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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old September 11th, 2013, 06:00 PM   #1
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How long does it take...

I was curious how long it takes you guys on the average to edit a long version wedding video and a short trailer about 4-6 minutes long. Including all the uploading, syncing audio, and export. I am trying to get an idea of how long it's gonna take. I am a pretty fast editor, and wanted to see how long it takes you guys. Thanks. I am trying to figure out how much to charge per hour but really selling it as a package deal. Thanks in advance.
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Old September 11th, 2013, 07:11 PM   #2
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Re: How long does it take...

Wow! How long is a piece of string?

It will vary hugely from the number of cameras you are mixing, the length of the ceremony and your style of shooting too. For a simple outdoor civil ceremony (the less the 20 minutes type with no frills) straight forward reception up to the first dance and no bridal prep shoot, I allow around 10 hours to complete the DVD set BUT that's without a trailer/hi-light whatever you want to call it.

On a standard full wedding some people will zip thru it in under 15 hours but some might take anything up to 60 hours.

All I can suggest is that you edit a full wedding and make a note of the time it takes you ...then add a bit for tricky ones....very hard to put a time on something like this !!

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Old September 12th, 2013, 12:00 AM   #3
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Re: How long does it take...

In my experience even doing a relatively straightforward multicam edit of the ceremony on its own always seems to take longer than I think it is going to. There is no getting away from having to sit through the ceremony, speeches etc in real time probably several times over. It also depends how much finishing off & colour grading that you do. Then there is the actual production if DVD & Blu-ray discs with labels etc. For he 'average' British wedding my wife will take a couple of days over the highlights & I aim to get the rest of the traditional edit & creating finished discs within a week so one wedding is finished before the next is filmed & we don't wind up with a backlog (we are not always succesful though). These are not full 8-10 hour days editing as we have plenty of other work to do. I know colleagues who will put in heroic 12-15 sessions editing but I simply get bored & stale when I try to do too much without a break.
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Old September 12th, 2013, 01:15 AM   #4
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Re: How long does it take...

In terms of total man hours from importing footage to editing, colour correcting, doing audio (assuming no problems) and produce a long form plus a highlights video on DVD can be as little as 30 hours and as much as 80 hours depending on how much footage there is and how long the final video is. It's usually in the 60 hours range.

This is why people asking for us to film all day (prep to first dance) and produce a long form + highlights for 500 get told "not a chance".
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Old September 12th, 2013, 02:00 AM   #5
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Re: How long does it take...

I personally don't factor in uploading and rendering time into the budget. I figure that it usually happens when I'm away from computer, and that I've already accounted for any general electricity costs. But if you wanted to factor it in, I think it'd be dependent on a lot of factors -- amount of data, computer speed, type of port you're transmitting over, how many backups you're making...

Amount of time also depends on final product(s). I deliver separate videos of ceremony and reception and highlights rather than one long video. I think there's at least two ways to do a traditional long video: either it's more like editing in camera, dumping all your footage on a timeline, topping and tailing each clip and having some intercut multicams during the formal parts; or it's more like formal parts with filler montage set to music in between.

Anyways, for me:

-- Uploading: 0 hours
-- Editing ceremony: let's say around 0.5 days, though that's very conservative. I'm sure I could do this a lot faster than that, but I usually insert a lot of cutaways and cut between the cameras a lot to make the coverage more interesting. I don't spend much time grading ceremony or trying to tweak the sound (unless it's bad). It's more a case of applying an overall layer of adjustment, and not worrying too much if the colours are a little different.
-- Editing reception: 1 day. This video combines introductions, speeches, cake, first dance, farewell circle, and bits from any special entertainment. I don't usually include much general dancing. Again, not doing much grading -- overall layer, and then scanning through to see where that overall layer is under/overexposing. Not making much of an attempt to match colours between cameras either. I've tried not watching real time, and instead just scrolling through (you can just stick with one main camera, and assume everything's okay, and only switching to secondary cameras when you see something interesting, like someone laughing or crying), but I have to confess I've got burnt once or twice by doing this. Audio glitches I didn't notice at time of editing, black flickers where one clip ends and another begins, some camera shake, etc. Currently giving it one real-time watch before rendering.
-- Sorting through all footage for a 5 minute highlights: 1 day, because we're talking 1000+ clips. Shooting with multiple DSLRs in a sort of photographic style creates a lot of hassles in post. To put it another way: how many photos does the average photographer take over a wedding?
-- Editing highlights: 1.5 days, because I'm putting a lot of thought into music and clip selection, and doing some sort of clip-by-clip grade, and I usually cram about 70-80 clips into a 3-minute highlights. Could easily spend an hour or more just thinking about what music to use. I don't usually spend much time trying to do a fancy title in After Effects, and instead go with something pretty basic, often based on the couple's signage/menus/programs (I probably should make the effort to do something fancier).
-- Creating menus, working out artwork for disks and jackets, plus other miscellaneous tasks: 0.5 day. My menus are extremely basic.
-- Rendering/burning: 0 hours

So if I'm really disciplined (I'm not), it's around a 40-hour job for ceremony, reception, 3-5 minute highlights. And I usually deliver a 15-minute highlights on top of this, which easily takes another day or two.

Edit: I wasn't using multicam editing in Premiere Pro until recently, but it does save a lot of time...

Last edited by Adrian Tan; September 12th, 2013 at 07:23 PM.
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Old September 12th, 2013, 02:38 AM   #6
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Re: How long does it take...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Partington View Post
In terms of total man hours from importing footage to editing, colour correcting, doing audio (assuming no problems) and produce a long form plus a highlights video on DVD can be as little as 30 hours and as much as 80 hours depending on how much footage there is and how long the final video is. It's usually in the 60 hours range.

This is why people asking for us to film all day (prep to first dance) and produce a long form + highlights for 500 get told "not a chance".
Not you as well Dave? Thought it was just Liverpool who wanted it for 500
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Old September 12th, 2013, 03:30 PM   #7
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Re: How long does it take...

Efficiency is the key. I try to limit the number times I switch tasks, stick to one thing and finish it. I am always looking for ways to streamline my work. It takes me just one day to edit a full wedding video and another couple of hours if I do a highlight reel. I offer both Photography and Video for weddings. I try to finish each wedding in the week after the event, so that my desk (and head) is clear for the next job.

As an example, I shot a wedding on Saturday September 7. On Monday and Tuesday I processed all of their photos. On Wednesday I edited their 90+ minute full video and a 3 minute highlight reel with a mix of stills and video. Today (Thursday) I am designing their wedding album. Friday I take it easy and prepare the gear for next Saturdays wedding.

Here is the resulting highlight reel
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Old September 14th, 2013, 10:17 AM   #8
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Re: How long does it take...

Are we allowed to critique your video Chris??
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Old September 14th, 2013, 10:34 AM   #9
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Re: How long does it take...

Yes, comments welcome. Keep in mind that my primary focus on the wedding day is the still photography. The video we provide is mostly single angle work, to reduce editing time. I am also aware that my wife (she shoots the video) needs to follow the rule of thirds more closely and position heads higher in the frame. My video service is a $575 add-on to my wedding photography package, so this is not expected to be high end work.
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Old September 14th, 2013, 11:21 AM   #10
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Re: How long does it take...

Chris, clearly the overall quality is there (although the 'video' looks a little fuzzy to me), but personally (and I realise this is a very personal thing) I dislike the stills interrupting the video. This is neither a slide show nor a video. If this is what photo / video 'fusion' is all about then I don't like it. When ever the video was interrupted by a still I found myself getting irritated that I was now missing something happening and was wanting the still to 'go away'. OTOH the stills are very good and probably merit their own slide show.

As I said this is personal preference. Your brides may (and probably do) love it, which is why they book you, and if that's the case then don't stop doing it!

Does everyone else like or dislike this style? It would be interesting to know, and at the same time whether you are coming from a dominant photo or dominant video point of view.
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Old September 14th, 2013, 11:34 AM   #11
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Re: How long does it take...

All of my early work years ago did not have any stills in it. At first I used stills as a way to fill a space that I was not happy with the video for. When I showed brides the videos, they would always be drawn to the videos with the stills in it. Then they were asking for more stills. I'd sent the video out and received requests for more still to be added. Now I include stills in all my videos.

In this video I also include stills but some of them are large verticals and I pan in/out up/down for a look of movement. This has also been popular...



I've offered slide shows for years but no one will pay the $100 to have me make it. They will sure plunk down the $575 for this and I am booking a good number of these add ons.
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Old September 14th, 2013, 11:52 PM   #12
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Re: How long does it take...

5 hours includes sorting, labeling clips and editing the running footage (including 2-cam ceremony edit)
2 hours gets me the trailer after that
another 5-6 finishes the 12 minutes highlights
3 hours to design covers/author discs

Total: 15-18 hours for edit/produce.

Doesn't include booking, filming, and general running the business stuff.
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Old September 15th, 2013, 12:49 AM   #13
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Re: How long does it take...

Wow ....$575? really? licensing that song probably cost you more than that...
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Old September 16th, 2013, 03:07 AM   #14
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Re: How long does it take...

I must be missing something here, it takes me a couple days for trailers and at least a week for a 40 minute medium form feature film, organising clips in the timeline, creating the story, adding music, colourising. Jeeez I must be slow or I am putting to much into my films on cs6 prem pro.
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Old September 16th, 2013, 03:26 AM   #15
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Re: How long does it take...

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Originally Posted by Steve Bleasdale View Post
I must be missing something here, it takes me a couple days for trailers and at least a week for a 40 minute medium form feature film, organising clips in the timeline, creating the story, adding music, colourising. Jeeez I must be slow or I am putting to much into my films on cs6 prem pro.
I''m with you Steve. I can't see how to do a 'good job' of an all day wedding with highlights, full ceremony from multiple camera and full speeches, and do it all in just a few hours. If the ceremony is an hour and the speeches are an hour (I had one a few weeks ago that was 88 minutes and one the week before at 104 minutes!) then these things just take time, even with multicam.

While some people don't include render time in their calculations, a lot depends on when that render runs. If it's going to run overnight then fair enough, but if you finish your edit at 11am and then need to render it's time that is taken out of your day rather than over night. Maybe they don't render until that night, but then that just went in to another day...

I have to say that moving from Premiere Pro + Colorista II (which often took 5+ hours to export a master file) to FCPX (which takes about half real time to export a master on my machine) is a real time saver!

The people who are doing fast mostly seem to be single camera operators, or people with just one main camera and an emergency backup camera to cut to if they screwed up on the main camera. With this in mind I can see how edits can go really fast. You are basically looking of the 'bad bits' and substituting another camera, rather than looking for the best angle to cut to. Shooting with multiple cameras for a much more interesting viewing experience takes much longer to edit. Some people are happy with a single camera view for an entire one hour ceremony, whereas I would be totally bored and think these things need to be broken up to keep it fresh.

Perhaps I've been doing it wrong all these years ;)
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