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Old July 3rd, 2017, 09:58 PM   #1
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Could use some advice on bidding this

I've been handed a project which is about 16 years of someone's home video clips, for a life history video that will be given as a gift. There are a LOT of clips on the drive, roughly about 2-3 hours for each year of small clips. From what I can tell , the majority of the clips are short but there will be quite a bit of reviewing and decision-making as to the best clips to use.

The guideline I have been given is a written general description, with discretion to pick the best clips. It's not super-critical what's used because all the clips will be given on the drive along with it as a gift. I'm looking for the highlights (of course she and I will review this during the course of the project to make sure nothing major is missed). Think baby pictures, then each stage of life until 20s.

We are aiming for about a two hour video, mostly clips to music with some nat sound. At this point there is no narration but there is some nat sound. The destination will be a DVD and possibly just the disk image on the drive.

I do have packages set up for someone who wants to do a biography, but that would be a totally different project - one where I interview someone, create a bed of sound bites and music, and add appropriate clips or photos. Once I settle on a 'basic' bid for editing, I plan to suggest a biography interview (which will be far more effective to tell the story). Also, I'll include basic graphics, but might try to upsell her on something more fancy.
However I want to give her price options and not stringing her along with an open-ended hourly rate, since honestly I have no idea how long it will take. If I get it wrong I will know for next time.

This is considerably different. so I'm not quite sure how to bid it. If you have experience to share I would be grateful as I need to get back to her with a bid shortly.

Thx =)
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Old July 4th, 2017, 01:31 PM   #2
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Re: Could use some advice on bidding this

I would think you first need some basic information:

1. How many individual clips are there and what is the average duration.
2. Do the clips need any kid of restoration or conversion
3. How would you determine, as an outsider, what are the best clips, I assume the idea of 'best clips' is not based on quality but on the emotional value of the footage.
4. Would you be expected to add music tracks and narration.

I would have reservations with respect to the required duration, a two hour video is massive!
I think it would be a big challenge to keep viewers interested for 2 hours by basically looking at disconnected clips.
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Old July 4th, 2017, 03:22 PM   #3
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Re: Could use some advice on bidding this

I'll be honest, I did something similar for family, and it became a burden. Their's however, started out as interviews of people (friends & family). However since it was difficult meeting so many people, it turned into 'record a clip yourself' and send it to my email (wasn't my idea). Then it turned into people who seemed to barely know him or knew him eons ago started sending me clips. One believe it or not was PAL (they lived in UK), my method to convert it was upload it to YT then DL it using a Youtube FLV download type website.

It really became a mess, color correction was awful (one guys face was beat red), iPhones were set to portrait view so very narrow. (When shown they asked if I can fix that?). And yes, the total running time somehow ended up being close to 2 hours.

Anyway I realize it was slightly different however it may be insight into bidding firm. If you price it as an easy, family project they'll likely think the amount of work your doing is that of an easy family project. Cover yourself for revisions and last minute inclusions (scanning photos, interviews/video clips of family).
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Old July 4th, 2017, 09:37 PM   #4
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Re: Could use some advice on bidding this

It's a fairly common scenario. Like someone said it can take countless hours with no end in sight. Usually involves the client sitting down editing with you. Otherwise you provide them with time coded footage that they review and designate the ins and outs. I charge hourly rate and update them given their budget. I wouldn't take it unless you really want to do it. It's usually a lot of work for a little pay.
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Old July 5th, 2017, 03:56 AM   #5
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Re: Could use some advice on bidding this

I think that viewing and selecting from possibly 40 hours of varied footage is going to be a mammoth task in itself, let alone the editing. I disagree with Cary on two hours being too long as this is the story of someone's life will be of great interest to friends and family and is a personal history. I often deliver weddings that are two hours long and that is from one day!

Pricing is extremely difficult, so I would suggest that you come up with a price based on a fixed number of hours that you anticipate, with the agreement that you will log the time and reduce the cost if less time is taken, or give them the option to pay for more hours if it takes longer than expected. Otherwise you will get bogged down in giving them ever increasing hours for a diminishing return.

Roger
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Old July 5th, 2017, 06:11 AM   #6
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Re: Could use some advice on bidding this

You have essentially two tasks, curation and editing. I would consider crowdsourcing the former by setting up an onlne archive that family members can comment on, vote, etc. to decide what has the most importance. There may be content and references you might miss due to unfamiliarity with any number of what I call aspects and dimensions of personal history. For instance an item in a scene that holds some importance, a verbal reference, a story, etc.Offer the client a couple of choices, one based on a crowdsourced approach and one based on you doing all the work that includes lots of revisions + time & materials beyond what's assumed upfront. Also consider research time. References to places might lead you to searching for stock images of those places. Have fun with it.
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Old July 6th, 2017, 09:36 PM   #7
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Re: Could use some advice on bidding this

Thank you so much for all of your very helpful responses. I've sent her off an estimate with a number of options. It's in her hands now!
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Old July 7th, 2017, 09:22 AM   #8
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Re: Could use some advice on bidding this

Hopefully they're sufficient. Take it or leave it now. Don't worry if they write back it's too high, let it go. Don't get yourself into a project that'll become too much of a burden.
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Old July 7th, 2017, 03:13 PM   #9
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Re: Could use some advice on bidding this

I think the one I did cost me three weeks of my life! Logging the clips and dating them correctly meant watching everything, and keeping very good records so that when the client then said, "there is a bit somewhere with a Cortina car - I really must have that in" - you can find it. They will then request something be cut - don't worry it's only a small ten second bit of aunty Flo who we don't want. It then takes hours of re-rendering once you've found it.

I'd figured 4 days work - it took three, and I got paid for the 4 days I quoted. The client can not be expected to appreciate that even small changes in a very long project take far too long.

If I was to do it again, I would break it down into very short sequence - maybe a year's worth at the most - get each one sorted as a separate item, then combine the approved and finished segments. I did not - I ended up with maybe 30-45 minute segments - in my case from each clump of 200ft reels of cine.
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Old July 8th, 2017, 11:15 PM   #10
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Re: Could use some advice on bidding this

Ballpark figure, $10k. I'm sure they'd come back and tell me that was too high, I'd be fine with that, but it would be a starting point to get to something more reasonable.
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Old July 11th, 2017, 02:46 PM   #11
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Re: Could use some advice on bidding this

I'm with Mike $10K, at least.

Crowd source it idea for other family member input......disastrous idea in many ways. Not the least of which is, I promise you will be attacked for your end product by people who think you should have done exactly as they said. Keep a lid on Pandora's Box.

I sincerely hope this becomes an awesome experience for you! So much work to do!!!


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Old July 23rd, 2017, 10:12 AM   #12
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Re: Could use some advice on bidding this

Just curious, how did this turn out?
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