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Old August 24th, 2012, 11:10 AM   #16
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Re: How much to charge for a video

Good morning, all! As I looked through this string, I am pleased to know that folks in our space are even getting shots to do real estate videos. I monitor a site called WellcomeMat and it would seem that every realtor with a camera and a consumer grade editing package of any sort is doing their own video stuff. It seems to me that with so much DIY activity going on, it only puts more downward pressure on what's a fair and reasonable price. Thoughts?

~TW
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Old August 24th, 2012, 12:02 PM   #17
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Re: How much to charge for a video

Same thing is happening with funeral videos. I don't enjoy doing them, and only do so for family and friends, but the last one I did the funeral director pulled me aside and asked how did I incorporate video with the slide show, how did I get quality audio, how did I get smooth and varied transitions, how long did it take, what software I used, etc. They do their own and simply plug in a bunch of pictures to a generic format and tack on $500 to the fee for the service. Probably takes them 15 minutes to do and every one looks just like the last one.
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Old August 24th, 2012, 02:15 PM   #18
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Re: How much to charge for a video

FWIW, I follow Josh's approach as closely as possible, i.e. include a flat "rental" charge for each piece of equipment, plus my time at an hourly rate, and depending on the distance to the job, maybe a flat charge for transportation, parking, tolls, etc. Editing includes text-overlays, titles, etc and is usually charged hourly, and includes up/down loads. Sometimes I even provide access to my own FTP site. (I live in Northern NJ, about 20 miles due west of Manhattan, and sometimes get work in NYC, where cost of tolls, convenient parking - which doesn't exist in NYC, tip, etc. can run anywhere between $ 50-100).

Though I'll sometimes do a project for a flat fee, I outline what that includes, i.e. a rough cut, followed by 2 revisions, with additional revisions charged hourly. I place interim cuts on my web site where only the client will know about them, and put the burden of timeliness on the client, i.e. if they take a week to review a cut and request changes, it's due to their delay, not mine.

To give them a hint as to how much prep and consideration s/b given to pre-prod, I pepper early communications with some questions like these:
- Must the final production be in SD? HD?
- What delivery method is intended to be used for the final production: web only? DVD? Broadcast? Other?
- What is the necessary duration of the final production? (That's crucial if for broadcast).
- If DVD, are menus/chaptering/authoring required?
- Will you be supplying graphics files such as logo(s), photos, etc for inclusion with the final production?
- Must specific font(s), color(s), lower thirds, etc. be used? (Important if trademarks or other customer-owned assets are to be included).
- Do you have specific music you want used?
- What will the audio track include? Dialogue? Music? VO? Effects? Other?
- Have you wrtten a script for the VO?
- Who will speak/narrate/record the VO?
- How many people will appear in the footage?
- How many people will be speaking/need to be mic'ed?
- Do you have specific music or other audio that must be included, e.g. a company jingle? A song? Other?
- Am I expected to provide the music? (I only provide copyright-free music; I don't chase down licensing/rights/permission).
- Have you obtained rights/licensing/permission for the music/audio?
etc.
I've always hoped such questions made the point that I'm not just "showing-up and pointing a camera" at someone/something, though often that's about what some customers expect, especially on low-paying jobs.

In my experience, an experienced customer, or one who's really thought about what they want in the final production, s/b able to answer about half of those questions; most will not know, may guess at what they want, or seek your advice, but it will also give you a sense of the work that's involved and how likely you are to encounter re-takes/delays. (Be aware that I've also lost at least one job because I've asked such questions. I learned too late that the detailed questions planted the idea in the customer's mind that they probably could not afford me. It turned out they had never been asked those questions before - or by others - even before we got to discussing cost).

I'm an OMB, and seldom have the luxury of assistance, so the more I know going-in, the better prepped I'll be.

Now that I've put this out there, I wonder if others try to get the same or similar info prior to taking on any work. I'd be interested in how others deal with pre-prod and the early stages of a project.
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Old August 24th, 2012, 02:39 PM   #19
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Re: How much to charge for a video

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Wall View Post
...with so much DIY activity going on, it only puts more downward pressure on what's a fair and reasonable price. Thoughts?

~TW
I agree there's downward pressure on prices. Unless you can politely make the point that most such DIY projects, i.e. those done by a realtor, or a painter/handyman, etc., are done by someone who is just pointing a camera, setting it on auto, and pressing record, I doubt things will change for the better.

Isn't it curious that a realtor can argue that doing an FSBO is a poor way to sell a house, (because a "professional" isn't involved), but they're multi-talented (or narrow-minded) enough to shoot a home (hopefully) showing all it's grandeur? From examples I've seen, few are good at doing both their specialty AND making a decent video for marketing.

Bottom line is, I think, they're trying to minimize their marketing expenses and maximize their commission. They seem to forget that everyone else is entitled to that very same pursuit.
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Old August 24th, 2012, 04:28 PM   #20
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Re: How much to charge for a video

Denis, you are so right! Similar to a surgeon operating on himself, a lawyer giving himself legal advice, etc., etc. oh the horror! Or as Homer Simpson would say, D-OH!!!
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Old March 13th, 2017, 07:05 PM   #21
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Re: How much to charge for a video

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
I have to go with my buddy Chris on this one. I've done "simple" talking heads that only run about 2 minutes that have taken 4 hours to do not counting travel time to the location.
Here's why.
Arrive on location at 8AM
Wait 30 minutes for someone to get you and show you where the "location" is
Haul gear to said location
Set up background, lighting, camera, do sound test...30 minutes.
Sit around for 60 minutes waiting for interviewee to show up.
Interviewee shows up unprepared, takes phone call from client or associate..."very important call, I have to take this" 30 minutes
Finally decides to sitdown and do interview. Starts with "I don't have time for this stupid interview today we need to hurry" Proceeds to flub every question 5 or 6 times, laughs it off with, "I'm usually not nervous it must be you" 60 minutes
Pack and load out gear to car...30 minutes

Edit time-----up to an hour and a half because the interviewee screwed the pooch so many times. Makes the job really hard. Don't forget the cell phone going off in his pocket even after you asked him to please slience it during the session.
Finally, call the person who hired you and explain to them what a dip the person was, how rude they were and how you want to hit him with a light stand but you didn't want to break the lightstand on his hard head. Well you can't really do that but you feel like you want to.
Yep, charge a 1/2 day rate and throw in the edit or charge by the hour with a 2 hour minimum then charge 2 hours for editing, but anything less than $300 or $400 is not enough. Trust me, while they might think it's a lot for a 2 minute interview, remind them that the finsihed time has nothing to do with the amount of time it takes to produce the product.
Don, I laugh at this because I JUST DID ONE OF THESE! Client says, "what's the problem...it's ONLY gonna be a 2 minute video." But I charged a full day rate--and was THERE all day, too, to get his "2 minute video"!! And he didn't complain about the finished product, either. So there's still hope.... ;-)
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Old March 14th, 2017, 06:07 PM   #22
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Re: How much to charge for a video

It's funny how really confident, professional people can get flustered once the camera rolls. They think that because they talk to people all day that it will be easy. Ha!

I had a boss who was excellent on stage, but who was absolutely terrible on camera. It's like his adrenaline and ego would boil and Mr. Jekyll emerged to scare away any trace of sincerity. All of his videos should be shot with a hidden camera. Otherwise, he frightens small children.

Another guy I worked with had real-time editor disease. He's absolutely personable and genuine, but once the camera rolls, all of his speech gets rerouted though the "editor" in his brain. He literally becomes unable to finish a phrase, let alone a sentence or paragraph. I think I spent over 20 minutes with him to capture one, seven-word line once.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, my son was once a grip on a Stan Lee interview. He said that the guy was awesome! He had great stories ready to go and delivered each one like he was just hanging with his best friends. The editing problem there is that you have so much great material that it's hard to cut anything so you can hit the time budget.

But no matter how good or bad the subject, travel, parking, moving equipment, setup, fine tuning, teardown and all the rest can really eat the clock...

Just remember to turn off the lights first so they are cool by the time you're ready to pack them. ;)
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