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Old January 9th, 2013, 03:34 AM   #1
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Outsourcing editing

Hi guys - a quick search on the topic didn't reveal much, however if anybody could point out a relevant thread it would e much appreciated.

What are your experiences with outsourcing editing for your weddings? Have any of you had experiences outsourcing outside of your own geographical area / country? I'm interested in various perspectives from the globe but particularly those from the guys in Australia.

I've recently had a couple of people e-mail me and offer their editing services. One is a local guy (also a videographer who runs his own business) and another was from the Phillipines - a quick google search revealed that there's a bit of this on offer.

Never considered outsourcing until things got busy, and I find that because video is often the "we'll get it if we have money left in the budget" kind of deal, I tend to get a few bookings with 3-4 weeks notice, and whilst the extra jobs are appreciated, it tends to throw out delivery times for prior bookings!

Stevan
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Old January 9th, 2013, 07:22 AM   #2
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Re: Outsourcing editing

Stevan,
I have two guys that edit for me. Both are local and I can meet them to swap drives or go over edits, so it is a very hands on position for me. I find that if I can get my head out of the edits, I have the time and energy to run a business. It has allowed me to take on more and still keep up as well as infuse a younger energy into the edits. I would recommend to anyone who edits their own weddings, to give an editor or 2 a try. It can change your quality of life drastically, and you still have control of the edit.
Bill
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Old January 9th, 2013, 02:10 PM   #3
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Re: Outsourcing editing

As one who fell so drastically behind on his edits that it more or less ruined a successful business I highly recommend outsourcing. Of course doing so takes some lead time so don't wait till you're too far in the hole to find some help. Also remember to budget extra for this - that should go without saying.

I never had enough money to outsource enough to fully catch up but when I was able to farm some work out it helped more than you can imagine. Bill is completely right, if you can swing it send some out today, it'll save your sanity and possibly your business.

In my case it took some time to find someone I liked so you might have to do a few re-edits till you locate that person but when you finally do it'll be totally worth it.

I was able to find people by posting in the jobs/help wanted section here. Whatever it's called.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 03:15 PM   #4
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Re: Outsourcing editing

We produce doco shows and now outsource some editing, here's what we found.

Getting started is the hardest part, usually good editors have other work and they've got to be prepared to deliver quality, on time every time.

On nearly every show, one of us has to write out an editing brief usually based on what the client wants to see, and on the more important shows
we view the progress. Try and select an editor in your area so you can go see him, we usually spot and select the music.

Gear breakdowns, family commitments, holidays, illness and too much work can all contribute to an editor delivering late.
Add 3 or 4 days when you tell the client.

Work out your editing costs carefully, some charge by the job with an agreed number of hours, some by the hour with a top price.
By the hour for additional work and if there's any stuffups, never again.

To keep a good editor be prepared to pay him on the agreed day, regardless of when you get paid by your client.

Some clients might not or don't want another person who they never meet, working on their job, be careful.

If the client is a real PIA and will want an edit change regardless, have the editor put in something that is very simple to correct,
something that makes no difference whether it's in or out. Funnily enough that's usually easy to do.

Always keep a backup of the footage, and never ever let the editor talk with the client or send the finished job to the client before you check it.
Retrieve the master and you make the copies. Hope this helps in some way.

Cheers.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 04:11 PM   #5
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Re: Outsourcing editing

Ethan,
Have you gotten it back on track? And how far behind does it get before your business starts to go down?
BIll
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Old January 9th, 2013, 05:09 PM   #6
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Re: Outsourcing editing

Bill,
I came to the realization that at this point in my life I'd rather work for someone else than keep running a business poorly. You can make much more money running your own business but for me the piece of mind that came from walking away was priceless. Maybe some day I'll take the lessons I learned and try again but probably not in weddings and probably not for a while.

I began sending work to editors when I got past 6 months but not having enough money to send all of them out coupled with not doing the work needed to keep up meant that by the end, times had slipped past a year. Most people are patient but understandably only to a point. I think that if you want to keep the majority of your clients happy no matter how good the work is you need to keep it under 6 months, I'd guess that 3-4 months is better as far as clients telling their friends, "you gotta go with this guy, he's good and you don't have to wait a year".

It got to the point when I was booking clients the final year I'd tell them right up front that it would take close to 12 months to finish their project & they were booking anyway but really that's not how you want to run your business. People want good stuff but 12 months is just too long to fairly ask someone to wait. Just didn't seem right to me.

If I ever do weddings someday I'd have the editor built into the price and never edit one again. Like you said earlier, you need time to run a business, you need time to see the family & you need time to not be an editing robot.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 07:39 PM   #7
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Re: Outsourcing editing

Thanks for your advice guys, and thanks Ethan for sharing. It sounds like the hard part is setting up the process and getting comfortable with someone doing the work - I was in that frame of mind that I need to get all the work done myself, but it's not sustainable and am thinking now that the sooner I get help the better.

It's a precautionary thing at the moment as I'm having trouble catching up and new weddings are being shot frequently. It's not out of control yet but will be if I don't get onto it now. To make matters more difficult we have an 8 week old baby + working from home = an inability to sit down for more than 20 minutes at a time without interruption.

Allan given you're in Sydney, what would you say is the going rate for a full edit of an all day wedding edited and delivered (roughly? I know it's a how long is a piece of string question). I have an editor in Melbourne who is quoting around the $600 mark for the extended version edited (so I include footage of bride/groom preps, ceremony in full and reception formalities in full shot with multi-cam). He charges an extra $100 for highlights. At this point I'm thinking I want all that footage cut up and I do my own highlights, not to save money, it's more a control thing...
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Old January 9th, 2013, 09:43 PM   #8
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Re: Outsourcing editing

Hey Stevan congratulations, shoot a lot of video of your new baby, don't edit any of it :)

Yep you're right, working with a new editor is the hard part, you're employing part time staff to remotely run a key part of your business,
always tough to do, especially with the mechanics of the arrangement.

The rate you pay would be dependant on the budget for the whole job, so if you're comfortable with +- $600 then try it ..
and having him compile the footage would be a good way to get to know him.

As a test, I'd send approx 15 mins to have him cut and send it back, to make sure it all gels. Be handy if you both had identical editing rigs too.
All the best.

Cheers.
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Old January 10th, 2013, 09:49 AM   #9
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Re: Outsourcing editing

Ethan,
Thanks so much for sharing that. I'll add two things. open communication is the key with an editor. They need to understand what you want and if you don't get it you need to control the output and have 100% final creative control. Secondly I audition editors by giving them whole wedding and see how they so. If it works then i pay them. I would say learn to hire slowly and fire quickly. Control the output.
Bill
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