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"So why do you need me?" I kept asking the client.

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Richard Herd"So why do you need me?" I kept asking the client.
by on Nov 17, 2011 at 4:36:30 pm

Client asked me to send them a quote, so I did. The email back said let's talk. We talked:

Client: There's no way we can approve 17 hours. I will be doing the shooting on a flip camera. I'm sending you the footage.

Me: Okay.

Client: I'm mean come on, you included 1/2 hour to download footage.

Me: How long did it take you to upload it?

Client: 2 hours but that was 8 minutes of footage. I plan to shoot much less.

Me: How much less? 4 minutes of footage will take 1 hour to DL. 2 minutes will take 30 minutes. How much footage?

Client: Oh. About 1 minute.

Me: We need to put that in writing.

Client: I'm also going to edit.

Me: So why do you need me?

Client: (long pause) I need your opinion on my technique before I send it to management for approval.

Me: So let me get this straight so there's no confusion: You're going to send me 1 minute of assemble edit footage with leveled audio. I will transcode it to the editing format and place it between the advertising footage. Then I will export it with timecode and upload it.

Client: Yes.

Me: Man, you don't need me. You can do that all on your own.

Client: (another long pause) I value your opinion and it helps with the approval process.

Me: Oh I get it. You need a vendor, me, between yourself and your managers, someone to blame.

Client: (laughing) That's about right.


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Fernando MolRe: "So why do you need me?" I kept asking the client.
by on Nov 17, 2011 at 5:30:32 pm

What a jewel. Is this a new "client" or one that actually gives you real work?


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Richard HerdRe: "So why do you need me?" I kept asking the client.
by on Nov 17, 2011 at 5:51:23 pm

It's an old client, same contact, with a new project and workflow. It'll be very interesting to read the new Service Agreement.


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Mark SuszkoRe: "So why do you need me?" I kept asking the client.
by on Nov 17, 2011 at 7:44:34 pm

There's only so much you can do to improve flip camera footage from an unskilled user that's only using the built-in mic for audio, no supplemental lighting, no tripod. And all those things (audio sweetening/remixing, motion stabilization, color grading) are time and money intensive. So much so that you make back more than the money "saved" by not hiring a real shooter with a pro camera.

Richard, I would counter-offer that you charge a consulting fee to go to his place, drink coffee and watch him fumble thru his edit. Seems more efficient.


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Richard HerdRe: "So why do you need me?" I kept asking the client.
by on Nov 17, 2011 at 8:00:30 pm

The client actually said, "I don't want the footage to match the other footage." He paused. "I want it to look unprofessional," he said.

AND he needs a vendor to blame.

This should be a fun contract to write. I don't think the legal department will approve the contract because in effect it will read I get paid whether you like the finished product or not and it will include some kind of disclaimer "client understands footage is not captured in a professional manner or format."


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Mark SuszkoRe: "So why do you need me?" I kept asking the client.
by on Nov 17, 2011 at 10:40:25 pm

[Richard Herd] " "client understands footage is not captured in a professional manner or format.""

No, I really don't think he does:-)

I'll light a candle for you this week, sir.


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Tom SeftonRe: "So why do you need me?" I kept asking the client.
by on Nov 18, 2011 at 10:48:16 am

Client: (long pause) I need your opinion on my technique before I send it to management for approval.

I would have had to bite my tongue for a long time after hearing that.

It surely must be too tempting to email him back after watching his footage and tell him it is awful and needs re-shooting by someone who knows what they are doing....


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Joel ServetzRe: "So why do you need me?" I kept asking the client.
by on Nov 19, 2011 at 4:30:48 am

OK, so why exactly are you willing to risk having your good name attached to this disaster?

Joel Servetz
RGB Media Services, LLC
Sarasota, Fl
videobyjoel@aol.com
http://www.rgbmediaservices.com


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Nick GriffinRe: "So why do you need me?" I kept asking the client.
by on Nov 19, 2011 at 8:41:55 pm

My read of Richard's original post created a knot in my stomach. So ditto to what Joel wrote.

Over the years I've repeatedly seen that it's the "pro" who gets blamed for being associated with a poor product even when it's the client (or worse, mid-level person in the client organization) calling the shots. NOBODY remembers all of the compromises and cut corners, they just look at the end product.

If at all possible disassociate yourself from this project, Richard. Now, here's the trick: distance yourself from this without losing the potential for future REAL business from this client. I know, I know. Easier said than done.


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Malcolm MatuskyRe: "So why do you need me?" I kept asking the client.
by on Nov 22, 2011 at 1:24:17 am

Take the job, bill the "client" get paid. If it doesn't blow up, you might get called again, if you don't take the job, what are the odds that they will call someone else? Quite high.

Document the job, in writing, for what it's worth. Make your recommendations to do it "better" and send them a bill.

Often the business of filmmaking is very divergent from the art of filmmaking.

Malcolm
http://www.malcolmproductions.com


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Richard HerdRe: "So why do you need me?" I kept asking the client.
by on Dec 2, 2011 at 5:24:20 pm

Follow up.

Client: My boss accepted a position and is leaving Dec 8, so we need the quote immediately for approvals.

Me: Ok.

Client: The quote is too high we'll have to request it from XYZ.

Me: Ok.

****

What a relief!


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