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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old December 10th, 2006, 08:03 PM   #1
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How long is your edited footage?

Hi guys,

now that i have a few weddings done I want to know from you :how long is the edited version of the raw footage?- my raw footage is up to 3 hours and then the edited will be between 1 hour-1 h 30 minutes.Is this long or just not enough ? I always provide my brides with the raw footage b/e as they say: we want to hear the real sound not the music there.
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Old December 10th, 2006, 09:19 PM   #2
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I usually shoot about 4-5 hours of rough footage, and the finished video is between 60 to 90 minutes long. This is for a typical wedding.

Sometimes, you have one that's longer because of the type of ceremony (eg. Hindu weddings are very long), or whether or not the bride and groom want to keep the entire ceremony uncut. Stuff like that. I really try to stay under two hours, though.
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Old December 10th, 2006, 09:21 PM   #3
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Your question is a bit difficult to answer because everyone edits and provides different packages BUT Ican tell you that my target time is genrally 40 to 50 minutes finished product (although I will go to an hour if needed) and thats whether I have 3,4,5, or 6 hours of raw tape. I do not make a music video but it is a short form edit. There are certain sections that are music vid style but the ceremony is not-never has been never will be although a typical Catholic mass ceremony that originally runs say 50 minutes is down to about 10-12 in the finished edit. By the same token the reception is also cut to about 18 to 22 minutes in the edited version.
Now having said that I also give them a long form version of the ceremony NOT RAW FOOTAGE but a long form uncut version (it's the version I start out with to get to the short form)-I also give them the reception in uncut longform version (up to no more than 2 hours-enough to get the flavor and feel of the reception and it fits on 1 disc) NOT RAW FOOTAGE and it's in real time as opposed to time compressed in the edtied version. All of my audio is real and native except for a few creative parts-prep, recap or highlights, opening prelude. For me it's not a big deal to do this as those pieces of the wedding start out long form anyway so why not. That way when Mom or Grandma want to see the whole ceremony it's there-I call it an archival copy for the family history.
I've been doing this for quite a while and it seems to be working for me.
anyway thats what I do,
Don
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Old December 10th, 2006, 09:32 PM   #4
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I usually get about 4 hours of tape. Although these guideliens are -very- loose it normally works out to

10 minutes - pre-ceremony
30 minutes - ceremony
10-15 minutes - photo session
reception introductions and speeches - 30-45 minutes
relevant dances, bouquet, dancing montage, etc - 20 minutes

Usually ends up at about 90-115 minutes.
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Old December 11th, 2006, 02:47 AM   #5
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I end up with roughly similar amounts of tape as described above. I usually end up somewhere between 1hr 15mins and 1hr 45mins. The two biggest factors on final length I find are, the length of the ceremony and the length of the speeches. I've had situations where all three speeches are over in 5 mins, others where you are looking for petrol and matches, and the audience are starting to gnaw at their arms with hunger!

I think, so long as you capture the important aspects of the day and present them well in a manner that holds the viewers attention, then length is immaterial.
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Old December 11th, 2006, 08:41 AM   #6
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As Don wrote, a lot depends on the package. My raw footage has been up to 6 hours; the finished product is always around 90 - 120 minutes, again depending on what events were covered.

I like to keep my cameras rolling almost continuously because one never knows when that magic moment everyone will be talking about will happen. Once in a while an unexpected gem will show up when I'm reviewing my tape, but for the most part, I end up with a lot of footage on the virtual cutting room floor. This is not the kind of stuff I'd hand over to a client. In fact, I don't provide any raw footage, except for what I actually use on the dvd.

Except for highlight clips, I never add any music to a scene. And, whatever I use for the highlights is also in the full version. As a result, I've never been asked for raw footage of video so that the client can hear only the "real" sounds.

It's probably obvious, but I'll mention that other than for highlights, my finished product is documentary style. I make liberal use of chapters on the DVD, so the client can go to a specific scene: a toast, a dance, the "I do", first kiss, etc. and see & hear it exactly as it happened -- no slo mo, no added music, no special effects.... Jeeze, that sound's pretty boring, huh? But, it's what works for me.
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Old December 11th, 2006, 01:57 PM   #7
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Making a list and checking it twice, gonna find out...

Hi Todd,

Hope you're not checking up on everyone to see if they gave the same answers as they did 3 years ago when this question was asked by Trevor <wink>

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=36802

Warm Regards, Michael
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Old December 11th, 2006, 04:32 PM   #8
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Thank you guys-you really helped.
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Old December 11th, 2006, 08:51 PM   #9
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Wow, I wish I could shoot as little as you guys. I often go through 10-15 tapes a shoot. Granted five would be for the ceremony alone but having something like intros/speeched/dances all in 45 minutes like Matthew posted, would be a dream. I'm lucky if speeches alone are under an hour. Finished product is roughly the same though, on average about 90 minutes.
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Old December 12th, 2006, 12:00 AM   #10
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If you think your vids are too long than maybe you should shorten them....personally I think anything over 45 minutes as "main play" is too long and can be shortened....I know it can. Keep more compelling footage and lose the rest.







Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Moreau
Wow, I wish I could shoot as little as you guys. I often go through 10-15 tapes a shoot. Granted five would be for the ceremony alone but having something like intros/speeched/dances all in 45 minutes like Matthew posted, would be a dream. I'm lucky if speeches alone are under an hour. Finished product is roughly the same though, on average about 90 minutes.
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Old December 12th, 2006, 09:06 AM   #11
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I don't believe I said I thought there were too long. I think it would be great to have the events happen in a shorter time period, which would therefore require less filming. I would be curious to know how you cut down an hour of speech so that those and the rest of the video fit into 45 minutes?
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Old December 12th, 2006, 11:26 AM   #12
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there is no difference between having lots of footage and editing down to a short form project or having 3 or 4 hours of footage and editing to short form. The more footage to me just means I have more to choose from but I don't have to use it all. For myself I take the best bits of speeches and cut them down to about 45 secs to 1 minute-you know the "congrats, you're my best friend and I'm honored to be your best man. To the B&G..." type of thing. If my clients at least are interested in hearing all about when they were in the 2nd grade together they have the uncut, untime compressed version that I also supply to them. IF they watch it at all it's usually once. Lets face it, people are busy today and frankly what I've found is they like to watch it like they do a TV show. Less than 60 minutes. Now having said that, IF you're putting out a long form and that's what they expect and they like it then keep doing it. You do what works for you. I've been doing short form for over 6 years now and thats what people expect from me.
I can only imagine that you must be shooting with 3 or 4 cameras from bridal prep to the bitter end of the nght to come up with the amount of footage you end up with. Even when I do bridal prep and groom prep with 2 people and 3 cameras at a ceremony and 2 at the reception I don't think I've ever had more than 8 hours of tape and lots of that is just used for cut aways. The process for me is still the same. A 3 camera ceremony is still going to be 10 to 12 minutes finished, I just have more material to cut to if needed.
Like I said though, if what you're doing is working keep doing it.

Don
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Old December 12th, 2006, 01:00 PM   #13
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My intial post was actually half joking but thanks for such a detailed response Don.

I offer the speeches as a separate chapter, and do not cut those down at all. I do like yor approach, but I think in the end it is more time spent editing, and I think I could spend that time better on a different part of the video.

I usually shoot the preps with on camera, ceremony with four to five, and main reception events with two. Thatg is usually about one tape each for the bride and groom's preps, five for the ceremony, one for details of the church/reception and photo-session, and then 6 (3x2) for the reception which would include the speeches, dances, intros, and guests dancing- which would total 14. That would be our upper limit, the average would be much closer to 8.

I'm now curious to hear how Joe and Don put together the speeches though. If somebody has a pretty boring speech do you cut them out completely? Do you generally just put in the highlights of the speech and then fade out then another speech and so on?
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Old December 12th, 2006, 04:02 PM   #14
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For me edited final package (including highlight reel) is 2 hours or whatever fits on 2 Single Layer Dvds MAX.

I keep speeches the way they are but I do cut out any sound/video errors, long pauses, and/or other little miscellanous errors but it is largely untouched.
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Old December 12th, 2006, 04:04 PM   #15
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never never never cut out a speech no matter how boring it might be (and I've heard some that damn near put me to sleep) Example- about 4 years ago i did a wedding for a friend of mine. Big wedding, big room and the band didn't have a wireless mic. Why is that important? Keep listening. To make matters worse the band was on 1 end of the room and the B&G were seated on the othr end close to 200 feet awy. (I kid you not) The best man must have thought the day was about him or that he was on stage in Las Vegas cause he went on for 26 minutes (and he wasn't all that funny either) I looked back at the groom who happens to be a friend (I knew him for 10 years before he got married) and you could see he and she were in agony over this speech PLUS the wait staff really couldn't serve dinner and EVERYONE was hungry.
Anyway to make a long speech short when I got done with it it was IIRC 63 seconds long something to the effect of "Hey guys, thanks for letting be a part of your most important day-it was an honor to be your best man, congratulations now lets party" or something close to that. My friend the groom told me later how happy he was I cut it down. As for the other toasts I find a way to genly get into them-either a fade or disolve even a hard cut if it works but I never leave out any speech in total.
Man you do shoot a lot of tape, I bet your tape supplier has you tops on his Christmas card list ;-)
Don
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