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Old July 27th, 2004, 09:52 AM   #1
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How much should I charge..??!


I know there are MANY factors involved but could someone give me a RANGE of what I should charge [as a videographer] for a 10 hour shoot [flat ]. I'm being asked by a small production team that does commercials who attained this gig.

The details are: I will be using my OWN CAMERA [DVC80] and wireless MIC for the shoot -I will be the second shooter for a non-profit gig. The shoot should last no more than 10 hours outdoors each day and will run for four days. So 4 x 10 hour shoots.

I have some experience shooting weddings and live events and have a degree in t.v/broadcasting.

I need to come up w/ a quote for a 10 hour flat fee for shooting. and come up w/ a fee for a 8 hour flat fee for editing [which i have some experience as well]. Any ideas?????

thank you all!!!
Karen Grayson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 27th, 2004, 10:29 AM   #2
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(Days x Hours x Rate) = Labor

Labor + Expendables + Incidentals = Package Price

Rate is what your time and experience are worth in YOUR market. Rate may be different numbers for you and a second camera person. Rate for camera work may be different than editing work.

Expendables is tapes, DVDs, etc. (Direct pass-though to the customer)

Incidentals is gas, lodging, music liscensing, etc. (Direct pass-though to the customer)

Can't answer what the appropriate rate for you is, even though this is really the only thing you wanted to know. Maybe this will help you arrive at the answer right for you on this project. Sorry.
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Old July 29th, 2004, 11:32 AM   #3
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Minimum 200 bucks a day for filming. Otherwise it's an insult.
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Old July 29th, 2004, 12:01 PM   #4
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Do your homework. Call some other production companies or DP's and ask their rates or rate cards. Find out what your camera would rent for from a rental house. Factor this in to your bid.

No one ever gets what they deserve... only what they negotiate.

Figure out how much you would like to get.
Figure out how much you NEED to get.

Shoot for a figure higher than lower. Then NEGOTIATE DOWN. If possible, try to get them to name a figure first. If you really really really NEED this job, then do it for a discounted rate... but BILL them for it. What I mean is, present the full cost of your rates... Say its 600 a day for a ten hour day for you and your gear. Times four days, total bill is 2400 dollars. But in big bold letters on their bill, they see SPECIAL INTRODUCTORY DISCOUNT of 10% or whatever... total bill $2160.

Now, they feel like they are getting a deal, and you are doing a favor, and you won't be expected to work at the lower rate when they call you again.

Good luck.
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Old July 29th, 2004, 03:04 PM   #5
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Once again, Richard has some good advice. Say, Richard, you sound like you've been in the biz for a while. What do you do and how long have you been doing it?
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Old July 29th, 2004, 04:16 PM   #6
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how much should i charge..?


thanks for the feedback...well, He [company] asked me to quote him a price [after i've done the research and spoke to an industry prof.] so i came up w/ a price. i said: $350/10 hour flat
and $300 / 8 hour edit. Then he asked me how $300/10 hours & $200/edit 8 hrs sounds..Then i said : $300/10 hour & $350 8 hour edit. [are u getting exhausted yet?!! lol ] Upon which he said how about: $400/12 hour for shoot & edit and that i could go back & forth on the day from shooting to capturing the video etc... In the meantime , the field producer [a friend of mine] who is going to be on this shoot said that the locations of the shoots will be in several towns thruout the state and they expect me to drive back to the companys edit suite which is 50 min away to edit.

so after some more thought i didn't feel comfortable w/ his new quote at a 12 hour flat. also i should mention that the last time i did freelance for this guy i had to wait over 30 days to get paid.

He didn't have a outlined schedule of the days shoots nor did he have all the details yet, so..

so i quoted him a new price of $400/10 hour shoot/edit
and $40 for the hours 11-12; $80 per hour ea. after [which i don't think it would go past].

now he responds back that he needs to get more details about the shoot & that he can't afford to pay me o.t etc...

he said he will pay me .37 mi though..

boy, i hate this going back & forth quoting stuff!! yuck!

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Old July 29th, 2004, 04:44 PM   #7
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Get used to it.

Sorry, didn't mean to sound so jaded. But really, it's best to just disengage the emotions and understand that it's part of the biz to work rates and fees around schedules. The important thing is to truly understand what it takes to cover your expenses and make a little bit of money.

I always tell my students "Never work for free... people will assume that's what you're worth".

Of course, sometimes I work for things OTHER than money. Services in kind, equipment access, future commitments, etc. But always get such promises in writing.

Hang in there, keep the faith.
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Old July 29th, 2004, 11:52 PM   #8
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And if you followed craigslist, people think it's reasonable to pay $100 a day for a person with their own DVX100A or equivalent!

In my neck rental houses do the small 3 chips at around $200 a day. The dreamers who bought those cameras and can't find work (at anything above $100 a day!) are now renting them at $75 a day, freeing them to get a paying job in the meantime and cut their losses.

I recently responded to a job post that asked for an experienced DP who could start at 6:30 AM and do hand held all day. $100 Compensation. I responded asking if he meant $100/hr for such a rough shoot by an experienced DP. He responded $100 for the day and he claimed he had 20 experienced DPs willing to take the job!

Richard is setting the right pace.

I have differnt scales based on the project. I'll do "starving artist" shoots, student films at $25/hr 4 hr minimum. It's basically just covering the cost of the equipment but these can be fun experimental projects and can develop good relationships. Just make sure you make enough to cover your survival even on these projects. I've had a few "starving artists" actually get me higher paying corporate work from their day jobs (or friends with day jobs).

Local cable spots and corporate work $300-$500 a day with a $200 4 hr minimum.

Minimums are important. Even if the shoot only takes an hour, you've really killed half a day with packing, traveling, setup etc.

My edit range is similar.

Negotiate but keep it simple. Don't get taken advantage. If someone's haggling about $100 and the back and forth takes days, they have serious budget problems in which you'll bare the risk.

On shoots I generally ask for 50% on agreement and 50% on shoot day. You really shouldn't suffer slow payers, especially in lower budget productions. Higher budgets and regular clients might be another story but I've even seen "regulars" suddenly drag months.

Unless you're the producer "flat" should always be a concrete number of days/hours or they'll kill you with extra shoot hrs/days and revisions in post.

All the above have variables based on particulars of the shoot and certainly the market you're in.

If I were you, I'd stay close to your first set of numbers. It's ok to drop the numbers a bit if you feel you need to but if haggling back and forth he's trying to squeeze blood from somebody and that's not good. If he's spending that much time haggling he doesn't likely have somone in the wings to fill your shoes IMHO.

Remember bottom feeders will always find someone for less or free. Don't get too close to the "20 experienced DPs" who'll work for $100 a day.
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