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Old August 2nd, 2007, 03:57 PM   #1
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Half Day Rate?-around the Country

Doing some research for a client who's thinking of offering video web hosting services for a particular industry and is wondering about production rates. I voiced that a half day shoot for $300 would be about right, but would love to hear others chime in just to make sure I'm roughtly on the mark for most areas in th US. So if anyone wants to chime in...

The $300 assumes a single camera person with a basic interview package; a pro, 3 chip camera, tripod, lighting kit, monitor, lav and shotgun mic. DV format. The end product would be a 90 second, head shot, no b-roll required.

Any areas in the US where $300 wouldn't give the client a decent selection of shooters?
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 09:33 PM   #2
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wow. I work on a 4 hour minimum and a full day rate with a 8 or 10 hour maximum (depending on what we negotiate).
My camera equipment is extra and NOT included in the package--they have to rent it also if they don't provide me with one.
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 10:43 PM   #3
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Eric,

My wife has family in Pacifica and I was there over the 4th of July. There is no way people there could live on $300 for a half day and still live a nice life in Pacifica is there? Unless they have been there a LONG time and own their own property.

I have a much higher per day rate and that doesn't include any equipment I might have to rent. I would be happy to work four hours, but I am getting paid for eight.

Stop to figure it out. If you work three days per week regularly, and you take a few weeks off for vacation, bad weather, whatever, it is difficult getting a decent wage at $1,000 let alone less than that.

Now, if you want someone who does this part time, or a pro who doesn't have enough business, maybe $300 would get you something.
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 11:46 PM   #4
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Thanks for your comments. I've been working through the stagehands union, then doing post work; haven't done freelance shooting in years. So it's good to get a reality check.

Slightly off topic, Steven, I've enjoyed your Premiere Pro support, both in the forums and with your web page. And yeah, Pacifica IS expensive.
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 04:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Lagerlof View Post
Doing some research for a client who's thinking of offering video web hosting services for a particular industry and is wondering about production rates. I voiced that a half day shoot for $300 would be about right, but would love to hear others chime in just to make sure I'm roughtly on the mark for most areas in th US. So if anyone wants to chime in...

The $300 assumes a single camera person with a basic interview package; a pro, 3 chip camera, tripod, lighting kit, monitor, lav and shotgun mic. DV format. The end product would be a 90 second, head shot, no b-roll required.

Any areas in the US where $300 wouldn't give the client a decent selection of shooters?


Eric,

Let me ask you a question. When you book a "half day" who's EVER going to buy the OTHER half of your day?

Typical answer. Nobody. Ever.

In selling "days", you're selling inventory that is diminishing with every turn of the calandar page. Every unbooked day is a total loss in that business model. And every half day booked is the LOSS of HALF of your potential earnings.

So you should understand that selling half days as a matter of course is precisely the same as cutting your rates. Nothing more, nothing less.

Also note that most "pro" half day rates are never actually HALF of the full day rate, but often more like 70-80%. That acknowledges that there's no less prep, packing, travel, setup, strike and return involved, just perhaps a few less hours with the camera rolling.

Just some alternate business thinking to consider.
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 06:04 PM   #6
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Totally agree with Bill. Many shooters are not even offering half days. After all, it's rare that you can book and service 2 different clients in the same day.

My rate is based on a 10 hour day and doesn't include camera or other equipment. And it's higher than $300 for sure.

-gb-
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 06:19 PM   #7
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I'm one who doesn't book 'half days' either.
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Old August 5th, 2007, 11:42 AM   #8
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i never book 1/2 days in advance .. as of now i'm not working this Monday or Tuesday - so if i got a call this weekend then i might do it for 70% of day rate for 4hrs .. if we go 4 1/2 hr it's full day and i can tell you i haven't worked a 1/2 day since about 1990 ... but i do do travel days at 1/2 rate ...

i have a day rate ( no equipment ) - i'm strickly they ( producer) rent equipment from rental house or whomever ( and i don't pick up or return equipment) ... i show up with light meters only !
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Old August 5th, 2007, 01:19 PM   #9
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We recently dropped our half day rate

A lot of times the client will need 8 hours of shooting but only have a half day rate budget. This means they will work you to death and try to cram everything in as fast as possible. Then blame you later if anything goes wrong.
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Old August 6th, 2007, 11:49 AM   #10
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I don't believe in half days either. Now, on the other hand I tell my clients up front that I will work basically as long as I'm needed on the day that is booked, up to about 16 hours or so.

My wife wondered why I didn't book half days and my explanation to her was exactly Bill's.

FWIW...
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Old August 6th, 2007, 04:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Davis View Post
When you book a "half day" who's EVER going to buy the OTHER half of your day?

Typical answer. Nobody. Ever.
Bill,

I agree with your statement, but that wouldn't prevent me from accepting a half-day job. Granted, your work may be very different from mine: First of all, video is only a part-time occupation for me. But second, and more important, the time I spend shooting is only a small fraction of what I do. All the editing and other technical work as well as administrative/business-type tasks are scheduled around the time spent on a shooting location. So if someone wants me for only half a day, I have more time back in my office to do all the other things I need to do.

I can see how this would be different for people that almost exclusively do the shooting (where others handle the editing and related postproduction work).

- Martin
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Old August 8th, 2007, 12:46 AM   #12
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I can see how this would be different for people that almost exclusively do the shooting (where others handle the editing and related postproduction work).

- Martin[/QUOTE]


I understand what you're saying. But I just don't see it the way you appear to.

In my opinion, time-based billing penalizes people who are good and fast.

If Sally can do a great video in 10 hours, but it takes Ralph 30 hours to do a mediocre one - in time based billing Ralph makes 3 times what Sally makes. That's INSANE.

Sally should make 3 times what RALPH makes because she's clearly better that he is!

It's an example of why I dislike time-based pricing - including day rates and/or half day rates.


FWIW.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 12:19 PM   #13
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So Bill, just to ask then...

I assume that you prefer to work on for a project rate. I can definitely see the benefit to that, for both you and the customer. I truly believe that the customer should not pay my learning curve, or anyone else's.

Here's my question - How do you come up with your project rate, without having a daily or hourly rate to base it on? You need to be realistic with yourself about the length of time that something will take you to complete, so that you can schedule your time accordingly. After that, you need to stick to your quote to the customer, bearing that the customer did not cause any delays/extensions in the work. So if I tell a customer that I can get the project done in 6 hours and for some reason I have a issue (of my own making) and it takes me 8 hours to complete the project, I still only charge for 6. It's my bad, I lose. However, if I complete a project to the specifications agreed upon by all relevant parties, and the customer changes the order, shouldn't they pay for the change? And if you don't have a daily or hourly rate that you've based your project quote on, then what do you charge for the change order?

I am not by any means saying that in your example Sally should get the shaft and be paid less than Ralph. By far Sally should be paid more, in your example. But, if Sally and Ralph can produce the exact same quality of work with the only difference being that Sally can do it in 10 hours and it takes Ralph 30 hours, then why shouldn't Ralph be paid the same as Sally? His hourly rate will obviously be less, and he should know that, but if they can both get the project done by the deadline, shouldn't they be paid the same?

Just curious...
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Old August 8th, 2007, 12:44 PM   #14
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Sally and Ralph will have different expenditures because of the time base involved. Being 'on the job' costs more the more time you spend on it. Crew, electricity and food costs might be fixed over the course of a day. Taking three days is more expensive than taking one.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 05:08 PM   #15
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Yes. You're right, Richard. Richard's profits will be less than Sally's, and that's Richard's problem for working slowly.

The root of my question to Bill is how is a project rate calculated without having a daily rate to base it on? That daily rate including the expenses that you've mentioned, Richard.
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