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  1. Member
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    I'm editing a music video for a band (about 100 hours so far at $0/hr) and feel like I need some tips from the professional community in regards to the actual collaboration part. I think it's safe to say the video won't be sweeping the oscars, but I'm looking for lessons from this experience. Sorry if this gets too whiney, but the following issues are quite frustrating to me and I was wondering if you guys/girls can relate:

    1- my friend is in the band, makes saying "no" a little awkward

    2 -they shot the footage themselves, but its very amateur (even to me). Lots of shaky cam, poor blocking, mostly one take, etc etc etc

    3- all the footage is green screen, making all backgrounds and animations to be done post production and...

    4- they expected it to be done really fast despite all the stabilization, effects and animations that had to be done in post production

    5- despite poor quality of their footage, the lead members consider themselves experts because they took a video class

    6- band insists on putting end credits at the end of the video. Not necessarily a no-no, but it seems like they really just want their names on the screen ("Directed by Dave, Produced by Dave, Written and conceived by Dave, etc)

    7- feedback is ambiguous ("more stuff please") and delayed: first rough cut meets their approval. Two weeks later, they want the exact same thing completely changed.

    So any thoughts? Anything helps, even critiques of me!

    Thanks in advance...
    Brad
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  2. "the lead members consider themselves experts because they took a video class"

    Ha Ha! They took the class and they want you to do the editing for free? They know it's difficult to edit and render that stuff (especially green screen) so that's why they asked you. Ha Ha.

    But Brad, did they even buy you a video editing program?

    That's about the best non-technical answer I can give at this time.
    Last edited by TreeTops; 16th Dec 2015 at 20:01.
    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence -Carl Sagan
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  3. What do you bring to the table? -- that's what determines your bargaining strength.

    What will it cost you to walk away from it?

    #7 is par for the course. Don't take it personally. But you must find a way to limit their absolute control. If they're paying you they'll run out of money. If they're not you must negotiate a time limit. Three rounds isn't unreasonable unless there's an unlimited budget.

    #2,3,4,5. Who's to say you can't use a shaky style? They shot it that way and they're the experts -- right?
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    Originally Posted by TreeTops View Post
    "the lead members consider themselves experts because they took a video class"

    Ha Ha! They took the class and they want you to do the editing for free? They know it's difficult to edit and render that stuff (especially green screen) so that's why they asked you. Ha Ha.

    But Brad, did they even buy you a video editing program?

    That's about the best non-technical answer I can give at this time.
    Thanks for your reply. No I bought FCPX and Motion a few years ago and I've been doing my own stuff since. My friend is the singer and he's trying to make a couple videos. One he shot the whole thing and just wants it pieced together, the other (this one) was shot by two different people with hardly any coordinated plan or specifics ideas in place. They're putting it on their website and youtube, but to be brutally honest, I think they're more interested in pretending to be rockstars. They gave me carte blanche which sounded good, but there was a LOT of stuff to make. It's all green screen and its set in space, so... a lot of stuff. It's really helped me learn a lot about editing and that's great, but oy vey. I think the main thing I learned for the next project is to map out as many things as possible ahead of time, instead of on the fly.

    Hopefully I'll just look back and laugh
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    " I think the main thing I learned for the next project is to map out as many things as possible ahead of time, instead of on the fly. "

    And that will serve you well with future clients. A sit down meeting with the client will eliminate a LOT of headaches for you and the client. I would even go as far as asking for any changes/edits/ additions after the initial meeting to be in writing (e.g. email).

    Being that one of the individuals is a friend does complicate things as you do not want to jeopardize the friendship. It may be a good idea to have just one of the band members speak for the group. Eliminate some of the cooks.


    Brainiac
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    Originally Posted by smrpix View Post
    What do you bring to the table? -- that's what determines your bargaining strength.

    What will it cost you to walk away from it?

    #7 is par for the course. Don't take it personally. But you must find a way to limit their absolute control. If they're paying you they'll run out of money. If they're not you must negotiate a time limit. Three rounds isn't unreasonable unless there's an unlimited budget.

    #2,3,4,5. Who's to say you can't use a shaky style? They shot it that way and they're the experts -- right?
    Thanks for your reply, smrpix.

    well as far as what I bring to the table, I think it's mainly that I own the editing software and I'm willing to help lol. I'm not really worried about the money, this is more for the experience. I've done my own stuff, but I thought it would be a good learning experience to start working with other people more often. I love editing, but the collaboration part is more challenging than I thought. I can't tell if I'm just being a baby or if I have some legitimate beefs.

    As for the shaky style, I would absolutely agree. I strive to make any footage work. However, it doesn't really fit the video or song. It's set in space and it's more of a tranquil song. It could work, but it makes it harder to fit it all together. One person's footage is all on a tripod. The other is walking around the green screen setup with the camera, exposing unwanted background elements (a sleeping dog, the kitchen sink etc) and cropping off limbs of the subject.

    Thanks for the advice on #7. That gives me some food for thought. I'm assuming a round is one set of submittal and feedback?

    In some sense I just want to help them, but it seems like they have some strange ideas. FWIW, the class they took was more along a media studies thing than an actual production class. Not sure about that class though because it taught my friend that all videos have to have cuts every 3 seconds or something. Useful in some circumstances, but not necessarily all circumstances.

    Anyway, thanks for the feedback. Anything else you have would really be helpful...
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    Originally Posted by Brainiac View Post
    " I think the main thing I learned for the next project is to map out as many things as possible ahead of time, instead of on the fly. "

    And that will serve you well with future clients. A sit down meeting with the client will eliminate a LOT of headaches for you and the client. I would even go as far as asking for any changes/edits/ additions after the initial meeting to be in writing (e.g. email).

    Being that one of the individuals is a friend does complicate things as you do not want to jeopardize the friendship. It may be a good idea to have just one of the band members speak for the group. Eliminate some of the cooks.


    Brainiac
    Thanks Brainiac I just wish I could go back in time and agree on more concrete ideas from the start This was probably the textbook wrong way to do it. I want to be as flexible as possible but it's frustrating when for months most of the feedback is very positive, and then they want some pretty significant changes. After all the handwork to create animations, my friend now wants an entire layer of TV snow that partly obscures all that. Maybe I'm just being a baby, that's why I was seeking some sage wisdom. Thanks again...
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  8. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
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    This is more rule than exception when doing creative work for another party, especially if that party will use it to market themselves in some way, and this applies to all sorts of stuff, like graphic design, website design, etc, because a person like you sees the work that needs to be done, but all they see is their egos, and how they will look, or how their company's image will be online (like for a website), or how cool their band will look, etc. I even got this behavior from people that asked me to capture their VHS tapes - even if it's a linear task, they still get picky with the DvD menus, etc. (Good luck trying to explain to them that the capture and processing of their terrible quality VHS tapes was fortunate enough for them...)

    I even know one person who writes resumes for people, and even her clients, even those that have minimal education and zero quality experience or skills - even the biggest losers - want to look like superstars and expect to be able to get six figure income positions after she's done. (She hates her job by the way.)

    Your internal ideas may be practical and logical, but all they see is their egos and nothing more. It's really that simple. And unfortunately, when you do work, especially more so if it's creative in nature, or doing something to broadcast another party in some way, you simply have to pretend you're them and make yourself look amazing. I know it sucks, but in this business that would be a good starting point.

    At least my advice is guaranteed to at least double your current rate of $0/hour.

    And speaking of, you do need to set your terms in advance. Set a price, and the best way IMO is in three payments: before, during, and after. This eases the process tremendously. If you charge a first payment for early work, like stills, etc, the negotiation becomes easier to the final product. When money's involved, egos take less of a front stage.
    I hate VHS. I always did.
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  9. Well, as i experiencing similar situation to yours i can say that currently instead "no" i would prefer to say that "i don't know how to do it" - and as a person without training (no video class) you are safe to say such things - try to use "collision avoidance" strategy instead "collision detection".
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    Originally Posted by PuzZLeR View Post
    Your internal ideas may be practical and logical, but all they see is their egos and nothing more.

    When money's involved, egos take less of a front stage.
    thanks, puzzler, these are great points that I'll remember. It's important for me to remember what the job is about. In this case, as you pointed out, it's about making them look cool. I think agreeing to more details up front would've saved me several headaches. I really should have put some kind of hours or day limit on the work and go from there. And your point about money vs. ego is huge.

    But hey happy ending: i finished the video and they sent me a tray of cheese and salami. Yeah! Hollywood here I come!

    ...now that I think about it though, maybe the cheese and meatsticks were a subtle hint about their opinion of my work

    thanks again, really great feedback on this forum.
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    Originally Posted by pandy View Post
    Well, as i experiencing similar situation to yours i can say that currently instead "no" i would prefer to say that "i don't know how to do it" - and as a person without training (no video class) you are safe to say such things - try to use "collision avoidance" strategy instead "collision detection".

    thanks, that's that diplomacy thing I need to work on
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  12. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bradagua View Post
    Originally Posted by PuzZLeR View Post
    Your internal ideas may be practical and logical, but all they see is their egos and nothing more.

    When money's involved, egos take less of a front stage.
    thanks, puzzler, these are great points that I'll remember. It's important for me to remember what the job is about. In this case, as you pointed out, it's about making them look cool. I think agreeing to more details up front would've saved me several headaches. I really should have put some kind of hours or day limit on the work and go from there. And your point about money vs. ego is huge.

    But hey happy ending: i finished the video and they sent me a tray of cheese and salami. Yeah! Hollywood here I come!

    ...now that I think about it though, maybe the cheese and meatsticks were a subtle hint about their opinion of my work

    thanks again, really great feedback on this forum.
    Yes, ego, ego, ego, is what it's all about, and what should be into the final objective. They want to look larger than life from your work.

    What I meant by when money's involved, and that egos take less of a front stage here, is that it still means ego overrules. Just that the only way to slow them down to reality, is when you talk about money. This is the only time such parties actually listen to anything amidst their raging lust to be cool from the result of your work. They will not listen to techinicalities, or your time, or what's possible.

    They will only slow down to listen when it comes to money out of their pocket. Use this opportunity to negotiate.

    (Just some advice for next time. )

    Hey, at least they gave you something that, at face value, isn't insulting. I would just take merit in that and move on.
    I hate VHS. I always did.
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