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Expiration on Corrections to Edits

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Bryce Leverich
Expiration on Corrections to Edits
on Sep 23, 2008 at 3:58:40 pm

Hello,
I was wondering if anyone has run into a client calling you 3-4 years after a project is completed and told you that they need a correction made?

Does anyone have a policy on things like this? I understand that an error is my fault, but shouldn't some responsibility fall on the client to actually quality control their product that has been on the shelf for over 3-4 years?

I have absolutely NO problem correcting my mistakes within a reasonable amount of time, but this seems a little excessive.

I also make sure my client is ready for me to remove their project from my studios, before I remove it.
Meaning I say "Is this project good to go? Everything ok?" if they say yes, I remove it to make room for other projects.

Any suggestions would be helpful.


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walter biscardi
Re: Expiration on Corrections to Edits
on Sep 23, 2008 at 4:04:50 pm

What took them so long to find the problem?

I would consider that a re-edit, not a correction. Of course, unless they are a really good client, then use your discretion. If it's an easy fix, maybe not charge them.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

STOP STARING AND START GRADING WITH APPLE COLOR Apple Color Training DVD available now!
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David Roth Weiss
Re: Expiration on Corrections to Edits
on Sep 23, 2008 at 4:52:30 pm

Bryce,

If you bring your car back to the mechanic after four years do you think he'll fix it for free? Probably not...

Quality control (QC) is first the responsibility of the editor. However, once the editor hands the work product off to the client, it then becomes the client's responsibilty to QC the work product. If the client chooses not to perform their QC, they are deemed to have "signed-off" once they pay the bill. After that, any fixes are technically their responsbility.

Barring any negligence on your part, you should definitely charge the client. You're not running a charity, right?

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Expiration on Corrections to Edits
on Sep 23, 2008 at 7:15:27 pm

4 years or 4 weeks after the job is signed off, it is a new and distinct job to put new changes on it. You are not performing "warranty service" on a car.

Now if the files are all still in your drives and it really is a trivial thing, that might take you longer to dub off than to edit, you might bill it and then discount it to nothing out of goodwill if you want, but do not consider it part of the original job! That way lies the madness of grinders. People who never acknowledge the job is finally done to their satisfaction usually are the same ones who hold off payment until said satisfaction. For years sometimes.

Did they sign off on the master before?
Bill it as a separate job.

If errors are mine, like I misspelled a lower third, and they gave it to me right, I eat that. If they gave me the name wrong, that's their fault and they have to pay, just as if they hire me to paint the house and hand me a can of paint they mixed, but later they decide they want another shade.

One other business rule: You don't make the new changes unless all pervious edit jobs are fully paid for and accounts are up to date. Amazing how this little rule will geatly un-complicate your life.



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Bryce Leverich
Re: Expiration on Corrections to Edits
on Sep 23, 2008 at 7:22:03 pm

Thanks guys I appreciate it. Turns out things are really out of whack. Not only was my edit wrong, but the cover art was incorrect, the slate was incorrect and the menus were incorrect. Sounds like an internal problem to me. I have nothing to do with cover art, and that was WAY off as well.

It also turns out that the DVDs were not authored by my company, we started in late 2006, not 2004. That will definitely be a completely new bill for any authoring done.

As far as the editing goes, I am sure everyone has run into that client that says "It's just text, you can change that REAL easily, right?" That's the type of thing I am looking at right now. Yeah, text is easy, but I do not have any of my original project files for the open that was created in AE. So in order to change the text, it will be a completely new AE project, from scratch. To change the text will take 10-15 hours of motion graphics work and designing... Yes, all this to change a 3 into a 4.

Thanks again!


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walter biscardi
Re: Expiration on Corrections to Edits
on Sep 23, 2008 at 7:26:51 pm

[Bryce Leverich] "Yes, all this to change a 3 into a 4. "

Any way to simply cover the 3 tastefully and add the 4?



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

STOP STARING AND START GRADING WITH APPLE COLOR Apple Color Training DVD available now!
Read my Blog!
View Walter Biscardi's profile on LinkedIn


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Mark Suszko
Re: Expiration on Corrections to Edits
on Sep 23, 2008 at 7:48:09 pm

LOL, BT,DT for sure. Any time I want to hear from an old inactive client, all I have to do is erase a long disused but key file and the phone rings within 24 hours to request a change that would have been trivial had I not just deleted the files and backups.

What I have evovled into doing in the past five years of facing this more than once, is to save more incremental submaster copies off to tape via SDI.

For example, I always lay off a clean backup version of the master without any CG and with audio tracks separated, for just such eventualities. Any point of the project that takes it to a new "point of no return", I make a backup so I don't have to go back even to digitizing original footage.

With AE project files this is obviously harder to do, but I think it is worth it to keep the 5-hour re-build down to a more reasonable hour or so.


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Bryce Leverich
Re: Expiration on Corrections to Edits
on Sep 23, 2008 at 8:11:50 pm

That's the first thing I am going to try to do. We usually use a CG background on the "title page" so maybe I can find the exact CG we used, and matte it out to cover the 3, then add the 4 on top. That would be the easiest route... I am keeping all of my extremities crossed.





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Mark Suszko
Re: Expiration on Corrections to Edits
on Sep 23, 2008 at 10:08:16 pm

If its not in motion, this is not too hard to cheat. I have used inscriber to make a fix like that: sampled the color of the BG around the offending character, gradient filled a box on a new layer, added in the replacement character over the top, easy. Also possible in Photoshop with greater precision, where it helps that you can grab an identical character from eleswhere in the frame and paste it into another layer, keeping colors and proportions all correct. If such band-aids are apropriate and look good, they sure save everyone some time and money.


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Mike Cohen
Re: Expiration on Corrections to Edits
on Sep 24, 2008 at 3:40:09 pm

I have had a few clients over the years who take ages to be happy with a project. These are usually clients who keep coming back with more work, so I accommodate their edits in almost all cases.

The worst examples are when they come back a few months after approval with some new request, which was never discussed, and then expect you to make the edits and quick too. One client e-mailed to say the DVD we just finished would now be translated into 10 languages, and could I send a master with no supers and separate audio channels for music and narration to their service provider.

Then I get a call from the service provider saying they cannot download the DVD menu from the DVD to change it - obviously.

Again, set your rules for changes and timeframes at the outset, and decide on a client by client basis what is worth doing for a good client.

Mike


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Steve Wargo
Lifetime Guarantee
on Sep 24, 2008 at 6:54:07 am

My work carries a lifetime guarantee. If I screw up, I will fix it for free, FOREVER. Anything less is a copout.

Put yourself on the other side of the table.

Kind of like when people owe me money for a long time and think that I should forget about it because it's been so long. I think that the debt has doubled, tripled or more because the jerk strung me along for such a long time.



Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Mark Suszko
Re: Lifetime Guarantee
on Sep 24, 2008 at 12:14:33 pm

I think Steve that we all see it that way, if the screw-up is ours. But when the product goes out the door 100 percent right according to the client, and THEN the client wants to make a change, or if they gave you a misspelled title they didn't vet and you faithfully executed, that's on them. And it should be.


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mark harvey
Re: Lifetime Guarantee
on Sep 24, 2008 at 4:03:10 pm

I had a project last year where I edited 2 30 min shows for the client. The show was in French, which I speak fluently, but the French language is full of rules when writing. Anyway, the client sent me some translations, those translations were then corrected by the director and handed off to me. I copy and pasted the text into the title program I was using and away we went.

The 2 shows aired and all was good. Then the shows were sold to another network to air. This network found errors on the translations and asked for changes...also i had to reformat the timing of the show. Luckily I had backed up the project, including media to an external drive.

I explained to the client that this would take time. I also apologized for the translation errors, but then I explained that i copy-pasted their text...I also mentionned that he, the producer and the director had seen the show, and noone had seen the errors.

He was very understanding and paid full rate. I explained that restoring that backups and relinking also took time (which it did, some backups didn't restore fully), but I also explained that i had kept the backups on my drive without "renting" the space...I suggested that if he wanted to be sure, he could provide me a drive and I would backup to that.

He was very happy with the work that I did for him. He is a good client and continues to be so. He has called fo me work after the corrections, and I suspect he will.

If the mistakes would have been user error (mine), and caught in a reasonable amount of time, then I would have made the changes on my own time, but that was not the case.

After 4 years, as mentionned, this becomes a new project and the client must pay the hourly wage....also as mentionned, if it is a good client then you could do it for free, but that is opening a dangerous door...one that leads to the phrase, "can you do me a favour".

Mark

Mark Harvey
Senior Editor
Le RĂ©seau des sports


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Lifetime Guarantee
on Sep 25, 2008 at 12:36:14 am

Mark,

Exactly!!! That's a great example. It just goes to show that just because we're all in business as creative artists, it doesn't mean drama is required as every stage of the game.

David

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Lifetime Guarantee
on Sep 25, 2008 at 12:44:28 am

Old sign in our office:

"Lack of planning on YOUR part does not constitute an emergency on OUR part."

It is hard to resist the urge to be the Big Hero and save the day every time. It IS fun and an ego boost, but people can use this against you sometimes when they realize you never say no. Superman and Batman can afford to be heroes for free; me, I have to charge.


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Fernando Mol
Re: Expiration on Corrections to Edits
on Sep 25, 2008 at 2:44:53 pm

When we a budget for a client we add some commercial clauses that say "if you make changes in the creative direction in the middle of the project or your original material comes with mistakes, that maybe will affect the delivery times and could cause an extra charge".

Maybe and could are the magic words that give you some space to put limits if the client is problematic.

We also do a delivery note for each project. We give the client the videos and a DVD so they can review it right there, in front of us, then sign it for done.

If later they call us for a change they will "ask" for a favor, not demand a correction in a work not done right. You can negotiate a charge easier that way.



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