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Old January 31st, 2011, 11:20 PM   #1
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Pricing a very short video, for website use, featuring a product being used?

I have been a professional photographer for many years, but only recently have I ventured into the world of motion image creation.

I have a commercial client for whom I have created a number of still images in the past. They make a small hand-held product. For still product images, typically I would charge a rate for image creation, $600 half-day, $1125 full-day, and a charge per-image fee depending on the number of images selected and usage.

This client has asked me to create a short video, perhaps 1 minute in duration, simply showing the product in the hands of a consumer user and some "fly over" images of the product itself. Pretty simple. The video would appear on their website along with a variety of still images.

How would you price creating such a video for the client?

Shooting and editing fees (based on hourly rates), plus a usage fee?

I think my time involved would be about 1/2 day shooting and probably a day, to a day and a half editing.

Should there be a usage fee/licensing fee for the finished product as well?

What's a reasonable hourly rate for video editing?

Your thoughts would be much appreciated. Thank you.
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Old February 1st, 2011, 07:57 AM   #2
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I'm assuming you're like me; a one-man the shooting, editing, etc. right to final production of finished product? I'm also primarily a stills guy; venturing into the video/multi-media side was due to regional demand for that service.

I try whenever possible to go for an all-inclusive daily rate for the shooting/research part...It is easier for me logistically, since a lot of my stuff involves travelling several hundred kms to complete the shoot, then back home for edit. ( I live in a small city, but am in the middle of the Canadian prairies, so a lot of the work is in small towns in the surrounding area).

The"sellable rate" in this area is $800-$1000/day all in. that covers travel and maximum of 6 hours actual shooting/research. I bill $150/hr. over the 6 hour maximum.

For editing/production I bill straight hours at $75/hour.

When asked for a "ballpark" figure for shooting something like this ( a combination stills/video/edited audio) I will usually tell the prospective client that final produced costs will run from $1300-$1800 per minute.

As a qualifier...this is the rate that customers in Regina, Saskatchewan are comfortable with. I formerly lived in Calgary, Alberta ( a MUCH bigger city) and the rates that were within the comfort range there were 30 to 50% higher. There was also a LOT more competition for work, too. may be worth taking a look at. It breaks down rates for various disciplines in various areas around the world. I wouldn't say they are the definitive place for Rate sheets, but it's somewhere to start.
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Old February 1st, 2011, 02:11 PM   #3
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Wayne... Thanks very much for taking the time to reply and for your comments. Yes, I'm a one man operation. We are right on track with each other price wise on this stuff. Your post just confirmed pretty much where I thought I needed to be. Thanks again.
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Old February 1st, 2011, 04:02 PM   #4
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It doesn't sound like there's any creative work for you, meaning that you don't have to do the creative planning side for the commercial. For something like this it would depend on what gear was needed? Are you providing all camera, lights and sound equipment? Will there be a music track under it and if so are they providing it or will you?

If I were bidding the project I would charge a full day rate for the shoot. I have a line item charge for equipment costs and one for crew, which in this case would be just you.

Editing time is separate and again would depend on how polished it needs to be, motion graphics involved? generally estimate the number of hours I thing I will be spending on the edit and charge accordingly by multiplying the number of hours by my hourly rate. I usually account for 3 reviews and re-edits with each edit requiring less changes. If it goes beyond that I have to assess whether it is because of the client or a misunderstanding on my part. If it my fault, of course I don't charge them more, but if it is because they change the creative idea I do adjust the overall cost accordingly.

By "usage fee" I'm not sure what you mean. Do you mean you will be charging them a line item cost for them to use the spot on their website or on tv? If so, no, there is no charge for that. It is written into the contract that they can use it for the explicit purpose agreed upon and that they cannot edit, repurpose, or change it.

Garrett Low
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Old February 1st, 2011, 04:41 PM   #5
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Garrett... great post, thanks.

This is a very simple video... just a close up of a person's hands using the product on a lap, on a table, then a couple of fly overs (I'll use a micro dolly) around the edges of the product. Probably less than a minute in length. There isn't going to be a lot of creative decision making or planning involved. I will be using my lights and camera gear (softboxes w/flourescents, GH2 and variety of lenses, Bloom Pocket Dolly). This can certainly be shot in a few hours.

I hadn't thought about building in extra time for edit changes.. good point. The client will be paying for/providing whatever music is to be used. Little to no motion graphics.

The question about usage fee applies in still photography and is built into my "per image" charge when providing still images, but I understand such a thing doesn't apply in the world of video production, except perhaps as you mention if I am required to do a noteworthy amount of creative design and such.
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