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Old August 27th, 2010, 07:09 PM   #5
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It's tough when you are trying to hold down a 9 - 5 job and run a family and still dedicate enough time to get an edit done!!! I full video full time so my brides essentially get their finished DVD's within a week unless it's a really special shoot. I essentially allocate 10 hours to the edit and DVD production so it falls within my costing parameters!! I cannot see much point in charging say, $2K for shooting a 10 hour wedding and then allocating 40 hours or more to post production. By the time you have deducted your travel time and costs and other expenses you are working for peanuts!!!

However if it's a part-time venture then you can really take as long as you want to as you are working in "free time" .... it is rather desirable to finish an edit before the next wedding comes up. I do like to start each job with a "clean slate"

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Old August 29th, 2010, 03:31 AM   #6
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We do weddings almost full time (we do other commercial work too) and our contract says 3-6 weeks. There are two of us editing each wedding (two edit suites), bouncing ideas off each other when appropriate or when we're stuck trying to figure out how to transition (the story not the video frames!) from A to B.

The quickest we have ever delivered is 1 week, but it was a rush job from some one leaving the country for months. The longest we have taken is 5 weeks.

Chris: I wish I could do the editing in 10 hours - if I were shooting only one camera, or maybe add a second safety camera then maybe it could be done, but there is usually more than 10 hours of raw footage from the four cameras before we start editing!

We typically take 6-8 hours producing a highlights video which goes on the web within 24-48 hours. We then spend around 40 - 60 hours (depending on the wedding) editing and another 8 hours authoring and testing the DVD (which means watching it all the way through) and more if it's BD as well. We rarely ship the first DVD we make. There is ALWAYS something I go back and improve, whether that's lighting or sound.

Add in a custom designed Hollywood style DVD case and the hours really start adding up.
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Old August 30th, 2010, 07:42 PM   #7
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We tell our couples to expect between 3-6 months for delivery, but our contract also states clearly that we make no guarantee on delivery times. This protects us so that no couple can ever say we promised to deliver in 3 months when it took 4.

The reality is that we generally deliver the final product within a month, which is a great surprise for the couple and makes us heroes. If it takes longer, no worries, the couple was expecting that. d;-)


EDIT: I should probably clarify that the answer to your question could be pretty diverse based on the final product being delivered. Some people are only shooting the ceremony and only with a single camera. It's pretty easy to turn that around quickly. We're shooting the full day with multiple cameras and producing a cinematic short-form and documentary edits and so forth, so it takes quite a bit longer.
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Last edited by Travis Cossel; August 30th, 2010 at 07:45 PM. Reason: added info
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Old August 31st, 2010, 08:59 AM   #8
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i generally get finished products to the bride and groom upon their return from honeymoon (2 weeks) unless there is a big queue in which case its nearer 4 weeks. 9 times out of 10 it is waiting for the photographer to send through some dvd case shots that is the slowest thing
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Old August 31st, 2010, 08:39 PM   #9
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Hi Dave

I'm shooting with two cameras at the ceremony and speeches but otherwise just one for bridal prep, photoshoot on stedicam and all the events at the reception. I probably have a LOT less than you to edit, typically around 2.5 - 3 hours of raw footage.

I the good old days when all we had was VHS I used to do "no edit" videos because the de-generation when dubbing VHS at around 240 lines was awful!!! I would essentially "pre-do" titles prior to the wedding and then cue up and shoot the wedding and carefully edit in camera..at the end of the reception I could eject the VHS cassette and hand it to the bride before she even left the wedding!!!

Having had to hone skills so there is no editing makes me nowdays tend to "shoot for editing" so more often than not it's purely a matter of trimming single cam footage only which makes it very quick!! The dual cam shoots are a lot longer of course with A and B rolls to contend with.

I also shoot all my wedding in documentary style which makes an easier edit!!

David??? I have NEVER had a photog deliver on their promise "I'll email you some pics for the DVD covers..no problem" ... I gave up on that years ago and just pop a bunch of stills of the couple before we go off on the photoshoot...if I had to wait for photogs my 2007 brides would still be waiting for their DVD cases!!!

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Old September 1st, 2010, 02:13 AM   #10
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Hi Chris.
Like you I also shot on VHS for a while and became very adept at in-camera editing. I quickly learnt the shots that work and on-the-run sequencing so that I would have a completed tape at the end of the day. However although the technology has moved on and the ability to refine the edit has lead to being able to produce a much more satisfactory result I still shoot quite efficiently so that my editing in the initial assembly stage is quite straight forward. Most editing time is now spent refining the colour balance/exposure if necessary, trimming clips, better sequencing, balancing the sound and matching audio cues.

I think it's akin to the way stills photography has changed at weddings. When I started all photographers shot on film so every shot counted. Now nearly every 'tog shoot on permanent motor-drive with hesitations between each burst to check the takes and show the couple the image on the back of the camera. They then still have to spend so much time in Photoshop rejecting, recomposing and "correcting" the images.

I think that there's been a major shift in approach when using digital media. It is to go in all guns blazing and to shoot as much as possible on the day then sort it all out in the edit. That is why it then takes so much time to get to a final product.

This is not criticism of this approach merely comment based on my observations at weddings over more than 20 years. And who can argue that the quality of modern wedding imaging is not so much better as a result. I get some of my old VHS tapes returned for transfer to DVD and I have to cringe when I look at them now but at the time they were the "dog's business".
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Old September 1st, 2010, 02:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Kilroy View Post
I think it's akin to the way stills photography has changed at weddings. When I started all photographers shot on film so every shot counted. Now nearly every 'tog shoot on permanent motor-drive with hesitations between each burst to check the takes and show the couple the image on the back of the camera. They then still have to spend so much time in Photoshop rejecting, recomposing and "correcting" the images.
Apparently this is true even in the world of feature films but is also due to a CYA attitude with so much money at stake. Directors will make sure that they have a lot of footage to choose from just because they can. Apparently old timers like John Ford would shoot far more useable minutes of footage per day than any modern day director.
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Old September 1st, 2010, 03:44 AM   #12
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I guess that in "the old days" the physical medium (film & processing) was a very costly part of the process whereas now the medium (tape or card) is probably the least expensive item and therefore we can be more extravagant with it's use; more adventurous and by extension more creative.

It's just that in the wedding arena, where it's mostly shooting and editing, and then shooting and editing again the following week, or sooner, and so on, I personally find it more cost/time effective to have an efficient workflow that doesn't involve consigning too much unwanted footage to the cutting room floor, so to speak.

This forum is proof that there is a wide range of approaches which is only good in that it gives couples a variety of products to choose from to fit in with their personality and budget. From the confident couple who like being in the limelight with cameras on them all day to the more self-conscious who like to think that the cameras are not there. Those who can't meet the cost of a cinematic masterpiece, and wait up to six months for it, can find someone who'll film the day discretely and have it ready by the time they return from their honeymoon and not charge them the deposit on a house.
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Old September 1st, 2010, 06:09 AM   #13
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Hi George

It's great to see someone here who actually shot on VHS...I thought I was top of the range when I had my first SVHS camera (Panasonic MS1) After standard VHS at 240 lines (if you were lucky) we had nearly 400 line resolution!!

What you say is so true.. I shoot with a mate now and again and he estimates around 300 frames an hour. At a full wedding he would have exposed around 1600 he reckons!! My first 10 years in the business was wedding photography (you needed a truck to carry around video gear then with 1" open reel tape machines!!) Yes, every shot was carefully composed cos on my Mamiya RB67 I only got 16 exposures from a roll of 220 film!! Once moving on to 35mm, you could still only cram around 40 frames into a cassette if you loaded your own bulk stock!!

That's probably why I seldom have to change SDHC cards...usually one suffices for the A-Cam and one for the B-Cam .... seems like you also plan your shoot the same way.

In the old days a normal shoot ratio was about 3:1 or better and with planning one can still achieve this and make editing so much easier!!! I still can do a decent full wedding with around 3 hours of raw footage or less.... when it was still tape I would use 4 x 63 min MiniDV tapes but never quite fill them!!

Guess we are considered "old school" ?????

Chris
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Old September 1st, 2010, 07:03 AM   #14
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Hi Chris.
Now for all those watching, a brief history of wedding video cameras:
My very first shoots were on a Sony VO-6800 3/4" low band Umatic transferred to VHS.
Then a Sony F1 two piece camera and Betamax portable recorder.
Then a Panasonic F15/NV180 combo camera and separate VHS recorder which was lighter and smaller.
Then MS1 SVHS one-piece camcorder followed by MS4.
I then switched to Hi8, Sony V5000 then 6000.
The went to Professional SVHS 3chip JVC-camera recorder, a two piece that locked together and was built like a tank, what a beast.
Then Panasonic again 3 chip DP800.
Then sticking with Panasonic I went with DV200, I've had (still use) three of those and a couple of DVX100
I've now taken on HD in the form of JVC HY201 and HM700 and HM100.

I won't even start on the editing side, I've got the makings of a museum here.

It seemed so much simpler in those early days, when I got to the end of the day that was it, what I had was more or less what they got, I could go home and sleep. As technology has improved our tools the production values and picture quality have also improved, but so has the awareness and demands of the clients. No longer are they happy just to see granny on the TV. Now I am more relaxed on the day but the pressure is on during the following days as I like to keep on top of work trying not to start a new wedding whilst one is still in the edit. That's not always possible during these busy summer months but I press on so that we can get away for a month or so in our hide-away home before the busy Christmas period starts.
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Old September 1st, 2010, 08:44 AM   #15
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Hi George

Yep you are old school !!!

I started with an NV100 VHSC recorder and a Panasonic WVP100 camera with a Saticon Tube..yes before CMOS and CCD chips we used tubes!!!

I too had an F1 and a National Low Band U-Matic machine that weighed about 20kg!!

From there I went from the Pansonic M3, M5, M10 Full VHS camcorders and upwards (SVHS) to a MS1 and finally an MS5

My first Digital sets were Panasonic GS500's and then back to shoulder mount 4:3 Proline DVC20's which I used right up until 2008!!! Great cameras and amazing results from 3 tiny 1/6" chips!!!

My current cameras (I just love shoulder mount cameras) are HMC72's again Panasonic !!!

Yeah linear editing was a hit and miss affair with two VCR's and lots of praying !!!

Nice to remember the good old days...the younger people here don't know how easy they have it!!!

Chris
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