You may have been told or read online somewhere to “make sure you get your RAW footage”. It’s a common question and request, but one that deserves more than a simple “no”. I know lots of videographers who offer to deliver RAW footage to clients, and that is completely their choice! But there are a few reasons why I don’t, and what i offer instead.
First off, we need to understand what RAW footage is.
What is RAW footage?
Simply put, RAW footage is footage that is straight out of the camera. Untouched. Unedited. Unstabilized. They are a VERY large file size and have no colour grading done to them whatsoever. In fact, the footage will look lifeless and very flat. This is because of the profile that I shoot in.
Notice how the RAW image of the footage looks pretty grey and lifeless. This profile I shoot in (C-log) is actually to preserve the dynamic range (the ability to preserve details in the highlights and shadows) so I can get the most out of my footage in post and make it look like the right image.
Why You Probably Don’t Want It
I shoot 100’s of clips and most of seemingly…nothing. Most clips are only several seconds long filled with lots of random shots, movements, shake, and noise. They are shot with a cinematic style in mind, meaning their purpose is to be complied together to tell a story. A single clip on its own will not do that, and most of them won’t make much sense on their own. There are lots of transition shots, where the camera is still rolling, but I am moving from shooting one thing to the next. You’ll most likely see the ground and lots of shaking.
Another thing, is the audio. The audio on camera is not good quality, which is why I used external sources to capture audio. In fact, most of what you will hear is probably my voice in the background. You won’t get the clean and crisp audio you hear in your film.
Like I also mentioned above, is the file size. These files are HUGE (especially 4K). I’m talking 100’s of GBs. These aren’t going to fit on a traditional USB or even your computer. I store mine and edit on a 4TB external hard drive. (You probably aren’t going to be lugging around a large external hard drive and plugging it in to watch it.)
Similar to why photographers aren’t going to give your their images before they edit them, we aren’t going to give you footage that is untouched and not up to our standards. Every videographer has a vision and a style, one we like to apply to our work. RAW footage is a blank state anyone could work on, making it ‘their own’. We have to preserve the copyright of our footage and our artistic integrity. I want to make sure anything that leaves my studio is at my standards, a reflection of my brand, and of course useable to you. RAW footage is just not usable, and you most likely are not going to watch it like you would a crafted wedding film or other type of deliverable.
What Do I Offer?
Along with cinematic wedding films, I offer full coverage of the ceremony and speeches. These clips are in full, start to finish, but colour graded with good audio!
Another new product I offer, are home movie edits! This is all the useable footage complied together and colour graded in chronological order, home movie style. This is often what most couples are thinking about when they ask for RAW footage – you aren’t really getting RAW footage at all, but all your footage of the day put into a useable and watchable format. They are a perfect addition if you are looking for an extra keepsake of the day along with your cinematic film.