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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...

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Old May 24th, 2005, 07:41 AM   #16
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 30

Thanks for the wake up call. I find you are correct in everything you posted. I will rexamine everything and make a solid decision once I have corrected my temper and ego. I really need to follow your guidelines as they are right on the money for me. I apologize for my tone in the messages and it's time to move on. Thanks again Bob. :)
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Old May 24th, 2005, 07:48 AM   #17
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Venice, FL
Posts: 850
No harm done to me, I don't have a dog in that fight. Just wanted to give you a different perspective. Others may disagree... Good Luck.
You are either growing or dying.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 09:30 AM   #18
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Albany, NY
Posts: 24

Just for the record, I don't think you have an ego problem. You are simply asking for what is due to you. And I understand that you are saying you want to check with a lawyer on your contract for future dealings - not necessarily in regards to this current situation. And it is a good idea to have a lawyer check your contract b/c anyone on an international forum can tell you to put something in your contract, but in your state or country, it may not mean a thing.

And believe it or not - I've actually had 2 couples who paid for their video in full take over 2 years to pick it up. Several attempts were made to get in touch with them - they just didn't care. So, that is just one more reason we opted for the pre-payment thing. After the wedding day, after all the excitement has fizzled and everyday life takes over, it's easy to forget about these things. And after you've been doing it long enough, you see so many weddings that didn't go exactly as the couple had planned - and unfortunately the video may reflect that. In fact, I'm currently trying to get in touch with a bride from last year... She had a series of family tragedies happen around the wedding and I think that perhaps the video may be too painful for her, so she isn't returning my calls or emails... and her $3000 video is paid in full. We're still waiting for her childhood and honeymoon photos, which she opted to incude in the final video. She has moved but hasn't forwarded her new address.

That may help put it into perspective for you.

Again, good luck with this. If nothing else, chalk it up to a learning experience.
Jenn M
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Old May 24th, 2005, 10:58 AM   #19
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: california
Posts: 342
Originally Posted by Bob Costa
Your contract said: "with balance due upon arrival of product" per your first post.

You are right that you owe them nothing until they get that bounced check cleared up. But past that, IMHO you should just finish the job. If you are going to get hostile, involve lawyers, and claim a breech, then go for it. Also, let me know what equipment you have for sale.

Everyone else got paid up front because they demanded to be paid up front. The fault is yours, but you have learned from it. This is a fact in business, and you have to get your ego out of the way ("How dare they do this to ME!!!"). You need to just get it done and put it behind you, however you choose to do it. But when you are new, every reference counts, and a bad one can put you way behind the 8-ball.

FWIW, they overspent on the wedding and that is why their check bounced. Expect that they will not have the money to pay you when your final edit is done too. Just plan on giving them a few weeks. I have heard of wedding videographers who have waited 2-3 years to get final payment. The other risk in waiting is that they get divorced.

Your other alternative is to offer to give them the raw tapes and walk away (once your deposit check gets cleared up). This is best for you, unless you want the demo footage. They might agree, since they probably don't want to spend any more money right now. But if they don't like that solution, you are back to the referral/reputation risk. You might even just wait to start editing until they call and ask about it. If they call, they probably have the money. It's not easy being in business.

But do not talk to them until your anger and ego are put in check. Find a win/win and then move on.
hello bob,

i have to agree with all the poster/ answers, but the most with your post.
he needs to calm down first, until then, nothing will be done.

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Old May 24th, 2005, 02:17 PM   #20
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 30

The check has been cashed ok.

Lessons Learned:

1. Always have a clear and percise contract stating everything that you and client should expect. Have it verifed by local lawyer for compliance and loopholes with the area of work.

2. Always try to be calm and professional when client does not cooperate. Try your best to resolve the problem with the client and maintain an open line of communication as well as an open mind.

3. Wait before acting as the very, very, very, last resort.

Had I followed these guidlines I think I would be in a better position with both myself and the client. I thank the forum family that responded to my desperate and paranoid call for help, because you have all shown me the proper way to handle this in the future and possibly give someone else a reference if they too fall in my situation.

Thanks again

Gabriel Selmi
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