What Do I Want My ‘Main Video’ to Look Like?
Once the wedding and reception have been filmed, the next decision you will make is what you want your “main video” to look like. The term “wedding film” or “wedding video” has a huge range of definitions for length, content, and style. Videographers vary greatly in what they deliver. It is very important to choose a videographer that delivers the style, content, and length you are envisioning for your video.
For many years, the concept of a “wedding video” was a 2-3 hour video of “everything”. Basically, it consisted of minimally-edited footage usually from a stationary camera set up at the ceremony/reception that includes dead time, etc. Where a few videographers may still offer this style, most professional videographers now offer a much shorter, edited highlights video as the main video plus optional additional longer, secondary videos of various events of the day as chosen by the bride.
Even though most videographers now offer a highlights video as the main video, there are still wide ranging definitions of a “highlights” video based on style, length, and cost.
We offer two basic styles for video: Documentary style and Cinematic style.
Documentary (also referred to as Journalistic) style can best be described as “no frills, as-it-happened” style. The sole objective with this style is to simply document the event. Real audio is typically used. Documentary style is used for complete ceremony coverage, complete toasts, etc.
Cinematic style is more creative and artistic, using video, audio, voice-overs, and music to tell a story. Slow motion, fast motion, quick cuts edited to the beat of the song, black and white, soft focus, fades, and other film style techniques are employed to create a film story.
It is important to note that length does not necessarily equal quality. In fact, in many cases, the shorter videos are the highest quality and most entertaining. It takes little skill to “let the camera roll”, perform minimal editing, and copy it to a DVD. Longer videos, even for a “highlights video”, tend to lose the audience quickly. There are exceptions. But a compelling 7-10 minute artistic, interesting video that holds the audience’s attention is often much more powerful than a 45 minute to 1 hour video. However, it is still important for many brides/grooms and families to have the longer version of all of the events documented and produced as well. But those videos can be separate menu items on the DVD that can be viewed optionally in addition to the shorter “main/highlights video”.
Creating an emotional, artistic video that tells a story in a compelling way requires talent, skill, experience, and a significant amount of editing time. Higher end wedding filmmakers offer a premium highlights film that utilizes the top skills and talent in their company, and that means a higher price.
Some videographers are strictly documentary style and typically deliver the longer, documentary-style continuous videos. Others are strictly cinematic style and typically deliver short, very artistic video, but are not equipped to produce the longer, documentary-style secondary videos to accompany the highlights video. And other videographers, such as Video Adventures, offer both styles.
Which style is right for you? First, consider who will be watching your video, both now and in the future. We have found that there are three types of audiences that will be watching your video:
1) You and your spouse, your parents, your grandparents, your children, your grandchildren, your great grandchildren. They will want to watch the highlights and will also want to have the additional documentary secondary video segments, such as Complete Ceremony, Complete Toasts, Extended Special Dances (1st Dance / Parent Dances), etc.
2) Your close friends, bridesmaids, groomsmen, etc. They will also want to watch the highlights video, and possibly some, but not all of the documentary segments in their entirety.
3) Your “Facebook friends”, co-workers, etc. These people will only be interested in a short highlights video.
Once you have decided what is right for you, you can seek out a videographer that produces a video that matches your needs.
Part 3 coming in May 2013, I will cover the specific production videos that Video Adventures offers that provide several options for highlights videos and secondary documentary segment videos.