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Old October 21st, 2008, 08:21 PM   #1
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How much should I charge?

Someone asked me to videotape a half-hour press conference. Broadcast quality (3-chip HDV OK) but no PA system so (depending on the layout of the room) I'll either mount a shotgun mic on the camera (reporting style) or have a separate sound person.

Out of 30 min. of tape, the person who's hiring me and I will select three 10-sec soundbytes, and I'm to deliver 8 DVD copies two hours after the press conference. I'm also to make versions of the videos for the web.

What can I charge for this?
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Old October 21st, 2008, 08:49 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Jacques E. Bouchard View Post
Someone asked me to videotape a half-hour press conference. Broadcast quality (3-chip HDV OK) but no PA system so (depending on the layout of the room) I'll either mount a shotgun mic on the camera (reporting style) or have a separate sound person.

Out of 30 min. of tape, the person who's hiring me and I will select three 10-sec soundbytes, and I'm to deliver 8 DVD copies two hours after the press conference. I'm also to make versions of the videos for the web.

What can I charge for this?
Can you get your hands on a wireless mic to put up on the podium if they have one?

It depends where this is going to be used. You said the web but which websites? If its a large news org you can probably get a little more.

Depending on travel and such I imagine I would charge around $250 to deliver the 8 DVDs and have the Web Versions ready ASAP.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 10:35 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Josh Chesarek View Post
It depends where this is going to be used. You said the web but which websites? If its a large news org you can probably get a little more.

Depending on travel and such I imagine I would charge around $250 to deliver the 8 DVDs and have the Web Versions ready ASAP.
I'm being hired by a theater company, but they asked for broadcast-quality video, so I'm presuming this will be distributed to broadcasters.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 05:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques E. Bouchard View Post
Someone asked me to videotape a half-hour press conference. Broadcast quality (3-chip HDV OK) but no PA system so (depending on the layout of the room) I'll either mount a shotgun mic on the camera (reporting style) or have a separate sound person.

Out of 30 min. of tape, the person who's hiring me and I will select three 10-sec soundbytes, and I'm to deliver 8 DVD copies two hours after the press conference. I'm also to make versions of the videos for the web.

What can I charge for this?
A shotgun mic on the camera is NOT likely to prove adequate. You need to get the mic much, much closer to the speaker than the camera will be, preferrably on the podium within a few inches of the speaker, to get broadcast quality sound. If you have access ahead of time to the person speaking, another option would be to mic the presenter with a wireless. Another option is a sound person with a shotgun mic on a pistol grip up close to the speaker or if it's going to be a media scum situation, a hyper on a boom to get in over the head of the crowd. The on-camera mics you see on the cameras in ENG situations are almost always strictly for recording ambient sounds, virtually never for capturing speech as in 'reporting'. Try to scout the scene ahead of time so you'll know what you're facing before you actually get there and can plan accordingly.

Don't know what you should charge you haven't said what their budget might be but the aforementioned $250 seems low by a factor of 4 to 10 fold, especially when you take into account the editing and DVD duplication on such a tight schedule. When all is said and done you're looking at at least a full day of billable work. I can't imagine such a project running under $1000 and just off the top of my head $2500 seems much more reasonable. Ask yourself what CNN would pay a freelance team to cover the conference - that's going to be pretty close to what you should charge.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 08:44 AM   #5
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media scum
Media scum? Just try and claim that's not on purpose, hehe.

Steve makes great points, but I doubt you would get that rate from a theatre company in Montreal. Stillll, I agree that $250 is way too low for the job. Looks like a full day of work as Steve mentions, when you factor in setup of equipment for DVD production on site (unless you are so close to your office that you can race back to produce DVDs for two hours later), and your work later for producing web versions.

So what's your day rate? You would be lucky to get $500/day for freelance shooting in Montreal. So start there, add on for DVDs and web versions and choose a number. Steve's low quote of $1000 might fly.

If you have to hire a sound guy, add his rate on top.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 09:03 AM   #6
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I guess if you are spending a full day the prices they have listed would be in line but at those prices you better have a microphone up by the speaker so you can clearly hear the speaker and not the people in the crowd. I figured 2 hours would be about the time I would spend on this job. Granted I record to a hard drive on the fly and I have encoders setup to encode to the web from the master files I render from Premiere. As I also said, if its for a bigger fish then the price can go up much higher from there. I am not sure how the higher price will sit with them if you are a one man band so to speak. The sound guy if he is there should help with that though! Also, I am speaking in US $ which pushes it up to a little over $300 in Canadian dollars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vito DeFilippo View Post
Media scum? Just try and claim that's not on purpose, hehe.

Steve makes great points, but I doubt you would get that rate from a theatre company in Montreal. Stillll, I agree that $250 is way too low for the job. Looks like a full day of work as Steve mentions, when you factor in setup of equipment for DVD production on site (unless you are so close to your office that you can race back to produce DVDs for two hours later), and your work later for producing web versions.

So what's your day rate? You would be lucky to get $500/day for freelance shooting in Montreal. So start there, add on for DVDs and web versions and choose a number. Steve's low quote of $1000 might fly.

If you have to hire a sound guy, add his rate on top.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 09:32 AM   #7
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Hello,

Depending on what camera you use, try this formula

Camera - $ 350.00
Tripod - $ 75
Microphone - $ 40
4 hour charge (minimum) - $ 60 x 4- $ 240
Post Production - hours x $ -
DVD Copies - $ 20/each

And may I suggest you ask your client to provide a PA & media pool feed which is standard when doing press conferences.
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 10:56 PM   #8
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I have done small/short press conferences for around the $200-250 (american) area, though never with that kind of time constraint on getting a finished product out, and added stress can warrant added payment (or at least it should). I would say aim somewhat high on a quote, and if they really can't afford it they may negotiate, or if they can afford it they will probably agree.

You definitely do not want to rely on an on camera shotgun mic, as press conferences can be incredibly noisy depending on who is there. You can have everything from papers rustling, cameras clicking and laptops typing from any media people there and that can really kill any audio you would get. A microphone on the podium or the speaker is a must if you want to get good quality audio. Also having a shotgun on the camera can help if you need to get audio of any questions being asked from the audience though.
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 11:30 PM   #9
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With an HDV camera and laptop to burn it on the day: 4-5 hours of stress at $75-$125 an hour, all included. Since it's a time sensitive mission, I'd aim for the $500 mark minimum. And I wouldn't do it unless I could mic the speaker or the poduim. Otherwise the sound will be crap (it WILL be crap) and they won't pay you because your product is useless to them.

And...

GET PAID ON THE DAY, CHEQUE UP FRONT!!!!!!!!
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Old October 26th, 2008, 05:00 PM   #10
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I'm with Dylan, capture to a laptop, edit & burn right there on the spot.

I would also use a wireless and set it up on the podium like when you often see 25 mics in front of an important speaker.

This will be the best sound and you can control the feed.

For me, I would charge $500 as this is supposed to be "high quality" and is time sensitive.

BTW, I don't think CNN would show up with an HDV camera, and if they did, they should not be allowed to charge that much!

After all, it is only a half hour, but you have to give some wiggle room for yourself in case the client is off base and the half hour they need is in the middle of three hours of schedule...

This is a good example of the need for a minimum rate in a pricing structure.

Often things tend to be more work than they appear.
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Old October 27th, 2008, 07:52 AM   #11
 
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No one has mentioned a "rush charge" in this scenario. They want it NOW!

Clients have the choice of any two of the following three:

1. Fast
2. Good
3. Inexpensive
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