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Old July 16th, 2008, 01:42 PM   #1
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Advice re costing please.

We had an enquiry today from someone we know who has been tasked to arrange a Health & Safety training video for their company. Because they know the quality of work we generally turn out in our wedding business both photo & video then they are giving us first refusal. Now whilst I don't have a great deal of experience filming commercial films I have done a lot of commercial photography, and we have filmed loads of weddings and done a few music videos. Our filming, editing skills etc and equipment are more than up to do the job. My question is, what do I charge? I know there are factors such as travelling, props, voiceovers, etc on top, but can anyone give any advice on a starting area price. I anticipate shooting over 2 days, within a 50 mile radius. Possibly three different locations. Because of the subject matter I anticipate using their staff to "act" several scenes, and will possibly only have to hire a voiceover. I don't want to quote to high, but likewise I don't want to go in too low.
I appreciate there are lots of contributing factors to give a firm quotation, but any advice is gratefully received.
Regards, Carl
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Old July 16th, 2008, 03:20 PM   #2
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It's just to do with time and people. So do you have a basic day rate? Depending on the job, I charge between 150 and 300 a day for me and a basic kit list - so that's single camera, a set of sticks, and basic sound. On top of this they pay mileage at42p/mile (which won't shock them because they know the HMRC mileage rates anyway). They pay for my food and accomodation, plus all consumables (tape stock, batteries etc). If they want a second camera or sound recordist, I itemise them as an option, although on many jobs, they are quoted as essentials. I them give them an example as a costing - NOT a quote. Editing time is charged by the day or half day, with the client invited to attend (many don't).

I add a note indicating that all clearances are the clients repsonsibilty, and duck that one - a nightmare sometimes.

They end up with a typical price structure, and are aware how much extras will cost. Once on location I tend to mention costs as a kind of negative. "It would be really good if we could bring in an extra camera tomorrow so we can save time repeating shots, but if budgets tight, don't worry - we'll just repeat stuff and it shouldn't overun too much" rather than saying "we NEED another camera tomorow"

I charge extra for any kit over and above the basic - so if they want jibs, or advanced sound kit, or lighting it goes on top.

For your particular job, I suspect I'd be looking at a day rate of 225 -275 for the shoot, plus the edit. For that, I don't expect to have to spend anything - so charge back tapes, DVDs food and drink.

I;m not sure that really helps you, to be honest, as I don't know what you actually need to earn?
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Old July 16th, 2008, 03:53 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info Paul. There is some interesting and useful info there and I appreciate your time in the lengthy answer.


....PLEASE don't take this the wrong way, but I was shocked to hear £225 - £275, is that all?
Is that the going rate? Our wedding cost is £1500.00 for video and our photo packages start just a tad lower. Admittedly that includes a full days filming and the editing. The going rate for doing a band promo starts at £500, and that's what a few of the other companies are charging around here also. I honestly don't want to sound conceited but I wouldn't take a job for half a day for £275. After i've taken VAT, commercial tax, insurance and overheads etc i'd be working for less than the minimum wage.

Is this the average charge from other people? If so I might have a job to pass onto somebody.

EDIT.... I have just been searching several companies and it looks like the going price for Health & Safety DVD production is anywhere between £2000.00 and £5000.00.
This is taken from the site;

Fixed cost 5 to 7 minute video production of your choice for only £4995.00+vat.

Listed below are details of what's included in this typical 5-7 minute programme.

The program could be promotional - exhibition - training - health & safety - internal communication etc. Whatever subject you require.

Complete production from script to screen.

Script writing, site reconnaissance & shot list creation.

1 Day (8 hour) filming on location with broadcast experienced crew.

2 Days editing in one of our broadcast quality digital editing suites

Voice over read by TV Narrator.

Graphics & Titles.

Broadcast quality music.

Fully Authored DVD.

This is a similar package to what we would be offering, certainly more in line with what my thoughts on pricing would be.

Last edited by Carl Walters; July 16th, 2008 at 04:47 PM. Reason: Update checked a few companies online
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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:10 AM   #4
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The base dayrate for a "self directing" cameraman is €450 (~£350) for a 10 hour day. For independants this usually includes a basic camera kit, but for more elaborate setups or broadcast packages the cost is specified seperately. A full HD ENG broadcast package runs ~€1250 a day (for an ~£80k package like Sony HDW 750, 2 lenses, legs, HD monitor, mattebox and basic filterset, 3 point lights, SD442 and wireless + boom soundpackage).

Enough of pricing per sé, I'm sure you know what to charge for editing and everything is ex. V.A.T. unless you are dealing with consumers.

The kicker is this:
Script writing, site reconnaissance & shot list creation.
1 Day (8 hour) filming on location with broadcast experienced crew.
These are the costs that pile on quickly. How much time will you spend on client meetings ("project management"), recce, script & revisions, rehearsals or even casting? This highly depends on the project, but I'd say meetings will take at least the best part of a day. And script writing is (should be) a creative process meant to capture and engage the audience which can have a different cost structure all together.

How big will your crew be? A typical small crew size would be 3-5 (cam, sound, PA, grip, AC).

This is what is different from event coverage and relatively simple music video's. With those you basically cover the action. Here you need to create the action.

Don't forget a professional VO also costs money and expects a (good) script.

Paul was probably correct as to the cost for being hired as a cameraman to "shoot stuff" (and edit). You need to come up with the numbers for everything else.

To give you a final send off; we do 5-7 minute corporate information video's at a base cost of €7000, but we do these in a standard format in series from 3-12 on a contract basis and shoot multiple 'episodes' a day in a simple studio environment. Because of this very efficient process the 'per episode' cost can be much less (but depend on project specifics).


Last edited by George Kroonder; July 17th, 2008 at 10:18 AM.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 09:27 AM   #5
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Thanks George, some more useful info there.
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