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Thread: Managing Expectations

  1. Default Managing Expectations

    Haven't been trading for too long - about two years now, full-time, but the most important thing I have learned is MANAGING CLIENT'S EXPECTATIONS. I have dealt with two particularly difficult clients out of about 30. Dealing with one at the moment who, after watching the DVD they sent forward a two-page list of changes even though my contract specifically forbids creative amendments. They absolutely went GA-GA over their ten-minute highlight reel which I posted on-line, thanking me and telling me how blown away they were - so I am confident I have the creative and technical ability, but when it came to the full-length DVD, there's a list of things like "why haven't you made our home look more beautiful" (even though going to their home that morning to film their preparations was a freebie extra) and "there's a centimetre cut off the top of my head during the speeches, very unprofessional" and "more of the singing!" and "more of the hotel grounds! why isn't there more of the hotel grounds!"

    So, here I go again, updating my contract. My most major flaw since being in business is not managing my client's expectations. I must be explicit about what they are going to receive. My wedding DVDs are around an hour and 40 minutes, but I truly believe that some clients think that 10 hours of attendance means 10 hours of filming.

    You live and learn, I suppose.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by griffinmill View Post
    "why haven't you made our home look more beautiful"
    Because you're a videographer,not an interior designer?

    Quote Originally Posted by griffinmill View Post
    but I truly believe that some clients think that 10 hours of attendance means 10 hours of filming.
    apart from the cost of the DVDs and tying up your computer for a while you could easily give them 10 hours of footage. After an hour I bet they never watch it. Mind you, it's probably not a good idea to show the warts an all version that includes the operator cock-ups.

    Here's an idea: produce a DVD set of 10 hours of footage of one of your weddings. Present it to a new client and explain this is NOT what they are going to get.

    Ihr40 sounds like a hell of a long wedding video anyway. Apart from one viewing where they criticise the fact their house looks like a squat and want more shots of teh hotel grounds, I bet they NEVER watch it all again.

    I guess they'll watch the highlights, the service, the guests arriving or leaving comments at the reception time & time again. The rest, I suspect, sees the light of day once or twice. A real shame for all the work you have to put into it.

    Soryy, I'm not helping in any constructive way. Just sympathising.
    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    Because you're a videographer,not an interior designer?



    apart from the cost of the DVDs and tying up your computer for a while you could easily give them 10 hours of footage. After an hour I bet they never watch it. Mind you, it's probably not a good idea to show the warts an all version that includes the operator cock-ups.

    Here's an idea: produce a DVD set of 10 hours of footage of one of your weddings. Present it to a new client and explain this is NOT what they are going to get.

    Ihr40 sounds like a hell of a long wedding video anyway. Apart from one viewing where they criticise the fact their house looks like a squat and want more shots of teh hotel grounds, I bet they NEVER watch it all again.

    I guess they'll watch the highlights, the service, the guests arriving or leaving comments at the reception time & time again. The rest, I suspect, sees the light of day once or twice. A real shame for all the work you have to put into it.

    Soryy, I'm not helping in any constructive way. Just sympathising.
    I was just venting anyway. But thanks for listening.

    This is becoming quite common; some of my competitors are only producing a heavily-edited 30-minute wedding DVD - and they seem to be fairly busy. They are also charging twice as much. So it's a serious flaw in my business model that I'm doing three times the work and not getting the appreciation from some of the more demanding clients. A 30 minute DVD seems to be the way to go.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by griffinmill View Post
    This is becoming quite common; some of my competitors are only producing a heavily-edited 30-minute wedding DVD - and they seem to be fairly busy. They are also charging twice as much. So it's a serious flaw in my business model that I'm doing three times the work and not getting the appreciation from some of the more demanding clients. A 30 minute DVD seems to be the way to go.
    I think you'll find that those producing 'short form' wedding videos ( it's a trendy name to make it seem as though it's a really creative genre), do so because their full length coverage is p*ss poor.
    I've had a few of these for re-editing and their ceremony/speeches coverage are full of poor continuity, wobbles and poor sound. So, what they came up with is to strip out the parts they struggle with, and just use the arty slides/ dutch tilts/ sweep shots etc and plaster it with some funky music.
    Hey presto . . a pop up wedding day
    If you too struggle to provide creative coverage of all of your clients wedding day, then go for the short form and slap the ceremony and speeches on at the end from the wide angle cam, just in case they might want to watch it one day.
    Personally, I try to maintain creative coverage throughout the day and make the whole day watchable.
    Our highlights with funky music go at the end, so they can just flip the remote to this part when friends come round. When close family/future generations wants to watch the whole day they can enjoy the ceremony and speeches too.

    I haven't advertised for 5 years and the weddings are still pouring in from referalls.
    So, there's always a demand for providing decent coverage of the whole wedding, but it must be filmed and edited creatively.
    Our DVDs can last up to 2hr -30m, depending on the length of the ceremony/s and speeches.
    Today's couples may not watch the whole DVD all the way through too often, but you can bet your life that one day their children/grandchildren will watch every single second.
    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

  5. #5

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    Quote: I have dealt with two particularly difficult clients out of about 30.

    Well that's not bad going. In any business your going to get the few, you cant please them all, all of the time. When your dealing with JO Public No business is 100% perfect and never will be. and come to that no one is perfect. But there are always the few who think they are, and quick to criticize.

    Weddings are not supposed to be a block buster feature film, make it to long and they get bored with it. Even with an hour long master piece the novelty will ware of after a couple of months and it will go into the archives. The most important thing is it captures the moment for prosperity.

    I filmed weddings in the early 1980's and editing was done in camera, I would get additional bookings from the Wedding event, or word of mouth. Always busy in the Summer months. there was no have a look at it first and see what you want. They got the completed tape when they paid for it. One thing I never did was offer anything for Free, if I did it would be a complete disaster. I learned the hard way from this, Don't know why but it all just went wrong never found out why.

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    Quote Originally Posted by griffinmill View Post
    So it's a serious flaw in my business model that I'm doing three times the work .
    Whilst acknowledging Zero's comments, equating three times as much resultant footage with three times as much work is totally the wrong way around. There's a possibility it may be different for wedding footage, but i'd argue that generally it takes much longer to produce a shorter video (assuming similar length source material).

    Case in point: I'm editing my daughter's 23rd birthday party (yes, i have an older daughter as well as the 7 year old). She and some friends played four numbers (gtr, bass, drums & vox). She wanted that in it's entirity. Top and tail each song, a bit of audio tweaking, colour correct for the fact it was in a marquee and everything turned yellow, job done. 14 mins of final footage. maybe 2 hours work (If I'd known she's wanted that before, probably could have been done in 1 hour). After cutting out all the unusable stuff (takimg maybe 2 hours) from the rest, I have a similar amount of footage of family & friends. I expect that is going to take me another several hours to knock into a five minute highlights film.
    Tim

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    i'd argue that generally it takes much longer to produce a shorter video (assuming similar length source material).
    In the case of weddings, where I produce a Same Day Edit (short form) in 1 hour, it proves to be so much easier. In a wedding there are always a few key scenes that will always be needed to provide the 'wow' element. Every wedding has them and even though there's always 6+ hours of film, they're easy to spot. Brides prep (elegance) Vows (emotion) photo session (fun) First dance ( excitement).
    Same story at every wedding
    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

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by griffinmill View Post
    after watching the DVD they sent forward a two-page list of changes even though my contract specifically forbids creative amendments.
    I find that talking to the client before and after I hand over the DVD about changes stops most things dead.

    I ask them to watch the video and if there any errors, spelling mistakes, no audio, I will correct free of charge, but nothing subjective as there is no right or wrong with that and that will only be changed for an additional cost. If they want to take that route then I offer an option for client based editing as it is a slower and more time consuming process.

    Anticipation, know what your client expectations are and good communications is the key to a happy client.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zero View Post
    In the case of weddings...
    Same story at every wedding
    I can see that. Is that the only short form you produce tough? I was thinking more of some of the fantastic 3 minute highlights we've seen here (for example, but not limited to, GDR). I'd imagine this takes far longer to produce than editing together the long form brides prep, arrival at the church/venue, service, photos, reception, speeches, first dance, which (grossly oversimplifying here) is basically editng out the crap and cutting between cameras, to put toggether a "reportage" type coverage.
    Tim

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    I can see that. Is that the only short form you produce tough? I was thinking more of some of the fantastic 3 minute highlights we've seen here (for example, but not limited to, GDR). I'd imagine this takes far longer to produce than editing together the long form brides prep, arrival at the church/venue, service, photos, reception, speeches, first dance, which (grossly oversimplifying here) is basically editng out the crap and cutting between cameras, to put toggether a "reportage" type coverage.

    No, no, no, no no!!!! (Quoting Queen here - Bohemian Rhapsody)- For the clients main DVD, we also produce the highlights of the day, but this uses 3 songs to cover the entire day/evening and even though this 3 song trick takes a full day to edit, it's nothing like editing the complete wedding (usually 4 days editing). Even though great care is taken in covering the continuity in cam, it still takes a whole lot of anguish, to piece our best 'shots of the match' in so they flow properly.
    Some operators who miss vital points during the wedding will just dissolve/fade between scenes, but if we did this it would mean we've failed in our coverage and editing.
    I've seen so many videos where e.g shot1 - the bridal car arrives. shot 2 she's having her photo taken outside the church - Nope!! We get the bit that happens in between, i.e (oversimplified) put someone watching her arrive between the 2 shots and that's the continuity kept intact so there's no jump shot.
    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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