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Old December 19th, 2007, 04:38 PM   #1
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Turnaround times?

I know this varies across the board. I've read where some people turn their wedding videos around in a week or two...and some are telling their brides 9-12 months.

Now...there's no way I can do it in a few weeks. Wedding videos aren't the only thing I do and sometimes another project comes up that needs to be done right away so the wedding gets pushed back...and back..and back..until bam backlogged!

How do you guys feel about telling a client.."don't expect your video for 9-12 months". On one hand it gives you LOTS of wiggle time..and if you delivery early..well good for you...but i think some clients think "a whole year?!?! good grief..we'll go elsewhere"

I want to have good turn around times...but I don't want to sacrifice quality or other work to have good turn around times.

Suggestions?


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Old December 19th, 2007, 04:43 PM   #2
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We're up front about our 3 - 6 month turn around time. If they want faster turn around with less quality, they can go somewhere else. Don't be afraid to stand your ground. If they want your work, then they know what they have to pay and how long it takes.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 05:08 PM   #3
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I like to keep my turn around time under a month. Granted, I am in Utah and most of my videos are significantly shorter and less complicated than most traditional weddings. Personally I think asking anyone to wait for 9-12 months is utterly ridiculous. 3-6 months is passable, especially for a more popular videographer who is talented and people want their work. Anything over six months just seems unprofessional to me. If you are that far behind you need to hire more help. That's just my take on things.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 05:15 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jeremiah McLamb View Post
and some are telling their brides 9-12 months.
That's really absurd, In the beginning of the weddingseason I manage to handle a project in a weeks time but by the end of the weddingseason it's max 2 months. That also includes unexpected projects with real deadlines. If you take 9 - 12 months it won't be long before you are out of business, that should mean that you accept much more projects then you can possibly handle. If I would ever get in such a situation I would take in extra people to get the job done, can't imagine people taking you seriously if it takes that long.

As I see it about 3 months is the max limit waitingtime for a weddingfilm but if you work for a company the deadlines are much tighter and you don't have the luxury to tell them to go elsewere if they don't like that, because they will..
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Old December 19th, 2007, 08:46 PM   #5
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I'm not sure you can call it unprofessional if a company is up front with the client about how long it takes and the client likes that person's work enough to wait on it.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 09:45 PM   #6
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I state in my contract that delivery will be within 6-12 weeks of the wedding, but so far have not exceded 2 months. I am cutting it close on one that I am working on now, but I should get it out in about 10 weeks from the wedding. I think if they wait too long for it, it kind of looses that special touch. I don't like having all the back log either... with 2 kids under 3, its best that I try to keep up, because you just never know what will come up to set you back a little!
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Old December 19th, 2007, 10:22 PM   #7
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I totally agree that 9-12 months is way too long. However, if I tell a client 3-6 months and I go 7-8 months because a large project sidetracked me on the 4th month, what do I do?

I'm a one man band and can't afford to deal my work or even parts of my work to others...even someone working for me. Weddings are pretty steady for me...but at the same time I'll get a random job that I don't want to pass up but I know it will take a full month of my focus away from editing weddings...when at the same time i'm still shooting a wedding every weekend...thats where the pileup comes. I hate to turn most jobs down because if I do I'll starve through the lean seasons.

I hope that a person is hiring me for my talent and therefore will trust me in deciding how long it will take to finish their "masterpiece" of a wedding. I can turn a nice wedding around in a week or two, but that's only if it sucks up every hour of my workday. I couldn't possibly work on anything else.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 10:27 PM   #8
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I always told my clients it takes 3 months to finish. Usually I will sent out a list of items that I need about 1-2 months after I finish the first rough cut.

The list usually includes some song selections, photos for making DVD menu and cover, slideshows and stuff like that. It will take them a few weeks to 10 months before getting those items for me. Since I'm waiting for them to finish up, the ball is not on my court. I can work on the next project during the waiting time.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 05:07 AM   #9
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if I tell a client 3-6 months and I go 7-8 months because a large project sidetracked me on the 4th month, what do I do?
I know what you mean, I sometimes get very lucrative offers that are hard not to accept but if I see that it will mess up my planning completely, like add a few months to it, I won't accept it. Especially companies demand deadlines for their projects which means you have to drop all other ongoing things. I also work alone and I also will not sacrifice quality just to get more done. As I see it it all has to do with planning, I allways give my clients a waiting time in which I'm sure I can handle the project in, so if something extra comes along I can still handle both and deliver in time but if I get 3 or 4 extra not planned projects in a short time then the only thing that's left is just to say "no" to some of them or hire an extra person to do some of the work for you.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 09:35 AM   #10
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I'm not sure you can call it unprofessional if a company is up front with the client about how long it takes and the client likes that person's work enough to wait on it.
I suppose that's fair, but I stated my initial thoughts based on the idea that there is very little reason why it should take 12 months. At the end of the day, the bride and groom have hired you for a service and they eventually want a product. If I hired someone to come put carpet in my house and he was the best carpet layer in town I still wouldn't wait 12 months for him to do it. I'd realize that he has far too much to do and that MY time is more valuable than that. If a couple wants to wait a year for a wedding video that's their choice. I just don't see how it is worthwhile as a company to be touting that your clients will receive their product a year after the event. Just my thoughts, I'm not trying to tell anyone how to run their business.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 09:54 AM   #11
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You can cite all the contract references and warnings you want but the bottom line is... the sooner it's in your client's hands the better. And anybody that thinks delivery time doesn't affect your business is misguided IMO. Just because you hear no complaints doesn't mean they didn't complain to somebody (and that "somebody" can never do anything about it of course)

Personally, I can't see taking 100% of a client's money up front then taking 9-12 months to give them what they paid for. And having contractual commitments for that long just doesn't make good business sense to me. I would think you'd make more money in the long run by outsourcing the edit or hiring another crew (or both). A backlog should be a good problem to have when you think about it... it's how we deal with it that gets us in trouble.

The exception might be those prima-donna videographers who can charge whatever they want because they're simply in such high demand. (Don't know too many of those though).

2 weeks ain't bad... right after the honeymoon is even better. That being said... I know there's only 24 hours in the day and I'm as guilty as anybody else with long turnaround times.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 09:58 AM   #12
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The exception might be those prima-donna videographers who can charge whatever they want because they're simply in such high demand. (Don't know too many of those though).
I don't know about you guys, but I kinda want to be one of those people... that's kinda my goal. Am I wrong here? Isn't that the ideal situation?
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Old December 20th, 2007, 10:12 AM   #13
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Personally, I can't see taking 100% of a client's money up front then taking 9-12 months to give them what they paid for. And having contractual commitments for that long just doesn't make good business sense to me.
I only take a $250 deposit for all my wedding packages and the rest is paid when I deliver. Does that make a difference?
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Old December 20th, 2007, 10:12 AM   #14
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I don't know about you guys, but I kinda want to be one of those people... that's kinda my goal. Am I wrong here? Isn't that the ideal situation?
That's definitely a goal of mine. I already see myself with multiple locations. That's not a far-fetched goal is it? Being that I'm fairly new to this, I don't know if there are any wedding videography companies that have locations outside of their state. If there are, I want to do that, if there aren't I have no problems being the first.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 10:21 AM   #15
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Well darn it Jessica, I was kinda hoping you'd run Silver-Media's Carolina branch.
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