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Taking Care of Business
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Old November 22nd, 2005, 03:40 PM   #1
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Making up for it in DVD sales

I just completed a video project for a local soccer team. I charged an hourly rate for my time videotaping team interviews as well as for my time editing and mastering the DVD. This was one of my first paid gigs so I based the project fee on what I believed to be half the going hourly rate in my area. My estimate of how many hours it would take was only 2 hours off.

I expect to sell at least 15 of the finished DVDs to the parents at $10 each (no labels or inserts, just silver DVD and clear case). My cost for each is $1.50 and about 15 minutes to burn it.

My question ... like still photographers that charge a bit less for the shoot knowing they'll make up for it in print sales, do videographers do the same? Charge a bit less for their shooting and editing time knowing they'll make up for it in media sales? (I'm talking small quantities here, sub-100 units)

Or do you charge full price for your time and sell the finished media at or near cost?
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Old November 22nd, 2005, 06:08 PM   #2
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I've done both. I'd have to say every deal is different. However, there's also unscrupulous people who will lead you into thinking they'll go with you for duplication but then end up with somebody else (Happened to me once). I cut him a preferential rate for the production with an assurance that he would pick us for duplication. There was an option in the contract for him to drop out of the duplication if the DVD wasn't up to par. Needless to say, he claimed that. Doubtful he could have found a better rate... He probably ended up trying to do it himself. So this is something to keep in mind if you want to try and make it back on the dist. Negotiations are a fluid thing.

I will say that I never charge a client cost for DVD though. There's always some kind of markup in there.
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Old November 22nd, 2005, 09:05 PM   #3
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I think Kinkos gets $15 or so for a DVD copy, so that is your low end price. I would charge $25 ($30 ??) , and put a nicer imprint on it (maybe a screen capture form the video) as well as a decent jewel case or similar. DVD cases in qty cost about 40 cents on ebay.

People will get an impression of your work from what you give them, so make it nice. They will remember nice longer than they will remember cheap, and are mroe likely to hire you for other things...
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Old November 22nd, 2005, 09:08 PM   #4
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Fresnel,
Imagine going to work and at the end of a two week pay period the bose decides your work was sub par and only pays you for one week.

Even if the boss fires you, you get paid for your two weeks of works.

If the client feels insecure about giving you production, post product, duplication. You may give them the option to "break" at some point but you get paid in FULL to that point.

If you REWARD the client with a price break it's on the back end for completing the job with you, not for walking away. You can surprise them with a discount on the FINAL bill. Some will discount when they pay in FULL EARLY.

A promise for future work, post production, duplication is worth ZERO unless they give you a NON REFUNDABLE deposit on that future work.

The client has a right to not commit in advance but you don't reward them with a discount BEFORE that commitment.

Steve,
If you discount for the shoot and edit than you shoulder the risk for the sales. Factor all time and costs into full value of the project and mark up appropriately on the sales so you show a profit.

BTW, There are times when I've outsourced a dub order. Since I shoulder the risk, burden, responsibility to the vendor and on the Quality Control for the project I mark up for that supervision.
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 05:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman
Fresnel,
Imagine going to work and at the end of a two week pay period the bose decides your work was sub par and only pays you for one week.

Even if the boss fires you, you get paid for your two weeks of works.

If the client feels insecure about giving you production, post product, duplication. You may give them the option to "break" at some point but you get paid in FULL to that point.

If you REWARD the client with a price break it's on the back end for completing the job with you, not for walking away. You can surprise them with a discount on the FINAL bill. Some will discount when they pay in FULL EARLY.

A promise for future work, post production, duplication is worth ZERO unless they give you a NON REFUNDABLE deposit on that future work.

The client has a right to not commit in advance but you don't reward them with a discount BEFORE that commitment.
Yeah. I learned from that mistake. It was an early days gig when I was eager to land what I figured would be relatively large pickings.

These days its a lot tougher (but I'll admit not impossible) to take me for a ride. :)

I just wanted to a share an experience with Steve. But thanks for framing it up in that sense. If I had read this back then, it would have saved me a lot of disappointment.
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