Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Wedding Videos - Higher Quality or Longer Video?

In order to maintain any sort of steady business, you must keep things simple. Why do you think that Costco is so popular? They are bare bones, no frills. If you want a Pizza, you can choose between Pepperoni, Combination, and Cheese. Simplicity sells, people buy what they see. 
When I first graduated the "mommy photographer" phase in my career, and I decided on a price that I was willing to accept for my work I had to consider how much work I would do for that price. Full Article on different types of Photographers here. 
For the last couple of years, I have had 3 main "standard" packages. Each included a set number of minutes that the finished product would be. I have never included the exact length of the video in my contracts, as my clients leave it up to my judgment with regard to every aspect of the finished product. I find it interesting that only now that I have included an expected length of video in the description of each package, I am now getting asked if I can lengthen the video for certain clients. I set my prices based on the amount of time that I know I will spend on each project. 90% of the work for any given video project is done in the editing. You're not just paying for a camera guy for the day of, I spend dozens of hours working on each project. Being asked to double the length of the video without further compensation is a question that I get asked often. 
There are 2 different types of editing, and I think that often people don't recognize the amount of work that goes into certain types of video productions. There is a Cinematic style of editing, which you see in most of the wedding videos that you watch, and in any movie that you see. The video clips are pieced together to tell a compelling story, and invoke emotion. This type of editing is what I specialize in, making sure that each client feels as though they are in THAT moment, even 20 years down the road. I also edit with future clients in mind, making sure that they can also feel that they were in the very moment. 
Documentary editing is much more simple, (unless you are making a movie). In fact, most videographers do documentary style editing because it is more simple. It takes less time, less creativity, and because of this you can end up with more finished product than compared to a Cinematic edit. Some videographers simply drag and drop every video clip into the timeline of their editor, in order of when the event happened, no editing, and just burn the DVD that way. While this sounds appealing in some cases, because you do end up getting MORE video, there is a LOT of "dead space". Waiting for the Bride to walk down the aisle, panning across the room. With a cinematic edit, I will take every clip individually and watch it frame by frame (24 frames per second) and pick out the BEST parts to include. Documentary editing would just include the full clip, and leave the jittering before and after the "shot". In fact, this type of editing is so easy that you could actually ask your videographer for a DVD copy of the day immediately! No editing, just drag and drop, there ya go!
I apologize if this sounds a little one sided, I am happy to deliver what my clients want, I just don't love delivering stuff that I am not happy with. 
I didn't write this article to gripe, I wrote it to get honest feedback. I recently adjusted my video packages to include SOME documentary style editing IF the client chooses so. 
The way my packages were until now, was for each "Event" you would get a finished edited product which would end up being the length of ONE song, which is about 2-4 minutes. So, if you are having a Ceremony & Reception recorded, your finished product would be 4-8 minutes, not including the "best wishes" portion of the video that is a "surprise" to most clients. After it's all said and done, the finished product would be about 7-10 minutes (give or take) and at the editors complete discretion. 
With the new packages, you'd now have the choice. The video to the right is NOT mine, but is available for you to view the differences in editing. 
1 Event Package - 2-4 minutes Cinematic Edit OR (up to) 20-30 minute documentary edit. 
2 Event Package - 7-10 minute Cinematic Edit OR 2-4 minute Cinematic Edit PLUS (up to) 30-40 minute documentary edit.
3 Event Package - 9-12 minute Cinematic Edit OR 2-4 minute Cinematic Edit PLUS (up to) 40-50 minute documentary edit.
I am curious what you think. I really do want to deliver what my clients want, and each client is different so by offering these options I should theoretically be able to please more clients, right? 
Another thing to think about is the audio. Most videographers don't use ANY of the audio from your event, unless you are paying top dollar. I do include audio in my videos, because I think it really adds to the overall quality. Check out the video below to see what I mean. 
Whether you're using me to film your day, or someone else, just make sure you know what you're getting. 

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