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Taking Care of Business
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Old October 7th, 2012, 06:29 PM   #1
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Protecting Yourself When Delivering Digitally

I direct music videos. The videos are intended for the client's Youtube/Vimeo profile.

-I ask for 50% of the fee upfront and the rest on completion.
-I send them the first edit via dropbox and offer them a free first edit of any minor changes they want.
-Then I send them the completed file.

First of all, is a free first edit standard practise? It seems fair to me although I want to make sure im not unnecessarily giving away my time and working for free.

What is the best way to safe guard myself that upon the client being satisfied, and in receipt of the finished video, of them paying me the remaining 50%

Sending them a lower resolution video for approval doesnt work as I would have to reencode the final version. Too much time.

Uploading a version to my youtube under a private setting might work but where do I stand if the client claims slow interest access?
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Old October 7th, 2012, 06:58 PM   #2
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Re: Protecting Yourself When Delivering Digitally

All my video proofs are SD rez and have timecode burned in as well. I have no problem spending an hour of computer time for a final render.
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Old October 8th, 2012, 06:54 AM   #3
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Re: Protecting Yourself When Delivering Digitally

Watermark and timecode is the method I use.
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Old October 8th, 2012, 10:21 AM   #4
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Re: Protecting Yourself When Delivering Digitally

Watermark, upload to YouTube and set to private. Timecode is also good, because I want my clients to say "change the cut at 2:10:15" and not "change the cut when I talk about mutual funds" and I have to scrub through the whole video looking for a mention of mutual funds.

Build the cost to re-encode into your price. If the client says they don't have the capability to view it on YouTube, tell them to go to an internet cafe or friend's house. If they really bellyache, they can come to my office and watch it.

I give my clients two "free" edits. Of course, they're not free, they're built into the price.
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Old October 8th, 2012, 12:14 PM   #5
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Re: Protecting Yourself When Delivering Digitally

I upload to Vimeo and send them a link. I work for corporate entities, and haven't been ripped off yet (knock wood). I don't do any timecoding/watermarking.

I bid editing as a number of hours. If I bid correctly, there are usually a handfull of hours left when I deliver the first edit. If they come back with changes, I make the changes and re-submit. If the changes are "throw out everything, start over from scratch", I estimate how many additional hours I'll have to bill them for, and seek approval. If you allowed "one free edit" or "two free edits", you have less protection from this.

As far as encoding, I don't know why anybody cares. My "encoding" procedure is export from Final Cut Pro, drop into MPEG Streamclip, chose some settings, and "go". I'm not sure how long streamclip takes, because I don't watch - I go do something productive (or more likely, go screw around). But I don't bill those hours (because I'm not doing anything). There was a time when burning a DVD took hours, and you couldn't use the computer while you did it. But in 2012, I can encode, edit, and have YouTube running in the background. Why the concern about encoding?
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Old October 8th, 2012, 04:03 PM   #6
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Re: Protecting Yourself When Delivering Digitally

Thanks everyone. Very helpful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Watson View Post
Why the concern about encoding?
Because you cant get on with anything meaningful (I.E another project) whilst encoding.
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Old October 11th, 2012, 02:38 PM   #7
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Re: Protecting Yourself When Delivering Digitally

Interesting. I guess I just move on with editing the next project while it encodes in the background.
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Old October 11th, 2012, 06:10 PM   #8
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Re: Protecting Yourself When Delivering Digitally

Just encode overnight; is turnaround that hectic?
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