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Old January 8th, 2015, 07:23 PM   #1
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Titles to break up a wedding film

Hi Guys

An interesting one that I'd like to get some comment on? Being a bit "old school" I always tend to break up my weddings into "events" with a title (simple 5 second black with some quick text) especially during speeches so the bride can see "Right, here is the father of the bride's speech" etc etc so my weddings end up as a bunch of seamless clips when played but each new event has a short title ... I always listen to my clients and I have now had two asking if the titles can be scrapped so each event continues onto the next one which means the bride wants a start to end watching experience from beginning to end with nothing to distract her.

What does your final format look like? One long edit seamless from start to end with just menu chapters so they can skip to various points or do you provide any titles within the day??

Chris
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Old January 8th, 2015, 08:28 PM   #2
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Re: Titles to break up a wedding film

I use music inserted underneath b roll clips to transition from one documentary section to another. Or if it's not doc style then it's purely a creative thing and I just go with what feels right and try to mimic a feature film look/music video thing and do a transition that moves the story along in a meaninglful way.

Of course it is helpful to shoot with this idea in mind so you have material to use to make these transitions.

It is right that you are getting away from titles as they are a bit outdated these days. Titles can be great when used sparingly at the right time and for the right client. The less sophisticated clients might like a nice title briefly on top of the opening shot of their first dance, for example, but generally I find them unnecessary 80% of the time.

Chris, I understand my response is a bit vague, but I'm not great at verbalizing the creative aspects, sorry.
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Old January 8th, 2015, 09:15 PM   #3
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Re: Titles to break up a wedding film

Thanks Jeff

I think I am getting behind the times. With wedding films rather than videos being in vogue I think brides nowdays like to watch from start to end much the same as in a movie with just a start sequence and nothing in the middle. I certainly don't mind as it's less work for me!! We need to supply what brides want not what we think they want. The last two edits I did that specifically said that didn't want start titles for each event, in their words "it must flow from beginning to end"

Chris
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Old January 8th, 2015, 11:08 PM   #4
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Re: Titles to break up a wedding film

Well, your new approach will offer a smoother, more aesthetically pleasing product. I think it could affect your shooting as well and help move you toward a newer, more contemporary product. I struggle with the same things as you, because here it's all about short form edits which I really don't care for so I try and offer a beautiful wedding film that has elements of both. As you play with it you will like it I'm sure.
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Old January 9th, 2015, 12:42 AM   #5
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Re: Titles to break up a wedding film

Hi Jeff

Brilliant thanks ... I think I'm also going to start dropping a lot of ambience too as it seems to be the in thing .. When guests arrive (and the bride) at the venue I still tend to use mostly ambient sound and no music. The wedding I did last month she wants just music on the arrivals, no idle chatter on bridal prep (just the music track) and even doesn't want the receiving line after the ceremony to be dubbed over so you don't hear her and her new husband being congratulated by the guests at all. It sounds like the modern wedding film uses live audio during the ceremony and live audio during the speeches and that's about it ...all the rest is footage set to music .... to me the live audio is all part of the wedding day ambience but it seems that brides think differently nowdays??

Does anyone else use live or ambient audio ONLY for ceremony and speeches and everything else is a music track??

Chris
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Old January 9th, 2015, 03:05 AM   #6
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Re: Titles to break up a wedding film

Quote:
Does anyone else use live or ambient audio ONLY for ceremony and speeches and everything else is a music track??
I only use ambient sound if it adds something, during reception you only hear people chatter and don't understand a thing anyway so that gets replaced with music but when during brideprep something meaningful is said I will use it, like the excited bridesmaids laughing and chattering during bride prep, even if I might not understand what they are saying I will use the ambient sound, just to add that sensation of people being nervous as in that case it does add to how people perceive a film. I will use my own music during brideprep that I add in post but will the ambient sound come to the foreground when needed, the only thing that's annoying is when there is music paying in the background on a radio.

Also when they enter the venue, I could overlay that part with the same music so it sounds a lot better but prefer to just have the life music and that you can hear people cheering.

I think ambient sound is important as it will make them feel they are there again, you just need to cut out the annoying and boring parts.
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Old January 9th, 2015, 04:53 AM   #7
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Re: Titles to break up a wedding film

I've tried introducing ambient sound with mixed success. During bride prep as Noa has pointed out they usually have some music TV channel on, but I will ask that it's turned off if she's got gifts to give out or for the moment her dad walks in.

The main problem is that for the rest of the day such as the drinks or afternoon reception there nearly always is music playing such as pianist/sax player/string quartet etc which renders any ambient audio pretty useless unless you are filming continuously (and who does that) you can be sure that this will clash badly with any music you overlay on top.

Pete
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Old January 9th, 2015, 04:57 AM   #8
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Re: Titles to break up a wedding film

Same as Noa.

I like nat sound where possible. If there is too much background music or the ambient level is too high, like a room full of people enjoying pre dinner drinks, then I prefer to drop the level about 80% and add some music. 100% music seems to kill the atmosphere I reckon, but if all you'd hear otherwise is very loud chatter or wind noise then you're better off without it.

Every situation is different so play it by ear. A room full of loud talking is quite fatiguing to listen too as well, especially if the level is high. Mix it right down below the music.

Of course audio sweetening adds a heap of time to the edit so you have to keep it all in perspective.

I don't use titles except opening titles. In between sections I fade to black, two seconds of black then fade up. Chapter marker in the middle of the black. Simple is best. Never goes out of fashion. :)

If a bride has actually said she wants 100% music during getting ready or whatever, do it.

I spend way too long fussing over my edits as it is - I am trying to let go and not tweak so much and just get it done. My wife will come in and say, "Stop fiddling", but if I let something go she'll see it and say, "eeew, what was that?!"

You can't win! :)
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Old January 9th, 2015, 05:18 AM   #9
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Re: Titles to break up a wedding film

Hi Chris,
I only ever use start title and end credits, although occasionally, if there is no venue name board, I may add the name with a caption.

Changes of main scenes or big time jumps, I often add a page turn but with change of location such as church to venue, probably a fade to and from black.

Ambient sound I always leave in if there are interesting things being said! much laughter, funny comments etc. I often use overlaid music so that the background chatter is still there! but is carried along by the music. The emphasis on levels can be switched between background a foreground depending on which has the priority.

With music playing at the venue, I will normally just keep the ambient sound, unless it is scene setting shots, when I would probably overdub music.

Roger

Last edited by Roger Gunkel; January 9th, 2015 at 05:45 AM. Reason: typo
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Old January 9th, 2015, 05:35 AM   #10
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Re: Titles to break up a wedding film

Thanks Guys

The feedback is much appreciated indeed .... I must admit I do often get lazy and just leave ambient when the couple arrive at a busy Church and there traffic noise is far worse so music would be a far better mood setter!

Yes, ambient in the right places is good. I do a "video guestbook" where pre dinner drink guests offer messages and there I have no option but to use 100% live audio but there are places where I could have used a track to cover noisy reception chatter and I never did! My first priority is to kick the habit of putting a black title with white text preceding every event that happens ... it will make a much better and flowing storyline.

As long as there isn't a jump edit I cannot see it totally necessary to fade to black Mark? I mean the chances of getting a jump edit from the ladies walking towards the Church entrance and a cut to the guys at the altar would be clean 99% of the time so that would transition easily especially if you used the bridal entry music then it would be seamless.

Yeah, we DO fiddle and adjust way too much and it costs us money!! An associate of mine in the USA once said to me the greatest skill you can achieve in wedding video editing is to be able to sit back and say "That's good enough" ...Very few people can do that and the one's that can do it make a better profit and have more time to themselves

All your feedback is bringing me forward to the new century so I can kick old habits!!

Chris
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Old January 9th, 2015, 06:03 AM   #11
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Re: Titles to break up a wedding film

Chris it is not to avoid a jump cut it is to make a deliberate break. Think of it as the gap between songs on an album. Fade to black between change of location: Getting ready and ceremony, photoshoot and reception. that's about it. Probably comes from my years of editing shows in a commercial TV environment - need a place to put the ads in!!

It gives the viewer a chance to take a breath and reset for the next bit - important I believe on long form edits. You don't need titles though, it's pretty obvious what's happening in a chronological sequence. I presume the DVD menu has a chapter heading which serves as a title anyway if they're watching it out of sequence.

Whatever works - kids nowadays don't mind jump cuts either for that matter!

"That's good enough!" Yes, I like that!
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Last edited by Mark Whittle; January 9th, 2015 at 06:06 AM. Reason: additional comment
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Old January 9th, 2015, 07:19 AM   #12
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Re: Titles to break up a wedding film

Hey Mark

That was my original concept many years ago for using short "pre-titles" on wedding events. The science gurus say that the human brain loses concentration after a max of 15 minutes so it needs something to "reset" it ... a fade to black after each event and a 5 sec title does exactly that so they are effectively only viewing say, 16 short clips rather than one 80 minute video which is easier on the brain.

Sadly it seems that brides nowdays do not share the same opinion and seem to prefer the seamless flowing continuous nature much like a feature film ... probably the transition from "wedding video" to "wedding film" that is a popular marketing tool and used to describe a wedding production makes brides expect a film length non stop production rather than a series of event clips even if they are spaced only by a few seconds of black. That is my take on it anyway but then again I start getting bored/restless after 15-20 minutes into any movie!!

Chris
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Old January 9th, 2015, 08:48 AM   #13
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Re: Titles to break up a wedding film

I use sound effects a lot, because music only I think is a bit old school also. I use crowd noises, (restaurant background noise, etc.) and I have lot's of applause tracks I use for the introductions. I also use fun effects for the cake cutting like people laughing, and crowd noise, etc. to give it realism. When I'm done with it sounds and feels like the real thing but better, because I control levels of everything.
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Old January 9th, 2015, 10:05 AM   #14
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Re: Titles to break up a wedding film

Chris,

you can give their brain a break just as easily by changing mood, intensity, and composition.

A while back I posted a video break down by Every Frame a Painting about Michael Bay. He pointed out that, for all he does right, he doesn't know when to give the intensity a rest, and it becomes exhausting.

We may not have the explosions, but can still give their brains a break with a change up. In our shorter video, I go from a tight (intimate) sequence that lingers into a fast paced edit with a lot of action and then back again.

The establishing shots for 15-30 seconds function as both a transition and a breather in the longer, documentary style.
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Old January 9th, 2015, 09:23 PM   #15
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Re: Titles to break up a wedding film

A brief synopsis of what people do seems to indicate that a lot of people still keep a fair amount of live audio in their productions nowdays as long as it isn't noisy and un-appropriate but using short titles throughout the production is seldom used nowdays so that is very helpful thanks guys!!

Chris
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