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Old June 7th, 2009, 06:12 PM   #1
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what should I charge for this?

I was out at a public event this weekend just doing some camera practice. One of the exhibitors expressed interest in the video, although I did not give her a quote at the time, and also suggested she might have me do some at her other events. I put together a minute and a half piece to some music for my own fun/practice.

I don't want to get in the habit of giving things away for free so I should probably charge her something. Her comment indicated that to me also.

What would be appropriate to charge her?
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Old June 8th, 2009, 10:42 AM   #2
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No takers?
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Old June 8th, 2009, 11:34 AM   #3
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Kell,

You will need to give more information in order to find out what to charge.

Your post is how clients usually treat us (the content creators)! - Here is 10% of the info, now give me a price :)
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Old June 8th, 2009, 01:27 PM   #4
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If your footage was shot as a tourist aboard the International Space Station, I'd charge $1,000,000. If it was at a dog show, I'd consider myself lucky to get $20.

My point is that different footage commands different prices, so Tim is correct, you have not posted enough info to give an educated opinion.

Also, the carrot on a stick comment from the exhibitor is usually 95% false. Tell the prospective client "I'd be happy to provide a quote for your upcoming event/performance/whatever."

Just because of the "look" of my camera (a JVC HD100u) I sometimes get people asking for footage, even when I'm just shooting my kid at a performance. I just politely refuse, giving some excuse like "I'm only filming my own kid's part" when it's a personal event, or "I'm under exclusive contract" when it's a professional shoot.
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Old June 8th, 2009, 03:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kell Smith View Post
No takers?
Aw, c'mon, Kell, you've asked this question before and there are many other similar "What should I charge?" questions on this forum and others, and many of the answers to those questions post the links to the online calculators you can use to determine what rates to charge. The answer is always the same: figure out what your hourly rate should be using these calculations and charge accordingly.

Also: make sure you have the rights to use the music you referred to.
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Old June 8th, 2009, 05:42 PM   #6
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Wow it's chilly in here today.
I guess it's more on par with the dog show. Streetside festival.
I filmed her painting tatoos on some kids.
It's only a minute and a half piece.
i used royalty free music from a collection.
I just didn't want to overcharge her so I wanted to run it by here for some feedback on what was appropriate before contacting her.
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Old June 8th, 2009, 08:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kell Smith View Post
Wow it's chilly in here today.
I guess it's more on par with the dog show. Streetside festival.
I filmed her painting tatoos on some kids.
It's only a minute and a half piece.
i used royalty free music from a collection.
I just didn't want to overcharge her so I wanted to run it by here for some feedback on what was appropriate before contacting her.
Ok look. . . . everyone is pretty slow to provide answers because it looks like you haven't done your end of the deal (aka some googling, etc). Are you a video pro and are actually wondering what to charge? If so . . . . . you may not be a video pro (please dont' take offense). A video pro would generally know what their time is worth and charge accordingly. If you have never worked with individual small biz clients, and instead have worked for bigger clients, then you could actually be concerned about overcharging and be asking for pricing guidelines.... in which case I would say you are correct in asking for some guidelines.

Like the other posters, I am not going to provide you what I could charge, because it seems like a easy bit of searching & some thinking on your part would provide the answers you are looking for.

Insert analogy about teaching someone to fish vs giving them a fish.... etc. :-/
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Old June 8th, 2009, 11:22 PM   #8
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I admit I have taken a bit of offense here but I'll try to let it slide for the purposes of making sure I am approaching her appropriately.

The whole thing probably amounted to about an hours worth of time, not counting shooting which was probably about twenty minutes. I would take fifty bucks for that hour. I will still have to finish up the piece and output it if she wants it. So I guess the time would run more like an hour and a half.

But that seems high for something I was doing for my own practice. She didn't invite me to the street festival, I showed up and found something interesting to shoot.

That's really the heart of the question. Had she explicitly hired me, I would have no problem charging her that (and no question to ask here). I guess I was wondering not so much about charges for time, as what the terms/charges should be based on the situation.

But now that you guys put it in those hourly terms, I guess there's really no difference since time is time, and if she wants the video, she should pay for the time.

I wasn't even thinking in terms of hourly when I posted. Actually I need a hundred bucks tomorrow - some bills are due =) and I thought I'd see if she was interested in having the video for her site. But that amount seemed high, which was why I posted here, to get a second opinion and check to make sure I was proceeding appropriately.

I am still learning to bid, and have gotten better at it based on help in this forum. I've learned a lot here and appreciate the advice present and past. This just seemed like a different situation.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 08:14 AM   #9
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LOL, sorry for the chilly response, it wasn't intended (much!)

Here's how I'd handle it with the client:

"I'm glad to hear you're interested in this footage. It will take some work to edit, render and convert this footage into a format suitable for your website. I estimate that work could be done for $xxx.xx."

I do lots of small projects like that (although they typically contact me first.) So for a project like you've described, I'd give them an estimate of $300.

I always used to undermisestimate my time, and I think you are at 1.5 hours. Try to think "worst case" - what if she wants 20 revisions, or her web developer wants it re-encoded 20 times? You need to cover yourself for that time too.

Another way of thinking is "what value will this video provide?" I think a video of her actually doing her work available on her website is worth far more than $300.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 09:50 AM   #10
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Wow guys...am I the only simple thinker in here ; )

Of course if you were hired to cover the event, then you may charge $300+. But what is being done differently now that someone is interested in the video? To me it seems that the product is already completed, and the only thing that has changed in the situation is that someone wants to buy the product. Right? Or was it edited specifically for the potential client?

To me it seems like the only thing going on is someone wants to buy a DVD. Well, how much do DVD's cost? $20-$50. I recently covered some of Obama's speeches for my own reasons. People asked me for DVD's and I said sure, $20, then I would have some money to donate to the campaign. Now if I was hired to cover the campaign, then I would have charged $400 a day, but guess what, if a spectator wants a DVD it's still $20 (if I was allowed to sell them).

So charge them for the DVD, plus the time it takes you to export and create the DVD (that's what makes sense to me). Now, if they want to use the clip on their site, in there establishment, etc...then of course tack on the neccessary fee (find out what they want before giving them a quote). Just my thoughts.

JS
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Old June 9th, 2009, 10:10 AM   #11
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She said "I will still have to finish up the piece and output it if she wants it." That means it's not done, and of course the client will have suggestions, change requests, etc.

It would not be unusual that she ends up with another 4-5 hours into this project. She will have to edit to the client's specifications, render it and encode it.

I used to be the "simple thinker", then I found out I was giving away a lot of my time. Once somebody finds out they have to write you a check, they stop being "simple".
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Old June 9th, 2009, 10:35 AM   #12
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I did edit it to see what I would get. I was shooting for my own practice and editing 1) for my own fun that afternoon just to see what I got from the festival , and 2) for her, to see if I had something worth approaching her with.
When I originally approached her, I said, 'I'm doing a little piece on the festival." Later I elaborated that I might use it for different things and I wasn't sure what yet - that I would probably contact the event organizers.
She indicated that she might like to buy some of the footage if it comes out and seemed very interested in me contacting her.
She also indicated that she might want me to come to some other events with her.
It is for the large part mostly edited, although some work remains to finish and output.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 10:59 AM   #13
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Thanks for your advice. I split the difference here and just left her a voice mail, saying that I got some cute footage, and could put together a little piece about a minute or so to music for her website for about $100.00, and to contact me if she was interested.
So the ball's in her court now.
I googled her name though - it's an unusual name so not many searches came up - and did not find a website. Maybe she goes under a business name.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 11:32 AM   #14
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I'm going to be in this position a lot shortly. The next few months are dedicated to portfolio building and refining my camera skills. So I will be shooting local events and probably some local organizations or happenings, local stories if you will. So it's going to be a tough balance between where/what to charge, and not. I'm not in a position financially to do a bunch of free work, I really desperately need to bring in some income
Possibly for those pieces that eventually end up used in the demo for camera skills, I'll give a copy to the organization/event. They'll just be small little pieces, 2-5 minutes. But if someone wants footage edited or something larger, I feel they should have to buy it as it will involve my time to put it together.
But the goal over the next few months is to shoot a lot, just about everything I can find that's happening.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 08:37 PM   #15
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42 according to the late Douglas Adams (or was it the mice?).

$150/hr with 4 hour minimum for shooting.
$100/hr for editing.
Doing video work is fun. That's why we do it for a living. So no discount for fun.
Ask for payment for work done so far and any additional work is per hour as cited above.

If that 90 seconds is a 3 part serialized TV spot airing on a national network $150,000 might be reasonable and don't forget to get 15% agency payment from the media outlets.

If you really need money, asking for it increases the likelihood of getting it. If you need $1500 to make the rent/mortgage and only get $750 where do you live next month (after eviction/foreclosure)?

Sometimes the best way to build portfolio is find a local not for profit and donate the video services in return for getting publicly credited for the donation. Their donors may be become your paying clients given support for a like minded cause and quality work. This is probably better karma than working for a business taking advantage of you.
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