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Taking Care of Business
The pen and paper aspects of DV -- put it in writing!

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Old February 27th, 2004, 09:34 AM   #16
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Princeton, NJ
Posts: 363
yeah, a hundred bucks isn't much but you gotta remember that happy people tell some people about you and the great job and mad people tell EVERYONE.

Have you tried to process the footage and take the hum out? There's a number of audio filters that are designed to do just that.

I'd go with 3 as well.

I like the idea of showing them some great footage and just explaining it and saying that you're not sure why it happened. (plant the old seed that perhaps it was the sound man's fault without saying it?)

Either way, I doubt I'd refund such a small amount BUT do your best, do what you would like someone to do for you if you were a customer.

Try to make them OK without it costing you and be professional.

Things like this happen to EVERYONE on every kind of project. Oliver Stone just discovered a bunch of footage for his latest film is ruined and he'll have to reshoot.

Do your best, treat them right and don't forget to ask them what other bands they know that would need a video made or other services.
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Old February 27th, 2004, 11:41 PM   #17
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Location: Miami, FL
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This is exactly why I would be completely prepared to go with #2, ONLY if #3 failed to deliver the promised results.

Think of it, $100...or 10,000 pennies...BFD!

"I'll give you back $63.50 and call it even"...PETTY.

The fact that you are ready to hand over your finished product, although imperfect, AND, the $100 is a tremendous show of good faith and ownership of responsibilty that cannot be achieved by "nickle and diming" a client for a few paltry bucks, especially if you screwed the pooch, whether inadvertently or through negligence or even ignorance.

Your positive actions will always be remembered by people over the otherwise perceived notion of you being a "cheap or cheating bastard", by your client. Remember, if you are doing business in this arena, especially in a local environment, it is a VERY small world. Good news travels fast...bad news travels faster!

Anyway, this is just how I personally do business. A trait instilled in me by my Father at a very early age.

My last response on this post.

Good luck, RB.
"The future ain't what it used to be." Yogi Berra.
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Old February 28th, 2004, 11:33 AM   #18
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Vancouver
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WOW guys thanks for all the help !!!
I guess I should clear up a few things

1) The reason I only charged a $100.00 is because it is what she could pay. Think of it this way I am sure I could have told her it was going to cost $1000.00 and that was the best I could do but this would have been a hard ship for her and perhaps put me out of her price range. What I charged is based on a few things, experience (or my lack of), the attitude of the client (If they are generally nice and are not stuck up and snotty) and where they are finically. I mean I got into this (movie making) to make movies not money and if I have spent a few dollars to do it then so be it. I do realize there are people that do this as a living and that by charging a rate that is to low effects everyone and is not fair I don’t usually do this stuff but I want to give it a try.

2) I have e-mailed the woman who is in charge of the audio and video with all the details of what happened to the video. I did not place blame on ether my self or the audio guy. I just said that there was a problem with the audio and that if I could get a copy of the master audio then I may be able to fix it (no guaranties or promises). In a way I'm happy that I only charged $100.00 (it is allot easier to give back then $1000.00 LOL)

I hope this experience will teach me something I totally believe that video is like selling a TV or something like that, if you get home and turn the TV on and it does not work then you should be able to take it back and get your money back. If she does not get a usable product then she should not have to pay for it.

"It cost more to get a customer then it does to keep one"
Words to live buy in any industry

Thanks for all the help
Michael Moore
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Old February 28th, 2004, 04:49 PM   #19
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Location: Northridge Ca
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Flash-forward six months. Same producer has another event and wants a video. Will she hire Michael?? Nah. He screwed it up. So, she calls in a professional videographer and asks, "How much to shoot and edit the event?"

"Let's see, you want me and my camera to shoot for a half-day. And you want me to edit the piece on my editing system, drop in a couple of graphics, to make a slick five minute video. OK, I can do the whole thing for five hundred dollars."

"What!!!" she bellows. "The last guy only charged me a HUNDRED dollars!!!"

Anyway, you get the idea.

If it was easy, they'd get a relative to do it.
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Old February 29th, 2004, 12:16 PM   #20
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Arlington VA
Posts: 1,034
#3 should be the best option anyway. When I record live events I always like to have it separate from the camera's inputs. I just use the camera's audio recording as an aid to syncing and use a multitrack roland digital recorder for the good sound.
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Old February 29th, 2004, 04:30 PM   #21
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Location: Frankfurt, Germany
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There is one thing that is bothering me about the notion that making a video for some one is like selling them something like a TV or a camera or a car or whatever. Something, that if it doesn’t work, you can refund the money. I don’t see it that way ... especially in respect to event documentation. I think we have chewed this specific case to death, but there are some interesting attitudes about work / client ethics that have come up here.

I think that we all agree that regardless of how much one is charging to do a job (I’m sorry that I referred to 100 $ as not being "real” money), one is obligated to deliver what one has agreed to. But can one offer to refund the money and expect to be out of trouble? If you sell a TV and it doesn’t work – you take the TV back and they use the money to buy a new one – that is fair, and normal. But an event is usually just once – you have one chance to cover it, and everyone involved knows that. If someone says "I only have $100, would you make a video of this or that for me?” . If I liked them, what they were doing or just plain felt like it, I would do the job – but making it clear that that price (or free) is not a "professional” rate. (those stupid quotes again, what do I mean by that?) That means if someone just wants to have their event on tape, then they have to be willing to accept a certain range of quality, or non-quality. I feel that that is an incentive for people to work for little or no money – I always deliver the best I can give, but I don’t worry as much on the jobs when there is little or no money. And that sometimes even results in a better product. If someone wants or needs a highly professional product, then they must be prepared to pay more from the start, that justifies a higher expectation. And if someone is paying me a professional rate to document something – giving them their money back - is not really one of the options in case something goes wrong. Of course I don’t expect to get paid for things I can’t deliver, but one has to understand that the damage done by an event documentation disaster is much grater than just the cost of ones services. I’m not sure that saying "here, you don’t have to pay me” is going to put you in any kind of good light, when you mess up an event, it will probably only enrage the people you are working for.

I don’t want to belabor this issue – this is just a bit of advice for people getting started in charging for their services. It’s not good to have the attitude that one can just "give the money back if things go wrong”. Maybe the debate is– does working for $ 100 constitute working professionally or not.
Daniel Kohl

Frankenstein meets XL1
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