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In the Raw // Wedding Videography Raw Footage

Sometimes when we receive an initial inquiry from couples or when we’re chatting with them about our wedding film products, we get a question about raw footage… Is this something we offer and if so, how much would it be to add it?  Well, we do have it as an optional a la carte item, but really only because we occasionally get asked about it!

When clients inquire abut raw footage, unless they’ve dabbled in video editing themselves, they often don’t really know what it is.  Most are picturing one wonderfully complete vision of their whole wedding day.  They imagine a pleasant-to-watch, long version of all the day’s events, ready for them to sit back and watch with a big bowl of popcorn.

That’s not at all what raw footage is about!  When a wedding is filmed by our team, multiple HD cameras are used throughout the day to capture the events.  Each camera is essentially turned on just for a short time, often just for a few seconds, and each time it is, the footage’s start and stop can be shaky in appearance and somewhat jarring to watch. 

The intent behind each capture is really to eventually create a bigger picture, to reveal the story for the viewer in the final edited product.  So the shooter’s focus is always on getting the best shot of the event and to not miss anything else important in the process.  Often more footage than is needed is captured, sometimes the best angle of an individual scene or event isn’t filmed by a particular camera and at times, someone or something gets in the way to make a shot less than ideal.  It’s only later in the editing process that all the best footage is located and chosen for inclusion in the final product.

In addition, the footage gathered from the two, three or even four cameras used simply creates a very, very long list of video files, and this file list isn’t laid out sequentially, as each set of video clips is only in order within each camera.  So the entire list of files won’t be in order.  These clips also don’t have the benefit of being “fine tuned” for color grading and correction, something that happens continually during editing. 

Finally, the sound used in raw footage is not crisp and clear, as syncing the mics that captured the best audio from the day is only done in the editing process.

Many times, when couples think what they want is the complete raw footage, what they are really imagining is a documentary edit.  At Cord 3 Films, we do offer documentary edits for couples who want to have their ceremony and/or reception formalities in a beautiful, professionally edited, enjoyable-to-watch format.  This style of film is a full, play-by-play of the events just as they happened, with the natural audio included, all carefully edited to seam together the best viewpoints and different camera angles.  They’re actually enjoyable to watch to relive the wedding day’s most important events all over again!

So now that you know what raw footage is and how it compares to a documentary edit, why would you choose to add it to your package?  Do you want to have each little detail from the day simply archived for the future?  If you said yes, then raw footage may be something you’d want to consider as an addition to your edited wedding film package.


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