Wedding videos are a staple of event videography. For an event videographer there are two commonalities in wedding videos, opportunities to earn business and tears. Well crafted wedding videos will bring tears of joy to a bride, while a poorly planned post-production process will create tears of anguish for the videographer. The video editing of weddings requires attention to details that differentiate it from other video projects. Knowing how to prepare for editing wedding videos will help a videographer avoid tears of frustration and help bring a smile with a nice paycheck.
Before the Edit Begins
Video editors can set themselves up for success with a few simple tricks. Planning ahead for the editing of the wedding video makes for a smooth process and helps the video editor with a quick turnaround. If the video editor is not the wedding videographer, he or she needs to collaborate and plan things out well in advance of the event. This should be a standard process for any team production involving event videography. The video editor should know in advance how many cameras and what camera angles the wedding videographer will be using. They should also discuss what information the video editor will need and will be recorded in the shot log. This includes names of wedding attendants, date, location, and any information that will help them identify footage in order to become more familiar with the event. Outside of using a shot log, a wedding videographer can also slate the cameras, giving the footage a visual reference. The video editor can use this information to set up metadata templates for use on the ingest of footage. Subsequently this metadata will help locate footage and access information throughout the video editing process.
A detail of the greatest importance for event videography is the preservation and backup of video. Securing data needs to be planned for before video editing begins. There are multiple ways to ensure that video is secure. During the recording process the wedding videographer can record to multiple sources, utilizing both on-camera and external media. Another option is the immediate duplication of recorded files after the event, even in triplicate. Regardless of what method is used, a video editor should always make sure that wedding video footage is backed up and secure before he or she begins the ingest process. This helps to ensure he or she doesn't lose the recording of a once in a lifetime event.
Keys to Cutting Multicam Sequences
Wedding videos require a video editor to be proficient in cutting multicam sequences. A multicam sequence is set up in the editor's timeline, syncing footage from multiple cameras. A video editing program's multicam editing tool may allow the user to select the synchronized clips and designate them as a multicam sequence. This should allow playback of a multicam sequence in real-time and switch between tracks, editing as the event unfolds. With multicam editing, the editor is able to perform a rough edit in real-time and then adjust the edit after the initial pass. This makes quick work of shot selection.
Wedding videos require a video editor to be proficient in cutting multicam sequences.
The key to successful multicam sequences is in having properly synced footage. Multiple tracks that are off by even a frame or two create jarring edits and lead to sync issues in the final audio mix. An accurate sync is easy to achieve if the wedding videographer and the video editor follow some simple guidelines.
- All cameras should continuously run throughout the event.
- The cameras should start rolling with the wedding videographer slating them before the ceremony begins.
- A production slate doesn't necessarily need to be used, instead a simple gesture like a hand clap works well to provide a common sync point.
- Likewise, an end slate can be performed after the ceremony as long as the cameras continue to run.
- The video editor should request that the wedding videographer record audio on all cameras used in the ceremony, not only for audio mixing purposes but for sync. Sequence syncing programs and plug-ins, such as PluralEyes from Red Giant Software, utilize the audio from multiple clips to sync footage. These type of plug-ins are incredible resources that save video editors a great amount of time.
A multicam sequence should not only be in sync, but also have a consistent look. Each camera should be properly white balanced at the beginning of the shoot. Unfortunately, a video editor can't always count on an equivalent balance across cameras and sometimes has to deal with multicam footage with each camera providing a different look in color and contrast. This can be a nightmare to fix if a video editor isn't prepared for it. Most video editing programs have standard color correction tools to help disparate shots look consistent. Automatic white balance color correction will help steer footage into the same ballpark by shifting user selected highlights to white and in turn shift the balance of all colors across the image. After a simple shift in balance is executed it helps for the video editor to utilize video scopes, waveform monitors, RGB parades, and histograms to compare clips from different sources. These scopes will give the editor a general idea of where variances occur between shots. The editor can then use color correction tools to bring the clips into comparable balance.
Keep A Bag of Tricks on Hand
One way to remain profitable when editing wedding videos is being able to turn them around in a short amount of time. Planning helps to make each individual project a success as well as an overall business plan. A video editor is better prepared to handle multiple projects when he or she has a preset bag of tricks to call on while editing. One of the nice things about editing wedding videos are the trends which are common throughout the genre. A little bit of investment in a solid royalty-free stock music library that's geared towards wedding videos comes in very handy. When a video editor owns the library and uses it repeatedly, he or she becomes familiar with the content, making it easier to select the best music. A list of multiple preset color correction styles and effects is also useful to have on hand.
Once the wedding footage is color corrected and balanced, a preset look and color style can be applied to add a cinematic flair to the overall production. There's a range of looks that work well for weddings. Once a video editor has those looks down, a preset for that look may be tweaked for use over and over again.
Tears of Joy
Weddings are joyous occasions and should be for all involved. Editing a wedding video doesn't need to make the video editor a ball of nerves. Helping people celebrate some of the best moments of their lives is a great service and business offering to have. Don't fill a bucket with tears of anguish. Instead, help bring tears of joy by planning ahead and skillfully crafting an exceptional wedding video.
Five Things to Avoid When Editing Wedding Videos
Brides have nightmares about wedding videos cut by a distant uncle, one who wants to play with all the bells and whistles of his video editing programs. Star wipes, page peels, and rotating box transitions distract from the gentle overtone of a wedding ceremony. Keep the transitions in a wedding video subtle. Help the audience to focus on the wedding instead of the editor's decisions.
A good wedding videographer will get plenty of footage from a wedding ceremony and the events of the wedding day. It's the kind of shoot where excessive amounts of footage are okay, even welcomed. When it comes time to edit that footage, discretion is advised. It's okay to not include every shot. Sure a small child may have done something really cute, but if you didn’t get anything except the tail end of it, maybe you were better using a reaction of the guests. Make sure to keep poorly shot footage out of the final edit.
Poor Music Choices
Seek out the bride and groom's approval for what music is used in the final edit of a wedding video. Music helps set the mood and the wrong music choice can easily skew the audience's view of a wedding day’s events. A particular music style might seem popular at the time, but wedding videos are enjoyed for years, long after a musical trend wanes. A classical music bed to wedding preparations will probably be more favored and appreciated than a dubstep beat drop.
Incongruent Camera Angles
A wedding videographer needs to take note of his or her camera placement for a wedding ceremony. Each camera should be set up to accurately capture the events of the day, but each camera should tell its own story. Make sure when editing a wedding video that cuts between different cameras tell the same story and don't come across as jump cuts or reversed angles.
The Right Type
Titles speak volumes in wedding videos. Years down the road couples want to remember their wedding day. Titles are an easy way to identify guests and participants. Two things to remember when crafting titles is the typeface should fit with the wedding, no crazy fonts here, and to make sure that names are readable and spelled correctly.
Chris “Ace” Gates is a four time Emmy Award-winning freelance writer and video producer.