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


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Old September 24th, 2010, 07:58 AM   #16
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Hi Andrew and Luke

In the old days of VHS tape, yes, a long form wedding would have been terrible!!! a BIG yawn but with DVD menus the bride can essential watch whatever she wants!! I edit into maybe up to 20 clips and most are less than 5 minutes except for the speeches (no control over that) but each speech is a clip. The ceremony can be anything from 10 minutes to 40 minutes if the bride wants everthing included (some Catholic ceremonies have 6 or more readings!!!!)

Seriously guys if you take out the usual 4 or 5 speeches at around 6 minutes each and a 20 minute ceremony that's 50 minutes gone out of the 80 mins so I would say that the "rest" of the wedding is maybe a max of 20 minutes as most speeches are even longer than 6 minutes!!!

If you split the remaining 20 minutes (or less) over bridal prep, congrats outside the Church, photoshoot, guest interviews during pre-dinner drinks and then the cake, first dance and bouquet...each clip is pretty short and easy to watch. No where on my DVD's is the bride subjected to more than 20 minutes of footage, in fact ceremony and speeches aside, my average clip length is often well under 6 minutes!!! What my brides absolutely love are things like the congrats outside the Church and the Guest interviews..these are live and spontaneous and that's where the emotion of the day is revealed. There is no way I could provide that in a 20 minute film!!!

Just for interest what is actually covered in a 20 -30 minute film???? If the ceremony is chopped right down to vows, ring exchange and register it's still going to occupy 10 minutes of your 20 minute film. How on earth would you fit bridal prep, photoshoot, cake and first dance etc etc into 10 minutes or are these simply covered very quickly as part of the wedding day flow and not done in real-time???

Yes, I agree it takes exceptional talent to compress 12 hours into 20 minutes. I commend you both for being able to achieve it!!

Chris
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Old September 24th, 2010, 08:29 AM   #17
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Hi Luke

Although this film had no brides prep as such this is a pretty standard edit for us.

Included on the DVD as extras will be the complete service, the complete speeches, a 1 song highlight clip (charlotte & noah – 31.11.09 Memories On Film) and if we made one the coming soon trailer.
This couple also went for our Big Brother style diary room, so they also get a montage of messages as well as all the messages unedited.

They certainly didn't go short of footage, but what I like about this film is that it seems to flow as one continuos film (others may disagree).

Be good to hear your thoughts.

www.memoriesonfilm.co.uk
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Old September 24th, 2010, 09:10 AM   #18
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Thanks for sharing. Now it is clear to me, the complete speeches & ceremony is still part of the DVD but not part of the featured Cinematic edit. I have always wondered why the couple would agree on not seeing the speeches but now I know.
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Old September 24th, 2010, 10:02 AM   #19
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Re

Great work andy , you work solo?

Love the sexy super 8 , was that the 7d coming in as well later on. Just one myself, love it.

Luke
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Old September 26th, 2010, 09:13 AM   #20
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Andrew, thank you very much for sharing that. I have been working on the long video for a recent wedding that I did, and that gave me some great ideas. Highlights are a dime a dozen, but the longer videos are hard to come by. I think you did a great job.
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Old September 26th, 2010, 10:28 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke Oliver View Post
Cut it into 10-15 mins and then your test your creativity

Luke
With respect Luke, I think cutting out the "boring bits" regardless of what the client wants is the easy way.

On the other hand, making a long form programme and keeping it fresh, watchable and compelling - that's real creativity. But it's onl;y a view; Peter Jackson obviously didn't do it for you though clearly others were enchanted.

Of course chaptering helps; our programmes have 20 or more chapters, but that's really to make navigation easy. And of course a long form programme is watched in its entirety on fewer occasions but that's what our Dream programme (which we also include in our product) is there for - the whole day in the length of one of the couple's favourite songs.

And I hate to disappoint your theory, but the vast majority of our clients are young people - the iPad generation, in fact as if to prove the point, earlier in the summer we had a groom deliver his speech from an iPad.

But be absolutely clear, if you're delivering what your market wants then you're doing it right and good luck to you, but don't assume that other markets and business/product models are wrong.
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Old September 27th, 2010, 04:20 AM   #22
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I think different markets require different approaches, although there is the theory that wedding videographers are able to manipulate the market demands. In a perfect world, wedding videographer's personal approach would be 100% accepted by the couple (as long as the overrall quality is present) but this is not always the case. A good idea (at least for us) is the creation of a double feature. So, besides highlights video, there is the short feature which is the wedding as we wanted to edit it, no questions asked, and the documentary edit of the ceremony and the reception. So, everybody's happy (at least that's the response till now).
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Old September 27th, 2010, 05:01 AM   #23
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"So, besides highlights video, there is the short feature which is the wedding as we wanted to edit it, no questions asked."

I appreciate that this may never have happened to you but what do/would you do it there were questions asked when the couple see your final cut and for some reason don't like it and ask you to make some changes?

Don't take this as being provocative but in my experience there are couples lurking out there who are with you all the way until they want their way.
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Old September 27th, 2010, 06:25 AM   #24
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George, this is a good question. No problem has been occured though, maybe we are just lucky or maybe there are a couple of reasons for it. One is that we let them know from the beginning that the editing style is something that's up to us, completely. If there is some editing mistake or something really serious we forgot about, then, well, we'll have to apologise and fix it. It hasn't happened but we are always prepared for everything. Second is that we generally book expensive weddings. And -our- experience shows that the more expensive the wedding, the more high-class the couple, and that means more allowance for our creative freedom. Third posibillity is, that whatever doesn't fit the short form, will fit the documentary. Now, if they insist in what material should go where, then I'd happily lend them the editing suite to do it (I repeat, it hasn't happened yet).

Arrogant? Eccentric? Wrong business plan? I just know that we work too heavily with the footage, and the choice we make are always (we'd like to think so) for the best. Any recommendations are always welcome, but involvement in editing procedure (yes, we've been asked for it some times) simply is not acceptable.

But everything about that is always explained in a civilized and friendly manner, so until now, everything goes smooth.
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Old September 27th, 2010, 07:33 AM   #25
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Our terms and conditions mention in more than one place that the film is "our interpretation of the day."
The couples are made fully aware of the kind of films we like to make and they leave it up to us.

I think with us because they also get the full service and speeches as extras on the DVD you really are hitting 2 birds with 1 stone.
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Old September 27th, 2010, 08:31 AM   #26
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Hi Guys

My old contract (going back several years) allowed an end result that the couple wanted. All went fine until I met a nightmare bride who didn't like the first edit and demanded all the raw footage and after viewing it for probably many many hours arrived to announced "we" were going to re-edit the video to her specifications. Her notes were around 10 A4 pages and we ended up spending 3 DAYS (at 8 hours each) changing this and changing that including ridiculous things like "my husband has his hand on his cheek..cut it out" I cost me pretty close on 24 hours of my time without any payment and my "full editorial control" clause was added to the contract rather fast!!

I think I would rather lose a job that have to put up with a bride who wanted to be part of the editing procedure !! I always make sure they have seen a samples DVD (which has a bunch of different weddings on it) so they know roughly what they are getting and there are no nasy surprises after the wedding and phrases like "but we expected ........."

We are running a business and to do so efficiently we do need to set boundaries. The bride that's looking for the ultimate wedding video perfection is best left to another videographer unless you are prepared to factor in 3 or 4 days of your time for extra editing!!

Chris
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Old September 27th, 2010, 10:29 AM   #27
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Chris that sounds like a nightmare bride, as I mentioned above they are lurking out there.

Like you I've got a few years worth of weddings under my belt and have had very few negative comments about the end product that I present. Like most people here I do lay out both verbally and in writing that what I offer is my overview of the day encapsulated in an entertaining presentation. And of course I show them examples so they are aware of the style, approach and quality of my work.

My comment above was in the spirit of enquiry to those who are so confident of their approach that they will not entertain any request to make changes after the event. My position is that of course I do this work to make money, as much as is possible for as little possible hassle, why work for myself if I have to put up with hassle, but I also do it because I enjoy making something that gives people pleasure. So it really grieves me to have an unhappy bride so I always, hide my annoyance and disappointment - especially when I feel I've made a wonderful film - and make the changes they ask for, within reason. I only give them a week after they receive it to make any request and tell them that it may be sometime before I can get round to it, especially during the busy season when I am giving priority to fresh work as it come up. Quite often that is enough for them to say "We'll keep it as it is then". Anything substantial I charge for.

I have on one occasion had the 'list' but unlike you I have never allowed anyone to sit in on the editing, it's bad enough with business clients who know what they want and will pay by the hour, but wedding clients never.
I've also had the ridiculous requests, The bride's parents were divorced and the father brought his new girlfriend. The bride's mother asked if I could cut her out as much as possible but "just in her copy", and not tell her daughter.
Bride's sister arguing with her boyfriend on the dance floor during the couple's first dance, could I cut them out but keep their dance.
Cut out the best man's speech. Whilst they were on honeymoon he stole from their house so they wanted him off the video but realised it would be a bit much to ask for him to be completely removed (that was considerate of them).
Bride and father dancing to a song, could I change the song as that was one she had specifically asked the DJ not to play

The list goes on. I think that anyone who has done, or will be doing, weddings for 20 years has had or is going to have these sort of post-edit requests.

Maybe I should be more business like and point them to my terms and conditions as I show them the door.
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Old September 27th, 2010, 05:59 PM   #28
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Hi George

Unfortunately sometimes you have to be tough and say, enough is enough...better to have Saturday night off than to spend the next 3 weeks fighting crazy requests from a bride who probably hired your services initially for less than you are truly worth anyway!! I would rather spend an entire weekend with no work than work at a loss!!!

Sometimes I gag at Wedding Pros who talk about spending 60 hours and more editing. I'm sure the resulting edit is outstanding BUT it wouldn't make good business sense to get totally carried away to the point where your nett profit becomes peanuts and having brides that want ridiculous edits will soon eat away at the profits.

I'm sure we would all like to be booked every Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the month throughout the year but not at the expense of our business!! I do have a few tough rules in my terms and conditions but they are there so it runs as a business and not a charity!!

Stay tough

Chris
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