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Thread: Advice/help needed with incomplete wedding video.

  1. #1

    Default Advice/help needed with incomplete wedding video.

    I'm hoping someone can give me some advice on trying to salvage a wedding video because, as it stands now, we're concerenced we won't have one.
    Our wedding was last December. Our videographers captured enough footage for our video and the first half of our 'short version' was to our liking. However, they were never able to complete this. They lost control of their editor who they accepted was not doing the work. They kept patching together poor quality efforts for us. They were constantly late and ignored many many requests. They accepted they had lost control and were unable to keep up the standard of their work. We told them after 6 months of being messed around we did not want them to finish our video and we would take what we had and walk away as it was causing us so much upset. We believed, from various DVDs we had from them, that we could get someone else to edit the video as we had done a paper edit and had the footage without captions or music.
    However, after emailing many videographers/editors, they are all saying they can't do anything as we don't have the original footage. That the footage on our DVDs is compressed and if they do any further work on it they will be compressed further and really reduce the quality.
    This is all we have so were hoping we could use it. We no longer wanted contact with our videographers, but they seem to have gone out of business so I don't know if we could get the footage from them.

    So what I'd like to ask is, can we use what we have on DVD's already to make a video of good quality or will its quality be seriously compromised? Is it essential we have the original video files?

  2. #2


    Firstly, I'm sorry about your experience with your videographer. As for the quality loss from working off a DVD. If you have ever up loaded a video onto YouTube and seen the quality was not as good as the original footage this is the sort of result you might get. Yes, it would be better if you had the original footage to work on and the quality of the filming will also have a bearing. As it's now on a DVD it is only standard definition and in a compressed format as you understand. It's hard to know exactly how good or bad it might be but I don't see why, with a bit of skill from the editor, so long as they don't have to do too much corrective colour work etc., the footage can't be re-edited to your liking. If you explain to the editor you understand there may be some quality loss, then I don't see why they won't take on the work.

    If you come across to them as a very demanding, over bearing customer then this might put them off as well, especially as it involves taking over a job half way through someone else's work and not having the original footage.

    Good luck.

  3. #3


    Having recently re-edited a wedding for another badly disappointed couple I know the aggravation it causes. In our particular case the original operator grudgingly passed on the camera tapes (which your operator should still have). I'd pester the living daylights out of them by whatever means. Threaten with trading standards/bad publicity/small claims or anything else that makes them find those tapes. Even if shot on hard drives/cards they should still be mastered, somewhere, at high quality.
    If all masters have been destroyed (unlikely as it's so soon after the wedding) you will have to have an edited mpeg2 version which will be lower quality, but still watchable. Hope this helps!
    p.s. I'd also include a quote for the re-edit to the original operator, presuming you have already paid in full.
    Last edited by Zero; 08-25-2011 at 07:17 PM.
    My opinions are just that . . . Mine. It's not personal, but is based on my emotional and professional reaction to requested critique. If you choose to ignore constructive comments, I'll just assume you're a vanity poster and not posting to improve your filming and editing skills.

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Bishops Stortford, UK


    Hi there - sorry to hear about your trouble. I can totally understand why you might be reluctant to contact your videographers, in fact I'm currently helping another couple in a similar situation, whose relationship with their videographer had totally broken down. Fortunately, I was able to contact him and, after a few weeks of going back and forth, he is now sending me their original footage so that I can complete an edit for them.

    Perhaps this would be a way forward for you - for another videographer/editor to contact them on your behalf. As it was only filmed in December they almost certainly still have the original footage, even if they have gone out of business, and if they accept a degree of responsibility, there is really no reason why they would not release this to a third party for this purpose.

    If the original footage is truly unavailable, then the DVD footage is really your only option. Yes, it's already compressed and the quality will be lower, but whether it is 'seriously compromised' is a subjective thing. Personally, my own wedding video is a VHS dupe of an SVHS master filmed in 1999 and looks dreadful - but it doesn't stop my wife watching it every now and then and getting a tear in her eye.

    The question you need to ask is - will you watch the version you have now in years to come, or will it always annoy you? Would you be more likely to watch a properly edited version even if the quality is slightly lower?

    I'd be happy to try and help if you think I could be useful. you can contact me on if you have any questions or thoughts.

    Best of luck,

    Jim Cliff

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