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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...

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Old October 31st, 2009, 10:30 PM   #16
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: New Zealand
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Originally Posted by David Barnett View Post
Funny, I saw a craigslist ad for a car dealer asking for 3 min video shot & lightly edited (basically of the used cars, showing them). His pay was $10/video. Yes, he was trying to get away with $10 bucks a video, with 3-5 cars/week.
well, it looks like a cell phone video job to me....
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Old November 1st, 2009, 09:17 AM   #17
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Santa Clara, CA
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Originally Posted by Renton Maclachlan View Post
A 3 min video could involve more time because you may have several shooting locations and you have to construct the story, and view and choose the clips you will use etc...
That's a very good point. People who aren't involved with video production have no idea of the time it takes for each part of a production. The notion that a video should be valued by the minute of run time is crazy.

It's really important to find out the "going rates" in your area for professional video productions. It's not only important for you but for all of us because every time someone takes a job for less than they should charge, it devalues the market for everyone.

Another thing you should keep in mind is that your potential customer probably has a general idea of what the job will cost. If you bid well under that expectation, it may cause your customer to be frightened away because "you aren't a professional."
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Old November 1st, 2009, 09:55 AM   #18
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Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
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What I've done lately when asked 'how much', is ask the client how much they want to spend, because of the varying levels of production value. If they say $100.00, I'll tell them I'll break out the cell phone camera, and so on. It's actually been working on the last few jobs fairly well. In fact, I got a call recently where I expected the client to want to spend a few hundred just from the way they were talking and so I asked them 'how much', I was told several thousand.

Bottom line for me is I can't (won't) work for less than 50.00 per hour of my time in shooting or editing (although weddings will screw with this formula sometimes).
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Old November 1st, 2009, 10:15 AM   #19
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Ken, I like that approach. Relating price to the production value of a job is a good way to negotiate in a way that is plausible to a customer. It is a way to negotiate price by relating it to the scope of the job. It's a good 'platform' for discussion. Otherwise it can seem like a gouge. To be a little facetious - Is this a cell phone job or a five camera shoot?
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Old November 1st, 2009, 07:29 PM   #20
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
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Hi Guys

I still think that you need to stick to your hourly rate regardless of whether it's a cell phone shoot or a wedding. In my opinion, your time is your time. The tools you use to do the job are your own decision but it's still your time and you must charge for it even if the client wants a 1 min YouTube clip!!!

For general enquiries I normally give them a budget cost by estimating how long the job will take and if I need an assistant and then give them an "estimated cost" If that scares them off then you know the job wasn't worth your time anyway!!! I cost weddings here at $75 an hour and whether someone wants a kiddie's birthday party or a promo shoot my rate stays the same. I really cannot see the point of doing a job at a loss!!

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Old November 1st, 2009, 07:54 PM   #21
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Location: Willmar, MN
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Everything I do comes down to an hourly rate. Sometimes other costs play a part, like purchasing stock footage, paying for voice over, mileage, renting additional equipment, etc. But at least 90% of the cost of every project is for my time.

A friend asked for a price to shoot his kid's pee-wee football games. He about choked when I said $65 per hour. I explained that if I spent three hours on an afternoon shooting his game for $20, I'd be passing up work that would pay $195.
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