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Old June 27th, 2013, 08:24 AM   #1
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How to tell Clients that we are in Control

I have filmed a wedding video and the client is asking to come round and look through the footage and choose what he wants adding. I am about to reply to his email and thinking whats the best way to reply without sounding to rude.

So far I have wrote

I'll have a look at these changes and see what I can do. In terms or looking at the footage and adding in what you would like this is not a service that I offer. As cinematographers we are paid to film a wedding and present it in our individual style this editing entails choosing different shots, music, and other elements to tell a story. It's standard practice that I am granted full production and editorial control regarding all aspects of this production and postproduction and I shoot my videos with this in mind. You may be used to a more documentary style video where a lot more of the family are in the video but that is not my style. The movie is focused primarily around the bride and groom.

I was wondering if anybody could share any thoughts.

Thank you
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Old June 27th, 2013, 08:41 AM   #2
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Re: How to tell Clients that we are in Control

Did he sign a contract that stated you have full editorial rights?

If it's a yes.

Then your pretty much covered legally. In terms of sounding rude, I don't think your email does sound rude at all ...

Was this an Asian or Western wedding?
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Old June 27th, 2013, 08:56 AM   #3
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Re: How to tell Clients that we are in Control

"Can I come and look though the footage and choose what is to be included?"

"No."

We talk, in advance, to let folks know we'll ask about a few things (mostly whether we should include the entire ceremony, or if there is anything they want left out); and will offer the question: 'Is there anything you are most looking forward to seeing?'

After that, it's up to us. I haven't had someone ask like you have yet, but feel a simple, firm no would go a long way, depending on if they're being pushy, or just asking out of curiousity.
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Old June 27th, 2013, 09:06 AM   #4
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Re: How to tell Clients that we are in Control

It was an Asian Wedding,

Contract says the following;

Re-edits

Technical errors will be corrected free of charge. Client-requested changes to their video will be charged at the prevailing daily edit rate. We will supply you with a preliminary edit for you to check before the final copy/copies are made. A charge will be made to correct any errors reported after the final copy is supplied.

Delivery of Product


Video Editing, Production and Distribution

We reserve the right to edit and produce the video(s) using any software , technique and creative ideas. All final creative control resides with us. Any, all or none of the videos created in this engagement may be used and published by us in future marketing endeavours.
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Old June 27th, 2013, 09:09 AM   #5
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Re: How to tell Clients that we are in Control

I have had this type of questions before, once with a Indian wedding and once at a Serbian wedding. First time it didn't come up at our first meeting but they requested it after the wedding. I told them it was ok for them to sit by my side in my "office" but I asked a extra price about half of what they paid for the weddingvideo. They where shocked that I was asking a premium for this and while I said to them it was never agreed upon or even talked about when we met they thought it was considered normal, I thought "maybe where you live but not where I come from" :) so I had some discussion but eventually I didn't have to do it.

Just ask standard hour rate what you would charge a company for all the extra work you have to put into it and once they see what it will cost you won't have to do it or you"ll be making some nice extra pocketmoney.
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Old June 27th, 2013, 09:10 AM   #6
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Re: How to tell Clients that we are in Control

Hi Tariq

I think we have been thru this before... put a clause in your contract that gives you total editorial control ..end of story ... no "proof" disks to "see if you like it" and no changes unless it's your fault or unless they are prepared to pay you by the hour ..I have had this (a long time ago) and the bride was with me for 3 days (full days!) and didn't pay me a cent .... Just simply don't fall for this !!

I have never lost a client over this clause and if someone did contest it before booking, I just wouldn't book them.

I would assume this would have been an ethnic wedding (only guessing of course) but more often than not what the couple want and what the parents accept are vastly different.

I would still insist on full editorial control otherwise you will never satisfy them..just be tough!!

Chris
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Old June 27th, 2013, 09:15 AM   #7
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Re: How to tell Clients that we are in Control

There are threads in this forum banging on about what a nightmare certain traditional Asian clients can be. (not all! I have had good experiences too).

Most just disregard of all contracts / paperwork like it means nothing !

I think your email is good enough.

What scenes are they specifically asking for? the best you can do is emphasize on the fact you concentrate on the couple and vaguely cover the guests so don't actually have the scenes they are asking for i.e. if it's a shot of a distant relative that made a 400 mile trip to attend the wedding that he wants etc.

Just tell them you don't have those scenes. You've used the best scenes that you captured.

If i'm being blunt. You seriously need to take out the bit where you state you will allow them to make changes ... this is why your getting harassed after the film has been made.

Even if you were the most professional, nicest fellow ... but had that in your contract. I would be tempted after receiving my film to nitpick and ask for more, or see what other bits you have so I can add it in.

It's human nature.
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Old June 27th, 2013, 09:21 AM   #8
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Re: How to tell Clients that we are in Control

Personally I have allowed ONE customer to sit with me and pick scenes. A chap who owns a 5 star Indian restaurant. I made a promotional video for him to submit to a Curry Awards competition. The initial video I gave him wasn't good enough so he said he needs to come round and pick scenes.

Given the nature of the video and where it was going. I let him come round ... we spent about 6 hours going through each raw clip. In the end he replaced about 4 seconds of the final edit and was very happy.

Absolutely ridiculous if you ask me ...

Some times you just have to be blunt and not care if they get upset or end up disliking you.
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Old June 27th, 2013, 10:01 AM   #9
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Re: How to tell Clients that we are in Control

In a word...NEVER! At least not for a wedding. First it states in my service agreement they do not get the opportunity to sit with me during the edit since they have seen samples of my work, have hired me as the professional to do a similar job and thirdly (only if needed) would it be OK if I came to their job and gave them advice on how to do what they do? This last one did come up once about 5 years ago. ONCE!
Corporate clients I give them a time code version of RAW footage if needed and that pretty much has always taken care of it for them. The only time I did allow someone to sit he was the producer for a TV sports show pilot that eventually ran on a the regional of a large network.
Again for weddings, nope, nada, nine, never and no! ;-)
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Old June 27th, 2013, 11:51 AM   #10
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Re: How to tell Clients that we are in Control

You could say something along the line of "I understand that you are anxious to know how your film would turn out but _______(explain what your contract says)______ "

And in the end you can add "Thank you so much for putting your trust in my artistic vision and I can't wait to show you the result as soon as it will be done. I'm sure you'll love it!"

*EDIT*: Sorry I didn't see that you have already delivered their film and they want a re-edit. In this case I think you can ask them to point out specific items they feel are missing and tell them "I'll see what I can do" but if the request doesn't make sense, you can give them a clear explanation on WHY you decided to cut certain parts out.

And instead of simply refusing to help them, you could also offer some extra service at additional cost. This way you won't come across as being rude and non-cooperative but you will make them understand that what they are asking is not part of your contract and you are open to giving them a choice to do it but not for free. It will then be their choice to decide if they want to go ahead and proceed with it and if they do, at least you will get paid for it.

You could also offer to give them an extra feature edit that only includes the "deleted scenes" for another additional cost.

The idea is to always give them a CHOICE but to always make sure that you are being compensated for everything you do.
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Old June 27th, 2013, 01:26 PM   #11
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Re: How to tell Clients that we are in Control

Tariq, this thread worries me a little, as it suggests that the client was not clear on what you actually supply before he booked you. My contract states that the finished video will be consistent with and in the style of examples of my work seen before the booking was made. I also allow no input into the editing or selection of scenes. The only alterations I allow are to corrections to names in the credits, or removal of any offensive or embarrassing comments from guests that I may have missed in editing.

Once you allow changes and alterations you are on a slippery slope.

Roger
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Old June 27th, 2013, 02:22 PM   #12
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Re: How to tell Clients that we are in Control

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
Tariq, this thread worries me a little, as it suggests that the client was not clear on what you actually supply before he booked you. My contract states that the finished video will be consistent with and in the style of examples of my work seen before the booking was made. I also allow no input into the editing or selection of scenes. The only alterations I allow are to corrections to names in the credits, or removal of any offensive or embarrassing comments from guests that I may have missed in editing.

Once you allow changes and alterations you are on a slippery slope.

Roger
I'm under the assumption the bride and groom didn't even book him ... a relative did. And it was a wedding gift from them!

I have had similar enquiries. A relative will call me asking how much would I charge to simply film the event for the bride and groom with no interest what so ever in regards to artistic style. Just the best price possible.

The bride and groom would then subsequently end up receiving a film that doesn't meet their expectations.

I may be completely wrong though ... i'm just assuming the scenario. We need Tariq to clarify.

The main point here is. You need to remove that dreaded clause about offering a preliminary copy for them to approve!
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Old June 29th, 2013, 06:00 PM   #13
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Re: How to tell Clients that we are in Control

Pure curiosity. . .would you guys have the same attitude toward a corporate client? Or is this genre-specific?
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Old June 29th, 2013, 08:39 PM   #14
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Re: How to tell Clients that we are in Control

Hi Joss

Corporate would be different as you are shooting probably to a script and segments are being previewed by the client and discussed so it's a totally different ball park!

This issue here is even more isolated as it usually only occurs with ethnic style weddings rather than standard Westernised ones so you could probably issue a "proof disk" to a western bride the same as you would do for a corporate client but it's un-advisable as it's an invitation for them to find something wrong. Corporate productions are usually very short as well not many hours of footage like a wedding

Chris
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Old June 29th, 2013, 08:58 PM   #15
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Re: How to tell Clients that we are in Control

Dig. I would have taken a slightly different tack and said that in a corp video you often have all manner of political (i.e. cant offend anyone or seem insensitive toward so and so etc. ) as well as legal issues ("so and so said x in an interview and we cant be seen with our employees saying that) and so really needs some vetting and back and forth with client whether scripted or simply taping a presentation and taking out the odd bit here or there.
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