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


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Old April 30th, 2007, 02:21 PM   #1
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What's the final video look like?

Hey all, I'm a fairly new wedding videographer and have spent many hours on these forums studying other's techniques and styles. I was just curious about everyone's final DVD that's given to the bride and groom. How does it play out? I have never seen anyone else's final discs except mine and I'm always questioning the best delivery of the day's content. Here's how my DVD plays:

1. pre-ceremony edited no audio just music (3-5 min)
2. ceremony edited (two cam) with music track and vows (3-5 min)
3. after ceremony (fam and friends) edited with just music
4. bride and groom (just the two of them) edited to music
5. reception intro (bridal party announced) edited, no audio, just music
(occassionally I thow in some crowd cheering)
6. first dance, father daughter dance, and mother son dance edited to music
7. reception (from the cake cutting to the garder and bouquet toss, to all the dancing) edited up to music (3-5 min)
8. highlights vid (3-5 min) music and vows mixed in

All - in -all my videos tend to be 20 to 30 mins long and tend to have a cinematic feel to them with lots of slow mo and camera pans. I've never had a complaint about my vids but I've only done about 10 professionally so i'm not all that experienced. How do your videos play out? Any advice or comments would be great.

Anika London Media
www.AnikaLondonMedia.com

Last edited by Josh Green; April 30th, 2007 at 02:24 PM. Reason: added website info
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Old April 30th, 2007, 03:47 PM   #2
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Hi Josh,

Checked out your site but couldn't get any videos to play for me. If you've only shot 10 weddings on the photo side of things as well, it looks like your off to a great start.

I would use the forum search to find more answers to your questions. I think this questions and several variants seem to come up rather often.

Patrick
www.still-motion.ca
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Old May 1st, 2007, 05:28 AM   #3
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Hi Josh,

The site looks fantastic, I wish I could do Flash that well, but it's such a crap interface I can't use it for more than 5 minutes before I get brainache and pissed off with it... then APPLE - Q.

The videos play fine for me on my Mac.

Firstly, I have only watched a couple of the clips, and don't take anything I say too personally. I think some of the music choices are slow and morose, the establishing shots of the churches are fairly uninspiring (perhaps the churches were too!) some of the framing was a little off (but the photos looked really cool - are they your photos too?) sometimes the camera seems to meander without much direction, and you need a tripod or a DVRigPro perhaps.

On the whole it's obvious you are doing something right, just improve the framing and image for me.

Regarding what finished wedding videos come out like.

Don't worry if other showreels you see are full of beautiful trailers.
I'm sure you've been to the cinema on the back of seeing a great trailer to find the film was actually crap.

Tightly edited slow-mo sequences are never a true indication of 95% of an actual wedding video.

(Almost) Anyone can make an incredible slow sequences with slightly iffy footage, stick loads of effects on it and show it to prospective clients.

I give them a full DVD example, knowing that the whole thing (perhaps two hours or more) is very watchable, well framed, lit, graded, with clear sound and sensitive editing.

Personally I'm trying to involve myself more in shooting to tell a story, and spend a very long time editing for best effect.
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Old May 1st, 2007, 07:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duncan Craig View Post
Tightly edited slow-mo sequences are never a true indication of 95% of an actual wedding video.
Duncan,

You make it sound as if your style of video is the standard by which other create their work. Many companies make the entire video cinematic and slow-mo and only offer a short-form version, so it definately is possible that a trailer is highly representative of the whole video.

For our work, we do different montages for different parts of the day and tie those together into a main feature. Something like the preps, photo-session, first dance, and reception would all be different montages and would all be similiar to a highlights or trailer. The ceremony would then be added in as either full legth documentary or a short-form, depending on the couple. Speeches would go as a seperate chapter as is. What attracts couples to our work, from what we are told, is the highlights and the similiar artistic clips within the video. Showing that the ceremony and speeches can be covered well is important for the couples we meet with, but is a much smaller factor in their decision compared to th emore creative and moving pieces.
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Old May 1st, 2007, 10:01 AM   #5
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For me the montage elements are a little less important, so my comments on that may not be revelant to Josh's clients I suppose. I'm sure he coming to know his market.

Maybe it's a UK thing but most of my clients hate to be filmed, I've been trying to sell things like same day VTs for the evening guests who weren't at the ceremony and they seem a little too show offish.

I clearly need to broaden my understand of the wedding market across the pond. Sorry.

Duncan.
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Old May 1st, 2007, 10:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
I've never had a complaint about my vids
Well there's you answer then. And I wouldn't be looking for things to add unless you charge more.

All delivery and editing styles are different. I've heard of a final edit taking anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours.

I couldn't get by with a 5 minute ceremony though. My shortest one is 9. I also deliver a "cleaned up" raw edit of the full ceremony on a seperate DVD. Some brides want to hear all their music selections intact. (And watch themsleves standing there motionless and looking stupid for 5 minutes after lighting the unity candle)

This may sound strange but the longer the final clip is, the the less amount of editing goes into it (usually).

And I agree with the story telling emphasis. Save the flash and sizzle for the highlight piece maybe.
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Old May 1st, 2007, 10:32 PM   #7
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u really dont want me to ramble on about long/short form edits do you??
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 02:23 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson View Post
u really dont want me to ramble on about long/short form edits do you??


...but of course, how could we not!
;)
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 04:44 AM   #9
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LOL i think i'll sit this one out.. lol
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 04:48 AM   #10
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Final Edit

This is a great question. Sometimes it is hard to decide what to keep in and what to throw away in order to keep the audience's attention. I've found myself starting to doze off at my own work because I leave too much in.

Does the client really want to see a lot of inactivity or is it best to just keep to the main action?
Does it make sense to include a raw footage DVD with the final package?

Thanks
Jim
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 07:08 AM   #11
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Hi Josh,

To answer your question, my finished video generally includes:

Bridal Prep - edited and set to music (3-5min)
Ceremony - 2 cameras then edited and set to music (3-5min)
After Ceremony (Hugs and Family Photos) - edited and set to music (3-5min)
Photo Session(s) - 2 cameras then edited and set to music (2 songs - 5-8min)

I chose to only offer short form because:

1. That's the style I like to shoot and edit
2. Almost all the other videographers in my area offer what I call the "Lord of the Rings Trilogy" length wedding videos - so I wanted to offer something different to stand out.

Similar to you, I've done about 10 weddings and the couples love the end result. Like Patrick, the feedback we've received is that our couples really enjoy the artistic highlights style that we offer.

I tend to shy away from doing the receptions unless the client really wants it.

Currently, I'm thinking of ways to offer extended coverage of the ceremony but still capture the creative stuff. Maybe a 3rd camera locked off at the back of the church would be the way to go - that then leaves the other 2 cameras free to shoot as per our usual style.

In summary, as Rick said, if your clients are happy then that's your answer - and if you're making enough money from each wedding to pay the bills etc .... then you should be happy too :)
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 07:57 AM   #12
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C'mon Pete - would really love to hear your input on this....
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 07:57 AM   #13
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Quote:
This is a great question. Sometimes it is hard to decide what to keep in and what to throw away in order to keep the audience's attention.
I've found myself starting to doze off at my own work because I leave too much in.
But think about your target audience. You're not submitting this thing to the Sundance Film Festival - Their wedding has a different meaning.

Quote:
Does it make sense to include a raw footage DVD with the final package?
For most it probably doesn't. I just provide the full ceremony on a seperate DVD. Like I said, the couple may want to hear Aunt Alice singing the full chorus which isn't possible with a short edit. And for the extra hour it takes to clean up it's no big deal.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 10:09 AM   #14
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Maybe I'm way off here, but I think it is pretty easy to keep your clients hapy and, in general, they have the least critical eye when viewing your work. To say that nothing needs to be done as long as your clients are happy is holding your self back, I would think. Those who are really innovative in this or any other field, often get there not by doing just what makes clients happy but continually exceeding that.

In fact, I would go one step further, and say that when your clients are happy, that is the best time to improve your work and continue to move forward. But maybe thats just me.

Patrick
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 02:50 PM   #15
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Thanks

Hey thanks for all the comments. I really appreciate it. I'm frusterated that Patrick couldn't see the videos on my site because I study his videos like crazy. Patrick, you're DAMN good, congrats on that. I've decided that I'm just going to stick to my short edits and give them all the uncut footage. I think the short edited cinematic feel sets more of a mood when watching the videos. Thanks again guys for all the comments. These forums have been great for my business.
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