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


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Old February 7th, 2014, 07:38 AM   #16
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Re: Not one has booked a short form for this year??

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Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
...but in my opinion it is in the same luxury item category as chocolate fountains, ice sculptures, etc. It looks great, is romantic and has the wow factor, but will still leave the client with no real record of what their day was actually all about.
Roger
+1 to that Roger.
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Old February 7th, 2014, 07:43 AM   #17
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Re: Not one has booked a short form for this year??

Roger, I personally love the "wow" of shorter versions, but my wife and I are both very happy we have a long form of our own wedding! Even those couples who might not think they need it, they will be very happy about the decision years down the road when they want to relive the day or show kids/grandkids.

With the social media age, brides love to share the shorter one with friends online and with portable devices. That is why all of our packages are long form, but we also provide the shorter one. It is an add-on, but so far, it is almost always added in! I, however, struggle with the thought of having the short form as the package and the long form as the add-on. I think producing a quality multicam long form edit is a whole lot more work. With short form, missing a shot here or good audio there can be hidden in post. With the long form, you can hide some mistakes with good editing, but there is a whole lot more pressure not to miss a moment. I think the short form got popular with a lot of young videographers due to the "cheap" DSLRs available, the freedom to be "artsy", and the main one- much less pressure to "get it right" all day. A new camera operator can make more mistakes with this form and get away with it. It is a "great" way to learn as you go...if that can be considered great.
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Old February 7th, 2014, 07:55 AM   #18
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Re: Not one has booked a short form for this year??

Hi Roger

Couldn't have said it better myself. A +1 from me too!!

Sadly it seems (well here anyway) that all the newbies that have nothing else to do but get Daddy to buy them a camera and they become a wedding videographer and these always seem to go for the cinematic approach and a short form end result. I guess that they feel there is not point in slogging out a 10 day shoot when you can do it in half the time.

Sadly it ends up that the bride never really gets what she wants which essentially is memories. I agree 100% record the wedding and make sure you get it all then, by all means give them a highlight video at an extra cost with lots of eye candy to impress their friends! They, of course, still have all their memories in the long form version.

Chris
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Old February 7th, 2014, 08:04 AM   #19
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Re: Not one has booked a short form for this year??

Byron, I absolutely agree with everything you have said. For this year's weddings, we are including a highlights video set to one of their chosen pieces of music, which they can show to friends etc who just want to see the juicy bits and have no interest in the family. I cannot see the value, as you say, in having the highlights as the main feature, even 20 minutes long, and the rest as an afterthought.

I have long said that a full length documentary style requires skill and expertise over a long period to accurately and effectively capture a whole day in an interesting way. The highlights video is the 'cream' shots, but once you've seen it a couple of times the interest wanes. The history lives indefinitely.

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Old February 7th, 2014, 09:06 AM   #20
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Re: Not one has booked a short form for this year??

Roger we do the highlites to music we choose rather than them as a bad choice can kill you and your cream footage.
Also when I book brides now I tell them here is.a list of music that we use and go well with our edit. We now are editing to modern great music rather than their old boring music! It's working wonders for our editing and we are finding we can approach with a more cinematic editing. Steve
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Old February 7th, 2014, 11:25 AM   #21
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Re: Not one has booked a short form for this year??

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Roger we do the highlites to music we choose rather than them as a bad choice can kill you and your cream footage.
Also when I book brides now I tell them here is.a list of music that we use and go well with our edit. We now are editing to modern great music rather than their old boring music! It's working wonders for our editing and we are finding we can approach with a more cinematic editing. Steve
WHAT! You don't use Take That and greatest day! And you call yourself a wedding videographer. PAH!
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Old February 7th, 2014, 01:17 PM   #22
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Re: Not one has booked a short form for this year??

Hahaha nice one Danny...
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Old February 7th, 2014, 07:05 PM   #23
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Re: Not one has booked a short form for this year??

It seems the more toys we as videographers have to play with the more stress we bring on ourselves. If go back five ten years, we simply filmed everything and handed over a 2 hour dvd.

I myself have been guilty of trying to find shots that are aesthetically pleasing however do the brides really care? They seem to be happy with just a long film with maybe two cameras recording everything. Cinematic should be a 15-20min movie.
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Old February 8th, 2014, 03:36 AM   #24
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Re: Not one has booked a short form for this year??

I think a few people have hit the nail on the head. The short form cinematic movie gives the filmmaker the opportunity to display their creative talents whilst also catering for the massive social media marketing phenomenon. These days people market their business through facebook and the like and it has become the perfect platform for short form wedding movies.

Also I have noticed that many younger filmmakers don't even consider a regular camcorder for the task of wedding video ... it's just not on their radar. I agree with whoever said previously that many people now filming weddings are coming from a stills background so the equipment is more to their taste.

As we re all very aware it's the audio of a wedding, or any live event that is the most difficult to capture correctly. For this reason alone many are opting for a "simple" music over lots of fancy footage. Capturing clean audio is of secondary importance as it doesn't even enter their head that people want to hear any of the original sound ... it's all about the vision.

I have been filming weddings for 20 years and up til recently only ever used video cameras .. all brands, Sony, Canon and Panasonic. I bought a Panasonic GH 3 because it's an excellent camera, and I use it for capturing bridal preparations, photo shoots, reception dancing etc .... but I use my other cameras for anything that needs decent audio.

So what I provide is a short cinematic piece using footage from all cameras edited into a social media friendly length ... this is then given to the bride and groom as soon as possible after the wedding. Then in due course they receive the more traditional long form of the whole day. I guess I'm looking for the best of both worlds ... a chance to be creative and try out some new techniques ... to keep myself fresh if you like, and also to provide what I know most brides want ... a full record of their day.

This works well for me as the short form gives me material to show people and gets me plenty of new contacts as that's what they saw on someones facebook page. When they contact me, we discuss their day and I explain what I deliver and everyone is always happy with that. Sometimes because of cost people don't worry about the reception or occasionally the bridal preparations but that's not the normal for me.
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Old February 8th, 2014, 11:32 AM   #25
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Re: Not one has booked a short form for this year??

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I guess I'm looking for the best of both worlds ....
Same here. I don't even ask the brides -- they just know that they'll be getting a trailer (couple minutes), highlights montage of about 15 minutes, and then the "running footage" of the day/ceremony. That seems to take the guesswork out of it for me/them.

My "highlights" I suppose is what some call the "short form". I use toasts/words as a narrative and do a semi-chronological/thematic edit of the day. The more I can use from toasts/ceremony for a narrative, the more creative I can tend to be.

Anyway -- this has just been a model that's worked for me.
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Old February 8th, 2014, 11:56 AM   #26
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Re: Not one has booked a short form for this year??

Good post Richard and I think that also brings up a point that the shortform and longform are totally different animals. There is absolutely no doubt on my mind that a long form documentary style is the only way to capture a full wedding. The shortform is a chance to use artistic interpretation to produce a carefully crafted précis of the wedding. I don't think a shortform video can ever be instead of a full length, but those who genuinely don't want a record of their whole day may well be attracted to the instant glossy wow factor of a shortform video.

As Richard pointed out, there is a place for both or either, but one doesn't replace the other any more than a chocolate fountain will replace a buffet. (Mind you a chocolate buffet might be rather nice :-) )

Roger
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Old February 8th, 2014, 12:37 PM   #27
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Re: Not one has booked a short form for this year??

It's funny, because as a Wedding DJ/MC, I'm all about choices and laying out options for my brides/grooms, but from the videography side, it's the exact opposite. We do want their input about what is important to them, but in the end, we give them very few real choices about how the sausage is made. If, after I've finished, they let me know of an issue (they hate a song I chose, for example) then I'll make a change gladly, but I would never give them carte blanche to choose their own soundtrack in highlights.

I feel there are 3 different (main) wedding videos we can make. Here is what I think of them, and their intended purposes... We now always provide both the highlights (15 minutes) AND the full length video. We no longer bother with trailers, though I should make one as a demo reel.

a trailer - usually 3-5 minutes. This really is just a teaser, something to get them excited about their main wedding video

Highlight film - long enough to show of major events plus smaller moments from the day. When we're there all day, it's often 15-20 minutes long. Long enough to tell their story, but not to show EVERYTHING. It's not full speeches, but the best, most impactful parts. Usually some time shifting. It's designed to be enjoyed by more than just the bride and groom or their parents. It's how the day felt, not what happened. I always sound track the entire video. Easy to post online and share with a wider range of friends and family.

Full wedding day (documentary style, usually). I can't imagine anyone other than the B&G and their parents (maybe best friends) watching this because it's so long. This is the 'as it happened' video, though sometimes they still have me leave bits out, like a song from the church. Ours are often 60-90 minutes. I use original music. The entire 1st dance, speeches, ceremony are there, plus anything else that might be worthwhile from the day. I still soundtrack parts like 'getting ready' but mostly it's as is. We still use multiple camera angles during the ceremony, speeches, first dance, but we don't edit for effect.
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Old February 8th, 2014, 01:08 PM   #28
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Re: Not one has booked a short form for this year??

I see a lot of you are 'across the pond' from me, and I have a strong suspicion that there
are some regional 'norms' that may come in to play. But beyond that, we often talk about
'brides' and 'what 'brides want' as if they fit into some neat category. I get individuals, who
all want different things. Short form, long form, medium form, just a music video, all
24 hours from waking until sleeping, interviews with friends and family, how we met story,
trash the dress, we don't need the reception, as its just eating and drinking, we need every
second of the reception as we will be to busy to see all the moments......and so on.

I do look at trends. I've had quite a few brides tell me that they want a 'short' video that they
can show their friends, and that their friends will actually watch with them and not 'get bored'.
I started offering a music video and it is my most popular wedding offering. Around five
minutes of highlights from the day. Some also purchase full ceremony, multi cam package.
Others just wish to buy raw footage from my music video, as I still spend all day shooting.
However, I partner with a photographer, she does photos and I do the music video and we offer
it as a package. Maybe that is part of it, this style if video is similar to 'photos' as it gives
'Highlights' of the day and not 2 whole hours....being paired with a photographer may help
sell this style? Not sure but I have plenty opting for just the highlights video. I do include
'breaks' from the music for audio of vows, toasts, etc....but the videos are not very long,
always under 10 minutes. Of course some want full ceremony and I will do that too.
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Old February 8th, 2014, 04:32 PM   #29
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Re: Not one has booked a short form for this year??

I think the points made to my post have been brilliant! There is no real answer? When we meet our bride and grooms we want to show them our work? They look we have the speel and try to sell! They choose! Short form maybe for some! Medium format(I now do) for some! Long form for some!
This is the great thing about freedom of choice no one is right no one is wrong! It's all about what they want and in this game for 8 years I now find I still cannot work out what they want! Well to a degree any way! One day I can book a bride without even giving them a drink, next day they want champagne throughout the show. One loves short form others don't.
But still irrelevant I am sticking to my medium format which is a mix of long and short. And keeps everyone of my clients happy, not to boring not to short. Steve
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Old February 8th, 2014, 05:43 PM   #30
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Re: Not one has booked a short form for this year??

And the way I see it, too, (and I've said this in other posts), if I'm going to go through all the footage anyway to make the Highlights (which I do), then I might as well include that nicely cleaned up full-footage as chapters in the disc, too. It's just part of the workflow.

The Highlights, though, is the real centerpiece. The disc starts with this (unless they navigate to running footage chapters), and it's where I put 95% of the creative/artistic effort. But there certainly no minus in leaving (in separate chapters) that running footage since it's been edited/cleaned-up anyway.
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