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Taking Care of Business
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Old April 25th, 2006, 10:54 AM   #631
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Well, I know I have no business sense. That gene got left out, went to my dad.

But I do have a friend who's way undercharging (up 'til recently) for his services. Granted, his gear's a little older (Panasonic AGDVC10, I think), but still basically the same as any 3 chip SD miniDV cam. Some people simply don't know what to charge, specially the young'uns. It's not even desperation; they literally don't know to ask for X amount for the cam, plus whatever for their services.
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Old April 25th, 2006, 07:07 PM   #632
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$300 to shoot and edit a 3 minute infomercial AND they even entertain the possibility that thye can get a SMALL GROUP (Crew) for that price! Mind you, NOT a student film but MARKETING MATERIAL FOR A BUSINESS.

restuarant infomercial - 3 mins long


Reply to: gigs-154514823@craigslist.org
Date: 2006-04-25, 2:53PM EDT


We are looking for an individual or small group to shoot and edit a 3 minute infomercial for one of new york's finest restaurants. Segment will be shot on location and will play on restaurant's website.

Please send examples of past work.

this is in or around manhattan
no -- it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: $300
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Old April 25th, 2006, 08:09 PM   #633
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Figuring out a basic rate is simple.
Add ALL your living expenses (rent, food, utilities, etc) and business expenses (gear, software, consumables, etc) and calculate what you need to cover it all in a month. Assume you'll only be able to work 20-25 paid hours a week and the rest of the time will be unpaid business work (talking to clients, taking care of paper work).

Now you need to know what you need to BREAK EVEN.

As per my above post, base rate should not be less then what it would cost to rent gear (camera and/or edit system) per day (or hour). These are BASE rates a newbie needs to charge to break even. Chare more as you can experience and want to make profit, invest in business, go to movies, take a vacation.

If base rental rate is $200 for camera or edit system, you're looking at $25/hr. That might be about $600 a week for 24 billable hours. That might be enough to cover rent and food in NYC and nothing for gear or a junker car and insurance if you need to drive to a shoot.

The above ain't rocket science. We're not talking investment banking. If you can read a manual for a Sony camera than you can figure out how much you need to pay your bills every month.

I'm lousy at business too. Sales and marketing aren't my strengths. Basic math skill aren't that bad so I do know what I need to charge. I do envy those who can put together great websites but have crappy video skills.

Maybe I should write "The Idiot's Guide on how to break even in the video business while you try to figure out how to actually make money in it." See, I can't even write a good title with a hook.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Bass
Well, I know I have no business sense. That gene got left out, went to my dad.

But I do have a friend who's way undercharging (up 'til recently) for his services. Granted, his gear's a little older (Panasonic AGDVC10, I think), but still basically the same as any 3 chip SD miniDV cam. Some people simply don't know what to charge, specially the young'uns. It's not even desperation; they literally don't know to ask for X amount for the cam, plus whatever for their services.
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Old April 25th, 2006, 11:37 PM   #634
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Hahaha! It looks like this guy doesn't have a clue if anything is going to actually happen, but it's possible! He's so far ahead, he has to catch up with himself. I love the percentage of a percentage of pay but he forgot to preclude it with possible profits! LMAO!!

"Crew needed for low-budget Indie flick:

-Sound
-Camera people
-Lighting
-Weaponry
-Editor

Filming will be June 5-13 (10-5pm); May 26 (4-7pm). Locations: Athens, GA, possible Byron, GA, possible Winterville, GA


this is in or around Athens/Byron GA

Compensation: 1-3% of 50% of profits
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Old April 25th, 2006, 11:43 PM   #635
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Again, I ask why people schedule shoot dates when they have no crew committed. I mean, on these no pay/low pay things.
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Old April 26th, 2006, 01:26 AM   #636
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Emory
Hahaha! It looks like this guy doesn't have a clue if anything is going to actually happen, but it's possible! He's so far ahead, he has to catch up with himself. I love the percentage of a percentage of pay but he forgot to preclude it with possible profits! LMAO!!

"Crew needed for low-budget Indie flick:

-Sound
-Camera people
-Lighting
-Weaponry
-Editor

Filming will be June 5-13 (10-5pm); May 26 (4-7pm). Locations: Athens, GA, possible Byron, GA, possible Winterville, GA


this is in or around Athens/Byron GA

Compensation: 1-3% of 50% of profits
Does that technically make this an investment offering...and therefore illegal? Or is it different when its profit sharing?
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Old April 26th, 2006, 01:58 AM   #637
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How is an investment offering illegal?
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Old April 26th, 2006, 06:26 AM   #638
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Emory
How is an investment offering illegal?
ASAIK, any public investment offering requires issuance of a formal prospectus which has numerous regulations regarding disclosure and accounting standards. It's one thing to ask your buddy to go in with you on a project, quite another to solicit inverstment from the general public.
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Old April 27th, 2006, 11:00 PM   #639
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Follow up on Charter School job $15-$25/hr

I sent them my hourly rate for shooting and editing the job.

I got back an email saying that due to the overwhelming response they're asking for a flat rate bid. They also included an attachment which mentions shooting in five schools for about 10-15 hours of shoot time expecting about 4-5 hours of video. It would be broken down into two or three 10-20 minute segments. Shooting starts May 1 and delivery is May 17.

My sense is that these are well meaning folks who have never done anything like this before. They either didn't find anyone of noteworthy skills at $15-$25/hr or got professionals like me responding with realistic rates.

They're concerned about budget so rather than offer an unrealistically low hourly rate, they're trying to figure out how much something like this should cost.

Another clue is that in the email response they said they're taking experience into account, not just the size of the bid.

This seems to concur with my thoughts above about the response they got. I think they really want someone experienced enough to pull this together with them.

The start date certainly doesn't leave much room to select someone and have the kind of preproduction meeting they need, which may be extensive given the missing details.

I may still be priced to high for them though.

Keep in mind that not all ridiculous job offers are dreamers or rip off artists. Some simply don't know what things should cost. If you send a courteous response and explain your pricing and what you're offering they might just appreciate your experience.

Just as there are newbies shooter/editors who don't know how to price themselves, there are newbie clients who honestly don't know what a fair price is. I can just imagine a bunch of school administrators thinking that $15-$25/hr is $600-$1000 a week ($30,000-$50,000 a year) and that sounded like a fair offering price.

They didn't take into account one might have to have paid $15,000 for gear (and car too?), pay for maintenance and consumables and replace much of that gear in two years time plus the many unpaid hours responding to ads like their's in order to get the work. I politely mentioned this stuff in my initial response explaining my rate.

In my follow up I mentioned the importance of a pre production meeting, listed a bunch of things they probably haven't thought of. Listed some of the steps such as window dubs of the camera masters and time for revisions on the edit. It was my gentle way of commenting on their schedule and at the same time shows my experience and ability to think this through more thoroughly then they may have.

This is my standard procedure when I see ads like this. While you won't get rich from craigslist (or mandys, etc), my response fails more often than it works but I have made thousands of additional dollars this way.
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Old April 27th, 2006, 11:15 PM   #640
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman

......My sense is that these are well meaning folks who have never done anything like this before.....

.....Keep in mind that not all ridiculous job offers are dreamers or rip off artists. Some simply don't know what things should cost. If you send a courteous response and explain your pricing and what you're offering they might just appreciate your experience......
I totally agree with that. But you can usually tell who the yahoos are that do have experience and know what's going on when they demand very specific things and then have no money and tell us how their project will be a great addition to our reel.
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Old April 28th, 2006, 12:23 AM   #641
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Yup! It's a good clue as to whether they're ripoffs as opposed to newbies.

One thing I do is check to see if they have a web page. If they use an email address with the name after @ I go check it out. You'll learn a lot about them that way and get a sense where they're coming from. You'll note when I post here sometimes I include a link to their web page in my assessment. Ripoffs either don't list a web page or are too dumb to realize you can look after @ in the email address and see it. On the other hand some ripoffs include the webpage in the ad thinking you'll be so impressed you'll be dumb enough to work for nothing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by James Emory
. . . you can usually tell who the yahoos are that do have experience and know what's going on when they demand very specific things and then have no money and tell us how their project will be a great addition to our reel.
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Old April 28th, 2006, 12:33 AM   #642
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I assume you are referring to their custom domain name if they use it for their contact e-mail. Another way to see how established they are by using that domain name is to do a Who Is look up for that domain and see when it was registered. If it was in the last month or so, they are more than likely, but not always, as green as a frog.
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Old April 28th, 2006, 03:20 AM   #643
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Hey, youse guys--

Many of you speak of the unpaid time you spend on a project, meeting with clients, paperwork, etc.

Now, pro DPs get paid for scouting, meetings, etc., so why shouldn't you? It seems like you should include that in your rate, or have a certain amount charged for "miscellaneous time spent on a project," or something. Cause after all, you ARE working.
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Old April 28th, 2006, 09:42 AM   #644
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Sometimes the meeting or email is the sales pitch. If the meeting is actually preproduction on an agreed project, yes you can consider charging. The other is to consider how much planing is involved and charge accordingly. That's what I do which is why there's some variance in my hourly rate. It seems clients feel they're getting good customer service when they don't see meeting time / consulting fees on the bill. They're actually paying for it by a higher hourly rate or higher package price though. Neither is right. It's whatever you can get to work to bring you the dollars.

The thing is one does have to think about planing time when it comes to "ridiculous" job offers. That's why I never "buy" the it's "only an hour shoot" people. It can be an hour shoot with an hour of discussion followed by an hour set up. I've seen people say, "you gotta go to our 3 rehearsals first." My response is "you gotta pay for that time."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Bass
Hey, youse guys--

Many of you speak of the unpaid time you spend on a project, meeting with clients, paperwork, etc.

Now, pro DPs get paid for scouting, meetings, etc., so why shouldn't you? It seems like you should include that in your rate, or have a certain amount charged for "miscellaneous time spent on a project," or something. Cause after all, you ARE working.
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Old April 28th, 2006, 02:15 PM   #645
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Well this is a Ridiculous job seeker. He has a couple of NLE (including MOJO box and MBox) and whole bunch of ancillary software. He's in NYC and his offering $25/hr. He has TWO DSR300s. His base rate is $400 for a day for shooting. This is why rates keep dropping! BTW he put this in an area where one has to pay ($25) to offer hiring others when it could have / should have gone in the area where one can post services offered (free of charge)

Video Editor / Shooter - Freelance Available

Reply to: job-155480694@craigslist.org
Date: 2006-04-28, 12:07PM EDT


I freelance so I can select interesting work where creativity is most important! I work on my own systems including:

Latest Final Cut Studio (FCP, Motion, DVD Pro, etc...)
Avid Express Pro HD 5.x w/Mojo, Avid FX
Premier 6.5
After Effects
Vegas 6
Acid
DVD Architect
Sound Forge
Adobe Audition
MBox w/Pro Tools
Other nifty stuff.

If you like to create fine work with an artistic flare then we're on the same road. Very reasonable Rates. Will shoot also depending on location. Have (2) Sony DSR-300's, Full Lowel Light Kit, Wireless, Boom mics, Walkie Talkies and other necessities.

I'm available on weekends and sometimes evenings. Let's discuss your project plans! I have high speed Internet and can often work remotely as well.

Long Island and Manhattan super! The better your project the better my rates!

Compensation: Editing is generally $25 per hour / Shoots $400 per day and up but also negotiable
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