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Old April 21st, 2011, 12:34 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2005
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Hello All =) A little insight needed.

Hey All!

I'd like to say thanks in advance to anyone who can give me some input on this! I'm relatively new at the Videographer thing, although I was hired by a large company to do make training videos. My duties are including writing scripts, filming, and editing. I've completed four videos for this company so far. On top of that, these videos most come in both Spanish and English. Where I'm having difficulties is I don't speak Spanish, so when I create scripts, and edit, I must have the videos approved by someone who speaks the language from the specific department the video pertains too. Well, the owner of the company makes this "approval" process just one more task on someones busy schedule. I'm finding lots of my time is being spent on waiting for approval on things. I'm told not to edit until script is approved. Well, how am I supposed to ever get videos done if nothing get approved? The owner of this company is the type that defiantly likes to "micro-manage". As of now I'm currently waiting on several departments for approval on scripts I've made, THEN they must translated... writing the scripts in Spanish can be tough, and sometimes calls for lots of correction for me.

My issue is .... I'm being stuck in this process @ $10,00 an hour... and here's the bonus.... For every completed video under 10:00 min it's $400, for another over 10:00 it's $1,000.

Here is a video that took me 3 weeks to finish purely because of waiting on approval from the correct department... the actually editing, and everything else took little time.

YouTube - darcopro1's Channel

Thanks very much,

Darrell
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Old April 21st, 2011, 01:39 PM   #2
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Location: Regina, Saskatchewan Canada
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Re: Hello All =) A little insight needed.

Darrell,

Welcome! I'm not really clear on what your question is, but I'm guessing it is in regards to fees? Based on the numbers you provided, that would certainly be my concern in the same situation.

Are you under a contract of some sort? If so, you may have some difficulty if the other signatory is unwilling to renegotiate. The numbers you gave for "full on" video production, i.e. scripting, shooting, editing and producing are, in my mind anyway, quite horrific.

Fees are very flexible and region-dependant; I see that you're in Las Vegas; it would certainly be worth your time to check around at some of the other production houses or talk to some independant videographers in your area, but I suspect you're probably working for quite a bit less than 25% of the going rate in Nevada.

I'm in the middle of the Canadian prairies, and the entire Province that I live in has a smaller population than metro Las Vegas. I do freelance work, and most/all of it is top to bottom; script-writing, shooting, editing and final production. Just a quick look at the work I've done in the past 6 months, the average billable rate per minute of finished product has been slight more that $1200.

It varies from project to project depending on specific requirements for a given job; that's an average number. Extrapolating that, for a ten minute video here, all in, I'm looking at something in the order of $12,000 in comparison to your $1000 plus, say for sake of arguement an additional $1000 in salary ( $10/hr times 100 hours).

As I said, I don't know what your specific situation is, but in general terms I think all of us that shoot professionally or semi-professionally see ourselves as talented, skilled professionals, with a skill set considerably above that of say, a burger flipper ( not that there is anything wrong with being a burger flipper...I suspect we all were one at some time or another). Many people shooting for a living have formal training in film; many do not. They have been self-taught or learned their craft through experience.

Of course, when your gaining experience you can't and shouldn't expect to be making the same money as someone who's been in the business for 20 + years. That said, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect compensation that recognizes the specialized nature and skills needed to shoot and produce videos to be realistic.

There are certainly many ways of looking at the circumstance, but if you're trying to make this a career, it's going to be pretty tough sledding at $10/hour and $100/minute of final product.

My thoughts only...I'm sure someone else will add a lot of wisdom to this
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Old April 21st, 2011, 03:47 PM   #3
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Re: Hello All =) A little insight needed.

Wayne, thanks for the reply. I am new and learning so I donít expect to get paid top dollar but I do believe that Im worth more. I only agreed to 3 months and Im on my second so it getting time to renegotiate.
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Old April 21st, 2011, 05:51 PM   #4
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Re: Hello All =) A little insight needed.

Couldn't agree more. Like I said, I'd check around a bit locally and see what the going rates are. An online reference tool that may be useful is Shoots.com. Also, I believe there are a couple of Indie film makers organizations in Nevada that you could get in touch with, and find out what they view as appropriate rates.

The problem with undervaluing your stuff is that you very quickly become "that guy with the camera"...undervalued and willing to work for next to nothing. That's not a place you want to be. They had a bit of an upper hand initially since you said you were brand new to the whole thing. That's changed; you've produced product that does what they wanted it to do, and have more in the pipeline. You're learning as you go, certainly...but you are learning, and your output now is almost certainly much better than it was at the start, as should be valued higher.

I'll warn you in advance; expect opposition, possibly strenuous. Everybody wants "a deal", and I suspect Vegas is the sort of town where that attitude is REALLY apparent. It's worth having some hard numbers from other local shooters in hand, so they can see the true value of your work in that market.

At the end of the day, only you can decide what you're comfortable with in terms of money..good luck, and let us know how you make out!
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Old April 21st, 2011, 06:28 PM   #5
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Re: Hello All =) A little insight needed.

Wayne, thanks for the great advise.
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