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Commission for a Wedding Video

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Nick Kinder
Commission for a Wedding Video
on Aug 11, 2015 at 12:11:07 am

Hi. A couple of days ago, I received an email from a woman who is getting married next year and has asked for me to make a 10ish minute video to be shown during her wedding.

I'm a semi-popular editor on YouTube as I make montages of certain groups of films. Here are a couple examples of my work:
The Movies of 2012 -
The Wonders of Disney Animation -

She wants a video similar to the latter as her and her fiance are in the animation industry and their wedding theme will be animation. I am to included Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks, and Studio Ghibli films.

I've never done a video for commission so I have no idea where to begin when it comes to setting a price. I've done some research, but it's hard for me to decide. A 10 minute video, as you all know, is a very challenging task, especially since I will need to collect my sources and organize/watch every movie. It will take a few months.

I hope I can get some feedback from you all and try to figure this thing out because I am very excited to take this challenge head on. I just need to know a reasonable price to set.

Thank you!

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Mads Nybo Jørgensen
Re: Commission for a Wedding Video
on Aug 11, 2015 at 2:09:53 pm
Last Edited By Mads Nybo Jørgensen on Aug 11, 2015 at 8:30:56 pm

Hey Nick,

You are clearly very talented and have got a great following - well done.

Three things to consider:

1) How much of a return do you get on your current work? Including any revenue from other work and Google running display adverts over your videos?
As in that if you don't do that work, how much money will you loose? So your client should be willing to replace that income in return for you doing the job for them.

2) An alternative way around it is to define an hourly price for yourself including all expenses to source footage, software and hardware + electricity and phones etc. Estimate how many hours you need in order to do the job to your high standards, multiply the two, and you will have your price. Just keep in mind that the client might not be happy with writing an open ended cheque for the job, and you should not do a buyout unless you can cap the amount of hours that you work on it.

3) This is the most important point often raised in the COW. There is a huge difference (not in law!) between making "fan based" videos on a not-for-profit base to that of ripping content from major brands for profit to be sold as part of your production. The law-hit-men of those brands will take everything you own away from you + put you in jail if you do not have proper authority to use those clips for profit. Even if your client(s) says "But we worked on those movies!", there is still no guarantee that they have the ownership. So you got to be careful and cover yourself, because if said client invited her boss along, and that person is not in a happy mood, then you will be first to go to the execution dock.

Did I say three things?

I lied!

[Nick Kinder] "a woman who is getting married next year and has asked for me to make a 10ish minute video to be shown during her wedding."

Run, and run as fast as you can. Even a sane woman who are always easy going, becomes an evil Godzilla when it comes to their one and only wedding - and then you have yet to meet the mother-in-laws - put those three in a room together, and you'll be toast. I mean no disrespect to women in general. But we are talking the biggest day of her life, which anyone who makes a minor mistake, will have ruined the whole experience for the rest of her life.

Unless you are given the right budget, creative freedom and no interference clause, you will need to think twice about this project.

Enjoy and Good Luck :-)

All the Best

@madsvid, London, UK
Check out my other hangouts:
Twitter: @madsvid

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Todd Terry
Re: Commission for a Wedding Video
on Aug 11, 2015 at 2:58:41 pm
Last Edited By Todd Terry on Aug 11, 2015 at 2:59:28 pm

I'm with Mads....

I think you do a pretty terrific job on these. They are very nicely cut and extremely watchable... which is almost unheard of. Great work.

But... I have no idea how you'd ever get away with doing this as a paying job for a paying client. Technically you can't be doing it just for fun as you are, but so many people do it (and you do such a nice job with it) that studios look the other way. They won't look the other way when it's a paying gig where you are making money off the intellectual property that they own.

It could work if you have one copy of the project that you personally maintain physical care/custody/control of for presentation at the event, and that's the last that's seen of it. But... you know that won't happen. As soon as you hand it to the bride it will be on YouTube, Facebook, and wherever else she chooses to blast it... and then the horse is out of the barn.


Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.

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Mark Suszko
Re: Commission for a Wedding Video
on Aug 11, 2015 at 8:32:47 pm
Last Edited By Mark Suszko on Aug 11, 2015 at 8:41:50 pm

Besides the very real legal minefield this project presents, it is likely to suffer "scope creep" without a very definitive pre-approved outline and limits to the client's ability to ask for changes. There is no scenario, none, where you will have success and happiness with something like this. Run away from this or better yet, refer the client to your absolute worst enemy or business rival.

Is there perhaps another way to do something for the happy couple that would use mostly original material? I'm thinking, a montage of stills where you re-create famous animation scenes in real-life locations, using photos of them... or where you morph them with photoshop/aftereffects to look like the characters in their favorite anime'. Sort of like "cosplay", taken to another level?

There's some music video out recently where the singer recreates a number of iconic album covers in one apparently continuous take.

I can imagine you posing the bride and groom and comping them into re-created Anime scenes, like the groom riding the Akira motorcycle, the bride, maybe doing Lin Minmei, projected in the middle of a space battle... Bridesmaids as Sailor Scouts, groomsmen as Dragon Ball guys, etc. the point being that the imagery is used in parody form. Still doesn't totally indemnify you legally, if you did something like this pro-bono, it would be safer for you.

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Nick Kinder
Re: Commission for a Wedding Video
on Aug 11, 2015 at 9:01:48 pm

Wow thank you all for the very fast and in-depth responses. I will definitely take the advice and decline her offer. As fun as a project like this would be, it is in no way right or legal to edit a video like this for money.

I'm glad I came through here first. I really appreciate everyone's time!

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Mike Smith
Re: Commission for a Wedding Video
on Aug 11, 2015 at 8:28:40 pm

Is this cutting other people's copyright footage, for money, for a third party?

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