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Thread: Client Keeps Wanting Changes

  1. Default Client Keeps Wanting Changes

    Gave a couple a great deal on a wedding DVD, at a VERY competitive rate (deal was done in the early days of my event videography business). I stayed all night at their wedding, capturing interviews, and was there from about 10am until 1am the following morning.

    The bride was quite problematic from the early days (emailing me with a detailed list of songs to play at certain moments, and was texting/phoning months before the wedding). Warning bells.

    Worked on it for a month (there was a lot of footage) and held a viewing for them the other night. They wanted some changes made (all creative; this in black and white, that in slow-motion, etc). I agreed to the changes. They wanted to take one of the new copies with them the following day, but I was uneasy about this so made an excuse. Told them I would pay them a visit with the DVDs (all complete with the changes they requested) at a day of their convenience... They said they want me to POST them ANOTHER rough draft because they might want to make MORE changes.

    What's especially insulting about this is that on the night I held the screening for them, they tried to badger me down on the price (which is written in the contract they signed months ago). Couldn't believe they were wanting me to go lower on the already competitive price!

    I have worked on this DVD for some time now - ABOUT THREE WEEKS, and am backed up. (Have five other weddings I need to be editing!) How do I handle this? I feel uneasy about posting them any of the DVDs without having been paid. **Also, this couple were kind enough to find me another client couple, so want to tread carefully.**

    Should I explain to them that the DVDs are ready to be shipped, but if they want to see another rough draft for me to make more changes to, then this will take some time because of my heavy workload at the minute, and there will be a considerable wait and/or cost before I can take another look? I had nothing in my contract about this (I do now, believe me).

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by jasonbell; 08-29-2011 at 12:24 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Ok

    I don't work with weddings at all, so please don't take any of my advice as "this will work, do it! I am expert" I'm just reading through your post and this is my initial gut feeling ( But again I may be wrong...see what others think )

    • Did Client sign contract?
    • I've been reading through that quite a few of the pros here will charge if the client insists on extras and changes ( even something like handing over raw DV tapes I saw the pros will suggest a 50 charge )
    • I think that if someone hires you as a professional chef, they need to decide on the menu but there is a point when you need to tell them to "GET OUT OF MY KITCHEN" To quote a certain celebrity chef.


    I think that I would "do the best" I could do and only if someone is broken, i.e

    1) Client complains about audio quality
    2) Image quality
    3) DVD does not play :P

    Unless they moan about those items I would say back to them that if they want you to keep making changes, then you'll be charging them for the extra editing time, explain to client that if it takes you 3 hours to edit, render, encode, author an entire DVD then they need to be willing to foot the bill for being "the creative" - In the same way if I commision a builder to build me a wall, I hand builder money, builder makes me a brick wall but if I then turn around and say "Yeah, I actually wanted it shorter than that and at an angle" the builder would tell me to go somewhere.

    Just because it's "digital" does not mean you should be flexible!

    I hope this is helpful.

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bpotter908 View Post
    I don't work with weddings at all, so please don't take any of my advice as "this will work, do it! I am expert" I'm just reading through your post and this is my initial gut feeling ( But again I may be wrong...see what others think )

    • Did Client sign contract?
    • I've been reading through that quite a few of the pros here will charge if the client insists on extras and changes ( even something like handing over raw DV tapes I saw the pros will suggest a 50 charge )
    • I think that if someone hires you as a professional chef, they need to decide on the menu but there is a point when you need to tell them to "GET OUT OF MY KITCHEN" To quote a certain celebrity chef.


    I think that I would "do the best" I could do and only if someone is broken, i.e

    1) Client complains about audio quality
    2) Image quality
    3) DVD does not play :P

    Unless they moan about those items I would say back to them that if they want you to keep making changes, then you'll be charging them for the extra editing time, explain to client that if it takes you 3 hours to edit, render, encode, author an entire DVD then they need to be willing to foot the bill for being "the creative" - In the same way if I commision a builder to build me a wall, I hand builder money, builder makes me a brick wall but if I then turn around and say "Yeah, I actually wanted it shorter than that and at an angle" the builder would tell me to go somewhere.

    Just because it's "digital" does not mean you should be flexible!

    I hope this is helpful.
    This is helpful, and I appreciate your advice.

    The client most definitely did sign a contract, but at that stage I had nothing in there about the cost of extra editing. :-(

  4. #4

    Default

    Well, my response again would be.

    "Baker, make me a cake."

    And then client states when baker makes the cake

    "oh yeah baker, can you please add this this and this?"

    Why should the extra time and ingredients be covered by the originally agreed fee? But perhaps my view is too narrow.

  5. #5

    Default

    Keeping it short, I'd post them an 'evaluation copy', with those words slap bang in the middle of the video, on screen all the way through. I'd include the final invoice with the (1) DVD I sent, asking for x amount for any further ammendmends. On payment of the invoice the DVDs will be released to include their agreed alterations.
    Explain all the extra hours you've done at no charge and the hours/s that will need to be added on if further work is requested.
    From the details you've written - They're now taking the **ss. They're delaying until you reduce the cost or they keep and duplicate the one you leave. Don't leave any DVDs with them apart from the 'evalutation copy'.
    Lesson learned on this 1st one hopefully.
    My opinions are just that . . . Mine. It's not personal, but is based on my emotional and professional reaction to requested critique. If you choose to ignore constructive comments, I'll just assume you're a vanity poster and not posting to improve your filming and editing skills.

    Ex A.P.V Videomaker of the year - Ex M.M. IOV Come join my EXclusive club

  6. #6
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    Default

    Listen to what Zero says, he does this for a living!

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Zero View Post
    Keeping it short, I'd post them an 'evaluation copy', with those words slap bang in the middle of the video, on screen all the way through. I'd include the final invoice with the (1) DVD I sent, asking for x amount for any further ammendmends. On payment of the invoice the DVDs will be released to include their agreed alterations.
    Explain all the extra hours you've done at no charge and the hours/s that will need to be added on if further work is requested.
    From the details you've written - They're now taking the **ss. They're delaying until you reduce the cost or they keep and duplicate the one you leave. Don't leave any DVDs with them apart from the 'evalutation copy'.
    Lesson learned on this 1st one hopefully.
    Thanks very much, Zero. A valuable lesson has been learned on this one, and as I said, have changed my contract. Time is money, and unfortunately some problematic clients want to get their money's worth.

  8. #8

    Default

    You're welcome. I have terms similar to 'Artistic Licence' - any particular effect/transition or specific scenes to be filmed/omitted on the day must be received in writing 30 days prior to the event. Our judgement shall be deemed correct unless specifically agreed beforehand.

    Funnily enough, our last wedding was, unusually for us, very pedantic about which songs where, plastering everything but the ceremony and speeches with their, soon to be very dated, music.
    In doing this, they have lost some amazing shots that just didn't fit into the time scale of their tracks. Their choice of course and we can only advise. They loved the edit, which is what business is all about, a happy customer!
    Thankfully, almost all our clients book us because of our style and experience and trust our judgement.
    My opinions are just that . . . Mine. It's not personal, but is based on my emotional and professional reaction to requested critique. If you choose to ignore constructive comments, I'll just assume you're a vanity poster and not posting to improve your filming and editing skills.

    Ex A.P.V Videomaker of the year - Ex M.M. IOV Come join my EXclusive club

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Zero View Post
    You're welcome. I have terms similar to 'Artistic Licence' - any particular effect/transition or specific scenes to be filmed/omitted on the day must be received in writing 30 days prior to the event. Our judgement shall be deemed correct unless specifically agreed beforehand.

    Funnily enough, our last wedding was, unusually for us, very pedantic about which songs where, plastering everything but the ceremony and speeches with their, soon to be very dated, music.
    In doing this, they have lost some amazing shots that just didn't fit into the time scale of their tracks. Their choice of course and we can only advise. They loved the edit, which is what business is all about, a happy customer!
    Thankfully, almost all our clients book us because of our style and experience and trust our judgement.
    I have never run into clients like this before. Most do trust my judgement and my artistry, but this couple want X in slow-motion, and Y in black-and-white, and they keep changing their minds about what song to use where, etc. I hear where you're coming from - your recent clients sound a lot like mine! She had given me a huge list of songs to use (one song to be used for the service). When she asked me how long I had cut the service down to. I told her from 50 minutes to 30. I had trimmed all the fat. Her response was "Oh! You'll need more than one song then!"

    Baffling.

  10. #10

    Default

    A horrendous thought. The 'I'm creative too' generation. Most likely all distraction tactics though, as is the new client their 'introducing'.
    I don't know if you've been following the wedding threads, but most companies insist on 200 deposit (non refundable) and the balance 1 month prior to the wedding.

    The evaluation copy, current invoice and potential additions will soon focus their minds.
    Make a note that before any further edits can take place the current invoice must be settled.
    My opinions are just that . . . Mine. It's not personal, but is based on my emotional and professional reaction to requested critique. If you choose to ignore constructive comments, I'll just assume you're a vanity poster and not posting to improve your filming and editing skills.

    Ex A.P.V Videomaker of the year - Ex M.M. IOV Come join my EXclusive club

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