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


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Old July 8th, 2011, 12:58 AM   #1
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Questions for the wedding editors

1. What is the first thing you do after transferring/capturing the footage on the rig? How does the process go for you?

2. How long or many hours does it take to edit a wedding film?

3. How long does it take for you to color correct an entire wedding?

Thanks.
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Old July 8th, 2011, 01:53 AM   #2
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Re: Questions for the wedding editors

I would like to know how others does it as well. As for me:

1. Convert, split into folders for prep/ceremony/reception/location shoot, etc
2. 4 hours for highlight, 14 hours for full coverage. I still need to work on my editing speed.
3. On average 10-15 minutes per clip. But this is only using standard 3 way colour corrector.
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Old July 8th, 2011, 07:12 AM   #3
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Re: Questions for the wedding editors

Hi Sean,

Your questions don't have nice, neat, simple answers.

1. I usually take a little break after ingesting all the footage. Then I come back and start following my template or plan of action. First I sort the footage into bins in AVID. Work goes faster when it's organized properly.

2. As for how long it takes to edit the film, it depends. What I can say generally, is that it takes much less time now than when I did the first one. First I start on the full documentary. I lay it all out sequentially on the timeline, then cut out all the "not good stuff" that I can.

If you have shot the ceremony with multiple cameras, you really need to learn the multicam feature in your NLE software. Use it the way your NLE is designed to be used. Generate your entire multicam sequence before sending footage to the timeline.

After the documentary is laid out, I start the online short, if the client has ordered one. I start the short by laying the music on the timeline first. Then I mark natural breaks in the music. I fit the scenes to the music.

3. I am very careful setting up my cameras to match each other. I am also a much better shooter than when I started out. Therefore, I spend vastly less time on color correction. Having to spend a lot of time on color correction DEVOURS YOUR PROFITS. It's more effective to just shoot it right to begin with. You don't want to waste time fixing footage. Also, get a good tripod. You don't want to spend time taking out the shakes either.

Learn your camera(s). Really learn your camera. Learn what settings work best in different situations. If you become an expert shooter, your job as an editor becomes much easier. It's hard to turn crap into gold.

Finally, I deliver to the customer in no more than two weeks. I promise within a month. Efficiency in your workflow is the key to profitability. Get the product to the customer while their desire is still hot. Having everything ready and waiting when they return from the honeymoon is ideal.Then they will be enthusiastic and generate referrals, provided you have actually done a good job for them. BTW, Corporate clients don't like to wait a long time either.

Be efficient. Don't waste time. It's a business. Sure, enjoy yourself, but it's a business.
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Last edited by Roger Van Duyn; July 8th, 2011 at 07:22 AM. Reason: typo
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Old July 8th, 2011, 04:51 PM   #4
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Re: Questions for the wedding editors

the biggest slow down i see so far is using twixtor, ir forces me to prerender the preview before watching anything smoothly. (I use sony vegas)
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Old July 9th, 2011, 01:07 PM   #5
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Re: Questions for the wedding editors

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Originally Posted by Sean Nelson View Post
the biggest slow down i see so far is using twixtor, ir forces me to prerender the preview before watching anything smoothly. (I use sony vegas)
Then learn to shoot and edit without the need to use slo-mo ;)
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Old July 9th, 2011, 01:08 PM   #6
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Re: Questions for the wedding editors

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Originally Posted by Johannes Soetandi View Post
I would like to know how others does it as well. As for me:
3. On average 10-15 minutes per clip. But this is only using standard 3 way colour corrector.
Do you really spend this much time per clip? A wedding has hundreds of clips...it would take many days just to color correct?? What editor are you using?
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Old July 9th, 2011, 09:46 PM   #7
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Re: Questions for the wedding editors

I log/transfer, convert, edit the wedding (2-3 hours), sort/edit the highlight video (7-8 hours), edit the reception (4-5 hours). Obviously numbers can vary due to the amount of footage but that's a rough estimate.

I use FCP. I really really don't like FCP X. It's going to take a while to get used to...
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Old July 9th, 2011, 11:05 PM   #8
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Re: Questions for the wedding editors

Hi Sean

Obviously capture depends on whether it's tape or card but after transferring the card data what I personally do is import around 30 clips at a time into my editor (Sony Vegas) and then take a quick peek at the thumbnails and allocate clips to events for each camera...ie: 0 - 27 (bridal prep) 27 - 55 (ceremony cutaways and 2nd angle) and so on.

I use the main camera for the main ceremony and main audio and also speeches so that has longer clips but less of them so they are easy to categorize!!!

Editing for me usually involves editing everything on a Monday (I capture and categorize on the Sunday) and then doing the DVD's and packaging on a Tuesday....a standard wedding probably is about 10 hours work for me but I am shooting documentary style and I pay special attention to "shooting for editing" so my edits are quick (this goes back to the old days when we had to edit on two linear VHS recorders so you always shot to make edits easier!!)

I rarely need to colour correct as I'm using identical cameras so most footage is spot on!!!

I would suspect that doing slo-mo is time consuming...I shoot on the stedicam at 720 50P (we are PAL) and then just stretch the video in Vegas!! It's quick and easy and the high frame rate makes for smooth slomos!!

Chris
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Old July 10th, 2011, 09:33 PM   #9
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Re: Questions for the wedding editors

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Originally Posted by Warren Kawamoto View Post
Do you really spend this much time per clip? A wedding has hundreds of clips...it would take many days just to color correct?? What editor are you using?
My mistake Warren, I meant per edited video clip (ie. the preparation, ceremony, reception, etc) that goes into the DVD. Not per clip from the camera. :)

I've recently been using PluralEyes (yes, where have i been?!), my workflow has been tons faster! What I did was put footages from 3 different cameras that cover parts of the reception/ceremony, let Plural Eyes sync it, cut angles that I dont use, fix the audio, add opening, add closing to the video, colour correct. And voila!
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Old July 12th, 2011, 06:15 AM   #10
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Re: Questions for the wedding editors

Wow you guys edit fast... I just spent 30-40 hours editing a 3-minute highlight video, including the basic color correction I could do. Asking a motion graphics editor to help out with the text/names part. But to be fair, a lot of time went into the color correction (that I still can't seem to truly fix, but it's getting closer), even though we used the same cameras with same settings. Haven't even started the long form edit.
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Old July 12th, 2011, 08:22 PM   #11
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Re: Questions for the wedding editors

The main reason for making sure that edits are smooth and fast is purely financial!! It's a bit pointless doing a wedding for say $3900 when you have to spend 40 hours alone on just an edit...in my world 40 hours of my time at the edit desk is worth an absolute minimum of $100 per hour so just a 40 hour edit ends up as a loss already ..never mind the fact that you might have been onsite for 10 hours, travelled for 2 hours etc etc.

A local wedding guy here posted a while back on another forum that he spent 2 full days getting a 2 minute clip perfect. How do these people make a profit or are you charging $10K +++++ for a wedding shoot????

We are running a business and for us time is money so my bottom line is, if I want to make a profit (and pay the bills too) I need to finish a job within an economically viable time window!!!

Chris
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Old July 13th, 2011, 04:01 AM   #12
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Re: Questions for the wedding editors

It was our first video. We only charged them a few hundred bucks, which actually didn't even fully cover our operating expenses. We still have a long form edit to do for them as well. So you're absolutely right about hourly wages...but we knew our potential future clients were going to judge us on this clip, so we wanted to do what we could to make it as good as possible (still not there). Not to mention many issues occurred during the actual filming, so we were not able to get the shots we hoped.

But really, you think editing is worth $100 an hour? I would be happy to make $15-20, and $30-40 would be spectacular doing this kind of work. We also spent about 100 hours or more planning, practicing with our gear, discussing with clients, etc. but of course, this work will pay off for future clients as well. We also just had the time as this is our main business.

I'm sure we will discover patterns in our edits and what works well for transitions and other scenes, which will speed up our edits. I'm curious though what you perceive as worth $3900? How good would your video be? I would love to get in that pricing point, but most of my clients are probably willing to pay only $500 (or less) up to $1500, but still hope for StillMotion or other similar high-end production quality.
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Old July 13th, 2011, 09:12 AM   #13
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Re: Questions for the wedding editors

1. I have a coffee in front of the footage and play a music to match particular wedding.

2. For the whole day wedding it takes about 3-4 evenings to edit.

3. Colour correct with one click.
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Old July 13th, 2011, 11:41 AM   #14
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Re: Questions for the wedding editors

1. As soon as I get home I transfer all the footage to the drive folder for the gig. When I'm ready, I spend a couple of hours culling all the footage. That footage gets transcoded and moved to a separate folder that I work from.

2. I just used a timecard app to keep track of a short edit I did (to get some idea on profits), clocked in at 10 hours. I envy the same day edit guys. Need to keep track of the long form next.

3. Once you've got your style/template in place its just copy and paste with minor adjustments on exposure and white balance and sharpness. I'd say I spend 1 to 2 hours out of the ten.

Zhong, as far as I've been able to tell, $100 per hour is about the going rate for editing. For $20 you can work for someone else doing something a lot easier and not have to worry about marketing and booking clients. At $40, I think you would be surprised how much you need to invest in gear and how at that price you are loosing money.
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Old July 13th, 2011, 05:37 PM   #15
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Re: Questions for the wedding editors

I guess the problem is no one I'm encountering seems to think paying more than $1-1.5k is worth it for their wedding video. We've invested around $10k in equipment and other costs (insurance, website, DBA, etc.), but we're hoping to break even around 1 or 1.5 yrs in business, then start profiting after that.

I mean, when people are paying their photographers $500-1.5k, and they view video as less important, they definitely won't be willing to pay $3900.

How much are you charging for your videos and how do you get them to pay it?
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