Video editing – deadlines vs deadbeats

How long does it take to produce an event video?   I was asked last month to quote for filming at an event in June this year. That's a days shooting and production of a highlights video to use for promotional purposes. We do a lot of that kind of thing, so no problem there. I duly sent an outline quote to the customer. He then asked how quickly I could turn the video round. I said, all things being equal, a few days, probably quicker. We get asked to do fast turnaround jobs, so this was not an issue. His reason for asking? The production company who had filmed last June had still not delivered the video... in December. I'm aware of such a thing as extenuating circumstances, but really? Six months?! Last November we did some filming at an event in the Emirates stadium. The brief was that a highlights package had to be ready by the end of the same day. This is something we're completely geared up for. With the addition of a laptop and suitable connectors, everything can be on site. It's a simple matter of uploading the footage from the camera and editing away. At the stadium event we were even able to take footage from the onsite auditorium camera and provide that to the client too - a record of the presentation that had happened not an hour before. This is not just the raw footage either. This was trimmed to the exact length, corrected for colour and sound, and provided on a memory stick in a universal MP4 format. In early December every year for the last 4 years we've been filming at an event which requires an even faster turnaround for PR purposes. Filming is from 10.30am to 12.00pm on 2 cameras, and a 30 second edit package needs to go online ASAP. This year we had high hopes for a very quick turnaround; we had faster memory cards and a new laptop. At 12.00 the cameras are broken down and bagged up. Everything is taken to the site office. The laptop is set up. All the footage is ingested to the Mac. A roughly 30 second piece of music from the morning is needed as a soundtrack; luckily the first 30 seconds of a Christmas carol worked well. This is cut to about a dozen shots showing the highlights. Sound and colour corrections are made. The draft is shown to the client who is waiting in the room. They approve. I make a few changes for professional satisfaction. I export the file. File goes on USB stick. USB stick goes to the client. They upload to YouTube for onward dissemination. I stop the clock. 12.41. A new record. And, apparently, almost exactly 6 months faster than some other video suppliers can manage.