Brighter Lights Media


Short Form Wedding Films: 3 Key Questions for Couples

You’re engaged, and you’ve arrived at the stage of deciding on your wedding videographer. You’ll soon come to realize that not all are created equal, nor is what they offer. We’ve already talked about the comparison of Price vs. Value when looking for a wedding videographer, now comes the time to get more specific. One of the bigger questions that you may not yet know to ask is, is a short form wedding film for me?

What is a Short Form Wedding Film?

Although there is no official standard, the generally accepted rule of thumb for a short form is between 10-45 minutes in length, and for the long form anything that exceeds 45 minutes. Is one better than the other? Great question. The answer is no. What one couple finds attractive, another may not, and vice versa. It all comes down to personal taste. Really the only way to find out which one is for you is to watch a full feature film from a few different studios to compare and contrast. The first thing you will probably notice when viewing a short form wedding film is that events don’t always occur in chronological order. That’s not to say, however, that it doesn’t flow. In fact most times it can have a very concise flow. The reason being is that couples trust our creative instincts, which in turn allows us to tell a more compelling story by shifting around certain moments. This is known as “time-shifting.” We’ve embedded a snippet from one of our films below so that you can get a sense of what it’s like to experience a true short form wedding film.


Why is it Shorter?

One obvious distinction when looking at a short form feature is your video’s runtime. What happens to the rest of the material? It’s the very important role of the editor to ensure that all key moments are presented in the final cut, as well as moments that are relevant and special to the couple. This is one area where people often underestimate how difficult and time consuming it is for an editor to sift through an entire day’s worth of wedding footage (not to mention you’re usually working with 2 cameras or more!). The ultimate goal of the short form film is to harness the overall emotion of the day, and to tell a story that’s engaging, fun, and honest. Most of the time if you hire a studio to create a short form film for you, you’re allowing them to use their own artistic vision to tell your wedding story.

Who Picks the Music?

There’s no question that the music is a big part of any wedding. Your first dance, parent dances, reception music, etc. Short form wedding films employ the use of a cinematic score, or soundtrack. What this means (again, this is not a rule but more a rule of thumb) is that the editor has final say as to the film’s music selection. Problems arise whenever there are any sort of restrictions in place, especially with music. If a couple is insisting on a particular song to be present in their edit, it can often lead to trouble because the editor gives up some creative freedom. Certain songs are difficult to edit too, and others are more difficult! It’s paramount to creating a strong film for the editor to have full range of his toolkit, one of the most important being music. For us, the musical soundtrack is a way to enhance certain moments, and support the emotion of what you’re seeing. As an aside, we’d like to point out that in addition to our feature films, all our clients receive edits of their Ceremony, Special Dances, & Toasts mixed with their original song of choice. These are part of all of our collections and included on our DVDs & Blu-rays.
If there’s one takeaway from this blog post, we hope it’s the understanding that we as wedding filmmakers truly want to create a masterpiece and a work of art for our clients. The key to that is client education, and the sharing of our work to enlighten people on the process and the care involved in each and every wedding we edit.