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Old August 26th, 2011, 11:28 AM   #1
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How to bid time lapse?

I have a potential client who wants a time-lapse done over a few days of some construction work being done. I don't want to price him out of hte water. How would you bid a project like this?
Thanks in advance.
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Old August 26th, 2011, 11:55 AM   #2
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Re: How to bid time lapse?

How much time will you spend doing it?

What's your time worth?

Start from there.
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Old August 26th, 2011, 12:12 PM   #3
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Re: How to bid time lapse?

I'm guessing about three days.
Good point. Why am I resisting charging what my time is worth? Maybe because I'm just sitting there babysitting the camera, rather than doing a bunch of shooting?
This is a small business, yet I'm making an assumption that somehow I have to price down. For all I know, he could be worth millions.
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Old August 26th, 2011, 01:18 PM   #4
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Re: How to bid time lapse?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kell Smith View Post
I'm guessing about three days.
Good point. Why am I resisting charging what my time is worth? Maybe because I'm just sitting there babysitting the camera, rather than doing a bunch of shooting?
This is a small business, yet I'm making an assumption that somehow I have to price down. For all I know, he could be worth millions.
Don't forget, if you're sitting with the camera you can't be shooting another gig. The other gig is a lost opportunity which is a cost of doing business than must be recovered in your pricing. The price of the time you're spending on the project you are doing shouldn't be any less than what you would have earned doing the project you turned down in order to do the one you are doing.
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Old August 26th, 2011, 02:55 PM   #5
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Re: How to bid time lapse?

Kell,

If it takes three days to shoot it takes three days to shoot. It doesn't matter that the captured footage is being done at 1 frame a second. Ask yourself if you feel you should charge more for shooting at 60p for a 30p final delivery (slow motion). Would you charge twice as much because you're going to end up with slow motion footage?

I understand that it may feel like the client isn't getting as much because you're not having to constantly move or adjust the camera. But think of it a different way. They are paying you for your experience and expertise in being able to setup and capture the TL footage. It could be potentially more costly if they went with someone who didn't know what they were doing and the footage didn't get captured or turned out looking horrible. This will be the only opportunity they get to capture this phase of their construction so in a sense it is the money shot. It could be that it just takes three days to get it.

-Garrett
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Last edited by Garrett Low; August 26th, 2011 at 07:03 PM.
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Old August 26th, 2011, 05:19 PM   #6
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Re: How to bid time lapse?

Agreed...if you're on site, it's a shoot and you charge a full day rate.

I have looked at a few services that offer multicam time-lapse and they don't have personnel on site. Once the cameras are set, they stream back to a central location to monitor all their rigs that are out. Don't really trust that as there's no one to fix it if something goes wrong but that's their biz.
They also have weatherproof enclosures and offer daily, weekly and monthly rates. It's cheaper than my day rate but my day rate includes me.

So as mentioned, you can't be in two places at once so your time is your time and should be billed accordingly.
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Old August 27th, 2011, 08:26 AM   #7
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Re: How to bid time lapse?

Bill by your day rate, unless you discern that offering a discount has a good change of benefiting you in the long run, for example, by gaining you a long term client that will gain you repeat business, and good referrals. Contacts can be much more valuable than contracts.

How good are you at sizing up potential clients? Is he really a good prospect? Business to business relationships are still people to people relationships underneath.

And there is another factor too. I have my rates, but there is also some flexibility in them. For instance, is it hard work or easy work? Can you bring a laptop with you on location and do other work while you are waiting? I've done a five day demolition shoot for a 3 minute timelapse in the past. It made me think of going fishing. A lot of lulls between the action. Having a laptop lets you do other things while waiting for action to happen.
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Last edited by Roger Van Duyn; August 27th, 2011 at 08:33 AM. Reason: additional comment
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Old August 27th, 2011, 10:07 AM   #8
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Re: How to bid time lapse?

If you have to be on-site the whole time, you might not be the best person for the job.

Still, charge your day rate. Then go do other work. You shouldn't have to babysit the camera for a construction job.
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