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


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Old August 22nd, 2015, 04:48 AM   #16
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Re: Long Highlights Format

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Originally Posted by Craig McKenna View Post
I agree with what you said about your parents wedding, but then I also think a 10-15 minute highlight film would satisfy them the same - and they'd probably make everyone watch it again and be amazed by what was available in their parent's era. We'll see as the market continues to develop, but a few of my 'educated' brides - and by educated I mean the ones who have surged the Net for the best wedding films, often mention people who are doing the short form features. As more and more brides witness these films online, I believe that is what they will come to want in the end.
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Craig, I plan to offer either a 20 minute Cinematic option or a 40 minute cut down video. Ultimately my clients will decide which one they prefer. I shall include a sample of each and let them choose. They'll all be educated on the difference. Personally if enough choose the cinematic I'll make that the default, but I'm not ready to just jump to that as an only option. I have plenty of bookings for next year based on what I currently offer, so I need to sound them out. Offering a long documentary edit with natural audio and a 40 minute video to music is close enough to satisfy them I hope I'm not lowering my service.

Over the next few years I hope to change how and what I deliver, but educating clients alas takes time. If I was starting out now knowing what I know, it would be different. However I get loads of bookings from friends of couples I've filmed. They've seen what I offer and want the same. So swinging them to something new I feel should be taken in steps not giant leaps.
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Old August 22nd, 2015, 06:36 AM   #17
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Re: Long Highlights Format

Ok, guys ..time to move down under!! Our longest ceremonies are Catholic and run about 20 minutes without full mass and about 45 minutes if they have the works!! Speech givers are told to keep their speeches down to 5 minutes so a long speech will occur now and again ..my record is 33 minutes for a Father of the Bride ..he documented his 33 year old daughters life year by year but on average most speeches either run around 4 minutes for short ones up to 8 minutes if the B&G have to present parents with gifts and suchlike.

Just to make you truly envious my record shortest ceremony was 6 minutes 30 seconds and that was from the bride walking from the limo up to the end of register signing. We quite often get super short speeches where someone will walk up to a lectern ...say "Thanks for coming" and go and sit down ...30 seconds of footage including walk up and walk back!! Quite often with 100 guests or more filming the receiving line (we just call it congratulations) can be longer than the ceremony!!!

I don't think I would like to film a UK wedding at all!! We never have hymns here at weddings!!!

However maybe that clears up why your high lights need to be a bit longer but even with Catholic ceremonies I only put the vows and rings in the high light clip!
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Old August 22nd, 2015, 07:19 AM   #18
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Re: Long Highlights Format

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Originally Posted by Steve Burkett View Post
Craig, I plan to offer either a 20 minute Cinematic option or a 40 minute cut down video. Ultimately my clients will decide which one they prefer. I shall include a sample of each and let them choose. They'll all be educated on the difference. Personally if enough choose the cinematic I'll make that the default, but I'm not ready to just jump to that as an only option. I have plenty of bookings for next year based on what I currently offer, so I need to sound them out. Offering a long documentary edit with natural audio and a 40 minute video to music is close enough to satisfy them I hope I'm not lowering my service.

Over the next few years I hope to change how and what I deliver, but educating clients alas takes time. If I was starting out now knowing what I know, it would be different. However I get loads of bookings from friends of couples I've filmed. They've seen what I offer and want the same. So swinging them to something new I feel should be taken in steps not giant leaps.
Sounds like the best option!!! I just wrote my post to give my view to see how people would challenge it. It's great to hear different sides from people who have different experience levels, business prospectives, and offerings and reasons to have to stay x or y.
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Old August 22nd, 2015, 03:17 PM   #19
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Re: Long Highlights Format

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I am not even remotely interested in what the so called American 'Greats' offer, because we are in a different market in the UK and although their short cinematic masterpieces are very competent, they are a totally different product to a documentary wedding. More importantly, I don't see that their output is better than many other unknown producers, but their PR and marketing is superb, so good that they don't earn most of their money, from filming weddings, but from seminars, tutorials and selling videos and books. This gets them in the public eye, which gives them access to top paying clients, makess them recognisable and builds a big fan base of peers who feel it necessary to emulate them.


Roger
I agree, in the end my ego doesn't pay the bills. Maybe I should be trying to become the Michael Jordan of cinematographers, but my first goal is to provide the footage my client wants (or their parents) the folks paying the bill. It's a balancing act and requires communication with my clients, such as, the questionnaire I send out after the wedding asking for must keep footage, after that, everything else is on the chopping block. I used to leave a lot in, now I try to keep my linear format moving along.

A year ago, I had one bride complain that I left too much in, and after many conversations, I think she thought I provided a 15 minute cinematic edit, but that's only been one time. And Chris H, as for catholic, methodist, episcopalian, presbyterian etc weddings, I always ask if the clients wants the mass left in, and they always do. As for my final product, on my typical wedding, it's two DVDs around 2 hours with a 10 minute highlight. Around here, I seem to hit the ideal spot with my clients since they have the ceremony reception as well as a shorty that they can show their friends. I imagine if I was in NY, California or somewhere else, I might get more of a movie type request.

As mentioned, I think a lot of the market is geographical or cultural in nature.
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Old August 22nd, 2015, 07:06 PM   #20
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Re: Long Highlights Format

Hi Steven

Absolutely! It's not what we want or what is easiest for us to do but what the bride wants and if she expects a 2 hour movie on DVD and you present her a 10 minute cinematic highlight only she isn't exactly going to be happy. Maybe to keep all your brides happy you DO need to make a three part set ...short to keep some brides happy, medium to keep others happy and the whole day for brides that tell you don't miss a thing. I think we also need to realise that some brides might need a specific delivery type targeted to a specific group so in the end often doing just one type of delivery ...even if the bride agrees at the time to "just a 30 minute short form" she may think later .."Gosh I wish I had got the whole day done on DVD" and this might influence her in recommending you to friends rather than suggesting someone who gives a 10 minute, 30 minute and 120 minute package!!
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Old August 23rd, 2015, 12:27 AM   #21
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Re: Long Highlights Format

This may come as a shock to some Videographers, but there are plenty of Brides not living in America that feel a long 90-120 minute video is boring and not worth their money. Companies like Shoot It Yourself offer only a 30 minute video. I'm sure some here like to think the couples who hire them regret their decision later, but that's a conceit not a fact. I'd wager most are happy.

7 of my bookings this year are for Marryoke only. No amount of pursuasion by me will convince them to have their Wedding properly recorded, quoting in most cases they dont want a long boring video. 1 turned down a free 4 minute highlight that I offer with every Marryoke. 3 I know would have gone for a cinematic had I one to market at the time of booking.

Recently for the first time since I started my business, 2 Brides having booked me and researching various online videos asked me to give them a cinematic video instead despite my package being to the contrary. I could have refused but to be honest my style is heading that way. I filmed their Weddings respectively in July and August and will be tackling this new form of video for the 1st time shortly. It's certainly hastened my decision to push my service in new directions.

Now I'm not saying a long video isn't desired by many. I plan to keep one in my package for years to come, but offering a shorter video isn't a Videographers ego nor a case of not giving the Bride what she wants. It's giving them a choice. Just as styles differ in Photographers, so should there be in Videographers.
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Old August 24th, 2015, 06:16 PM   #22
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Re: Long Highlights Format

I too sell a highlight video and long format. Creating a longer highlight film would be nice, but for me, it would take some time. I can usually edit the hightlight film the next day and have the rest of the long version done in a few days. I am looking for an alternative like you guys, but those films take a lot of work to produce and I feel I can deliver a short hightlight film and the long format in less time than it would take to edit the 20 minute cinematic film. Plus you have to rely heavily on content. I shoot most of my content with my wife helping me out for some extra safe shots. I am all about streamlining the process cause I feel your pain dealing with reception, ceremony, speeches, as chapters. But honestly for me this works due to how fast I can crank them out. I started a new thread about selling just a highlight film 3-5 minutes and selling the raw footage.
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Old August 25th, 2015, 04:46 AM   #23
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Re: Long Highlights Format

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Companies like Shoot It Yourself offer only a 30 minute video..
I'm not surprised, but think that is more due to the footage than anything else. A couple of years ago I edited a wedding for a couple who had friends doing all the filming because it was cheaper than hiring a professional. They brought it to me because they said it was unwatchable and they didn't mind within reason what it cost. There was nearly 3 hours of totally amateur footage, most out of focus, or severe movement blur and I spent 3 days trying to put together any useable footage. It ended up 20 minutes long with me having to lift stills at some points because some vital parts only had perhaps 1-2 seconds of useable footage. It cost them almost as much as it would have done to have booked me to film it, but at least they were finally satisfied with the result.

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Old August 25th, 2015, 05:17 AM   #24
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Re: Long Highlights Format

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I'm not surprised, but think that is more due to the footage than anything else.
Agreed. The point was more to support the view that for some couples, a long video is the last thing they want and that something like a 30 minute video can be considered sufficient if marketed properly as Shoot it Yourself have clearly done.
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Old August 25th, 2015, 06:55 AM   #25
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Re: Long Highlights Format

Hi Steve

You mentioned a while back that some UK speeches go on and on so I'm assuming that your 30 minute movie would exclude a full ceremony and exclude speeches or have them drastically cut down???

So assuming I'm right on the above would they get an edited ceremony? sorta entry, vows, rings, signing and exit??? and what would you do about speeches when FOB drones on for 30 minutes?? On my highlight I just include the toast at the end of each speech but my high light is only 10 minutes so I have no option.

I would be interested in how you would allocate bits of the wedding day into a 30 minute highlight?? What sort of time would you assign to the highlight from each event during the whole wedding??
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Old August 25th, 2015, 07:54 AM   #26
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Re: Long Highlights Format

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Hi Steve

I would be interested in how you would allocate bits of the wedding day into a 30 minute highlight?? What sort of time would you assign to the highlight from each event during the whole wedding??
I currently offer a 30 minute cut down video and that is just entrance, vows and exit for Ceremony, no Speeches, and minor to major edits to the rest. When I've been asked to give priority to the 30 minute video by couples, I have included roughly 2 minutes of each Speech. So for the Groom, his address to his wife, Best Man - the best jokes if there are any, Father of the Bride - something nice about his daughter.

I've yet to fully decide what I will or will not include in the 40 minute video. When the season is over I shall take a Civil and Church Wedding filmed this year and create a 40 minute video each to market. I'm thinking for the Ceremony to include the readings, not all of it, but sections of each one, bit more of the address to the Bride and Groom, a little of the Sermon, maybe the chorus of one of the hymns for variety. Other sections of the day would be more edited than the current 30 minute video I produce, only because it will be edited for the shorter video in mind rather than the longer one.

As for the Speeches, I'd expect 2-3 minutes per person is sufficient. If you cut out the thank you's and the waffle. Last Wedding I did, I paid attention to timings and was amazed how much waffle there is in Speeches - Best Man thanking the Bridesmaids after the Groom has done the same, the ums and arrs, losing their place. You can shave off quite a bit just by tightening it up.

How this will all mean in keeping to a certain length is something I'll discover in time. I think it would end up being different for each Wedding, but these are details to play with over the winter months when Weddings are light and I have time to experiment.
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Old August 26th, 2015, 05:53 AM   #27
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Re: Long Highlights Format

How do you edit these different lengths Steve? Do you run all the footage in real time and make a note of minutes and seconds into each clip as you go, or when you find a clip that you want to use do you cut and paste it into a different folder for the different versions?

If I am occasionally also asked for a highlights video, I just go through the full edit file and delete the bits I don't want for the highlights, so just wondered how you work.

Roger
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Old August 26th, 2015, 07:03 AM   #28
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Re: Long Highlights Format

Trailers are just random shots I grab from a quick run through of the footage. For the long edit, I begin with a more detailed look at the footage, which is brought down into its own timeline and then edited in sections like Bridal Preps, Reception, Evening Footage. I then create a new timeline for the full length video and bring each section in, combining them all into one. With the Ceremony, I have highlighted sections to be removed in a different colour label, like the bit of photo taking after the signing of the register, so I can quickly delete.

Then for the 30 minute, I simply copy the full length timeline and start deleting sections, like the Speeches, half of the 1st Dance and most of the Ceremony except the opening and exit and the vows. Simple really, takes no time. When more is asked of the 30 minute, I will re-edit the sections on Bridal Preps, Reception and Evening footage. Plus put in say 1- 2 minutes of each of the Speeches.
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Old August 26th, 2015, 08:03 AM   #29
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Re: Long Highlights Format

Thanks for that Steve, sounds like we work in a similar way although all my footage is imported into the timeline in linear form, with B & C cameras plus audio recorders put on parallel tracks in approximately the right positions for synching up when I get to them.

Any shorter version would be the same as you, just cutting down the timeline.

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Old August 26th, 2015, 08:52 AM   #30
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Re: Long Highlights Format

I don't mind doing a long form because as I'm doing it I can make a note of what I will be using in the high light video so that gets done quite quickly instead of searching thru mountains of footage!!
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