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Old February 20th, 2009, 01:21 PM   #1
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How to price this..

Has anyone here shot a promo video for a fellow wedding photographer? If you're not familiar with the idea, the end product is a short 2-3 min long video to be shown on the photographer's website showing clips of him working and interacting with the couple throughout the day... Video will probably involve some creative motion graphics and voice overs and perhaps even some sit down interview sessions with the photographer.. Someone approached me to do this, I have no idea how to price it out given that the product is a promotional piece.
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Old February 20th, 2009, 01:47 PM   #2
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Unless it's a friend or someone who you need as an ally for strategic business purposes, then treat it like any other non-wedding job should be treated namely, charge by the hour.

The best way to proceed is to work up an estimate based on the following:

Come up with an hourly rate that is on par for what production companies charge in your area. Take into consideration the type of gear you use and experience/talent level as compared to those companies you're getting the numbers from and adjust your rate accordingly. Don't low ball. The companies I've worked for in the past had a pre-production rate (usually half the shooting rate), shooting rate, edit rate, & then marked up and charged for other production related costs such as voice talent, music fees, and any stock footage that might have been used for the job. Don't forget to include charges for deliverables such as DVD's and also be wary of overlooking hidden costs such as ink, tapes, or equipment rental if needed. Estimate the hours you'll spend doing each task, do a little math and add 10% as a contingency safeguard.

If you've never estimated a job this way you'll be shocked at how expensive doing real production work can be, and more than likely you'll begin cursing your wedding prices.

Use whatever number you come up with as a starting point, toss the figure out to your photographer buddy and negotiate from there. I recommend doing this in person so you can talk things out with him/her.

That's what I'd do anyway.
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Old February 20th, 2009, 02:20 PM   #3
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While I've never shot a promotional video for a photographer, I have for many other businesses. From the info you've given, I would get about $2500 for that.

I used to hate the "$1,000 per minute" rule of thumb, but the more I do this, the more accurate it seems - at least for promotional videos.
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Old February 20th, 2009, 07:17 PM   #4
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here are some examples of the promo I was asked to quote on.. what do you guys think? Work wise, depending on if it's a one-day shoot or multi-days shoot, it could be less work than a wedding or more... There is also script work involved.. Plus should I factor in the fact that the end product will be for promotional use? In the future, I might get involved in some professional partnership with this photographer so I'm a bit torn on pricing due to this as well.

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So what do ya guys think?
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Old February 20th, 2009, 07:50 PM   #5
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I used to hate the "$1,000 per minute" rule of thumb, but the more I do this, the more accurate it seems - at least for promotional videos.
I agree. I used to spend a LOT of time preparing quotes for people that got a jaw drop when I told them. Now I say "well, you're looking somewhere in the neighbourhood of about $1000 per finished minute for the average long form video that I produce. It could go less if there are economies of scale but it could CERTAINLY could go over depending on effects, shooting and editing time and travel or incurred costs. Would you still like to work through this and get a slightly more accurate number?"

Again, realize I don't do weddings and don't use this "formula" for long form event stuff that doesn't require much editing. This is based on long form (generally 5+ minutes - 30 second commercials are WAY more than $1000 per finished minute...) promotional, educational or documentary style programming.
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Old February 20th, 2009, 07:58 PM   #6
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Beautiful pieces and all have something in common - multi-day/multi-location shooting. Partial script involved (for voice-overs and interviews). Steadycam work - all scenes are handheld/in motion. Then a lot of editing with many short cuts and coloring. Definitely not as simple as regular wedding highlights real.

I'd talk to your photog and show him those reals and both decide what you want to achieve. I'm sure he'll understand how much work it's involved.
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Old February 20th, 2009, 08:13 PM   #7
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Yang - I still think it best if you work out a real quote based on an hourly rate and estimated hours for the job then you can always work down from there if they balk at the price. If you're going to start doing non-wedding work you might as well get in the habit of doing it right, and charging what it's worth and the best way to establish the proper price is working it out in the manor I've set forth. $1000 a finished screen minute is a decent quick rule of thumb but isn't always accurate and can get you in trouble in a hurry if you toss it out there at the outset of a project.

I've seen a lot of production guys use the "I'll do the first one cheap, then raise the price later" method and get burned. Good luck whichever route you decide to take.
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Old February 20th, 2009, 08:50 PM   #8
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I've seen a lot of production guys use the "I'll do the first one cheap, then raise the price later" method and get burned. Good luck whichever route you decide to take.
Ethan- can you explain what you mean here? I am trying to figure how they got burned in doing that. Is it a case of not being able to raise prices for subsequent jobs (I'm not really sure how that happens actually), or is it that they lost big money on that first cheap one and couldn't recover financially, or something else altogether?
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Old February 20th, 2009, 09:41 PM   #9
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Ethan- can you explain what you mean here? I am trying to figure how they got burned in doing that. Is it a case of not being able to raise prices for subsequent jobs (I'm not really sure how that happens actually), or is it that they lost big money on that first cheap one and couldn't recover financially, or something else altogether?
It's the first one... If the customer likes your job they'll pass the word that you are good and affordable. So when the next customer comes to you and ask for a quote and you tell him 20% more then previous one, the instant response will be - why so much? previous guy who referred you paid only $xxx.
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Old February 20th, 2009, 10:10 PM   #10
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By the same token, many times there is no other work that comes from iteither from the original client or any referrals.
IMO we short ourselves enough, lets charge what the job is worth and get paid that. YES, there are people out there that will undercut you but that's a risk in any professional especially a service type. If you think the job is worth $1000 then charge that, if you think it's worth $10,000 then charge that. Many times clients are feeling you out as they have no idea what a job is worth and when they fall out of their chair saying "it's too much" well if need be you can always find a legitimate reason to lower the price, BUT you can never raise the price.
Charge what you feel the job is worth.

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Old February 20th, 2009, 11:08 PM   #11
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Lukas and Don are both right. I've seen guys low ball a job only to have the expenses out weigh the pay and those same guys never see another dime in future jobs while being saddled with the label of being cut rate or cheap.

Don sums it up well, at the outset of the bidding process, try to get paid what you're worth, or rather what you feel you're worth. You can always adjust downward if need be, and you can always back out of the process when the price gets too low.
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Old February 21st, 2009, 12:20 AM   #12
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Lorimer Works does a lot of those photography promos, he charges $2000 for the basic package, $3000 for the middle, and $3700(starting) for the upper. Just as you would assume, the more complex, the higher the price.

He did an excellent video for one of my favorite photogs Jasmine Star.
Jasmine Star Photography Blog

You could start there and adjust accordingly.
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