So what I'm about to say will be controversial to other videographers because technically it takes money out of their pocket.

I've seen other video production companies charge $5000(!) for Raw footage but I'm here to argue why you should get it for free.

Let's start off with the some of the arguments I've heard from video teams as to why they should charge for, or not even offer, RAW footage. Then I'll disprove every one of them.

1) Video Quality - Some video production people say that if they give you the raw footage and you have someone edit a video, if the video looks bad that it will make them look bad. They want to have control over how their footage is used.

2) Editing Knowledge - They won't know how to edit the footage. Video footage from professionals can sometimes isn't like pulling footage from a gopro. You have edit the colors and exposure for it to look good enough for a final product.

3) Returning Clients - This is the one I think it really comes down to. Companies will argue (in inner circles) that if they give the client the raw footage then they will just go to cheap editors to create more videos. If the video companies are the only ones with the footage then the conferences have to come directly to them for more edits. Then, if the conference ever switches video teams then they just don't have access to video footage to work with. It basically gives them job security by holding footage hostage.

Now, Here is why all of those reasons are wrong!

1) Video Quality - Sure, if you take the footage to an editor who doesn't know what they are doing then the videos you put out could look bad. Most people won't know I shot the footage though... Ultimately though, my goal is to be so great to work with that you would want to come back to me to edit any more videos anyways.

2) Editing Knowledge - Yup, I shoot in a weird "Video Profile". If you used the raw footage without editing the colors it would look desaturated with no contrast. I tell clients that when I give then raw footage that if they want to edit the footage on their own to play around with the contrast and saturation to make it look good. Most won't even edit their own footage though, they all just come to be to edit more videos.

3) Returning Clients - sure, holding your footage hostage could give you a good reason to come back to me time-after-time... but I don't see that as a healthy client relationship.

What it all comes down to is doing whatever I can to make my clients happy.

When I was younger I cut grass with my dad. He owns a yard maintenance business In South Carolina. I started working with him when I was just 10 years old so I learned a lot about business from him.

1 big thing I learned was how to treat customers.

He does things for his clients like: spraying their driveways with weed killer so their driveways always look clean, trims hedges, and fixing sprinkler heads at no extra cost. Most other companies charge extra for each of those services but he would always say "They are a good client and if it makes them happy then it's worth it."

I apply that same mentality to my business.

He also used to say "Make it look good!" every time we go out of the truck at a new yard. What he meant by that was, sometimes some yards are harder to cut than others. Some have a ton of road grass, others have kid's toys everywhere, others have trampolines we have to move. So by saying "Make it look good!" what he meant was, "Do what you have to do to make this look as good as possible. Even if that means picking up trash for 15 minutes before you even start cutting."

I give you the footage free of charge because I believe it is me doing what needs to be done in order to make the client relationship even better. I even go out of my way to buy an external hard drive to bring to your conference so right before I leave, I give you an external with everything copied over, even my main project file.

If you ever want to switch video companies then it's as easy as not hiring me the next year, though I hope you won't want to ever change companies after working with me. 😊 

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Matt Peet

Hi, I am the owner of Re-Peet Productions. My wife and I travel around the country shooting videos for conferences! My love for video goes back to 2009 and have been videoing events ever since!