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.
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.