RAW VIDEO FOOTAGE OF YOUR WEDDING
“Can we buy raw footage of our wedding day?”
We get this request a lot from our couples. As a general rule, Vortex Cinema Production does not provide our couples with raw video footage/files. All and all, we don’t begrudge those requesting it. You may be trying to save a few bucks, or maybe you just want to have some fun and edit it yourself. Maybe you feel like you are missing something that you would liked to have had captured in your 12 hour day. It may even be that you misunderstand just what “raw footage” actually is. We get it. Hopefully through this we can make a compelling case that not only do you not need raw footage of your wedding day but that there are a few very good reasons you don’t even WANT it.
Raw footage is the unedited footage taken directly from our professional camera. It has no color correction, no cuts, no off camera audio, and is filled with unused footage that never makes it to the final version of your edited wedding. Vortex shoots weddings with the intention of being edited and, as such, have hours of footage of things like napkins being folded and close ups of the brides make up, not to mention all the major events of the wedding day. Some of this footage is shot several times until we get the shot we want so the other shots can be outright ugly. It is not uncommon for Vortex to have 600 minutes of footage that must be reviewed and edited into the final delivered pieces that you as the bride receive.
Many people confuse the term “raw footage” with a digital version of their edited wedding film. This is easy to confuse and is usually just as easy to clear up with someone. We gladly deliver all edited videos in a digital format to our clients. We want it to be easy for them to enjoy their wedding film in any way they choose. Unlike edited footage that looks and sounds beautiful, raw footage may look dark or even a bit brown (depending on the camera and the lighting situation) compared to the final product as we shoot in a flat image so that we can bring colors and content out in the edit. This footage almost never has great audio if it has audio at all, as the camera may be very far away from the subject and we only use this audio for syncing purposes for our professional recorders.
Why you don’t want raw footage of your wedding.
Despite our reasons for not offering raw footage, I think a better argument can be made that most couples who inquire about raw footage don’t even really WANT it…
Raw video footage is a very daunting thing, indeed. It exists in folders with names like “Card 1″ and with nondescript file names like “IMG_4067.mov” that give you no clue as to what content is in it, unless you shot it yourself. It would only be useful to someone if you plan on reviewing and editing the all 10 hours of footage yourself. Most don’t. The fact is most people don’t have the time to deal with this massive project. For a professional editor it will take at least 30 hours to edit a wedding, but it can easily creep upwards of 50 hours depending on the event or client. Needless to say, it would take someone who was not a pro a lot longer.
Video editing is very hard on your computer. Part of what make s a pro editor fast is the investment they have made to get the best gear they can possibly get to make the process go smoothly, and that includes some serious computer horsepower. Not to mention the cost of storage. A wedding film that is not backed up is one power surge away from getting erased. At Vortex we back up everyone’s wedding… Twice. Redundancy is the name of the game.
Not to mention that video editing is hard! Seriously, it is. No matter what anyone else would leave you to believe, taking three camera angles and three off camera audio sources, syncing them up, and editing them takes a good amount of skill to do correctly and should not be attempted lightly. A good editor is so much more than just someone who can “work computers good”. They are a good storyteller with the understanding of feel and timing necessary to bring life and gravity to the footage they are editing.
You don’t need raw footage if all you want is a digital version of your wedding. Any modern wedding videographer will provide this to their couples. You simply will not be able to re-edit their work, and for most people that’s totally fine.
Do you still want raw video footage?
I want to make one thing abundantly clear. We love the various wedding blogs that are available for to help our couples to become educated consumers. They are great tools for them to learn about wedding planning “dos and don’ts”. In many ways they are our bread and butter because they let people know about our company and services and create demand for creative, high-end photo and video. For this, we here at Vortex are forever grateful! In light of this, we offer a bit of advise to those reading them to get tips for planning your dream wedding and booking your photo and video professional: Take their advice with a grain of salt. Most of the writers are not photo or video professionals and are unaware of what goes into making these works of art come to life. One of the bits of advice many of our brides are given is “Ask your videographer for the raw footage.” Frankly, we think this is bad advice for most couples. Before you request raw footage from us or any videographer ask yourself a few questions
1. “Do I want to invest upwards of 50 hours editing my wedding?”
2. “Am I capable of doing a good job editing my wedding?”
3. “Is my computer capable of editing video?”
4. “Am I comfortable getting anything less the the fullness of the artistic vision of the video professional I am hiring?”
Most likely the answer to those questions above is a big “No” for most people. Honestly, do you really need more job in your life or to have to worry if Uncle Jim will loose all your wedding footage?
Still Want your Raw Footage?
So all this having been said, you find yourself still wanting it? Then let me walk you through the process.