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.