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Taking Care of Business
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Old November 13th, 2008, 08:40 AM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Burleson, TX
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2-90 second web videos

Hey guys,

I've just sent out a quote on what could be a first paying gig. I feel like I'm second guessing my quote as being too high, and would like some input from those of you who do make your full time living in video.

Job Desc:

2- 90 second HD videos, shot/edited/compressed for web. 1 setup of a talking head interview for each video. 20 miles away from my office. My camera, lights and sound equipment. Shoot will be in an office type setting. Client to provide talent and script. Must be completed by 12-5-2008. Minimal graphics and no V/O or music bed required.

Can you guys help with a ballpark price range? I've been primarily doing volunteer projects for my church, but would like to start having my equipment pay for itself.

Any advice or guidance would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Mike Watkins
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Old November 13th, 2008, 09:20 AM   #2
 
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This has been discussed here hundreds of times.

The bottom line is it depends on your market. Miami will be different from Burleson. What a beginner can expect will be different from what a seasoned pro can get.

Do your own research on what folks in your area charge. Call around. Ask questions.
Jay Gladwell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 13th, 2008, 06:30 PM   #3
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Thanks Jay,

I was only looking for a ball park figure. Most of the shops I can contact around here, I assume are more seasoned and therefore won't likely have "entry level prices". I'm not marketing my services that way either.

I think if I can turn out as good or better a product than the next guy, it doesn't matter how long I've been doing it. Quality is quality, is quality. My biggest deficiency in experience is with pricing. This being a part time operation at this point, and me having a good primary source of income, will allow me to work at lower rates, but I'm not wanting to leave money on the table either.

Any further advice would be much appreciated. In the meantime I'll continue to peruse through the threads.

Thanks,

Mike Watkins
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Old November 13th, 2008, 08:04 PM   #4
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Location: McKinney,TX/New Orleans, LA
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I wouldn't do it for less than $800
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Old November 13th, 2008, 08:46 PM   #5
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Location: Anchorage, AK
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Jay does bring up a good point. Up here in Alaska, I probably wouldn't do very well if I charged the same amount that Jay's business charges. We're in two completely different markets with clients that have different attitudes about this industry. Someone in Chicago that says to charge $3500 may be absolutely spot on in his specific area and circumstances, but you just might find yourself being laughed out of the room. If you're looking for a basic guide for an hourly rate, I recommend checking this place out:

FreelanceSwitch Hourly Rate Calculator

Just plug in as many of the fields to the best of your abilities, and you'll see a general figure down at the bottom. Aside from that site, think about how much time its going to take you to complete the entire task. How many hours to set up, shoot, tear down, ingest, edit, graphics/color correction, tweaking and revisions, author/encode... What kinds of equipment are you using? You'll need to factor that in as well. Light bulbs burn out. Tape heads gradually wear down, computers need electricity, and NLE software costs money.

Working for a lower rate than your competition is a double-edged sword. Yes, this isn't your bread and butter, but for many of us, its our livelihood. Its not uncommon for business owners in this industry to invest well over $100k in just their shooting equipment. Factor in software and computers, DVD media and other pieces of gear, you're talking almost a quarter of a million dollars. If your skill level is as good as the guy down the road that bills clients $125/hr, well, its my opinion that you should charge something similar to that. If you charge, say, $30/hr instead, you're instantly de-valuing the other guy's work. Then, should you ever decide that you'd like to start making a little more money with your gear, its going to be that much more difficult for you to go from a really low amount to a more reasonable amount. Having competitive pricing is one thing, but severely undercutting hurts you and your competition in the long run. It's a touchy subject for a lot of us video production folks, and there are a few people here that can put it much more eloquently than I can.

Then again, if it were me, I'd also agree that $800 would be the bare minimum. I'd probably go for more like $1000 minimum, but like I said earlier, there are many variables at play.

My .02...
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Old November 13th, 2008, 09:01 PM   #6
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I'm in the ballpark then...

I had shot them a quote of $800.00. Still no response yet. I appreciate all of the input and insight on this forum, along with everyone's willingness to help and coach us greener guys.

I'll let you guys know if the gig comes through.

Thanks again,

Mike Watkins
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