How to Produce a Same Day Edit by Heart Stone Films

So how did we produce a Same Day Edit here at Heart Stone Films?

1)The first thing to do is start the prep work well before the wedding day. We had a dedicated hard drive for this project and we went ahead and organized the hard drive with folders labeled for each shooter and each portion of the wedding day. This allowed us to be extremely organized while handing off cards to the editor throughout the wedding day. It also made it very easy to locate specific footage while importing and editing in Adobe Premiere Pro. After the project is created in Premiere, we laid out sequences or timelines to help us organize the footage further after we imported it into the program. We always have a dedicated sequence called “film clips” that allows us to save all of our favorite clips and audio in one place.

2)The next thing we did was pick a song. That’s right, we chose the song 7-10 days before the wedding. We added the song to the project so we were not scrambling to find music that weekend or that day. This is a HUGE timesaver and will also allow you to plan out some of your edit to flow with the cadence of the song you select.

3)Now that our project and hard drive is organized, we like to map out the edit. This is a combination of our experience and feedback from the couple as to what and who are the most important parts and moments of the wedding day. For Olivia and Fiesky we knew that the venue and location, first look, personal vows, and seeing each other for the first time at their ceremony were the key moments for them.

4)With our project organized, sequences created, song selected, and key moments decided, we started shooting everything we could before the wedding day. Olivia and Fiesky love the Bahamas and specifically the Atlantis as it is one of their favorite vacation spots. We wanted this to be prominent in the film so we got all of our location and establishing shots in the days before the wedding. Once we had that footage, we went ahead and placed it strategically on our final timeline. We also shot the rehearsal dinner on Friday night, so we were able to choose a great toast from Olivia’s dad to open the film. The key is to do as much as you can before the wedding day! By the time Saturday arrived we had a final timeline with a song, opening toast, and location/establishing shots in place.

5)Moving on to the wedding day. We had three filmmakers to pull this off. Two people always shooting and one person in the hotel room loading footage, organizing footage, and selecting the best clips or soundbite and moving them to the “film clips” timeline. For the bride and groom preps Toni was with the bride, Chris was with the groom, and Alex was managing the loading, organizing, syncing, and rough cutting of footage. During the ceremony all three of us were filming, because we also shot some Super 8mm film 🙂  After the ceremony, Chris took over the edit, while Alex and Toni filmed the reception. So this was the stressful part, we had 2 1/2 hours to finish the edit, level and mix the audio, and export the film. Our approach to building a quick and meaningful edit is to edit mini stories together and then add them to the final sequence. Our mini stories were the vows, first look, bride prep, groom card reading, bride/groom walking down aisle, and photo session. Once those mini stories were edited together it made it easier to move each “scene” into the appropriate place in the final film. We were cutting it really really close on time because we wanted to include audio from their ceremony, which was the last thing we shot before sitting down to edit, so Toni came up to help Chris do the final audio mix and export the film. We headed down to the reception to share the film after dinner around 10:15pm. The film was a big hit and a huge surprise to all of the guests and family! Same Day Edits can be very stressful but if you start prepping at least a week in advance, keep your footage and audio organized, and have a strategy and plan for your edit the payoff and sense of accomplishment is amazing!