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


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Old November 13th, 2010, 03:24 AM   #1
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Editing time

I apologize if this has been covered in the past. I am curious, how long does it take for you to edit a wedding film from start to finish. But not including any digitizing or rendering.... actual butt in seat editing.
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Old November 13th, 2010, 10:15 AM   #2
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I would do a search as this topic has definitely been discussed to death.

That said, the answer to your question totally depends on what you deliver. If you deliver a basic documentary edit of the ceremony and reception (shot with 1 or 2 cameras) the editing time will be much different than if you deliver a heavily-edited documentary edit along with a cinematic feature and a highlights and so on. As people start answering your question you'll find out there are about as many answers as you can imagine. You'll hear ranges from 1 or 2 days to up to a year (or more in some cases).

My advice would be to try and deliver within 3 months no matter what you are delivering. 3 months seems to be around that time where many brides will get anxious for the video. We always mention that we estimate 3-6 months for delivery, and then we try to deliver within 1-2 months. Keep in mind we are usually delivery a cinematic feature, documentary edits, and additional edits.
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Old November 13th, 2010, 05:24 PM   #3
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Same here - up to 3 months... turns out that I'm faster with my delivery with most of the photogs I work with - it's nice to be the first one.
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Old November 14th, 2010, 09:17 AM   #4
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The OP was enquiring what your editing time is not the time it takes you to deliver. At least I hope that it doesn't take you 3 months to edit a wedding video otherwise you can only do four a year:-)
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Old November 14th, 2010, 09:49 AM   #5
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Editing Time

We typically are in the "chair" for about 10-12 hours for a relatively simple documentary style shoot with two main cameras with a third for processional at ceremony and 3 to 4 hours of reception coverage. If we include a highlight video, add another 2 or 3 hours for that and then artwork for DVD and case. Our final product is usually 1.5 to 2 hours long. Hope this helps.
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Old November 14th, 2010, 10:05 PM   #6
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Thank you guys, yeah I was asking actual editing time. Not delivery time.
Thanks for the replies. I was trying to settle on a new pricing scheme and trying to estimate what my "hourly wage" is. I was just curious what the typical/average time was.

Thanks again
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Old November 15th, 2010, 05:26 AM   #7
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Hi Alden

I work the other way around and firstly decide "what I'm worth" and then take that rate (say between $75 and $100 per hour) and see what your market can afford. We have videographers here who say they spend between 40 and 60 hours on their edit. Now add your bridal consultion time, travel time and the actual time you spend at the event itself and you could be looking at up to 80 hours of your time!!

Doing a simple costing that would mean if you are "worth" $100 an hour you need to charge $8K for the wedding!!! I know that in my market I'm not going to get many orders unless I charge around $1500 (no bride is going to pay $8K in my market) If my total time is in fact 80 hours then , shucks, I might as well work as a cashier at the local market cos I'm only making $18.75 an hour!!!

I would see what your market average is first and then decide on the type of shoot so you can decide what kind of production is feasible!! Remember you are essentially running a business!!!

I have to shoot 2 camera documentaries and keep my edits quick and neat so I can keep within my budgeted hours (more or less) As already mentioned I can only allocate 1 or 2 days to each job for editing otherwise I'm working for peanuts!!!

I'd love to shoot high end cinematic wedding films but certainly not for less than $20 an hour.


Chris
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Old November 15th, 2010, 05:55 AM   #8
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I just shot a wedding a month ago.

It took me about 4 hours to edit the wedding together (5 cameras).

4 hours to edit the highlight video

And about 4 hours to edit the reception.

Logging/exporting/burning will of course add to the time. I've been editing for a while though and have gotten pretty fast (at least I think I'm fast...I guess I don't have a reference point!)
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Old November 15th, 2010, 08:08 AM   #9
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Hi Jeremy

That is IMPRESSIVE!! I have already been "scoffed" at here for doing the ceremony and reception in around 12 hours.

I'm glad to see that, yes, it can be done in an even shorter time. I only shoot two cameras so you had a lot more to sync !!!

I started shooting weddings with analogue cameras and doing linear edits on two VCR's and anyone that has done that knows how tricky it can be!! To make life easier you LEARN to "shoot for editing" so the edit process is easier and I still do that today and it makes my digital edit that much quicker too!!

This may seem un-important but I also edit as soon after the wedding as possible..that way you remember the bits you messed up and you remember the entire event clearly so editing goes a lot faster!!


Store the media on your hard drive for a month or two and it becomes a lot more tricky when you eventually get to it because most of the day's procedings are long forgotten!!!

I also think if you shoot all the footage yourself, it is much quicker to edit than trying to make sense of a 2nd shooter's footage!! ( I talked to a guy in Florida who used to do a 6 cam shoot on his own!!!)

Nice job you did of it too!!!

Chris
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Old November 15th, 2010, 10:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Hi Alden

I work the other way around and firstly decide "what I'm worth" and then take that rate (say between $75 and $100 per hour) and see what your market can afford. We have videographers here who say they spend between 40 and 60 hours on their edit. Now add your bridal consultion time, travel time and the actual time you spend at the event itself and you could be looking at up to 80 hours of your time!!
Chris
Hey Chris

Yeah, I see your point. I am still a newbie to the wedding circuit, as I've only been doing it for a year. The plan was to do 10 weddings in 2010 to try it out, see if I'm good at it and well... see if I still enjoy doing it. If so, I would start my actual business in 2011. So here I am. I have a good idea what my market range is. The thing I was trying to do is price it out to see if I could complete a wedding in the "allotted time" from what I value my time. That obviously combined with the shooting time, meeting time, travel, etc.
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Old November 15th, 2010, 11:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel Barker View Post
The OP was enquiring what your editing time is not the time it takes you to deliver. At least I hope that it doesn't take you 3 months to edit a wedding video otherwise you can only do four a year:-)
My bad. I misread the OP.

The same answer sort of applies. How long to edit depends on what all you are editing. I would say our average wedding takes around 40-50 hours of edit time.
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Old November 15th, 2010, 11:42 PM   #12
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Does anyone else find B&G's are shocked when they hear about the amount of time that goes into editing? I haven't bogged any down with the details, but I think we could justify our rates just by explaining what's involved.

(Reviewing 3 cameras worth of footage, Piecing videos together, Adjusting color, brightness / darkness, and audio, Applying filters / effects, Rendering hours of HD footage, Reviewing the nearly finished product, Making final changes / revisions to the videos, Reviewing the finished videos, Creating the Blu-ray / DVD menus, Compressing the videos for Blu-ray / DVD, Burning the discs, Printing labels for the discs)

So yeah... My wife and I spend about 40 to 60 hours per wedding on editing. We hope to cut the number down by the new year as we gain more editing experience. (A second computer would really help!)
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Old November 16th, 2010, 05:35 AM   #13
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Hi Kevin

From purely a business point of view is that 60 hours with two of you working on the edit??? Add at least another 10 hours for actual shooting at the event and correctly costed you are looking at 130 hours at your time!! Even more if two operators are filming!!

At a base rate of $100 an hour that SHOULD cost the bride $13,000 at least!!! Can you really get money like that in Canada for a wedding??? Over here that's the price of a new car ..no way any bride would pay those sort of prices unless daddy had an unlimited budget or was super rich!!!

I would truely love to spend a couple of weeks full-time perfecting an edit but for me here it's just not justified at all!!!

Chris
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Old November 18th, 2010, 02:36 AM   #14
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Interestingly I heard a wedding videographer the other day who said that since moving to shooting on Canon DSLR exclusively that their editing time had come down from 3-4 days to just two days. This was basically because they now have an awful lot less footage to wade through as they now no longer have multiple unattended camcorders producing hours of tape. With DSLRs they have to put a little more thought into what they are actually recording.
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Old November 18th, 2010, 08:34 AM   #15
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Hi Nigel

That is very true!! If you plan your shots with just two cameras your edit tasks are often minimal. As already said, I started in the analogue days with linear editing and boy!! you HAD to plan shots very carefully otherwise you had an edit nightmare!!

I still "shoot for editing" and it cuts down my time drastically ..the only time my A-Cam is "unattended" is when I'm shooting cutaways during the ceremony or speeches and that's still a short period where I'm not aware of the A-Cam shots....silly things like attending the rehearsal so you can plan your position makes editing so much easier and very quick too!! I would hate to have to try to match hours of footage from vantage cameras that have to be started long before the bride arrives!! My A-Cam starts recording when the bride walks down the aisle ...so there is very little unused raw footage and also very little duplicate footage!!!

Chris
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