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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old October 11th, 2006, 06:37 PM   #16
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"If you do however allow changes and re-edits....you are really setting yourself up for a client who you will not be able to make happy no matter what changes you make. Like Don stated.....they are NOT the pros...WE all are, and if they want to "back-seat" edit as I call it, then they should just buy iMovie and do it themsleves."

When you put the onus on teh client to "decide" on their changes, then ur also setting urself up for major delays as they ummm and arrrr

It really isnt fair to hold off all ur work to appease one client, when that client knows well enough in advnace that there is no preliminary changes.

Some offer this as a marketable means of service, and for them it might work, but more than likely from what ive seen, the work and requests for changes never stops.
What your asking the client to do here is to overanalyse your product. In doing so, they will enjoy it for teh first few times, however by thte tme theyve gone through evry shot and "made it better" they wont enjoy thge work for WHAT IT SHOULD BE.
It SHOUDL BE an entertaining archive of their day which they can watch over and over again without getting sick of it and without cringing.
In this regard, contracts and viewing of previus works should give the client enough of an idea of what to expect. In signing said contract, they take the job on board PRIOR to the wedding to advise u of what they want.
With the "tastes" and specific "styles' already in place prior to shooting, the shooter can then adapt to THAT requirement and service the client within that regard. From that day forward, no changes. As the material has been acquired and teh footage was filmed within the clients choosing.
If they change their mind after seeing a friends video, then u might try to adapt, but that isnt fair on YOU.

Taking Joe's example.. its like asking a chef if u can cook.. in the case of mind changing after the shoot and before the edit, its like placing an order and then, once the ingredients are prepped, cut and in the process of cooking, u tell teh chef u wnat something else..
That stuff thats already been prepped goes out the window and wastes everyones time.
Alot of clients believe theyve paid top dollar, and of course, some have.. but even with that mindset in THEIR minds, it doesnt change the fact that you have other clients whove paid the same, if not moreso than they have. Many feel that by "paying this much" they should be given the right to decide, but if tehy read the contracts carefully, theyre given that right BEFORE the wedding. Once teh wedding is over, that control is then passed over to me.
Its teh fairest way to work IMO and i persoanlly havent had isues with it. The only issue i have with it is whn clients DONT READ the bloody thing..

Time is money. Dont ever forget that.
when u pump out 40gigs a year.. every second counts.. believe me..

with my prelims, as i mentioned, everything is contracted. and only certain clients have the privildge of requesting minimal changes, so long as the whole piece isnt affected.

ive had clients want this shot or that shot in or out, but in making THAT change, i must fist ensure that the integrity of teh piece and continuation isnt affecteed. Many times clients only see the shot for teh shot and cant see beyond the immediate... but when u explain to tehm WHY said shot was used, they usually turn.. if they refuse, i then explain to tehm that THAT particualr change will domino into other elements, becuase it DOES.

Your work should flow, and these people pay you becuase u know what youre doing.
If they dot have the confidence that you would do the job, they shouldnt have hired u in the first place.

Its a tough world, and the clients are tougher. Remember, that throughout tehir wedding preps, tehyve had total control. More than likely their photoalbums were created with images THEY chose. The only element they have NO control over, is the Video.. and this really gets to some people.. no trully.. that lack of control really drives some people batty, considering "everyone else lets me decide"
Well hun, your not paying them to do ur video, ur paying me.

Dont ever forget the emotional attachement to what we do.. ever.. its the only binding element which can either make u or break u.
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Old October 12th, 2006, 12:13 AM   #17
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Hi Vito,

The site was down today for a few hours. My whole host's website was down too (inmotionhosting.com). Its the first time I've been aware of the site being unavailable. It got me thinking about site monitoring, so I found a 'widget' I can keep on my desktop that pings my site every five minutes and lets me know its accessible. It also graphs the up-time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Vito DeFilippo
Hey Joel,

Just tried to get to your website, but get an error. Is your provider down?

Glad to see I'm not the only crazy guy giving preview copies...
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Old October 12th, 2006, 10:43 AM   #18
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Client review very important to us

As a result of my years of experience doing video, I think a client review is very important in the general scheme of putting out the best show and saving time and costs of production. But I call it a premiere and not a review or proof showing. Basic reason is that with the complexity of editing we're had for the past few years, I want to find errors before doing the encoding and authoring of the DVD and burning of the copies. In the VHS stage, there were a few times when there was a glich in the edit or misspelled word that I missed.

For a while I used a VHS for this review. Now I play back the show on the computer, and if there is a misspelling or glich, I fix it on the spot and replay that part.
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Old October 13th, 2006, 10:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom
I too am about 80% booked for 07 Nuff said.
How do you calculate that?
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Old October 14th, 2006, 08:18 AM   #20
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My calculations are quite simple. I take the total number of dates I am willing to open to weddings, in my case for 2007 I decided to cut my schedule back, so I decided on 30 dates for weddings. NO 2 in a row, no back to back, if need be I'll do a Friday - Sunday but other than that... Anyway after decideing that 30 was the magic number for me for 2007 (this was decided about 6 months ago) I started looking at the booking I already had at the time. Since then the additional bookings I received add to a total of 80% of my open dates. OK well just below 80% as I have 21 out of 30 dates booked for 07.
BEFORE you ask how I decided that 30 was the number, first I'm 60 years old and I really feel like slowing down a bit ( I like playing golf not something I was able to do so much these last few years) second, I've been lugging vid cameras for 23 years, I'm tired ;-) thirdly and more seriously, I have gained some of my corporate cleints back and have a fair amount of corp work scheduled already for 07. More money, "easier" work and my preference to do over weddings. Don't get me wrong, I like doing weddings but there comes a time...
Anyway thats how I calculated I'm 80% booked for 2007. OK just abit lower than that but close enough.
Don
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Old October 14th, 2006, 03:37 PM   #21
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I never do that. My partner and I had a construction business in the 90s. What you are proposing is a bit like building a client a new house and when finished asking them if they would like you to tear parts of it down and rebuild on your dime.

Mike
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Old October 16th, 2006, 02:50 AM   #22
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whats reall starting to get to me though, is clients coming back after all is said and done with a change of mind..

I also hate the fact that the lower end clients who know full well they have no say in the matter wanting preliminaries, and when advised , nope sorry, they throw a tantrum..

its for this reason i show the event on the timeline.. as there is no processing involved with this...
One thing i have noticed however, is that some clients have no consideration for others and believe that i will spend as much time in the world to appease them.. in sacrifice of time to other clients also waiting... they dont see that what theyre doing is slowling down everyone elses.. but its these same people who cause the delays, are usually the first ones to complain about delays...whats good for tehm is usually not good for others as far as theyre concerned

Some have learnt the hard way... and i make no regrets about pissing people off...
Im in this game as a business.. not to make friends.. friends are always welcome, but in the end, im not thier to be their buddy.. no matter how chummy we get and no matter how many BBQ's im invited to..
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Old October 16th, 2006, 03:12 AM   #23
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As hard as your remarks may sound....you are right on the money. I have no problem reiterating this policy to a client who after I spend a lot of time on their project......they want to change this or that. I highly doubt they would stay and work late for their boss....for free. I mean, the boss says this, "as much as I love your the work you do around here, I want you to stay late today.....about 5 hours or so over, and were not going to pay your overtime...as a matter of fact, we're just not going to pay since were already pay you for a 40 hour work week.....why should we pay you more to work over????"

Well guys/gals......this is what a client is asking of you if your contract states you do not allow creative changes. They are not respecting the time you have spent working on their project and what they are asking you to do...is to work overtime, for nothing.....

Fortunatley most of my clients are fully aware of my policy.....sometimes a few forget or act like they did not know this, and I have no problem reminding them.

THere's a fine line between providing excellent customer service and flat out being taking advantage of.

something to think about.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
whats reall starting to get to me though, is clients coming back after all is said and done with a change of mind..

I also hate the fact that the lower end clients who know full well they have no say in the matter wanting preliminaries, and when advised , nope sorry, they throw a tantrum..

its for this reason i show the event on the timeline.. as there is no processing involved with this...
One thing i have noticed however, is that some clients have no consideration for others and believe that i will spend as much time in the world to appease them.. in sacrifice of time to other clients also waiting... they dont see that what theyre doing is slowling down everyone elses.. but its these same people who cause the delays, are usually the first ones to complain about delays...whats good for tehm is usually not good for others as far as theyre concerned

Some have learnt the hard way... and i make no regrets about pissing people off...
Im in this game as a business.. not to make friends.. friends are always welcome, but in the end, im not thier to be their buddy.. no matter how chummy we get and no matter how many BBQ's im invited to..
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Old October 16th, 2006, 07:22 AM   #24
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another thing with clients is that if ur loaded with work, and they KNOW this, hence teh time it took to get them their stuff, they feel that they have a "right" to ask for changes.. moreso if they pay in advance...

ive just rewritten my contract to restipulate, in dumbass terms, that the payment structure and delivery DOES NOT bear any weight upon the product.


"chosen music may or may not be used in the manner in which was originally considered by the Client. In this case, it is highly recommended that the Client specify WHEN and HOW they want each piece of chosen music to be used BEFORE the actual day of filming. If not, XYZ will use its discretion in music selection and placement.
The Client may consider providing additional material to be used within their product such as Poetry Readings, Photographs, Negatives, Slides, Text Fonts, Voiceover Recordings, Music, Corporate Logos, Animations, and Presentations etc. XYZ must be advised of this request, if any, at the time of booking.

((this is funny.. had a cop client refuse to provide a CD.. then had the audacity to say "anything frm the movie top gun"
so i used "danger ZOne"
hmm.. no we dont like that.. how bout the synth intro instead.. im like.. WTF.. i spent a whole day on 4 minuts worth of footage syncing the bastard... NOW u tell me what song u want.. go fekk urself.. couldnt say that though..
Oh but we waited so long for our video..
err.. excuse me.. u sent me ur music in MARCH THIS YEAR!! U got married in MARCH LAST YEAR..
MAN these people get my goat.. And its these morons who cause the delays to be the first to complain ABOUT the delays.. Ive really had it.. no seriously.. people love my work, they like me, they know what they have to do, but after the wedding, theyre like.. whoops.. wheres my brain.. ? ))

"The Client understands that it is not possible to request changes to selected music and editorial elements upon delivery of the final Presentation/s. The client understands that the finished Presentation/s has been structured with the original music selection. However, the Client may specify of any technical issues, if any, in writing within 5 calendar days upon receipt of the Preliminary copy. If no contact is made within that period, XYZ accepts this as approval for mass duplication for final distribution. Errors do not include visible artefacts stemming from encoding to compressed formats or special effects. All re-editing is at the final discretion of XYZ and will reflect the Client requests to the best of XYZs Artistic and Technological abilities. A labour and processing surcharge of $132.00 Per Hour is charged to each Presentation/Product if the Client requests any changes to be made after completion.
All Editing is performed in-house at XYZs Production studio. XYZ will NOT outsource its editing service under any circumstances. "


Thats what ive got...
now i dont know what part of that people dont understand.. but they DO sign it.. so as far as the law is concerned, their signing is an agreement to this clause..


"Final Payment must be received and cleared 21 days PRIOR to the day of filming.
If payment is not completed by this time, we will either e-mail, telephone or SMS the client with a reminder notice. If payment is not received in full, XYZ will not be held liable for non-attendance or delays in Post Production. The client understands that this common payment structure does not influence, change or bear any weight upon the services detailed within this Agreement."

Now i have never nto gone to a shoot coz they havent paid.. i usually rock on in, and hit record, but i wont budge until all the pay is in teh account. Ive had clients try to change the rules.. and im like.. look, uve paid the retainer, its acceptance of the agreement.
Oh but we should pay half now and half later.
Sorry, this was explained to you before u even looked at my work...

At the end of the day, we have a business to run. We have corporate clients and otehr wedding clients who know the ruls and they play by them. They get what they pay for and everyone is happy.
Those that dont play ,are the ones who are gonna give u trouble..

CYA
Cover your ass..

all it takes is one stupid client among the 50odd to thrw out ur schedule and djoint ur attitude to waht u do. it will make u question ur value, your talent and above all, question why you are doing what youre doing.
DONT let it get to that point.

I had no mentor and had noone to learn from. I went out, got my hands dirty and now ive seen it all.
One thing i no longer accept though is people feigning ignorance of the facts.. I also wont ever accept people using wait times and timing of payment as an excuse to request more from me.

Like Joe said, im not gettin paid overtime.
and neither should u..

Its bad enough we get paid peanuts compared to photographers, but then our post prod work is 10 times more intense...

Nup.. enough is enough
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Old October 16th, 2006, 08:33 AM   #25
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Some great points. I remember reading an article online about avoiding "grinder" clients. Wish I could find it again.

Anyway, a lot of it dealt with identifying exactly those kinds of clients you are talking about, and refusing to do work for them. The author's points (very valid) were that you would never make any money from them, cause they would grind you down in price and demand the moon in return, and that their referrals were useless, as they would refer you people just like them.

I've kept this advice to heart...
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Old October 16th, 2006, 06:58 PM   #26
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"and that their referrals were useless, as they would refer you people just like them."

Yup... its al about the CLASS of people youre dealing with.
I wont refuse a job if ive already commited halfway to it, and if they then turn, i reiterate the contract and try to throw them off.
My contract is so damn tight, that it scares many people if and ONLY IF theyre thinking about trying to work around it, to get their way.

Ive learnt the hard way

to this day, i have a client who got married in Jan 05, and they had teh audacity to complain about delays NOW, and i only recieved tehir friggin music SELECTION (not a cd) in July this year, and heres me thinking they were gonna give me a cd, so i wait and wait and wait..

meh.. never again..
U dont see photographers dealing with this crap or putting up with this crap

Why should we? Are we lower than a photographer? Seems people think we are.. and those that jump at a clients whim are what makes it even harder for us to stick to our guns...
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Old October 16th, 2006, 07:18 PM   #27
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I used to have an occassional problem with waiting for their music selections. Not any more. It is clearly staed in my aggreement which I do go over carefully with them that if I don't have the music selections by no later than the day of the wedding it will be edited without them and I will selection music based on the music played at the reception as far as genre. Now having said that I have had a couple of weddings this years where...'OH GEE! We forgot the cd' or other such dribble, BUT since I run 10-12 weeks anyway I decidedto give it a pass for a week. Both came thru. Honestly as long as I have the music by the time I start editing I really don't care. The only reason I have it in my agreement is to at least get them to start thinking about it before the wedding so hopefully they'll get the music to me by the day of.

Don
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Old October 16th, 2006, 08:09 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
U dont see photographers dealing with this crap or putting up with this crap
Why should we? Are we lower than a photographer?
Not lower at all, except in the estimation of everyone but us...

It's all about perception. If today I started a business where I offered the service of a talented painter to follow the bride and groom around and once in a while stop to sketch important moments, perhaps it might catch on. But try and convince everyone that it's as good as a video.

Well, photography's been around forever, video is the late comer to the party. People 'know' they have to have photos. I mean, their parents did, their grandparents did. Do they really need a video......?

Wait until there are enough people around who still have their video from 30 years ago and treasure it, and show it to their kids who realize how lucky they are to be able to see their parents as a young couple, see the grandfather they only heard about, etc, etc.

Once it seeps more strongly into our society, I, for one, think video will kick photography's butt.
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Old October 17th, 2006, 12:10 AM   #29
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good points there vito...
u put it much more eloquently than i ever could..


As for the
'OH GEE! We forgot the cd' or other such dribble, BUT since I run 10-12 weeks anyway I decidedto give it a pass for a week. Both came thru. Honestly as long as I have the music by the time I start editing I really don't care. The only reason I have it in my agreement is to at least get them to start thinking about it before the wedding so hopefully they'll get the music to me by the day of.

I hear Ya Don, funny thign is, i give my clients a 3 page form to fill out, with specifc music selection spots for each respective scene.. they sign this..
and if they dont provide music tehre and then, i write down "to be provided on CD upon return from honeymoon"
The client gets a copy of this..
funny hwo they sit on it for a friggin year and feign ignorance when they have signed the bloody thing.. lol

Im really REALLY over this game..
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Old October 17th, 2006, 07:57 AM   #30
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Yeah, the music (and photos) thing from the client is a pain in the butt. Our contract states we do nothing until we have all the material they are supposed to provide.

So when they say, "Hey, where's my video? We were supposed to get it two months ago." We just say, "Give us the stuff, and get to the back of the line."

End of story. We don't sweat it at all. Heheh.
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