Understanding "Raw Footage"

One of the most common questions I hear from clients is what exactly defines "raw" video footage, and how much or little of it can they expect in their finished product.

To me, raw footage is completely unedited, long-form video taken directly off a camera and given to a client on a hard-drive.  It includes every mistake, shake and focus change.  This is usually not something a client wants to sort through themselves.

While that is my notion of raw footage, I think a lot of people think of it instead as simply the complete natural version of a given part of the day.  For example, the entire ceremony, uninterrupted or altered with outside music or editing.  A common question might be: 

"Can I get the full raw ceremony along with the highlight video?"

A lot of wedding video professionals will provide only a 3-10 minute "Short Film" of the day as a finished product, and leave the complete or "raw" events as an extra to be purchased.

Thousand Words will always provide complete versions of your events (ceremony, reception events, dance floor footage and guest messages) in addition to a 10-15 minute short film of the day.  It is the best of both worlds:  A curated and artistically assembled movie, in addition to full access to the complete events cleaned up for audio and video clarity, but otherwise presented exactly as they occurred.

A Few Hundred Words: Wedding Video in 2015

Good morning, 2015.  Boise is in an inversion, fuel is cheap, and wedding plans hum away.  For my part, and to get this blog off to a proper start, I'll give a brief pitch on why video should be near the top of any wedding checklist.

  • It's Not Just About You.  (Well, it is.  But also a lot more.  Just read.)

Weddings are reunions, family gatherings, celebrations and affirmation of some of what make us fundamentally human.  They can evoke the best of what we are or want to be.  Beauty, commitment, friendship, family, love.  The material aspects of the day are just window dressing without the people to make them sing.  As the couple being married, you step forward to a noble and ancient rite that has connective roots to almost any modern culture.  In short, it's a big deal.  For you, for your family, for your friends and even for the plus one guests you've never met.  But... 

  • It Will Go Quick.

Time flies when you're having fun.  It also flies when you're marrying the love of your life, throwing the party of the decade and catching up with every special person you could think to invite.  George Carlin once asked incredulously, "Does anybody just remember things anymore?"  The answer is yes, but not all that well.  Sometimes we forget the good times when we're mired in the bad.  Sometimes a familiar face or voice is the best tonic to revitalize the soul.  To be inspired, to know one is loved, these things are priceless.  Photos are beautiful, but a distant beauty.  The movement and sounds cannot be framed and sat on a mantle.  They existed once, but the day has passed.  Or as Ruger Hauer improvised in his final lines of "Blade Runner", memories can be lost "...like tears in rain".  But...

  • Video is Bottled at the Source Emotional Energy

A thoughtfully shot and crafted video has the power to capture and rebroadcast the best of the wedding day.  A botched vow that is forgiven with smiles and knowing laughter.  A fathers toast that seems to sum up a life's work.  A first kiss that ushers in the start of a magnificent journey.  A dance that justifies weeks of lessons.  Hair that will be gone as children arrive.  Friends that hint at top secret college adventures.  Your wedding and guests are unique.  The events and story that come from that day will never come again quite the same way.  Preserve and cherish it.  Get a video.

That's enough of that.  Don't litter and try to have less gluten.