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Taking Care of Business
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Old September 13th, 2010, 07:09 PM   #1
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Production fees

I'm looking at making a corporate video for a motivational speaker soon and I'm writing up a quote. I usually make short films, music videos etc which aren't duplicatible 'sales' products. The client wants to on sell the product. I'm wondering if I have the right to charge a royalty fee or take a small sales percentage of future profits. Does anyone have experience of how this business side works?

Thanks in advance.
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Old September 13th, 2010, 11:07 PM   #2
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You have the "right" to negotiate any deal you want. You can certainly ask for royalties, but I prefer cash on the barrelhead. 10% of nothing is still nothing.

I'm very leary of people who want to pay me with future profits. I typically refuse all projects like that. I recently finished a video series for a motivational speaker (who was actually very good.) I was happy to get my flat fee. If she becomes a millionaire, I'll be happy for her but I won't get a penny of it, and I'm ok with that.
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Old September 14th, 2010, 12:03 PM   #3
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Also consider that when you negotiate any kind of "participation" deal - you open up vast new areas of compexity. How do you determine sales? Are you expecting the speaker to open their books to you? Are you going to take them on faith? What about discounting? If they offer a "show special" at 50% off, does your royalty take a 50% hit?

As you can see, participation deals get VERY complex, VERY fast.

Also, if the content copyright belongs entirely to the speaker, and they're paying you for nothing more than recording services, they're a VERY poor business person if they agree to a deal that gives you royalty rights to their work. Royalties are typically reserved for authors and other creators - NOT service providers unless the value of their NAME (e.g. shot by George Lucas) will materially affect sales.

So good luck.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 10:11 AM   #4
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I can't imagine anything being shot by George Lucas to have any real artistic value!! ;-)
I mean the guy can hardly write an intelligable script, let alone shoot artistically!! Then again... he's made more money than I'll ever see in my lifetime so he must be doing something right!! LOL

Ok, so my question is about production fees also. Lately, I've been getting a few enquiries from City Halls and towns wanting me to produce a 5 minute or so promotional piece showing off their city. It's surprise work that's come off the back of a small personal project I did a couple of months back that got seen in the right places.

I normally work as part of a crew, so have no idea what to tell them regarding cost. They're asking me for a ballpark figure, but I don't normally do this kind of work. I don't want to lose it by being too expensive, but I don't want to cheapen myself either (need to make it worth my while). If I get this right, it could start something nice for me in the future.

The project they want to commission me for is about a 2-day shoot in several locations around their city and 4 to 5 day edit & post production set to music. We're talking small provincial towns and cities in Spain here, not New York. Does 2 or 3 thousand dollars sound about right to you?

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Old December 15th, 2010, 01:00 PM   #5
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2-3k sounds low to me, but I don't know if you mean USD or whatever you have there in Spain.

First start off figuring out the cost to rent equipment you don't have, and even if you have everything, consider charging them for the cost to rent your equipment.

Then figure out how much you want to pay yourself.

Don't forget to include the cost of craft services in your qoute.
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Old December 24th, 2010, 04:15 AM   #6
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Since you're doing a quote for a motivational speaker, don't forget to give him some of his own back. Include in your quote how this video will empower him as a speaker and connect him with his future fame and fortune. You get the idea.

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