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Old July 7th, 2005, 07:28 PM   #1
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How much to Charge for Production per Hour?

How much do production companies charge for a commercial shoot? I am guessing it depends on the critera. But I was only given this info..

Say a client wants a video that is 5 minutes long to hand out as DVDs to sell there "skydiving buisness".

The client wants simple interviews of 10 "hired actors" saying how they liked the product shot on 10 differnt locations. Average of 5 hours per location = 50 hours of shooting.

To edit this into a 5 minute video would take an additonal 15-25 hours of editing and graphics.

How much should a independant vidoegrapher charge? -Knowing only this information?

Thanks!
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Old July 7th, 2005, 07:37 PM   #2
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First, do your homework on a local basis and see what similar projects go for in your area. Make some phonecalls, google your zip code and area code...

Then determine your costs.

Tape stock, equipment rental/ expendibles, transportation , food, labor (people YOU have to hire, including actors and crew) insurance, etc.

Then figure your time. How much is your time worth?

Then build in contingency in both time and money.

Put this all on paper, work out a budget and shoot schedule, and draw up a proposal for your client.


OR


Pull a number out of your hat and see if they like it.



Honestly, there's no way anyone here can tell you definatively what you should charge. You COULD charge a couple of hundred bucks, you could charge several thousand. But will your fees be in line with the quality of your product. We don't know, so we can't tell you.
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Old July 8th, 2005, 02:30 AM   #3
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Thanks,
Im going to charge 6,500- 7,000. Thats a number out my hat. Honest, I really dont want or need the job so if they dont take it no big deal - I win both ways...

thanks for your help though...
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Old July 8th, 2005, 09:50 AM   #4
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Moved. You should get more feedback here, or at least half a dozen people telling you to read some previous threads which cover this. :)
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Old July 8th, 2005, 06:58 PM   #5
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Like any business. If you charge too little you wont make any money and go broke. If you charge too much you wont get any work and go broke.

After 26 yrs in business what to charge is one of the main keys to success or failure. It's usually those at the cheaper end who give up and go out of business. In the process they become frustrated, stressed out, compromise their work standard, can't afford to reinvest in plant, and generally stuff up the industry for themselves and everybody else.

On the other hand....

"Tysan Persall said.
Im going to charge 6,500- 7,000. Thats a number out my hat. Honest, I really dont want or need the job so if they dont take it no big deal - I win both ways..."

Sorry Tysan. You can also loose big time. If you approach any job with an attitude of not needing it or wanting the job you run a pretty good chance of going belly up. Is your client really going to be happy to deal with a company who hasn't got their best interests at heart? The quality of your work is one aspect. But your attitude towards your client and his project will either make or break your reputation.
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Old July 8th, 2005, 07:11 PM   #6
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Hello Tyson. I would say that the first and most important step is determining what the client's budget is, even if it's an estimate, before getting too involved. You will learn real quick how important this is after dealing with clients that want the world but have unrealistic budgets. It saves you alot of wasted time knowing if they're nowhere near covering what it will take to get the job done.

Typical production costs are determined by what Richard said and anything else related that is specific to that project. Production labor is usually based on a flat rate for 8,10 or 12 hour days with overtime after which cutoff point is chosen, typically 10 but unfortunately moving towards 12. Find out what the average rate is in your area for the position you are working. In our market, Atlanta, the typical shooter labor rate is between 350.00 to 400.00 for 10 hours with OT after that. It really depends on your skill level and resume.

Next, find out what rates area rental houses are renting gear that is the same or similar to yours are and meet or beat them. Any gear that you have to rent can sometimes be marked up but the budget determines how much that can be done. Gear rental is usually a flat day rate as well, but for 24 hours. Most rental house pro-rate gear rentals with multiple day discounts such as a 3 or 5 day week, that is, you pay for 3 or 5 full days and get 4 or 2 respectively for "free". It's not really free, but if you divide 7 days into the total you'll see the discount is pretty damn generous!!!

Post production is usually hourly. I would overestimate on that or more than likely you will be working for free near the end because no client likes to hear, uh, it's gonna be more, much more to finish the edit. It's alway better to come in under than over. Unless it's a client's decision to significantly change something requiring more post time, I usually eat any overages in post because I think that I should know by now how to project the cost based on many hours of working for FREE in the past! Ha ha ha.

By the way, I'll be happy to work for you or that client if you don't want the project. Just e-mail or give me a call.
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Old July 10th, 2005, 12:46 PM   #7
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Tyson,
Check out this interesting perspective on quoting:
http://www.sitepoint.com/article/guide-signed-contract

Quote:
The New Rules for Quoting

My advice for quoting is this: never, ever charge by how long it will take. Don't charge by how skilled you are. And certainly don't charge less than the competition. Charge more -- usually lots more. I base my charges on how much I think the client will pay. We win 95% of all the jobs for which we pitch, and I can just about guarantee we're the most expensive every time.

Why? Well, the key to quoting is to realize this: clients won't assess you on your skill or programming level. They won't assess you on your creative genius, or even on your design ability. They usually don't have the technical expertise to objectively judge that stuff anyway.

The only thing the client is interested in is: can you do the job? And, more importantly: is contracting you as the designer going to be less risky than using someone else? (more...)
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Old July 10th, 2005, 03:08 PM   #8
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I agree with some of that article but don't like the generalizations made with alot of it. I definitely agree that perception by a client is a major factor in the presentation but this guy is all about all you gotta do is...., which just isn't the case. It is not a bad thing to present an efficient and flashy image with the pitch, but you better be able to back that up with the delivery of a great product. This guy is like most sales people, slick. When I spot that kind of activity, I feel like saying, let's cut the crap and get down to business. I think that he is correct that some clients don't know what they're getting into so they may not know what too much is, in other words, may not know what to compare it to to assess a fair value of the project. I do not like sales people that try to bullshit me with flashy presentations. When I hire crews, I look at their past work or resume and of course their rates. Any client that soley goes by presentation and the idea of well, if their price is high, they must be the best...., is just asking for it. We all know of products or services that are top quality but may be a bit overpriced. Just take a look at some of the comments after that article. I think every profession has its own intricacies and has to be managed by them specifically. I have yet to be chosen by a client that says, I chose you because you charge the most. Also, every production company that I have worked for wanted to see a resume before they said yes or no. The article stated that they got 95% of the contracts. 95% of how many? That could be 2 or 5 contracts instead of tens or hundreds. Also, most projects I have worked on, large and small, have a finite budget so if you don't meet or beat it, you ain't gonna get it. I'd like to see just where Mr. Slick is in a few years.

Last edited by James Emory; July 10th, 2005 at 04:39 PM.
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