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


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Old September 22nd, 2010, 06:28 PM   #1
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The long video

I have seen many short videos ranging from 3-10 minutes. What I haven't seen is Long videos. What is your average length long edited video?
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Old September 22nd, 2010, 06:33 PM   #2
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Hi Steven

I'm sure everyone does a full wedding video edit but it's a bit much to put a full DVD onto YT or Vimeo as they have size restrictions.

My brides get a DVD with between 80 and 100 minutes of video (depends on how long the speeches go on for usually) This is essentially a full record of the day from Bridal Prep, Arrival, Ceremony, Photoshoot, Grand Entrance, Speeches, Cake and First Dance, a bit of normal dancing and the farewell at the end of the evening.

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Old September 22nd, 2010, 08:23 PM   #3
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I think this has been discussed in detail before around here somewhere.

It all depends on what they've hired you to cover: Rehearsal, Rehearsal Dinner, Pre-Ceremony, Ceremony, and Reception is the way we break out the events.

If a client goes "all out" and gets all 5 (which includes the -all-day- pre ceremony... we offer shorter pre-ceremony as well), the final video could well be 120 minutes. (out of ~15 hours on-location coverage)

If a client goes "normal" with just the Ceremony and Reception (about 3 hours of on location coverage), then the final video will probably be about 40-60 minutes depending on how long the actual ceremony is and how much is going on at the reception.

So in the end, our final videos can be as short as 40 minutes, or as long as 120 minutes.

Hope that helps.
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Old September 22nd, 2010, 08:25 PM   #4
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Most of the long video's sound is music over layed or actual audio from the moment?
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Old September 22nd, 2010, 08:33 PM   #5
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My films are between 25-45 mins long and I provide complete day coverage in the price. Since I pick and choose the footage I want to show it enables me to best provide my clients a way to relive their day without having to see every single detail. I go for more of a story telling aspect rather than a documentary aspect.
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Old September 22nd, 2010, 08:39 PM   #6
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Steven, like a number of people in this forum we make a creative record of the day in an essentially documentary style. That means reflecting the overall balance of the day. Obviously some elements aren't very filmic and we generally leave most of these to the photographer (signing the register, cutting the cake).

However, the whole subject of overall duration has, in my view, become somewhat irrelevant, with the availability of dual layer DVDs and Blu-ray, providing you chapterise the whole production extensively.

At the same time, this year's weddings, especially, seem to have been loaded with singing waiters, casinos, balloon benders, bands, Chinese lantern launches and fireworks, all of which add to the overall duration. Some this year have approached 120 minutes.

Since we have a policy of not reducing the DVD bitrate much below 8Kb/s (the limit for early Sony players) to extend the effective capacity of the disk, this means a much more frequent use of dual layer DVDs.

We don't regard this as a problem. Audiences in general are becoming much more tolerant of very long programmes (eg collections of broadcast season series) which they watch in sections, hence the importance of intelligent and careful chapterising.

If you make a documentary-type of programme I recommend you give more consideration to the overall dynamic of the programme and the balance between the sections rather than the overall length. Get that and the colour grading and the sound sweetening right and the programme can be as long a it needs to be.

Regarding your additional question Steven we always include as much relevant sync sound as possible mixed with the clients' choice of music. Actually, a really switched on client recently provided me with music that she wanted under her vows and ring exchange. It was film music and not vocals and I was really surprised how much it added to the piece - it was well chosen and made that part of the ceremony very very emotional.
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Old September 22nd, 2010, 08:40 PM   #7
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Hi Steven

With me it's 90% ambient sound ..the only overlayed music will be on the photoshoot otherwise it's basically live video capture. We might however put a backtracked music clip behind the live audio on bridal arrival and bridal prep. I do a lot of guest/family interviews to capture the emotion of the day so mine are probably furthest from the Cinematic style where there's lots of slo motion and creativity and the main audio track is the bride's favorite music.

Each to their own..you need to develop a style that you like but more importantly what your clients like!!

Chris
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Old September 22nd, 2010, 08:45 PM   #8
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Audio for me is mostly audio from the day... about 90% as well.
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Old September 22nd, 2010, 08:59 PM   #9
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The only audio that we include in the final DVD is the vows/ring exchange and the reception speeches...

Kren
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Old September 23rd, 2010, 04:21 AM   #10
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re

I pretty much got into wedding films cause I had seen so many boring long 2 hour weddings films. I was bored of the last lord of the rings by the end it was so long and that had a script /plot etc. Now , i produce about a 25- 30 min film with the speeches on the extras section of the DVD. I use a cinematic documentary style and have just started using DLSR. The style i want to achieve simply cannot be used if your goal is to produce a 2 hour long weddings film. I know some are even longer. I take time to set up shots, frame and so on, im not amazing yet but i will be soon. ( ive only been going for 1 year )

Now i leave out all the singing in the church , group shots, anything posed, and all that banter that the vicors go on about, and most of the prayers cause they do it 4 times. I now am in the position to tell clients that if they want a 2 hour long weddings film with the camera just looking around I am not the man to do it.

So far its a winner for me. Long wedding films are out and old, people in these times like a quick fix, we watch adverts and text. we want a fast and intense gratification.

my 2 pence.


Luke

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Old September 23rd, 2010, 10:22 AM   #11
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Luke, if that's what your market is happy with, good for you. I must admit I find it odd to compare a wedding video with Lord of the Rings but I'm sure we've all seen terrible wedding videos, 20 minutes and 2 hours long. In fact the main benefit of the 20 minute programmes was that they're over sooner.

All I'd take exception to is the implication that because people like me don't make your sort of programmes, we don't "frame and so on". I want to assure you that I do, but perhaps because I've been doing it so long, I do it very quickly and almost without thinking.
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Old September 23rd, 2010, 05:53 PM   #12
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Hi Luke

That's neat if you can get a bride who is looking for a short form wedding ceremony!! Most of mine want everything included, especially in the ceremony and when we meet I very carefully discuss the ceremony with them. At Catholic weddings I usually suggest that we don't film the homily if it's too long as some priests talk for ages!! I also suggest that if they have a full mass, we leave that out too. However if the bride wants the hymns/singing/gospel choir then it's my job to film it!! A normal Church wedding, keeping the basic important bits is quite often at least 20 minutes on it's own and I find with my brides that's what they want. I don't think I have ever done a sub 30 minute wedding DVD (even if the speeches are on their own) Surely that would leave out important bits????

Our Civil ceremonies are quite quick here...my record one was 6.5 minutes from bride arriving to finishing the register signing...(the bride was actually pretty upset with the officiant!!!) but even civil ceremonies are close to 20 minutes.

It's hard to imagine how one could trim an event that lasts up to 12 hours into 20 minutes unless you cut an awful lot out!! For me 20 minutes would be a Highlight DVD only.

Chris
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Old September 24th, 2010, 06:05 AM   #13
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When talking to a couple thinking about making a booking I would find myself telling them that the service and speeches were chaptered allowing them to skip through if they thought necessary.

I thought about it and realised that all the service and speeches did for my films was slow or interrupt the flow of the film.
Of course the bride and groom want the service and speeches in there entirety so these are added as extras on the DVD.
But for the film itself I found cutting these down made the film flow and made for a much more watchable film.

I haven't produced a film over 30 minutes in a long time.
I find that even with 2 or more cameras a good solid 25-30 minute film is more than enough to capture the day in such a way that it's not a chore to watch it over and over and my couples are proud to show it to their friends and family.

I haven't watched a proper long form wedding in a while but it would be interesting to see exactly what footage makes up the extra time.
If you take out the entire ceremony and speeches how much footage are you left with?

www.memoriesonfilm.co.uk
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Old September 24th, 2010, 06:24 AM   #14
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Yes , I suppose it is a highlights film, 5 mins prep, 10- 20 mins church - 5 mins reception- 5 mins dance. It still adds up to around an hour I suppose with the speeches but they are on the extras as they drag the pace of the film. At the meetings i explain Im keeping it fresh and fun, that you can watch it with all your friends and have a Premier with drinks . Sit down for half hour, and all love it. Most of brides say at the meetings " oh yeah i dont want the singing or all the babble" and why would you, church songs suck apart from Jerusalem is pretty epic. Fair enough singing or an amazing choir ill add in, but what can you film when people are singing a bible hyme, its just boring to watch on film. Readings also go on the DVD menu .

Basically they can watch the film with everyone and everyone will love it and not get bored. If there close family and friends want to watch the speeches they can , if they want to watch the readings they can. But everything in one sitting in 2 hours. zzzzzzzzzzzz. I recently got sent a wedding film from a couple who chose someone else because they were on a budget. Its 2 and a half hours long, the lady said they have not even watched it all the way through yet and asked me to freshen it up. I couldnt touch it cause it was just people standing aournd, filming everyone walking in to the church, the whole service, the whole reception. Thats not fun to watch and even the Bride thought so.

But im only 26 so perhaps I just have different taste. I know older clients might prefer a longer film but people my ages want it short with a lot of punch and emotion. I know I would if i was to ever marry.

Different taste for different people i suppose :)

Luke
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Old September 24th, 2010, 06:29 AM   #15
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I actually think it easier to make longer films as well. Ive done when i first started. Now its a real challenge to keep it all solid, if there is one shot out of place ill cut it my a fraction to make it fit. Filming the whole service is easy. Cut it into 10-15 mins and then your test your creativity

Luke
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