on Jan 21, 2014 at 5:52:12 pm Last Edited By Mark Suszko on Jan 21, 2014 at 5:52:54 pm
True things that have been said to me on a project, over the years:
"Well, I was a film critic for my college paper, so I think I know a little something about these things, and I don't like the narration you voiced, or the script you wrote".
"Can you remove all the color bars, slates, and countdown from this broadcast spot; they look unprofessional. Just send the TV station the spot itself, so they don't accidentally put up that other stuff".
"Your countdown is wrong: it seems to stop just at 2, instead of going down to zero".
"I don't know what "preview" means: can't we just go forward and do the next edit?" followed by:
"Why did you just go ahead and make that edit without letting me approve it first?" followed by: "You just played the edit, why are you playing it again? "
"I can't use this; it has numbers changing all over the bottom of the screen; why did you shoot those numbers?"
" Here's my log sheets; I just wrote the number on the little counter wheels on my VHS machine; I thought writing the time down would save you some time in the edit."
"I don't like all the wide shots: can you cut out all the shots where the camera is wide, and replace them with graphics or a close-up shot that doesn't show my tummy?"
"Can you replace that empty blue area with some other kind of background?"
"The video is too long; can you speed up the parts where we are talking?"
"it's only one guy talking: why did you bring two cameras?"
" Can you make a film on CD that I can play on a DVD player over the internet?"
[Mark Suszko]""it's only one guy talking: why did you bring two cameras?""
"And why didn't you ask me first, you know my iPhone records video, don't you...?!"
This one reminded me of a job I did where I had to make promotional images for a conference, and the lady who was running it thought she looked too old, so she had me spend a few hours removing her neck wrinkles in Photoshop. I thought it was kind of funny, and I got paid, so who cares!
These threads come about every so often. While good for a laugh, the key takeaway is: educate your customer. Men's Warehouse says that the best customer is an educated customer. They are correct.
If your client doesn't know the difference between iPhone quality and XDCAM it doesn't matter - they hired you to make their video.
We were once in a meeting and were asked if the sales team could just use Flip cams (back when the Flip came out - nobody has heard of them since (suppose you could replace Flip with GoPro or iPhone)). This was an opportunity to educate the customer. Rather than telling them how silly that sounds, we advised that you could certainly do it, but if you were to follow Flip video with professional camera acquired video, it would make the Flip video look pretty bad, not to mention to\he poor audio. Now granted iPhone and GoPro are much improved today, you still have marginal audio with background noise, and shaky hand held video. Even if you put your iPhone on a tripod and got a mic adapter - well ok now you are using more than an iPhone and and more than the average person has in their pocket or purse.
Nice Mark. I am imagining the Word Doc you probably have that you throw a great quote from a client in every time you get a gem.
I love this holiday video card from Viewpoint Creative. I've watched it the past two years when I am trying to get ideas for our holiday videos. Great example of the client interaction we are talking about! This one is a classic.
I answer your Holiday Card with the classic stop sign. This one is bittersweet for me, because I really have lived this scenario, and more than once. Particularly the part where a new person's input suddenly drops in from out of nowhere, without them having been part of the process up to now, and you don't know exactly how much weight to give this new person's opinion.
There's also a great poem which has been around for many years, but the author is unknown - I'm guessing it's from the 30's or 40's - twas ever thus...
O.K. with corrections
I dread to take a layout
To the man who wants to change things;
Who says, "That's just fine, just what I want
BUT let us rearrange things.
Let's move that building over
And give the man a cane,
And add a green umbrella,
In case it starts to rain.
Please change the girl's expression
To one of glad surprise.
If it ain't too much trouble
Change the color of her eyes.
Don't clutter up the picture
With meaningless detail
But get a dock in somewhere
With a boat about to sail.
I suggest a troop of soldiers
And a fat man with the gout.
Also a railroad station
With a streamliner pulling out.
The man is running for the train
And fears he may be late.
So having him looking at his watch
With the hands at half past eight.
Don't let the thing get crowded
We must have room for copy.
But give the girl galoshes
Because the weather's sloppy.
Let's make the oak a maple,
And make the horse a cow.
Then make the hen a rooster,
And make the rake a plow.
With these few minor changes
The layout's then OKAY.
We're much behind our deadline,
SO PLEASE FINISH IT TODAY!!!