News From The Woods.24

NEWS FROM THE WOODS

By Bob Ketchum

Originally Published October 15, 1998


"How Come It Takes So Long?"


I missed the Midwest Expo in Columbus, Ohio, this year because my business demanded that I stay home all month. We had lots of video business, starting with a promotional video for Castaways Resort. Owner Krue Krueger is a California transplant and he had a definite idea how he wanted his production to be shot and produced. Together, we sat in the control room and assembled the project to his complete satisfaction. Most videographers I know prefer to do the work by themselves with no clients present, but I do not agree with that method. I would much rather have the client sit right there with me, for several reasons. If I am taking the project into an unwanted direction, the client can see it right away. This saves valuable re-do time and also gives the client a feeling that THEY were also a part of the creative process. Also, the client gets a feel for how the production process works and they will be better prepared for the next video production. Finally, the client KNOWS how much time you are spending on their project because they are there with me much of the time. When the bill gets delivered, there is NO QUESTION about how many hours were spent on the project. Most people have no idea just HOW much work goes into producing a video. I've had people say to me "How can it have taken 32 hours of video time to make a one-hour video?" So then I have to show them my work sheets and explain every single hour of shooting time, travelling time, digitizing time (putting footage into the computer), CG time (creating the title pages), and editing time, not to mention dubbing time to make their copies. It all adds up very fast.

A similar analogy is when I am producing a recording session. "How come it takes 12 hours just to record four songs?" So then I have to say.... "Okay, look. Your song is 3 minutes long, right? So we set up and record the original rhythm track three times before we get one that everybody agrees is the best one. That's a minimum of 12 minutes (counting playback time of the "good" one). So now we have to overdub a couple of guitars (6 minutes), an organ part and a piano part (6 minutes), and listen back to them to check them and allow the musician to review their part (24 minutes). Now we need to add a brass line and listen back to it (12 minutes). Finally we add the vocal part, which takes maybe 3 tries before we settle down to the right vocal part (18 minutes). Now we need the background vocal parts. Three tracks of backgrounds and listening - even if they are ALL first takes is another 18 minutes. Mixing takes maybe three passes with "listens" to each pass (18 minutes)." Now this is NOT counting all the rewind times, set up times, discussion times, sound "tweaking" times, or any other breaks incurred and we STILL come up with a MINIMUM time of about an hours and a half per song. MINIMUM. It all adds up, people!

We also produced three new TV commercials for Peoples Bank this month. Titled "People you know", the spots highlighted several employees delivering prepared statements to the camera. Sometimes this can get a videographer into trouble, but we have worked with People's Bank for many years now and they were thoroughly prepared for the shoot. Plus, having had worked with us for many years, they are certainly more comfortable in front of the camera when I am behind it, cracking jokes and making them more relaxed. The commercials were fashioned after their recent newspaper ad slicks. By tying the TV spots into the printed media, I feel we have effectively doubled their effectiveness to the public.

And, finally....... My daughter Missy, who recently remarried, came to visit from their home in Orlando. She just HAD to see baby Robert. We have been sending them videos and pictures and she said she couldn't stand it anymore and had to see her little brother. HA! "Little" brother! He's a lapful now!


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