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Old August 16th, 2012, 11:03 PM   #1
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How much to charge for a video

I have been asked to shoot some videos for a real estate agent, as well as some promotional interviews. They are around 2 minutes long after being edited. I have to set up lighting and a couple of cameras and do the editing. He keeps asking me how much it will be.......... any suggestions.
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Old August 16th, 2012, 11:15 PM   #2
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Re: How much to charge for a video

Hi Michael

I charge corporate rates of either $500 for a half day shooting which includes editing or $1000 for a full day.

Otherwise you can work on an hourly rate but don't forget that a 2 minute video might involve travel time there and back, on site filming and setting up which is going a zap probably at least 2 hours and then you still have to edit the footage and upload a web based clip and more than likely a DVD copy or a digital copy. Sadly people figure than a 2 minute video takes 2 minutes worth of your time and don't take the fact that you need to setup, film, edit etc etc!!

If it's really going to be a single take at the Realtors office and a quick edit ..it's STILL going to take at least a 3 hour chunk out of your day ...I wouldn't do it for anything less than $300.00 even if it's promised to be a quickie!!

Chris
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Old August 17th, 2012, 05:50 AM   #3
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Re: How much to charge for a video

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.
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Old August 17th, 2012, 06:32 AM   #4
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Re: How much to charge for a video

That's exactly what happens!!

Make sure that you tell the client it will, in fact, take a good 5 hours to produce any video be it 1 minute or 20 minutes and involves travel time, setup time, filming, set down time, more travelling and editing.

Serious if someone else wants to do the job for $50 then let them do it...Once you set a lower than low cost level everyone will want that price so stick to your guns and unless the client is well known to you and highly organised don't drop any lower than the suggested levels, and certainly anything under $300 isn't worth getting off your butt for and will cost you in the end.

Don is a seasoned professional of countless years and would never steer you in the wrong direction.

Chris
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Old August 17th, 2012, 12:12 PM   #5
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Re: How much to charge for a video

Thanks Don and Chris, great advice. I'm not a professional video dude. I make guitars all day, and have very little time to devote to this project with this guy. I kinda want to help him out and get the ball rolling for him, but don't want to cut myself short either. I think I know enough about video and lighting sound, etc. to give him what he wants.

My original idea was to get my son to do it, he is in the film union here in New Mexico, and has studied film at the community collage, but he seems un-interested and would rather wait tables..... kids these days.

So I'm kinda stuck doing this little project.
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Old August 17th, 2012, 02:15 PM   #6
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Re: How much to charge for a video

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Thames View Post
My original idea was to get my son to do it, he is in the film union here in New Mexico, and has studied film at the community collage, but he seems un-interested and would rather wait tables..... kids these days.
depending on where those tables are, that he's goint to wait, your son might get more tips than you doing this "2 minute job" :)
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Old August 17th, 2012, 02:56 PM   #7
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Re: How much to charge for a video

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Hi Michael

I charge corporate rates of either $500 for a half day shooting which includes editing or $1000 for a full day.

Otherwise you can work on an hourly rate but don't forget that a 2 minute video might involve travel time there and back, on site filming and setting up which is going a zap probably at least 2 hours and then you still have to edit the footage and upload a web based clip and more than likely a DVD copy or a digital copy. Sadly people figure than a 2 minute video takes 2 minutes worth of your time and don't take the fact that you need to setup, film, edit etc etc!!

If it's really going to be a single take at the Realtors office and a quick edit ..it's STILL going to take at least a 3 hour chunk out of your day ...I wouldn't do it for anything less than $300.00 even if it's promised to be a quickie!!

Chris
I like this validation since we also charge $500 for anything up to a half day if it is one camera and we include editing. Typically that is taping a lecture and adding power point slides to it in editing. Recently charged $700 for a slightly more complex job that was a Physician and model demonstrating some physical therapy techniques.
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Old August 17th, 2012, 07:09 PM   #8
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Re: How much to charge for a video

Not to hijack the thread, but here's the mindset you're often up against....in a Miami area Craigslist ad today for a "DP Needed", they want to do "a short film" with two full days of shooting. Compensation: food and a copy of the project. Great. I think I will make a cardboard sign that says "will direct video productions for food."
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Old August 17th, 2012, 09:11 PM   #9
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Re: How much to charge for a video

yeahI see those here in chicago a lot as well. terrific. Let's see, about $15000 in gear, 2 day of blood, sweat and tears, no other crew to help move stuff and do setups, edit all that footage into a coherent message, andI'll get probably 4 sub sandwiches and a couple of soft drinks and oh yeah, my name in the credits that nobody stays to watch anyway (except me) and never mond I have a mortgage to pay, utility bills to pay, insurance to pay, cable TV bill to pay, and my wife and I have developed a very nasty habit after all these years. We do like to EAT REAL MEALS once in a while.

Listen folks, if you're looking for a DP with gewar, contact one of the local junior colleges or schools that offer a film course. I know there are a lot of future Spielbergs that would love to help you out.

I'm sorry, I just can't get over these ads, that want guys like us to come out with our gear that we use to make a living with, give our time and expertise and get paid with a sandwich and credit. I'll buy my own sandwich and I don't care about the creit. None of that will pay my bills or send me on a much needed vacation.

Off my Soapbox!!! It's safe to come out now. lol
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Old August 19th, 2012, 04:44 AM   #10
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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 you have such a great humour :-)

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Old August 19th, 2012, 06:41 AM   #11
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Re: How much to charge for a video

Heh, yeah...I'm a real Bob Hope!

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Old August 19th, 2012, 09:10 AM   #12
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Re: How much to charge for a video

...and a good videographer as well..don't think Bob Hope was multi-talented in both fields.

To do weddings you HAVE to have a sense of humour otherwise we would go crazy. I have seen idots offereing to do weddings for $99.00 on Craig's List..even here we have photogs who offer a photoshoot for $299.00 with TWO photographers and they give you all the images on DVD and two canvas prints too.

Wow they must make at least $50 each for a hard day's work. Some people have no idea what to charge for their services and once you set ultra low prices (even to get "known") it's tough to get them up again.

I did a wedding yesterday and there was a 6 piece rock band at the venue and, being nosey, I asked them what their fee was for a standard wedding reception...$1200...so they have to load and unload on both sides, setup and break all the gear down so they must be looking at closer to 8 hours of their time for a mere $200 each for the entire evening ...that's $25 an hour and not counting vehicle wear and tear and fuel.

Chris
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Old August 19th, 2012, 09:10 AM   #13
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Re: How much to charge for a video

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Thames View Post
I have been asked to shoot some videos for a real estate agent, as well as some promotional interviews. They are around 2 minutes long after being edited. I have to set up lighting and a couple of cameras and do the editing. He keeps asking me how much it will be.......... any suggestions.
Just tell them it's $100 per hour, door/out door/in. The more organized and ready they are, the cheaper it will be for them. The more they stall or disagree on how to proceed, the more you can watch their money fall into your pockets. Same with editing.
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Old August 19th, 2012, 11:00 AM   #14
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Re: How much to charge for a video

The older I get the less in a hurry I am. Yesterday the outdoor ceremony was 30 minutes late. YAWN! Oh well, their wedding not mine. Fridays outdoor ceremony was 50 minutes late. YAWN, oh well, their wedding not mine. I've learned to relax more and take things as they come more and more. I was talking o the photog last night, we've worked together off and on for about 11 years. We were sitting at dinner with the DJ and laughed about how none of us care if we sat there all night. Big crowd, small room, smaller dance floor. We just couldn't help but laugh it off. Humor has become the most important tool in the bag BUT trust me when I say, most of my humor is cynical, sarcastic and bombastic although I NEVER come acroos like that to the good folks paying my bill!
I wish I could have learned this 30 years ago. Oh well, their wedding not mine! :-)
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Old August 20th, 2012, 06:08 PM   #15
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Re: How much to charge for a video

Everyone has their own approach to pricing. Here's mine in a nutshell:

-Treat everything as a separate line item.

What this means is everything (up to a point, might drive yourself crazy if you get too specific) has its own certain cost.

So, you, the videographer, by yourself, charge x per half day (0-5 hours) or full day (5-10 hours) -- as an aside this is how most people in Houston do it. Maybe different in your area. Recommend this over hourly fees, though.) That's JUST for your labor, no gear.

Gear --

cam is a certain fee per day (gear doesn't get a half day or OT, only a person does. Gear is always a full day). That fee, according to how rental houses charge seems to be fair when it's 3-5% of the purchase price per day. So $3000 cam, somewhere around $150/day.

Same for mics/audio.

Same for lighting package.

Same for other videographers and their gear (though they will likely have their own rates that could be different from yours. But then, you could aways OFFER them something you think is fair, and see if they'll work for the rates you've come up with)

Editing, I do a little differently in that it's billed hourly. This is because for me, I can schedule editing around other work (unless I'm required to go to a client's office to edit, then I treat as a day rate). However, what happens many times when you tell a client "this is billed hourly" is of course, they ask "how many hours will it take." The real answer is: I have no flarkin' idea. What you tell them is quote based on the total number of hours you think the editing will take, maybe leave yourself some wiggle room. Of course RE-edits after you think your done, after a few revisions you might agree to for free (say, 1 or 2), would be extra on top of the quote, but that comes later.

For your initial quote, I say add up all of the above (people/labor costs, gear costs, editing), and NOW you have your answer.
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