raw footage vs. raw edits

Today we are discussing whether or not to include raw footage in your package.

My answer, no.

Let me explain. Raw footage files can be very large and confusing to navigate. Usually, we have AT LEAST two cameras filming, and if we just sent you all those files, you might not know where you start. You will also need a generous amount of storage to house all those files. Trust me, it is not going to be something that you will want to whip out to relive your day. This is why we cinematographers invest so much each year in digital storage. The files are giant and take up much more room than photos. A typical wedding will yield 300-400gb of footage, plus audio, plus editing files.

Raw footage is non-colorgraded, large files with our movement, breathing, etc included in the audio and visuals. We create beautiful cinema out of this, but it’s not included. We simply find that having hundreds of clips that only a powerful computer could play smoothly is not as fun, romantic or cute as couples think!

Offering raw footage also could go against our copyright and opens the footage up to be re-edited. We consider what we do to be art and definitely one of a kind story-telling!

You could also encounter redundancy with raw footage. Camera 1 is capturing the same thing as camera 2 but camera 2's footage file is wayyyy down on the list. This could get complicated. Not to mention, you will probably hear us breathing, see us moving, and the sweet audio, well, it is not usually captured directly on the camera shotgun mic at all.

Also, remember that raw footage is untouched and unedited. The colors and looks of the footage will not be what you are used to. Nope, not cinematic at all.

We suggest to not include raw footage but instead ask for raw edits. (We call them "chapters".)

However we do offer add-ons which can be added after your wedding. We place those clips in chronological order, trim them up and offer them as one streamable file instead of 500gb of jumbles (of which 20gb might be me trying to nail an approach on your flowers and saying something to psych myself up!) It’s one of the reasons why you hire the pros to manage all that!

Raw edits, or chapters, can come in the form of asking for ceremony chapters, speeches chapters, dances chapters, reception chapters, letters chapters, etc. This means that we take the footage from multiple cameras, the captured audio, and edit it together selecting the frames that are most beautiful. We try to make this as seamless as possible. It's the closest thing to a documentary that we can give you. :)

I’ve edited alllll this before as chapters (prep, full first look, full ceremony, full toasts, reception dancing, etc.). It takes a bit of prep even before your wedding for this to happen as you can imagine for best results and why it’s not included. Aka, I alert my second shooter that we are looking for longer clips and not quite as cinematic sequencing. Basically, I film with the end product in mind!

For Hello Cheetah Productions, chapters are an extra cost. Approximately 1/2 of our couples decide to purchase a chapter or two. The price is determined simply by how much footage we have to produce. Our most popular chapter add-on is the ceremony, of course, or a 30-40 minute documentary.