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Old October 27th, 2006, 06:26 PM   #1
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50/50 pricing structure?

Hi,

I currently charge 50% to book a video shoot. The remaining 50% is due upon completion of editing. As a courtesy, I set up meetings for clients that want to watch the video before rendering payment. However, I never release a copy of the DVD until final payment is received.

I’m getting impatient waiting for clients to pay me. My contract states that final payment is due upon completion of editing. It does not say that they can pay me when they finally feel like watching their video several months later. It seems as though people never budget to pay people after an event takes place. Since I specialize in event videography, perhaps I should get the 50% up front, but wait until I receive final payment before editing their projects.

How do you guys deal with this? Should I start charging interest?
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Old October 28th, 2006, 12:12 AM   #2
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Depends. i have a few clients that I do event and seminars for and frankly I shoot edit and deliver the product before any money changes hands but I've been doing their work for 10 to 15 years and I know th eprincipals-play golf with them so those are caes I'm not worried about. For all others I get a retainer of 50% and 25% when the job is shot the balance due upon delivery. They get an invoice with a 10 day leeway, aftr that it's another invoice with a 2% service charge after that I send them 1 more with an additional 5% service charge after that I let my lawyer handle it. In 99.999% of the cases they pay within the prescribed time.

For weddings and the like it's 50% at time of agreement and 50% 30 days prior to the event. No questions, no arguement. at 40 days out I send them a reminder and if I don't have it by 25 or 26 days out I call. My agreement clearly states that if payment is not recieved the agreement is considered to be null and void and no refund of retainer is made. Again almost everyone is right there with it within a few days of the scheduled date. Language in your service agreement (contract) is all important.

Don
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Old October 28th, 2006, 07:44 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Jaco
Hi,

I currently charge 50% to book a video shoot. The remaining 50% is due upon completion of editing. As a courtesy, I set up meetings for clients that want to watch the video before rendering payment. However, I never release a copy of the DVD until final payment is received.

Iím getting impatient waiting for clients to pay me. My contract states that final payment is due upon completion of editing. It does not say that they can pay me when they finally feel like watching their video several months later. It seems as though people never budget to pay people after an event takes place. Since I specialize in event videography, perhaps I should get the 50% up front, but wait until I receive final payment before editing their projects.

How do you guys deal with this? Should I start charging interest?
One thought might be to deliver the complete edited video with a timecode burn and perhaps a phase like "Approval Copy" on it along with your bill at the completion of the edit, delivering a fresh copy minus the burn upon payment in full.
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Old October 28th, 2006, 06:18 PM   #4
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The timecode burn-in is an interesting idea, however, because it's DVD, it would require me to re-render the entire timeline which takes 4-6 hours.

I've noticed a lot of wedding clients pay 100% up front which is appealing but lets face it, if the client doesn't know (or trust) you, they will probably want to do 50/50.

Here is my idea, I will propose 50% at time of booking with the remaining 50% due 30 days before the event date (as Don suggested for weddings).

If the client has issues with paying it all in advance, then (as a last resort) offer a 50% deposit at time of booking with the remaining 50% due before the start of editing. This way you are still getting paid in advance for both shooting & editing, and the client feels more secure that you will actually have an incentive to show up.
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Old October 29th, 2006, 07:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom
.
For weddings and the like it's 50% at time of agreement and 50% 30 days prior to the event. No questions, no arguement.
Don
If you are getting all the money before the event, why not just ask for a 100% retainer? Explain that it's easier to the client because they don't have to remember to write you that second check and worry about losing their retainer if they forget.
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Old October 29th, 2006, 08:17 PM   #6
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First off, no one would pay it that far out and it's common practice in the wedding industry (at least in my area) that virtually ALL vendors, reception hall, photog, DJ or band, florist and any rentals such as linens, tabels and chairs, caterer are also paid 100% in advance. How much in advance is up to the individual vendor. I went to 30 days about 3 or 4 years ago before that I was a 14 day paid in advance guy and before that I was paid by the day of and before that I would get paid in full when I delivered the finished product. A good lesson is Once Burned Twice Learned.
Don
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Old October 30th, 2006, 07:11 AM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Jaco
The timecode burn-in is an interesting idea, however, because it's DVD, it would require me to re-render the entire timeline which takes 4-6 hours.
Seems like a small price to pay to get paid what's owed you. Besides, you can do this work (rendering) while you're sleeping.

We charge 50% to reserve the shoot date. Then 30% is due on the day of principle photography. Final 20% is due upon approval of "Proof Copy," which has that term watermarked in the center of the image.

By the time we're paid in full, they have their finished product. Everyone is happy.
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Old October 30th, 2006, 07:40 AM   #8
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For event work I always request full payment in advance; if someone really balked at that I might let them hold a small portion of payment (but not 1/2) until editing is finished.
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Old October 31st, 2006, 01:28 AM   #9
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Good tips everyone. I'll ask for the 50% on booking with the remaining half due 30 days before the event. If the client is worth taking a risk, I'll let them pay the second half before the start of editing.

I'm glad you guys are on the same page with this.
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