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Old May 28th, 2007, 11:01 PM   #1
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What Would You Charge?

Hey Everyone,

I know everybody has a different way of pricing their services, different areas of the country, the local market etc..., but I'm looking for some pricing ideas on a particular project to see if I'm close to average.

The project is a 60 minute exercise video that the client wants to sell on DVD. It would be shot over 1-2 days at the client's gym. Two camera shoot, lighting, sound etc... of course. I'm estimating 20-30 hours of editing - No incredible amount of special effects, but would have a fair bit of graphics and lower thirds. There would also be follow-up voice overs for additional instructions. The client wants to own all the footage and as I said - sell it nationwide.

If anyone could just give me a ballpark estimate, I'd appreciate it. I'm particularly curious to see any rate differences by geographic location.

Thanks.

Craig
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Old May 29th, 2007, 01:22 AM   #2
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Craig,

Someone came to me with a similar concept, but they flaked out on me. Fortunately it only took one meeting with them to realize that they didn't have any actual cash for the project.

I think that you have to read the client. I wouldn't work for less than $40 per hour. Though I would start at $50 per. That's if I didn't need to bring someone in to help. If they have cash, a good plan, are organized and serious, I'd do the job at an hourly rate. However I would want a fairly decent non refundable deposit (say $1000) before beginning. The balance would be due on delivery. By going hourly, you also avoid (somewhat), all the meddling and re-cutting in post that you may not have factored into the original estimate.

I recently had an electrician rewire my house. He said 'if I give you a quote. I'm gonna quote high. If I charge you by the hour, you'll pay what it costs'. I chose the hourly route.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 01:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Diewert View Post
By going hourly, you also avoid (somewhat), all the meddling and re-cutting in post that you may not have factored into the original estimate.
I completely agree. I'm starting to charge half-day and day rates for shooting, but I'm keeping the editing at an hourly rate--because predicting the amount of time that editing will take is such an imprecise science, but also to discourage nitpicking and neverending requests for imperceptible tweaking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Diewert View Post
He said 'if I give you a quote. I'm gonna quote high. If I charge you by the hour, you'll pay what it costs'.
Beautiful! I want that on a T-shirt.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 02:02 AM   #4
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yes for editing I only charge on an hourly rate unless I've been commissioned to a long project like a TV series or Feature. As for your job, I wouldn't do it for anything less than 10K. That's Australian dollars mind you.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 07:38 AM   #5
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I'm doing exactly the same thing, charging base price of $5000. This includes 50 dvd's. Anything after is additional and a la carte, editing $150/hr, extra day of shooting $1000/day and so on. 3d graphics are extra and so on.

You need to come with a base price to do it, and the figure the extra costs that come into play. They always want a few more changes or extra dvd's so you need to stipulate in your contract what comes in the base package and what you charge for things in addition to what's included in the base package.

Hope this helps.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 08:47 AM   #6
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For a video like that I'd charge 1/2 day or day (8 hours). When I use lights I include the price of an assistant. Editing is hourly.

I do give an estimate and clearly state it's an estimate, not a quote, because they're too many variables. I do explain some of the variables which often center around graphics or changes.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 04:43 PM   #7
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Thanks guys - I really appreciate the feedback. I was looking at $5k for the quote so I think I'm pretty reasonable on this project.

On some quotes I do list hourly charges, but quite often I hear things like "Why does editing a 20 minute video take 10 hours?" etc... I end up having to give them a lesson in editing, graphics, sound sweetening and music before they believe me. Do you guys ever run into that?
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Old May 29th, 2007, 09:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Roblewsky View Post
quite often I hear things like "Why does editing a 20 minute video take 10 hours?" etc... I end up having to give them a lesson in editing, graphics, sound sweetening and music before they believe me. Do you guys ever run into that?
Constantly. Every day, almost. I also constantly find myself explaining to people that I can't produce something that is on par with the production values of, say, Oprah's show without a similar budget... or that I can't cover a live event from three angles with one camera. The list goes on and on. People want to save money, which is understandable, but I have to say that I really appreciate the (very occasional) client who understands that he or she is hiring me because I'm the one who knows how to do this stuff. It can definitely be a frustrating business.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 01:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Roblewsky View Post
Thanks guys - I really appreciate the feedback. I was looking at $5k for the quote so I think I'm pretty reasonable on this project.

On some quotes I do list hourly charges, but quite often I hear things like "Why does editing a 20 minute video take 10 hours?" etc... I end up having to give them a lesson in editing, graphics, sound sweetening and music before they believe me. Do you guys ever run into that?


Just a note that's helped me sort out the reality of rates.

Say you'll charge and receive $5k

Consider that one third (more or less) of that shold be put aside to cover your tax obligations.

Another third will likely go for expenses and the costs of typical depreciation/production.

Leaving you with perhaps, 1/3 of the $5k or about $1600 in actual profit for your efforts.

My point is what you CHARGE isn't really all that important.

What you're going to KEEP is what you should always have in the back of your mind when you quote anything.

If you can generate that $1600 in bottom line profits as a part of an ongoing business effort and do the same every WEEK, you're doing well with a yearly net income of around 80 grand.

If you're trying to make a living at this and doing only one such project a month you're living at the poverty level.

Gross price is only a PART of the picture.

Never forget that .

FWIW.
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