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Old March 22nd, 2005, 05:50 PM   #1
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Get paid for video for church?

I filmed my church's production last Christmas and put together the video for my project for school. I got an A on it and the pastor and I talked about selling it. We never did, but we just filmed the Easter production and are in the works for getting the copyrights to the music to sell the video. I believe that I should ask for a percentage of the profits of videos sold. I am kind of conflicted on this issue and want to know if anyone else has been through this? I haven't asked yet, but need to soon in order to get a contract signed before the video is produced. What advice do ya'll have to offer? Thanks in advance.
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 06:17 PM   #2
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Unless your Pastor works for free (trust me, he doesn't) there is no reason for you not to get paid. Just name your price, be fair, and do a good job.
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 06:41 PM   #3
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Charge 'em! They can pay you out of the money they save with their tax free status.
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 06:46 PM   #4
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I absolutely agree.
However, you need to do this soon if the production is this weekend.

I would give them the option of either a flat fee or a percentage, or a compromise of both.

If you feel guilty charging a church, keep in mind that most churches want you to tithe 10% of your income... not 100%.

If it makes you feel better, figure out how much you would normally charge someone for the same service, and give them a 10% discount. Consider that your charity contribution.

It would be unreasonalbe for them to expect you to do it for free, and I doubt you will have any problem figuring out the solution with the pastor.
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 07:46 PM   #5
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But all of this kind of goes out the window if your actually a member of the church your doing it for. It usually then becomes your 'ministry'. If you have already done this kind of thing for your church before, it becomes rather hard to start asking for payment for it.

It really boils down to if you feel like doing it for free for them.

I run into this alot with my church, since I not only attend, but also help out with almost all of the a/v stuff.

I usually do it this way:
If I'm at the church doing it - even after church hours I don't say anything, however if I bring the work home to maybe do some post on it or what not then I will ask them if they would be willing to pay me for the work. If not, then I probably won't do much with it. If they do feel inclined to pay me I will go through all of the trouble I would if I was working for a normal customer.

Now I don't see requesting some of the profits from selling the video to be a big deal at all. I would be pretty comfortable asking for even up to half. I see taking a percentage as much different than actually asking for a specified amount of money.

But really it goes back to if you are willing to 'donate' your time and services to the church, or if you want your church to be a kind of customer to you. Merits and Consequences to both...
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 08:29 PM   #6
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May be you can look at it this way: if the church would like to pay the cameraman, would they hire you or they would hire a professional instead?

Also, if you are having this question about getting a profit or not. With no offence, obviously you don't do this to serve the church. In that case, you better ask the pastor. He may not even want you to be part of it if he knows that you have the business intention.
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 11:25 AM   #7
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I have been taken advantage of before by charities, which is why I never work for them now but your church is different.
You should know you have been blessed with that skill for a reason. What profit did you expect to make out of your work?
You can always benefit by reclaiming the hours through tax anyway. It is always tricky when you do something for a living, which is why I do the sound rather than the video at church. Leave the business at the door because it gets in the way of what you go to church for.
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 04:24 PM   #8
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<<<-- You can always benefit by reclaiming the hours through tax anyway -->>>

In the United States one cannot take donated hours of service as a tax deduction on one's federal income tax, only actual expenses in performing the service. Video tape you buy counts, but hours editing do not.

You also cannot count the amount of a discount given as deduction either.
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 04:30 PM   #9
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"You also cannot count the amount of a discount given as dedeuction either."

To be clear, when I said 'charity contribution' I didn't mean it literally. I can see how it could be read that way.

I just meant, if it made you feel better about the transaction, give them a discount equivalent to what you would be expected to donate to the church...for your own purposes and piece of mind. Not as a tax deductible donation.

Sorry if I wasn't very clear in my point.
Didn't want anyone to get the wrong idea about that.

Thanks for clearing it up Peter.
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Old March 24th, 2005, 02:03 PM   #10
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Gabrielle,

I just finished 2 video projects for my church, It took me almost a week to get it done. One thing that I always have in mind is that it is not for me, not for the money, not for the pastor, even not for the church. Is for God, and is for those who needs not only money, but hope.
For me is an honor to be part of it, and the best payment I can ever get is to know that someone somewhere was touch by Jesus.

I'm not saying that you or any other person here have to do it my way, no sir. This is only how I do it, and how I feel about it. Like others says: just my 2 cents. For me is not about money but faith when it comes to my church (not all churches or every christian proyect just my church).

Best wishes,

Alexis
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