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


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Old November 16th, 2010, 07:25 AM   #1
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How long do you keep footage...

After the bride receives her video, how long do you keep it stored on your hard drive before you delete it? 10 months ago the bride received her video, now she is asking for some changes. Usually they tell me about changes the day after they receive it. (Note: Rarely do I even get asked for changes). I have in my contract that after 30 days, I'm not responsible.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 08:09 AM   #2
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Do you still have the video? This is an opportunity for another invoice if you do.

Back in the days when we shot on tape, we kept everything. Not that easy today though.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 09:30 AM   #3
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I'm a packrat. I probably have every minute of footage I've ever shot, whether on tape or on some hard drive somewhere. Now that doesn't mean I can actually find something if I wanted to, but it's there nonetheless.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 11:20 AM   #4
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Im with Chris.

I still use dv tapes, though. My normal workflow is tag each tape with a number, dump it to HD and sign in the log-database what it is. So I am actualy able to find most stuff rather quickly.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 12:45 PM   #5
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"Editing changes may be possible at the producerís discretion, but will incur additional editing and studio charges. The client must request any editing changes within 48 hours of the client receiving the edited DVDís."
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Old November 16th, 2010, 01:31 PM   #6
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I wait until I hear back from the bride/groom. I wish I could keep all the footage - but that's just not possible. This last wedding I shot is over 600 GB's of space and that doesn't include my final exported edited down versions. If I haven't already heard something from them (which usually they email saying how much they love it), then I give them a call after about a week. I won't delete the files until I know they like it.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 02:30 PM   #7
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I wait until I hear back from the bride/groom. I wish I could keep all the footage - but that's just not possible. This last wedding I shot is over 600 GB's of space and that doesn't include my final exported edited down versions. If I haven't already heard something from them (which usually they email saying how much they love it), then I give them a call after about a week. I won't delete the files until I know they like it.
Jeremy, I haven't heard anything from them in 10 months. Usually, no news is good news. I feel if you call and check in, you are asking for trouble.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 03:54 PM   #8
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I give the B&G a week to request changes. After that, it's invoice time if they ask for anything new. I do keep the footage, because I'm paranoid that way... I am averaging (like Jeremy) about 600GB per wedding right now, and that's a lot of data. Right now I am using hard drives at a rate of two weddings per drive. It's a little bit more expensive to archive it all, but it gives me peace of mind.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 04:58 PM   #9
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Hi Guys

Apart from one bridezilla back in 2008 who wanted multiple changes (all really trivial) I seldom get requests for changes. However I do get them wanting extra DVD's. Had an email last week from a bride I shot in October 2009 wanting a few extra sets.

I keep all my raw footage, and edited clips as well as the final DVD's on 1TB external drives and basically when a drive is full it goes in the cupboard marked with the date period and I buy a new drive. For around $80 for storage that lasts me 2 or 3 months it's easy and cheap and convenient if brides (or even me) need to access older projects or footage. I stopped storing tape back in 2007 and went over to external drives so if a brides shot before 2007 wants actual footage I do have a problem!!!! With tape, I must admit I only kept the actual tape not any edited versions ...but images of the DVD's were kept on HDD!!

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Old November 16th, 2010, 05:27 PM   #10
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We keep the original material and fuses of the finished and approved programmes in addition to master copies of the delivered disks. In the past it was the original tapes, since moving to CF recorders we keep the original clips on a 1Tb RAID pair until they're full when we archive one of the pair. HDD storage is so inexpensive these days it's not even a hardship.

Of course the cost for re-editing a programme reflects the cost of storage so it's usually a disincentive.

Finally, we make no promises to the client beyond 12 months - we aren't equipped for proper (technical) archival but I don't think we're any different to anyone else in that - how long ago did anyone spool their tapes through to make sure they weren't binding or check that the lubricant in the HDD bearings hadn't dried out?
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Old November 16th, 2010, 06:17 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Michael Simons View Post
After the bride receives her video, how long do you keep it stored on your hard drive before you delete it? 10 months ago the bride received her video, now she is asking for some changes. Usually they tell me about changes the day after they receive it. (Note: Rarely do I even get asked for changes). I have in my contract that after 30 days, I'm not responsible.
We have it in our contract that the bride has 7 days to review the DVD's. After that, the raw files are dumped and we archive the master video files. Now sometimes we don't dump the raw files for a few weeks, but sometimes we dump them right at the 7 day mark if we want the space free.
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Old November 17th, 2010, 12:00 PM   #12
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We keep the finished versions of the videos, along with the disc images, in case clients want additional copies. However, like the others, once the window for changes has closed (2 weeks, though I think we'll change it to 1 week), we reserve the right to delete the original files. Right now we have 16 TBs of storage, but even that isn't enough, so keeping the original footage for everything would be ridiculously expensive.
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Old November 21st, 2010, 09:59 AM   #13
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the raw files I delete one month after delivery, the iso and edited HD file I now delete after 2 months, reason for that is that I give a copy of the iso file incl the edited HD file to the couple as well. The past 5 years I maybe got 2 requests for extra copies (for weddings) and 2 for a change in the video so I don't see any benefit waisting harddrive space on it. I tell them that they got one month to inform me if they find a serious error or if they want editing changes, at the end of the month I send them a mail confirming that I will delete the raw files.

The only thing I keep are the 5 minute highlites if I want to use some for a demo or just to show new clients. Also I never give raw files to my clients.
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Old November 21st, 2010, 01:11 PM   #14
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With the cost of a 1 TB external hard drive at about $75.00, I give the option of customers to have their own archive of the shoot for a cost of $125.00. If they want changes down the road, they bring the hard drive back.

It's been fairly popular since explaining that having the tapes may not do them any good in the future - I'm from an ENG background and reuse high quality tapes.

I'll keep a project for about a month after the customer receives their copy and I keep highlights in a folder forever for updating web site montages.
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