help! basic needs and budget estimate for web video shoot at

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Old June 9th, 2007, 01:18 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: New York, NY
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help! basic needs and budget estimate for web video shoot

hi all
I'm in a bit of a spot and am hoping to get some advice asap. I'm talking with a small web startup company who wants someone to produce their video pieces as content for their site (i've been in this industry for years as a producer and work with video as a hobby and have some exp. but not in a professional context).
I would need to coordinate the shoots and produce the video and i need to provide a basic idea of what, and at what estimated cost, they might need to budget for, above and beyond my salary -- I'd be well compensated for this, i just need to come up with a range or ballpark guess at what they'd need to budget for the actual projects beyond that.
I can handle the shooting and, for the most part, the editing myself. Incidentals like cab fare and a few extra pairs of hands are covered as well. They have a partner/vendor who is hosting the video and dealing with ads and player.

here are some examples of the type and quality of the videos that they are looking to produce (after the ads, sorry):

they are providing the basics (camera, mics, mac, Final Cut Pro, etc.), I'm not so worried about the costs of these. It's the production costs for each shoot that I'm not so sure of, esp the items with a *.

can anyone provide some ballpark estimate/range/guess on some or any of the following, and if there is anything major i forgot.
camera, mics, tripod and computer/editing suite are covered and im pretty familiar with those costs so not so much worry about that, unless i'm really wrong as far as needs here. mostly in the dark about lighting and sound needs/budget.

camera (at very least 3 chip DV cam, no need for 24 p or HD)
basic directional and in some cases lavalier mics (recommendations?)
boom pole
decent tripod
*lighting (here's where I need suggestions.)
--minimum lighting -- what sort of lighting package, and minimum cost?

i'll be shooting, I think that will work fine
*sound (again, help!)
--sound recordist/mixer (how much is a low to average day rate for this at minimum?)
--any other expenses around this

--do we need someone to handle the lights, and how much is a minimum for this?

I can handle most of the editing (i know my way around FCP pretty well), but what should we budget for someone to work on this (hourly rate?) should the need arise, for a short piece like one of the ones below.
-- post production sound (what would are needs be here if any?)

talent (pretty sure we'll just use folks from the office or friends here)

re music rights etc. I think we can stick with what's out there for free and i believe my potential employers have this covered.

*are there any other significant expenses i'm missing

many many thanks in advance for your expertise and advice.

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Old June 9th, 2007, 02:24 PM   #2
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Old June 9th, 2007, 04:20 PM   #3
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There's a lot of variables...

talent (pretty sure we'll just use folks from the office or friends here)
Doing this will seem like it will save money. But it will cost you time, since some people simply aren't good on camera. Some people can get nervous on camera (I can be one of them). On big shoots it's cheaper/better to get professional actors since they are natural on camera.

A good director (or director/cameraperson) can talk to your talent in a way to get the most out of them... e.g. put them at ease and make sure they're comfortable in front of the camera.

2- The onestressless videos probably took a lot more money to do than the other video. Just look at their credits... a lot of different people worked on their shoot. Also, they shot stuff on location... you spend time traveling, you can run into audio problems, etc. It also looks like they had a lot of setups which they spent time lighting.

3- Professional cameramen tend to own a small lighting package that is enough for interviews. It comes bundled with their rate.

Audio persons also tend to have at least a boom + a wireless mic.

4- A big, big factor is how experienced + talented + easy to work with your crew is. This tends to correlate with their day rate. A mediocre shooter may not shoot all the necessary b-roll or do other things (i.e. timecode breaks) that cause problems when you get to post.

Chances are, you probably aren't as good at doing camera, editing, AND producing as an experienced professional.

4b- Someone having a high rate does not mean that they will necessarily do good work... usually you figure out who does good work either (A) having worked with them before, (B) word of mouth through someone else who has worked with them, or (C) you look at their demo reel. Anyone can buy a DV camera and call themself a pro.

5- You really haven't given enough details about your project. It is going to be a shoot with someone in a studio in front of a greenscreen (or backdrop), or it is going to be like the onestressless video? Or something else?

re music rights etc. I think we can stick with what's out there for free and i believe my potential employers have this covered.
Probably not. You likely need to get royalty-free music. You may be able to get your editor to whip up some basic music for you (assuming they have a music library or dumbed-down music creation program like Sonicfire, Cinescore, etc.).

There should be threads around here about music rights.

6- The company may be better off hiring an experienced producer that knows production issues better than I do (I'm not a producer).
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