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©2018 by Rick Wong Smits - Video Editor

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Here is a list of the questions I get asked the most. Mostly questions about price and process. People want to get a feel for if they think it's worth it to have a video done. 
There is much more to say about film editing and the process itself. If your question is not listed, don't worry...

Just hit me up and I'll reply swiftly. 

How do we get started?

We need to communicate about your project. Usually clients e-mail me or call me. We exchange ideas and I try to understand as good as possible what is in your head as an end-result. If you have a script or storyboard, we exchange those to help set the path that we'll walk. Then we exchange the footage. This can be done online or by post, but sometimes it is best if we meet up live and talk things through. I look at the footage and interpret what your wishes are. When we feel that we want to pursue this, we'll talk about pricing. Some projects need a fixed price and others like a more open approach. Usually depending on who takes what part of the process. We sign a work order and get going with the project. I will prepare a version to review and we'll talk about what is good and what needs to be changed. We do this, basically until we decide that we're done. You'll get a download-link to your video. 

How much for a 1 minute video?

Unfortunately, that doesn't tell me much about the work that I need to do. A 1 minute video could be very costly or very cheap. Surely, correcting rounds of a 1 minute video will be shorter than the same on a 15 minute video, but before we can say something useful, all kinds of questions need to be answered. Until I have seen the footage that I need to work with and have spoken with you about your wishes and ideas, that is when we can talk about pricing. By that time, we can make an informed estimate of the amount of time will be spent on the project and who carries the responsibilities and creative package. 

My harddrive is a mess! Can I just hand it to you and can you sort all my photos and videos?

I realize that this is a major issue for many people. This would be an excellent service to provide. But I just prefer editing videos, so, for now, I'll stick to that. Once your selection is made, I'll be happy to make a video out of it for you!

What is the timeframe for a video to be done?

Usually, I can work fairly quickly on your video. There are a few things to mind: First: corporate projects require hard deadlines and planning, so usually they need to be my priority. Secondly; the size of your project.
Then again.. an upload for your Instagram video of you making coffee can be done in 1 hour of work. That can always go quickly. Or if you're making your spouse's 40th Bday video and that's next week, I'm flexible in working an extra few hours in the evenings or afternoons to get you your awesome present! 

How much do you charge?

That really depends on the project. I realize that people want to get some idea of what a video costs, but there really is no justice to be done by just calling out a number. Every project is different and more often than not, we decide on a fixed price where we divide the risk of extra work. I've done jobs for 800HKD and jobs for over 80.000HKD your video is likely going to be somewhere in that range. I do jobs for fixed prices and hourly rates, day rates, flexible rates, scale prices, etc. Don't let it hold you back from enquiring about your video. Videos can be made for any budget. Budget is important for everyone. We need to adjust expectations accordingly. 

This project is very straightforward, can it be cheap?

That is good news. We can get started quickly. A creative process is ever evolving. So, not seldom we get better ideas and wish different things or completely change directions throughout the course of a video. This can entail more work and more difficult work. All for the good of the video, of course. What starts as 'very simple', becomes 'upgraded simple' and then 'quite a bit tricky' and as we go through the stages of the project. 

Also, be aware that when you hire someone to do a job, you expect more from them than when you do it yourself. If you hire a house-painter, you want it to look more slick vs when you smack on a bit of paint yourself. He'll be quicker and more advanced, and he has the right tools to do so. He won't make mistakes that you would. That comes with a price too though. The same goes when hiring a video editing service.

Can I also book you to film for our video?

I believe that cameraman, script writer, director, editor are all separate jobs. I know a little about most things and I always give my input. Great that you contacted me in the pre-production process, I can outline what I need to make it great, but I don't film it. If you really want to be a good cameraman, you need to work on that a lot. If I'm somewhere on set, filming, I could also be training myself to get better at editing. I don't want to be that guy that films weddings, but who's really a photographer, and as a service also edits them. He could be doing another shoot while he is editing. Send me the footage. I'll make it good and do it quickly. Stick to what you love. Here's a good example by a production house in the USA that explains what comes with starting from scratch. I could try to wear 16 different hats, but I wouldn't succeed at all of them. So, I don't.  (https://is.gd/Epipheo)

I'm a student, can you give me a fair price, please?

Great to hear that you're incorporating modern day media into your education. I love that. Everyone gets a fair price with me. I'm not trying to become a millionaire over your back. I play the lotto for that! I do understand where you're coming from and that hiring a hand gets too costly quickly. As long as the price is fair both ways I am very willing to put in some extra work you. My skills, equipment, time and effort have a value that we shouldn't discard. That way, we keep it affordable for both of us. 

Do I need to pay upfront?

Depending on the size and requirements of the project, we might decide to split payment in parts, but I don't see the use in multiple payments that we both need to waste time on administratively if we can do with one payment at the end. In general, once you're satisfied with the product, you will receive a download link to your video after you transfer the payment.

How do you protect my privacy? / What happens with my footage after the project is finished?

Many of my projects are 'for specific eyes only' or private footage of people. I don't store or keep any of it. All of the footage and the end product will be deleted from my systems and backups around 7 days after payment comes through. I do keep up to 1 minute of relevant videos for my highlight reel, that I send to new clients to show my creative skills. But only for videos and parts of videos that allow that and I will never put that on the open internet. We do share online to collaborate together during the project, behind passwords, but these links expire and the footage will be deleted after our project ends. 

I have old dvd's and video cassettes can I just hand them to you?

No. Sorry. My work starts after that is done. Well.. dvd's.. if they're home made..yes, then probably I can get that sorted for you, but old cassettes.. for me it would be almost impossible to have all the correct cables, players etc required to get the footage off. And.. to be fair.. that's not video editing. That's storage organization. I have yet to meet the first video that I couldn't convert or transcode, so I'd be happy to look at the files once they're digitalized, but before that.. I cannot help there.