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Old October 12th, 2011, 02:08 PM   #1
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Location: San Antonio TX
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Questions Regarding Infomercial

We have a client who would like to do an infomercial advertising her dental business. She has stated that a full 30-minute infomercial would be way out of her price range so she was looking for something much more condensed. We suggested perhaps a 2-minute commercial window during a weekend overnight, an idea which she would like to entertain.

As the small production that will be handling this, I'm a little unsure as to the cost we would incur on the client for such a project. I've heard that for a standard 30-minute infomercial program, productions can charge up to $1,000/edited video minute. What would be a fair charge for a 2-minute version? We would probably use a locale which we would already have access to, we would probably use two cameras, it would probably be graphics-intensive, voiceover....very similar to a 30-minute program, but downsized to a couple of minutes. Only the stand-ups will be live-to-tape, while everything else will be composited in post-production. In terms of producing, right now we're thinking 50/50, with the client providing the material and scripting (since she's familiar with the subject matter) while we block everything out and conform scripts to the allotted 2-minutes. We obviously want to make our worth and she seems willing to spend, however we don't want to scare her off either, considering she has to pay for air time as well.

Probably not proper etiquette to talk about dollar figures, so it's ok if we talk ballpark. Never done an infomercial before, so any advice from those with experience would be extremely helpful. Thanks and happy shooting....
Edward Mendoza, Videographer/Editor, TEXAS VIDEO PRODUCTION

Last edited by Edward Mendoza; October 12th, 2011 at 03:38 PM.
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Old October 18th, 2011, 03:43 PM   #2
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Re: Questions Regarding Infomercial

Hi Ed, sounds like you've got to cover literally everything associated with this project.

I'd find out why she wants an infomercial versus a regular spot. What has impressed her? What's her competition like, how many other surgeries in town? Why is her biz better than the others? What special services does she offer?

Then I'd look at this project from the other end, find out more about the TV rates, the tech side etc. from the broadcasters. How many 2min infomercials do they get to air. Are there any other dental ones being shown. Would it be better for her cost/return wise to make a 60sec spot for regular TV in the various time slots?

Maybe even call some of the clients of the products you see on air, ask them straight out what you want to know, leave the rates they paid their producers as the last question, based on how informative they are :)


A dental infomercial would have happy smiling clients saying how satisfied they are. Show before and after shots. How about a local recognisable sports star who got his teeth knocked about one time. A dentists receptionist usually has a killer smile, show her.

All this should help you with your dealings with your dentist and build up a file for your next enquiry. Hope this helps, you might get a free cleaning thrown in :)

30+ years with our own audio and visual production company and studios.
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Old October 20th, 2011, 12:42 PM   #3
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Re: Questions Regarding Infomercial

Consider the amount of work you'll be doing and the value of your time. Generally speaking that's how just about all the other industries charge for services, and this industry is somewhat similar.

For example, a simple standup with teleprompter would be a whole lot cheaper than a production involving CGI, jibs, a soundstage and a line of dancing toothbrushes.

Allan's recommendations are right on target. Figure out what the message will be, then determine what's needed to produce it.

And figure out how to grab and hold the viewer. It has to be engaging. Otherwise they'll channel surf away from it.
Dean Sensui
Exec Producer, Hawaii Goes Fishing
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