Posting Draft Footage Online - Bad Idea? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 25th, 2011, 09:49 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Posts: 244
Posting Draft Footage Online - Bad Idea?

In the past, I've made it a part of my contract that I will provide the couple with a DVD- they then have a week to review and suggest possible changes for us to discuss. After the changes, I present them with their three finalized copies. This year, I've started trying something different. As I complete each section (trailer, pre-ceremony, ceremony, etc.), I will post that privately on their web page on my site. I guess the term draft would be misleading. I've got it as ready as I think it should be - color corrected, transitions, music, etc. Then the idea is, if they see anything glaring that I missed, I will discuss possibly making changes. The first two weddings I've done this for have already gotten back with me on maybe 10 changes total, and I've only posted the pre-ceremony and ceremony for each. It has already been somewhat of a hassle, so I thinking of scaling it back to how things have been previously.

Is anyone else posting that much of the couple's footage online for them to preview? My initial goal was to side step any major things that needed changing (guy dancing inappropriately with ex-girlfriend while new girlfriend was looking other direction, etc.), plus let them see some of the material earlier on rather than waiting for the entire thing. Having started going through it though, I think it may make them more prone to nit-pick on things they normally wouldn't have, plus seeing it broken in sections days apart like that may take away from having the finished product in its professional packaging hand-delivered to them. That's my current take on it, but I wondered if anyone else had something to add. With the advent of Vimeo's increasing their upload limits, it has made it almost too easy to put everything out there, which may or may not be a good thing.
__________________
www.clarkvideoproductions.com
Michael Clark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 25th, 2011, 10:18 PM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Manchester UK
Posts: 1,212
Re: Posting Draft Footage Online - Bad Idea?

Michael, I think you'll find there's a recent thread called Customer Not Happy, which deals almost precisely with the topic you've raised and which I think you'll find gives you a number of different points of view to consider.

What I think it fair to say is that everyone to a greater or lesser extent (and via different means) seriously limits the extent to which the clients can change the edit. I hope others think that's a brief but reasonably accurate summary of what was written. I think there'd be general agreement that both your present and proposed methods are too generous and perhaps encourage the clients to make changes.

We certainly don't agree about everything (which is healthy and useful in a discussion group like this) so I'd recommend you check back and make up your own mind.
Philip Howells is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 26th, 2011, 12:59 AM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Re: Posting Draft Footage Online - Bad Idea?

Hi Michael

Apart from the issues with having to upload video, you are still leaving yourself wide open for the client to find at least one issue (I always think if you offer then they feel obliged to at least ask for one change)

More often than not, stuff that they would normally accept in the final DVD they will ask you to change. Surely it makes sense to just use common sense and censor in-appropriate footage. I was doing guest interviews a few weeks ago and the brother of the groom, when asked to congratulate the couple simply said some obscene language so I just omitted it from the DVD!!!

I still think that it's essential to make sure your contract has full editing control and then present them with the final DVD...hasn't failed me yet!!!

As Philip says, read the other post and make up your own mind!

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 26th, 2011, 04:23 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Midlands UK
Posts: 699
Re: Posting Draft Footage Online - Bad Idea?

Michael.

I think that it depends on the level of customer service you wish to offer. It's for you to set out your terms of business. If you want to offer your clients that sort of detailed involvement then you have to be prepared to follow it through. Personally I do go for customer service and satisfaction and you will read in a recent post that I offer something of your previous option, let them have a completed DVD for up to fourteen days and get back to me with any changes. If they are reasonable, or a fault on my part, I make the changes without any fuss, if they are unreasonable or extensive then I negotiate a price, after that it's done and dusted. This is clearly indicated on my agreement form.

I do exactly what you describe with my business clients; post it on my website, send the access password to the appropriate contact person and let them, and anyone else with an interest in the work, have their say. This has proved to be much better way of working when a number of people will want to have a say. I don't have to send multiple discs, or wait for them to arrange a meeting. They can all make their comments and I'll sort it out when they are in agreement, I don't really think that your wedding clients need to have, nor do I think most want to have, that sort of responsibility for the work.

I do recognise your reasoning though. One example of the reason that I started to offer this personal check-over by the customer was when a bride called me after seeing the final video and said that she was absolutely thrilled with it except for when she walked out of the church with her new husband and I had shot cutaways of people standing outside as they came through the door. One of those was her ex-boyfriend in a close up shot with a pitiful look on his face. She said she just wouldn't be able to bear to see that every time she watches her video. I have had a few similar requests, not ex-boyfriends but other personal stuff that I had no way of knowing about. I'd much rather remove the piece than have an unhappy client.

I know that others here vary from the 'You take my work as it is given' attitude to those who will go through the complete work with the client to ensure they know exactly what they are getting. Where you sit in that spectrum will depend on your attitude to your customers expectations - and you can set those at the outset.
George Kilroy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 26th, 2011, 04:26 AM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Green Bay Wisconsin
Posts: 553
Re: Posting Draft Footage Online - Bad Idea?

I agree with Chris that you are, unintentionally, asking them to find something WRONG with your work.

I know your goal is customer satisfaction. Now after the 10 changes you have to ask yourself "were those of significance or were they kinda just cosmetic?" If you agree with your customers the "problems" needed correcting, then don't stop doing this, as you must be missing something others are seeing.

My guess though the corrections were minor, even probably in the eyes of the customer. If I am right then bag the whole idea, as you are thinking and go back to doing it as you did.
Chip Thome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 26th, 2011, 07:12 AM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Re: Posting Draft Footage Online - Bad Idea?

Hi George

Please don't get me wrong..I certainly don't give the client their DVD sets and say "that's what you get..be happy with it" We do discuss the coverage and also any special people and shots prior to the wedding.

I have re-done edits for brides where either they have something that I would never have known about or where I have messed up somewhere!! I'm always happy to do re-edits within reason to keep the couple happy and they know that!!

The only point I was trying to make is it seems foolish to give them a draft with the instructions to "pull it to pieces and see where I have messed up" (of course you are asking for approval very politely but a bride MIGHT take the request as an opportunity to inspect every second with a magnifying glass.)

I actually used to offer a draft in the olden days and had one bride who decided she wanted to sit down with me and re-edit the entire wedding frame by frame. "I don't like that bit cos my hair is out of place...cut it out" "my husband is scratching his nose...people will think that he is picking it..take that out"
She had 8 pages of re-edits for me and sat with me over 3 days at close to 8 hours each session...and made it clear that my contract stated that clips could be edited to suit the client and therefore did not have to pay me one cent!!!!

My contract changed the next week thank goodness but it was a valuable lesson not to give the client a free reign!!!

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 26th, 2011, 07:41 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Midlands UK
Posts: 699
Re: Posting Draft Footage Online - Bad Idea?

Hi Chris.

I hope that I didn't give the impression that my comment was aimed at you or anyone in particular, that wasn't my intention and it wasn't meant as a judgemental comment, though it may have come across that way. I was merely trying to indicate that we all have it in our gift to let the client know at the outset just what we are offering and what we will do if they are not satisfied. It's up to us to make that clear to the client and for them to understand it. My offer to make changes on the described basis is deliberate, but I know from reading comments here and elsewhere that some people demand complete control and will not counternance any changes to the final work, whilst I know that Philip Howells sits through a presentation of the final work to ensure that the client is happy and accepts the work he presents. He gets it right because he does a very detailed booking interview.

We all have our own ways of making sure the customer gets what they pay for and we don't have to do more than we are paid for. I establish an allowance for a review and revisions (within reason) if necessary within the overall price I charge.

Last edited by George Kilroy; June 26th, 2011 at 09:47 AM.
George Kilroy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 26th, 2011, 07:12 PM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Re: Posting Draft Footage Online - Bad Idea?

Hi George

Not at all...I was simply worried that my first post reflected a ruthless attitude towards the client..."Here's your wedding video...if you don't like it ...too bad"

I think whatever works for you as long as the bride doesn't end up taking complete advantage of her videographer and demanding ridiculous changes.

I still like the deterrent post here a long while back for putting brides off getting involved with the edit, like my first one did!!

(1) I edit the changes on my own - $120.00 an hour
(2) You watch me - $240.00 an hour
(3) You watch me and comment - $480.00 an hour

The bottom line is that we want a happy bride so basically do whatever it takes to achieve that

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 27th, 2011, 01:23 PM   #9
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Santa Clara, CA
Posts: 1,104
Re: Posting Draft Footage Online - Bad Idea?

Great points Chris. Although it's always good to show clients consideration with respect to their wishes, the less one can 'invite' changes the better. There are some people whose personality type makes them feel they are supposed to make changes. It's as if they feel it is their duty to do so. There are various unflattering words that best describe this personality type. Unfortunately these words aren't suitable to use on this forum. When I encounter this type I personality, I feel very sorry for the poor guy or gal who will have to live with that stuff.

I believe the best approach is to simply deliver the video without saying anything to 'invite' changes. If they come back to you and tell you that you misspelled Aunt Gertrude's name, obviously it should be corrected at no charge. If they come back with a list of requested changes that aren't due to anything you did wrong but are simply changes for change's sake, then provide a quotation to make the changes. As you pointed out, the contract should make the issues of changes and charges clear so there is no ambiguity with this. There are some gray areas that are not as clear cut. Obviously if Uncle Joe is in the foreground of a shot and is obviously picking his nose, you should have had the courtesy and good sense to cut it out when you edited it but if Cousin Willy is scratching his backside and is a tiny figure who briefly appears in the background of a shot, you can't be expected to spot every minute element of a video.

This is always a complex subject when you get down to actual cases with clients but the overarching objective is to minimize 'free' changes by not saying anything overtly that invites changes. As for the grey areas, the clearer the contract spells out your change policy the better. This is another reason to collect ALL payment before delivery; otherwise the client has the upper hand because they can refuse to pay you. I am not suggesting being an insensitive jerk with your clients. I am suggesting that it is wise to protect yourself when the client is an insensitive jerk.
Jim Snow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 27th, 2011, 03:39 PM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Posts: 244
Re: Posting Draft Footage Online - Bad Idea?

Thanks to everyone. Very valuable insights. I drafted an email (not yet sent) to a bride who was displeased to find out that I did not use [radio songs] for the highlights trailer, but instead use royalty free music I've purchased. Not to get into the royalty free debate, but for those that use royalty free music, would the paragraph below explain things well enough? She was aware beforehand that I use this type of music because it is what I showed her during the consultation and is on my website.

"The list of songs I linked to in the previous email are samples from my entire library I am legally able to use music from. I purchased (or found at no charge) the songs from royalty-free sources. I use these songs for my website examples and show brides during the consultation, so that brides will have an idea of what their DVD will sound like. I am unfamiliar with smilebox and their copyright guidelines, but typically sites like that have themselves purchased the individual rights for specific songs. Since in my case songs would be used for profit, I am unable to use songs I have not obtained the rights to. I would be happy to search further for royalty free songs in a certain genre (if you prefer slow, romantic songs, for example) if you would like."

My posting this is not to ask whether I'm going to far to please a bride, but rather, is what I'm saying accurate? Thanks in advance!
__________________
www.clarkvideoproductions.com
Michael Clark is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:32 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network