We just delivered a fun video project: a 4k 3 camera video recording of a Broadway-level musical custom-produced for a corporate client and performed at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. Not only was this a welcome break from run-of-the-mill corporate talking heads, but the client was an absolute pleasure to work with.

In the video production business, first-time clients from out-of-town, such as this one, are always a bit tricky in terms of payment. The common practice is for the video production company to ask for a 50% down payment before the job. The balance is due upon final delivery, so the financial risk is split between the two sides if either party doesn’t uphold their obligation. In this case our client was from San Diego and he was hiring us, a video production company in San Francisco, for this 3 camera video project. Much to our surprise he suggested he pays 100% up front, before the cameras roll. Of course we accepted and this trusting gesture bought him a lot of good will from our side. We always put our best effort into any video production project, but since we were already paid, we didn’t even mention to the client that our estimate for parking expense was a little low. We simply absorbed the difference. We also put in five extra hours of editing and 456 GB of data archiving at no additional charge because it would have been awkward to ask for more money once we’ve been paid.

The moral of the story is that video production is a collaborative endeavor and a two-way street. If we work together, trust and like each other, it’s only natural for us to go way out of our way to repay the client in the form of additional services at no charge. In return he gave us a nice review and everyone went home happy. It’s the best way to run a video production company in San Francisco or anywhere else.

On the technical side, this 3 camera video project was shot over two performances, so we had six sources to work with. When editing, I was struck by the differences between the two performances. Of course it’s a live show so there will be variations, but the audience never knows it if they only see a single performance. Cutting together two performances allowed me to use the best parts of each and the 3 camera video approach gave me plenty of material to choose from which made cutting rather easy.

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