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Old April 4th, 2011, 02:43 AM   #1
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Why not give all raw footage?

I just noticed in a couple of threads that many don't give all the raw video footage of weddings. I was wondering why this was. I know photographers don't either. Recently, at some of the chapels I work at, the photography companies have given deals "All raw data included with X number of photos that have been PP" When I asked why, the answer was "Why not? It's not worth the hassle of fighting over." They do about 12 weddings a weekend so they're not hurting for money. This is in Japan and the way things are done may be different country to country, but I wondered what most people here have to say about it. What is the reason?
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Old April 4th, 2011, 03:32 AM   #2
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Re: Why not give all raw footage?

My understanding (and I'd agree with it) is that RAW footage does not exactly represents the quality of work you would produce. In your raw footages, things may not look as good (no colour correction, movements here and there, horrible audio etc). You need works in post to make sure all these are corrected.

While we may understand this, the B&G most probably don't. They and anyone they let view of the unfinished product may make wrong perception of what you produce and may give the wrong reference to other potential couples.

But it maybe a different case if the video they'd produce is off a single/two camera that sits statically at the back of the church.. then your RAW and your final would look about the same anyway...
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Old April 4th, 2011, 05:24 AM   #3
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Re: Why not give all raw footage?

Unless the person getting the raw footage is an accomplished editor and colourist, the chances are that raw footage can only damage your business rather than enhance it. Otherwise, why do any of us bother editing in the first place?

Raw footage is exactly that - raw. It's not meant for viewing 'as-is' because it hasn't been colour corrected, hasn't hasn't had the wobbles, zooms and pans edited out, and just as important, the audio from that camera could be terrible too.

Shooting multi-camera means shooting for the edit, which takes viewing the raw footage to a whole new level because you need to bring it in to an NLE (which most people either don't have, or don't know how to use) and sync all angles and audio before you have a good idea of how good / bad the overall production can be. Only then do you start to build the story.

If all you have is a single camera, then you basically have what uncle bob could have shot, and the most uncle bob ever does for editing is 'cut out the bad bits', if he even bothers to do that (most don't).

If an untrained eye looks at your raw footage and sees pretty much what uncle bob could have shot then why would they bother hiring you instead of getting uncle bob for free?

One of the biggest differences between a home movie of a wedding and a professional wedding video is what happens after the day in the edit suite, though sadly most people simply don't understand that.
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Old April 4th, 2011, 05:26 AM   #4
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Re: Why not give all raw footage?

One reason not to is "how do you transfer it it?" I just checked a folder for one I am working on for a dear friend and that folder right now is 105gb of stuff. Those photogs, a DVD will most likely handle every image they shot for a wedding with no problem. Personally, I think the B&G should archive all their footage, in case of something happening years down the pipe. How many of them want to blow 50-100gb of storage forever, I doubt that number is many.
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Old April 4th, 2011, 06:11 AM   #5
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Re: Why not give all raw footage?

I get asked now and again for the raw footage and I usually ask them if they have a Quad Core machine and software that can import AVCHD files...of course the usual answer is HUH????? so they drop the issue.

If you take a simple thing like the shoot at the reception going around the tables...say 16 tables of 8 people and on an AVCHD camera you will get a total of 16 short clips (my cams create a new clip whenever you hit record) For me that's a pain to edit so I start the cam at table one and between tables I just point it at the floor while I walk to the next table...so to the amateur viewer it would look terrible and is a bad reflection on the videographer "Gosh he filmed the carpet nearly as much as the people"

I always do guest interviews during predinner drinks and to avoid having to say "OK you can talk now...3-2-1" I go from guest to guests all in one clip so when I ask for bridal congrats I'm filming already and don't have any cue problems at all.....view the same clip and apart from the actual interviews it certainly looks like an Uncle Bob job!!! Both are MY way of capturing footage so I can edit MY way so giving that raw footage is out of the question for the bride!!!

I shoot dual cam and quite often I might be shooting on Cam B while the bridal party could be blocking Cam A ...after editing it's perfect but watch just one camera and it wouldn't make sense!!~

By all means give away the raw footage if you do a single camera shoot with careful in-camera edits and no wobbly bits....the raw and edited footage will probably be much the same!!! But anything else is a blunt refusal UNLESS you decide to supply (at a cost) pre-edited clips before they hit the DVD in MPEG2 format are are already edited and are pretty much a carbon copy of what's on the DVD minus any titles or FX....that's the only way I would supply "raw footage" and they would certainly have to pay for it!!!

Seriously it's not worth ruining your credentials over footage that a client doesn't understand.

Chris
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Old April 4th, 2011, 07:10 AM   #6
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Re: Why not give all raw footage?

Hey Chris,

I leave the camera rolling when moving from table to table like you, but flip to the camera bars instead of just showing the ground ( that is, when I remember to switch to the camera bars).

Also, I often flip to the camera bars when I want to make a placemark in the footage. That way I can scroll rapidly through long sections of footage while editing until I hit the section with the bars. It saves a lot of time for me later when I start to edit. For instance when shooting soccer games where there isn't a scoreboard, I'll switch on the bars for a few seconds after a goal is scored. It makes it easier to find on the timeline.
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Old April 4th, 2011, 07:14 AM   #7
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Re: Why not give all raw footage?

Isn't it a terrible shame to just throw away all that footage that would be so interesting as archival material to the B&G and their families in 10/20/30 years time?
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Old April 4th, 2011, 08:16 AM   #8
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Re: Why not give all raw footage?

No, because they already have all of the interesting material.

What doesn't make it into the final cut is, by definition, not
compelling. That's the wedding filmmaker's most important job.

There's certainly room for BTS and "making of" and bloopers
and other highlights, but not every last minute of the raw video.

Look at it this way: there are some magnificent works of art in
museums around the world that have been sculpted out of marble,
stone, etc. Of what aesthetic value is the pile of little rock chips
that were hewn away to create these masterpieces? Zero. The
sculptor doesn't want you to see that mound of shavings; the
sculptor wants you to see the finished work. It's the same
thing here. Video editing is electronic sculpture.
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Old April 4th, 2011, 09:29 AM   #9
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Re: Why not give all raw footage?

Many good points raised thus far.

For performance/event gigs, there are times when I provide the "raw" footage. I have one client who does his own editing on four-camera concert shoots, so I give him SD cards right after the show. I have another client whom I provide the edited copy as well as the uncut footage for two-camera shoots, all of which I deliver on DVD. For concerts, it isn't unusual to have the conductor request the uncut footage of the "conductor cam". This footage is used for personal review, auditions, and job applications.
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Old April 4th, 2011, 09:31 AM   #10
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Re: Why not give all raw footage?

That's pretty much how I look at it. Raw footage would actually be edited to exclude the bits I would normally throw away as a matter of course and as such would also be transcoded from the 'raw' footage in to something suitable for some one else to play. The time it takes to edit those bits and do the transcoding needs to be accounted for, not to mention the HDD I'd ned to buy to supply it on.

When ever Iv'e discussed this with the clients (because a couple of them thought it would be cheaper than me editing it!) it's worked out as expensive as the editing the proper video, and then they'd still have to get it edited! Once they realise that, they seem to be less interested.
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Old April 4th, 2011, 09:37 AM   #11
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Re: Why not give all raw footage?

Hi Jason,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason McDonald View Post
I just noticed in a couple of threads that many don't give all the raw video footage of weddings. I was wondering why this was...
If the couple wants it I sell it to them, either on SD DVD's for use with standard DVD player or on a USB hard drive. In terms of per hour work it seems worth it in my opinion. For the DVD's I line up all the footage on a timeline and scan it once, taking out sections that don't show anything, like an empty lectern for example. (I work alone and rely on other angles much of the time, meaning that some angles are pre-positioned without the subject in the frame for a few minutes). With the USB drive I just copy all the original source files over to a drive formatted for PC or Mac - their choice. (Ever since selling unedited footage I've learned not to chat to others during the quiet times, like when I'm doing table decoration shots in the reception hall before the guests enter. Its easy to talk to the photographer or catering staff. Not that it would be anything you wouldn't want them to hear, just that I don't want to take the chance.)
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Old April 4th, 2011, 10:00 AM   #12
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Re: Why not give all raw footage?

We have gone back and forth over this issue in our company. We try to never mention raw footage and we now try to talk to the couple out of the raw footage if they bring it up by telling them what it really is, but if they are absolutely insistent we tell them that in order to view it it will need to be transcoded into a format that their computer can handle and charge them for the transcoding time, transfer time to the hard drive that we make them provide and shipping and handling costs. If they want it on DVD we then charge them for the dvds, cases, burn time, everything. We find that 99 our of 100 times the couple finds it to not be worth the money, and if they are still insistent on it, we look at it as another paying gig that is now worth our time as they are paying our full rate for it.
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Old April 4th, 2011, 10:28 AM   #13
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Re: Why not give all raw footage?

I give the couple the original footage in the original format (use to be minidv tapes, now it's SD cards) for archive purposes. I also offer to transfer the files to them if they supply a hard drive. It becomes a question of format obsolesence... I explain it all to my clients, both on my website and when I meet with them.
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Old April 4th, 2011, 01:28 PM   #14
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Re: Why not give all raw footage?

I sell them the raw footage for $200 and they get to keep the hard drive.

I don't think it will hurt my business or the magic I create.

Honestly, I have had clients take one look at it and go "wow" this looks like a lot of work to go through each clip that plays back poorly, they also see how much work editing really takes when looking at 300 clips!

I see it as easy extra income. I make about $3K a year in selling the raw.
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Old April 4th, 2011, 01:28 PM   #15
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Re: Why not give all raw footage?

Hi Chris,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
No, because they already have all of the interesting material. What doesn't make it into the final cut is, by definition, not compelling. That's the wedding filmmaker's most important job.
I just don't have the artist's mentality anymore - I figure its not my decision what they want to see or will find compelling. I can just show them my personal take of the day, and if its short there is a lot left out. I've found unedited footage to be a popular option for short-form, highlights and SDE-only packages. Afterwards I tend to think that what we do is appreciated even more because they've seen what we start with, not only seen the quantity of the footage but also the difference filtering can make.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
Look at it this way: there are some magnificent works of art in
museums around the world that have been sculpted out of marble,
stone, etc. Of what aesthetic value is the pile of little rock chips
that were hewn away to create these masterpieces? Zero. The
sculptor doesn't want you to see that mound of shavings; the
sculptor wants you to see the finished work. It's the same
thing here. Video editing is electronic sculpture.
I don't think that analogy relates. It assumes that everything that is left out of the edit wasn't meant to be there in the first place, which is far from the case with a wedding film. Some shots just didn't fit into the edit, but that doesn't mean they are without sentimental and archival value.
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