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Old July 12th, 2010, 04:51 PM   #1
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What to charge to videotape a conference?

Thank you for your time.

I have been requested to provide a quote for a 4 hour conference. I have shot a few weddings, commercials, and web videos but I have never shot a conference and I have no idea how much to quote. The client has no information other than "We need a videographer to videotape our conference from 8am - 12pm"

I can offer 2 cameras, one person wireless/hard wire mics, or a Tricaster system. I just have no idea what to charge.

Any ideas would be great.
Art
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Old July 12th, 2010, 09:03 PM   #2
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Art, you aren't the only one who doesn't know, because for me and probably lots of others, there is nothing you have been told to base a quote on.

My last quote began with a simple X dollars for the first hour of shooting, X dollars per hour after that and X dollars per hour for editing time. That bit of information got me in the door, to talk with "the powers that be" to see exactly what they wanted and bang around a few ideas. My original contact assumed, as well as had me thinking, this was going to be real simple stuff. "The powers that be" had visions of grandeur from this project, not quite what the contact nor I assumed was wanted when I walked in the door.

"The powers that be" wanted a firm fixed dollar quote, and after having heard what all they wanted, I used the exact numbers I quoted prior, but multiplied them by the hours I assumed were needed to keep "the powers that be" happy. In essence, the "presumed cost" to do their gig, doubled.

So my advice is, if they want a quote for now, give them the same open ended quote formula I used. X to show up and your first hour on site. X per hour, per person after, and X per hour editing to finished product state. All your Xs per hour might exceed what they are kicking around, and the discussion will be over. Chances are, they are going to want more of a fixed quote, which opens the door for you to pump whoever it needs to be, to get more precise details.
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Old July 12th, 2010, 09:55 PM   #3
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Chip,
You are right. They have not provided me with much information at all. I am quite sure they will want to simplify the project and over emphasize their lack of funds. We all have been there before, I'm sure! Nice formula to consider. I always quote high for clients that have high expectations and low budgets. Most of the people I have encountered who bicker on price are the ones you have the most trouble getting to pay you.

Thanks
Art
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Old July 13th, 2010, 12:24 AM   #4
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And you know Art, I think all of us have "been there" and can sympathize with simplifying a project to get it into budget.

I just checked the website of "the powers that be" and it looks like they chose to go with a still image, to convey the message we were going for with the video. That's all well and good. I have no problem with them going that route to keep costs minimized.

EXCEPT "the powers that be" wanted to make sure I was "bringing in lighting too", and that, as the boss said, "it isn't going to look like I shot it". I guess when they saw how much "it isn't going to look like I shot it" costs, a still was just fine. :-)
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