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


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Old December 17th, 2009, 08:11 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene Brown View Post
Never take money the day of the wedding, you don't wanna be that guy chasing people around to collect money!
I can certainly understand the reasoning behind receiving payment before the day of, but I say the "day of" and in my experience there is either a stack of envelopes for a variety of different vendors, or something in the wedding party who is put in charge of making sure everyone gets paid. They know it's coming and prepare for it, and it's not like I'm tapping the bride on the shoulder before she goes down the aisle and asking for payment. In fact, I have never even had to ask for a payment. Someone comes to find me.

I second the opinion of those who suggest not making payment due on delivery. It reminds me of the Seinfeld bit where he talks about receiving the bill at a restaurant after you've eaten. You're loosening your belt, there's a cigarette butt in the mashed potatoes, and you can't understand it. "Why would I order this much food? I am obviously not hungry now."
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Old December 17th, 2009, 09:52 AM   #17
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I've been using the 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 model and no problems in 2 years of doing this. I still feel squeemish though about shipping the proof DVD before final payment. I was thinking of adding a watermark on the proof but not sure if that invokes a feeling of mistrust with the client. Anyone doing this?
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Old December 17th, 2009, 10:12 AM   #18
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Art, I would put a watermark, it is not a trust issue but a security issue. We have made a mistake of sending a previous client high res photos on a DVD so they can choose photos for their album, they disappeared from the face of the earth.
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Old December 17th, 2009, 10:22 AM   #19
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It seems like once a year we have this discussion. Since everyone has a different business model and different markets and different personal experience, I say do what seems to work for you. My model, market and experience is different than Phillips, than Travis etc so you can't really judge what will work for you until you try it and find out it either does or doesn't. If it does, great, keep on with it. If it doesn't, change it. I've changed my payment plan a number of times over the years and finally decided on the one I've been using for a very long time. No clients have had an issue with it since it's pretty much the norm in MY area to be paid prior to the event but that here in my area. Your area market and experience is different so do what works for you.
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Old December 17th, 2009, 01:17 PM   #20
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I have to agree that sending out a copy of the DVD before receiving the final payment is a risky venture that WILL one day bite you in the backside. It's just a matter of time before you run into a client who runs out of money and just keeps the 'proof DVD'. Trust me, I hope it never happens, but if you're in business long enough .. it probably will.
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Old December 17th, 2009, 04:11 PM   #21
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talking to a popular videog in my area made me change our fee system from the 1/3 rule to pay all fees before the wedding date. He still has two from 2006, one from 2007 and two 2008 weddings that have gone uncollected since the B&G don't have the money to pay for it... we are talking about $4000 altogether..ouch! sadly, he still hasn't learned his lesson.....
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Old December 17th, 2009, 05:27 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Kren Barnes View Post
talking to a popular videog in my area made me change our fee system from the 1/3 rule to pay all fees before the wedding date. He still has two from 2006, one from 2007 and two 2008 weddings that have gone uncollected since the B&G don't have the money to pay for it... we are talking about $4000 altogether..ouch! sadly, he still hasn't learned his lesson.....
Heh, he's lucky. I had 1 from 1986! I had the wedding edited ready to go within 4 weeks of the wedding and they were already in the process of divorce! Obviously I didn't get paid, kept the tapes until about a year or 2 ago finally my wife made me throw them out! Maybe I was hoping against hope ;-) Of course I still have job bags from 2001 thru 2008 in my storage. sigh, I'm ready to go on the show Hoarders! sigh.
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Old December 17th, 2009, 05:34 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Kren Barnes View Post
talking to a popular videog in my area made me change our fee system from the 1/3 rule to pay all fees before the wedding date. He still has two from 2006, one from 2007 and two 2008 weddings that have gone uncollected since the B&G don't have the money to pay for it... we are talking about $4000 altogether..ouch! sadly, he still hasn't learned his lesson.....
Last year at this time, because of the failing economy, we had about $12k owed to us between photography and cinematography services due. We've since collected most of that, but are still waiting on about $4k and might well never see it. Allowing payment after the wedding is a great idea until it doesn't work. d;-)
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Old December 17th, 2009, 05:45 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kren Barnes View Post
talking to a popular videog in my area made me change our fee system from the 1/3 rule to pay all fees before the wedding date. He still has two from 2006, one from 2007 and two 2008 weddings that have gone uncollected since the B&G don't have the money to pay for it... we are talking about $4000 altogether..ouch! sadly, he still hasn't learned his lesson.....

I feel his pain! Same thing happened to us awhile back! Thats why we get full payment before the wedding!

:)
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Old December 18th, 2009, 12:35 AM   #25
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We have a not so unusual method. 30% in advance, 50% must be paid until 10 days after the wedding and the rest upon delivery (of course we don't send the DVDs until we check that bank account :) ). It seems to work well with weddings, but not so much with christenings and that's because some parents seem not to care to watch the video of their child. So, you call them and say "the DVDs are ready" and they keep and keep delaying to pay and get the product, throwing out various excuses. Well, one must maintain good relationships with clients but I have a couple of them that will maybe speak with our lawyer very soon about the contract they've signed once upon the time.
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Old December 18th, 2009, 02:42 PM   #26
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HI all,

I think every possible method has been discussed, except for giving the option to pay a standing order.

We have recently introduced this and people are keen to take us up.

We either collect 25% to book date, and 75% 3 weeks before date or, they can split the total amount payable and pay monthly for as many months as there are between booking and the date.

I like the constant flow of income, certainly works well to pay staff this way.

As ever, I feel that giving more options is never a bad thing.
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Old December 19th, 2009, 11:38 AM   #27
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Do the couple pay the church fees before or after the service - before
Do the couple pay the reception fees before or after the reception - before
Do the couple pay for the flowers before or after the day - before
Do the couple pay for the cars before or after the day - before
Do the couple pay for the honeymoon before or after, - before
Do the couple pay for the gifts to guests before or after - before.

Need I go on? Why are videographers any different?

All the couples we deal with are happy to pay before the day. It's been mentioned above, when they get back off the honeymoon, they are back to reality and realise how much their wedding has really cost.

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Old December 19th, 2009, 12:15 PM   #28
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Peter, here's another list:

Do people pay for their car service before or after the service? - after
Do people pay for their house decoration before or after the work is done? - after
Do people pay for their restaurant meal before or after they've eaten it? - after
Do people pay for their train fare before or after the journey? - before
Do people pay for their theatre tickets before or after the show? - before
Do people pay for their gasoline before or after they've driven to their destination? - before

ie lists are selective.

The answer to Peter's question I'm afraid is that apart from the honeymoon (and whoever paid for a holiday when you got back?) all this list are suppliers who deliver their entire product on the day and have no contact with the client after the event. In contrast, the video producer hasn't lifted a finger before the day. In my opinion it's an indefensible imposition and a business model about which we have very good customer response.

The argument for asking for all the money up front to avoid possible bad debts leaves the client trusting that the video producer will turn up at all. Looked at ruthlessly, his only incentive is his reputation.

Just to expand a little on the final satisfaction, we never mail out final edits (which I agree would be risky) but arrange viewings at the couples' homes. We play each of the programmes non-stop so they get the feel of the dynamic of the programme, then again with as many stops as the clients wish. We make notes of any changes required and mail back a copy the following day so they know what we're doing - and since their signature on the changes also approves the things that don't need any changes, their approval on the rest of the programmes. When a programme is fully approved (including at the first edit) we take the client's signature on the disk and make their copies (and any subsequent copies they order) from that master.

70% of all our programmes are approved at the first edit and we've had no bad debts (for which we have a watertight contract anyway). We also accept credit cards if they really are stuck for cash after the wedding. Incidentally, I think Vince's standing order solution is very commendable too.
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Old December 19th, 2009, 12:57 PM   #29
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Our business model - Money in FULL before wedding. That's the way we work.

We don't offer viewings or proofing. The client books us based on our showreel and the editing decisions are left to us.

That is our business plan which has worked for us from day 1.

Every client to date who has booked us has given us 100% positive feedback from our work.

They book us on our terms and conditions. If they don't like it, they find someone else. It's as simple as that. Philip, your business plan works for you. Great, but I would not choose this plan for us......

Find out what works for your business, make it clear in writing and communication with your clients is key.

My two pence worth.
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Old December 19th, 2009, 06:39 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter D. Parker View Post
Do the couple pay the church fees before or after the service - before
Do the couple pay the reception fees before or after the reception - before
Do the couple pay for the flowers before or after the day - before
Do the couple pay for the cars before or after the day - before
Do the couple pay for the honeymoon before or after, - before
Do the couple pay for the gifts to guests before or after - before.

Peter
to true and it makes you think, but there is an array of people who recieve checks (whole or part) at the end of the day of an event, after they did thier work.
i have seen the check passout as events were culminating, that is what others are speaking of when we see other people collecting money from tired worn out people, who are sometimes drunk, and just want to finish up and go home.
Dj, Bar, Caterers, (people who actually delivered already) sometimes photographer, sometimes video people, be the check all or in part, its the end of the day begg and pay session. with the photographer and video not having delivered anything, for all the client knows they didnt even have film in the cam :-)

myself i would not hire a contractor to work on my roof, and pay them the entire ammount till the roof was again waterproof, why would i expect my clients to pay me Everything when they have Nothing, zip, nada, zilch.
so there is acceptions to all rules, and a balance to all things.

how could "other" evil video people SCAM your clients, and ruin things for all of us, run around with a cam with no tape/chip in it, without any ability to use it, with a Demo that is meaningless because like many "Teams" of video people, the demo didnt come from the people SENT (subcontract) to shoot the video.
or just take on a year worth of clients and dissapear.
By the pay first definition, the parties can have forked over everything, and get actually nothing. or nothing worth having.
we dont want video controlled by large corporate structures that people will then "trust" do we?

so i am saying that defining that as "Standard" that the client with no roof has paid for all the materials and labor , and the crooked roofer leaves them broke penniless and soaked :-)

people arent paying us to run around and look like we know what were doing :-) people paying us because thier roof is fully recovered, it looks great , they are dry and happy and the job is actually finished.

a Con-Man has a far better sales pitch, than the persons who deliver, because they have only one thing to do :-)
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Last edited by Marty Welk; December 19th, 2009 at 07:19 PM.
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