Thursday, March 4, 2010

Remember to Ask Those Questions!

Well, I have to say that I've done it again. In the heat of the moment with a busy day, a new client who was in a rush and on a budget, I agreed to "help" them out by providing an ultra quick turnaround of a short narration at a discounted rate no less! All was well, and I was aware of what I was doing. However, after providing a complete audio file - for which the client had paid via Paypal - and after having played the audio via phone for the client for confirmation......that evening I received an email telling me that the audio was too long to match the audio of their already completed video....and could I watch the video and sync my delivery to the original (client) delivery....

Ugh..well, yes, I can, but at the rate I quoted and was paid, it would have been nice to know up front that my audio had to match that timing. I should have known better, and I take responsibility for not asking that question. I knew there was a video and I knew they didn't like the audio that they had created, but due to the busy schedule that day, I didn't snap to press them on the issue of whether they could slide the audio and video to match or if it had to be absolutely timed. I mean I did discuss it to a degree, but I don't think the client even realized what they could or couldn't do. I've run into both situations in the past, and I guess, when it wasn't specified and requested by the client up front that I needed to match the exact timing of their original audio, I just didn't realize it was an issue. BUT, I should have asked and confirmed their situation before the initial recording.

So, being committed to making sure the client was well taken care of, early the next morning, I proceeded to make it work. When the client didn't seem to know whether they could even provide me with the timings of the audio, I plunged in to time them myself and match my read to theirs. To their credit, they did finally provide a script with timings, but by that time, I had already finished as I knew the client had a fast approaching deadline.

Bottom line, even if it's a very busy day and you're running in and out of the studio, it's best to try to remember to ask ALL the questions. Maybe a cheat sheet of questions to ask clients would be useful, especially on those frantic days. I asked all the OTHER questions, but forgot that very important one or at least didn't press it for a definite answer. Of course, on an already busy day, one could always just say no to the gig.....but I always try to find a way to make it work.

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