Excessive Changes. How would you charge?

Posted by J.Corbett 
Excessive Changes. How would you charge?
July 15, 2013 04:44PM
I have a client who i did a commercial for about 6weeks ago. Meaning the draft was completed then.
I al ways expect there is going to be changes and over 250-ish paid projects not once was there ever more than 6-7 tweaks.

My contracts are written based on a reasonable estimate of hours worked on other projects. This gives me the ability to in most cases give a solid flat rate for services.

So 6 weeks ago when the draft was finished i was asked to make changes no problem. But here is an idea of how many changes this particular client has done.

1. trim some clips - ok
2. make it lighter - ok
3. Change the text - ok
4. swap a shot - ok
5. remover freckles - hmmm - rotoscope (2hrs)
6. Make a little darker - hmmm - (see #2)
7. lighten a face - ok
8. change the font color to blue - ok
9. add tracked text w/ animation - ok ahh (1.5hrs)
10. remove/replace a shot - ok
11. swap a shot back - hmmm (see #3)
12. remove opening shot - ok ( was replaced by alt intro)
13. add cheezy sound effect - ok
14. swap the opening back to the previous - ok
15. change text color - ok
16. create a better lower 3rd - ok
18. add a bumper - hmmm
19. change lower 3rd color - hmmm
20. switch the lower 3rd back to original - hmmmm
21. add sparkle to diamonds - hmmm
22. swap a shot back - (see #10)
23. redesign bumper - hmmm
24. remove a WINDOW PANE so that it looks normal - 4hrs
25. change font color on items - 4x
26. add stroke

At each point i asked were there any other changes and then 3-6 days later a new change. Its been 6weeks of this. These are not even all of the changes.

I am at a point of telling the client that his bill will go up at least 1k.

What would you do?

""" What you do with what you have, is more important than what you could do, with what you don't have."

> > > Knowledge + Action = Wisdom - J. Corbett 1992
Re: Excessive Changes. How would you charge?
July 16, 2013 10:23PM
We have all been there. You have to put your foot down, I'd tell him x and y like Roto-scoping, where not part of the project at any point until now. So it's extra, but this is why a flat can not be ingest to delivery. My flat is either for a first cut or first cut and an agreed upon number of days/hours for notes.

I only have to get halfway to explaining why to most producers and they, yeah yeah yeah. Because they know they do it. They sandbag you and then push for more, they consider it part of the game.
Re: Excessive Changes. How would you charge?
July 17, 2013 05:02PM
I bill hourly. I give estimates for the projects based on that, but then when they come back with notes, and notes, and changes...each of those add up. And I let the client know an estimate of time it will take to finish those notes, and give an estimated cost. Knowing that they have to pay for all the time needed to address their notes will curb this behavior. At least it will make sure they examine exactly what they want done, and make sure they want the changes, as the changes cost them money.

Even if we are given a set budget by a network, if they come back with excessive notes, we ask for what is called OVERAGE. We budgetted for a set amount of time and changes, but if they keep asking for more, or large changes, they need to pay for it.


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Re: Excessive Changes. How would you charge?
July 17, 2013 08:36PM
I agree with has been said.

I also encourage the client to seat with me during the editing. That way they understand how long it take to change single letter with rendering. Once the final edit is approved I get paid and then I deliver. They want changes most likely they will pay.
That is not to say that if I have a regular client that is nice that I won't go the extra mile for them.

God Bless,

Douglas Villalba
Miami, Florida

Re: Excessive Changes. How would you charge?
July 25, 2013 09:18AM
I ended up charging an additional 600. for the changes, which stopped them from asking for more. They also took delivery once they knew i was adding to their balance.

I have always had a flat rate on commercials that come out to about 75. per hour on post and 40. per hour on filming. It was the way i got into the market as most other production houses charge hourly. It made it easier for businesses to digest the cost.I also put a statement on the invoice saying that this is a flat rate and the client will not be charged

After this incident i think i need to stipulate the number of expected changes and the scope of changes in my terms and conditions. This is a 1st but i am gonna make some adjustments for the future. I see that when dealing with larger companies you can leave no detail untouched in your pay arrangements.

It just bites me that my first estimate, which they thought was too high, is exactly what i should have charged. They even shorted me 250. when the check came in the mail, stating that they would use me in the the next couple of months. We did not have the best audio grip (not sure if its the right term) for the commercial so i am guessing that its fair if that was an issue for the client.


""" What you do with what you have, is more important than what you could do, with what you don't have."

> > > Knowledge + Action = Wisdom - J. Corbett 1992
Re: Excessive Changes. How would you charge?
July 26, 2013 09:52AM
these people are a nightmare.

i was in a situation where all allocated time had been used. but they continued to want changes, to the point of it being almost a completely different film all together - changes that basically constituted a complete re-edit.

all this was happening right by my side with an argumentative ego battle going on between the director and the producer, with me mediating, applying suggestions and trying to work in real-time. they just didn't get it. leaving that 'production company'was one of that best decisions i've ever made in my life.

anyway - hourly billing till job completion. OR fixed-fee on a job, then charge by the hour for changes further outside of round one.

the contract is to deliver the piece within a certain time-span, the deadline. within this deadline is allowance for a round of corrections - then you finish. additional changes requested after the end of job deadline date "will be billed by the hour"

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