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Old January 11th, 2015, 03:40 PM   #31
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Re: How do you politely tell customers 'no preview copy'

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Could you go through the video, and remove any shot in which person X appears?
It's funny to read this as I happen to have a bride who already booked me 1,5 year ago and she is getting married this year in May who wrote me a mail a while back telling me she had to invite a person to her wedding who's girlfiend she couldn't stand, she asked if I could assure that this person would not appear in her video.

I absolutely hate this kind of requests, I did tell her she had to point to me who this person was so I could consider this during the edit.
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Old January 11th, 2015, 11:07 PM   #32
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Re: How do you politely tell customers 'no preview copy'

(Before reading this post, please note that I'm not trying to convince anyone that they should offer revisions or a preview copy. I'm merely sharing my own experience in case someone can learn from my early mistakes).

When I first began filming weddings I shot two of them in my first year for a very low rate. In my contract I listed that I would provide a rough cut to the bride, but I did NOT put a limit on the amount of free revisions (or free hours) that I would offer. I ended up spending at least 20 hours on each of the wedding videos as both couple had several pages of changes for me. This was not a pleasant experience and after this happened I decided to offer brides 4 free hours of revision editing where they would need to pay X dollars per hour after they used up the free hours. The next year I shot five weddings and I noticed that most of the brides requested changes up until around 4 hours and when they knew they were getting near the end of the free hours they stopped me between 3.5 - 4 hours and said "everything looks great, no more revisions are needed".

I now offer one free hour of revision editing which I clearly state in the contract and also clearly state again when I give them the rough cut. I filmed 27 weddings in 2014 and I only had 3 brides ask for more than one hour of revisions knowing they would have to pay for the extra revisions. The rest of them either said that everything was great and no revisions were needed or they just had some minor revisions that took under one hour. For the 3 brides that asked for more than 1 hour I was able to point back to the agreement that they would need to pay my editing rate I made a little extra money.

I'm by no means saying that this is the correct way to do things as I think everyone has their own way that works best for them and this may sound very unappealing to some. But I will say that I've found that putting a very clear cut limit on the free revision editing has worked very well for me since my first year when I had no limit in the contract.

So I would not recommend offering unlimited free revisions because that's when you can really hurt yourself when the bride decides she wants the entire video re-edited. But if the bride knows that she'll have to pay after the first few revisions then she will do her very best to limit the number of revisions that she asks for in order to save money.

I have found that many brides seem to appreciate having some input in the final product because they can add on a few final touches of their own. However, I totally understand that this not the best way or the right way, it's just worked pretty well for me and it's one option out of many good ones that have been listed in this thread.
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Old January 12th, 2015, 04:50 AM   #33
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Re: How do you politely tell customers 'no preview copy'

There seems to be a massive difference in what people offer in the way of previews, re-edits etc. It seems to be tied in with the way that your product is sold initially, the type of product you offer- long or short form, and how much of your original footage you use.

In my own case, the edit they receive includes all useable footage that I have taken, and consideration of any requests that I have had from them during contact before the wedding or immediately after before editing. Many on the forum seem to have little or no personal contact with the couple before the wedding, doing their communication by phone or email. I always have an in depth meeting with every client before contract signing, where we discuss how I work and if there are any particular requirements they have. If there is any mention of preview or editing changes, the answer is always no, with a clear explanation of my reasons. They are fully aware that they will get all of the footage and of what choices they can have before they sign the contract. Naturally, any mistakes on my part would be corrected free of charge.

It does mean that I have to spend a certain amount of time with every potential client initially, but in my view, that is preferable to having to work afterwards to re-edit because they have been given that option. I also understand that if your format is short form, then there may well be times when you have omitted someone that they may want included, so a re-edit option may be neccessary.

I would only agree not to include a particular guest in a video, if they were clearly pointed out to me on the day, and would only remove a guest from a finished edit if they were prepared to pay for a complet re-edit, which would be a large proportion of the total full charge. I did once foolishly agree to a re-edit for a slightly odd bride, who complained that she was unhappy with the video because I had filmed many guests who weren't smiling and she wanted her wedding video to be a happy event! I politely pointed out that most people at weddings are chatting and talking and it is quite difficult to smile and talk at the same time. Never the less she insisted, and then we had a discussion over what constituted a smile and what was a a laugh. I also had to get her to decide whether I should remove shots where some people were smiling and others were not in the same scene. She also wanted all shots of a guest who was pregnant removed, as she wasn't smiling very much 'Probably because she was pregnant and couldn't have a drink!' the trouble is that once you agree to a re-edit, you are open to every possible whim, so my answer now is always NO!

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Old January 12th, 2015, 05:20 AM   #34
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Re: How do you politely tell customers 'no preview copy'

Years back I had a bride almost having a attack because I did a few guest interviews at the end of the day and had a family member with me that I gave a wireless handmicrophone asking random questions, one of the brides uncles that we interviewed was totally drunk joking and shouting loud into the mike.
I thought he was quite funny but the bride did not, she almost was crying on the phone saying that particular interview ruined her entire film and that I had to take it out. I first said I was not responsible for her guests behavior and it was at her request I did those interviews. She replied I should have known that this part was not appropriate, I eventually redid the whole thing, toke that part out and had to remake all dvd's but charged extra for it which also was a long discussion as she first didn't want to pay for it so I had to give a her a discount on the re-edit, just to get this thing behind me.

If it's a obvious mistake I did in the editing, then it's always free but otherwise they have to pay for it.
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Old January 12th, 2015, 06:59 AM   #35
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Re: How do you politely tell customers 'no preview copy'

Trouble is meeting up with clients can be just as much abused as re-edits. Especially as my filming covers a rather wide area of locations. Last year I was asked to meet a couple in Crawley at 9am, being the only mutually convenient time. With rush hour traffic and no good road, it took me almost 3 hours to get there, plus 1.5 to get back. All for a 30 minute meeting, where the couple basically wanted me to be discreet, get plenty of shots of their kids and guests and just produce a lovely video for them. I had assumed that a longer meeting was required, that they were looking at my top package plus extras, but no, after 30 minutes they felt they'd said all that was needed, asked for basic Ceremony to 1st Dance filming and it was good to actually meet me before the day. Great I thought, and I lost a whole morning for that. No re-edit has ever frustrated me or felt like such a massive waste of my time. To be fair, most meetings aren't like that, which is why I was taken in by this one. Doesn't make it less annoying.

Now I can't knock people's wish to meet me, but to say it takes up less time than doing an hours worth of changes is alas far from accurate in my case when travel is factored in. So if I had a choice on what to cut out... Most alteration requests are minor and the vast majority of those requesting are very apologetic in asking for the change, emphasise that I don't have to do it if it takes up too much time and very appreciative when I do make the alterations. I can think of only 2 in all my Weddings who really abused it; hence the 1 hour limit.

Ultimately it's down to personal choice and experience and how you film and deliver the video. I'm certainly never going to abandon the idea of a Preview version of the Video. For me it's an important part of my service.
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Old January 12th, 2015, 07:10 AM   #36
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Re: How do you politely tell customers 'no preview copy'

You drive that far to meet your wedding clients? Why? I always let them come to me and several are coming from across the country which can be 1,5 to 2 hour drive. I lose max 30minutes to one hour when they visit and once they are out my door I can continue editing. I also propose to do a skype meeting if it's too far for the client to come or if they don't want to waste any time, then I give them a link of a password protected complete weddingfilm which I ask them to first watch and then we talk over skype.
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Old January 12th, 2015, 07:24 AM   #37
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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
You drive that far to meet your wedding clients? Why? I always let them come to me and several are coming from across the country which can be 1,5 to 2 hour drive. I lose max 30minutes to one hour when they visit and once they are out my door I can continue editing. I also propose to do a skype meeting if it's too far for the client to come or if they don't want to waste any time, then I give them a link of a password protected complete weddingfilm which I ask them to first watch and then we talk over skype.
It depends to be honest. I do use Skype now more. In the case outlined above, this was a special case and hard enough to arrange a meeting time at all. Their circumstances made travelling to me very difficult. All I can say is, we can all be taken for a ride by a couple's sob story.
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Old January 12th, 2015, 08:42 AM   #38
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Re: How do you politely tell customers 'no preview copy'

I've never issued any kind of preview copy.

I'm curious as to what changes clients typically ask for?

Also, for those allowing up to one hour's worth of free revisions, do you just work through the client's list then stop after an hour, contact them and ask if you are to continue?

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Old January 12th, 2015, 08:52 AM   #39
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Re: How do you politely tell customers 'no preview copy'

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Originally Posted by Ian Briscoe View Post

I'm curious as to what changes clients typically ask for?

Also, for those allowing up to one hour's worth of free revisions, do you just work through the client's list then stop after an hour, contact them and ask if you are to continue?

Ian
It's wide ranging to be honest and can include anything like a cut down of the speeches a little, replacing the song, replacing natural audio with music, more of a certain guest, removal of a certain shot or scene. You get a feel for the length of time it'll take and unless you get pages worth, most can be achieved in an hour. I'm not so mercenary as to stop watch it. Some requests like asking for say a musical recital to be uncut can be handled by the fact I include such things on the Bonus disk, so are not amendments to the main video.

Last edited by Steve Burkett; January 12th, 2015 at 08:54 AM. Reason: Grammar fix
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Old January 12th, 2015, 05:59 PM   #40
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Re: How do you politely tell customers 'no preview copy'

Commonest requests I've had are:

-- music changes (not so frequent anymore; if I sense the couple might be choosy about music, I ask in advance what music they like)
-- guests out ("Don't like her"), guests in ("Do you have a shot of my dad and my sister in the morning?")
-- don't like this shot of me; please replace
-- do you have more of X? (Do you have more of the MC's introduction before the speeches? Do you have more footage from the photoshoot? Do you have more of guests arriving in the morning and greeting my mum? Do you have that moment where the little flower girl ran up and pulled on my dress?)

So they're all content-type requests. Pretty much never had any sort of technical request.

One quick thought: I'm often surprised, when I watch videos or parts of videos with clients, that they're looking at different things from me. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, but I still am. I'm thinking about focus, exposure, composition. I'm don't think they're completely insensitive to these things, but they're looking at what's going on with friends and family. Eg: I shoot a slow-motion of bride spinning on the dance floor, with beautiful lens flares behind her; I play it back for her a few minutes afterwards (because I like to get clients enthusiastic about my work and reassure them I'm capturing good stuff); and she comments on her cousin in the corner of the frame and their expression.
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Old January 12th, 2015, 06:50 PM   #41
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Re: How do you politely tell customers 'no preview copy'

Unless I'm different from everyone else, surely you guys don't shoot absolutely everything that moves at the reception? I film the important events but I certainly don't run around following little Jimmy just in case he does something cute and the bride might ask me to include it.

I include everything I film cos I shoot for editing so if I have shot 90 minutes of footage the bride can be assured she will see no less than 80 minutes of it (just cutting out any bad shots or wobbles)

Sorry, but I STILL think that the bride should trust the videographer to select enough decent footage and the videographer should have enough confidence to put it together without the brides help. With myself if it's not in your final video then I simply never shot it so don't ask me to put it in! If you want people to be cut out of the video then you shouldn't have invited them in the first place.

I am still of the opinion that offering a preview of the completed DVD is opening a can of worms but, each to their own!!
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Old January 12th, 2015, 08:24 PM   #42
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Re: How do you politely tell customers 'no preview copy'

My experience has been almost identical to Adrian's regarding what types of requests that I get for revisions. For the short form videos, if I do get revision requests then they are almost always about a specific person that the bride would like to include. For the long form videos they usually ask if I can add in more of a certain type of footage (dancing, socializing, photo booth, etc).

Fortunately, in cases where I didn't get the shot they're asking about, they've always been very understanding. I suspect they realize that these are not shots they specifically requested prior to the wedding and that it's unrealistic to expect me to get every single person on camera.

Adrian made a very good point that these requests give an interesting insight into what the brides are often looking for when they watch the videos. The bride and groom almost never notice the same "mistakes" that I do. For instance, my assistant last year would consistently under or overexpose shots which drove me crazy. For the short form videos I could often just not use the footage, but in the long form videos I had no choice to cut to his camera at times. However, I never once had a bride mention anything about those shots being blown out or way too dark. The requests we got were almost always about including or excluding specific people (and sometimes about including more footage of a specific part of the reception).

While I'm not going to stop paying attention to focus, exposure, and composition...I am going to pay more attention to getting a very wide variety of coverage and try to get some footage of pretty much everyone who attends the wedding. Of course, when showing videos on my website for potential clients, they're not going to care if I left out a step-sister, but they may notice if the bride's face is exposed poorly during the ceremony.
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Old January 13th, 2015, 04:17 AM   #43
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Re: How do you politely tell customers 'no preview copy'

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post

Sorry, but I STILL think that the bride should trust the videographer to select enough decent footage and the videographer should have enough confidence to put it together without the brides help.

I am still of the opinion that offering a preview of the completed DVD is opening a can of worms but, each to their own!!
I trust my barber to cut my hair, but he still holds a mirror up at the end and asks if I'm happy with it. I appreciate the courtesy; yes he's a professional hairdresser and I am not, but it's my hair at the end of the day.

Preview Videos are a similar courtesy, one I know my clients value and appreciate from my consultation with them. I do shoot more than I need, not everything, just more. I like having options to play with when it comes to editing, more flexibility, but as a filming style, I'm aware others shoot differently and I'm not knocking that. As you say, to each their own.
However as a consequence, I am making choices and to presume all those choices will be the correct ones for my clients is hardly confidence and more arrogance. Most of my decisions are correct, occasionally though some are not. After all, I can hardly claim to have a window into the Bride's mind.

Yes it could open a can of worms, which is why the trick is to ensure the couple never get their hands on a can opener, metaphorically speaking of course.
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Old January 13th, 2015, 05:21 AM   #44
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Re: How do you politely tell customers 'no preview copy'

Hi Steve

Just for interest what would happen IF you said "It's a complete and utter mess ..did you flunk barber school" ?

I base my decision on the fact that over the last say, 5 years, every bride has been happy and prior to that I still produced the same thing BUT I offered a proof copy for evaluation and brides decided that if I was stupid enough to ask for changes they might as well make my life miserable. I present them (personally) with the final 3 x DVD sets and they are immediately delighted with the cover photos and presentation.

The way I see it still is ..if the end result is as good as my online demos then the bride will be happy. I'm sure after a few views they would indeed maybe change a few things BUT they are never that serious that they NEED to be changed ..that's the way the day unfolded. I do however make sure that any unflattering footage, rude comments and such are left out of the edit ..that's my job as an editor .. to make the raw footage look as good as possible and flow nicely. When you start getting comments like "A piece of my hair has fallen across my face ..edit that out" or "I hate my bridesmaid so photoshop her out of the entire video" then you know that it's not going to stop there and every single blemish must be attended to.

Each to their own but for me offering even a minor edit will start a snowball effect and it may never stop once the bride gets started so I never offer it in the first place and my life is a lot easier for it.


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Old January 13th, 2015, 07:23 AM   #45
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Re: How do you politely tell customers 'no preview copy'

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Just for interest what would happen IF you said "It's a complete and utter mess ..did you flunk barber school" ?

Chris
I would promptly shoot myself for daring to use the word 'flunk'. :) Seriously though the analogy isn't relevant here. Bad service from a barber usually means I'm using someone whose work I'm not familiar with. All my clients have seen my work, so have a pretty good idea as to the quality of the final product. The barber analogy refers to the idea that even though the same barber has cut my hair successfully 20 times, on the 21st time he still as a courtesy asks me to confirm I'm happy with it. In the same way, I am as a courtesy asking for my clients approval even though I've filmed successfully more Weddings than I care to remember.
I don't ask my clients for changes, I ask for them to confirm they're happy with the product before preparing final copies. Most are, naturally as they're familiar with my work. Those that do ask for changes, aren't quite as picky as the loose hair over face, but neither are they so severe as to reflect poorly on the video, which they are for the most part very happy with. It's tweaks nothing more.

Why do I do this? Well if you'll excuse another analogy, McDonald's and Burger King both work in the fast food industry; their respective business models though whilst similar, are not identical. In the same way my business is similar but not identical to yours. Being my Wedding Video business I offer a service that reflects my own ideas and style. Preview Copies is an extra service I throw in, no different than say packaging Popcorn with the DVD or taking the couple to watch the video at a local cinema, which some do. It's an example of how I differentiate my business from other Videographers and market my service as a whole and I know clients do appreciate this from speaking to them.

I'm not arguing that your way is wrong, I'm arguing that my way is right for me. I won't be changing it any time soon.

Last edited by Steve Burkett; January 13th, 2015 at 07:26 AM. Reason: Poor Grammar
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