Most clients understand that changes [revisions] take time. But not everyone understands how video works. This is especially true if you're working with someone new in the company or a client that hasn't done a lot of video work in the past. It's not to say someone requesting changes is wrong, just that there are MANY more moving pieces to video than say changing a font on an ad. It's important to help educate so that projects can go smoothly from all sides. So... here's what goes into it.
This is the most important part of any project in my opinion. Prior to the project start you need to make sure everyone is on the same page as to what is due and when it's due. Things that people don't think would take time, could take a long time. If you need us to get voiceover demos in, that's about a week. We need to submit for demos, the talent needs time to record demos, and we need to get those in and review them. And you want to make sure you have time to get multiple people's demos. Music seems easy "hey, go find a track that sounds kind of like this popular track but it needs to build here and not there". That can take a half day on its own. You have to find the music, download a comp, see how it will edit together, put together options, send them over, etc. Make sure everyone knows the timeline before the project starts.
We Work For You, But Not Only For You
This one takes some quality client management and a soft touch. When we quote a project, that's what it will cost to get it done. But that doesn't mean we're on call 24-7 for the whole duration of the project. A quick 60 second video using stock footage might cost $3,000 (depending on many factors) and have a 3 week timeline with reviews and everything. That doesn't mean for those $3,000 you're getting someone's time all day every day for that three weeks. You're getting the portion of their time it takes to do the project based on the agreed upon terms. If you need 24-7 coverage, that's certainly something we offer, but it's going to cost significantly more.
This is where a lot of the confusion comes in. Ask a graphic designer to change what a title says and it might take 5 minutes to make the change and save a JPEG. Ask a video editor to make the exact same change and it might take an hour or two. It all depends on what else is in the video. A 5 minute video with lots of different formats, filters and linked After Effects comps might take 45 minutes to render. So if you need that change made and we're sitting at our computer and can drop everything you're looking at 5 minutes to make the change, we need to watch the whole video at least once to make sure nothing else got moved inadvertently (another 5 minutes minimum), 45 minutes to render, 10 minutes to upload, then we send out the link. That's over an hour (minimum) to make the same change that takes 5 minutes for a JPEG. Then add in if we're working with a company's internal creative team and they need to make the change (maybe the fonts have been outlined). You then have to factor in that person's availability and us getting a file and then starting our end.
So What Should We Do?
We're here to help and will do rush turn arounds as quickly as we can. But in all our estimates and contracts we request 24 hour turn around for revisions. That lets us manage work load, make sure the changes are done the best way possible. If you know you'll need it sooner, give us some lead time so we can plan around that. The last day of a project we anticipate last minute changes and plan, but mid way through that's impossible to do. Know that without that planning there can be rush costs incurred.
What Should We Do Part 2?
The most important part to keeping the project flowing smoothly is sticking to that timeline we talked about up top. We know things come up (holidays, vacations, emergencies) but nothing is more demoralizing than getting a last minute change so one last person can sign off on it. Dropping everything to handle it and then the person who needed the changes "hasn't had a chance to review it" and we end up waiting days to get that feedback. That will mean the rest of the timeline is off kilter as well and we'll have more rush days ahead.
So to recap... create a timeline everyone agrees to, stick to that timeline as much as you can, understand that while we love having you as a client and value you we have other clients we do work for as well, and be sure that when we do go above and beyond to get your changes done that the person who needs them can get to it in a timely manner.