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Old July 26th, 2007, 03:02 PM   #1
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ceremony footage, whats your editing style?

I'm in the process of editing my first wedding video.. and I had a question for all of you pros out there.

When you do the editing do you include the ENTIRE ceremony?

I did this one for free for a friend, and the intro to the part where they are pronounced bride a groom is only about 12 minutes long. I cut out alot of the crap that the preacher said.. Left in a prayer, and a speech about the rings and the "circle of love" the prayer for the rings, vows, and exchange of rings.. then they are pronounced h&w and then I get all of them walking back down the aisle..

Of course this is free so i'm not concerned, but for future reference is it okay for me to cut out some of the long dragged out parts?

For example, I shot 2nd cam at a catholic wedding, and they must have prayed 5 times, sang 4 songs, then 2 or 3 solos then a really long speech from the preacher.. I, of course, wasn't editing it, but I just thought to myself how boring it would be to watch this entire thing. So I like to make it sort of like a highlights reel only of course including the most important parts, and a few other things from the ceremony.

I know these brides pay big bucks, but do all of them expect a 1hour/2hour ceremony video.. ?

Also, what I did was I used music throughout the entire thing, no lyrics, just pretty instrumentals, then I dropped down the music when I had a speech or vows, etc.

So tell me how do you guys do the ceremony part of your video?
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Old July 26th, 2007, 03:10 PM   #2
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I usually tell the Bride and Groom before hand that I don't record the whole ceremony. Only the important parts eg: Walking in, the readings from guests/bridesmaids, vows, exchanging of the rings, lighting of candles etc...
and a small portion of the priest's sermon.
They will understand and usually they agree that the whole ceremony is boring anyway...

So let the B&G know that you don't record the whole ceremony before hand, and you will be okay.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 03:59 PM   #3
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Obviously I record the whole thing but I have taken a 73 minute catholic mass ceremony and the finished product was 11:30 long.
It helps that I have been doing short form for about 7 or 8 years (I got bored with long form)...What I generally do for the CEREMONY-(not anything leading up to it) is; The bride coming down the aisle (with a reaction shot of the groom if at all possible), The officiants welcome and sometimes the opening prayer(usually very short)- perhaps a bit of the homily if its really personal to the couple (IOW the officiant has known them for a long time and can really talk to them not at them) The vows, sometimes intercut from him to her and back, the rings (samething with the ring vows), the unity candle or sand ceremony, flowers to the Virgin Mary, flowers to the parents, the pronouncement of marriage, the kiss and the B&Gs walk out. 7 to 12 minutes.

Having said all of this now though, please remember that 1) it will vary depending on the flow of the ceremony and how long it is to begin with and 2) does it make sense?
To me editing is all about telling a story and while we can cut the 1 hour long ceremony down to about 3 minutes if we wanted to it has to, I say again, HAS TO make sense so that when ANYONE watches the video be it a family member, friend or even the UPS guy they can watch it and it flows so they can feel like they aren't missing anything important.
FYI, my clients do get an uncut version of the entire ceremony (uncut other than long pauses etc) so for the odd occassional time they want to see everything they can.
Like I said I've been editing this way for about 8 years and have never had a complaint AND it saves my sanity (what little I have left)
Since this seems like it was a very short ceremony I might just clean it up and leave the rest intact.

HTHs

Don
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Old July 26th, 2007, 04:21 PM   #4
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I do include the entire ceremony except any long gaps between things (like after the processional or whatever). But I also include a highlight video in all my packages so if they are not interested in watching the entire ceremony again, they can just see that.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 04:49 PM   #5
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thanks for the info guys!

I was thinking about MAYBE adding an extra part of the video where i throw in the stuff i didn't use, like the corny jokes that weren't really that funny that the preacher said, and this part where the preacher hands the groom a hankerchief and then the grooms goes "ya want that back?" and everyone chuckled a bit.. I really didn't want to use it in the actual edit because it's supposed to be romantic, and I thought it kinda threw the whole thing off, so i thought i'd do sort of the opposite of a highlights reel as well, kinda of a "behind the scenes extras" reel.
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Old July 27th, 2007, 10:08 AM   #6
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The most important aspect of this topic is communication with the bride and groom. Unless you have permission to just do highlights, I would, and normally do include the entire ceremony, save for the obvious pauses and mistakes. What may sound like crap to us from a preacher may be heartfelt teaching and wisdom to our clients. We may find the jokes nauseating, but our clients may find them hilarious and appropriate. Make the piece flow, use cut aways and other angles to break it up some but the audio should be continuous and in my opinion the final piece should have it all. Either way I think you should record the whole thing every time. Tapes are cheap and if your bride has a change of heart and wants it all, you'll have the raw footage to do it.
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Old July 27th, 2007, 07:55 PM   #7
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1. As many closeups as possible - they know they're in a church and try to limit static wide shots as much as asap

2. Cut out all dead air time

3. No dissolves - don't like them in general, plus it just flat out states you cut something out - most brides understand nothing good was there anyway, but just to be careful LOL.

4. All mass/religious portions cut out, ALL hymns shortened for jewish services, cut out completely in Catholic services, unless a family/friend is performing.
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Old July 27th, 2007, 08:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenna Klingensmith View Post
I cut out a lot of the crap that the preacher said..
I love it. You managed to instantly insult anyone who takes their religion seriously.

Anyway, we ask if they want the ceremony in its entirety. If yes, I clean it up to cut out bad camera movements or whatever, mix the sound, etc.

If not, I chop out most of the prayers, except some of the blessings that may sound good, much of the homily, most of the communion (I usually cut together some visuals with the usual ave maria that's being sung). I leave entrance, welcoming, readings by family members/friends, vows, signing of the register, recessional. And like Don said, it has to make sense as a whole.

I almost never put in music that wasn't there. The only exceptions may be processional or recessional organ music that my distort, or if a shooter chopped up the ceremony so much that I need to save it.

I always shoot the entire ceremony just in case, and demand that our other shooters do the same. I find that when they try to tape just particular sections, they sometimes get caught by surprise and don't hit record in time, thus missing the beginning of something important. And for what, to save 30 minutes of tape? Big deal. And if you are using any separate audio sources, it makes if much easier to sync in post if the ceremony in uncut. It's win win.
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Old July 27th, 2007, 11:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
If not, I chop out most of the prayers, except some of the blessings that may sound good, much of the homily, most of the communion (I usually cut together some visuals with the usual ave maria that's being sung). I leave entrance, welcoming, readings by family members/friends, vows, signing of the register, recessional. And like Don said, it has to make sense as a whole.
Wow, you must do alot of catholic weddings. They tend to be long and I wouldn't blame you for cutting stuff out if the bride and groom agreed.

I don't get many catholic weddings in my area but I did one recently that lasted about an hour and 15 minutes. Uugghh. I hate changing tapes during a ceremony. Anyway, there was one point where I had no usable footage (for various reasons) for about 1 minute during a song where the groom played the drums. The bride and groom were a bit upset that there was a small portion missing. I had even edited the song so you couldn't tell that there was a gap but of course they noticed it. Anyway, most of the weddings I do are generally about 20-30 minutes (for the ceremony). That's the way I like 'em. :)
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Old July 27th, 2007, 11:15 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Adam Hoggatt View Post
Wow, you must do alot of catholic weddings.
I don't get many catholic weddings in my area but I did one recently that lasted about an hour and 15 minutes. Uugghh. I hate changing tapes during a ceremony.
Yes, I do a fair number of them. But usually one tape will cover it. It's rare they go over an hour here, even with a full communion mass.

Usually, the bride and groom want the short version, which is no surprise...
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Old July 28th, 2007, 05:55 AM   #11
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I'm new to the group. Looks like it could be very informative. Thanks for those who provide it and clearly offer so much advice.

I've only had a video camera a year. I made my first dvd for sale within a month of buying it. Steepest learning curve I've ever been through, and only achievable because of another utterly fantastic web group, who held my hand and helped me every step of the way.

To date I've edited four weddings, also filming the last three. The first was my youngest daughters, so it was a bit hard for me to film, but some guests filmed the whole lot with two cameras and gave me all the footage, which is how I got to edit it. I now have two cameras, and four irivers. I edit on Vegas 7.

To date when filming a wedding I have filmed the entire ceremony and when editing, have included everything. None of them have gone over 45 minutes. However, on the dvd I carve the whole lot into chapters so that each of the significant bits can be got to directly through the menu.

Is this the usual practise?

For any who may be interested, the link below is to the first 4 mins of the first wedding we filmed - ('we' - my wife learned how to turn the camera on two days before the event and her practise was shooting the cat in the kitchen for a couple of minutes! She did all right and has now done three. Still needs to be told how to turn it on!) The resolution is not that hot for web viewing. Apologies for that.

Virtually all the scenes in the clip either have significance to the couple or set the location for the wedding - in one of New Zealands premier tourist locations - Queenstown. Interestingly, several weeks after filming, a blizzard went through literally shutting everything down for a few days. Everything shown would have been turned to white and ice.

Enjoy...perhaps...

http://www.fortvir.net/gallery2/P3U_...Zwies.wmv.html

LINK DIDN'T WORK ORIGINALLY. IT DOES NOW. ALSO ONE TWO POSTS DOWN.
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Old July 28th, 2007, 06:05 AM   #12
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Renton,

Your link doesn't work for me.

And actually, if you want feedback on a clip, you'd get more if you started your own thread.

Cheers,
Vito
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Old July 28th, 2007, 06:09 AM   #13
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Apologies - I discovered it didn't work for me either - after I had posted!

Try this...

http://www.fortvir.net/gallery2/P3U_...Zwies.wmv.html
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Old July 28th, 2007, 06:11 AM   #14
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Thanks Vito for the thought. Let me know if you think it worth posting on its own thread.
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Old July 28th, 2007, 06:28 AM   #15
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Hi Renton,

Your clip is okay. I can tell you are new at it, for sure, but your composition and framing are on the right track. Better camera and tripod would help!

The first two minutes are just tourist shots. It's kind of weird. I know you said they have significance for the couple, but we don't see them soon enough. I would mix in the photos of them much sooner, alternating with the tourist shots. Then we might get the idea that they like these places. I think there are shots you could remove or shorten as well.

Stay away from the same slow zoom in with every shot. Alternate with other movements, or none.

Watch shot length. One pan is way too long, another shot is so short I couldn't tell what it was. I find shots over about 5 seconds can't keep the viewers attention. There are exceptions, of course.

I like the opening shot. That perhaps could be used under your title in slow motion. Your titles could be nicer, wedding style fonts or whatever.

Your transition to the ceremony is abrupt.

You are underexposing inside. Too bad about the giant "Exit" sign. Looks bad. And it takes forever for the first girl to start walking. You could cut in later to that, especially since the entrances are so slow.

Anyway, that's a few quick comments. Hope it helps.

Cheers,
Vito
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