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Old November 1st, 2011, 07:07 PM   #1
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What order do you edit your footage?

Seems like a funny question, probably. In years past, I have edited together the trailer, then tackled the rest of the footage chronologically. I wanted to go ahead and get their trailer out there asap. This year I've been trying something different. I'm flipping that so the trailer gets edited last. This way I've already cut the footage down to what I know will be in the final product. Then I put all the footage in a sequence, and narrow it down to the audio/video I want to use. It has done wonders for my workflow, plus I find that if the trailer gets posted a 3 or so weeks later, the couple have had a little time to get back from their honeymoon, get settled in a little bit, and really appreciate the trailer. I was just curious what others out there were doing.
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Old November 1st, 2011, 07:17 PM   #2
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Re: What order do you edit your footage?

I start with the ceremony, it's the most straight-forward part of the video and it reminds me of who the key players were for the day, bridal party, parents, grandparents etc. Then I edit the getting ready footage, photo session, cocktail hour and finally reception. The last thing I touch is the highlight reel/trailer because like you said at that point I've already watched everything and know what's going in the highlights.
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Old November 1st, 2011, 07:43 PM   #3
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Re: What order do you edit your footage?

Invariably, if I edit a trailer (whether it be a wedding, vacation video or whatever) before I look at ALL the footage, I am greatly disappointed; "Oh, that needed to be in the trailer!!" "I should have used that audio!"
Etc...

Michael, I think your new approach is definitely the way to go. It might seem to go against conventional wisdom, in terms of 'getting it out there' ASAP, or doing a SDE/NDE. But the quality of the final products will be better as a result.
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Old November 1st, 2011, 08:51 PM   #4
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Re: What order do you edit your footage?

1. Quick labeling and marking of all clips (taggin "preview" for good trailer clips). This takes a few hours.
2. Edit Ceremony (1-3 hours depending on if full mass or 15 minute outdoor service)
3. Assemble "running" footage of all events (2-3 hours)
4. Edit trailer (now that I'm familiar with all footage) (2-3 hours)
5. Finish entire HIGHLIGHTS MONTAGE -- 15 minute centerpiece of film (another 8 hours)
6. Master out/Author discs (2-3 hours)

Total of about 18-25 hours depending on the wedding. Can do about 1.75 per week.
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Old November 1st, 2011, 10:52 PM   #5
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Re: What order do you edit your footage?

Like Tim, we sort through everything marking good video and sound bytes.

I usually do a trailer, and most of the time - although not always - that doubles as my DVD motion menu. Something 1 minute or two, that I can then use on the DVD intro. I feel really efficient that I'm making something not only for them to see and get excited about online, but also something I can use later.

Then onto the full ceremony as it's often the easiest, but longest part of the edit.

Then the rest of the day in order. Usually the highlight video comes last, and as I edit the full video, I save some of my favorite shots for just the highlight video just so that they see something new when they watch that too.
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Old November 1st, 2011, 11:42 PM   #6
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Re: What order do you edit your footage?

Hi Michael

The day after the wedding I just transfer clips from the cards into CamA and CamB folders then bring them into my NLE so I can skim thru them in cronological order and make up a quick log...ie : Clip 0000 to 00025 would be bridal prep etc etc. I usually also have quick run thru the ceremony and speeches to make sure the audio is OK ..... then I take the rest of the day off!!!

Monday I will edit usually in Cronological order so normally the groom getting ready, bride getting ready, arrival at the Church etc etc. My method is also probably different to most too...I don't make one great big honking 100 minute clip and then add chapters on the DVD!!! Each event is a clip so at the end I end up with maybe 20 clips!! Each clip starts black before the title and fades to black at the end so when played sequentially it's a complete movie BUT it has seamless BUT little breaks between each clip which "reset" the viewer's brain and attention span!!

My highlight is done last so I can choose the best of the bunch!! I also use a shortened highlight as a DVD Intro!

Working clip by clip is way easier for me as I can "finish" each clip fairly quickly where a 100 minute video for me would be soul destroying (sorta "will it ever end")

It's different but it's my way!!! The ceremony gets a double edit...one for the DVD and a shortened on for the web in MP4 ..otherwise each clip gets rendered to MPEG2 ready for the DVD

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Old November 2nd, 2011, 07:00 AM   #7
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Re: What order do you edit your footage?

Here's my process:

1) Ingest footage into proper folders.
2) Rename footage using Adobe Bridge
3) Sort through footage and label with appropriate color and place into correct bin.
4) Sync ceremony, first dance, toasts, etc. using Plural Eyes.
5) Lay out audio and find good sound bytes.
6) Lay in video clips until satisfied.
7) Color correct, stabilize, etc.

Seems to work really well and efficiently for me.
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Old November 2nd, 2011, 07:54 AM   #8
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Re: What order do you edit your footage?

Isn't the whole point of the trailer to be a teaser for the main feature & for it to be delivered first?
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Old November 2nd, 2011, 01:01 PM   #9
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Re: What order do you edit your footage?

I don't call it a teaser, I call it a highlight, so it's last. Isn't it a huge waste of time to pull clips together for a teaser/highlight and not edit together the full-length version while pulling these clips together? How can you be sure to get the best moments while skimming through the footage looking for the best bits to use? I don't think you can, and I think its a waste of time to go through the footage first for the teaser. As with most things its different strokes for different folks.
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Old November 2nd, 2011, 07:54 PM   #10
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Re: What order do you edit your footage?

I guess the idea behind it was stemmed from the movies ...the trailer comes out maybe a month before the movie and it's purely a promo tool to make sure people flock to the box office!!

With weddings I would say nowdays the "highlight" is used maybe to show friends and family who don't have the time to watch the long form video. Highlights seem to be around the 15 minute mark and include a brief synopsis of the wedding day in total (showing the best parts)

I make mine REALLY short, just a few minutes at the most!!! and my "highlight" is really an intro that runs before anything else

Chris
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 03:24 AM   #11
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Re: What order do you edit your footage?

For us a trailer is as little as 30-45 seconds but definitely a maximum of 2 minutes delivered online as soon after the wedding as possible ideally within one week. The highlights video is a whole different thing.
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Old November 8th, 2011, 02:23 AM   #12
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Re: What order do you edit your footage?

I don't include a trailer with my packages.
But I usually scan over it for a day just to
figure out what i need to highlight in the video.
Sometimes I end up with 5 or 6 tapes that I have to
get down to +/- 1 hour.
I do edit in Cronological order.
Editing the day in the order it happened makes it easier
for me to get through.
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Old November 8th, 2011, 07:03 PM   #13
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Re: What order do you edit your footage?

I think the most important thing for me about editing is to go thru the footage early and lay down the base edit as soon as you can....that way I can still visulise the events of the day as they are fresh in my mind and it makes it easier to edit....if something went wrong or the photog walked in front of your camera during the bride's vows then you are more likely to remember to cover that with a cutaway if the wedding was only a few days ago...edit a month later and guys like me probably can't even remember the bride's name!!!

My keys are edit soon in cronological order while the memory is still fresh in your mind!!

Chris
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Old November 8th, 2011, 07:48 PM   #14
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Re: What order do you edit your footage?

Chris, I could not agree with you more - for two reasons:

As you said, if it's fresh in your mind, you know what you have and what you don't have. The thought process during post in much clearer. And, I think quoting 6-8 weeks (or longer!) for delivery is too long, IMO. So couple these 2 things and you have great reason to get through post ASAP. And I, personally, like to be done with things, as I am very organized. I do NOT want 2 or 3 or 4 unfinished edits on saved timelines. That makes me crazy! (Okay, I was already crazy).

Ingest, organize folders, rename as appropriate, sync sources, then get creative. Finish in 2 or 3 days, max. Move on.


But that's just me! :)
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Old November 8th, 2011, 10:22 PM   #15
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Re: What order do you edit your footage?

I try to edit as soon as possible but that doesn't always work. Shoot a wedding on Saturday and I might load footage on Sunday but not start cutting for a week. Corporate work sometimes gets in the way or like in August and September when I wound up doing 22 weddings, it's kind of hard to start cutting the week after. I've never had any complaints when I quote 6 to10 weeks to deliver. I ALWAYS get them out sooner but will allow myself some lee-way just in case.
Now as to the original question. I always start with the ceremony. Whether doing a long form doco or a cine form short form it all starts with the ceremony. then it's on to the preceremony then the reception then the postceremony stuff and recap/highlight comes last. I break it up this way to keep myself sane. (whatever that means) I've been editing in that style since I started using an NLE (thank goodness the days of lineal editing are way over) but since I'm getting a bit forgetful (don't ask me the names of the couple I just shot on Saturday-seriously) I make a general shot log as I go along. No I don't TC it or get ultra carried away with it just a general description of whats on each tape, any problems I might have with anything or anyone so when I go to edit I don't inadvertantly skip over it. Works for me and if I do ever switch to solid state I'm sure I'll still do the same thing.
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