Have you thought about hiring a videographer for your wedding? No? Honestly, we didn’t have one for our wedding either. My idea of a wedding video was a guy, with a camera, filming the whole day and delivering that to me. I thought “I’m never going to watch this again”. But as Stephan and I entered the Wedding Industry, as photographers and videographers at times, we realized that wedding films are completely different than what they used to be! They’re truly an art form. And that’s why I invited Joshua and Parisa, Austin Wedding Videographers, to tell us about the evolution of wedding films.
Author: Joshua and Parisa are an Austin Wedding Photographer and Austin Wedding Videographer that captures couples who are down-to-earth, authentic, and joyful. Connect with them on Facebook and Instagram.
The wedding industry 20 years ago first began growing into what it’s become today. The initial momentum began to take off like a rocket ship after the recession of 2008 when the economy began to recover and is still growing today. Since 2008, wedding filmmaking has continued to transform over the past 12 years. The most noticeable difference is a trend toward shorter wedding highlight films.
What started out as mostly men lugging around huge cameras and carts of equipment to deliver hours and hours of footage to couples has turned into a diverse field of filmmakers creating 5-minute wedding highlight films. Due to videographers’ improvements in storytelling, films no longer have to last so long to tell the story of a wedding day. Let’s delve a little deeper into this trend and why you don’t need all of those hours of footage.
Let’s start off with the biggest misconception about wedding videography that still exists today – do you need everything recorded on your wedding day? This simple answer is no, you only need the moments that matter. Let’s delve into what this actually means.
Most of a wedding day includes preparing for events held throughout the day. The events include things like your first look/first touch, your ceremony, your reception entrance, first dances, etc. The preparation between these events is rarely interesting enough to rewatch in your wedding film because most of the time you aren’t doing something intrinsically interesting. Think about this – when you post to your Instagram or Snapchat story you don’t include your whole day right? You include the moments you’re building up to. The walking, small talk, and moments you spending waiting aren’t things you would normally capture or rewatch. The key here is that YOU are interesting but everything you do on your wedding day is not fun to rewatch.
Here are a few examples of what you won’t rewatch:
- The full 1-hour transformation of your hair and make-up
- The full 30 minutes you spend eating lunch
- The full 15 minutes you’re waiting to walk down the aisle before your ceremony
Here are a few examples of what you would rewatch:
- 10 cinematic seconds showing your hair and make-up transformation
- The 30 best seconds of when someone surprises you with a gift at the end of lunch
- The 10 seconds right before you walk down the aisle with your father, he starts to cry and kisses your cheek
Thinking about the two lists above, isn’t it better if your videographer can tell the full story of the first list in the time of the second list? Videographers and couples are starting to take note of this and are reprioritizing their investment choices. It’s just a no-brainer.
Here’s one more example to put things into perspective. Think about a professionally produced documentary. A camera crew collects hundreds of hours of footage over the course of days, weeks, and months. Eventually, they condense that footage down to 45-60 minutes to tell a full story. Even after condensing all of that footage, most documentaries are still boring. The best documentaries you watch until the end don’t waste a second on unnecessary footage that doesn’t move the story forward. Now think about your wedding videographer. They may only have 8 hours on your wedding day to capture all of the footage they need to create a compelling 5-minute film for you. That’s a huge challenge.
Here’s the catch, there are some weddings that call for a wedding film that’s longer than 5 minutes. These include multi-day weddings when you hire your videographer to cover at least parts of those additional days. A multi-day wedding naturally has more stories to film so the film can and should be longer. If your wedding day is 12 hours or more due to having more events than a traditional wedding day then it’s also possible for your videographer to create a longer film. Our advice is to find someone you trust to create the best film possible, not worrying about the length. Don’t automatically negotiate a longer wedding film because your day is longer. Trust in your wedding videographer and their experience to recommend what is right for your wedding day.
Other films to consider other than a wedding highlight film:
- Full Ceremony Film: your ceremony film from start to finish, cut together professionally including expert sound recordings and multiple cameramen. Your videographer should edit out the boring transitions that disrupt the story of this film.
- Reception Events Film: each reception event from start to finish, cut together professionally including expert sound recordings and multiple cameramen. Includes grand entrance, first dances, toasts, cake cutting, bouquet toss, garter toss, grand exit, etc. Your videographer should edit out the boring transitions that disrupt the story of this film.
- Weekend Documentary Film: hiring your videographer to cover other events for your multi-day wedding. The final film is similar to the reception events film including all the events of your weekend. Cut together professionally including expert sound recordings and at least one cameraman.
As I write this piece, hundreds of wedding filmmakers across the world are changing their films to lengths either to 5 minutes or close to 5 minutes. They love that couples are becoming more knowledgeable about filmmaking because they can now create more compelling films that are better than their longer versions.