Many clients are initially hesitant to commit to a date for corporate video production, or think that the date set is tentative and could be moved if something comes up at the last minute.Unfortunately, video production is a highly coordinated endeavor, even smaller corporate shoots. Changing dates at the end directly affects the livelihood of videographers and other production staff, which is why most production companies have no choice but to implement a cancelation or postponement fee. Especially for in-demand videographers, if they have blocked out a date for a client, they have turned down other well paid jobs anticipating being booked on a certain day. If the shoot is delayed at the last minute, the reality is potentially two days booked for one day’s pay.
The best advice for a client who is unsure about the date of a shoot is to delay booking it at all. If the production company is pushing you for a date, they aren’t trying to be pushy, but just trying to figure out a day that makes sense so that the video production can proceed. If you’re on the fence about the date, or need more time to commit, just tell the production company that because of other factors you want to hold off on production until you can safely commit to a date that works and that you know will hold. Never feel awkward or anxious about communicating the reality of your business and schedule and insisting on waiting until a date with which you feel fully comfortable.
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In the event of a true emergency, like a key employee being sick with the flu, or a weather emergency, or any other understandable unforeseen circumstances, a good production company will try to find a way to minimize or eliminate the costs. For us, we always negotiate with our videographers and ask them if they’re willing to change the date. If they have no problem with it, we don’t charge the client any postponement fee. We are just at the mercy of the videographer in many cases because we have spent years building our relationships with top talent, so we want to make them happy and let them know we’re looking out for their interests, too. As with most professionals with whom we work, though, our contractors understand that ultimately making the client happy is our top priority.
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Delaying a production date or rescheduling more than 10 days out is usually no problem at all, but when it’s just a few days before production it starts to adversely affect the videographer’s scheduling and cause undue project management time for the production company. Ultimately, production company and videographer will do anything they can to make a new date work, but don’t be surprised if there is a small postponement fee. Also keep in mind that many videographers work hard just to book 2-3 jobs per week, so they are having to make a living based on just several production days each week, with the rest of the time spent managing gear, preparing for shoots, learning new technology, and finding the next job.