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Old October 17th, 2008, 03:36 PM   #1
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How to quote someone "rates" for a music video.

So I'm relativly new in the video production biz. I currently do weddings.

I always get e-mails asking what my rates for "X" are. Right now I have someone asking about a music video. I know rates equal price, but how do I format it? Per hour, per project, etc. expenses? Do I have a rate for rental, man hours, ect.

Also, whats resonable for a music video? I have no detail on the project yet, he just wants my rates.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 04:06 PM   #2
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Someone just asked me for my rate for a 5 minute promotional video (for a music school) and I quoted them between 1,500 and 5,000 UK pounds depending on how complex it was and suggested that we talk through some ideas.
I don't see how you can quote rates with no spec. I figured this range would not be too low for me, or too high to frighten them off.
I'll let you know if it works!
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Old October 17th, 2008, 04:30 PM   #3
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Thats exactly why I'm asking the question. Haha. Everytime I think I'm quoting somthing resonable, I never hear back from them. Wondered if I was doing something wrong.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 04:50 PM   #4
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There is one thing I have learned... "you pay peanuts... you get monkeys"
I have been in the Event business for over 15 years now.
When I first started i had a great product and thought that I was giving a good price.
I really was giving a good price.... because people thought I was too cheap... so I never got the work.

I had a band that I was using and was selling for £1500 16 piece Blues Brothers Band. they were brilliant. Never got much work. I then put the price up to £7500 and loads of work came in. Figure that one out???
Don'T be afraid to charge well for god services.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 06:44 PM   #5
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If you do not ask you do not receive. Some people do not know what i cost to do video. It take more time than most people think. One person in fort lauderdale wanted a cameraman with a GOOD quality HD camera to film him kitesurfing. This person thought 20 dollars an hour was fair. Yea right.
You can always come down on price but it is hard to go up
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Old October 17th, 2008, 11:42 PM   #6
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I agree, It's easier to drop the price, but like someone said, I don't want to scare them off. I would feel better if I knew what other people in Nashville charged, that way I could shoot for the middle. Maybe I should send randow people e-mails asking for their "rates" that way I know what to quote.
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Old October 18th, 2008, 02:55 AM   #7
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I suspect that if people just ask for a rate without any follow up questions or any kind of specification that they are time-wasters to begin with.
In my limited experience of making films but extensive experience of selling things I have learned to try to get to stage two ie discussing the clients needs.
If a potential client isn't interested in doing that they are almost certainly a waste of time.
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Old October 18th, 2008, 03:48 AM   #8
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I agree with Richard. If the customer/client is not prepared to discuss pricing and costs, or have a budget they want to work with, then they are not worth chasing. They are not serious about producing a decent video.
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Old October 18th, 2008, 04:27 AM   #9
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that is the point. the only value given to a work, is the value given by the customer.
you have to explain this to them, and i think personal contact only is the key.
you can even tell them this fisrt contact is free (if they move to your place), so they understand you are not working for free, but you are willing to help. (yes spending half an hour giving advices , even on the phone, is work !).
if they do not even care to get this way, they probably are not serious customer.
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Old October 18th, 2008, 11:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy Moss View Post
So I'm relativly new in the video production biz. I currently do weddings.

I always get e-mails asking what my rates for "X" are. Right now I have someone asking about a music video. I know rates equal price, but how do I format it? Per hour, per project, etc. expenses? Do I have a rate for rental, man hours, ect.

Also, whats resonable for a music video? I have no detail on the project yet, he just wants my rates.
Ask them to build you a house and give you a price to build the house right now. :-)

Kind of a lot of important details missing to be able to do that. Unless you have a pretty solid grasp of the kind of video they want (entry level band needs entry level video, etc.).
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Old October 18th, 2008, 02:33 PM   #11
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Here is the website of the record label that wants me to do the Music video.

Severe Records :: Nashville Music Production Company, A&R, artist development, recording, promotion

Based on the video's you see, what do you think the budget for a video like that would be? I told him between $3000-$8000 depending on locations and concept. Did I miss the mark?

(I have an HVX 200a and a redrock so I think my video would be a bit higher quality than those, they look a little flat).
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Old October 18th, 2008, 07:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy Moss View Post
Here is the website of the record label that wants me to do the Music video.

Severe Records :: Nashville Music Production Company, A&R, artist development, recording, promotion

Based on the video's you see, what do you think the budget for a video like that would be? I told him between $3000-$8000 depending on locations and concept. Did I miss the mark?

(I have an HVX 200a and a redrock so I think my video would be a bit higher quality than those, they look a little flat).
I couldn't get any of the videos to play (tried IE6 and firefox), but from the looks of it, the label has quite a few bands. I would probably charge depending on the creative process & amount of pre / shoot / & post production involved. IE.... lots of pre-planning for complicated shots (anything involving public buildings or moving vehicles). Is there any green screen scenes? How many sets involved? What time of day for the shoots? In doors or outdoors? Etc. The other option is to have a flat billable rate and say "I'll work for you for $X / hr doing whatever it takes to get the project finished." Note: I don't expect any band to take you up on that offer.

Since I am very good friends with several people in bands, I'm aware that they are almost all doing it for fun or trying real hard to make a go at it full time.... ie they are poor. They will most certainly try to work that in their favor.
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Old October 18th, 2008, 08:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy Moss View Post
I always get e-mails asking what my rates for "X" are. Right now I have someone asking about a music video. I know rates equal price, but how do I format it? Per hour, per project, etc. expenses? Do I have a rate for rental, man hours, ect.
You can't blame people for wanting a ballpark figure. We are having our septic replaced. I knew absolutely nothing about septic systems. One of my first questions was "Is this a $5,000 job or a $50,000 job?" He freely said "Most are between $8k and $15k." The final estimate was $12,500. At least I wasn't shocked when the final estimate came in.

It's the same with video. Most of my clients have never had a video shot. They have no clue whether to expect $1k or $100k. I'll usually ask a few questions then point them to a couple samples on my website that seem to closely match their requirements. I'll then tell them exactly how much those projects ended up costing. Once they have that info I'll suggest they come up with a budget for the project and I'll tailor a spec that fits into their budget.
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Old October 19th, 2008, 10:08 AM   #14
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Jimmy,

I think you took the best possible approach.

You quoted a decent range given your equipment (meaning you are shooting the video with a $50,000 setup for $3,000) and the next move is theirs.

Quoting is becoming difficult as more people have been poisened by Youtube imho.

They have a "good enough" approach to quality and want you to follow that same approach when quoting.

I really have to think to myslef, quote this job so I won't get hurt and see they come back, and like you stated, a lot do not come back.

Strange to me how you often have to convince people to do a project correctly rather than throw it together.
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Old November 9th, 2008, 12:13 PM   #15
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If the video is anything like the one from The Living Legend on the severe records site tell them to give me a shout, i'll do it for free!

Just kidding, or am I?

I think my point is (if i even have one) is that sometimes the job itself can be very appealing that it becomes difficult to charge what
should be charged based on the work load.
You have to decide yourself if you are willing to come in low to show what you can do and possibly secure more work for the future at a higher rate
or make a quick kill here and now. Obvioulsy both would be ideal.

But its hard to charge high for a job that you don't have any track record of doing. In this case a music video.

But it would be my opinion that based on this, what you quoted for this first job was realistic.
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