We get asked all of the time from couples if they can have the Raw Footage from their wedding day. The short answer is no, and you should see the look on the couples face. It is as if we just told them their wedding dress was ugly. However, we want to take the time to tell you why. We promise we are not trying to be mean, keep precious memories from you or even hold it hostage for more money from you. The answer is because you don’t need it, let us explain.

Years ago before cinematic wedding films became the norm a videographer would show up at your event with a giant camera and record the entire day from beginning to end. Then they would deliver tapes of 10 hours of video footage of every single second of your wedding day. Those were the days before editing.

Amanda + Matt

Amanda + Matt

Somehow the idea though, that Raw Footage was absolutely necessary as a deliverable stuck. We are here to tell you that the Raw Footage is no longer necessary. Wedding Films have evolved. Nowadays wedding films are creative and cinematic edits that summarize the wedding day.

That being said, when we film a wedding we no longer film the entire day in full. We only film what we know we are going to use. We will say it again, We only film what we know we are going to use. Our videographers are shooting in HD so the files sizes are huge and we quite frankly don’t want to film every single second of the day for space purposes as well as editing purposes. It’s just too darn much footage to sort through. Since we know we are summarizing your wedding day, filming every single second is just not necessary anymore.

Before you start thinking there is a mountain of memories on the cutting room floor, to compensate for not having that Raw Footage most companies will offer Documentary Style Edits of the most important parts of the day. What that means is that on top of the Wedding Movie Trailer and Feature Film we will edit for you your Ceremony, Toasts, and First Dances. Most couples see those as the most important parts of the day so we film those and edit them in their entirety.

What we always tell our couples is that if something doesn’t make an appearance in the Wedding Movie Trailer, Feature Film or Documentary Style Films there is a reason why. To be clear though, ANYTHING of value is going to show up in one of those 3 places, we will be sure of it.

Raw Footage has become fluff. And when it is offered to couples in packages or as an add-on it is painted as this extremely necessary and valuable piece of their wedding day when it is pretty much what they already have.

The Raw Footage includes the shaky shots, poorly colored shots, and practice shots. We just don’t see the value of this. Again revisiting the size of the files most couples don’t even have the software to open the files or know what to do with them once they do get them open. Not to mention who is actually going to watch 10 hours of footage.

And finally not offering the Raw Footage is a brand management thing for us. The best representation of our brand is always going to be our edited films. With how easy it is to upload videos online these days we never want to run the risk of our Raw Footage getting out there and someone posting a practice clip and claiming that “this is how Serendipity shoots a wedding film”.

In summary Raw Footage is not what you think it is. If there is something of value we will be sure that you have it. We want you to have as many memories of your wedding day as possible. But we also want you to have the best viewing experience and the best experience is always going to be watching an edited film.

 

Photos By Elyse Hall

Videographer Phoenix

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As we are about to dive headfirst into one of the busiest spring seasons we have ever had, at the same time, we are super excited to this year’s wedding trends.  One of the most fascinating parts of our job is to see how each couple executes their perfect day, to a T. We also love to see how they incorporate the wedding trends of the season and make them their own. Here are some of our favorite things right now.

Metals: We loved when couples started to incorporate more silver and gold into their wedding pallet over the past few years. This year it’s full-blown metal! Gold, silver, rose gold, pewter, and copper. They are so versatile and really compliment so many different color arrangements. We love how they can easily dress up, or soften the feel of the whole day.

Metal: Latest & Greatest Wedding Trends | Videographer Phoenix

Metal: Latest & Greatest Wedding Trends | Videographer Phoenix

Whimsical Floral: So far, we have seen a huge amount of our brides sticking with what we like to call “sophisticated whimsical” floral. This includes large soft flowers such as garden roses or peonies, paired with beautiful succulents, that gives off a romantic and classic look.

Floral: Latest & Greatest Wedding Trends | Videographer Phoenix

Floral: Latest & Greatest Wedding Trends | Videographer Phoenix

Sugar: Who doesn’t love cake? Just a few years ago and still a bit now, it was popular to have cupcakes. I mean it’s the perfect portion all ready to go for your guests. However, this year the movement seems to be leaning towards beautiful multi-tiered cakes. We can’t complain because these stunning works of art are not only beautiful to look at but also still delicious as ever.

Sugar: Latest & Greatest Wedding Trends | Videographer Phoenix

Sugar: Latest & Greatest Wedding Trends | Videographer Phoenix

Gown: This category is ever changing and we love it because it means we get to see new and fabulous dresses every season. Color is making a huge comeback and in the most gorgeous way ever. May it be just a slight hint of pink to the overall gown or possibly small details that give off a hue of your “something blue”. We also are seeing an increase of sleeves in all sorts and cutouts in flattering places. This gives such a nice update to the classic silhouette of a wedding dress.

Gown: Latest & Greatest Wedding Trends | Videographer Phoenix

Gown: Latest & Greatest Wedding Trends | Videographer Phoenix

 

Videographer Phoenix

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maya_michael

Most couples have never planned a wedding let alone hired a cinematographer. Most have no idea what to expect or what to plan for. So we have created a tips list to help you plan for our services and know what we need to create for you the very best wedding film possible. Here’s what we have come up with!!

Tips To Get A Fabulous Wedding Film

  These are tips to keep in mind while you are planning your wedding day timeline

 

Time For Interviews

Couple interviews are what couples love about Serendipity wedding films. Build 15 minutes into your timeline at the start of our cinematography time to complete them – preferably before you get dressed. If we don’t do them right away they are impossible to get done later in the day.

 

Location, Location, Location

The Getting Ready footage is some of the best footage in your film. Think about your Getting Ready location: Is it well lit with lots of natural light? Visually appealing? Clean? Roomy enough for your bridal party, Photographer and Cinematographer? These are all important things to consider when choosing a location.

 

Creating Beautiful Lighting

Cameras don’t operate well in low lighting. It is important to consider lighting in every aspect of your day to get the most flattering footage possible. Think about the light at your Getting Ready location, the Ceremony site and the Reception. If there is not enough lighting, think about bringing some in. (Oh and uplighting is not considered “light” in our book!)

 

Cinema Time

Gone are the days of hours alone with your Photographer on your Wedding Day. To create the most beautiful wedding film possible, we need some shots with you too, and we don’t want to ruin your Photographers mojo by encroaching on their time or shouting out poses we need from you. Block out about 15 minutes of time for your cinematographer separate of your Photographer so that we can get the shots that we need for your wedding film, ideally at the beginning of the shoot.

 

Doing a First Look

98% of couples do a First Look these days, and we highly recommend it. It allows us to get some spectacular footage of a hugely meaningful moment that you will be able to look back at and remember forever. It allows your Photographer and Cinematographer time to be more creative throughout the day, instead of racing against the clock trying to get all shooting done after the Ceremony.

 

Consider an “Unplugged Wedding”

You are paying a lot of money for us to capture your day, so ask your guests to be present in the moment and put away the phones and and cameras. When they are busy with their iphones and ipads they get in our way and ruin the very shots you are paying us to get.

 

Eating Time

Talk with your catering manager about feeding your vendors when the bridal party eats. If we are fed after the guests, we don’t get enough time to hydrate and nourish ourselves and we could miss the start of your reception.

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I think I need to stop calling it a Wednesday Wedding Film tip because it never seems to be posted on Wednesdays these days….

Today’s tip revolves around the location of your Ceremony. I know it is natural to gravitate toward a waterfall or water fountain or other water feature as the backdrop of your wedding ceremony because of its beauty. I know the thought is “Won’t that backdrop make for the best pictures?”. Absolutely….  It would be a great backdrop for PICTURES… But a wedding film… Not so much… Much of what we do revolves around audio and if you are standing in front of a babbling brook or a waterfall or water feature of any kind guess what suffers…. The audio of your wedding film and most importantly your wedding vows. There is nothing we can do to remove or minimize that sound. So if a wedding cinematographer and a wedding film is important to you consider that when selecting your ceremony location.

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I love the holidays but I always enjoy coming back and diving right back into work. I love the excitement that a new year brings. It’s a blank canvas full of possibilities and ideas. I am refreshed and ready to rock. Here is my first Wedding Film Tip of 2013 and it is coming to you from the future… Couples are focused on their wedding day. As far as they are concerned the world stops that day and ceases to exist after that. They spend hours, weeks, months planning this one event. There is no time to think of the future… They’ll worry about that later. Knowing what I know because I am in the wedding biz and having planned a wedding myself and now years later having children who are 7 and 5 the number one recommendation that I will make is to invest in your memories. When all of the food has been eaten and the champagne drunk the ONLY thing you have to show for this blessed event is your photos and your wedding film. That’s it. It’s the only record of those divine table linens and your fabulous decor. Your memories will show you people dancing and laughing and hugging and having the time of their life. They will give you your dads toast back and your mom zipping up your dress and your grooms look when he sees you for the first time. And a few years later you will be able to pass this gift along to your children and show them the day that you created your family. If I were getting married tomorrow I would put a solid chunk of my budget to my Photographer and Cinematographer to preserve these moments and memories that can never be recreated. Here’s to an awesome 2013 full of lots of new memories!!!

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Grand Exits are rad. Do one. They make for an awesome ending to an incredible day which means an awesome ending to your wedding film and photos. Check it out the impact that it makes on the end of your film…

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Another Wednesday Wedding Film tip posted on Friday. We’ve been busy over here…. Editing fools to be more specific… Get it? I was playing off of the title of the Wednesday Wedding Film tip.

This weeks tip is to be specific about your vision. About 6 weeks before your wedding at Serendipity we send you a Wedding Questionaire. This asks you everything under the sun about your wedding day. I realize that you are getting these types of questionaires from all of your vendors and they can be monotonous to fill out and cumbersome but these questionnaires play a vital role in the look of your wedding film and contribute significantly to the satisfaction of the finished film. Every couple is so different and what parts of the day each couple values the most is different. So when you receive that questionaire be specific. Give us the “deets” of your event. Of course all moments of the day are special but maybe there are “must haves” that we need to know about. Share them! We are pretty great at getting comprehensive coverage of the event but we aren’t mind readers. If there are specific details you want covered tell us. This helps us know what to look for and know what’s important to you. That way we make sure that it is in your film. When you get your finished film we want you to look at it and say “This is so us!! How did they capture “us” so perfectly?” I’d like to think we are so awesome but really we just know how to read. You told us everything you wanted, you were specific and we just executed that vision.

 


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It’s the Wednesday Wedding Film Tip posted on Friday….

Part of what a lot of cinematographers offer are something called Documentary Style Edits. I want to explain to you what a Documentary Style Edit is to Serendipity. A Documentary Style Edit is a specific part of the wedding day that is edited in its entirety. So let’s take the Wedding Ceremony for instance… If you  get a Documentary Style Edit of your Ceremony that means we edit from beginning to end your ENTIRE wedding ceremony. So if your Ceremony is 30 minutes long the Documentary Style Edit of your Ceremony is 30 minutes long. Take a look at a Documentary Style Edit of a Ceremony below.

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A lot of our couples have terrible memories of being at weddings and being attacked by a dude with a video camera and a big bright light shining in their faces and told to “Say something to the happy couple!”. I can see why couples opt out of Guest Well Wishes if this is their perception of them. At Serendipity we do things different. We are not a fan of drunk, bone headed answers and when you grab someone in the middle of a reception after the booze has been flowing chances are that an articulate answer is not what you are going to get. So our approach is totally different. You give us a list of people that you would like to hear from and we ask them specific questions. By asking questions instead of having them go off the cuff you get much better responses. I always encourage my couples to allow for Guest Well Wishes. You have to look at 10 years from now. Wouldn’t it be awesome to hear an interview from your parents, grandparents, siblings or friends about how they felt on your wedding day? These are moments you can’t put a price on. If done well Guest Well Wishes can be an awesome addition to your wedding film.

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Understanding the editing process of your wedding film is a key element to managing your expectations on when you will receive your finished film. An industry standard for completion of a wedding film is roughly 6 months. A couples first thought is 6 months seriously??? Are we working on your wedding film for the entire 6 months? The answer is no. But there is an extensive process to complete your film. Once your footage comes in after your wedding we import it into our editing system and go through a process called “logging”. This is where we label and organize every clip that we shot. Once it is logged we then work on your Wedding Movie Trailer which is a 2-3 minute mini Highlight Film. Once that is completed you go into the lineup of films to be completed. Most cinematographers have a few months of backlog of couples whose projects are ahead of yours to be completed. Once it is time for your film to be completed at Serendipity 2 Editors are working simultaneously to complete it. One Editor is editing your Highlight Film and the other is working on editing your Documentary Style Edits like your Ceremony being edited in full or your Toasts being edited in full. So now you are thinking “Ok cool so they are editing my wedding film… How long could that possibly take? A few days? What’s so hard? Pick some shots and throw down some music and call it good.” This couldn’t be further from the truth. Editing is a very extensive process and takes sooooo much time. For every edited minute of footage it takes an hour to lay down that one minute. And that is before you color correct, add any special effects, any titles or any audio. At Serendipity our films are very audio based so the time it takes to edit a film doubles. What I mean by audio based is that our films have a lot of “sound” in them meaning parts of the interviews, toasts and ceremony audio are in your film. All of that takes a significant time to lay down. At Serendipity all of our films are handcrafted for who you are as a couple so we are weaving together a story of your wedding day. Once your film is finished you get a link emailed to you to approve it. Once we send you the link to the film things move super fast and you generally have your film within a week. So that’s the skinny. So the take away from this post… Editing takes a really longggggg time.

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