Monday, January 4, 2010

Wedding Videography 101: Editing versus Raw Footage

When it comes to videography, don’t make the common mistake of thinking you are paying for just one day of service. A lot of prep time goes into any production, and after the shoot, as much as 50 or 60 hours might go into editing and refining your footage. Or not. It depends on the production company. So ask what your videographer puts into their editing process, and expect to pay accordingly for their time and efforts.

Your videographer might simply offer the raw (unedited) footage; in which case, a tape or hard drive to DVD transfer and some packaging is all that is required after the shoot. This is by far the cheapest option when scouting for video packages, but it is important that your expectations for this option are realistic.

There is a lot of software out there that can enable anyone to edit their own footage, but even if an amateur has the time, patience, and creativity to finish their own video, a professional editor is likely going to see more potential in the same batch of raw footage. If you don’t plan on editing your own footage and just want to leave it unedited, understand that everything is going to be left in, audio levels may be inconsistent, and without the benefit of chapters you won’t be able to skip to precise points of interest.

Your videographer might offer light editing; a “clean-up,” if you will, where some of the rougher, darker, uneventful footage is taken out, and dissolves are put into to soften the transitions between scenes. DVD chapters might be added. Some music might be added. A light edit will cost more than no edit (obviously), but it will give you a nicer finished product that is more entertaining to watch.

Of course, if you really want to dazzle your friends and family, you might opt for a full-on edit: which includes effects, titling, colour-correction, evening out of audio levels, montages where video is edited to music, etc. This edit takes the most time and so it will cost more.

Other factors to take into consideration: are you able to screen the first edit and have input on the final product (will your editor re-edit?). Does the editor upload your video to a website so you can proof your edit and share it with friends and family? How many copies of the finished product do you get? All these perks take more time and resources, so they will add to the cost of your wedding video.

When shopping around for a wedding videographer, you are going to encounter a lot of different packages and a lot of different price points. Hopefully this article will help you understand the amount of time that goes or doesn’t go into a wedding video production, so you’ll know why some videographers charge what they charge.

This article was written by Nishi Dias of Night Day Productions: a Toronto-based video production company. If you'd like to publish this article, please credit, link-back and contact Nishi at:

Night Day Productions

© 2009 Night Day Productions

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