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

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Old June 14th, 2015, 03:15 AM   #1
Inner Circle
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: UK/Yorkshire
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Highlights film and client chosen music

Hi all - currently I offer a long form format with complete ceremony/speeches/first dance and then other parts of the day broken down into chapters set to music - prep/pre-ceremony/afternoon reception/couple photo-videoshoot/evening reception etc.

I am however finding this sometimes quite difficult to get enough good footage to fill each chapter as in yesterday's wedding with a 2pm Catholic service and wedding breakfast at 4:30 (with a stop off for pics) and straight from speeches into the evening reception kicked off with the first dance. I spent as much time humping gear around as filming!

With all the logistics involved with being a solo shooter just managing the tech is a huge job, let alone trying to film in amongst lol!

I have for a while now thought about supplying ceremony/speeches/first dance in full and then a 'wedding film' highlights, then I can provide say a 20 minute film with excerpts from the ceremony/speeches etc along with other footage shot during the day without stressing about getting enough for each individual chapter. I'm pretty sure a lot of you folks provide something similar.

I am trying to get my head around use of music however as clients choosing their favourite songs is a big deal (in the UK it seems at least) In fact one thing that has put people off booking me is my online highlights have purchased music, but the guy down the road has samples with all the latest popular music on etc - they assume they cannot have that with my final product!

But how do you go about using popular music in your films - to be honest the most effective samples I've seen on this forum shun using this in favour of purchased music where you can control the mood and tone of the edit completely - It might be a hard sell though to clients who want Starship no?

Last edited by Peter Rush; June 14th, 2015 at 03:46 AM.
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Old June 14th, 2015, 09:49 AM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Crookston, MN
Posts: 1,342
Re: Highlights film and client chosen music

Peter, I've had very good responses since I started pitching potential clients with the offer of 3 videos:
The 4-8 minute short form (to them: the one you share with all your friends on Facebook)
The 15-20 minute wedding film (to them: the one you'll watch over and over again)
and the documentary style with the entire ceremony, entire speeches, original music.

As for music, IF you're interested in using pop music, make one highlight featuring a popular song. Or maybe you'd like making the 20 minute form and only using a pop song near the end, during the reception highlights.

Personally, I do prefer picking all the music myself precisely for the reasons you suggest. I also worry about using pop songs that they may tire of quickly, if its too new.
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Old June 14th, 2015, 09:10 PM   #3
Inner Circle
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 7,634
Re: Highlights film and client chosen music

Hi Pete

Unlike Robert, I provide a full version on DVD with menus so they can watch what they want when they want... I figure that they will probably watch this once and then toss it in the cupboard and drag it out only when asked by Great Aunt Myra, My long version is also split over two DVD's to make it easier to watch.

For multiple use for especially the bride's friends (that's my advertising !) They get two highlights BUT both the same which run for around 8 minutes. One goes onto a USB drive so it can be tossed into a handbag and used in a laptop and the second is preloaded onto our video LCD albums which is also small enough to toss into a handbag and shown to friends anywhere without any device needed! I know it sounds a bit mean but I put extra effort into the short highlight simply because I stand to gain from referrals when all her (hoping still single friends) watch it. Even 8 minutes is a LONG time to stand/sit and watch a wedding and honestly I see no real value in a 20 minutes version. I use as much live audio as practical on the highlight but still allow the bride to choose the song she wants ...I figure it's her wedding so let her choose ..yes, her tastes will change later I'm sure but the idea here is to use what she wants now! You could probably do a better job with Royalty free tracks for cutting but I would still rather she chose the music. Technically the music track with a pop song is illegal if online but YT seem to cover it with ads and such so that side is usable still. We are able to licence commercial tracks for personal use here for a single blanket licence with an annual fee but it only covers physical media.

In my opinion you can create an entire "wedding in 10 minutes" product so what would you add to it (making it 20 minutes) that couldn't be watched on the "main" DVD sets??

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Old June 15th, 2015, 12:46 AM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: LOWESTOFT - UK
Posts: 2,002
Re: Highlights film and client chosen music

I always offer the client the option on music. I give them a guide price based on a previous client's project and then a more sensible alternative.

we have a couple of options on music. We could go with something well known, but this can be very expensive to clear the copyright - Dire Straits, for a client last year on a similar project was just over 2000 to clear, or we could go with some similar library music that won't be familiar, but will be the right style? This would be substantially cheaper. This kind of music would probably be cleared for less than 100.
You make the client aware of the expense and also the reason, which kind of transfers the idea that doing it legally will cost.
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