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Old November 10th, 2011, 12:00 PM   #1
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Video Valuation: how would you bill?

This is my first post to this sub-forum, which I read regularly, so I think this is content-appropriate here. I'm increasingly asked to shoot community and school events. Though videography is not my profession or a source of income right now, it could generate income.

I shot, edited, and donated a ~8 minute video of a major event for a local charity. I'm wondering what I could have charged for it (or something similar) for a non-charity purpose.


The charity asked me to use certain supplied photos for an intro montage, use their music, and heavily emphasize sponsorship throughout the video. Aside from those 'constraints,' I was turned loose to capture the flavor of the event. My actual video work starts at 2:33 in the linked video.

I spent ~6h preparing and shooting on the event day and ~30h editing. I custom designed the 3D intro in Cinema4D and, in response to the charity's request after I finished the video, a closing 'donation page'. FWIW, I shot on a Canon XH-A1 and recorded sound externally to a Korg MR-1000, and edited on Sony Vegas, with most color grading done with Magic Bullet Looks. I did minor stabilization with Mercalli for one hand-held shot. (Just an hour after the shoot, I stumbled into a hospital emergency room where I was diagnosed with pneumonia; I would have shot this event sick or not...just sayin'.) The deliverable was web only.

This is the DC metro area: expensive everything, including time. In my (non-video) job, I charge a really obscene but appropriate hourly rate for what I do. Hence, I have little idea of what video work like mine would fetch.

Finally, I didn't ask for critiques of the video, but if you have some, please feel free to post 'em.

Thanks,
Steve

Last edited by Steven Reid; November 10th, 2011 at 04:13 PM. Reason: Replaced with Vimeo version
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Old November 10th, 2011, 03:39 PM   #2
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Re: Video Valuation: how would you bill?

On your billing question, don't know.

Your video is very nice, you've got serious editing skills. I think it's too long, but whether that is true depends on the purpose of the video. For the web version I would have thought 3 minutes or 4 would be long enough. I particularly thought the photo/slideshow intro went on too long, but that's just me.

I love Indian and Pakistani music, it is among the greatest stuff in the world. Your editing was tight and so well done.
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Old November 10th, 2011, 03:46 PM   #3
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Re: Video Valuation: how would you bill?

Depends on what you brought to the production. I range around 85-100 an hour for stuff like this. Just me and my camera. If you have to bring crew then it starts going up. Look around at others in DC....day rates start from around $600 and go up from there.
I'm wondering why you ask about a price for non-charity?? Certainly you can donate your time....but charity's have the money to spend on stuff like this. So I hope you don't think just because they are a charity you should give freely of your talents.
I agree with Jeff....too long, but other wise not bad. Bottom line is if the client liked it then no one else's opinion matters much!!

Mark

ps....most of my corp work is in NoVa....
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Old November 10th, 2011, 03:59 PM   #4
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Re: Video Valuation: how would you bill?

Very nice work, both the editing and how you handle your XH-A1. As for length, I realize you had to include the photos the client provided. Been there. Done that.

What to charge? Well, it was for a non-profit. A lot of my work is for NPOs, and their budgets vary greatly, in direct proportion to their financial resources. Much of my work for NPOs here in Florida is pro bono, especially if it is a very small local organization. But the larger ones have paid me as much as $1500 that took around twenty five hours total, on location and editing. It depends.

If you want to know what to charge a corporate client for that kind of work, there are many variables to consider too. But your work is very high quality, so don't do it for cheap. Again, a lot depends on the resources your client has, and how good you are at negotiating. Also the purpose of the video. How photographers arrive at what to charge for licensing their work for advertising applies here. I've been reading up on that. Another variable is has the company already been using other people for their video work, and what are they used to paying? If your work is significantly higher in quality than what they are used to, feel free to turn in a somewhat higher bid than what they are used to paying.

Really, there are a lot of variables. And you must always consider your costs, plus how valuable is your time. By the way, definitely show off that video to prospects. Finally, I've only been in business for myself a little over two years. Plenty of other guys on the forums here know way more than me. You might consider asking in the Business forum here on DVinfo.Net.
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Last edited by Roger Van Duyn; November 10th, 2011 at 04:10 PM. Reason: more thoughts
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Old November 10th, 2011, 04:00 PM   #5
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Re: Video Valuation: how would you bill?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
On your billing question, don't know.

Your video is very nice, you've got serious editing skills. I think it's too long, but whether that is true depends on the purpose of the video. For the web version I would have thought 3 minutes or 4 would be long enough. I particularly thought the photo/slideshow intro went on too long, but that's just me.

I love Indian and Pakistani music, it is among the greatest stuff in the world. Your editing was tight and so well done.
Why, thanks very much, Jeff! So kind of you to comment. I totally agree with your remarks on length: I should have added to my post that I was also instructed to make a video of this length. <sigh> I think the audience is international and, frankly, I don't know how far-reaching the video's impact and purpose will be. In my day job, I service clients and, in the end, I give them what they want. So, I did the same here, even though I would have made the editing a heck of a lot tighter, and the video shorter, had this been my personal project

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Slade View Post
Depends on what you brought to the production. I range around 85-100 an hour for stuff like this. Just me and my camera. If you have to bring crew then it starts going up. Look around at others in DC....day rates start from around $600 and go up from there.
I'm wondering why you ask about a price for non-charity?? Certainly you can donate your time....but charity's have the money to spend on stuff like this. So I hope you don't think just because they are a charity you should give freely of your talents.
I agree with Jeff....too long, but other wise not bad. Bottom line is if the client liked it then no one else's opinion matters much!!

Mark

ps....most of my corp work is in NoVa....
Thanks, Mark. That really helps.

I harbor no illusions whatsoever that charities can't (or won't) pay for work like this. In this case, my contact there is a personal friend and I know that the charity is run extremely lean, i.e., they function almost entirely on donated goods and services, so charging would not have 'fit', had I even been inclined to charge.

And, yes, too long, I know. See my reply above. The client absolutely loved it. so that's that. ;)

Thanks,
Steve
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Old November 10th, 2011, 04:08 PM   #6
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Re: Video Valuation: how would you bill?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Van Duyn View Post
Very nice work, both the editing and how you handle your XH-A1. What to charge? Well, it was for a non-profit. A lot of my work is for NPOs, and their budgets vary greatly, in direct proportion to their financial resources. Much of my work for NPOs here in Florida is pro bono, especially if it is a very small local organization. But the larger ones have paid me as much as $1500. It depends.

If you want to know what to charge a corporate client for that kind of work, there are many variables to consider too. But your work is very high quality, so don't do it for cheap. Again, a lot depends on the resources your client has, and how good you are at negotiating. Also the purpose of the video. How photographers arrive at what to charge for licensing their work for advertising applies here. I've been reading up on that. Another variable is has the company already been using other people for their video work, and what are they used to paying? If your work is significantly higher in quality than what they are used to, feel free to turn in a somewhat higher bid than what they are used to paying.

Really, there are a lot of variables.
Thanks, Roger! I appreciate the compliments, especially since I'm a <gasp> lowly hobbyist.

Also, the business factors you discuss give me a lot to consider as to pricing. This is the charity's third year doing this, and I shot last year's event, too, much to their delight. I viewed the first year's effort by someone else, and it was just horrid, and hardly complimentary to the charity, in my opinion.

-Steve
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Old November 11th, 2011, 12:48 PM   #7
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Re: Video Valuation: how would you bill?

One point to remember about doing work for charities--they have a board of directors, who are often small business owners or officers in larger companies. Not only is it a good practice to volunteer your services to charities that you believe in, it's good public relations for your business. Consider having the charity list you as a sponsor for the event in their press release.
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Old November 11th, 2011, 02:20 PM   #8
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Re: Video Valuation: how would you bill?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Van Duyn View Post
One point to remember about doing work for charities--they have a board of directors, who are often small business owners or officers in larger companies. Not only is it a good practice to volunteer your services to charities that you believe in, it's good public relations for your business. Consider having the charity list you as a sponsor for the event in their press release.
Excellent suggestion, Roger. Thanks once again for the advice.

Steve
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