Recitals and stage work ... need pricing info at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 11th, 2006, 11:30 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Charleston, IL
Posts: 231
Recitals and stage work ... need pricing info

Calling all event people ... I am in need of some very serious help. If there's another forum that might have more people that deal with dance recitals ... feel free to send me a PM. I have to change things up for next year or give it up.

I haven't been able to get the specific information I'm looking for in previous posts, so I'm going to dig even deeper.

I'm attempting to find out what others are charging for their services. I've had some say they charge xx amount to show up and then xx for the videos ... but no one ever says what xx is!

I'm just looking for a few brave souls to step up and let me know what it is they're charging. I have no idea if I'm going overboard with pricing or under charging.

Here's what I've been doing:

Dance Recital #1 ...

* Single camera
* Edit out the down time between numbers (less than an hour)
* Final video approximately 2 hours long
* Title on the front end ... no additional graphics on video such as names of songs or groups
* Packaged in a Trim-pak clear DVD/CD case (i.e. no inserts ... the name shows through from the DVD)
* Selling price is $25
* DVDs are distributed by the studio

How many would you need to sell to make this worth your time?

The last two years I sold 35 videos ... this year only about 25.


Dance Recital #2

* Opening montage from picture day and a rehearsal ... 3 to 4 minutes long
* 2 camera shoot of the performance (actually a live switch to save editing time)
* Edit out down time between numbers
* Title on front end ... no additional graphics on video such as names of songs or groups
* Selling price is $35 per night
* Final video approximately 140 to 160 minutes, used to be compressed to fit on one DVD, but splitting to two volume set this year to increase the quality of the video
* Packaged in Trim-pak celar DVD case (i.e. no inserts ... the name shows through from the DVD)
* Selling price is $35 per night
* DVDs are mailed directly to each student

I do three nights of recitals for the last group. The opening montage is the same for all three. Otherwise, each night is considered a separate recital and sold separately. There is no discount for all three.

How much would YOU charge?

In 2004 I sold a total of 175 videos over the three night recital.
In 2005 I sold a total of 141 videos over the three nights
This year I'm only at around a total of 70. I know there will be more, but I doubt that it doubles.

The strange thing is ... when I first started offering them a DVD at $45 ... the number of orders jumped ... but has steadly declined even though I reduced it the following year to $35.

Proposed changes for next year:

Sales have dropped over the last few years. Some students are in as many as 10 dances. With costumes easily costing $60 to $100 per routine, tickets for parents being $15 per night, and a ton of photography packages (I won't even get into the $$ on competition teams) ... I just feel like the $35 per night is too much for them to continue to afford.

In the past I've put each night on its own DVD, but I'm convinced the compression has hurt the quality, so this year (even though sales are down) I'm going to go with a two disk set for each night.

Packaging ... I'm going to either put them in a dual jewel box or double Amaray case with insert.

I'm highly considering telling the studio that I will do the video next year under the following conditions ... that we cut out the opening montage. This takes another day of shooting and additional editing that obviously does nothing for the sale of the DVD. Im sure they're having me do it because THEY like it. And NO ... I'm sure they won't pay me separately to produce it.

So ... cut out the opening and sell each night (a dual set) for $29 (mailed). That's option #1.

Option number two would be to go to a single camera shoot @ $25 (mailed).

Again ... I would really like to have specific $$ amounts included in your answer if at all possible.

Thanks for any help you can provide.
Scott Brooks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 12th, 2006, 05:22 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Aus
Posts: 3,884
hmm.. interesting package..

however as a general rule, i wont shoot for less than $132/hr and I wont edit for anything less than $220/hr Studio Time including processing rendering..

Dunno if that helps any, but I can accomodate any studio, any environment and any NLE the client may choose.. In addition, i been doing this for about 6 or so years, been an audio engineer for 13 of those and have 4 cameras... so that can be seen as a justification of price..

In your case, i would ask for a retainer and wouldnt rely on sales alone..

In addition, i would ask the venues to charge an extra 2 dollars per head to cover your retiner OR to go towards produciton of the DVD's

In addition, I would have a MINIMUM PURCHASE agreement made to the school or whatever.. basically they MUST purchase X amount of DVDs for a discounted rate, lets say 30 units at 20bux each... then they sell it at the RRP (which u have set to eitehr 25 or 30 bux)
If they want more, the school must order another batch (again at a disconted rate at 10 unit incremenets) Another 20bux a copy for you while they sell em for 30...Theyre still making profit and so are u ..

This way, you make definite sales. This way they make a profit for the school (or so they think) and your not wasting your time tryin to flog off DVD's to faceless pupils/performers who u have no access of marketing your goods to.. if the school wants to make money on this, they can push it for you. Let THEM do the marketing... its their event...

With the advnet of cheap media and DVD burners coming in at 50bux a pop, its cheaper for them in the longrun to rack up afew copies of tehir own and bootloeg your work.. believe me it happens and we all suffer from it..

Hopefully when BD is released, we can bolt on some DRM to our work and stop this shit, btu its not going to happen..

as for runs which youve had, those figures arent too bad.. One thing though, would be that if u notice that these fgirues are going over the 50 unit mark, get the DVD pressed professionally.. it wont stop the rippers and each disc will come to about 2 to 3 bux each, but in the end, it will slow down those that are tryin to rip u off..
Peter Jefferson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 12th, 2006, 02:26 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Huntsville, Alabama
Posts: 111
The wife and I own a dance studio. Yours truly also does our recital videos. Having an 'in' with other studios, I'm able to branch out and do others as well.
By having all of my own equipment, I'm also able to underbid other production companies also.

A typical recital package from me...
I charge 'x' amount per DVD, with a MINIMUM purchase order; usually at least 70+ DVDs per recital. I don't offer VHS... because they're a pain and usually the DVD to VHS ratio is like 120:1. So it's not worth it.

I would try to find out what others in your area are charging. I good way to go would be to actually contact the dance studios and find out what they're being charged! If you can go lower, they may go with you!

Since you're wondering what 'x' is... it's usually anywhere from 17-22 per DVD. And of course, the more they order, the cheaper it is. Studios will sell their DVDs for $40+, so it's almost an even split. I also provide the labels and cases and put a nice little music video on the front.
Colby Knight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 13th, 2006, 04:30 PM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Fredericktown, Missouri
Posts: 47
So you only charge $17 to $22 for a DVD????
No personal disrespect, but man, your giving your product away.

I charge $25 for VHS and $35 for DVD. They come in full size complete color coverage customized cases and each are also personalized.

A photo montage is included on the DVD to encourage the parents to buy them, as they have this year.

We accept Mastercard and Visa and that helps tremendously as most pay with that form.

We keep the VHS in there and at the lower price so the poorer parents can still afford something.

Our 5 recitals last anywhere from 2.5 to 5 hours long.
The pricing stays the same.

We have contracts with all our studios that no videotaping is allowed, among other terms.

We deliver them to the studio when we finish in approximately 100 days, and they distribute them with copies of the order forms.

We usually sell to half to 2/3's of the parents.
We are pretty happy with our totals. We averaged a little over $1500 from each of the 5 show's, except 1 was almost double of that!

This year, out of 400 orders, we only have had 11 VHS orders. What a relief!

That's how ours are in a nutshell Scott.
:>)

Kathy
Kathy Kegley-Moore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 14th, 2006, 12:31 AM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Charleston, IL
Posts: 231
Thanks Kat ...

I've just about determined that the last thing I now need to do is lower the price from $35. Even though I still think these parents are getting hammered with everything else. If I drop the price too much I'm going to have to really increase the number in sales to make up for it.

BTW ... neither of my studios request a cut of the sales, so I'm keeping it all.
Scott Brooks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 14th, 2006, 08:29 AM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Sterling, Virginia
Posts: 226
I must first admit that I am relatively new to videography (about 5-6 months) and I've never recorded any sort of dance recitals. I have recorded several stage shows however, (most consist of large casts of kids) and have produced DVDs for purchase. I set the price at $15 a DVD and have sold between 60-75 a show with 30-40 kids involved. These were three cam shoots, multi-cam edits so it was easy, burned to DVD with VERY simple cases. Spent all of 10-15 hours total time of work for a 1.5 hour show. I'd love to pay myself $175 per hour for this kind of project, but I can't imagine charging $25-45 for an hour-long DVD. I know if I had charged even $25, I would have had like 20-30 orders...which means $150-300 LESS than selling more DVDs at a slightly lower price.
Noah Hayes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 14th, 2006, 09:17 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 206
Recital Pricing

Wow! You guys are doing great with your recital and play pricing. Maybe it has to do with location (I'm North of Atlanta).

I got into video after I saw a company come in and charge $15 per video for a 5th grade play. I figured they must have got close to 200 orders. I did that same play/school two years later at the same price and only got 35 orders- ouch.

For the most part I charge $25. The dance studio gets $5. My 13 yo daughter gets $2 (second cam operator) and I get $18.

I give them to a mom who distributes- so no mailing. I print the DVDs and I design covers for the binders (photoshop/illustrator junkie).

I do a very good job as the videos are actually fun to watch. I edit video montage from each dance into a kind of music video and I get a lot of interviews of the kids.

I'm always on my own, meaning I'm not getting a $1.00 a head from the gate which would be very nice. It seems to be the practice here that the studio won't take a hit or pay anything up front or in addition.

I feel very good if I get 50 orders for each recital.

I know I'm not making a lot of money. This is my second year in the business. I'm using the recitals to get the practice and the equipment I need to feel comfortable doing weddings.

-Scott
Scott Routt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 14th, 2006, 09:22 AM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Huntsville, Alabama
Posts: 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathy Kegley-Moore
So you only charge $17 to $22 for a DVD????
No personal disrespect, but man, your giving your product away.
No disrespect taken.

A studio I did work for last year only ordered 120. That was $22 per DVD.

The last studio I did ordered 1,000 DVDs. I charged them $17 per DVD.

They sold them for $45, making 28k off DVD sales.

I also discount for payments in cash.

I make a nice DVD, throw it in the mass duplicator and about 9 long hours later I'm done with the copies. Throw a nice label on each and every one (that part does blow), slap it in a cheap cover and I'm done.

They're pleased. I'm pleased.

Giving my product away? The people that the studio used last charged them $1,500 for 70 VHS tapes... and then charged extra for DVDs and extra VHS tapes.

I can assure you the work is not given away, although it does feel like it putting on those labels. My kingdom to outsource that job!!
Colby Knight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 14th, 2006, 09:42 AM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 2,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colby Knight

I can assure you the work is not given away, although it does feel like it putting on those labels. My kingdom to outsource that job!!
Disk labels? Have you thought about printing right to disk?
__________________
What happens if I push the 'Red' button?
Steven Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 14th, 2006, 11:32 AM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colby Knight
The last studio I did ordered 1,000 DVDs. I charged them $17 per DVD.
Are you bloody serious? 1000 copies to a single dance studio? I just shot nine shows over the weekend for a studio with almost 1000 kids. And they do nine shows because that's the breakdown they need to get all the kids on stage in a reasonable amount of time. I'm interested in knowing the demographics of this studio you have such that you can produce one show and duplicate it 1000 times. How many kids do they have? And are they really putting that many dancers on the one DVD in a ~2.5 hour show?

For that many copies of one show, replication is the way to go. 1000 copies would cost about $2000 with full cases and offset disc printing. At that volume, it isn't much more than doing it yourself, especially when you consider the labor.
Brent Warwick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 14th, 2006, 12:07 PM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Fredericktown, Missouri
Posts: 47
Dang Colby! You sold that many copies???

Okay, I retract my comments to you. Heck, if I knew I was selling that many, my price would decrease to around your price as well.

Good for you! I can hear your cash register now, ka-ching, ka-ching! :>)

We average to selling to half the parents, but no guarantees. The only guarantees we have is that teachers will enforce no videotaping.

Kathy
Kathy Kegley-Moore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 14th, 2006, 12:08 PM   #12
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Huntsville, Alabama
Posts: 111
It was a 3 day recital, with 2-3 shows a day. This studio also has 2 other branches in two cities, and they all do their recital at one time. I didn't mean to make it sound like that there was just 1 show.

Also consider that some parents buy more than 1 copy so that the grandparents get to see little Nancy Jane as well.

Edited to add: Where do I find a printer that prints directly to a DVD? Can anybody recommend a specific one? My kingdom awaits!
Colby Knight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 14th, 2006, 05:11 PM   #13
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colby Knight
Edited to add: Where do I find a printer that prints directly to a DVD? Can anybody recommend a specific one? My kingdom awaits!
How much are you looking to spend, and what kind of finished disc are you looking for? Inkjet is very popular, where the Epson R200 is a good bet. Primera solutions are the next step up IMO. If you want thermal, you can go black and white for about $100 or make the leap to full color thermal retransfer. For that you've basically got the Everest II and the TEAC P-55. I bought the P-55 on a leap of faith (for the growth and volume of my business), and haven't regretted it at all, despite the $5500 price tag.
Brent Warwick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 14th, 2006, 08:01 PM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Durango, Colorado, USA
Posts: 711
I really feel one has to get a very good understanding of what kind of pricing the local market can bear before making any kind of statement regarding what the dance video product is worth. I was invited to shoot because the previous videographers had delivered less than acceptable product. Since I had not considered dance shool videos as a possibility, and had done no research, I took the project on at the previous year's pricing and jumped in with both feet. One of the things I found particularly insightful was the awareness (or lack thereof) of the school's director to accomodate my production needs. Whether the issue is knowing or caring, it remains a defining one. I made a profit, but it appeared things could have been better.

So, here's what I've been doing:

In my neck of the woods (and I mean woods, no freeways within at least a hundred miles in any direction) there are only two dance studios that do work worth recording and have a student body large enough to justify the cost of video. I work for the largest of the two, and that only produces two shows a year. My sales are direct to the purchasers. The shool director is too busy to deal with dance related rehearsals and pending competitions to deal with the additional complications of fundraising. She only contracts video because parents want it. She is not the least bit interested in fundraising. OK, fine. More for me (maybe).

I shoot with three cameras. One stationary at center of house. One house right and one house left. All at same perspective level to stage, No high center wide, no jib arm. The right and left cameras have camera persons. We use the house intercom for communication. Each camera station has two 13" monitors so each knows what the other is doing.

The end result (ideally) at any point in time I have a wide angle, a mid angle, and a close-up to work with in editing. The entire video is carefully edited, because I can't stand to put anything out less than my best possible. Not necessarily the most cost effective approach, but I can't seem to help it.

We shoot one performance, period. Unfortunately, the school's schedule is so hectic I can not get an opportunity to see any rehearsals before the shoot, so we "fly by the seat of our pants", as it were. It is the best we all can do. In some ways it is very disappointing, because if I could learn a choreographers style before the fact I could do a much better job of representing the choreography intent as well as satisyfyingthe moms, dads, and other relatives in the finished DVD. By contract, the video is shot with parents and relatives in mind, not choreographers. I would shoot with a significantly different focus were the video for choreographic archive. In my youth I was a dancer (though not a good one), so I have a sensibility towards the craft.

Editing used to take three weeks with FCP4. This year I moved to FCP5 to take advantage of its live switching feature and reduced my editing time by two thirds. The video has introductory titles with a photograph of the program as background and a simple credits roll at the end. All dance numbers are chaptered. I even chapter the individual dances of the ballet pieces, much to the chagrin of the ballet instructor. The video is for moms and dads, not her. Besides, she is a Sara Bernhardt reincarnation anyway, so who cares? It is not her name on the bottom line of the contract (read this statement as, "constuctive criticism is helpful, whining is not").

I charge $30 for each DVD for pre-orders. During performance I have a booth in the theatre lobby and sell videos for $35.00. Intermission sales proved worth the effort. If the facility director starts demanding a prcentage of sales (customary), the price will increase significantly.
The ballet performance is delivered in a jewel case. The all-school performance on two DVD's in a standard DVD box. Labels for the DVD's are paper because my Epson R200 is way too slow for direct printing on the disc.

Last year I sold 150 copies. This year 140. I threw in a "last years video" insert as well as custom audition video offer for those students looking to pursue further dance training at other schoools in all delivered DVD's. After my first year's experience with "dance moms" I mail all of my videos. No more pickups at the dance studio.

I budget $1k for expenses. Next year will have a lower budget because I bought my own duplicator.

I do not break my packages down to details of what is included or what is an additional fee because I despise the concept of "nickel and diming". In this kind of market I believe it is my responsibility to design an appropriate range of packages, agree to terms in a contract, and then proceed. In reality, every job is unique.

I try to avoid specialty projects like opening montages primarily because they are an "upsell" feature which will not contribute to my profit margin. In a different market, perhaps as a fundraiser feature, there may be value. It currently does not exist for me.
__________________
Waldemar
Waldemar Winkler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 14th, 2006, 08:03 PM   #15
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 156
1000 DVDs sold? Man alive, I sell 65 and I feel like a rockstar. Any way I use the Epson R300, let the ink dry for a day then laquer them with clear gloss spray laquer. I'm a pretty good graphic designer so they look awsome when I"m done. I shure would like to sell 1000 though. I'm in a small market so that is not likely to happen.

Mike
Mike F Smith is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:34 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network