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

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Old May 6th, 2011, 06:00 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Toronto, ON
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Advice or tips for freshening up end product?

I work for a local company and we do anywhere from 1-5 weddings per weekend and we're starting to change up how to shoot and edit weddings. We're incorporating 7D's into our shooting now, but the average wedding we have would be shot on two Canon XH A1s cameras. My boss finally scrapped these LiveType titles we had to do so I'm hoping to get a better flow in the end products, so it's not so chopped up into little sections.

We'd have a bride's morning, groom's morning, ceremony, photoshoot, receiving line, introductions, first dance, table toasts, speeches, parent dances, party, bouquet & garter, last dance, etc. sections which vary from wedding to wedding. I've read some guys make a 20 min feature with a menu option for full ceremony and speeches, which I like the idea of.

Does anybody else edit "long form" like I have to? For example, the parent dances would include the entire song (bride and father, groom and mother and sometimes wedding party too) unless otherwise specified. I find it very redundant and boring to cut between two cameras for 3-4 mins and throw in a few "flashbacks". We are revamping out edit sheets which we give to clients so that they mainly just pick music and that's get a handful of bride's each year who are incredibly nit picky and I then have to scan 10 hours of footage for their great aunt whoever from another country saying a short sentence in the background of a scene.
Ceremonies I normally would cut as -- opening scenes/b-roll, processional, vows, registry, recessional but a lot of bride's want EVERYTHING and it drags on...prayers, readings, etc.

I love editing trailers or highlights because I can jump all over the day pulling footage from key points of the day, but the way I have to edit now (this isn't my own business) is very cut and dry and I'm hoping for more ideas to suggest for our final edits to give to clients. Also keep in mind that after their wedding they receive all of their raw footage dubbed to DVD, so it's not like they'll never see certain parts of their day again. I know some people are against giving raw footage, but again, it's not my call.

For example, does anyone cut together the bride and groom prep together? So the shots cut between the two? I was thinking that would be great instead of separate parts. Or the reception -- a couple of opening shots, some b-roll, then intros into first dance with a few other shots put in there? I can't decide how to structure that part as well.

I'd appreciate any ideas...thanks...
John Crawford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 10th, 2011, 05:02 PM   #2
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Location: Wisconsin
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Re: Advice or tips for freshening up end product?

Hi John,

I'm sorry no one responded! This kind of ties into the cinematic vs. documentary discussion going on. In my opinion an edit doesn't have to be exclusively one or the other. I don't include the whole ceremony, all of the special dances (mother-son/father-daughter/first dance etc.), all of the toasts and speeches or much fast dancing but I still consider my shortform wedding film to have a very documentary feel. While my highlights and same-day edits are music-oriented the full-length program relies heavily on what is said to form the backbone. There is music throughout and everything is time-shifted in a way that ties the day together more emotionally than a linear representation can. And like highlights they are a blast to edit. Just for a taste the top movie on the following page is part one (of five parts) from a 2009 wedding film done with XHA1's:


And yes - I've always cut back and forth between the girl's and guy's preparation scenes. Even though I shoot alone combining the two groups makes it feel like what they are doing is happening at exactly the same time even though they most often aren't even at the same location.
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Old May 10th, 2011, 08:14 PM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Manchester UK
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Re: Advice or tips for freshening up end product?


I hope your boss realises what a thoughtful editor he has. You already know that documentary videos risk being repetitive and I can only offer two immediate thoughts.

1 Talk to your camera people because it seems to me that if they don't give you potentially creative material you're always going to be pushing uphill.

2 Modify your edit list. We use a 17 page Questionnaire which allows us to get very specific ideas about what couples would like and overcomes the search for great aunt scenario you describe. It also makes people think more about the edit and makes the selection of subjects (as opposed to shots) easier. On the other hand it also offers the chance for the picky to start earlier.

We do a short form, sort of arty farty, as a summary and since they don't get to edit that we do allow ourselves much greater creative licence. I regard this part of the disk as my challenge not to repeat the same treatment twice.

I'm sure this isn't exactly what you wanted to receive but I hope it helps.
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