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


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Old January 26th, 2010, 05:51 PM   #61
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Alright, for the sake of discussion, I just quoted a "2 hour" gig from 2pm to 4pm a 20 minute drive from me. I quoted $400 + tax.
Labour - $250
Camera Kit - $150 (JVC HD200 w. stick mic, on camera light, tripod w. Fuji Zoom Demand, field monitor)
5 piece Location Light Kit - Free, value added

I can't do any work for the hour before or the hour following by the time load in/out and set up/tear down is factored in, therefore it's a half day gig. Why am I throwing in the lights for free? The client is likely to be concerned about the cost of the gig and the EASIEST thing to trim from the budget is stuff I don't want trimmed, like lights, so I'm eating that.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 09:32 PM   #62
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Shaun, no disrespect if you are charging $ 100/hour. I am just replying to your post about some guys charging $ 100/hour with nothing to show for it. I just want to point out that majority of the Cameraman freelance pool in Toronto gets paid $ 35/hour. And they are considered to be on top of the food chain. Maybe I am speaking AV rate vs. Production House rate, but $ 100/hour in the AV world is unheard of.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 09:37 PM   #63
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Just curious Noel - are they supplying KIT for that??? If so, what are they showing up with? A Betacam or XDCam HD camera rental is going to be north of $400 a day.

And no offense taken. Just a VERY open discussion of rates.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 09:43 PM   #64
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Shaun, we supply the gear all they need to do is show up and shoot. I just saw your costing for a 2 hour shoot for comparison purposes this is how we will charge it.

Sony EX1 - $ 275 with 1 card ( $25/per additional card)
Sachler Tripod- $ 50
3 Red Heads - $ 90
Wireless Lav kit - $ 75
4 hour labour - $ 200 ( we mark-up the $ 35)
Delivery/Strike: $ 80

Total: $ 770.00

I forgot the monitor will be an extra $ 35
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Old January 26th, 2010, 10:04 PM   #65
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My quote is for a Lowel ProLight/RIFA 55 kit (no charge, as mentioned - my 4 Redhead kit stays home unless I NEED the extra punch), JVC HD200 HDV (client wants a "news style" camera as part of the presentation), wired stick mic (specifically no wireless), Manfrotto 501/525 kit with Fuji Zoom Demand, and my director's monitor (19" HDTV - my 9" reference monitors with HD-SDI are more).

$35 an hour for LABOUR is fair, depending on individual ability to generate work of course. 2 hours a week, it ain't worth getting out of bed for but 4 - 5 days a week, 5+ hours a day with some going 10... you can make a go of it. I work for more than that freelance but for less when I was shooting news.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 11:35 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Noel Lising View Post
$ 100/hour for a Videographer is insane. When we did some shoot (sit down interviews with stars) for the Toronto Film Fest we paid the Cameraman $ 35/hour, on a 4 hour minimum call. If it's a union guy they charge between $ 50-$ 60/hour. It's not good to low ball but it's not good to over charge either.
Noel,

I can't help but comment here.

You have mentioned $100 per hour for a videographer is insane yet on the following page you itemized out a $770 bill.

I have to wonder, if you needed to hire a videographer and their kit, would you then pay them anything close to $700 for their services?

In my opinion, insane is a poor choice of words.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 11:47 PM   #67
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Tim, I think this is a perfect example of why DISCLOSURE is such an important part of these "how much" conversations ESPECIALLY when the "target audience" is folks in their first couple of years of transitioning to video production to a full time pursuit because it exposes business models that may not be instantly apparent. There are a TON of "indie filmmakers" on here that are looking to monetize their passion and ONLY know the "I own everything, I bring everything, I shoot everything, I edit everything" model.

There are rental items, freelance labour, freelancers with core gear, production houses, AV houses, union call lists... the list is long and confusing. By having the "uncomfortable" discussion of what would YOU charge as opposed to "what do you think I should charge", I think great wisdom is shared, albeit at the risk of the unscrupulous using our information against us.

I have LONG rallied against doing stuff for free or for low cost, which is where this discussion began. Perhaps this sort of disclosure from industry pros representing slightly different business models may help to bridge the gap and build some allies in the fight to lose "the gig" solely based on personality conflict or artistic vision and NOT based on who will slit who's throat more completely.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 07:30 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by Tim Polster View Post
Noel,

I can't help but comment here.

You have mentioned $100 per hour for a videographer is insane yet on the following page you itemized out a $770 bill.

I have to wonder, if you needed to hire a videographer and their kit, would you then pay them anything close to $700 for their services?

In my opinion, insane is a poor choice of words.
Tim, okay it may be a poor choice of word. $ 100/hour LABOUR for a Cameraman is unheard of in the AV industry is what I should have said

If I were to hire a videographer plus kit base on Shaun's specification it all goes back to what this thread is all about. There will be guys charging between $ 400-$ 500 and there will be low ballers charging $ 250. We usually go with the $ 400-$ 500 guy who knows their stuff rather than risk losing a client coz $ 250 guy forgot to check audio.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 04:14 PM   #69
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What I find around here is camera people with gear that fail to add in their equipment into there fees.

They spend a small fortune on gear then book out at $35 an hour WITH kit. Often even throwing in the editing. Insane. They wonder why they are bankrupt in a year. Unfortunately a lot of clients around here are now expecting that kind of rate because, "That is what we have been charged in the past".

It's insane, but how does one compete with that in a bad economy? A lot of these guys do decent work. They are all just always on the edge of bankruptcy and are afraid of charging more than the other guy out of desperation.

I even know someone that is doing a hockey game webcast with his own gear for $40 a game plus a 30 second "ad" on the drop down screen at 1st intermission (that no one really watches).
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Old January 27th, 2010, 05:21 PM   #70
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No worries Noel.

Thanks for clarifying.

To Denny, charging including equipment costs os tricky. As shown by Noel's response.

His rate was $770 for providing all of the equipment and hiring a shooter.

When the shooter shows up with all of the support equipment the rate goes down to $400-$500. Where did the $270 go?

There is only so much one can charge due to market perception of the service within a certain range. But in many instances, clients would feel like you were sticking it to them by itemizing equipment costs when you own the gear.

I have looked at an all-rental business model but to be honest, what I would have to charge would drastically reduce the number and type of clients I would have a shot at.

True owning equipment leads to lowballing because one can pay the equipment off over time instead of paying for the entire rental cost per job, but owning lets one know your equipment more intimately and be ready for work at any time.

But you are correct, you need to stand up for your own time and efforts and charge a real amount no matter if you own the stuff three times over.
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