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


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Old November 7th, 2005, 02:40 PM   #1
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Editing Opinions

So i did my first wedding this past weekend and now i need to edit it.

SO in thinking about it and talking to some people i'm trying to decide HOW to edit it.

I figure there are 2 choice.

1. A very accurate, chronological version of the wedding that won't be very exciting to watch after a while but it will be what happened...kinda like the news.

2. a very artistic, movie like version with slo-mos and nice fades to the couple together with some nice music faintly in the background to set mood.
Definatly my choice.

I'm thinking about how i want them to remember their wedding 10 years from now.
I'm actually considering doing both. Make the artisitic version the main vesion and the accurate version for the bonus features of the DVD for people who weren't there and want to see what it was really like to be there. But i'm not sure i even want them to have the boring accurate version.

thoughts? what do the experienced guys do?
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Old November 7th, 2005, 06:01 PM   #2
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I personally follow the wedding in the order it happened and use the artsy stuff in that production and to tell their story. I don't think you need to do 2 versions and I definetinly don't think you will have a boring video by following the days events in order if you put some thought into the editing. The only thing that I do with out cutting up is the actual ceremony. I use 2 cameras for that part and only 1 to capture everything else. I also do a highlight video which captures the day in a more condensed format so maybe that is what you are refering to. I guess my point is that if you go into the main edit with the thought it will be boring...then chances are it will be and you may not get much referral work from it.
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Old November 7th, 2005, 09:53 PM   #3
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this is how i typicaly do it...

Im a naturalistic shooter, so theres very minimal direction from me...

Preps are all artsy fartsy with select dialogue within the piece... much like a music clip... sometimes nothing really happens during the time im there, so i need to use this time to make it look exciting...

ceremony.. classic elegance as an intro, then its as natural as its gonna get.. i dont try anything artsy with the camera here, as time and space restrictions dont allow for it.. also after starting off shooting all arty farty, i found that the clients DIDNT LIKE that kinda stuff during the ceremony.. i think about 80% of the clients found it to be distracting.
So now, theres always a static camera pointing to the important bits, while the second cam roams.. This is getting a far better response than the moving camera shots during the actual ceremony...

photoshoot.. is another arsty farsty piece

intro to reception is entwined with interviews and well wishes, as well as cutaways to whats going on inside (ie empty recpetion hall, cake shots, table settings etc)

from here the recpetion is all natrual, with very minimal artsy stuff. Its here when the camera work really plays a part of what u do, as being a fly on the wall... nice close ups, blah blah... then with the cake and first dance, thats all arsty farsty, then it goes back to natural for the rest of it...

Artsy farsty is good, but having a good blend to that style with some natural elements works really well as its not overkill and retains peoples attention..
On top of that, u have to remember that your working on a 2hour piece (on average) now if u were to be working on a 2hr corporate piece, youb be making about 5grand.. but ur not doing that here with a wedding so dont overwork yourself.. give them what they pay for...
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Old November 7th, 2005, 10:56 PM   #4
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What if anything did you show them as a sample? Whatever it was thats how you need to edit the peice. If you didn't show them anything why not ask them? Tell them you're going to give them their choice of how they want it done-strat or with a chaser. It their video so why not. Whatever they decide then they can't come back to you and complain about it.
Personally I do a condensed edit, 45 minutes, which includes prep, ceremony, formal shoot, reception and recap with retrospective but they also get an uncut version of the ceremony for archival purposes.
HTHs
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Old November 8th, 2005, 12:04 AM   #5
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As someone who does wedding videos and who also had a VHS video made of our wedding 20 years ago, here's my view:

Put the project in chronological order. With a dvd, it's easy for the user to jump from event to event. Don't struggle trying to decide how the arrange the events, and I suggest not even asking the couple if they would like the events in any particular order because....

With our video, the first however many times we pretty much just looked at the ceremony. After some number of years passed, the video became a dispute resolver -- was such and so there, or who was this or that person going with then.... Now we skip past the ceremony and just enjoy looking at the people .... kids then who are now adults with kids of their own, middle agers then who are now one step from the grave, and older relatives who now are in the grave.

Altho I have my moments of inspiration, I don't generally do the really gee whiz stuff. To do it effectively and smoothly can take a lot of time (for me, anyway), and that runs counter to my goal to get the thing done and in the couple's hands as soon as possible.
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Old November 8th, 2005, 09:03 AM   #6
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i agree with sticking the chronological order.. it allows the structure of a story...

as for sampling, i dont bother.. i wont send my work out blindly as ive had people plaguarise my work (no seriously working as a supplier, i had 2 different videographers come into the shop and ask me "how do i do this or that" then im like.. what r u talkin about.. can u show me...??
Viola, he pulls out my demo out of his briefcase... so yer.. u can see where im going wiht this..
.. call me stuck up, but to me here in aus, the industry is very stale and competition will try to take any idea that comes their way...
Beofre i show anyone my work, i meet my clients and show them actual wedding presentations which i give to my actual clients... i dont bother with demo dvds anymore as it sets a precedent which i dont want to be chained to... the work speaks for itself i just let it to do the selling for me....

As for teh edit, like i mentioned.. at the end of the day, people dont give a shit about flashy effects, transitions or what have you UNLESS theyre specific about what they want and KNOW what they want before they come to you.. this is rare, but its welcomed as their thoughts are noted and the edit doesnt require too much thinking.. but then u get ur nobhead who has no clue, didnt want video but is gettin it as an afterthught, doesnt want to pay for what its worth and wants it yesterday.. even though they didnt really want it to begin with..
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Old November 11th, 2005, 02:48 PM   #7
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Well i've had time to look over the footage and i think i'm just gonna go with my natural instincts and see where it takes me. Shouldn't try and go against your style.

I have a plan of how to lay it all out and we'll see how it flows.

definatly won't be boring.

I've heard from too many people when i asked them about their wedding videos "we usually just fast forward thru most of it"
So if there is anything i would want to fast forward thru it's getting cut.
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Old November 11th, 2005, 03:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Ioannidis
I've heard from too many people when i asked them about their wedding videos "we usually just fast forward thru most of it"
Jim, were these people talking about videos of their own weddings, or videos of other people's weddings?

Must've been some real lousy video shooting and editing. Done by a family member with a handheld Sony Hi8?

All I've ever heard is how much the couple, parents, friends & family enjoyed it the first time through, then watched several more times and caught details they didn't notice on the previous viewings.
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Old November 11th, 2005, 03:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Tomkowiak
Jim, were these people talking about videos of their own weddings, or videos of other people's weddings?

Must've been some real lousy video shooting and editing. Done by a family member with a handheld Sony Hi8?

All I've ever heard is how much the couple, parents, friends & family enjoyed it the first time through, then watched several more times and caught details they didn't notice on the previous viewings.
no, this is people talking about their own weddings shot by paid videographers. I watched some of them and they really aren't that good which is probably why the videographer is kinda low on the totem pole for weddings. These guys really handed over what i consider to be pretty cheap work.
Anybody ever tells me they fast forward thru one of my videos, it would break my heart.
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Old November 12th, 2005, 12:29 AM   #10
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People should hire a wedding videographer based on style, demos, a good interview. I'm upfront about doing long videos, often close to 2 hours. The people who hire me are the people who feel they'll miss the wedding because they're busy participating. They want to see the stuff they missed. They want to see themselves in a way the couldn't while they are participating in the day.

They tell me they watch it over and over again seeing things they didn't see that day. I easily get nearly 2 hours of "fun" stuff I think the couple will enjoy. Yes, I've had weddings where the dance floor was empty . . . the wall was populated with flowers so to speak. They get a video just over an hour.

Short is NOT better or even more desirable than long. You should either let the client know your style or listen to what the client wants when you meet with them. Because of my style, I'd feel uncomfortable with someone who said up front, nothing more than an hour. They have no idea what I'll get on tape. You make a movie to tell a story and the story is as long as it should be. If you're doing a commercial though you can keep it to 30 seconds.

I do what feels right for the story. I like my shooting. I look for "fun" stuff. My videos are long. The clients know that before they hire me.
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Old November 14th, 2005, 03:23 AM   #11
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I would stay chronological. You can use a highlight video at the end to provide them with a flashy recap of everything.

I would also highly recommend cutting 'useless' footage. I have yet to have a wedding client that wanted a documentary of their wedding. They always want a story. So, cut footage that isn't telling a story. Cut footage where nothing is happening. If it's boring to you, it's probably going to be boring to them.

Also, don't get too hung up on special effects. If you shoot well, your footage will entertain on its own. Adding lots of special effects will just take away from that entertainment value and add distraction. I usually stick with tinting effects and tasteful transitions, as well as slo-mo. Nothing beyond that usually, and my clients love it.
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Old November 14th, 2005, 03:02 PM   #12
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On the Few wedding I have done I tried to cut only what was completely useless. I tended to keep as much as I could in there, ie. during the ceremony I cut out nothing I used multiply camera angles to keep it interesting but I tried to not cut anyting out, because if I were to cut every thing out that I found boring I dont think there would be much left of my videos, because I dont know the people on the video so the whole thing for the most part is boring to me. Thus far I have only had one person ask to change the video and cut something out and that was a speech given at her mother's birthday and she did not like the fact that the speech had very little to do with her mother so she asked me to cut out the parts that did not have anything to do with her mother. I was more than happy to do so, but I orginally left it in because it was a main part of the happenings and someone else in the same situation may have been happy to have the whole speech of their dear old uncle Charley, where as me I could careless for uncle Charley or uncle Bob or any of the old people that were there.
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Old November 14th, 2005, 03:32 PM   #13
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I guess we're a little different. I tend to get into my client's wedding as if I was a part of it. So there's a lot for me that's not boring. I try and look at all the footage through their eyes.

I don't cut the ceremony at all, but I use 3 cameras, so I have lots of angles.

I also get around 10 hours of footage from every wedding, and I cut down to about 90 minutes, which means there's a lot of stuff that doesn't make the grade.
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