The joy (and frustration) of editing

The 8 to 12 hours that we typically spend shooting on the wedding day is only a fraction of the time spent producting a wedding day movie. Most of it is in the editing phase. This often runs anywhere from 40 to 80 hours.

In the beginning, much of this is routine, even tedious. After the footage has been captured into the computer, I have to go through all of it and pick out what I want to use. Then it is assembled into a rough cut. The next step is to refine this into what we call our “Documentary Style” program. This means that we edit the day’s events in chronological order, keeping all the major events, but cutting it in a way that keeps the video interesting. At the end of this phase we usually have a program that is from 1 to 2 hours in length.

If our client has ordered the Basic Package, we have completed most of the editing. If they are getting the Deluxe or Premium Package, we have just begun. Here we start on the Highlights program. Even though this only runs anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes, it takes longer to edit. Why? Because this is where the artistry comes in. The Highlights program doesn’t document the day, it tells a story, the wedding story.

For me editing the Highlights is the biggest challenge. Distilling the essence of the wedding can be frustrating at first, but soon it all comes together and I have something that I am truly proud of. Most of all however, is what the couple will have. Perhaps fifty or sixty years from now, long after I am gone, they or their children and granchildren will still treasure it.

That is the real reward.

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Back from WEVA

I returned Friday from the WEVA (Wedding and Event Videographers Association) Expo in Las Vegas. As always, I spent most of my time attending seminars (gambling and Vegas shows don’t really appeal to me). This year attendance was up. The show moved back to Bally’s after being at Mandalay Bay last year, and the Hilton the previous year.This was a good move, as Mandalay Bay was not set up well for this type of convention. Too much walking. At Bally’s the conference rooms were right downstairs.

Here are some of the seminars that I attended that I feel will make an impact on our work:

Canon A1 seminar with Rob Neal. A good introduction to the camera that we will probably purchase when we make the move to HD.

Tim Sudall’s excellent seminar called Destination Success. Very inspirational.

Soundtrack Pro with Larry Jordan. One of the best that I was at. I have been wrestling with this audio application from Apple for awhile now. In one hour I learned enough to make it useful.

Blogging For Videographers with Ron and Tasra Dawson. An excellent seminar on improving my blog. Should be a big help here.

Moving Camera Techniques with Mark and Tricia Van Lanken. As always, the Van Lankens put together an informative program on making wedding video more cinematic.

There was also a “mock wedding” where 12 experts demonstrated techniques for getting better ceremony and reception coverage.

Every year local videographers associations compete to produce a 60 second commercial for wedding videography. I am pleased to note that our local orgranization, The Greater Philadelphia Videographers Association, won for the second year in a row.

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The WEVA Expo

Every year in August, videographers from around the world gather in Las Vegas for the Wedding and Event Videographers Association Expo. This year it is being held from Aug 13 to 16. Like any convention in Vegas, there are plenty of distractions, but the main purpose is educational. Last year I attended and learned more in three days than I could do anywhere else.   

So I will be going again this year. I be attending seminars in both the business and technical areas. This is an opportunity to learn new ways to extend the state of the art and to improve our product. I am someone who is never satisfied. I always want to make what I do even better. Here in the Philadelphia area we have some of the finest videographers in the country. Some of them will be presenters at the Expo. The bar keeps getting raised and it is my goal to rise with it.

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