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

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Old May 30th, 2007, 11:47 PM   #1
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Location: Wichita, Kansas
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My 1st Love Story & Wedding

I'm new to wedding videography. I have helped others with camera work at weddings, but this weekend I have my first shoot + edit job. I have two others helping me.

With this wedding I have created a Love Story video that will be shown during the reception.

My question is: How long should it be?

I shot an interview with the couple (nice two camera shots), and have photos for a montage, and music. I also have "action" shots of various activities. However, I'm having a hard time triming it down.

I would appreciate any feedback on this.

I hope to post a short highlight in the coming weeks.

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Old May 31st, 2007, 04:54 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
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When you are having a hard time editing the piece it means 1 of 2 things. Either it's bad and you want to kill the shooter ;-(
OR its really good and you hate to leave anything out. It sounds like the latter ;-)

I have found that anything more than about 7 or 8 minutes is stretching it a bit and folks tend to lose interest cause their dinner is waiting for them. Heaven help them if they have to wait more than 30 seconds to fill up!!!

anyway 6-9 minutes is generally more than enough to tell an interesting fun filled love story!

Have fun-

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Old May 31st, 2007, 07:42 AM   #3
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Location: Toronto, Canada
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I generally can't keep mine down to under 10-12 minutes and that seems to go over well. With a same-day edit they can easily reach 16-18 minutes and everybody seems to be glued to the screen throughout. I think your approach to the love story as well as the audience will dictate how long you can comfortably go.

I just finished one shoot where we had the parents and best men/matrons of honor come in and answer a couple questions as well. On top of that, we did four engagement shoots- one in each season. So, there is a ton of footage and photos and getting it down to 15:30 was the best I could do but I think it has a great pace and really pulls you in throughout.

I would put a rough cut together and tst pilot it with people who do not know the couple. Then use their feedback to go back and trim it up for the reception. Sometime we as editors/shooters can put things in that we think is cute or funnybut the crowd just doesn't get it, so the proofing is always great.
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Old May 31st, 2007, 09:17 AM   #4
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Location: Indianapolis, IN
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When this happens to me I watch the rough cut and then try and step outside of "MY" project and put myself in the shoes of someone else as a viewer. Hard to do I know. As I watch the footage I keep asking myself...."does the story move forward"...If there is footage that seems to stay on the same topic too long it becomes stagnant and does not move the story forward quick enough for the audience. If you can't seem to cut anything try ramping the story up with faster tempo music with some quick cuts. Even though the real time didn't change, in the audience's mind the story seems to be moving along quicker. The more emotional points (romantic, funny, suspense, etc) the less likely they are going to notice the length, within reason. I very rarely go over 11 or 12 minutes.
Good Luck.
John J. Moon - Event DV Top 25 Recipient
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Old June 1st, 2007, 06:31 AM   #5
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Thanks!! All are great input, as usual!!

Thanks for the great tips.

I have the "rough draft" completed. I'll watch it nonstop from beginning to end and take notes on cutting anything that doesn't keep it moving. I think I might be able to get it to 15 minutes. Time is running short. I must complete this before tommorrow!

Yep, it's often hard to look at your own work objectively sometimes.

Fun couple to work with, and I have some really nice stuff.

Thanks again,
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Old June 1st, 2007, 11:32 PM   #6
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Couple previewed it today... loved it!!


After the couple saw the "draft" today, they said the length would be perfect. They have a little bit of time after the wedding for photography.

The video seemed to have a huge impact on the bride (absolute joy!), and that made me really happy.

The reception is being held in the same church facility as the wedding. Reception has a full sound stage, amps, and two large video projection screens. The groom has secret plans to sing with a band (pulling guitars out from under the stage, etc.) Lots of great video opportunity with that.

I may post a "trailer" version of the love story next week to feed it to the "wolves" in here. ;-)

Great learning experience for me. I think I have a really good idea on how to do these from now on. Get lots of "action" shots and good "face" shots... variety!


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