What steps do you use for business on a video project

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    • #93244

      The business side of things gets confusing to me.

      I’m just wondering what steps different people take with a client for a typical video production project. (e.g: like a promo video)
      I’m trying to nail down a good system for myself.

      1. Take phone call from a client, set up a meeting.
      2. In Meeting find out what sort of video the client wants. Explain you will have quote/budget prepared for the following day.
      3. Deliver quote.
      4. Deliver contract and statement of work and get them signed. (also following day/later?)
      5. Do the work: (preproduction, production and post-production.)
      6. Invoice and get paid.

      Is this a good system? What sort of steps do you take?

      Thanks, guys!

    • #215492

      Ensure your terms of trade are clearly set out and attached to your contract. My contracts requires a payment of 50% up front, on first day of shoot, with the remaining 50% payable at handover of client approved completed work. I never use the word “quote” as that legally binds you to a fixed price, I use the word “estimate” and that leaves room for a client to add extras etc., which would incur an addition cost.

    • #215510

      Yes, that’s a pretty good outline.
      My Master Services Agreement requires 50% at time of signing; 25% due at start of shooting; and 25% due upon completion of project.

    • #215533

      Item 2 – the meeting. In virtually every case, the client, at the meeting says “So – how much will this cost?” I always give them a guide price, there and then based on the conversation, with the promise of an accurate cost by tomorrow (or whenever). Load of clients have no idea if we are talking £500 or £5000, so to avoid wasted effort – if you say, well, based on what you’ve told me that’s probably 3 days shooting for 2 people – we’ve obviously got hotels and the travel to factor in – then maybe 4 days editing – assuming you don’t get too carried away, so ballpark figure in the region of £X. They may fall over, but best you get it out of the way now. If they were thinking more than that, you’re in, with the possibility of extras. If their budget is just impractical – neither have wasted too much time. If they say it’s too expensive, what can you do to make it cheaper, I respond the same way every time, with a smile. No problem, we could probably get acceptable sound if we did without a sound man. Maybe we could shoot in quieter places where sound wouldn’t be troublesome. We could also cut out all the time consuming animation, or voice over work which would save a day or two. Perhaps we could get one of your team to do the talking head section, instead of a proper actor, they might be able to pull it off – are any of them any good reading an autocue?

      Offer loads of suggestions, all which clearly compromise the quality in some way, but be happy with this. Be keen to save them money, think deeply and explain that doing without those extra cameras at the top of the crane getting that amazing view, wouldn’t be a great loss (when you know they really liked that bit).

      My parting comment is usually on the lines of “which part of our service don’t you want” when they push really hard on cost reductions. Always be willing to save them money, but make sure they know what the consequences are.

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