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[Weddings]How many hours of footage do you shoot?

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Mike Gill[Weddings]How many hours of footage do you shoot?
by on Jan 26, 2011 at 7:48:20 pm

I was kind of wondering how many hours of footage do you guys typical have when you shoot weddings? When it comes down to editing what type of log are you looking at? How many hours?

I'm sure this varies greatly depending on the amount of cameras at a shoot. Just wanted to see an average :)

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grinner hesterRe: [Weddings]How many hours of footage do you shoot?
by on Jan 27, 2011 at 7:45:46 pm

It's safe to say if you shoot a 12 hour event, you'll have more than 3 hours of footage to sift through. I log nothing. I bring it all in so I know what I have to choose from. Same with all nonscripted content. Sometimes your life saving string together shot wasn't a shot at all.

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Mark SuszkoRe: [Weddings]How many hours of footage do you shoot?
by on Jan 27, 2011 at 11:38:41 pm

When I did weddings, I would roll single-cam on the entire service, wall-to-wall nonstop, plus I'd "edit-in-camera" about 15 minute's worth of the pre-service stuff happening in the hour before the service, about ten minutes of signing the license, the church exit and limo getaway, then the first two hours of the reception. I added to my contracts a clause that I'd charge extra to stay after the second hour of reception, after the incident where one bridezilla insisted that I was contractually bound to my fixed price and to staying until the band went home.

At 4 AM.

Well, I hadn't specified, so she had me there. But never again.

The key events in the reception I find all happen in the first two hours anyway. Everything after the third hour is only stuff that would likely only wind up on YouTube, and not in a flattering way:-)

If I had a second camera for cutaways and reverse angles, that would probably add one to two hours of footage. But it was very rare for me to do extensive edits, my market niche was to pretty much edit in-camera for the whole day and night and hand over the tape to the bride that night at the reception, in exchange for my check. The footage really didn't need an edit, the careful way I composed the shots and all. I marketed the edit as a separate job, something they could choose to do if they wanted, for their first anniversary or after they came back from the honeymoon, which made the initial bill for services look much lower than the competition.

When I worked for another wedding guy, he once sent me to a Momzilla to try to collect on a finished job. She was furious that were were "overcharging". It had been a two-camera job plus a full edit with the growing-up bride and goom photo stills montage set to music bit, nice titles and effects, and everything. Her beef was that we had quoted her a rate of $50 an hour, and the finished tape was two hours long, so she said she would only pay a hundred bucks. For a 2-man,2-camera 7-hour shoot/reception, plus about fifteen hours of editing.

I asked her if she thought her favorite Chuck Norris film only took 90 minutes to make, becausee that was it's running time.

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grinner hesterRe: [Weddings]How many hours of footage do you shoot?
by on Jan 29, 2011 at 4:42:57 pm

That's why I ran away from weddings many years ago. It's amazing. Most momzilla's have no problem paying a still photog 3 grand to snap some pics and hand em to em but hate the thought of matching that price for 5 times the work for a video that will cherrished forever. In a nutshell, this is why weddings, like news, are introductory gigs to the production industry.

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Brent DunnRe: [Weddings]How many hours of footage do you shoot?
by on Jan 31, 2011 at 4:07:58 pm

We sometimes have 3-4 cameras on a shoot. In the early days, being inexperienced, I'd shoot everything.

I non-stop roll 2 of the cameras during the ceremony only, 3rd & 4th camera are used for the more creative shooting and the vows, rings, down the isle.

I shoot to edit. Pre-Wedding, I'd say I have about 15 minutes tops total footage per camera. This comes from experience, knowing the shots I want and will actually use. I don't shoot the same shot 3 times unless I'm having trouble nailing the shot. I may practice the shot first and then record. This saves valuable editing time.

Wedding time depends on the length of the ceremony and what the Bride / groom have agreed upon per our discussion. Catholic weddings are one hour. I try to talk them out of keeping all the full mass stuff. Therefore, I may run one camera non-stop for safety sake and the other's only for the ceremony portion.

I've had weddings less than 10 minutes in length. I'm always excited to edit those.

Reception, on average, 50 minutes of footage per camera, using two cameras. 3rd - 4th camera, only key moments, bridal party entry, first dance. Maybe 15 minutes of footage.

As you learn an edit, you'll know not to waste time just shooting junk you won't use. I had a bride ask me to film her as she was going from table to table, & another wanted me to film a candy bar table, stuff I knew I wouldn't need, so I recorded about 2 minutes and then pointed the camera without recording to please the client.

Efficient execution will stremline your production and give you a better final product. It'll also make you profitable. We all want to deliver a top quality product, but we also have to run a business that is being paid for the time.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
Video Marketing

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite

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Dave HaynieRe: [Weddings]How many hours of footage do you shoot?
by on Feb 3, 2011 at 8:43:52 pm

For the ceremony itself, the whole thing, with leadup and out, on at least two cameras. For the rest... it's very dependent on the nature of the event, and what the client is looking for.

I run audio, on a flash recorder, from start to finish. That makes it very easy to sync up multiple cameras and segments in a single operation (you want something like PluralEyes for this, too).

The last wedding I shot was also the most bizarre. It was in a very poorly lit nightclub. They had a pre-wedding cocktail party and dinner for about 50 prime guests, then had another 150 people show up before the actual ceremony. Mixed before and after the ceremony, they had singers, acts (trapeze, singers, strippers, a pole dancer.. on a moving pole, performance art, etc). Very, very refreshing.

This was on the wrong coast (I'm in South Jersey, this was in 'Frisco), so I did't have assistants. I located the B camera in a few strategic places, and just let it run. I had the A camera on tripods and a GlideCam for the main video. Something like 6 hours of total video to deal with, all at 24p, 1/24th second, thanks to the fact it was practically in the dark.

The DVD/BDs looked good... if you weren't me, and hadn't had to deal with all the processing needed to really make the dark video "pop". This one convinced me about buying a video DSLR sometime this year.


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Peter RalphRe: [Weddings]How many hours of footage do you shoot?
by on Feb 2, 2011 at 8:06:14 pm

I would guess mean average five hours with a standard deviation of 2.

Which would indicate that 95% of pro wedding videographers end up with between 1 and 9 hours of footage, with two thirds of those in the 3 to 7 hour range.

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Mark GoldbergRe: [Weddings]How many hours of footage do you shoot?
by on Feb 13, 2011 at 2:32:38 pm

I use two cams, a master and a wide POV. The master and POV run continuously for the ceremony. If it is a Catholic wedding, figure each gets one hour at the ceremony location, and the master gets another two hours of last minute preps and all post-ceremony and reception stuff. So figure about 4 hours total for a Catholic wedding, and 3 for a Jewish or Protestant wedding.

I rarely accept jobs with at-home coverage.

Mark Goldberg
Spectrum Productions
Annapolis, MD

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