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-   -   Any one only offering highlights? (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/wedding-event-videography-techniques/525543-any-one-only-offering-highlights.html)

Jeff Cook October 28th, 2014 09:44 AM

Any one only offering highlights?
 
There is a company in town that is covering entire day but only offering 3 to 5 minute highlights of ceremony, reception, preps and so on. Do you think we could offer this and then up sell the client if they wanted full ceremony?

Robert Benda October 28th, 2014 10:06 AM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
I don't do this, instead we deliver a 15 minute and a full length. HOWEVER, there is a guy I've run into three times now who 'only shoots highlights.' Of course, he isn't filming much, so it's not like he films the whole ceremony, then decides what to keep. I doubt he fills an entire 32GB card on the day.

Here is my problem with that. He misses things ALL the time. At one wedding, I was the MC/DJ, I give him the friendly heads up that speeches will start and he doesn't grab his camera. He doesn't film them. Well, he misses the groomsman beat boxing with all 300 guests on their feet cheering. Insane stuff. Not on film.

Noa Put October 28th, 2014 10:22 AM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
I was hired by another videographer a few years back to shoot starting from the reception (he did the first part of the day but had other obligations later that evening)

He also offered only very short (I think 5 minutes) highlights, when I ask him what he expects from me he says, I only want the first entrance, the cake, the first dance and a bit from the dancing after that and he wants me to do it all on my steadicam. When I ask him what about the speeches, he says, don't need that...

So the speeches start and the father of the bride gives a emotional speech, the bride cries, I see other people tearing up and I sit there on a chair with my camera in my camerabag waiting for the cake cutting...

Jeff Cook October 28th, 2014 10:41 AM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
Those are insane stories. I feel, if you are only to deliver highlights, you still have to shoot everything! You need content for that short piece to appeal to the client. I myself would really like to start delivering 12-15 minute films. However, I need tons of content to pull this off. I just watched Ray Roman's course on wedding films and he up sells a lot. He offers a 20 minute video and that's it....I do understand that these clients have tons of money and want to feel like movies stars as well. But if we could deliver a compelling film that evokes emotion and great visuals and use the dialogue from throughout the day to tell a story, it would be much better than an hour long boring dvd. But for 20 minutes of video you would need tons of content and 2 to 3 shooters. I am looking into doing something similar but would like to see examples of a 12-15 minute film for ideas. I would then try to sell the speeches separately. There has to be a reason for them to buy which I understand. Maybe offering the film and the full edit ceremony and then up sell them the reception and or speeches? What do you guys think? I feel we have to do much more work than photographer and we get paid a lot less.

Max Palmer October 28th, 2014 11:40 AM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
I would, personally, love to get into the "short film only" market. I currently offer one package: a very short film, plus the a full day. I know there are studios around my area who are charging 2-3 times as much as me just for a 3 minute video (more for longer cuts), and are upcharging for full ceremony, speeches, dances, etc. I'd really like to offer something like that, but I don't know how to market it so that it's attractive to the right people. My current clients, while very attracted to the short film, would definetly shy away from hiring me if I said that the full ceremony, speeches, etc. wasn't included.

Kyle Root October 28th, 2014 11:42 AM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
About 2 weeks ago, I had lunch with another videographer in the next town over, about 30 miles away.

I'm trying to build out my "rotation" of guys because we're all pretty busy and it never hurts to have 4 or 5 people you can call if you need help.

He charges about what I do ($2,000-$5,000) and only does the highlight reel. He offers the ceremony as an upgrade.

I've been doing "long form", keeping it to about 45 minutes to an hour on average.

The appeal of doing the short ones is, it's easily shareable and watchable on vimeo I've found. I've gotten incredible responses and emotional responses from friends of the couple who have watched my 4-5 minute highlights. I think that's just as important as delivering the full length stuff... so I'm doing both.

Jeff Cook October 28th, 2014 12:03 PM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
The fact that video now days is much better than it was 10 years ago should allow us to charge more. If done correctly, the short highlight reel could appeal to many. Some clients are set in the old traditional way of thinking that they want the whole day on dvd. If that is the case they should let uncle Bob record the whole day. We as artists are there to capture the day with creative shots. Any one can document the day with a camera. They should be hiring us for our creativity which would mean a nice cinematic film. I do understand that we need to make it appeal somehow to them...but why should they get the whole day for such a low price. I mean we spend a lot of time with them, and go home upload video and then edit. I have been married now for 14 years and have not seen my long version wedding vhs for about 13 years.

What are your thoughts about giving the raw footage to them? Would that be enough to please them if we offered a short film and maybe edit the ceremony? Or just simply shoot all day, and condense the ceremony, and reception to highlights?????

Kyle Root October 28th, 2014 12:17 PM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
Ray Roman's 3-day class is what got me to thinking about doing the shorter versions... but in order to do that you've got to have a lot of "beautiful words"... and those have been very hard to come by. Even after I ask nicely and what not, most of my clients don't want to talk on camera. Neither do their parents. Around here, it's also rare to actually get toasts.... so that makes incredibly difficult to make impactful 15 minute films.

I do the full ceremony (about 30 minutes), reception highlights (about 10 minutes) and if they hire the pre-ceremony about 10 minutes total there.

As far as raw footage, I offer it for sale for $500 on a hard drive and also include all graphics, an ISO image a master mp4, and any pictures I took.

Jeff Cook October 28th, 2014 12:36 PM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
Kyle
That sounds good as far as your pricing. We are not all going to get great speeches and great audio. Ray's clients are very different from ours. However, I think if we worked hard we could do a 7-10 minute reel with some audio from pastors and toast. Lay down a few cinematic sound beds and first lay down the good speeches on the timeline. Build everything from the speeches. Has anyone asked why you did not include a certain shot into your highlights after they see the raw footage? Any downside to selling the raw footage? I have heard not to do so, but if they are willing to pay the price why not? I think many videographer do not want to explain why at times the camera was jerky and what not. But the clients have to understand that is all part of our craft.

Steve Bleasdale October 28th, 2014 01:03 PM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
I went all out last year with short form movies 15 20 minutes long but have now scrapped that and just do a nice 45 minute film, if they want all the soppy bits i put em on end of disc, people want their monies worth and will always pull you up if you miss anything any ways...So film the lot be sure you get everything and dont miss a trick or it will bite you in the bum area...

Robert Benda October 28th, 2014 03:01 PM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
Steve, I do both (sort of). Since I put all my footage in order, synched, as part of my process to make the shorter 15 minute video anyway, and that is what sells us, I make both the 15 minute video and the full length video. They get both the soppy bits and the full speeches.

Jeff Cook October 28th, 2014 03:14 PM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Robert Benda (Post 1866271)
Steve, I do both (sort of). Since I put all my footage in order, synched, as part of my process to make the shorter 15 minute video anyway, and that is what sells us, I make both the 15 minute video and the full length video. They get both the soppy bits and the full speeches.

Robert,
Have you increased your price? The 15-20 minute film takes time to produce. Isn't anyone selling additional footage?, or is everyone giving the client everything for a base price. Ray Roman had some good ideas with up selling. Like I said before, we need to make it attractive to the client but we also need to get paid well for our craft.

Robert Benda October 28th, 2014 03:34 PM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
Jeff, I have, but from our quality increase. We offered the shorter highlight style from the beginning as a sales tool.

Saturday I will go shoot for $1595 (8 hours) and make a full length video and 15 minute highlight. Now that I've got some experience, it takes about 5 half (maybe 3/4) days to have their videos done.

Jeff Cook October 28th, 2014 03:52 PM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
I know you said you shoot with your wife. Do you have time to get both bride and groom preps? or do you simply focus on the bride makeup and her dress fitting? I have been having a heck of a time trying to get makeup and the groom prep. I feel like I am running all over and of course they tend to be running behind. I then have to go get setup at the church. I am gonna start suggesting that I either get her fitted in dress or shoot the groom prep. From my experience the groom doesn't care if you are there or not. It would make it a lot easier for me to just focus on the bride unless the couple are very near by.
1595 isn't bad for 8 hours. I charge 1600 for long version and a 3-5 trailer. I am really thinking about doing a trailer and ceremony only. I would cover the whole day 10 hours but charge for additional footage. Or the other idea is to create trailer, and then short versions of the ceremony and reception. Is anyone doing this short form for ceremony and reception?

Roger Gunkel October 28th, 2014 05:05 PM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE A MOVIE, you know the sort of thing, boy meets girl, they fall in love, they work hard to build their relationship, then one day he proposed to her and they set a date for the wedding. So much to plan, dress, flowers, colours, main participants, suits, shoes, venue etc etc. Then it's time to decide who to invite, family members that haven't seen each other for years, friends, workmates and decisions to make on what to feed them, how to seat them and so many other things to decide.

The day artives after months of planning for perhaps the most romantic day of the couple's life, excitement builds and all the planning is drawn together for those final magical hours of the wedding day. It is a day filled with love, emotion, family politics, overcoming the seemingly insurmountable for this day of triumph.

I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE A MOVIE so how will I handle this dream handed to me ready prepared for my blockbuster, once in a lifetime interpretation? How about if I take a few words from the ceremony and speeches, film a couple of nice technical shots and shallow dof that I so admire in other peoples work, then choose a song that I like, to inject a bit of emotion. I'll jumble it all up a bit in no particular order, keep to a few minutes in length so that it's not long and boring and charge a lot of money for it. That should keep them happy! I might even chuck in the roughs of the dialogue.

Sorry guys, but some of the attitudes to this wonderful opportunity that we are offered makes me quite angry. It is so often offering painting by numbers, by applying the same regurgitated shots over and over again. I see all these new guys wanting to make it in the wedding video business asking for critiques on identical formulaic offerings that are so predictable in their sameness that I can't watch them any more.

Then there is Ray Roman!!!! Why do so many want to die trying to emulate him? He makes a lot of money by being a wedding video celebrity- end of!! I've been a pretty competent guitarist most of my life, but I would never try to become Eric Clapton because I would never be him. It works for him because he is Eric Clapton.

So many here seem to be frustrated film makers, but given the opportunity to make something exciting and interesting they want to paint by numbers.

I expect to be shot down in flames for my views, but hey I have plenty of work and prefer to say what I think.

Roger

Craig McKenna October 28th, 2014 05:32 PM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
Love Roger's comments!!!

I am someone who adores Ray Roman, and I've taken a lot from his course, along with Rob Adams' banned course. However, after editing my two recent weddings, I realise that I don't have a lot in common with either of them... my films just don't flow like theirs. I understand a lot about what people say about finding your own style now... I'm hoping to carve one of my own, but I have a long way to go.

I'm hoping to share my latest, which is around 15 minutes. I've spent the past two days on it, but I'll finish it tomorrow. Around 16 hours in, so I'm hoping to do another 4 hours tomorrow, which will take my edit down to 20 hours, plus around 8 hours for the ceremony and speeches. Along with the shoot, that's around 40 hours. I don't think that's so bad.

Anyways, as for offering highlights only, it's definitely something that I've considered in my proposed packages, but I wouldn't shoot less. That would be unprofessional as far as I can understand it.

Enjoying the debate though.

Peter Riding October 28th, 2014 07:18 PM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
I find myself so much in agreement with Roger that I suspect we time-share one brain.

To the comments he made when it was his turn I'll add: I find the shorts on the whole totally cringeworthy.There is soooo much truly great story-telling in film around together with sky high production values and attention to detail; whether its terrestrial TV e.g. the current Peaky Blinders on BBC, the recent Cilla on UK ITV, cinema such as Wolf of Wall Street, or satellite such as Boardwalk Empire.

Then you've got wedding videos ....... oh dear!

Some shorts are better than others. But as a concept. Please NOOOOO.

But however sure I am that 1) the true value of a wedding video is in recording in full for the family history, and 2) no one other than the bride and the occasional parent actually really wants to view it (everyone else she asks is being polite), there's no denying the power of the short as a marketing hook. Doesn't seem to matter that its totally formulaic / predictable / boring / sterile / missing essential moments etc :- )

Pete

Chris Harding October 28th, 2014 08:16 PM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
Hi Roger

Absolutely not ! Like Pete I also agree with most of your comments on the forum so sorry Pete I have to also claim a small portion of the timeshare.

I really cannot help thinking that these creative "wedding film makers" plucking bits and pieces from the footage with mostly staged shots anyway are doing thing the completely wrong way. Surely the client here is the bride? Every short form I watch seems to be shouting "Look at my great shots, I'm the best film maker here and everyone should tell me how good I am" ...

What about the bride? What does she want ? Surely your responsibility is to providing her with well covered memories of her special day and the last thing she wants is a "film" that satisfies the film maker's over inflated ego which is exactly what it does.

I seriously cringe a bit every time I see a new "high light" on the forum asking for "comments" but sadly (apart from a few people) most are looking for praise on their work and self adoration rather than something like "do you think the bride will like this"


Keep doing the right thing and making it all about the bride and her day

Chris

Daniel Latimer October 28th, 2014 09:06 PM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris Harding (Post 1866300)
I really cannot help thinking that these creative "wedding film makers" plucking bits and pieces from the footage with mostly staged shots anyway are doing thing the completely wrong way. Surely the client here is the bride? Every short form I watch seems to be shouting "Look at my great shots, I'm the best film maker here and everyone should tell me how good I am" ...

What about the bride? What does she want ? Surely your responsibility is to providing her with well covered memories of her special day and the last thing she wants is a "film" that satisfies the film maker's over inflated ego which is exactly what it does.

I don't think every "creative wedding film maker" is staging every shot. You can make a compelling short form video without staging moments. I know some do, but's it is not mandatory to create a short form.

There's probably more than one bride demographic. There are those brides that want the full day wedding documentary and appreciate how you capture those moments. There are also brides that one a "film" and appreciate those creative shots.

If every bride only wanted the documentary of their wedding day or only wanted a short form video, why do both continue to get booked?

Gabe Strong October 29th, 2014 12:35 AM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
I'm with Daniel 1000%. Every time this topic gets brought up, there is a group of
people who decry the 'short form' and talk about how they are somehow 'cheating'
brides, because of course brides want the whole day recorded. As I've said about
1000 times and as Daniel said in his post, some brides like one, some like the other.
Because brides are, you know, individuals not some neat group we can clump
together that all like the same things. I've done both, and been booked to do both.
Most recently I partnered with a photographer to offer 'multimedia' packages. I
only offered a 3-5 minute music video (which was in addition to her photo album).
They have been very popular. The big thing is making sure the bride knows what
you are offering, because there are a ton of different styles of wedding videos
offered. If the bride is happy and willing to pay for the type of video that you do,
who cares what people on the internet tell you a bride likes?

Is it a viable business model? Sure, depending on your market. One idea is to offer
both and see what brides pick to get started. I prefer short form, but if a bride comes to me
and wants long form, I will do it, but they are going to have to pay for it. I've had brides
seemingly more willing to pay more for highlights films and seemingly want to pay less for long form.
Maybe because there is less implied 'artistic effort' in long form? I have no clue and
this probably doesn't hold true in many places, it's just one persons observation.
But, if they are willing to pay, I'll do either.

Chris Harding October 29th, 2014 01:14 AM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
Hi Guys

I don't for any reason decry short form video delivery. If done correctly (and I'm sure many do) and cover the wedding in a condensed format then I'm all for it. All I was saying was there are too many trailers that seem to show off the videographers talents and shots rather than showing off the event, seemingly to get lots of "wows" from comments on the forum and too many people mistake them for short form delivery.

Chris

Peter Rush October 29th, 2014 03:26 AM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
As Audio plays a big part of these cinematic shorts I can think of a couple of weddings over the last few years where I would have struggled had I offered this to the couple - very basic legal civil ceremony with no meaningful vows followed by speeches that lasted no more than 10 minutes for all of them (best man had stood up, delivered his speech and sat down before I barely had chance to focus). For this type of storytelling great spoken audio is a must - not something I get at every wedding, I find people quite often are just not that eloquent.

Pete

Noa Put October 29th, 2014 03:40 AM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
It took me 9 years to finally find a style I and my client can be happy with, for me that means a 3 minute trailer which looks about the same as you described but works wonders to get clients attention online and then I do a 20 minute film with all the highlights of the day and I give them the ceremony, speeches, acts, first dance filmed from beginning to end separately. In that way the couple has something to show their friends online (the 3 min trailer), their family (the 20 minute highlight) and themselves (the full version of longer events during the day like the ceremony.)

In that way they don't miss out on anything, it's all there, from long, to medium to short form.

Roger Gunkel October 29th, 2014 04:24 AM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gabe Strong (Post 1866309)
I'm with Daniel 1000%. Every time this topic gets brought up, there is a group of
people who decry the 'short form' and talk about how they are somehow 'cheating'
brides, because of course brides want the whole day recorded. As I've said about
1000 times and as Daniel said in his post, some brides like one, some like the other.
Because brides are, you know, individuals not some neat group we can clump
together that all like the same things. I've done both, and been booked to do both.
Most recently I partnered with a photographer to offer 'multimedia' packages. I
only offered a 3-5 minute music video (which was in addition to her photo album).
They have been very popular. The big thing is making sure the bride knows what
you are offering, because there are a ton of different styles of wedding videos
offered. If the bride is happy and willing to pay for the type of video that you do,
who cares what people on the internet tell you a bride likes?

Is it a viable business model? Sure, depending on your market. One idea is to offer
both and see what brides pick to get started. I prefer short form, but if a bride comes to me
and wants long form, I will do it, but they are going to have to pay for it. I've had brides
seemingly more willing to pay more for highlights films and seemingly want to pay less for long form.
Maybe because there is less implied 'artistic effort' in long form? I have no clue and
this probably doesn't hold true in many places, it's just one persons observation.
But, if they are willing to pay, I'll do either.

I don't disagree with any of the points that you are making Gabe. There is a market for the Cinematic short form, most bride's love it and nobody is being cheated out of something. The whole point of my post and reason for my anger at the attraction of the style to the new wedding videographer, is that there is a wonderful opportunity with every wedding to capture something meaningful and worthwhile. The trouble is that few ever take that opportunity, instead choosing to offer something that gives instantaneous gratification with no substance whatsoever. It's the orgasm with no love, no chance to build something lasting and deep.

Every highlight I look at shows people talking and laughing, but always those words and sounds are removed and replaced with romantic music. Totally ignored, or usually not even realised, is that the lady mouthing her words briefly to the couple while smothered out by a pop hit, has flown 2000 miles to read a carefully thought out and emotionally spoken tribute to the couple, or that the gentleman in the corner has only weeks to live but was determined to be at his granddaughter's wedding. The speeches that are so mercilessly discarded or hacked down have been carefully prepared, spoken from the heart with great trepidation and convey invaluable memories and images of the couple through happy and sad times during their lives. How can they be dismissed as 'boring' when so much thought and emotion has been put into them. They are boring if you are a boring film maker with no imagination. Sure not everybody wants to sit through a couple of hours of video, but that is where the highlights video is king. It is not a replacement for a real film of the day, it is a summary and trailer of the main event, in the same way that a movie trailer is.

So many people bleat about the lack of opportunity for serious film making, yet they are happy to put their head in the sand with a wedding. You cannot make a serious wedding film unless you put yourself out to do a bit of research, find out who these people are, why they and their friends and family are there, and make a story out of this one huge day in their life. Most videographers turn up on the day, capture the bits of surface gloss that they see and chuck it together with some clever technical shots. They are photographers with a video camera who want to take a great shot but have to cope with movement. If you want to really make a name for yourself, make a genuine film of the day full of Characters, Narrative, Emotion and Love. Get people to feel uplifted at the end of it and maybe even chuck in a highlights video for their mates.

Roger

Danny O'Neill October 29th, 2014 05:03 AM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
To answer the original question. A Highlights only is a great option and a wonderful way to lock brides into your offerings.

We do a highlights only and its proving to be our most popular option now. Which is great for us as its still a decent price and half the work of a full film (20 minutes is our full film).

We also say to our couples when they come in that they dont need to decide now which option they want. Start off with the highlights and if they find they have the additional funds closer to the date then great, upgrade if you wish. By locking them in with us on a highlights package it stops them going elsewhere.

Sure, some believe its too short and brides wont go for it and their 2 hours are better. But why not offer it and let the bride decide? Its also about how you sell it. Do you bring up the subject of the highlights and say "Well, we do have this but its shorter" and you look all sheepish like your chacing your arm. Or do you say "The highlights is a fantastic option to go for, my own sister had the pick of our offerings for her wedding and went with the highlights". and your all enthusiastic and give the impression its by far the best option you offer. When in truth, you should be as enthusiastic about ALL of your offerings.

Whenever I buy anything from the apple store, those masters of sales do you know what they always say "Thats the best xxxxx, I have one myself". Bought a space grey 64gb iphone for myself and "It was by far the best colour and capacity". Went back a few days later and bought a gold one for my wife from the same guy and you know what "Gold is by far the best colour, I have the same myself". When you hear that its re-enforcing your beliefs and makes you feel good. Its a little white lie that helps with your sales.

Offer a highlights, be enthusiastic about your highlights, tell them its the best option you have and they may even think they have saved a fortune by not going for your higher priced option and spend more money on your optional extras which have fantastic margins like extra copies or the raw footage (dont tell me people that you give away raw footage!!!!).

Peter Rush October 29th, 2014 05:22 AM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Noa Put (Post 1866315)
It took me 9 years to finally find a style I and my client can be happy with, for me that means a 3 minute trailer which looks about the same as you described but works wonders to get clients attention online and then I do a 20 minute film with all the highlights of the day and I give them the ceremony, speeches, acts, first dance filmed from beginning to end separately. In that way the couple has something to show their friends online (the 3 min trailer), their family (the 20 minute highlight) and themselves (the full version of longer events during the day like the ceremony.)

In that way they don't miss out on anything, it's all there, from long, to medium to short form.

Interesting Noa - How many music tracks do you normally include for your 20 minute highlights? and for your 3 minute highlight do you get them to select from some royalty free music so it can be used online?

Pete

Peter Rush October 29th, 2014 05:28 AM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Danny O'Neill (Post 1866319)
Offer a highlights, be enthusiastic about your highlights, tell them its the best option you have and they may even think they have saved a fortune by not going for your higher priced option and spend more money on your optional extras which have fantastic margins like extra copies or the raw footage (dont tell me people that you give away raw footage!!!!).

I never, ever release raw footage Danny - to be seen uncorrected, ungraded and out of context with all the out of focus and shaky shots could be detrimental to my business IMO - Imagine the family showing around their favourite bits of the raw footage and linking it to your company! A good example is the 10 minutes or so as soon as the couple leave the church - I run my camera for the whole time and just wander around reframing to get the best shots - 50% of that one long shot is garbage - I would't want anyone else seeing it!

Noa Put October 29th, 2014 05:31 AM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
For their 20 minute version I ask for about 5 to 6 songs that they like to be used in the edit, for the 3 minute trailer I decide what song to use and use themusicbed or envato audiojungle to buy licensed songs.

Robert Benda October 29th, 2014 06:10 AM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeff Cook (Post 1866280)
I know you said you shoot with your wife. Do you have time to get both bride and groom preps? or do you simply focus on the bride makeup and her dress fitting? I have been having a heck of a time trying to get makeup and the groom prep.

When we can, there are two of us so shooting both is easy. If not, I try to get them to schedule their prep at different times. The bride needs more, so she goes first. Groom needs 5 minutes. Of course, in that version, it's just about the basic shots instead of hanging out and trying to get a few genuine, spontaneous moments.

With or without a first look, we usually have plenty of time in the hour before the ceremony to get church details and maybe some family interviews. Despite promoting our 15 minute wedding films, like Peter, I'm a fan of the family aspect of weddings, and often try to get parents and grandparents talking on camera, telling stories, like how they met. It gets its own video, though.

As for 'highlight only'... to me, that does not mean a 3 minute trailer, like the guy I've seen a few times who doesn't film everything, he just gets his perfunctory shots. Joe Simon's work is what originally inspired us, but he's not just delivering a 3 minute video to these clients. That's the sizzle.

#Peter Rush, I, for one, don't let my clients anywhere near picking their own music. Since I have to go royalty free, I wait and try and pick something that fits the footage.

#Peter Riding, why do you assume no one except the B&G and their parents want to watch the video? We post our 15 minute films online for them to share, and average is 125-175 views, though a few got 250 or so. That is just too many for it to be politeness. I have had a few tell me they haven't watched their full length.. its too long. One with Catholic mass, full speeches, ended up being over two hours long.

Roger Gunkel October 29th, 2014 06:30 AM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
Hi Danny,

Again I really don't disagree with what you are saying, which is that you produce highlight videos that your brides love, you love and you sell it enthusiastically. That's great, it works for you and your clients and there is absolutely no need to justify what you do. It is a product and you market it well.

The difficulty for me is that many coming into the wedding video business are seduced by the gloss of the short form and see it as a way to be creative, original and modern. It can be all or none of those things, but it does seem to be a way to follow a particular style with a particular type of equipment. It is also a way to provide a product with the minimum involvement in the wedding and all it's facets. I'm not suggesting that it is a cop out, it is an alternative product, but one that is seen as something to aspire to for new wedding videographers.

It is a shame to me, to see so many not using the opportunity to really be original and creative by building a genuine insight into something as personal as a wedding. Some day, next week, next year, somebody will put a link on to a full length wedding that shows real creative and artistic talent. Not a highly stylised shortform that can't be sustained for more than a few minutes, but a real 'Film'. The sort of thing that is skilled enough for people to want to watch even though they know none of the people involved. Everyone will want to start emulating the style, people will pay big money to have their wedding captured in that way and the producer will travel round the world selling out seminars and selling video tutorials to the wannabes.

Meanwhile we can all sell what works for us and our clients.

Roger

Noa Put October 29th, 2014 06:54 AM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
Quote:

many coming into the wedding video business are seduced by the gloss of the short form and see it as a way to be creative
In some cases it's also a way to make easy money, I see several new videographers appear in my country that are offering very short videos only, almost all the time they are young photographers that are doing wedding photography and looking for a extra income source by adding video to their portfolio. I do recognize them immediately by looking at their demo's, they look more like moving photo's, much attention to framing, often not following the rules of third on purpose because it can create an interesting view, but sometimes it looks awkward, they don't invest into audio and they use 1 camera which is a full frame one, their footage is shaky because their full frame dslr lacks stabilisation and they shoot all handheld. Lot's of extreme shallow dof and they grade their footage like they do their photos which can be either a vintage/retro look or with strong color and contrast. And last but not least, they use one not licensed song, don't include voices and make it into some kind of videoclip.

I can't imagine it takes a long time to edit one of their videos, they are easy to shoot and since they do have demo's on their site, there seems to be an audience for it.

Steve Burkett October 29th, 2014 07:13 AM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel (Post 1866328)
Hi Danny,

Some day, next week, next year, somebody will put a link on to a full length wedding that shows real creative and artistic talent. Not a highly stylised shortform that can't be sustained for more than a few minutes, but a real 'Film'. The sort of thing that is skilled enough for people to want to watch even though they know none of the people involved. Everyone will want to start emulating the style, people will pay big money to have their wedding captured in that way and the producer will travel round the world selling out seminars and selling video tutorials to the wannabes.

Roger

If that's the goal, just hire actors and make a movie. Problem is even a well shot, well constructed and stylishly produced Wedding video won't appeal to all. Why are most Wedding based feature films comedies rather than straight dramas.
If I gave people the choice between a film showing a perfect Wedding, a flawless day matched by amazing shots all artistically presented or another Wedding film where everything went wrong, temper tantrums from the Bride, Groom getting drunk, the worst Best Man Speech, a disaster from start to finish, which would the vast majority choose to see. Failure is more entertaining to watch than success.
Shortforms are short because it's hard to maintain that level of production value over a day that contains as much tedium as moments of treasure. A Bride's arrival at the church or venue, supposedly a grand occasion is frequently a rushed affair because she's late. Guests standing around like statues at the reception because they haven't had enough to drink then acting like loons once they've enjoyed all the bar has to offer. Tender moments of grace punctuated by mishaps, jobs worth vendors, a timetable impossible to keep to, stress, worry and moments of boredom. Amidst all that somehow a beautiful Wedding video must emerge that makes the couple forget their day didn't always go to plan.

It's a funny way to earn a living. For the record, I produce a lengthy 90 minute to 120 minute video,a 30 minute version, a trailer and Highlights.

Steven Digges October 29th, 2014 11:12 AM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel (Post 1866328)
Hi Danny,

It is a shame to me, to see so many not using the opportunity to really be original and creative by building a genuine insight into something as personal as a wedding. Some day, next week, next year, somebody will put a link on to a full length wedding that shows real creative and artistic talent. Not a highly stylised shortform that can't be sustained for more than a few minutes, but a real 'Film'. The sort of thing that is skilled enough for people to want to watch even though they know none of the people involved. Everyone will want to start emulating the style, people will pay big money to have their wedding captured in that way and the producer will travel round the world selling out seminars and selling video tutorials to the wannabes.

Meanwhile we can all sell what works for us and our clients.

Roger

Now this is a voice of reason. Roger may have predicted the future. I hate to keep playing the old guy on this forum, but I guess I am. I did my first motivational montage in 1985, buy hey, I was really young. I have done more of them than I can remember, with both stills and video. What I can tell you I know for sure is everything in the image making business is a fad. The pendulum never quits swinging. Currently the fad is "motion". I know most of you guys have a slider, a stabilizer or both. You have to because even if your not big on the film look thing a lot of brides want to see that motion. It will not surprise me at all if one of you guys sits down with a bride next year and she says "I don't want to see all of that sea sick stuff in my video". So much for the slider, the stabilizer, and the crane you invested in. Not knocking it, I have them all too. But I understand they have a life span.

Technology has made it easier than ever for us to emulate Hollywood. The guys that are into the motion thing the most are the DSLR short film only, fan boys Noa described. They will eventually go out of style.

If I had to give up every camera accessory I own except one I would keep my tripod. In the end there will never be a substitute for good, solid, basic shooting skills. If you have that and the talent Roger mentions above to make it a truly compelling story or movie you will never go out of style.

As far as short only or long form everything I have ever shot is about what "the client wants". It is not about what I offer. The question is: Do I have the talent to give the client what they want?

Steve

Rob Cantwell October 29th, 2014 02:19 PM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
lots of interesting views on this topic!
I think with the demographics that i deal with, I wouldn't do a whole lot of business for a five minute clip...no matter how Spielbergesque it was. Most here want everything covered so they want a long form usually for themselves and family, then a shorter version for friends etc. (15 Minutes). I dont mind if it's a formula or template thats followed really, theres only so much creativity and uniqueness that can be achieved anyway and who said that weddings have to be different, i think people would want a record of that event, maybe look back on it (if they're together) 10/20 years later perhaps they're children too.
and I have to admit I've never heard of Ray Roman!!!!
:-)

Roger Gunkel October 29th, 2014 02:21 PM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
Hey Steve D, I'm not sure that you are the old boy of the forum, I must be running you close :-)

As Steve B pointed out, it would be difficult to make a true blockbuster out of a wedding as there are so many variables and people are not actors. There is though a path of least resistance and least involvement which seems to be very popular at the moment. It is not difficult to glean a few minutes of cherry picked footage and make a glossy looking highlight, but the skills involved in keeping a chronicle of the day visually interesting and absorbing are far greater in my opinion.

It involves much more understanding of why how and where the day is structured and the people involved. Rather than using technically cute shots which would be infinitely boring and repetitive on a long production, it is necessary to explore more of the personalities and characters involved and the meaning of some of the words and emotions, rather than just replacing them all with cream and faff. As the producer, you cannot expect people to play act, so you have to use observation and clever thoughtful positioning to capture real reactions and emotion. It's more like working with wildlife, when you just have to know from experience how to get the best out of the situation and your equipment.

Like so many things these days, many come into the wedding market thinking that the latest equipment and a jazzy website is all they need to be successful. Learning, listening and doing is the only way to hone your skills into those of a craftsman. Equipment can be bought, experience and skill can't.

You can also tell your potential market what they are going to get from you, but if you are not listening to what they actually want you might find it a hard road and a reducing market.

Roger

Christian Nachtrieb October 29th, 2014 08:29 PM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
Interesting discussion. I think it's true that there is more than one market to be served in the wedding film industry and people should continue doing what works for them. If you don't like what you're doing, by all means do something different. My advice would be to survey, test, and measure, that's all you can do. You don't want to start offering something in your area and completely change up your business model only to realize the demographic there isn't into something.

We offer a Highlight film only option, as well as a Feature option. Our features are never more than 15 minutes, and below is an example of a recent one. Roger's right, it is easy nowadays for people to cram a lot of beauty shots into a short video, which is why we slave over Feature films. We do a lot of planning, a lot of editing to get them to a place where I feel comfortable charging what we do.

Feature:
Brett & Kathryn - Brett + Kathryn // Seaside Bohemian Style Wedding at Wequassett Resort Cape Cod

PS critiques welcome!

Gabe Strong October 30th, 2014 12:08 AM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel (Post 1866318)
I don't disagree with any of the points that you are making Gabe. There is a market for the Cinematic short form, most bride's love it and nobody is being cheated out of something. The whole point of my post and reason for my anger at the attraction of the style to the new wedding videographer, is that there is a wonderful opportunity with every wedding to capture something meaningful and worthwhile. The trouble is that few ever take that opportunity, instead choosing to offer something that gives instantaneous gratification with no substance whatsoever. It's the orgasm with no love, no chance to build something lasting and deep.

Every highlight I look at shows people talking and laughing, but always those words and sounds are removed and replaced with romantic music. Totally ignored, or usually not even realised, is that the lady mouthing her words briefly to the couple while smothered out by a pop hit, has flown 2000 miles to read a carefully thought out and emotionally spoken tribute to the couple, or that the gentleman in the corner has only weeks to live but was determined to be at his granddaughter's wedding. The speeches that are so mercilessly discarded or hacked down have been carefully prepared, spoken from the heart with great trepidation and convey invaluable memories and images of the couple through happy and sad times during their lives. How can they be dismissed as 'boring' when so much thought and emotion has been put into them. They are boring if you are a boring film maker with no imagination. Sure not everybody wants to sit through a couple of hours of video, but that is where the highlights video is king. It is not a replacement for a real film of the day, it is a summary and trailer of the main event, in the same way that a movie trailer is.

So many people bleat about the lack of opportunity for serious film making, yet they are happy to put their head in the sand with a wedding. You cannot make a serious wedding film unless you put yourself out to do a bit of research, find out who these people are, why they and their friends and family are there, and make a story out of this one huge day in their life. Most videographers turn up on the day, capture the bits of surface gloss that they see and chuck it together with some clever technical shots. They are photographers with a video camera who want to take a great shot but have to cope with movement. If you want to really make a name for yourself, make a genuine film of the day full of Characters, Narrative, Emotion and Love. Get people to feel uplifted at the end of it and maybe even chuck in a highlights video for their mates.

Roger

And I'm not necessarily disagreeing with any of that. However, one of the major problems I see,
is that making what you would refer to as a 'serious wedding film' is not something you can do....
without spending a lot of time. One of the reasons I am increasingly drawn to 'highlights only'
is the ROI. Making a 'serious wedding film' is a lot of work....and for me to do one, I am
going to charge accordingly. And that tends to be the showstopper right there. For some
reason, I end up seeing a lot of brides who think that 'serious wedding films' are easy, because
you are NOT using slider shots, slow motion, drones and all the other fancy stuff. And so
since you just 'stand there and hit record' and there is 'no art to it' you should be paid $500-$1000
for a 'serious wedding film'. They are a lot of work, because, lets be honest, a lot of weddings
are pretty formulaic and boring. Trying to keep people interested for 20 minutes is a lot
harder than keeping them interested for 3 minutes.......it's why when you start out in narrative
filmmaking, you make shorts BEFORE you make a feature length movie!! I'd rather leave my
clients wanting more....rather than wishing my wedding film was 'over already' because they
were bored. So maybe it's a comment on my own lack of skill. Or maybe it's a comment
on cultural differences (that short American attention span!) Either way, I think there is
a place for both of them. And I don't necessarily think either is better than the other, they
are just different. I do think that maybe the short form is more 'creatively satisfying' which
is why you see so many of the younger 'wannabe filmmakers' making short form. Plus
I find 'short form' to be easier to do as a solo filmmaker. If I am doing 'long form' I want
a lot more coverage....multiple camera angles. I cheat this by myself by running
back and forth between three cameras and switching shots so I don't end up
cutting between three static shots, but it's a ton of work doing things that way.
And I know from experience that there are weddings that are flat out painful to try to make a long form
for.....of course the short form for these weddings is painful too, but short form is less pain because
you only have to make 3-5 minutes of material instead of searching for 25 minutes.

Andrew Maclaurin October 30th, 2014 03:33 AM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
It all depends on the wedding itself. Some speeches are genuinely uninteresting and go down like a damp squib, most of the stuff people say when a camera is about is nonsense and occasionally embarrassing.
I offer 2 options, a 15-20 minute slightly more cinematic film or a 40-50 minute documentaryish style. Nobody has asked me for a longer film although some ask for the rushes from the ceremony. Another thing is cultural, most weddings here in Madrid are chaotic affairs with little original thought put into them and people often just want to see the good parts, or at least want the video to make their wedding look as good as possible.

Noa Put October 30th, 2014 04:16 AM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
Quote:

Another thing is cultural, most weddings here in Madrid are chaotic affairs
I shot a Kurdish wedding 2 years ago, that was pure chaos, no speeches, everyone standing around me shooting with their mobilephones and only dancing all evening long. They wanted a looooong version only :)

Roger Gunkel October 30th, 2014 04:33 AM

Re: Any one only offering highlights?
 
I'm sure that there are considerable cultural differences that influence the style of wedding video and I think that the highlight/shortform is probably most popular in the US because that's what most companies offer, therefore what most people expect.

Over 30 years, I have never promoted highlights, shortform or longform, just 'Wedding Video'. The enquiries that I get that are not based on recommendation, are invariably from couples who want their whole day captured. I have often been asked how long the finished video will be and the response is always positive when I tell them. I also tell them that they can have a shorter version if they wish, but it is never taken up for some reason. They always want the whole service and speeches, so that is what they get.

I am always interested when I read on here that videographers supply a whole day video that is 30 minutes long. Church services alone are at least that long so the whole day can only be selected highlights of speeches and ceremony. I delivered a wedding a few weeks ago that had a service of 45 minutes and speeches of 40 minutes, even then the bride phoned me up to make sure I left nothing out. They even asked if they could have any extra footage that I may have left out. I find that quite often which makes me wonder where the big highlights only market is in the UK.

Many people that I book have previously seen no wedding video at all and have no real idea what wedding video is. They seem pleasantly surprised when they discover a full length documentary style but less interested in a short version. That suggests to me that those that want short form will book it, because they have seen it somewhere, those that don't may have nothing in many cases. I suppose you reap what you sow, so if you only promote one style, that is all you will get, so if you only promote highlights, that is what you will book. You could of course argue the same in reverse, but I haven't actually found that in my part of the country. I have always tried to cast my net wide, but usually catch the same sort of fish.

I have concluded that there are two types of potential wedding video client, those that want a quick, stylish, pacey bit of fun and those that want a documentary record of their day. Some may want both, but generally they are different requirements.

What is also interesting is that so many couples take it for granted that the photographer will capture hundreds, sometimes thousands of photos, casual shots of everyone, formal groups, romantic shots, shots throughout the speeches and the first dance, table decorations, the dress, the list goes on and on. Alongside this, so many videographers seem to feel that a few minutes of video with overdubbed sound and music is sufficient, when the biggest real difference between video and photos is the ability to capture the sound and action of the day. Someone please tell me what is the point of supplying a couple with photos of the speeches, but a video with most of the speeches taken out and covered with music? Is it no wonder that the video takes no more than about 10% of the potential market if that is all it offers?

Roger


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