There’s so much to research and educate yourself about when it comes to planning a wedding. Video is one more thing that you need to get to grips with before you book someone.
Lots of couples start off with a longer video in mind; something that almost resembles their whole day condensed into 30minutes to an hour or more, but you might find that many videographers mainly produce short highlights films as their main product that are no longer than 5-10 minutes. Why is this and isn’t it ludicrous to spend thousands on a videographer to only get a short film? I’ll explain the reasons you might want to go for a highlights film over a longer video for your wedding below.
Firstly, what is a highlights film?
A highlights film is less than 10 minutes long and is usually set to music. The editing is fairly quick and packs in a lot of short clips. It might also contain audio from the ceremony or speeches overlaid on top of the music. It will feature a curated set of the best footage shot on your wedding day. It’s designed to be emotional and watchable.
Since a highlights film is so short, it’s easy to watch it over and over again. You don’t need to commit lots of time to sit down and watch it. It contains all the best moments of the day, even though it’s only short so there’s no fast-forwarding any boring bits -obviously there will be NO boring bits in YOUR wedding!
Well… here’s the thing… weddings are amazing to be a part of, but the truth is, not even the most glamorous wedding is scintillating to watch from start to finish. Bridal prep certainly doesn’t need to be recorded in its entirety, and neither would the bride probably want that. The ceremony too, is often full of prayers, hymns, or sections that simply don’t make for entertaining viewing. The same is true for the reception, speeches and dancing! Watching everything in its entirety would take hours, and even if trimmed down to an hour or so would still contain a lot of footage that simply wouldn’t be that fascinating or important to watch.
I suggest couples add longer edits such as the ceremony or speeches as options if they want to be able to watch them in full.
What is the first thing you want to do once you’ve seen your amazing wedding video? Share it of course!
When your video is an hour and a half long, that’s not so possible due to file sizes and uploading etc. It’s simply not going to be as straight forward. Much better to have something short that can be whipped across the internet in a matter of minutes.
Another option to go alongside the highlights film is to have a 60 second teaser-trailer. This can often be turned around much quicker than the main film and can be with you far sooner. You’ll be able to share it with friends and family easily on social media.
Certainly it can be emotional to watch a long wedding movie, but a highlights film is designed to maximise the emosh! It uses licensed high quality music which matched well with the couple and the day makes for a much more moving affair. Not only that, but there’s no filler – it’s ALL the best bits arranged in a way that tells the story of the day, and builds to create emotional crescendos. If you’re not openly weeping by the end, something’s wrong!
5-10 minutes doesn’t sound like much, but it’s actually a good amount of time to be able to pack in all the best moments of your day. Take a look at some of my films to get a feeling for this.
Wedding filmmakers aren’t commanding the kind of budgets that a TV documentary would. They need to film everything themselves and provide the gear and do the editing. This means that if the whole budget goes on a half hour or more film, the quality won’t be as high as for a shorter one. The film can’t use licensed music because it would just get too expensive. It would need to include long stretches of footage with less emphasis on keeping your attention with short clips, different angles and important moments.
All these things add up to make a highlights film the right choice for the main product that you should expect a videographer to deliver. It doesn’t mean that a longer edit isn’t a good thing to have, just that it should perhaps be a supplement to the highlights film.
I like to tailor my films to my couple’s requirements, but the first thing I usually need to do is advise them of how a Highlights film should be the main product, and is the best combination of emotion-inducing quality, sharability, and watchability for your money.