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Taking Care of Business
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Old July 3rd, 2003, 01:44 PM   #1
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How much is it worth?

I suck at setting rates, so I need to ask about setting a fee.

A local religious group wants me to come in and video 2 hours of footage of their meetings. Edit it (to 40-50 minutes) so they can sell the tapes themselves...they also need me to edit it for a 30 minute spot for TV. They also want me to add scanned images of other tapes they have for sale with a voice-over they will provide.

They want me to do this 2 times a month...How much is reasonable to charge? They've seen my work and really love it.

Another project:
A science group wants me to edit some footage they already have...6 tapes about 2 hours on each. Each tape needs to be edited for 30 minute spots for each one of them.

How much do I charge for this one?

Thanks for the help...I really need to know what to be charging folks.
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Old July 3rd, 2003, 08:32 PM   #2
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2 hours of shooting with editing 2X a month? Since it seems to be an ongoing thing---how does $300 sound (per shoot)? Are they willing to pay that? (That's $600 per month.) You can maybe start at $400, then work your down if needed.
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Old July 4th, 2003, 11:58 AM   #3
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Charge what the market will bear. This may call for local research... where are you?

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Old July 4th, 2003, 12:59 PM   #4
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Editing time may be the killer. Hard to guesstimate that based on not knowing what type of video and what 'look' they want.
Find out how many sales they expect and how muchthey will charge. Then you know the maximum they will pay anyway.
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Old July 4th, 2003, 02:57 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. I am located in New Orleans, Louisiana.
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Old July 4th, 2003, 04:33 PM   #6
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since it's repeat business you might feel like cutting them a break... but I don't know.

If you don't know anyone you can ask in the area, call up some production service company and ask them what they charge to video and edit a corporate training session (or something like that) and see what they say.

No matter how much repeat business you're getting out of them charge them a professional price for a professional job.

Be sure you get a signed contract. Spell out the terms of exactly what they are getting. in detail, and what you expect in return.

Be sure and figure in your set-up time, your tear-down time. Your logging and capturing video time.

Are you going to have to buy a wireless mic? Need any additional lighting?

If so, charge them for it as an equipment fee per gig.

Mastering a video. Editing that one down. Mastering it.

Charge for each master you give them. Are they going to be making the half inch copies themselves?

If not, find a dupe house in your area and get a pro price quote from them and add 5 to 10 points on top of that per tape. (maybe more if you have to go over and drop off and pick up)

There's a lot of labor elements you need to be sure you are thinking of before you start this, nothing sucks more then getting into it and seeing it is going to cost you double the time you thought or that the expense of it is higher.

You can go hourly or you can go with a flat fee. I'd probably go the latter in this case, that way you both know what to expect.

Just think out every possible thing that you need to know about before you say 'yes'. Be sure it's worth your time and effort versus what you are making from it.

ONE THING ALSO: Part of your contract should include the fact that your company logo and contact information will be included at some point in the video. Don't ever pass up the chance of advertising yourself and getting more business from it.

And NEVER, EVER forget to have cards on hand at every shoot.

Some of this sounds mercenary but by charging a professional, and probably fair, price you are valuing your efforts and talents ESPECIALLY in a repeat business situation.
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Old July 5th, 2003, 02:51 PM   #7
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Thanks Kevin for the valuable advice.
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Old October 8th, 2003, 01:21 PM   #8
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I charge 60 bucks an hour for editing.
Ozzie Leon
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Old October 10th, 2003, 12:04 PM   #9
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at some point you have to decide HOW much is your time/creativeness worth ? X$$ per hour ? X$$ per day ? X$$ per week ?

per hr should be highest rate ( for those that think it can be done in 2 hrs ) ... 8hr day rate should be lower then 8x hr rate , and best deal for client should be a weekly rate.

there will always be somebody that will do it for less so IMO don't go in too low ... see what the average going rate is in your area.
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Old October 17th, 2003, 08:06 PM   #10
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I've been editing for a while and charge $115 per hour. That's $75 per hour for the labor and $40 per hour for the equipment.

A 2 hour shoot is probably going to actually be a 3 hour block of production time (at least at first) as you're learning the best way to set up and such. So I'd bill just under a half day's rate (maybe 10% less than your half day rate).
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Old November 11th, 2003, 06:22 AM   #11
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Hi, I live in Covington for those not local it's just outside of N.O. (left the city for the tranquility of the northshore after 30 years)
You should get between $75 - $125 / hr for yourself and your gear... remember you have to amortize all your gear and your overhead over the time you work with it.
Editing (logging, digitizing, making decisions, and reviewing them, mixing, adding graphics, music, and outputting the final version... then dubbing) all takes a lot of time... then there is client review time... and running around time...
In my experience, just the editing of something like you are proposing takes hours and hours.
I usually work on short format pieces (5 - 10 minutes running time) and I can put two months solid into one of these. I have made a decent living doing this for the last 25 years. If you get a chance to go up to Baton Rouge I currently have a 14min piece running hourly at the Old State Capitol museum in HiDef (Pens to Parchment - a bicentennial tribute to the Louisiana Purchase - narrated by Hal Holbrook). I spent over two hundred hours doing the offline and six days doing the online... all in all it was all work and no sleep for a little over three months.... it was worth it though. ABC 26 ran it also (without interruption) as part of their La Purchase series.
My point is that you will spend hours and hours reviewing and cutting this stuff down... and you don't want to feel like a chump.
However, make a deal and stick to it.... I have never gone back to a client and asked for more money because I spent more time trying to make it better... they expect the same quality on which they based hiring you. Never compromise quality... You are basically doing every job to impress your NEXT client... You have to deliver... but you don't want to get a reputation for being the bargain basement production... it's hard to work upwards from that perception. Good luck!
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Old November 11th, 2003, 07:26 AM   #12
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Dale great advice thanks, is there anyway to see your work with out leaving columbus ohio?
Ozzie Leon
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Old November 17th, 2003, 04:57 PM   #13
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DALE....Thanks very very much.

I am currently getting that basement bargain image already....People are already saying, "hey Chris can do all that....and more....for a mere fraction of that cost."

I need to go up on my rate with a current client because I think I drastically under priced my services.
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