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Taking Care of Business
The pen and paper aspects of DV -- put it in writing!


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Old September 27th, 2005, 04:14 PM   #1
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Another pricing question but please humor me!

Hi everyone -

I'm getting ready to call some customers and need to know quickly...
If they ask me to shoot say, their Christmas party and I go in, do some interviews, get video of the people dancing, etc, then take it home and make a 10 ir 15 minute promo piece their facility can send out to families --

I anticipate about an hour of shooting and probably - I dunno, maybe six hours of editing -- that's a guess off the top for this scenario, I really don't know.

Would about $500.00 be too much to charge? Then they would need to get DVDs duplicated, is that how it works?

i understand it changes from market to market. I'm in a medium market city.

Thanks =)
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Old September 27th, 2005, 06:49 PM   #2
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Sounds like a good price. Remember your hour of shooting will probably end up being two to three (as is the way things always work).
Then again, if they put an ad on Craigslist, they could get someone to do the job for $100.
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Old September 28th, 2005, 11:13 AM   #3
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They/you need to clearly define the number of hours shooting. They/you need to define the edit process or they will ask for endless unpaid hours of revisions.

Shoot the agreed number of hours. If they ask for more once you're on location ask them immediately to sign a change order (have one ready) or insist on cash for the overtime and don't proceed with the edit until the shoot time is paid.

Get paid for the shoot up front or on the day of.

Make clear the number of hours the edit will take and can only be estimated based on number of hours shot and a clear list of any FX, titles etc..

This should all be in writing.

If they can't agree to a contract then charge them by the hour with a minimum number of hours for the shoot paid up front and day of. Once that is done you can estimate or take a deposit on the edit.

They get NOTHING (other than review copies/time code burn in) until the FULL BILL is paid.

$500 is fair based on what you describe BUT without something in writing they may very well be dishonest about their estimate and desire for a flat fee for open ended work.
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Old September 28th, 2005, 09:55 PM   #4
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Yes very good advice. I am just learning to estimate time, and just got burned on the project from HELL which spun out of control, due to my being vague.
I learned though. Learned to be clear, that's for sure.
Truth is I don't know how many hours an edit like that would take so that's a basic guess. i guess I'll estimate, and if it goes over, eat the extra time and live & learn.
What does your change order say? I"ve recently put together a contract, releases etc, but never thought about doing that.
I guess I could put a list of titles/fx etc on that, didn't think of that. What do you list on yours?
Thanks
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Old September 29th, 2005, 12:23 AM   #5
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For Change Order I have a line in the Contract:

"This agreement may be changed only by mutual agreement if spedified in the attached Change Order with additional terms and costs."

And the Change Order says:

"We agree to make the change(s) specified below:
(fill in info here)
"This Change Order becomes part of the existing contract."
And then add the prices for the changes as well as any other aspects regarding deadlines.

I can understand the difficulty in estimating time for a job. Since you do know the price, you should include what you are offering.
For example:
Up to 2 hours at one location for shoot. Time includes equipment set up.
Up to 6 hours of post production including graphics, titles, voice over. Client will supply logos, script (if any) voice over talent. We provide titles and compositiing. Client may select music from our music library. Client will receive one VHS window time code dub for approval. In additional 2 hours of post production time is included for revisions. Final delivery will include one DVCAM master.

If it takes more time due to additions/changes by the client then you can make an estimate, include prices for any additional dubs etc., on the Change Order.

The above is very premitive but the idea is nothing is left open ended.
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Old September 30th, 2005, 02:09 PM   #6
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Yes, I really like that, Craig. Thanks
i got burned by not specifying this on the last thing, which ended up in endless revisions by me being vague "check it over and let me know if you want any changes" etc. Which repeated several times, and I left them with the impression that doing this work was no big deal -- so they kept coming back with stuff, etc.
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