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Old January 23rd, 2013, 09:22 PM   #1
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How to make a 3 hour DVD interesting?

So, a couple for next week has asked for: 3 hour film, with natural sound only -- no music.

To many people on this forum, I think that might sound easy. But I'm rather stressing over it. How to make this interesting, and beautiful, and not just CCTV footage? And how to make the edit smooth if you're only allowed natural sound? I don't really know. No movie I've made has gone that long. I'm more used to 20-minute, 15-minute or 5-minute highlights; and to recording periods lasting around 10 seconds before I jump to a different angle.

Instinctive reaction as to how to fulfil the brief -- set it up on a tripod or your shoulder, press record, do long, long takes. But wouldn't this lead to boring video? Does anyone, including the couple, really want to see 20 minutes of someone sitting in a chair having makeup be put on? Or 20 minutes of people dancing? Sounds like the perfect cure for insomnia to me.

I've sometimes heard people say they don't envy the fiddling DSLR shooters go through. Well, I definitely don't envy the in camera editing documentary shooters do...
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 11:00 PM   #2
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Re: How to make a 3 hour DVD interesting?

Hi Adrian

Mt sequences are seldom more than 30 seconds of raw footage! The only time the main cam is running a long clip is the ceremony (so I have the audio from start to end) but that's intercut with the two other cams. The speeches main camera also runs the entire speech but is also intercut with the B-Cam.

Wow 3 hours ...I'm lucky to get 90 minutes for a full wedding and you have to double that! I guess film a LOT of dancing ...My DVD's have a max of 3 songs of the dancing otherwise it does get boring.

So if your edit ends up as, say, 2 hours instead of 3 will they get upset?? Did you tell them that 3 hours is a bit crazy??? Unless it's a LONG ceremony and LONG speeches you don't have very much else to shoot apart from dancing which is very boring! My preps (guys and girls) are cut to a song so they are sorta 3 -4 minutes tops ...even a Catholic ceremony now rarely exceeds 45 minutes.

The only request (which I refused BTW) was the bride wanted CCTV type footage of the reception from 6PM to midnight ..yep, 6 hours non stop!!! It's supposedly common practice for Middle Eastern weddings..everything is filmed and nothing is missed!!

Chris
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 11:30 PM   #3
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Re: How to make a 3 hour DVD interesting?

Hello, my most common wedding style is to include the entire ceremony and every speech and introduction. I connect everything together with montage footage. With the last one I finished, the main feature ran for 2 hours 41 minutes, and I can honestly say it was entertaining throughout.

If the ceremony is particularly long, and the speeches are long or if they have other interesting things planned for the reception (music or dance performance, cultural rituals, etc.) then I think you might find that it'll be easier than you think. If you're really struggling, you may want to include a Messages From Guests thing in the feature or something like that.

Either way, I'd probably suggest not guaranteeing a specific length of your final video. I usually tell couples that my videos shot and edited in this style typically go anywhere from 90 to 150 minutes, but it can vary depending on the length of the ceremony and speeches.
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Old January 24th, 2013, 12:08 AM   #4
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Re: How to make a 3 hour DVD interesting?

Hi Adrian, sounds like they want every single thing on a limited budget.

But if they're paying for it like that, do what they want, the best you can and deliver it. Decide whether you should include your credits.

The additional challenges will be, to explain that you don't consider it your usual professional product, to keep notes
where you can cut it up and down to basically fix it, and lastly, work out what that new cost will be. Good luck.

Cheers.
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Old January 24th, 2013, 03:49 AM   #5
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Re: How to make a 3 hour DVD interesting?

It's pretty hard to find 3 hours of 'continually interesting things' at any wedding.

I've turned a couple down jobs where the bride wanted extended coverage for a number of reasons. One job in particular was because:

• I don't want to make a boring epic.
• I don't want to have to edit a boring epic.
• I don't want to have to watch the final boring epic cut through to make sure it's all OK.

The fourth reason was because the bride wanted to see and hear 'everything' that 'everyone' said during the entire day, not just the speeches, but what they were saying about her during the drinks reception in private groups! After I got over the initial surprise at the request, I suggested that people won't be natural and keep talking if I stick a camera and/or microphone in their faces during the entire drinks reception to capture their conversations, multiplied by however many small groups of people there were going to be (don't think I'd have enough cameras and/or operators!). She didn't care, she wanted it ALL.

Oh, and the final nail in the coffin, she want it for the usual price less some discount because she didn't have much budget ;)
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Old January 24th, 2013, 04:05 AM   #6
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Re: How to make a 3 hour DVD interesting?

She doesn't want a typical wedding product, she wants a record of the wedding. The only real snag I see is actually getting 3 hours of steady, in focus material. You normally throw stuff away that in this case you can't!

I'd suggest that you arrange an extra camera on a very high mount that you can take an overview with, so there is always something they can see that has lots of stuff to see - Auntie flo in the top corner, falling off her chair - the 'where's wally' shot where there's just so much going on. Intercut with whatever closeup material you have. It's just a different video style.
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Old January 24th, 2013, 05:30 AM   #7
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Re: How to make a 3 hour DVD interesting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian Tan View Post
How to make a 3 hour DVD interesting?
nudity and explosions.
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Old January 24th, 2013, 06:00 AM   #8
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Re: How to make a 3 hour DVD interesting?

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Originally Posted by Adrian Tan View Post
So, a couple for next week has asked for: 3 hour film, with natural sound only -- no music.
If you are not allowed to add extra music you can't make it "interesting", just see to it that you have nice stable, good framed, good exposure and good in focus footage with good sound and edit chronological. something like this is fast to edit but takes a long time (3 hours) to check that you got it all right.
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Old January 24th, 2013, 08:48 AM   #9
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Re: How to make a 3 hour DVD interesting?

Nothing would make a 3 hour wedding video interesting, I can assure you that if the couple shows their wedding dvd to friends, they will zone out after 30 minutes. However the paying couple will watch the 3 hour video, over and over again. IMHO, we cater to the paying couple not what others would think and certainly not what we the videographers think. I use to freelance for a retired photog who does 60 weddings a year and one thing he taught me was " Give the client what they want".

My 2 cents.
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Old January 24th, 2013, 10:21 AM   #10
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Re: How to make a 3 hour DVD interesting?

There are certain cultures where 3+ hour wedding videos are considered normal, last year I had to film a Kurdish wedding but only the dancing part. They specifically requested that I would let the camera run for 4 hours straight and I had to deliver the footage at the end of the wedding on a harddrive as they wanted to edit it further, easiest money ever made :)
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Old January 24th, 2013, 11:08 AM   #11
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Re: How to make a 3 hour DVD interesting?

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
There are certain cultures where 3+ hour wedding videos are considered normal, last year I had to film a Kurdish wedding but only the dancing part. They specifically requested that I would let the camera run for 4 hours straight and I had to deliver the footage at the end of the wedding on a harddrive as they wanted to edit it further, easiest money ever made :)
Yeah - I don't mind doing that - but I really don't want to sit through it all again to edit it ;)
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Old January 24th, 2013, 11:21 AM   #12
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Re: How to make a 3 hour DVD interesting?

I wouldn't worry too much about making it "interesting." It sounds like they just want an accurate recording of their event. It's not that much different from some of the conventions I shoot where speeches, resolutions, discussions (sometimes outright debates) must be faithfully recorded. Some things won't be interesting at all to us making the video, but can be very important to the client paying us.
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Old January 25th, 2013, 12:38 AM   #13
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Re: How to make a 3 hour DVD interesting?

Are you suggesting people are actually interested in seeing uninterrupted footage of their own boring wedding and guests and stuff?

Surely they just want rack focus shots of inanimate objects - and slider shots of bushes outside the ceremony venue instead! Are they mad!!!???
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Old January 25th, 2013, 12:53 AM   #14
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Re: How to make a 3 hour DVD interesting?

Add a long car chase!!!!
People will watch keenly 3 hours of the day, looking at relatives, friends, flowers. As others have said before, what we dont find entertaining, they do.
I wouldn't worry about entertaining the masses, just the couple. Will be a boring edit, I'd add a 'boredom loading' to the price.
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Old January 25th, 2013, 12:59 AM   #15
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Re: How to make a 3 hour DVD interesting?

Hi John

I guess the creative guys look at a wedding slightly differently than the bride and doc shooters. Most brides will tell me "I watched the DVD's 10 times!" Are you kidding?? They obviously want to see what went on on their special day so just give it to them. Most brides will tell me the day was a blur and they remember very little so they appreciate all the coverage....Then again a 20 minute wedding for me is boring but not to the bride.

Yeah, some cultures want start to finish at the reception ..I read here that Jewish weddings often need multiple shooters as you produce an awful lot of footage!! Luckily I don't do them!!

It simply a matter of giving the client what she wants not what you want!! Rack focus and slider shots of the flowers outside the Church don't feature in my coverage either but I use my stedicam for the photoshoot ..otherwise I just film the event as it happens

Chris
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