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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old April 10th, 2009, 05:07 PM   #1
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To give Raw footage for Wedding?

I shot a wedding in March and have delivered the product to the client and they are very happy with it. The run time is about 70 minutes. Now Iím being asked more than once to supply them raw footage shot with the Sony EX1 so they can relive the whole day. The client wants this downloaded to their hard drive which they will supply and I will not receive any fee for this. (Friends of family)
Now the farther of the groom is keen on video and I know he wants to re-edit this and also play around with footage shot with the EX1 (If I was starting out I would like to do the same thing) and now Iím torn in this moral dilemma to do the right thing by my own morals, rights and what is right to the client.
My style of shooting at run and gun functions is all over the place at times and my ratio between what is kept and chucked is un watch able to the average person until itís in is correct edited form.

I think I should say NO to this footage but then what will it matter if I give in.
I only want the best to be viewed not the stuff where Iím running to another location and forgot to turn the camera off or over, underexposed footage before CC, levels also two channels of audio that needs fixing, the list goes onÖÖ
I have read some old posts on this subject but canít find anything new for this year.

My saving grace could be that because itís XDCAM EX shot @ 720/50P the client might give up badgering me about this.

Thanks
w
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Old April 10th, 2009, 05:40 PM   #2
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Just say no. There are many reasons not to provide this. But the main reason would be your professional image. I can't see how putting raw footage in the wrong hands without your ability to defend /explain yourself to the average viewer of these tapes can possibly enhance your professional image. Your professional image is your life! Don't give it away!
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Old April 10th, 2009, 05:50 PM   #3
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I have to agree, I would give it away. Especially knowing you have things in there that you wouldn't normally want to be out in the eyes of your audience.

A key here is that you stated you "think you should say no"... then go with that. GL!
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Old April 10th, 2009, 05:51 PM   #4
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Raw footage

Hi,

Do what I do CHARGE THEM for it . Take out some of the real rough spots and your good to go. We usually charge $500 for the raw. If they want it that bad at least make something off it.
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Old April 10th, 2009, 07:05 PM   #5
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I would say don't GIVE it away no matter what. Don't ever get in the habit of GIVING your time/work/product away because it's bad business practice. So I would suggest that you consider a sizable fee for the raw footage and present that figure to them ($500-800 is reasonable I think). If they make the argument that all you have to do is copy the footage to a hard-drive, remind them that the footage you have required YOUR time and skill for "X" hours on the wedding day, and that you aren't willing to just give that away for free.

If that conversation makes you too uncomfortable since there is family involved, then simply say the raw footage is unavailable. Don't start listing your reasons because that will just open up room for arguments. Just say "I'm sorry, I've edited the footage already and given you the best result. The raw footage is unavailable. We don't release that."

Good luck!
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Old April 10th, 2009, 11:34 PM   #6
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Just tell them you deleted the raw files, and you're left with final version only.

Giving away raw it's like asking magician to give away his tricks.
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Old April 10th, 2009, 11:40 PM   #7
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I have been giving the raw footage for free all these time. Never had the nerve to sell them for a price. Didn't think the market I'm serving would be willing to pay for it and I didn't want this to be a deal breaker. But lately, we find it that more and more clients are requesting the raw footage. Just yesterday when I revised the 2009 price list, I decided to charge a fee for it. Personally I don't mind if clients don't BUY them. Because like many of you, we shoot to edit using multiple angles/camera. Unedited version of one angle is not the most appealing thing to watch.
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Old April 10th, 2009, 11:55 PM   #8
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Simon, you can't lie to them now. Any of your clients can google your name and pull up this conversation from now until forever.
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Old April 11th, 2009, 01:59 AM   #9
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Go google.....Anyway thanks for all your input. I have gone with my gut feeling and said no to raw footage as I was hired to shoot and edit the days event into a wedding DVD. Had I been hired as a shooter only then I would have handed over the rushes.

This is what I'm thinking.

Rule one: I do not hand over raw footage if I'm hired to shoot and edit into a package.
Rule two: If the client is becoming a problem due to this situation then I will offer raw footage at a premium price but this will be edited by me, "to quote Walt" the real rough spots taken out. And this footage will be rendered back out to XDCAM EX.

I have never encountered this situation before and this is a great learning curve to put my business rules in place one and for all.

Regards
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Old April 11th, 2009, 01:58 PM   #10
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I don't see why you can't give them the raw footage. Its their video, not yours. They paid you to shoot the wedding and they paid you to edit the wedding. I would understand if you were paid to shoot a commercial or something more public that the raw footage could be poorly edited and shown to the world. But, trust me nobody wants to see Ben and Jill's freakin unedited wedding video except Ben and Jill. So whats the harm? Even if Jill's dad wants to edit the thing, nobody will see it because nobody likes watching wedding videos. Jill's dad will only have more respect for you as an editor and colorist and vfx guy after he tries to do himself.

If there is additional time and expense then you should charge accordingly. I would think the raw footage would only showcase your editing and coloring skills all the more and everyone would like your edit that much more having seen the raw stuff.
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Old April 11th, 2009, 02:59 PM   #11
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You're an editor. You wouldn't ask the editor of your favourite paper to supply the first draft of a newspaper article, junk and all. You wouldn't ask the carpenter who made your kitchen table for all the offcuts, bent nails and sawdust.

Raw materials are needed for any finished product. If they see how much useless stuff you shot (not a criticism - we all do this) your image would be severely diluted in their estimation.

tom.
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Old April 11th, 2009, 03:21 PM   #12
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I want to disagree with you whole heartedly as someone's wedding video is not a piece of wood or a story that was written, those aren't good comparisons. Although my carpenter, who built my kitchen cabinets, did leave me extra knobs, hinges and an extra cabinet... which I will one day hang in the garage, maybe.

I'm editing a video for a friends wedding and I don't see a problem giving them an uncut version. I do like the idea of taking out the absolute bad shots, like a shot of the ground while the camera is still running or what ever, but any shots of the bride and groom that don't make my edit are still valuable to them and at no harm to me.

So I disagree for the most part, but I know there are some pretty dumb and naive people out there who could be turned off by bad footage. They don't understand the craft. However, good footage hits the cutting room floor too. But, then I think wedding videos should only be short films not feature length.
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Old April 11th, 2009, 04:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Sherwood View Post
I don't see why you can't give them the raw footage. Its their video, not yours.
Actually, it's NOT their video. If the client is paying for an edit according to their contract, then THAT is all they have the right to. If providing the raw footage is not part of the contract then the client has no right to that footage. It's pretty simple.

As for whether or not to give the client the option for the raw footage, that's a personal decision each videographer must make. I used to not offer the option, then started offering it for a minimal price, and now I offer it for a substantial price.

Some reasons to charge for raw footage:
- it's something you're providing in addition to what the contract promises
- if you're transferring it to DVD first then that takes valuable time
- you're giving someone else full access to all of the original footage
- you may want to discourage the release of raw footage because of questionable content
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Old April 11th, 2009, 06:39 PM   #14
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I have it in my contract that I will not provide raw footage of the event.
There's just no way people are getting their grubby little hands on EVERYTHING that was shot that day!
Have you ever had a shot where the camera is squarely focused on a womans tits or arse while you're looking around for your next shot etc? LolZ.
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Old April 11th, 2009, 09:07 PM   #15
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I had a client that wanted the raw footage to get photos out of it (they had a bad Photographers :), they have no photos during the ceremony) so they paid me $500 for the tapes and they were very happy with it !!!!!
What was I going to do with the tapes after my final edit :):)
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