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Taking Care of Business
The pen and paper aspects of DV -- put it in writing!

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Old July 19th, 2003, 09:44 AM   #1
Regular Crew
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 158
Weddings - Delivering the tape and collecting the cash

I work out of my home and am starting a new videography company. I've been doing videos for years, I'm good at what I do. But I have never done any "paid-for" weddings or events yet.

When do you guys collect the remaining balance and how do you show the final video if you are working out of your home and don't have a studio yet. Do you just bring them in the house and pop it on the big screen or?
Best Regards,
Mark T. Monciardini
Riverlight Studios
DVX100/Final Cut Pro 4/Mac G5 Dual 1.8
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Old July 19th, 2003, 09:58 AM   #2
Capt. Quirk
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Middle of the woods in Georgia
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I would deliver it to the client's house, when they are both available. After they have viewed the finished product, and agree you have delivered as promised, get the final payment.
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Old July 19th, 2003, 10:55 AM   #3
Inner Circle
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Aus
Posts: 3,884
i have a contract which states that all editing is at my discretion.
I also state that i will advise the client ifthere are any parts which "dont flow"
If the client wants changes, and if they are reasonable or are "detrimental" to the "actual" presentation, they have 30days to advise me. after that i charge an arm and a leg and advise that the product will be inferior due to over processing (thats not a lie)

However I provide an application form which reiterates the terms and conditions which they must fill out and sign. I then work DIRECTLY from that when filming and editing.
If there is a problem or they change their minds, I have a contract signed by them stating otherwise.
Basically i let them decide what they want filmed and how its edited. But If I have a query, i log it on my copy of the contract.

when i provide the client with the finished product i also include an invoice for the full costs.

If they have an issue with anything, i sit with them and watch and request them to show me the section in with they are not happy with. I then ask them the reasoning behind why they dont like it. In the end, my T&C's state that it is MY discretion whether or not i do it.

I have only had one couple do this thou and it was the actual bride who didnt like her sister in law..
however i didnt know that (even thou in my Application it clearly states for the client to include any SPECIFIC filming and editing requests)
As she didnt advise me of the sis in law situation, i filmed everyone as normal.
In the end, it was for something VERY minute (30second greeting) and i talked her out of paying another 300bux to get it redone...

the thing about working Weddings is that not everyone is gonna be pleased.But if you know how to talk them round, you wont have any probs.. in my situation, i used teh family and the fact that her husband still talks to his sister, so it shoudl at least stay in there for his sake.
but thats jsut an example...

One thing, is to get a contract. Another thing is to get as much info from them as possible n writing, the best way is to design a form which does it for you. Give them control early on and ther wont be any probs..

I charge 25% deposit at time of booking, non refundable, but i do hold it if there is a postponement. They dont see the finished video until i get my money.
usually final payent is made 14days prior to filming. the contact even states that i will contac thtem when payment is due, and if i dont get paid, i am not liable for non attendence.

back to the tape...Once 30days is up, i delete all the files off the PC and wipe the tapes and sell them on Ebay.
I have one dvd copy for myself, and i keep afew clips for demo reels.

mat,e if your gonna go pro, get an airtight contract written up.
Believe me it will save MANY hassles
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Old July 19th, 2003, 04:32 PM   #4
Inner Circle
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
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I have been doing weddings for a number of years and have on only 1 occassion allowed a client to have any say in the edit process. That being a friend of mine who is also in the business and asked if he could help on the edit. Since we had done a number of gigs together dating back to our days in the still business, (over 30years ago) I agreed.

My clients hire me to videotape and edit their weddings into a viable flowing story of their day. Since I am the "professional" and they are not why would I let them have any control or say so in the edit process?

As for payment, I get 50% upon signing the agreement, and the balance is paid by no later than a week to the day before the event. No personal checks, thank you. I have NEVER, let me say again, NEVER had a problem with my payment plan with any client. They pay or they don't get anything. My lawyer, who is paid well, makes sure my contract is very tight so I am protected. So is my client, believe me.

I will tell you what I on occassion have to remind clients.
I am hired based on work of mine that they have seen. Style, content, quality. They are not paying for my equipment nor are they paying for my time. Even though I will have more time invested in their wedding than any other vendor they use, including the still photographer. They pay me for my creativity, talent, experience and the knowledge and ability to put all of that together into the kind of finished product that they have just seen. If they like what they've seen great, lets do some paperwork, if not, that's OK too. Have a nice wedding, NEXT!
I've been doing this far too long and am far too old to worry about 1 customer, BUT, I do get my money UP FRONT!

As for showing the finished product, it is not my job to show it to them. They pick it up or I deliver it to them, depending on where they live and they watch it at their leisure. They do not need me to hold their hands.

If it sounds like I am a little jaded, I am not, but I have been running my own businesses for over 30 years and I do not coddle the customer. I am nice to them but... I am in business to make a profit. I'm as nice a guy as there is BUT, business is business.

Be nice to your clients but don't get bent over, (have a tight contract) produce good quality work consistently, charge what YOU feel the product is worth, collect BEFORE the wedding and go make some great weddings!

Remember, everyone runs their business differently. This just happens to work for me.
Don B.
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Old July 19th, 2003, 07:49 PM   #5
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Vallejo, California
Posts: 4,049
I deliver the tapes(s) and get the final payment. They are free to watch it whenever they wish.

I've never had anyone express anything but good comments about the work. I do keep the master edit on the computer for about 2 weeks after delivery but more to CMA if I've made a spelling error on a title or credit.

Only post delivery request I've had is that the client wanted to see all the footage. I made a copy for them without the carpet evaluation clips and that was the end of it.
Mike Rehmus
Hey, I can see the carrot at the end of the tunnel!
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Old July 20th, 2003, 11:20 AM   #6
New Boot
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Winthrop, Mass
Posts: 8
I do not hit record untill I receive payment in full. There have been too many instances in the past where clients claim to be unhappy with their videos & don't want to kick in the full payment. I have shot & edited over five-hundred wedding videos & 9 times out of ten clients are happy with the first cut. As for re-editing at the clients request, that's fine. I allow one re-edit. However, the client has one week to call after recieving their videos. This way I can keep the edited sequence in Final Cut Pro and any corrections can be done instantly & bumped off to tape the same day. Be sure to pick & choose your clients carefully. Also, I suggest joining WEVA. Log on to Good luck.
Chuck Mello
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