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Old April 15th, 2009, 05:50 PM   #1
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wedding videographer sued on Judge David Young show

I just watched the Judge David Young show where judgement favored the bride in a refund. She claimed there were certain scenes where her ring was out of focus, the arch covered her face, and the first dance did not show her entire dress in the frame, all on top of a mis-spelled last name on the menu itself.
The videographer claimed to have re-edited the video over 15 times to satisfy the bride.

How do you get away from having to edit and re-edit and re-edit for a picky client? I'm sure once or twice and you have a satisfied customer, but 15 times?!

Do you charge for re-edits? Anyone use disclaimers on their contracts to avoid this?
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Old April 15th, 2009, 06:02 PM   #2
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Wow... interesting on so many levels. We do have in our contract that we will not re-edit for artistic purposes... like the dress not being full lenth in the first dance and the archway thing.... with out a re-edit fee. If we make an error, such as misspelling a name, of course, we'll fix it and replace all copies that were purchased (I've done this several times).

As it states in my contract, I give ample time and samples of my work before the client makes the decision to hire me. When signing my contract, they know what to expect from me. Unless I do something completely different and off the wall, they can't come back and ask for a re-work just because they don't like something that done for artistic purposes. This is fairly new in my contract... and I've had a few people that didn't book me because of it... but I have also gotten burned on this a couple times before and I'd rather lose the weddings that have the problem with the clause than have to go through the fight with the client again.

I find it hard to believe a judge would favor the bride if there is proof of a re-edit 15 times (hopefully he kept record of the conversations)! Kinda scary!
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Old April 15th, 2009, 06:31 PM   #3
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That is very interesting. I wonder if the videographer brought the copy of the wedding film (all 15 versions) to the court date. I feel like if the judge saw the video that maybe he wouldn't have awarded the refund. What if the ring was out of focus in a single shot for artistic purposes but later in the video it comes into focus as part of the story telling. What if her head was was only blocked out by the arch way for a single shot as she was walking through it.

To me it sounds like a good claim on the part of the bride, maybe she married a lawyer or she herself has passed the bar. The question is, was this videographer really at fault, or was the fact that the bride was trying to get good work where she could micro manage every cut, for free.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 06:36 PM   #4
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Snap! There is nothing you CAN do sometimes when you are dealing with a bride who is determined to get her money back for whatever reason.

A few things we do to prevent these sort of things:
1. We have a iron clad contract that was drawn up by a lawyer... it protects us from this and many other things.
2. We make it a habit to under promise and over deliver. (when it comes to dates we always are WAY conservative, that way they are thrilled when it's done earlier)
3. We don't go into too much detail in our consultations... we don't over sell ourselves, they either want us or they don't. This is where a lot of video guys get into trouble... promising the moon to try and make the sale.
4. Our contract states that "...after taking possession of final product, Client must inform HDM of any problems with the product within 48 hours. After 48 hours, if no notification has been recieved, the Client will be deemed satisfied with the product." (we have yet to have a client who was NOT satisfied... knock on wood)
5. We are honest and make through on all our promises, but most of all... are careful to not make promises.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 06:39 PM   #5
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They did show parts of the DVD in court. All the bride complaints regarding what was on tape seemed forgiveable, considering where the camera man was located. The videographer also claimed that did not show the "whole" thing. The ring was eventually in focus also. But what probably stood out to the judge was after the 15th revision, the name was still wrong. The videographer claimed the names were off a pamphlet handed out during the ceremony/reception.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 06:42 PM   #6
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I've had that problem going with spelling from the program. When they said their name was spelled incorrectly I was embarrassed, but I went with the spelling that was on the program. When they saw this they forgave me and I gave them some extra copies to make up for any aggravation.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 06:48 PM   #7
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mis-spelled names are unforgivable HOWEVER, mistakes do happen and if the name WAS mispelled on the ceremony program then that's how it will be spelled in the final product.
As for the ring being out of focus, I agree it may have been an artistic thing or it may have just been out of focus. Dress not shown full length in the first dance? Hmmm, sounds to me like this bride has issues. Face partly covered by the arch? Well as I have always maintained, first the camera placement is at the mercy of the officiant and venue AND a wedding is like a breaking news event. Things happen fast and are many time simply out of our control. I wonder if the bride looked at a sample provided by the videographer (if he did provide one) so she could see his typical style.
It just seems to me that this particular bride is one of the people that no matter what you do she will never be satisfied, although I don't think I would be open to going to a TV court to settle the issue. I'd let MY lawyer handle it and if it went to court it would be a real court.
Just my opinion
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Old April 15th, 2009, 08:10 PM   #8
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Geeez... the last wedding I shot the officiant got the couples last NAME wrong (as in I now present Mr. and Mrs....), everyone laughed... sigh...


Some people just can't be satisfied...

Good reason to have a clause in the contract along the lines of what's been discussed - I like to send a "proof", and then if there are errors they can ask for corrections as needed within a reasonable time, but I try hard to proof everything myself first (usually about the 3rd try I'M happy with most everything... but I'm sure I miss things sometimes...). Once I burn "Gold" copy and it's approved, I'll burn a stack as needed and that's a wrap.

Another good idea would be to have a "changes" sheet if you allow revisions, so that you get it in ONE revision pass (15 seems a tad excessive...) and both parties agree in writing (and sign) to the revisions.
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Old April 16th, 2009, 08:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Waite View Post
Snap! There is nothing you CAN do sometimes when you are dealing with a bride who is determined to get her money back for whatever reason.

A few things we do to prevent these sort of things:
1. We have a iron clad contract that was drawn up by a lawyer... it protects us from this and many other things.
2. We make it a habit to under promise and over deliver. (when it comes to dates we always are WAY conservative, that way they are thrilled when it's done earlier)
3. We don't go into too much detail in our consultations... we don't over sell ourselves, they either want us or they don't. This is where a lot of video guys get into trouble... promising the moon to try and make the sale.
4. Our contract states that "...after taking possession of final product, Client must inform HDM of any problems with the product within 48 hours. After 48 hours, if no notification has been recieved, the Client will be deemed satisfied with the product." (we have yet to have a client who was NOT satisfied... knock on wood)
5. We are honest and make through on all our promises, but most of all... are careful to not make promises.
Out of curiosity, can't you put a section in the contract that's open for the bride to write down specifics of shots she'd want? And if she didn't write down the exact specifics, it wouldn't be the videographer's fault for not reading her mind? Just an observation.
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Old April 16th, 2009, 10:15 AM   #10
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I'd like to see that episode. I tried to find it on the internets, but I only found the description:

"Thanks For The Bootleg Wedding
Andrea and new husband Juan from Miami, FL are suing their wedding videographer for his shoddy work. Andrea and Juan claim John first missed the ceremony, then sent a mystery man to finish the job, and then he took an incredibly long time to send them their DVDs. John claims that he and the other videographers who work for him did a fine job on the wedding, and that Andrea and Juan are nitpickers who can't decide what they want in the video."

It sounds like it was much more than a few blurry shots. I suspect, much like the famed McDonalds "coffee case", the plaintiff won more because of the cavalier attitude of the defendant than because of the actual circumstances.

Sometimes we need to own our mistakes and stop making excuses.
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Old April 16th, 2009, 03:19 PM   #11
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Its probable that the guy did not have a well written contract (or possibly didn't have one at all) and the bride knew this, or that the contract and/or consultation led the bride to believe that everything would be exactly as she envisioned it (which is a major error). As we know, most brides know little if anything about videography. And we also know that their hopes and expectations on their wedding day is for everything to be perfect, which is not always within our control. It needs to be clear and in writing that things sometimes do not go as planned, that there are variables beyond our control, and that while we will try our best every moment may not get complete coverage.
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Old April 16th, 2009, 04:42 PM   #12
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With brides like that, you need to ask yourself what would Tony Soprano do in a situation like that.
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Old April 17th, 2009, 12:46 AM   #13
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I hate cases like this cause you never know, unless you saw the show or dvds who was really at fault... Was the videographer a jackass or was it a bridezilla??? I would hope that a pro would ask what the couple wanted and have some kind of production/shooting plan that they all agree on before the wedding. Misspelled names are pretty bad, but if it made it to the 15th re-edit... sounds like scripted t.v. to me. Most the reality crap is scripted, I just got an actors resume, he played "the cheating boyfriend" on an episode of Maury or Jerry Springer or something.
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Old April 17th, 2009, 02:01 AM   #14
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Stuff...
After 2 re-edits I'd tell the bitch where to go and happily refund the money.
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Old April 17th, 2009, 02:30 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
mis-spelled names are unforgivable HOWEVER, mistakes do happen and if the name WAS mispelled on the ceremony program then that's how it will be spelled in the final product.
I have a part in my contract specifically for this where the Bride and Groom have to write down the full names of all the people taking part in the ceremony in capital letters not joined up writing ie: Bride, Groom, Parents, Best man, Maid of honour, Bridesmaids, Page boys, Oficiant, and so on and state in bold capital letters that the way they spell the names is the way they will appear on the DVD with a place for them to sign, and tell them to DOUBLE CHECK THE SPELLING then there is no come back.

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