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

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Old May 9th, 2017, 07:04 AM   #1
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Length of wedding videos

Hi all,

What is the average time of your wedding videos?

I don't normally do wedding videos but did one recently as a special favor to the bride (she was a client of an organization I did a promo for some time ago and I knew she didn't have much money to spend). I planned to do a 5-6 minute documentary style video. However, after adding in the segments she wanted, it ended up being a little over nine minutes. Since I hosted it on my website until she received the DVD, I noticed that it got a lot of plays but under half did not finish viewing it.

I realize now that I could have offered a short version and also a longer version for her own needs (she also wanted all the footage to see the entire ceremony but I politely let her know that was not possible).

Thanks in advance,

John
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Old May 9th, 2017, 07:27 AM   #2
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Re: Length of wedding videos

A 5 minute summary of the day, for online sharing
A 25 minute summary of the day
The ceremony complete as separate film
Each speech or acts by friends as separate films

edit: over the years I have tried a bit of everything and since a few years I started delivering the longer keymoments of the day, like the entire ceremony, speeches or acts by friends (and maybe first dance if they do a dance routine) as separate films I never had any complaint or request for additional footage. Since they also get a summary (I believe it's called a feature?) of their full day in a watchable 25 min film which they will be viewing with their friends or family or just as a nice memory to watch every year at their wedding anniversary and then there is the 5 minute trailer they share online with all their facebook friends.
The entire ceremony is the most boring part as it is a straightforward multicam recording with live sound only which gets watched once and probably not again after that, same for the speeches, that's why the 25 min film is most important as it is a much more carefully crafted film that combines all important moments with added music edited in a way that supports some keymoments and gives them a better sense what their wedding day felt like. Eventhough the longer parts like ceremony and speeches will not be watched that much afterwards couples still want to have it all as a memory.
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Old May 9th, 2017, 10:43 AM   #3
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Re: Length of wedding videos

Noa summed it up nicely. Based on who is watching the length varies. The bride wants everything: short, medium, and long. If you edit by subtraction you should be able to give a rough of it all or at least the entire ceremony. But if you shot it with the intention of only delivering video set to a sound track instead of the live audio then you won't be able to provide a continuous long version. Non family/bride only want to watch a 5 minute highlights. Although the people who made speeches would want that.

I like to video and provide a long version (all) because I don't just film the bride, I'm filming all the guests too. There's often many friends and family who are not local that they haven't seen for years or may never see again.

We like snappy produced shorts but there is a value with what we would deem long and boring. It's a matter of perspective and we can easily forget that our perspective isn't more important than the client's.

Last edited by Pete Cofrancesco; May 9th, 2017 at 02:35 PM.
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Old May 9th, 2017, 11:35 AM   #4
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Re: Length of wedding videos

I shoot for longform so I put in the ceremony, toasts, 1st & parents dances etc in full. Only cutting between cameras. So mine average 60-90 minutes for the full length. I also offer a highlights trailer, typically 4-7 minutes. Usually 1 song, I've been trying to add in short segments of one of the speeches where I can.
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Old May 9th, 2017, 04:37 PM   #5
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Re: Length of wedding videos

I'm with Dave, Long form doc style typically 90 minutes, preps, whole ceremony and all speeches, first dance etc.

My clients want to see the details of the day that they are going to miss or not remember. They also want to see all the friends and family that they may not have seen for a long time and didn't get a chance to talk to on the day. The video I delivered today was two hours and twenty minutes due to a long ceremony and lengthy speeches, but that is what they wanted. I also offer a short highlights video if required, to the length of one song of their choice or copyright free music.

There are no hard and fast rules on wedding video length, there are different products depending on what the producer wants to offer and what the clients expectations are. You set your stall out and sell your product.

Roger
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Old May 9th, 2017, 06:20 PM   #6
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Re: Length of wedding videos

Before doing live weddings we used to do long form BUT the most watched is the high light video ..no friend of the bride is going to plough thru 100 minutes of wedding video so the short form is important even if we do it for free as that is the one that most prospective brides will watch so that's our "promo" ...We try and condense the whole day into two songs, so around 6 minutes. The long form is basically a record of the day only and maybe watched once or twice at most then put in the cupboard!
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Old May 9th, 2017, 07:45 PM   #7
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Re: Length of wedding videos

I do your standard online 3-5 minute highlight, plus full length documentary edit. usually 1.5-2 hours or so. Did that cause I figured it was the best of both worlds. I do like the idea of maybe just doing highlights with ceremony, speeches etc. as seperate files.
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Old May 9th, 2017, 08:57 PM   #8
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Re: Length of wedding videos

Hi Steven

I have always done each event as it's own file ..On the DVD I just link to the start of each clip and the the USB they are named intelligently (like 003Ceremony.mp4) That way they can watch whatever they like either on the DVD or the USB ... Sitting and watch a 2 hour wedding video would be a killer!!
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Old May 11th, 2017, 04:01 AM   #9
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Re: Length of wedding videos

Ceremony, speeches and first dance in full plus a 20-30 minute creative doc edit of the day including selected highlights of the ceremony and speeches
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Old May 11th, 2017, 11:06 AM   #10
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Re: Length of wedding videos

Long form averaging about 90 minutes, 5-8 minute recap at the end. They have the chaptered Blu-ray, so they can jump to any part they want to.
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Old May 11th, 2017, 11:50 AM   #11
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Re: Length of wedding videos

My longform has been as small as 55 minutes or as long as 3 hours 20 minutes. Does depend on the length of Ceremony and Speeches. I've just finished editing a Ceremony that was 1 hour 50 minutes.

That said, I've been pushing for 30-40 minute shortforms and 5 Minute Highlights Videos to complement the longform. Longform is there to relive the day, the Highlights is for friends and family to enjoy and the shortform is there for the couple to watch on Anniversaries or maybe the occasional family get together.

There's room for all lengths, though many Videographers have little time for the longform. Hardly surprising as its not one they can post online and show how good they are.
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Old May 12th, 2017, 06:19 AM   #12
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Re: Length of wedding videos

Thank you all for your great answers.

I did not know it was so involved and the amount of work that goes into the finished products.

As a one man band, I've shot two wedding videos. One was for a close friend for which I produced a five minute highlight reel and a video of the whole ceremony. For this last one, my intent, also stated to the bride, was to produce a highlight reel only. I only knew her as one of the subjects of a non-profit organization's promo video. I knew her story so I gave her a big (embarrassing so) break on what I charged her. Afterwards I realized she wanted a champagne wedding video on a Kool-aid budget. Even so, she is happy with the end result and I'm glad I was able to help her out.

John
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