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Old January 9th, 2015, 07:23 AM   #16
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Re: How do you politely tell customers 'no preview copy'

Hi Roger and Pete

I'm sure you guys were well aware of the issues that poor Tariq used to have here with brides that wanted almost impossible changes and that should have also served as a reminder to everyone about offering "Take a look at my basic edit and tell me what you want changed" policy!

Yeah, sometimes I think that Steve has the right idea about weddings and stick to commercial work ... some brides can be more hassle than the job is worth!!

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Old January 9th, 2015, 11:36 AM   #17
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Re: How do you politely tell customers 'no preview copy'

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
I would be careful placing a low quality file online for reviewing purposes, there is a very high chance they will share the link and password with family and closest friends during the review period just because they are so exited and if your film looks bad, because it's sd and low bitrate, you might be judged by other, maybe potential clients, by that sample.
And that is exactly why the review notes (posted just below the video) read "low-resolution for review only". As for the brides family not booking based on the review sample, I'm not worried. If the bride is happy, so will her siblings and friends when recommendations are needed.
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Old January 9th, 2015, 11:46 AM   #18
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Re: How do you politely tell customers 'no preview copy'

You can also watermark the video to read something like: "low resolution review copy" or even give HD and watermark with your company/name + For review only. just like the academy does it ;)
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Old January 9th, 2015, 11:49 AM   #19
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Re: How do you politely tell customers 'no preview copy'

It seems like this topic is more of a personal preference as there's no clear cut right or wrong way to go. With something like "Is it a better idea to shoot on VHS or SDHC cards these days?" I think you'll get the same answer from pretty much everyone. But this topic seems like more of a grey area :)
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Old January 9th, 2015, 11:51 AM   #20
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Re: How do you politely tell customers 'no preview copy'

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Originally Posted by Oren Arieli View Post
And that is exactly why the review notes (posted just below the video) read "low-resolution for review only". As for the brides family not booking based on the review sample, I'm not worried. If the bride is happy, so will her siblings and friends when recommendations are needed.
Just saying, I placed a full wedding online a while ago that was a re-edit from another videographer footage (with his approval). I only placed it on my vimeo account with a password so the couple could download the original, I specifically told the couple not to share the link and inform me when they had downloaded the file so I could remove it.

As it was not shot by me so I didn't want to be associated with the film, even if I did the edit.

After 5 days I didn't hear from the couple and went to check the video stats and saw it had been downloaded several times and had been viewed even more times meaning they did share the link further. I immediately deleted the video but can imagine other people might think I made that film.

That fine print you refer to, nobody reads that, they just watch the film. Your client is happy, that's normal but anyone else they might share the video with could be influenced in their choice of hiring you by the low quality, only that's something you never will know.
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Old January 9th, 2015, 03:48 PM   #21
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Re: How do you politely tell customers 'no preview copy'

I really cannot get my head around those who offer preview copies and adjustments after delivery.
It seems absolutely bizarre imho!

We are filming a live event, not a staged production. We have to make 1000's of editing decisions on each wedding edit. I cannot see any reason other than a technical glitch to offer changes for free.

Here is an example.

You have created a documentary edit which lasts 1h40min. You have graded the footage, rendered it out and authored it to 10 discs on printed DVD's...sent it to the couple and they say I don't like my hair in that shot, can you remove it.

So it takes a few seconds to remove that shot and then you have to start the whole render process again, authoring, another ten discs etc,etc, etc.

Please do not tell me this is an hours labour! even for a second.....

I would happily make changes of personal choice at a substantial fee unless again it was a technical error.

Did I say I find those who offer this option absolutely bizarre.....
Help me understand!

Cheers.
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Old January 9th, 2015, 03:54 PM   #22
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Re: How do you politely tell customers 'no preview copy'

It's OK John, we'll get through this together.... ;)

Look at it this way instead:

Treat the whole thing as two different works. I gather from your statements that your work is final to the client, ok cool. If they ask about re-edits, you can say that you do offer additional editing services, and that if they would like, you can make edits for them under a new invoice/contract. in that sense.... why wouldn't you offer this paying service?
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Old January 9th, 2015, 05:02 PM   #23
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Re: How do you politely tell customers 'no preview copy'

John, in my contract I have written "No changes will be made after the master has been cleared for final copies." So I make sure that the client knows that once they give final approval then that's it, no more changes can be made. If a client were to come back and ask for a revision after watching the final DVDs then I would be under no obligation to do them for free and I would give them a quote that would reflect the time and materials involved in making the revisions.

This is part of the reason why I give them a "Rough Cut" or "First Cut" because if there are a few small changes that they would like me to make then all I need to do is open up Premiere Pro and make the edits. In my contract I list that if the editing goes past 60 minutes then they will need to pay my full editing rate. It's very rare that they ask for more than an hour of changes, but if they do then I get paid for it.

The reason I offer this is that I feel better knowing that they've had a chance to look over the videos (especially the 5-7 minute highlight video) before making final copies. This way if I make the final DVDs and mail them them out, I don't have to worry about the client coming back and saying that I forgot something or made a mistake since they've already affirmed that everything is good to go.

With that being said, I can certainly see how this approach sounds like more work than it's worth and I don't think that everyone needs to do this. It's just something that has worked well for me and my clients have seemed to appreciate having the option of requesting minor changes.
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Old January 9th, 2015, 05:04 PM   #24
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Re: How do you politely tell customers 'no preview copy'

Quote:
Originally Posted by John De Rienzo View Post
Here is an example.

You have created a documentary edit which lasts 1h40min. You have graded the footage, rendered it out and authored it to 10 discs on printed DVD's...sent it to the couple and they say I don't like my hair in that shot, can you remove it.

So it takes a few seconds to remove that shot and then you have to start the whole render process again, authoring, another ten discs etc,etc, etc.

Please do not tell me this is an hours labour! even for a second.....
You took the works out of my mouth.
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Old January 9th, 2015, 07:26 PM   #25
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Re: How do you politely tell customers 'no preview copy'

Hi John

A big +1 from me too. Sure, with a commercial shoot it's different but an event? Not a chance... Brides seem to think you can simply click your mouse and the change is complete so why should it cost her hundreds of dollars ... They simply don't realise the amount of work involved to change one tiny thing.

You guys that openly offer previews and changes obviously haven't sat at the edit desk for 3 straight days with a picky bride going thru footage from a 8 page list of typed out changes. Yes, it did happen about 10 years ago and that convinced me NEVER to offer brides an option to make edit changes!

Chris
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Old January 10th, 2015, 03:23 AM   #26
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Re: How do you politely tell customers 'no preview copy'

Wow, the idea of a preview copy has touched a nerve. My service regarding Previews is very similar to Michael's. One request for change, work lasting no more than an hour. Beyond that there's a hefty charge, so they're fully aware the price of my work and time. So no 3 days of editing unless I'm paid a good sum. Oddly enough no one pushes for that. It's just a case of setting a boundary beforehand. No more or less different than limiting the number of hours you film in a day's Wedding in case the party goes on till the following morning.

Now yes the work is a little more than an hour; there's the time taken to prepare the Preview copy to factor too. Which basically means encoding overnight whilst I'm asleep and spending 15 minutes preparing a basic DVD; generic menu and disk cover. Hardly a great hardship. Once I've made the changes, I'm preparing the final DVD as normal, so that time would have been required anyway. It's only the Preview preparation that counts as extra.

Basically I'm offering an extra service that many of you are not. That's up to you. Some Videographers make a point of visiting every couple, I do not. I lost one Wedding to another Videographer who offered free RAW footage, which I do not. Couple's appreciate they can request a small number of changes and I get the satisfaction that their video is exactly tailored to their requirements. Just because it's documentary doesn't mean there isn't room for change, at least not in the way I film and edit it. Since everyone is always banging on about giving the Bride what she wants, frankly I don't see the objection.

Last edited by Steve Burkett; January 10th, 2015 at 10:07 AM. Reason: Spelling
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Old January 10th, 2015, 08:23 PM   #27
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Re: How do you politely tell customers 'no preview copy'

Just wanted to add $0.02.

I do give my clients one round of changes for my shorter videos. One reason is simply that I want them to be happy. If they're going to have to live with the video for the next 70 years and show their grandkids, I don't want them to think, every time they watch it, "I look ugly in that shot. I hate it." I want them to love the video.

Another reason is that they do sometimes pick up on omissions that are important to them, and not merely subjective. For instance: "There's no shot of guest x, who's my brother. Could you put him in somewhere?" So, the changes are sometimes about things that you wouldn't necessarily know.

And sometimes, to be honest, the complaints are legitimate. I don't edit all the videos myself, and on one occasion my editors left out a particular couple being introduced at the reception. I don't know why they left this couple out, but they did. The bride picked it up on viewing the preview, and that did make me glad I'd shown her -- I would've hated for this to be discovered after the disks had been produced, partly because production of the disks is quite costly in itself for me, and I would have regarded that as a serious enough mistake to reprint.

That's just how I do things anyway. I don't think it's good advice for anyone to follow...
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Old January 11th, 2015, 04:00 AM   #28
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Re: How do you politely tell customers 'no preview copy'

I don't want to give my couples the choice for a re-edit, I don't even mention it when we first meet because if I would I"m sure several would try to make use of it.

It's not that I refuse to do this, but from experience I know that as soon you say the words "extra costs" the discussion can start.

I have done a few re-edits in the past from couples who requested to see a preview and I only can conclude it takes up a lot of my time, first I need to prepare the film with a timecode and put the entire film online which takes hours because upload speeds are generally low here. Then I have to wait until the couple gives me feedback which in some occasions toke a few weeks, then I have had couples that demanded to see the changes I made and that again could lead into a change request. Re-editing was often also not a matter of just cutting but I always edit my music so that it has a beginning and clear end, meaning you can't hear where I made the cut when I make a song shorter and that takes more time.

You could include those edit changes in your package price but when do you decide if a client takes advantage of it and you need to charge extra for it? That again can result in timeconsuming discussions and with a wedding every weekend I cannot afford that as I work alone.

Only those that ask upfront or after delivery for a re-edit I will serve but at a price and if they are not willing to pay and end up being unhappy, so be it, I"m not a charity organisation.
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Old January 11th, 2015, 11:32 AM   #29
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Re: How do you politely tell customers 'no preview copy'

What about offering a preview copy with a running time code (drop boxed or via USB stick in the post) and ask for feedback, title spellings, missing guests, unwanted guests and so on, but say that changes are limited to ten time code events. Once they list timecode event no. 11 you make a charge of say 25 per change.

That gives the couple some control over the content of the final film, without letting a bridezilla have open season on changing the whole thing.
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Old January 11th, 2015, 02:07 PM   #30
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Re: How do you politely tell customers 'no preview copy'

Seems like a sensible suggestion, Paul. I also like the general direction of your thinking -- option to make edits, but put limits on it. But even here there are potentially grey areas.

Firstly, I don't think you should charge for mistakes that are genuinely your fault, like misspellings or sound cutting out or menu links not working or whatever.

But secondly, changes aren't always neatly timecoded. For instance, a requested change could be, "Can you make this part of the video more exciting?" Or something like, "Could you replace the music here?", which could throw all your cuts out if you're cutting to the beat. Or, "Could you go through the video, and remove any shot in which person X appears?"

And then what happens if you make the change, and she's not happy with it, or prefers the way you had it before?

So, giving them ability to request changes can potentially open Pandora's Box -- though I still do it (!!!), and though, in the real world, I've found that people usually aren't unreasonable.

Another way of limiting changes that's worked for one company around here: give a deadline. If the client doesn't request changes by date X, too bad, it's going to print. And what usually happens is they don't request changes, because people lead busy lives, and normal people don't have the patience to scroll through and comment frame by frame.
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