How long does it take to edit a wedding film?

How long does it take to edit a wedding film?

Creating a wedding film is a creative process that, for anyone who cares about the outcome, is always going to take a long time. I can’t think of any shortcuts that I can take to make the process easier, or any less time intensive. In the twelve years that I’ve been doing this, I have seen a steady rise in computer processing power, screen resolutions, and sophistication of the tools that I use. This, you’d think, should make things faster and easier, but what happens is that people’s expectations rise (and rightfully so) so the bar gets raised, and the films get better. Film making is a multifaceted craft that, like any craft, can be fun, frustrating, interesting, fiddly, hard work, rewarding, challenging, exciting, and all the other ways of describing the creation of something that’s driven by a passion. 

After transferring all the footage off the cards and onto the computer, my basic process is this…

  1. Look through the 2 or 3 hours of footage, and trim off the bits that i’m definitely not going to use (the bits where i’ve already hit record but i’m still getting the shot ready, for example)
  2. Arrange the clips into an order so that they start to make sense (the clips often coming from 2 or 3 cameras).
  3. Create all the timelapse clips, and build the titles, ready to put in the final edit. Have a think about what songs are going to go where. 
  4. Build the film, clip by clip. 
  5. Colour correct/grade every single clip individually (so, maybe around 500 clips), and add any other effects. 
  6. Render draft, and upload for client to see. 

This takes me up to the point of issuing the draft. I won’t bore you with the rest but, needless to say, more time is taken to prepare/produce the final copies. 

Creating a wedding film (corresponding with client/taking the booking/filming/editing/preparing final copies/posting) can take me around 50 hours. 

How long will it take you to edit my film?

It’s really difficult to give anyone an accurate answer to this question. Basically, I film around 25 weddings each year, with most being in the summer. The couples who get married at the end of Spring/beginning of Summer can generally expect their film to be ready in anything from two to 5 weeks – that’s the best case scenario. As the Summer progresses, things start to stack up. By the end of a Summer I could have around 15 to 20 weddings still to edit and, with each one taking about a week to edit, you can see that there’s often quite a wait for the people who get married at the end of the summer – anything up to 6 months. 

Film making is my full time job, and how I support my family, so i’d be silly to put all my eggs in one basket. So, I also make films for businesses (promo films, social media content, event filming and photography etc etc). I love filming weddings, and I love the feeling of handing over a film that is so special to the couple, and that’s only going to gain in value as time goes on. In order to do this, I also need to do the commercial filming – which I also just happen to love too! Doing both makes it all financially and creatively viable. 

So, editing your film will take time, but it’s time well spent as the results are always worth the wait. I’d much rather hand over a film that’s been carefully crafted (and spent weeks, or even months in the oven – (to introduce a metaphor), rather than something that’s been made hastily, and half baked (can you see what i did there? :-) ).

Thanks for reading.