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Old July 20th, 2011, 01:46 AM   #1
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Editing other people's work.. your thoughts on my case?

G'day gents. This is probably a common topic.. but would like opinion on my specific case..

I have a friend of a friend who tried to book me for her wedding. Unfortunately, I am already booked out on her date and she was completely devastated about this. She tried to look around for another video company but couldn't find any available on her date or suitable to her liking.

As she became quite desperate, I finally told her that my friend is starting up a wedding video business and could be an option. However, I warned her that my friend has very limited experience with wedding video (only done a couple). And hasn't got any wedding video edit made up in his portfolio. So it's a risky jump.. but well, she's desperate!

Now.... She needed the wedding highlight to be done in 2 days after the wedding (for showing in her reception overseas). My friend is not confident he would be able to edit the highlight in the timeframe. So.. she came back at me and requested me to edit it for her using my friend's footages on the day. She said she loved my work so much and willing to pay the rate.

Do you think I should take the job? I'm not confident yet my friend's footages will be decent in terms of exposure, audio, etc. He's on DSLR which is not an easy tool.. and I haven't seen his works for wedding day. Although I've heard from a friend photographer that he was somehow obstrussive on the wedding day and with only a single 24-105mm f4L lens his reception footages was grainy like old tvs.

If I was to take it.. I think I won't put my brand in the video or upload on my website. And if my friend's footages aren't that well, I probably just cut up some of the decent footages and edit over background music. Probably not my best work, but hey, might be enough to satisfy her needs.

Any thoughts?
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Old July 20th, 2011, 02:40 AM   #2
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Re: Editing other people's work.. your thoughts on my case?

Hi Johannes

You seem to have decided to go one way then in the next sentence back out??? Personally I would tell your mate to do the job as a freebie and also edit himself. What are you going to do if the footage is really bad??? If you do take it on, I would most definately tell the bride about the arrangement for editing otherwise a poor end result might reflect back on you???

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Old July 20th, 2011, 02:44 AM   #3
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Re: Editing other people's work.. your thoughts on my case?

Johannes

I think this is probably a matter of morals rather than technics. If you've recommended someone with no experience not only to shoot a wedding but do a 2-day edit, regardless of how unwise that seems in retrospect, maybe you'll feel some responsibility for the outcome.

In those circumstances, though I'd like to think I wouldn't have offered the original suggestion, I think I'd feel some responsibility and do the edit myself - perhaps even for free if you think it's going to be barely usable.

The worst thing would be to let the programme get out as in way representative of your own standard.

Best of luck
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Old July 20th, 2011, 02:54 AM   #4
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Re: Editing other people's work.. your thoughts on my case?

Chris,

I actually referred you to her. Not sure if she's made contact with you. She's only asking me to do her highlight because my friend can't do it in 2 days. So the full long edit will still be my friend's responsibility.

I thought it's not bad to pocket some money without all the exhaustion of wedding day shooting. And if I take it I'll warn her that I am not responsible for the quality as I am not in full control of the shooting. And I'm not putting my brand on it. I thought it'll be a good idea.. at least she gets her highlight. And if the footage is really bad, I'm not putting my name on it as I already warned her. But..... I want to get opinion if this is a risky move? There may be other considerations that I haven't taken into account.. and I don't want to regret it later.


Philip,

She was really desperate in her email. I've recommended as much videographer as I can.. and this friend of mine was really my last and least recommended. I told her all the warning though.. and how I wouldn't recommend him myself. But she might've been interested to use him because he probably charges low (or free) because he wanted some portfolio.

Don't think I'll edit it for free. If she's a close friend, I probably would. But she's not.
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Old July 20th, 2011, 03:43 AM   #5
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Re: Editing other people's work.. your thoughts on my case?

Thanks Johannes

I think I did get an enquiry for 15th October from someone called Amber??? What that the one??? She said that her videographer had to cancel????? I did send her some prices but she never came back to me ..presumably she is still hoping your mate can do it!!

I still reckon it's a little scary relying that someone else's footage will be up to scratch as since you are interacting with her she is assuming you are part of the deal. Then again if you are only doing the highlight you certainly couldn't be blamed for the long edit content at all...just make sure she knows that!!

I did comment on your Bell Tower clip too!! Nice job

Chris
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Old July 20th, 2011, 04:00 AM   #6
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Re: Editing other people's work.. your thoughts on my case?

I recommend you keep a few things in mind...

1. Many laypeople believe that a good editor can make gold out of even terrible footage. I'm guessing that the bride believes that no matter who does the shooting, your editing will make the final film look just as if you had shot it yourself...or very close to it.

2. Your filmmaker friend's skill is an unknown factor right now, and that is something for you to be wary of. Poorly shot footage can take a lot more work than expected in the editing phase. Are you ready for the worst possible scenario in which you're working many extra hours to fix up shots that could/should have been captured correctly to begin with?

3. Friends of friends are more common than many people think. Put your association aside and approach the question of your involvement only from a business standpoint. The fact that you mentioned she's a friend of a friend says that you have a good heart, but we've all heard disastrous stories that begin this way.
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If it was me, I would have to decline the edit, though I can see a good case for taking the job strictly for the purpose of making an hourly wage as long as the couple's expectations are realistic and there is no risk of damaging your business' equity.

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Old July 20th, 2011, 07:25 AM   #7
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Re: Editing other people's work.. your thoughts on my case?

IMO I see where you have a ton to lose and not much other then some cash, maybe, to gain. In this situation you are NEVER going to be the hero and quite possibly end up as the lousy editor who created her crappy video and then charged her a bunch of money to do it.

You handed this off to someone else, let both of them sink or swim with their decision.

Respectfully bow out and then RUN as far and as fast as you can from this!
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Old July 20th, 2011, 09:07 AM   #8
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Re: Editing other people's work.. your thoughts on my case?

Is there a chance that you could look at his footage before committing to editing it? Then you could make a much better-informed decision.
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Old July 20th, 2011, 07:09 PM   #9
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Re: Editing other people's work.. your thoughts on my case?

Don't do it.
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Old July 20th, 2011, 08:22 PM   #10
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Re: Editing other people's work.. your thoughts on my case?

Thanks all for the inputs.

@Chris: It's Ria for the 8th October. Not sure if you get an enquiry from her? And thanks for the comments on the other thread! :)

@Corey: I don't think time will be convenient as I will then only have 2 days to check the footages and give her the decision. I probably can, but I don't want to give her the agony of waiting for the uncertain.. especially over her wedding day!

After reading these, I think I will decline. It's true, the cash is not worth the risk. Somehow I feel sorry for her for not getting a videographer that she's comfortable with. If I was her, I'd be devastated too.

Now.. time to break the news to her.. thanks again guys :)
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Old July 20th, 2011, 09:03 PM   #11
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Re: Editing other people's work.. your thoughts on my case?

Johannes, regarding your original post, you say that she was completely devastated because you weren't available; are we talking about an emotional collapse with the need for medication, or just a day or two of bed rest?

I am humbled with this potent reminder of how important wedding video can be to those most impacted by it, and the consequences produced when thing go awry.

Seriously, I agree it's not your project to concern yourself with. Beware of taking this stuff too seriously.
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Old July 20th, 2011, 09:10 PM   #12
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Re: Editing other people's work.. your thoughts on my case?

Hi Johannes

Probably a smart move!!! The last thing you need is to shoot your own wedding on the sma eday as you need to do this highlights gig too....Dunno about you but one wedding at a time is enough to worry about!!

Nope Ria never contacted me at all. I am free on 8th if she needs a videographer

Chris
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Old July 20th, 2011, 11:55 PM   #13
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Re: Editing other people's work.. your thoughts on my case?

Chris, I told her you are free.. so she might get in touch if she changes her mind from using my friend. I told her that my friend is very new, so she needs to be aware of the risks before giving him the job.

Jeff, well she's just really sad. Luckily, she didn't fell ill because I said "I'm booked" :P

True.. It's very humbling indeed to find people who really appreciate what you do. These are the people who really keeps you in the industry. Unfortunately, you can't please everybody and this kind of thing is bound to happen.
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Old July 20th, 2011, 11:59 PM   #14
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Re: Editing other people's work.. your thoughts on my case?

Johannes, at least you care enough to attempt to find her someone, which is a testimony to your concienciousness.
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Old July 21st, 2011, 12:22 AM   #15
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Re: Editing other people's work.. your thoughts on my case?

Thanks Johannes

I will leave it up to her, of course, but the referal is always appreciated. I think you have truly gone over and above the call of duty to find her another videographer already so feel pleased with your efforts.

The new season is strange!! I only have a couple in October but November was booked out 6 months ago!!

Do you have any space in November ?? I would rather send them your way than brush them off!!

Chris
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