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


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Old April 4th, 2007, 03:28 PM   #1
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"RAW" footage... how to present it?

I have had an increasing number of people ask for the "RAW" footage from their wedding put on a DVD, enough that I have started offering it in addition to any package for a price (I personally think its nuts, but if they are willing to pay, hey, they can have it). Anyway, I was wondering for those of you have heard of this or who have done this already... how do you present this to the client? Do you put chapters or anything on the DVD? How many disks do you typically use for this?? Do you actually leave EVERYTHING in... even the not-so-good transition shots?

Thanks for any help here.
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Old April 4th, 2007, 05:16 PM   #2
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I do things a bit differently so bear with me.
The finished product I give to the client is a short form edit about 40 to 50 minutes.
I also give them the long form version of the ceremony that I started with (gotta start with that to know where to cut to short form) so all I'm doing is rendering to MPEG and buring a DVD. For the reception I also give the the long form-non-time compressed version (again gotta start with that to get to the short form version) on a DVD. Although it's not *TRUE* raw footage I have found, over the years and many discussions with my clients, that they're not really looking for *RAW* footage but the uncut version of the edited product.
Like I said since I've already got it on the computer it's not a big deal for me to render and burn off a couple of DVDs for them.
Over the years I've been doing this I haven't had any calls for the *RAW* footage.
BTW to me RAW is RAW-that's why we edit but I guess some people want to see the floor and the ceiling ;-)
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Old April 4th, 2007, 06:06 PM   #3
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If by "RAW" you mean a DVD copy of original tape, absolutely NO!

First, that footage has my copyright on it, so giving the copyright up (which is what will happen with distribution of "RAW" footage) has a price tag. Once paid, I would place the data on tape as opposed to a compressed DVD.

2nd, there is always a lot of really useless footage that would have to be trimmed anyway.

I'm not opposed to the idea of distributing RAW footage, but it is not necessarily going to be less expensive.
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Old April 4th, 2007, 06:41 PM   #4
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"Never give away the master, unless stated in contract, to cover thy ass."

Someone said it to me and it stuck
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Old April 4th, 2007, 06:48 PM   #5
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Yeah, it seems to me that you're taking a risk by giving out the raw footage. The couple that wants to sit through all that is probably also the couple that will find 5 seconds of video somewhere that they want inserted into their finished wedding video.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 09:01 AM   #6
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Why not?

IŽll give an information stating "what is raw footage" and that there is a usefull/useless ratio - but I told them before: "IŽll shoot EVERYTHING" - so be aware of a lot footage / many "outtakes" as well...

When giving them Raw Material I stamp my Logo into it and a running TC.

a) Nobody (very few) will use that material (TC stamped) for finalizing a video

b) the intro on the dvd says "raw material - unedited, no color correction" etc.

c) the couple can look thru the DVDs and write down what they like most - thats MUCH easier to edit afterwards.

IMHO this makes my work faster and much more efficient - if they try to edit the footage - fine - I charge editing separatly anyway. Only had a couple ONCE trying to edit the video themselves... and I charged them for copying the RAW material to miniDV , too. So no problem with that.

ULi

Last edited by Uli Mors; April 5th, 2007 at 09:32 AM.
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Old June 16th, 2007, 10:28 AM   #7
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I have a couple asking about RAW footage. I really don't know how much to charge since I never thought anyone would ask for it. All together I have 7 miniDV tapes that are already in my system ready to edit. Any suggestions?
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Old June 16th, 2007, 11:06 AM   #8
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why I don't give away raw footage

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Originally Posted by Nicholas Valentine View Post
I have a couple asking about RAW footage. I really don't know how much to charge since I never thought anyone would ask for it. All together I have 7 miniDV tapes that are already in my system ready to edit. Any suggestions?
If it is really RAW, what you should give is the tape or a copy of your original tapes. Anything rendered to a disc is not as raw as you can get since your compression is heavier.

Personally, I don't give away an unedited tape or mpeg2 files. Here are the reasons:

1. you don't want really for your clients to see the behind the scenes. Why is that? Well, there are some footages there that can be misconstrued as offensive. A wedding we did last April 9, we accidentally shot an aunt who lifted here skirt while we were shooting. From our POV, it was an accident. But what if she interprets that as us trying to sneak a camera shot of her thighs/legs?

2. There are audio or spoken words in that, can cause problems to the client and you. IN the bride dress-up for example, there are conversations that could cause problems because an in-law may have an opinion about his/her in-law from the other side. And they are caught on tape saying things. Trust me on this, there are side bar conversations that is best left unsaid, but where said because they forgot you were there. I am not going to light the fire or the fuse for an argument because of people's carelessness on the matter. If it were public as in the reception or in the church, well, that's ok, but in the prep, there are some conversations really that is best not repeated. It's not often, but they come up now and then.

3. To edit these footage the remove the offending sound or image will require that you will have to sit through the same time as the length of the tapes. I don't relish reviewing these footages to simply remove this. This is extra work that should not be.

4. To those who do not understand video editing and the process of shooting, they might think I make lots of mistakes. I might shoot the same scene 2x or 3x because I want to be sure I got my technique right (panning, tilt shots, moving shots). But the client might think that I am a poor shooter or technician because I seem to have done the same shot 2x. Even no retake shots might be construed badly. Say, I am moving and there is some decent camera shake. The uninformed might think I am not a good videographer, even if they already enjoyed the edited and final version.

5. You as a shooter may also have your issues that the client will see. If your own snaffus or errors were funny, it would be ok, but what if it weren't? Or your client don't have a good sense of humor? Are you willing to give them that footage where you had a 5 min shot of your foot(I know this because I edit other's people's work) or did some boo-boos technically? You want to show them that? How about your own audio where you said, "shi*" or "Dam*it!" or "Fu*k"? Or you said, "Man, here's that crazy guy again blocking my camera?" And you didn't know it's their beloved Uncle Willy?

6. Even worse, is a wannabe editor who might say, that we are poor editors because we didn't use a shot that is good in the footage of the original. And trust me, there are times, I drop certain scenes because they do not contribute to the story. Or they are redundant, or will slow down the overall video, or worse weaken it. Ever watched a director's commentary on dvd and some deleted scenes? Some of the deleted scenes are very good, like that LOR part3 I think where in the movie, the death of Saruman was not shown, but was on the DVD. It was well shot, and edited. Nothing wrong with it technically, but Peter Jackson chose to take them out. Are you going to be in a debate with the client on the issue of you not putting that scene or that segment in the dvd? That's already encroaching on your artistic interpretation of their wedding. You can always be a smart aleck and tell them that since they already have the unedited footage, they should edit it themselves. But that is not going to sit well with future referrals.

So, I really don't want to open a can of worms for something that is potentially explosive. Honestly, I think nobody will take the time to watch these footage, especially if the running time is 6-7 hours for boring unedited footage. But the fact, they have it, means there is always a chance somebody will be bored enough one day to sift through all the boring footage and might find fault or have issues I have mentioned 1-6.


The only time I gave away an mpeg2 footage is last Dec where a large shipping company had a Christmas Party and we were shooting a program. They are the ones talking and they had an inhouse editor (but no equipment), so that's ok by us. It was a straight shoot, no stopping of the camera and of the entire program. Pretty safe in my mind.

Otherwise, I think giving away unedited is dangerous. If it were film, it's like giving away those stuff you cut and are on the trash can or in the cutting floor. Very dangerous to my mind. How sure are you that you didn't do, shoot, or say something that might eventually make your client think less of you because of that raw footage?


However, to those who think they should, I leave that up to you. It's your call. This is how I do it. I don't give away unedited footage. But if I were compelled to do so, I would try to explain why I don't do it. And if I have to do it, I'd review that 6-7 hours tape to make sure they have nothing on me. I may have to charge them for it too, because that is another round of editing.
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Old June 16th, 2007, 12:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholas Valentine View Post
I have a couple asking about RAW footage. I really don't know how much to charge since I never thought anyone would ask for it. All together I have 7 miniDV tapes that are already in my system ready to edit. Any suggestions?
What do they want it for? Typically, when I get this request it's because they think I'm going to leave something out which they always find isn't the case.

Like Don, I give out a "cleaned up" edit of the ceremony on a separate DVD... mainly so the original music stays intact which I don't use on the 10 minute short piece.

But I also sell raw footage to any couple that wants it at $75 per tape. It's typically for a groom that wants to try his had at editing which is fine by me. These used tapes sitting in a box don't make me any money.

I think it's the paranoid shooters out there that feel somebody is going to make them look bad by editing their footage but my response to that is nobody will know you shot it. Other shooters are embarrassed by letting the client see shakey footage of shots of their shoes but it doens't bother me.

And as far as anyone else selling my footage, it doesn't need my logo on it for me to retain the copyright and I get a signed agreement to that effect with each raw footage sale.
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Old June 16th, 2007, 04:24 PM   #10
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I have to admit after thinking this over for a few months, I've changed my mind. I am now going to offer the original tapes to the client for purchase.

My biggest concern was that the client would watch the tapes and find a few scenes that they though should be included in their wedding video (which would already be done and burned to DVD). However, if that becomes the case, I will simply tell the client "Sure, I can do that, and here is how much that will cost." The cost will be prohibitive for pretty much anyone, and if someone still wants me to do it, then I'm making really good money to do it. No big deal.

I'm not concerned about family members hearing what other family members said, because that's their own business and they won't be involving me in it.

I'm not concerned about me shooting multiple shots of something, or accidentally shooting the ground for 5 minutes or whatever, because my clients always rave about the finished product they receive, and I doubt they will care about this kind of stuff.

I was also a little worried about someone else editing my footage, but I would bet that most people that buy the original tapes don't ever actually do anything with them. Video editing is very time consuming as we all know, and people who think they're going to try and edit something on their own usually find this out very quickly and give up. Even if they did end up editing something, it probably isn't going to get enough exposure to do me any harm.

The only thing that would still concern me a little are those "accidental" shots. Like most of you probably, I shoot A LOT on the wedding day, and sometimes I do catch something on video that someone might interpret as innappropriate. But the odds of this being a problem are so slim that I really think it's paranoia to worry about it.

So in the end, the "issues" I thought I had with releasing the original tapes ended up being non-issues for me. At that point, it only made sense to offer the tapes for sale if someone is willing to purchase them. Then I don't have to store the tapes, PLUS, I make some additional money. It's win-win.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 08:10 AM   #11
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my thoughts exactly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
ISo in the end, the "issues" I thought I had with releasing the original tapes ended up being non-issues for me. At that point, it only made sense to offer the tapes for sale if someone is willing to purchase them. Then I don't have to store the tapes, PLUS, I make some additional money. It's win-win.
Travis,

This is exactly my thoughts on this. I had a mother tell me she wanted all the dancing and "junk" that I had cut out, so I sold it all to her. Don't know that they'll ever watch it, but hey, I made a couple bucks, and they were happy. I just throw it in Vegas, render, and slap it on a DVD... no editing what-so-ever. I love when I shoot my feet for 5 minutes and pass that off to them! They want RAW, they get RAW (for the most part). I give the tapes with the DVD, then its all out of my hands!
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Old June 18th, 2007, 10:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawn Brennan View Post
I had a mother tell me she wanted all the dancing and "junk" that I had cut out, so I sold it all to her.
I used to have a lot of stuff I cut out and never used so I just quit shooting it. :)

I've been getting pretty good at "shooting to edit" so there's not much left. (unlike the early days) That's why I always ask why a client wants the raw footage because if it's because they don't want to miss anything I tell them the final DVD pretty much has it all. If they still want it, that's fine by me and I don't burn anything to DVD... just turn over the tapes.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 01:00 PM   #13
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I decided I'm only going to give them the reception because the other tapes are strictly the ceremony (shot with two cameras) and they only wanted the ceremony and a highlight of the reception. I'm still fairly new to the wedding videography business so I won't be charging a whole lot for the footage. I'm going to be just burning them to dvd and that's it. They just want to see what else happened that night I guess.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 01:33 PM   #14
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I turned the game around:

I give out all shot footage with an implemented Timecode - this way the footage gets unusable for hobby-editors but the couple gets feeling "yes, we received everything and dont miss one second".

With the Timecode I ask them to write a short editing list - and THATs the point: now the couple can decide how much the editing will be: The more detailed they "wish" any scene the shorter the editing will be.
If they dont care I will do the whole edit decisions but will charge more.

This leads to a higher filming fee ("youŽll get EVERYTHING on DVD") and to a much more relaxed editing.

AND: its easy to hand out the raw footage within a few days - that makes the couple believe in your professional and FAST work.

However - if editing takes weeks and months its not MY fault but the couples laziness... Had one wedding only where the groom wanted to edit it himself , he came back after 3 months and asked "how much will be the editing" - he didnt manage ...

ULi
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Old June 18th, 2007, 11:06 PM   #15
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Timecode effect

I agree with ully,

I usually take the super out of my dv deck and burn straight to DVD with timecode, as I digitise all my footage. This doesn't take up any more of my time and the client gets "RAW" footge with a timecode ref that they can view before you even cut final. If you cant do this then hopefully your NLE system allows you to place a "Timecode" effect down that doesn't require you to render it out. I know Avid's Media composser allows me to do this if i dump from hard drive and not DV deck.

Allan
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