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


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Old November 23rd, 2006, 02:41 PM   #1
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Client Not Safistied..urrgh

my last client was not happy with my work. I have showed there video to potential clients and they loved it. It was the owner who was not satisfied.

Apparently the groom was not happy of not including his dance with his daughter. Well this is what apparently happened. I have lots of footage of his daughter dancing with her friends through out the whole night. There was a point that no one else was dancing except for his daughter and friends. So I decided to stop the filming till some people move in through the dance floor. When the song was almost finish, the groom decided to dance with his daughter. I only have a few footage. And as they were dancing slow, all I can see was the back of the groom (they were turning). I explained to them that the footage was not good-it was only for a few seconds and I do not have a good shot. I also requested that night that they dance for one more song so I have room to edit but they refused.

The Bride and groom signed my contract which says that I make all the editing decisions and if there are any mistakes I will gladly re-edit. In this case there was no mistake. It says in my contract that not all footages will be included it it does not flow. Some people are just so hard to please. It is a live event and you can't have that perfect video like you see on the movies or TV.

I just don't get these guys. I mean I had bookings just by showing their video to other clients and the actual owner is not happy with it. there is no way I am re-editing this movie for free and definitely no refund. I am just too worried that they might just give me a bad reputation even if I did a good job on it.
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Old November 23rd, 2006, 02:56 PM   #2
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hi there,

well i think there will ALWAYS be people who are disappointed/angry/gutted that a shot was missed...u can't please even the nicest of people sometimes.

Do you meet with the couples before the weddings? I ask mine to write down specific parts of the day that they definitely want to be filmed (apart from the plainly obvious ones), including dances with the mum, dad etc etc. That way, if i were to ever miss something for some reason i can show them the sheet.

I would say stick to your guns as i totally agree with you. If he looks like he might take this alot further and this worries you, then maybe just put that shot in, and do a fancy split-screen or something to jazz it up? ok, it might not be great footage but at least then you've done what he has technically asked for. Maybe try to charge him for an extra copy at least.

One of my package structures only includes the first dance and excludes 'audience' dances...something like that might cover your back for the future.

I'm sure someone on the forum will give you really good advice from their own experience...
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Old November 23rd, 2006, 03:18 PM   #3
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Actually, I did meet with them in advance. They wanted to me to capture the daughters and parents. which I did. I was referred by their employee who I also shot their wedding(it was also the worst video I shot-due to many mistakes.) Regardless, they love watching the video over and over. this latest client also watche that wedding video prior to booking they love it as well

This video on the other hand is different and it was the best one I have done. they said that the videos are sitting on the table and no one was is watching it. They don't want to show it to anyone because it is missing a few essence.

give me a break! I have placed all my energy just to exceed their expectation just to find out everything went down the drain due to one short crappy footage that was not included.

I thought they were nice people when I met them but it turned out different
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Old November 23rd, 2006, 03:45 PM   #4
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I had a similar experience. When I first moved from doing birthdays and band gigs, and into weddings, I used my old birthday footage as my demo's of what I could do. Got the client, went on to do thier wedding (for dirt cheap might I tell you.)

Because it was my first wedding, I made sure I covered my bases with the contract, having everything written down and got them to sign that at the end of the day (requests, and changes made on the day etc.)

They said I missed a few shots, I stated in my contract that I have complete control over editing descisions and that if they wanted something I had shot inserted, I would do it, but I would not be responsible for the final product, and removing the scene would cost extra.

Apparently they hated the re-edit, demanded I change it back for free. I said no, sent a copy of the contract in the mail and never heard from them.

It seemed they had the original DVD of the way I made the film before the re-edit. And a month later, a cousin of the groom called to say thanks for such a great video and that. But it was a shame that I hgave them a DVD with writing on it and no label. I knew they copied the DVD.

So I charged them for that, and threatened to sue for copyright etc... That set em straight.
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Old November 23rd, 2006, 04:10 PM   #5
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Most of my buesiness comes from corporate clients, many who just telephone and I do the work, with contracts catching up later. I've got quite used to this and it arrely causes problems - a few weeks ago I had an email asking if I had a certain backing track. I didn't, but politely suggested a few sources. They came back nd said they couldn't help - would I consider doing it. I agreed, and a few emails went back and forth, and I did the track. I agreed to take payment via paypal - and got a note saying thanks for the track, it isn't quite what we wanted, but here's a payment for your time - 25% of what we'd agreed!

I never got the contract signed, and don't even have a real address. It isn't worth worrying about- another down to experience job!

In this case, I suggest you press for payment - actually liking the product isn't part of the deal is it? They specified what they wanted, you supplied it- end of story.
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Old November 23rd, 2006, 04:37 PM   #6
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You said "The Bride and groom signed my contract which says that I make all the editing decisions and if there are any mistakes I will gladly re-edit."

I'm sorry but if I was the client I too would argue this point. Who is to say what is a mistake? If you missed important shots (and to them all are important) the language of your contract seems to be very much in favor of the client. What is a MISTAKE? Who determines what a mistake is?
Please don't get me wrong but if this is how your contract is worded you might want to consider seeing an attorney and changing it right now before other clients see that and take advantage of it. Your contract needs to be written to protect you and your client as well and ambiguous language will only serve to protect the client.
If I were you I would ask the client what they want and try to at least comprimise on something close to that. I have a phrase in my contract that I will give you for free (even though my attorney charged me for it) use it to cover youself.
'Since The Client is engaging (insert your company name here) for technical and artistic expertise, (insert your company name here) reserves the right to edit the material at (insert your company name here)discretion. (insert your company name here) does not guarantee that everyone involved in the event will be included in the final edited product. (insert your company name here) will attempt to honor all requests made by The Client party but cannot be held responsible if specific requests can not or will not be honored due to circumstances beyond the control of (insert your company name here)'

A well written and legal service agreement (contract) will save you far more than just dollars and the dollars it saves you will be far greater than the amount a lawyer will charge you to write it.
Find a middle ground and settle with this client-you can't buy your reputation.

Just my opinion

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Old November 23rd, 2006, 04:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy Mallari
I am just too worried that they might just give me a bad reputation even if I did a good job on it.
The father is disappointed there is no footage of him with his daughter however, you asked him to dance with her so you could specifically record exactly that and he refused?

I don't get it... are you leaving anything else out? Is that the only thing the groom has issues with?
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Old November 23rd, 2006, 06:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Steele
The father is disappointed there is no footage of him with his daughter however, you asked him to dance with her so you could specifically record exactly that and he refused?

I don't get it... are you leaving anything else out? Is that the only thing the groom has issues with?

No no no..While the groom and his daughter was dancing, I dont have enough room for editing due to the fact that they only dance for a short time. The footage was not good because even on that short time frame, they both turned their backs on the camera (can't see their face). In other words, including that footage would not flow with the rest of the video. So...I asked both of them to dance on one more song so I can have more room to edit (which the daughter refused).
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Old November 23rd, 2006, 07:01 PM   #9
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Forgive me for saying this but it seems to me the problem isn't so much with the client as with the editor. You say you've got footage but it doesn't flow with the rest of the edit, well, at this point who cares. Put it in. Use slo mo or whatever to give yourself more to work with. Of course the question that comes to mind is why didn't you change position during the dance so you could have gotten their faces? MAYBE SHE didn't want to be video'd-some kids really don't but you will never know the truth from her so here's my suggestion. Put in the footage you do have, make the best of it and then be done with it. You will never and I mean never satisfy this client and trust me, we've all had them.
Fix it as best you can and move on.
I don't mean to sound like a mean spiteful guy but it seems the problem is one that was paritally created by yourself and partially by the client and since he will IMO never be satisfied you do the best you can and that's that.
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Old November 23rd, 2006, 07:09 PM   #10
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I know he'll never be satisfied..that's the reason we I am fixing it now. He agreed to pay whatever it cost to make those changes. What I'll be charging him is my time.
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Old November 23rd, 2006, 10:59 PM   #11
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I have a similar experience. I always meet the couple before their wedding date to ensure all bases are covered in the contract and have them signed by them. Groom didn't bother to turn up, just the bride. I painstakingly went through the details and ensure I covered all that is required in writing. After the wedding, they had to cheek to turn tables on me saying I did not fulfill what was required in which I did. The bride even said this is not what she expected! Gosh, they viewed my demo, seen my style and now they say this is not what they expected. The groom even had the cheek to hurl verbal abuses and says the meeting was not in the least important to him and walks off with the bride!

I really like to know how you guys would take such abuses.
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Old November 23rd, 2006, 11:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy Mallari
I know he'll never be satisfied..that's the reason we I am fixing it now. He agreed to pay whatever it cost to make those changes. What I'll be charging him is my time.
Well, I hope you work it out.

I've done a lot of weddings where one or both have kids - it seems to be pretty common in this era. I've always dedicated a lot of footage to their children because to me these types of marriages involve much more than just the couple.

And I wondered also why you didn't just change cam positions when all you were getting were their backs. You should pretty much have the run of the dance floor.

But like I said, it'll work out.
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Old November 24th, 2006, 07:42 AM   #13
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I did try to change the camera angles its just that the guy was too big and the song was too short. I should have incorporated it as a flashback instead in the first place.

What I did is make the revision and uploaded it in the web so he can review it. If they, say they don't want to do the re-edit anymore I'd be really disappointed.

Would you guys charge for the re-edit if you were in my case? It just that it takes so long to do some editing and if I dont charge, it is like I never made any money at all.
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Old November 24th, 2006, 10:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy Mallari
Would you guys charge for the re-edit if you were in my case? It just that it takes so long to do some editing and if I dont charge, it is like I never made any money at all.
The client will be happier (or less unhappy) if you don't charge, especially since you have that re-edit if "mistakes" clause in your contract. The worst they could then say about you is that you fixed the part they didn't like and didn't charge for it. I think that's less risk to your reputation in the long run, and a better business decision than charging for it.
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Old November 25th, 2006, 07:05 PM   #15
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there is a key word for shooters and editors alike. This keyword should be used in discussions, contracts and finally within the way you conduct yourself.

the word is DISCRETION.

being contracted doesnt protect you, unless you word that contract accordingly. I can say "mistake" or "satisfaction" but that leaves things open.
If however you say "the client understand that XYZ will use its discretion in filming and editing" then they wont have a leg to stand on
In addition to this, "any TECHNICAL changes made are at the discretion of XYZ"
Once they sign a contract with these 2 statements, then thres no turning back, however even with these in my own contract, there are times where a client might wish to change music or certain scenes (such as "we want more BW") usually id say no, but if i can see a potential for making the product better, then i'll consider my standing on the situation.
Ive had clients come back to me with 3 pages of "changes" and this si where i throw the contract back at them, BUT i usually write to them with details as to WHY a shot or an edit was done in a certain way.
I personally dont feel that i need to justify my actions, considering the amount of money these people are paying, i do this so they feel that i have listened.

At one time or another, issues like this will pop up, so its in the business best interest to include key shots of specific interactions between guests and the client. be it family or friends.
If in doubt about a shot, keep it in. if they dont want it, then theyll tell u
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