Starting a video project can be fun and exciting, but there are crucial questions you should ask your videographer that might not come to mind if you don't know much about the ever-growing video world. We've put together our six top questions that we feel every client should be aware before signing away a contract.
1. Can you make changes to the film once you’ve seen it for the first time?
Some videographers offer the chance to make a few edits to your video before the final product is exported and shared with the world. This is important to make note of when you’re reviewing the first draft, because the exporting process usually takes 30 minutes to an hour.
Modern Opus Productions invites clients to offer simple revisions for up to three exports before finishing a video. It’s important to watch the first draft of a video thoroughly in order to make all revisions in the least amount of exports, so the final video can be shared by the time agreed upon.
2. Can we have all of the raw footage?
Photographers and production companies vary on their policy regarding raw files. When considering asking for raw footage, be mindful that most production companies have an additional charge for raw files.
Digital photographers only offer edited JPEGs because RAW files take up a notable amount of space on a hard-drive. RAW images are mainly important in the editing process. Similarly, video files are significantly larger than RAW photo files. They are sporadic and not pieced together like your final video product will be - making the transfer of all raw video a lot more complicated and time consuming than most clients realize.
3. How do you choose the music for the film?
Almost all mainstream music is copyrighted, therefore it cannot be used for commercial purposes unless you buy the rights to the song directly from the artist, which can be costly. But don’t fret, there are a few different options when it comes to music for a video. You can either purchase the rights to certain music, use creative commons music (which is copyright free music), or you can directly request to use a song from the artist. Utilizing local musicians is a great way to get cost friendly music for your videos as well as give new artists exposure in the video world.
Modern Opus Productions helps clients in this process. Over the years we’ve built working relationships with local artists and musicians, which helps our company find music to match different genres for our video clients.
4. Who owns the copyright to the final video?
Rarely will you find an artist who grants a client full copyright permission for their work. Most photographers and production companies own the copyright to all of their images and video, but give clients permission to share and distribute their product for the designated purpose agreed upon in the contract. For example, when Modern Opus produces a video for a client, we own the video but the client has the right to share and use the final product for commercial purposes related to the project.
5. Do we pay all at once or do you offer a payment plan?
Every company and every project has a different payment method. Payment plans are sometimes offered on bigger projects that require multiple filming dates. Be sure to read your contract thoroughly so you understand what you are getting, how much it costs and when payments are due. Certain requests may cost extra or may not be included in the original price/package, so make sure you are entirely clear about everything that you want out of a video.
Here at Modern Opus Productions we are dedicated to setting up a payment plan that works best for both parties.
6. How long will it take to edit the video?
Editing time is all relative to the project and the timeline that a production company and a client agree upon. The post-production process for videos is a lot more extensive than photography and almost always requires more time than still images. If you as a client need a video finished by a specific date - talk to your videographer about setting a reasonable deadline. Everyone’s editing process is different, and it varies from project to project. The video editing rule of thumb is that at least one to three hours of editing goes into each minute of video.
We hope these questions help!