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


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Old August 6th, 2009, 01:37 PM   #1
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"Weekly" status report

I finally have one. I didn't know it at the time of signing. It's the "micro-manager" bride. The wedding is over. She wants a weekly status report on her video until it's done. What do I say?

This is the first one who wants to know everything about her project.

Thanks!
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Old August 6th, 2009, 01:46 PM   #2
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Are we talking an e-mail brief or a full on project report??

If your contract specifies a delivery time, fall back on that and explain that a "weekly update" is not feasible if you're to deliver ALL your projects on time/schedule.

I'd suggest getting a "short" edit done quickly, and send that to her ASAP. Sort of tide her over while she waits for the full product...
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Old August 6th, 2009, 01:46 PM   #3
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If you did not lay-out the time table for delivery I would just send her an email that says " it usually takes us 4-8 weeks to finish the DVD, etc". I sure hope that you included in your contract that you have discretion over post production or shooting style, otherwise I think she'll micromanage your edit.
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Old August 6th, 2009, 01:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
I'd suggest getting a "short" edit done quickly, and send that to her ASAP. Sort of tide her over while she waits for the full product...
In this situation I would have fears of the bride sending ten pages of editing critiques and requests in 8pt font.

My recommendation: reference your contract and say "It will be X" weeks. If the delivery time isn't in your contract, kindly explain that her video will be ready in X weeks.

Reporting on her video on a weekly basis takes time, and I don't know what everyone elses schedule is like, but time is in short supply for myself.

Besides, what if you have a backlog and can't begin the edit for a couple of weeks. Does she expect an e-mail saying, "Haven't started yet?"
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Old August 6th, 2009, 05:19 PM   #5
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weekly updates huh? 2 chances...slim and none and slim is getting on the train to leave town.
Sorry could help it but honestly, there is no way on earth I would do that. Never have and never will. I've done weddings for people in broadcast TV and I treat them the same as everyone else. My delivery schedule in in my service agreement AND I tell them verbally as well. 12 to 14 weeks. You want an update, then it'll take longer cause when I'm on the phone or composing an e-mail to you that takes time away from what I'm supposed to be doing. EDITING YOUR WEDDING!
If you don't have something in your service agreement now, as other have suggested, change the agreement NOW and add a timetable or you might find this bride won't be the only one. Don't set a precident or you'll regret it later.
Now I'm not saying that if someone calls or emails inquiring after a bit of time, say 3 or 4 weeks, just out of curiosity about how long it might be to get the product, that's understandable, if you didn't talk to them about it before, but a weekly update!? Nope!
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Old August 6th, 2009, 08:20 PM   #6
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Methinks she doesn't respect what we do so and her attitude is if she doesn't keep you under her thumb you'll slack on the job.

You're editing a wedding... not filing bondo down on her car door which should be ready for pick-up by 4pm on Thursday!

I don't know what kind of detail she wants in her weekly check-in, but keep it short and use a bunch of editing lingo. Maybe she'll tire of it and you can tell her 'another 3-6 weeeks.'

And definitely get your contract updated so that you have complete editorial control (as you well should) and a loose timeframe. My contract says 4-6 MONTHS. My average turn around is 4 weeks, so they're usually THRILLED when they're getting it MONTHS early... plus I have time built in when things get busy.

Keep us posted!
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Old August 8th, 2009, 02:54 PM   #7
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I think it's VERY important that you set this bride straight right away. Let her know that you don't do weekly status updates. You can let her know that you appreciate her concern on keeping track of the project, but assure her that she's in good hands and you will take care of her. If she insists on weekly updates, I would just let her know that this will not be happening.

The reason I would be hard on this is because sometimes you need to set a precedent with people. If you let someone start to walk over you and set their own terms, they are likely going to continue doing that. I know some people will say the customer is always right and you just do whatever it takes to make them happy. I just don't agree with that philosophy.

I do whatever it takes to make them happy as long as I'm comfortable with it. I've had great success with this approach, but sometimes you do just have to put a client in their place. Good luck.
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