Wedding Video Editing: How It Affects You

How many wedding videos have you ever seen? Did you watch them from beginning to end or just the first 5 minutes?  In today’s world of wedding videography, many vendors have different styles of both shooting and editing wedding videos. Editing is the process of taking all of the wedding footage that was shot during your day and adding music, titles, graphics and ending up with the final product (i.e. wedding video). Think of editing as the “stitching together” of all of your wedding video footage. One important thing to ask your wedding videographer is: What kind of editing style will my final wedding video have? Is it documentary style, cinematic, or maybe a combination of the two? How long will your final wedding video be? Will it be 15 minutes or an hour? Here are two main types of wedding video editing styles that you will come across while interviewing and viewing  sample Wedding DVDs from potential wedding videographers.

The first common type of wedding video is shot and edited in the “documentary” style. What does this mean? Well, the videographer may show up before you get to the venue, and depending on the number of hours you hired the videographer for, start shooting outside shots of the wedding venue(s), footage of the bride and groom getting ready, the ceremony, etc. The videographer shoots and documents, on the video camera(s), the events of the day as they unfold. Think of it as a “timeline” that the videographer is recording during the whole day as events occur. All of your events are scheduled to take place at a certain time and the videographer shoots them.

A common second type of shooting is known as “cinematic”. What does that mean? Well, it can mean a lot of different things but it often means that the videographer(s) will use different shooting techniques during the day to gather your wedding video footage. For example, the videographer(s) may use a crane, jib, or even a dolly while shooting. Think of it in terms of a Hollywood film set. We’ve all seen film cameras mounted on large crane like objects that move up and down and side to side. A dolly is a small cart that is placed on a “track” on the ground with the camera attached to it and moved around for various filming techniques. These are all filming techniques based on the art of “cinematography”. For a better idea of this art form, read our blog here. Not all wedding videographers go to these lengths to gather your wedding footage.

So, the wedding has come and gone, all the wedding vendors have packed up and left and you and your new spouse are enjoying your honeymoon in (insert dream honeymoon location here). While you are enjoying your honeymoon, your wedding videographer has most likely gone back to their studio and has started editing your final wedding video. Here is where editing styles and techniques can vary widely and really affect the final type of wedding video that you get.

The first example was called documentary style. This is very common and found on many wedding videos. The video will be edited and viewed as the “timeline” that the events took place in. The opening shots may be of the ceremony venue and then cut to shots of the wedding couple getting ready and then to the ceremony itself and then end up with the cutting of the cake, flower toss, garter toss and maybe a final exit of the couple. All of this is “stitched” together with music, graphics and effects. It’s a “documentary” style type of editing. The final wedding DVD shows all of the events edited together as they took place during the wedding day.

The second example we saw was the cinematic type. This evolves into the editing type as well. This will be very different than the documentary type of editing.  The wedding DVD may open up with shots of the reception venue getting ready and the voice of the groom may come up and describe how he is feeling about getting married and then cut to a shot of the bride coming down the isle with her voice describing how much she is looking forward to the day. Basically, the events of the day are “mixed up” in the editing and you may see shots of guests dancing at the reception followed by the ceremony itself and then a cut to shots of the wedding couple cutting the cake. The events of the day aren’t shown as they occurred during the “timeline” as we saw in the documentary style type of editing.

What does all of this mean? Well, it means that your final wedding video may be edited in one of these ways or a combination of both. Remember to ask your wedding videographer how the editing process will be handled. Do you get a say in which shots will be in the final DVD or not? Maybe the videographer got an interview from “Aunt Sally” and she tells the story of how the bride, as a teenager, backed up the family car and ran over the family dog and that interview gets put into the final wedding DVD! I bet a lot of wedding couples wouldn’t want that in their wedding DVD. Also, ask the wedding videographer how long your wedding DVD will be. Some wedding DVDs are only 15 minutes long and others may be up to an hour. Most ceremonies are 30 minutes or more and that doesn’t even include all of the other major events such as the cake cutting, garter toss, father/daughter dance, etc.  Ask yourself, do you want all of the major events of your day in the final DVD or just a “movie” of the highlights of the day. Make sure you communicate with the wedding videographer about the editing process so the next time you want to show your wedding DVD to family or friends, you don’t end up with “Aunt Sally” in the DVD and/or a 15 minute wedding video that you paid $5000.00 for and it only contains 4 minutes of your ceremony and 15 minutes of “Aunt Sally”.

By: Brooke Petersen, Capture Productions & Video Design

Views: 36

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