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Old February 20th, 2008, 01:15 AM   #1
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What to charge to shoot & edit in HD vs SD.

Hi all,

I just received an inquiry from a company about producing some industrial as well as corporate marketing material in HD.

I currently shoot and edit in SD using the Sony DSR-300 and Premiere CS3. I'd like to pursue the inquiry with a quote but i'm unsure as to what to charge.

I'd like your opinions how much is generally charged to produce a typical video in HD as opposed to SD. I know there are many variables, but a ballpark percentage and/or examples would be appreciated.

I know i'll have to rent an HDV or HD camera and playback deck. I'll also have to upgrade my aging system to be able to capture and edit the HD or HDV footage without problems. Also, i think it would be best to go tape based since the tapeless cameras require expensive memory sticks and additional equipment to off load footage.

Hardware wise, my idea is as follows:
Camera
- Either the Canon H1 w/ tape, PMW-EX1 or AG-HVX200 w/ pc for capture & storage

NLE
- The Supermicro 7045A-WTB barebone tower
- Harpertown E5450 or E5472 quad-core processor or the new intel Penryn family of processors that support the new SSE4.1 instructions
- 4 gbs of ram
- a 4 drive sata II raid 0 video array with hardware controller
- separate sata II drives for system, storage and audio
- blueray dvd burner
- aja xena LHe HD SDI capture card
- cineform Prospect HD
- Nvida Quadro FX video card
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Old February 20th, 2008, 03:49 AM   #2
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I do not think a customer has to pay for getting HD versus SD.
Either you can do it and there is no reason that the price would be significantly different than HD, or you cannot do it, and there is no reason that the customer pays for the full upgrade of you equipement.
You could be inbetween, and tell them that you can do it, put a regular price on it and use that money to do the upgrade you need.
you will earn the money back with the next customer.
But the customer has not to know that you are not equipped to do the job, because they can think it will be cheaper/safer to go to somebody that already has all what is needed and knows how to use it.
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Old February 20th, 2008, 07:31 AM   #3
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An extra fee of ~$500-1000 is a good starting point for HD depending on the customer and your marketing skills. Get the Sony EX1 if you can afford it or maybe two V1Us for about the same price. Once you've paid off the cameras the cost of producing in HD isn't much more than doing SD, but it can be more work with longer rendering times so charge some premium.
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Old February 20th, 2008, 08:27 AM   #4
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Giroud,

I didn't intend to suggest that i charge the client for the system upgrade.

However, even with SD, the client will generally expect to pay more for an increase in a/v quality, capability and durability. Put it this way... you would have to pay more to rent or buy cameras with increasing levels of a/v quality, capability and durability.

I would expect a client to pay more for me to bring in and shoot with a XDCAM HD camera as compared to the XDCAM EX1 since the XDCAM HD would bring more capability. (although except for the 1/2" chips, the EX1 would seem to be the better and newer camera. Although not as rugged as the XDCAM HD.)

Since part of the job involves shooting in a oil saturated factory, a tapeless or sealed camera would be a good idea.
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Old February 20th, 2008, 08:38 AM   #5
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Kevin,

Yea... I suggested a 30 to 50% increase to the client.

I'd love to use the EX1 but i'm concerned about having to purchase a $2,000 firestore and/or lug around a laptop or pc to offload the footage as we shoot. I guess thats the state-of-the-art at the moment until memory sticks can hold and cost the same as tapes.

The other concern is the 14x fixed lens. I also shoot theater productions, from the back of the theater, and having a 18x lens on my DSR-300 is great for zooming up close to catch mid to close up shoots.

Last edited by Nelson Maldonado; February 20th, 2008 at 09:20 AM.
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Old February 20th, 2008, 04:02 PM   #6
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My prices are more camera specific than format specific. It someone wants SD on an SDX-900 that would cost more than HD on an EX-1. I find the post flow to not be that much different or more labor intensive SD or HD, although its certainly faster now with my EX-1. In your case I would consider a DSR-300 a similar caliber in the SD world as say an XL-H1 or EX-1 in the HD world, so charge whatever premium the client is willing to pay based on getting a better deliverable format. Obviously if they want HD on a Varicam or F900 then that would be a lot more I would think.
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Old February 20th, 2008, 08:00 PM   #7
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What would be the rate per hour you guys would charge for a 9 hour day including editing? This would be a great help. SD HD doesn't matter. Would just like to know what the going rate is.
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Old February 21st, 2008, 01:18 PM   #8
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Have a look at the rate card of Alistair Chapman, it's in Pounds but may give you a practical ref.
http://www.ingenioustv.co.uk/rates.asp
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Old February 21st, 2008, 10:38 PM   #9
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for us folks using dollars, the rates above are:

editing: 450 pounds = $884 / 9 = $98/hr

HD XDCAM: 450 pounds = $884 / 10 = $88/hr

HDCAM HD: 550 pounds = $1,080 / 10 = $108/hr
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 12:28 PM   #10
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So you charge and editing fee plus a camera fee? So a 9 hour shoot plus a 9 hour editing would be roughly $1800. Is that correct?
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Old February 29th, 2008, 09:54 AM   #11
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no.

thats the conversion is for chapman's rates.

My rates...
Shooting hourly rate - I charge $100/hr to shoot.
(one operator, one DSR-300 camera, tripod, two channel audio kit, basic lighting)

Editing hourly rate - I charge $75 to $125 /hr to edit.
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