A colleague/friend of mine, Lucas (a talented photographer in his own right), recently approached me with an interesting proposition: he needed me to edit his wedding video. This was a bit odd to me, both because I hadn't attended or shot his wedding, and because he had gotten married nearly a year ago. Turns out, a friend of his had shot a bunch of footage from the wedding and Lucas wanted to see if I could put something together to surprise his wife with on their one-year anniversary.
It's a really weird feeling to edit footage from a wedding that you didn't shoot or attend. When I shoot, I typically have some kind of vision for what I want the final product to be. "B-roll goes here. Speech goes here. This sequence goes here." When you have nothing but raw footage, it's like having all the pieces of a puzzle but without a picture to show you how it's all supposed go together. Also -- in this increasingly strained analogy -- you have the option of dictating what the final puzzle picture looks like.
In this case, it was important to me to understand Lucas' priorities for what events he needed to have shown, and what order he wanted to show them in. The video is also set to music that has emotional significance for the couple. But the most important part of this entire process was watching and studying all the footage, categorizing it into easily understandable and usable chunks, and then being able to assemble different sequences in compelling ways. "Need a clip of a toast? I know exactly where it is and what section of the toast to use in the final video." And so on.
One of the pleasures of the experience was seeing a wedding through someone else's eyes. I edited down 2.5 hours of footage into this 7-minute video. Thus, the vast majority of footage didn't make it in. But I was able to find some "money shots" that I think worked wonderfully. That feeling of discovery, and of incorporating that discovery into a finished, beautiful product, is pretty unique to editing a project like this.
Also: loved the last sequence from the video. Still kind of gives me chills.