Wedding Video Raw Footage Vs Raw Video Files ~ Definition

Wedding videography is very different to wedding photography and apart from the bleating obvious, what we are referring to is the wedding video Raw footage and Raw video Files.

In today’s Melbourne wedding video market it seems the norm for many studios to offer extras in their packages to differentiate against their competition. Things such as extra DVD’s, Blu-ray, more hours and raw footage. Well lets face it, anyone can throw a handful of extra DVD’s, raw footage and other enticing extras, but ultimately what the bride and groom are purchasing is the quality of the production and edited versions and not just the minor extras to fill their purchase basket and justify the money spent.

One important note to mention, not everyone is trained in editing video footage but most of us have dabbled in editing a photo image. Raw photo images and Raw video files are two completely different formats and require different skills. When most videographers film, they tend to film for the edit. Which means they are intentionally filming in a certain manner, so they can then manipulate the footage in the editing suite. This may included excess movement, camera shakes, framing, exposure, filming with a flat profile so they can colour correct in post etc. And so as a result the Raw footage (if purchased or included) will include many of these deliberate faults.

So What’s The Story With Raw Footage And Raw Video Files?

If you are unfamiliar with video and how it’s produced than this section is for you.

There is a misconception in our wedding videography industry that suggests all studios should be offering the raw footage, as do most Photography studios. When offered the Raw Video Files, you will need to check whether it’s in a video format that can be viewed as a sequence of video files in series…. what was that!!! There are two forms of ‘Raw’ Terminology, one being the camera Raw Video Files and the other Raw Footage in sequence. It’s all in the terminology and how each video studio defines the terms.

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Raw Photo Files

Here is the difference and why photographers don’t have this issue but why Wedding videographers keep getting asked about the raw footage and how its spread into the wedding videography industry.

Unlike video, photos are a series of single images saved to disc/drive/or other device. They are easily edited and can be printed at your favourite printing-house. They can be shared by just emailing, or social sites and you have full control of each one of those thousand(s) photo images. Easy and it makes sense. The raw photo image files come in one form, a JPEG or other formats but it is just a photo file. The Photography studio will normally put the raw files from your wedding onto a Data DVD for you to take home and manipulate in your favourite photo program.


Wedding Video Raw Video Files

The comparison for video to what was described above is offering the couple the Raw video files onto a USB drive. ‘So whats raw files?’ I here you ask. Well raw files is simply put as, every time the camera operator presses record and then presses stop. It creates one raw video file and over the course of the entire wedding you may have several thousand raw video files. Exactly like a photo, you can view each one individually but they wont play in sequence. This is described as Raw Video Files – A group of individual video files viewed singularly.

There is not a lot of work involved in this process of supply apart form copying the files to a USB drive. A USB drive is needed because video uses a lot more data than a photo and anything from 50Gb to 300Gb depending on the size of the wedding and how it was captured. The advantage of these files is the ability anyone has to editing the footage. You will need to check with the policy and contract from the Video studio as some wont let you edit the footage due to copyright reasons.

Below is a series of Thumbnails from a drive containing the Raw Video Files. As described each file looks like a photo but is in fact one video file only.

Raw Video Files on a Hard Drive

Wedding Video Raw Footage or Uncut

As I mentioned above, it’s all in the terminology. Wedding video Raw footage or Uncut footage would be described as A sequence of the raw video files playable as one whole video track containing all the raw video files. The process of compiling the Raw Footage is the same as editing your wedding video. Now with some studios, who will use multiple cameras for your formalities, they may not provide you all the angles in sequence. Put it this way, you wouldn’t want to watch your ceremony from three different angles, one after the other. At Allure Productions, we only provide the main camera angle of that formality. ie,  for the ceremony it may be the centre wide angle; for the speeches it will be the camera pointed at the speaker. The raw video files are set in a sequence within the editing program. The program then Renders a video file and that file can be viewed on DVD or computer. This process of producing a DVD version is time consuming but the result of which is commonly referred to as Raw Footage.

There is more work involved with compiling the Raw Footage in general. The advantage is the ability to view all the individual video files (shots) in sequence as per any video/movie/film.

The Image blow shows each individual Raw Video/Audio file (in blue and green respectably) in sequence on a time line. The time line is what creates a video file which can be viewed as a video DVD or MP4 video file.

Raw Footage in Sequence

Sample of Wedding Video Raw Footage


An analogy – Think of the raw video files like the raw photo files. The wedding video Raw footage would be similar to the proof album or a video slide show the photographer has assembled. Again you would need to check with your Wedding video studio as to what they offer and what option you would prefer, and keeping in mind the advantages vs the disadvantages and what costs are involved.

Personally speaking, Raw video footage is not pleasant to watch and is often used by many videography studios as a ploy to entice you further. Two, three four hours of home style video with natural sounds does not entice me, it’s actually off-putting and apart for having it for prosperity sake, I wouldn’t bother. Think of those home video’s your mum and dad brought out every Christmas and made you watch, well this is just another one of those! As for the Raw files, well they are useless to you especially if you have no idea how to use them. If you want to spend your money then spend it on the actual wedding film which requires creative talent to produce rather than the raw video files or raw footage which is just an easy out.