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J.J. Kim October 9th, 2008 11:11 AM

my 1st corporate job...
Hello, I just got a phone call from my very 1st corporate client (potentially) and he is interested in a shoot 250 miles from chicago. I can't tell you the name of client, but they want to make some training video for the company and in need of 1 camera with DP/Ass. producer/director and 1 sound guy and possibly PA for lighting, etc. Honestly, I just opened up my own from being a freelancer for 2 years (you can read all about me here http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/these-peo...eeling-il.html), and I don't wanna miss this one just because it's my first one. I have been really close to my DP at my old work place for lots and lots of location for different sorts of shooting, so I know what to do for this one. (kinda nervous, but I will be all right)
But here is my concern, though. I have to write him an e-mail asking questions and whatnot. I am just afraid that I may sounds very rookie and not professional enough on the letter (English is my 2nd language, btw). Would someone go over my letter and give me some advice, pleasE? I know one place that I can trust about video business is here. I hate to ask my old production company to "go over my e-mail letter to a client".
Thanks a ton!
Here it is:

Dear XXXX,

How are you doing? This is JJ from Orange Video Production. We talked over the phone yesterday and I have a couple options for you.
I can shoot and help you produce at site. There are two options for sound man, though. Since it's about 250 miles from Chicago, I may have to hire someone local there to save travel time whom I've never worked before. Or I could bring my colleague here but will be charged for traveling but will be more trustworthy.
Depending on the shoot location, you may be able to use lights from the location, but I will bring my lighting kit anyway.
It would be also helpful to know what kind of media format I am delivering at the end : raw tapes for you to bring it to in-house edit suite? or edit needed and output to webvideo, or DVD?
Knowing what final video should look like (and sound like) helps a lot for pre-production as well, please include some information about this project.
I will send you the quote for the day, though, once I hear from you, Doug.
Thank you so much for contacting us.
Have great day!

JJ Kim


Orange Video Production Corp.
1098 S. Milwaukee Ave. Suite 400B
Wheeling, IL 60090
(847) 520-0123
"Have you had your Orange today?"

Will Mahoney October 9th, 2008 12:22 PM

I am a Copywriter AND a Videographer, so you get two for the price of one today.

Here's my re-worded version for you:

Dear XXXX,

How are you doing? This is JJ from Orange Video Production. You and I spoke over the phone yesterday and I have a couple options for you.

First, I can shoot and help you produce on site. This is not a problem.

As far as a sound man goes, there are two options. I can either hire a freelancer from your area or I can bring my sound man with me from Chicago. If I hire someone locally, you'll save on travel expenses. However, I'd much prefer to bring my sound person with me. You'll be charged travel expenses, but he's a trustworthy professional and the sound quality is guaranteed.

Depending on the available light in the shoot location we may or may not need to use supplemental lighting. But I do have a lighting kit that I will bring with me.

What media format will you need from me? Do you want my raw footage (where you would be responsible for editing,) or do you need me to edit this for viewing on the Web or DVD?

Knowing what the final video should look and sound like helps a lot in pre-production as well, so please include further information about this project.

Once I hear from you I will be able to give you a quote for the project.
Thank you so much for contacting us.
Have great day!

JJ Kim

J.J. Kim October 9th, 2008 12:28 PM

Wow.. your version sounds so much better...
I know even in my language, I can't write a letter that sounds as good as yours.
Thank you very much for taking your time to do this. I really appreciate your help, Will.
I will have a couple things changed from your version (the client is actually coming to the shoot location from different state, so I should say "I can hire locally from the shoot location"), and send it away.
Again, thank you.


Martin Pauly October 9th, 2008 12:37 PM

Not bad, Will. Here's another draft:


Dear XXXX,

This is JJ from Orange Video Production. I wanted to thank you for the phone conversation we had yesterday, and I have a couple of questions for you related to the project we discussed.

I can personally cover the video recording and also help you produce at your location. We should consider two different options for securing the services of a sound recording expert, though. Since the recording location is about 250 miles from Chicago, it may make sense to hire someone local to save travel time and cost. Or I could bring an audio person from my area, someone I have worked with before; in that case, but there will be an additional charge for travel.

Depending on the location of the video shoot, I may be able to work with the regular lights available at the location, but I will bring my lighting kit just in case.

I also need to know what kind of media format you expect me to deliver to you: Would you like to have the tapes with the original recording and edit the final video yourself? Or would you rather want me to edit the material and produce a DVD or web video?

Knowing what your expectations for the final “look&feel” of the video are will help me a lot with the pre-production planning, so I would appreciate if you could summarize any thoughts or requirements that you have on this subject.

As soon as we can answer the above questions, I will send you a quote for your project.

Thank you so much for contacting us, Doug. I look forward to hearing from you.

Have great day!

JJ Kim



You got some suggestions for the language/wording now. Just one more note, if I were the customer, I'd be feeling a little uncomfortable about what you wrote with regards to the sound guy. Exaggerating a little bit, what you are saying is that he has the choice between "unpredictable" and "expensive". Needless to say, he'll want neither one. So you may want to think about talking about these choices a little bit differently, such as suggest the option that you feel is best for the project (which is what you do as the producer), and leave the alternatives for later disucssions in case you have to lower your price ("...well, we can hire a local guy, but the risk is [...]").

To summarize: Don't offer too many options. Obviously, the questions about the delivery format and the intended look of the video are good ones, but who to hire for your crew should really be something you suggest, and not ask your client about.

- Martin

J.J. Kim October 9th, 2008 12:46 PM

Thank you for your revision and your advice. It really helps me alot. I think you are totally right about suggestion, like you should suggest the best option and if he is concerned about the price and whatnot and then I can say "well, we can hire a local guy but the risk is..." simply because I don't know even know if main concern is budget or quality or anything I can't even think of. Without knowing this, giving him choices might make him feel uncomfortable, just you said. I should talk with him more to find out, but I needed that "1st reply" back to him just he knows that I am interested and available.
Man, it's truly a challenge to be a owner of the production.. so much different from being a videographer/editor...
I appreciate your help, Martin.


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