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Old April 8th, 2003, 11:19 PM   #1
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How much should I charge?

A friend of mine wants me to (digital) videotape an instructional video-slash-infomercial (10-20 minutes or so, the type of thing that can be handed out or bundled w/ their product on VHS or DVD) as well as a 30-second commercial (for use on a cable TV broadcast channel). I'll be doing the camera work, some moderate directing, all the computer editing, and possibly recording some solo accoustic guitar in my home audio studio for background music.

Right now I'm estimating this will require about 2 days of video recording on site, a lot of editing time (2-3 more days?), a day of addional dialogue recording (voice overs) and then a day or two to record the music (if they want to do that).

I'll be using a Sony TRV-900, tripod, filters, external mic, and my computer system for editing (Vegas 4+DVD). I'll have an assistant (grip?) or two, and the filming will all be outdoors during the day, so I will probably just bring some 500W shop lamps for extra lighting which I may or may not need.

I'd like to just charge a flat fee, with a caveat that significant time beyond the baseline time estimate would be more money. So the question is, how much do I charge? It's a rather low budget affair, but it is a lot of my time, so I'd like to be properly compensated.

Thanks!
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Old April 9th, 2003, 12:35 AM   #2
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The big question is...
How good a friend are you?

If this was for a really good friend I would say: Cover all the expenses, including the assistant, a case of beer per day of work, plus you have to help me the next two times I move.

If it was for an aquaintance, rather than a good friend, I'd charge based on what they can afford. This sounds like it would be at least a $1500+ job. If they could only afford $200, and I really liked them, then I'd do it for $200.
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Old April 9th, 2003, 02:35 PM   #3
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prices

The going price around here for 30 second spots is from $1500 to $5500.....not including your price of air time (of course)
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Old April 12th, 2003, 01:34 PM   #4
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at some point you have to ask yourself HOW much is YOUR time worth ? 100 day ? 200 day ? 300 day ?
i would not do a flat rate for the project. i have found there are just too many changes that happen when you flat rate ... make it clear to your friend that for X $$ you will put in X time. anything over that time will be extra $ ...
i can only tell that as i look back over 20 years the projects that i was paid the lowest ( free to little) and that took up the most time , and that it was the hardest to satisfy them were projects that i was doing for FRIENDS !!! beware of the after it is edited changes, to making another DVD , to making copies etc ...
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Old April 14th, 2003, 04:48 PM   #5
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Don is so right. Friends are the hardest to please, and free stuff is not appreciated. But I still do both all the time.
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Old April 14th, 2003, 08:45 PM   #6
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It also depends on how close you live to a major market. A fair quality 30 second spot in Tampa and Cincinnati (my two most recent homes) can easily be had for $300. Anything over $600 is very hard to get unless the script calls for some amazing shots, talent, 3D graphics etc.
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Old April 14th, 2003, 08:47 PM   #7
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Ok, so I came up with a price target in my mind for this project: $300-600. I then made an estimate of how long I thought it would take. I then determined hourly rates each for filming, editing, and music recording. If they want to work more than a set number of hours in a single day, the rate goes up after that point.

This way, I'm ok if they want to do all sorts of extra work. I can also not charge them for the hours I screw something up and take more time than a professional would have taken.

I wrote up a nice MS-Word document describing exactly what I can do and what gear I can use for each of the filming, editing, and music recording portions of the project. That way, they know exactly what they're getting.

Thanks all!
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Old April 15th, 2003, 08:27 AM   #8
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Hey Bruce - Care to share a word doc so we can see what you're doin? (ok - it's kinda private, but never hurts to ask)
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Old April 15th, 2003, 07:35 PM   #9
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I'm going to convert my word doc into a webpage and put it on my site. I'll post the URL in this thread when complete! Hope this helps.

Cheers
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Old April 19th, 2003, 11:29 PM   #10
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I put up my draft listing of services on my website. The guy I'm working with seems pretty happy he can pay me something less than 1K and have a better product than if he bought a cheap 1K camera and tried to do it himself. We start recording audio this next week. Next weekend, we'll probably start acquiring video.

Hope this helps!

http://www.brucix.com <--- select the "services" link
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