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How do I say it politely (re: watermark)?

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Richard HerdHow do I say it politely (re: watermark)?
by on Mar 28, 2011 at 5:12:05 pm

Quick back story: I bid for a decent contract (shoot and edit) in December 2010. Here we are now planning the shoot for April 2011. Long process, lots of calls, lots of hand-holding and explaining...

Now I'm worried about getting paid, and I've searched the forum for watermark.

I don't want to deliver a watermarked video without telling the client in advance that's the case because they are spending (in their mind) quite a bit of money and will be jonsing for the footage to send it through the various approval departments.

So what/how do you say it without souring the relationship. Bottom line: it could sound like I am saying "I don't trust you." Which isn't exactly true: I don't trust the paperwork/bureaucracy process...

thanks


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Chris TompkinsRe: How do I say it politely (re: watermark)?
by on Mar 28, 2011 at 5:22:17 pm

Deliver a time-code burn copy.
You get your clean master when we receive final payment.
Sorry, just our policy.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Mark SuszkoRe: How do I say it politely (re: watermark)?
by on Mar 28, 2011 at 6:49:09 pm

"Dear client:

Enclosed is a copy of the program in what we believe is the finished form. To help you make any notes about corrections or changes or errors, we've superimposed a time code number on the video.

When referring to any point of the program, just pause and write down the time code number at the point in question and tell us that number. It will allow us to go right to the precise spot in question and deal with any issues that come up.

If you're happy with the video as-is, and have no changes, that's great! In that case, your next copies of the program will be "clean" masters without the time code on them, delivered when final payment has been made, as previously agreed.

Thanks for allowing us to work with you, and we hope you're pleased with our work and will use our services again in future".


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Bob ColeRe: How do I say it politely (re: watermark)?
by on Mar 28, 2011 at 7:20:01 pm

Good language.

At the same time... I have never gotten full payment before delivery of the finished show.

Bob C


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Malcolm MatuskyRe: How do I say it politely (re: watermark)?
by on Mar 28, 2011 at 7:33:51 pm

I deliver a time code burn till paid in full. Gives the clients something to see and it's easy for them to make comments if there is a problem with the edit. Now I'm posting password protected copies to my Vimeo account, very easy for me to update and not have to worry about "copies" floating all over the place.

Malcolm
http://www.malcolmproductions.com


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Nick GriffinRe: How do I say it politely (re: watermark)?
by on Mar 28, 2011 at 8:07:02 pm

[Bob Cole] "I have never gotten full payment before delivery of the finished show."

I'm with Bob on this one, mostly because we don't work with strangers or "walk-ins" so we have a very different kind of relationship. It's also been my experience -- just not recently, thankfully -- that one of the quickest ways to make someone untrustworthy is to treat them like they are.

I also think Mark's language and approach is much more likely to elicit long term business.


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Chris TompkinsRe: How do I say it politely (re: watermark)?
by on Mar 28, 2011 at 8:28:49 pm

For us, Existing clients get a bill when the job is done and they are happy. They pay in due time. That is fine.

First-time clients; we get 50% down up front and the rest when work is complete and Before delivery.

Outta town-NEW clients - Full payment up front.

This became a hard and fast rule after being ripped off a couple times.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Bob ColeRe: How do I say it politely (re: watermark)?
by on Mar 29, 2011 at 1:18:49 pm

One way to facilitate immediate payment is to accept credit cards. Any insights about that, or alternatives such as PayPal?

The other aspect to Richard's original post is that he had a sixth sense of potential trouble. I'd rely on that more than anything, including C.O.D. After all, checks can bounce or be stopped.

Bob C


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Tim KolbRe: How do I say it politely (re: watermark)?
by on Mar 29, 2011 at 2:31:20 pm

Excellent input across the board on this topic...I've had to become a bit more restrictive on releasing material to clients myself.

I've been looking at re-tooling my client proofing to work with an online video hosting service with the video viewable online, but protected.

The client can also leave notes, and I can actually see what parts of the video have actually been viewed.

Alternately, I can stage video for my website there. Since my website has been basically ignored for years, I'm looking at using that account for several purposes.

vidforweb.com is the website.

TimK,
Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,


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Chris TompkinsRe: How do I say it politely (re: watermark)?
by on Mar 29, 2011 at 3:58:21 pm

We have been excepting Credit Cards for years. Some clients choose to pay this way. Makes it easy for a down payment.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Richard HerdRe: How do I say it politely (re: watermark)?
by on Mar 29, 2011 at 4:18:12 pm

Wait a minute...

Excepting or Accepting?


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Cory PetkovsekRe: How do I say it politely (re: watermark)?
by on Mar 29, 2011 at 8:00:46 pm

Alternatives to paypal?

To accept credit cards you need a merchant account with your bank. Unless you are receiving a lot of credit card payments, it usually isn't worth the cost. Paypal is a stop gap measure where they essentially let you use their merchant account. Or you can also use your own with their services as well.

You could also look into the google pay, other similar services or escrow payments. However paypal specifically has a "virtual terminal" to allow you to accept CCs (you typing in the number) without needing a physical CC terminal.

Cory

--
Cory Petkovsek
Corporate Video


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Greg BallMark - How do I say it politely (re: watermark)?
by on Mar 30, 2011 at 8:43:44 pm

Hey Mark,
That's an excellent letter! I'm wondering if you have something you write when a client asks you about payment before delivery. We always require this with EVERY client, especially first timers. But when they say they've never had to do this we often write them and explain. How do you handle that?



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grinner hesterRe: How do I say it politely (re: watermark)?
by on Mar 29, 2011 at 4:58:31 pm

I simply dont do bidness with folks I don't trust. In the events I have sent out watermarked approvals, I explain nothing as everyone involved fully understands why it's there at that point. A simple "it'll be removed once paid" is all that's required for the slow folks.



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Patrick OrtmanRe: How do I say it politely (re: watermark)?
by on Mar 31, 2011 at 10:11:21 pm

>>I simply dont do bidness with folks I don't trust.

I want to go to there...

----------------------------
PatrickOrtman, Inc.
Los Angeles Digital Agency and Video Production Company


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