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Should I charge client to convert old FCP7 project to Premiere Pro?

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Mel Matsuoka
Should I charge client to convert old FCP7 project to Premiere Pro?
on Oct 4, 2016 at 10:24:07 pm

I have a client that I worked for many years ago, back when we did everything in FCP7. I had nearly forgotten about them until they called me recently because they wanted to revise a ton of those old FCP7 projects.

Because I didn't have a very well thought our project/media organization philosophy back then, I was planning on converting those FCP7 sequences to Premiere Pro (which I now use exclusively), and re-organize all of my FCP7 mess to adhere to my new, super-anal project-management religion.

Part of the reason for doing this is because I would like to be able to ultimately hand off these projects to someone else and have them be able to quickly make sense of the projects, because frankly I don't have the time anymore to work on this particular client's projects anymore, esp. because I established a flat, significantly discounted hourly rate for them a long time ago back when I was still a freelancer, and they threw me a lot of consistent work. There is no way they can afford to pay my current hourly rate.

The other reason, of course, is because with every new macOS update, I expect the wheels to fall off of FCP7 in the very near future, so it makes sense to convert them to Premiere sooner, rather than later.

So my question is: Seeing that it is technically possible for me to complete their requested revisions in FCP7 on Yosemite without having to convert everything, would it be unfair to charge the client for the time and effort involved in converting these projects to Premiere instead, even it benefits them (and me) in the future?


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Should I charge client to convert old FCP7 project to Premiere Pro?
on Oct 4, 2016 at 11:41:56 pm

I can't give you advice on whether or not you should do it, but here's a pretty good walk through of the process of doing it:

http://www.shirleythompson.net/2015/12/05/fcp-to-premiere/

It shows a long form project, so this would be about as complex as you might get.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Should I charge client to convert old FCP7 project to Premiere Pro?
on Oct 5, 2016 at 5:47:45 am

[Mel Matsuoka] "So my question is: Seeing that it is technically possible for me to complete their requested revisions in FCP7 on Yosemite without having to convert everything, would it be unfair to charge the client for the time and effort involved in converting these projects to Premiere instead, even it benefits them (and me) in the future?"

If you can do the changes in FCP 7 that's all you should bill the client for, IMO. Billing them for transferring the projects from FCP 7 to PPro is billing them for unneeded work that they didn't request. It does sound like a great time to try and sell them on the pros of transferring the projects from FCP 7 to PPro though.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Should I charge client to convert old FCP7 project to Premiere Pro?
on Oct 6, 2016 at 7:39:57 pm

Billing hourly is what we do. The rest is just details. Your only question is: can you justify the extra time taken by what you consider an essential part of your process, or not?

You also say you're too busy for this and that the old rate was artificially low. This is definitely a time to put on the big-boy pants, declare your current rate, and either see them go elsewhere, saving you the hassle and low returns, or pay up the proper rate, making the extra work worth it.

Don't you DARE let them talk your new rate down. That way line not just madness, but bankruptcy.

Last 2 cents; if these guys were good to you, forget your "new way" and just crank out their changes on the old system, but at your new hourly rate. That's the fairest deal, IMO.


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