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Old July 13th, 2010, 08:45 PM   #1
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Client wants to use their own gear to save money. HELP!

So they had their own script written for 2 web videos. One is 3 minutes long and the other 1 minute. The first video will start in an office then we'll be inside a moving car. The second video will also be in the office, which I'm not too worry about. Now, i always rent my own gear and add the cost to the quoted price. One of the clients is an old friend of mine so I gave them a bit of a discount. I quoted $1,500 (AUS) including editing. Usually, to hire camera, sound, light, tripod, etc would cost around $500 depending on which camera I get.

So, now they're saying that they want to cut the cost and use their own handy cam. They Cannon Legria FS21 video camera, with Gig SD card, an alluminium tripod, a cheap clip on mic...no lights. They said they want to keep this as simple as possible. I keep thinking that I wouldn't want the videos to look homemade and unprofessional. Isn't that why they came to me in the first place?

Can this be done? I've never shot with a consumer camera since I was 11! I know that they're not going to get the same result but I also don't want to not make any money either. Should I chance it and try and make it look pretty in post? Will the quality be noticeable even though the videos will be quite small? I really don't know what to do. Argh!! Suggestions would be much much appreciated. Thanks guys!
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Old July 13th, 2010, 09:00 PM   #2
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A standard definition FS21? Avoid. Seriously. I'd back out if I were you.
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Old July 13th, 2010, 09:30 PM   #3
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Agree with Chris - run as far as you can. If you do the job on their terms they will still complain about quality and question your work. Don't lower your standards. Suggest that they can save more money if they edit on their own too :-)
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Old July 13th, 2010, 09:31 PM   #4
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You want to rent gear that's going to cost you $500........ and they want you to use their camera that can be bought right now here in the States for $300 ???

You guys are not only not on the same page, you aren't even in the same library !!!!

IMO, you are going to be shooting in full auto mode, and in post, there's only so much you are going to be able to do with that. I have shot a ton with Panny 500s and 320s, but used 4 of them in concert.

Grab his cam and shoot some sample footage and play with it a bit. I think after that, you will be able to make up your own mind.
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Old July 13th, 2010, 09:54 PM   #5
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Old July 13th, 2010, 09:58 PM   #6
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I was hoping the "H" was left off, as in at least an HF-S camera... I guess not, ugh. And that "in a moving car" bit, doesn't seem like it's been too well thought out.

You get what you pay for, and in this case probably less, as proper grip and light would cost more than the camera... I think they are thinking "it's just web video", doesn't have to look good, but they should think about the "message" they are trying to send...
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Old July 13th, 2010, 10:33 PM   #7
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Can't produce professional results

Refuse the job as it will hurt your reputation. People judge your skills on what you produce. People don't understand the technical reasons for pro gear. Your audience will look at the video and judge your skills based on what they see. There won't be a title explaining that it was shot on a low budget and that's why it's not up to your standards. Do it only if you can do shoot it without credit. It's very challenging to produce good video using consumer gear. You need to be proud of your work and feel good about your job. My advice is to do a test and see if it meets your standards.
I have good equipment (Sony XDCAM & HDCAM) but often feel compelled to rent higher end gear for important jobs. You're only as good as your last job in your client's mind.
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Old July 13th, 2010, 11:22 PM   #8
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Keep it simple?

They mean keep it cheap, so that it will look cheap.

Back out.

Tell them they can use my 2 year old's computer to edit the video on!!
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Old July 13th, 2010, 11:43 PM   #9
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All I have to say is RUN! You need the proper tools (ie. lights/good mic/etc.), this job will be much more difficult then they think with the lack of equipment!
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Old July 14th, 2010, 03:55 AM   #10
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do it ninja style...help them as much as you can , but leave no trace of your involvement , credit them as director , camera man etc. I have done that as a joke for some friends but turns out they actually like the thought of being credited for work they didnt do , so you know...friendships remain, you've helped out.
But explain your level of professionalism and that any cheap equipment affects your work but you will help but dont want to be credited
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Old July 14th, 2010, 08:27 AM   #11
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I agree on that.Act as a consultant. Charge an hourly fee for consulting and let them go to town. Bu tI wouldn't make it "my" work unless I can have creative control. Meaning choosing the equipment, etc.
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Old July 14th, 2010, 08:34 AM   #12
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Listen to everyone here. I have been in similar situations a long time ago when I was new to video. Don't do it, it will really hurt your rep. You are the pro and you know what it takes to get the job done to your level of quality and they don't have a clue what they want/need in most cases (even if they say they do...).

Saying NO is a wise business decision. OR, convince them you can't shoot with that gear and you have to rent. Either way, it sounds like it's going to be a nightmare client.
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Old July 14th, 2010, 08:45 AM   #13
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If Bo chooses to back out, the primary challenge here will not be
saying "no" but instead will be how to do it tactfully, respectfully,
without compromising himself or his friend.
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Old July 14th, 2010, 08:49 AM   #14
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Maybe they are thinking you'll be making money from the gear as well. My suggestion is to tell them honestly that their camera won't cut it. Give them a shopping list of gear and ask them to rent it. You'll do the shoot & edit.

My 2 cents
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Old July 14th, 2010, 09:49 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
If Bo chooses to back out, the primary challenge here will not be
saying "no" but instead will be how to do it tactfully, respectfully,
without compromising himself or his friend.
Well put. This isn't your average client. Friendship with the customer makes things a little more delicate.
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