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What is wrong with this picture?

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Scott Evans
What is wrong with this picture?
on Jun 18, 2009 at 3:38:34 pm

I have a client which produces web based videos for local business in my region. Their requirements are very straight forward, 480i footage.

I transfer the P2 files from cards to my laptop with the Panasonic software.

I then check and shot log these clips with the same software and all is fine.

I transfer the folder to a portable hard drive and ship it to my client.

Initially they said they didnt know how to deal with this technology. After several weeks of coaching them and passing on various web links with information on how to do so...they were able to get the footage off the drive and into FCP. During this time I determined they were using an older version of FCP and I explained that a newer version has the ability to import this material with very little if any problem.

Now as of this morning, I am informed they will be shipping the latest footage back to me on the hard drive and that they require another method of footage transfer. They cannot deal with my hard drive method. Well, as we all know here, whether its hard drive, DVD disk, BluRay disc or even a USB thumb drive...its all the same...they still have to transfer the material and deal with it.

They're suggestion is this...find a way to transfer your P2 material to DV tape and we will now accept it this way, since this is the only way we can deal with it. Maybe I should be worried about dealing with a company that can't upgrade its software or is stuck in the world of DV tapes. I thought I was saving them tons of work by not having to ingest footage to FCP. I assume they expect me to invest in a deck, then place all the footage on my PremierPro timeline, then export it to the deck!? lol

What IS wrong with this picture...yes indeed.


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Steve Eisen
Re: What is wrong with this picture?
on Jun 18, 2009 at 5:26:17 pm

Yes they are behind in technology and are unfamiliar with P2 workflow on their version of FCP. P2 workflow is very fast and easy on FCP. Unfortunately for you, it will cost you more time to deal with their requirements. I would charge them for the added time.

It sounds like you do not have a DV Deck and you do not have FCP. All is not lost. You have a couple options. Rent a deck (charge client rental fee). This is the most time consuming. Give them the QuickTime files (.mov not .avi). Sounds like you are on a PC using Premiere Pro.

If they are not willing to meet their demands, you lost a client. There are far more FCP users than Premiere today.

Two wrongs don't make a right.

Steve Eisen
Eisen Video Productions
Board of Directors
Chicago Final Cut Pro Users Group


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Jan Crittenden Livingston
Re: What is wrong with this picture?
on Jun 18, 2009 at 5:42:21 pm

Hi,

Why not ask them to upgrade to FCP 5.04 minimum. That upgrade could offset the cost of the deck rental and the time needed to spend in the suite digitizing the footage.

Sometimes it requires a little finesse to get them to understand that it will take them alot more time to use tape and their edit suite will not be as efficient.

But then you know this last point.

Good luck,

Jan

Jan Crittenden Livingston
Product Manager, HPX500, HVX200, DVX100
Panasonic Broadcast & TV Systems



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John Fishback
Re: What is wrong with this picture?
on Jun 18, 2009 at 8:25:22 pm

Or you could go over there and walk them through it so they see how easy it can be.

John

MacPro 8-core 2.8GHz 8 GB RAM OS 10.5.5 QT7.5.5 Kona 3 Dual Cinema 23 ATI Radeon HD 3870
ATTO ExpressSAS R380 RAID Adapter, PDE Enclosure with 8-drive 6TB RAID 5
24" TV-Logic Monitor
Final Cut Studio 2 (up to date)

Pro Tools HD w SYNC IO, Yamaha DM1000, Millennia Media HV-3C, Neumann U87, Schoeps Mk41 mics, Genelec Monitors, PrimaLT ISDN


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D. Scott Dobbie
Re: What is wrong with this picture?
on Jun 18, 2009 at 10:52:05 pm

All good ideas, however, my gut tells me these "clients" are along the same lines as those ads you see looking for freelance shooters for some cheap work. They charge a minimal amount to "their" clients to put the local businesses online, and then pay a small amount to the shooters.

These sort of guys aren't interested in upgrading their equipment or spending any cash at all. And if Scott balks they'll just move on to another shooter.

Scott, what you can take away from this is confirming the workflow before you accept a job. Most of your "real" clients will be familiar with P2 or have the system to handle it. You'll also find some "tape lovers" who are willing to try to upgrade if you can walk them through it - they've heard the advantages and this is a perfect opportunity.

Then there are those like you're dealing with - "give us tape."

So, in the future, let them know you're shooting onto P2. Asked if they've worked with those files before and if they have the capability to deal with them.

-Scott



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Adam Smith
Re: What is wrong with this picture?
on Jun 21, 2009 at 3:33:09 am

Sounds like you're just delivering the raw footage... I'm thinking you could buy an inexpensive DV camcorder with DV-in... shoot in DV and then back at the office connect your camera's firewire out to the camcorder DV-in and dub it off in realtime.

The only question I have is how much difference does the recording mechanism really make for DV?

-Adam

- - -
Video Photographer / Avid & Final Cut Editor


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Scott Evans
Re: What is wrong with this picture?
on Jun 29, 2009 at 11:45:50 pm

Many thanks to all of you who replied to my original posting. What transpired shortly after my posting was the company rep informing me that it wasnt my P2 material they had issues with...it was XDCAM material from some other shooter.
To address some of the replies...the company I am shooting for wont pay for any extra time for dubbing or other nonsense. They pay for two hours of my time. Keep in mind this is for :30 or :60 second spots, so realistically these shoots take more like 4 hours, unless of course they want crap.
Thanks again to you all.


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D. Scott Dobbie
Re: What is wrong with this picture?
on Jun 30, 2009 at 12:13:24 am

Unfortunately this is as I thought. And there are enough shooters "suffering" in this economy that they'll take whatever work they can get. And when the economy is good again, and those shooters move on, college kids whose parents bought them the latest HD toy will be around to fill the bill. Less quality, but no one really cares.

I'm still amazed at all the craigslist postings asking for free services, and then they want to see IMDb credits and reels with quality work. Funny that the quality work often comes from quality budgets.

Reminds me of a very funny 2-panel cartoon many years ago: The producer, screaming on the phone that he wants it faster - he wants it cheaper. And the second panel has him holding up the completed film and asking, "How come this stuff always looks like crap?"

Oh well...



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Dino Sanacory
Re: What is wrong with this picture?
on Jun 30, 2009 at 4:04:53 am

Now as much as this client may be cheap, ignorant or backwards, their requirements seem very clear and simple, DV tapes or Final Cut ready DV files. If that requirement cannot be met, then don't take the job. It is not the responsibility of the person that hires you to deal with your version of the situation or to bend their expectations to whatever equipment you happen to own. Further, if the pay offered cannot cover costs (or time) don't take the job. Use the time you would have been working for free to work for yourself and find the situation that meets your needs.


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Scott Evans
Re: What is wrong with this picture?
on Jul 1, 2009 at 4:15:19 pm

Cheap? Ignorant? Backwards? Your words Dino...not mine. Nevertheless, thanks for the enlightening reply. However, when the company states quite clearly from the outset...that they are fine with P2 footage...and then change their mine after 5 shoots...I with I am well within my realm to be concerned.
Furthermore, since you're no privy to my financial situation and the market in my area...I will forgive your assumptions.
To the rest of you...thanks again for your common sense replies.
Cheers.


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