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Old June 29th, 2004, 08:53 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Winnsboro, SC
Posts: 96
Yet another "How much" Question...

I live in a very small town where I just purchased commercial time for a 30 sec spot for 3-4 times a night to run 2 months for $200. That should give you an idea of what I am up aganist. Grant it the ad will run on a "Local" info channel but at least I have bitten off my first good bite of my lifes love.
After seeing my work(thanks to you guys) , the man who runs the local production company asks me to give him a price for me to video (1 camera) and edit a 30 second commercial for him. Here is my situation:

1. I am not yet a pro by any means.
2. This town doesn't support a big ticket for "ANYTHING".
3. I recorded, edited and delivered a great DVD for the Debutants Ball this past December. Asked $200 per copy for it and couldn't sell a copy.

I am thinking that I could tell him a price for this one shoot and edit to see what is expected of me and go from there. What is the opinion from here? What should I do to make sure I can get this gig and not wind up doing 40 hours of work for nothing? Or should I put a price on good experience?

Thanks for any and all advise... :)
"No matter how good she looks; somebody, somewhere is tried of putting up with her crap."

Randy Brazell
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Old June 29th, 2004, 10:25 PM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 621

I, too, live in a small southern town (albeit one with a little more name recognition) where the cost of living is low and the desire to spend any money even lower. In my free time I create local commercials. As I am always blathering about my site, let me direct you to to see some samples. Chances are that I've already given you this link before (I'm shameless... and forgetful)

I do not consider myself a professional-quality videographer, and I am charging the same prices I did when I started. I do two main types of ads:

Graphic Spots (or Supplied Footage Spots), like "Chick Piano," "Jomo Entertainment" and "All About You." These spots typically cost $150.00. The client supplies almost all graphic elements and the basis for the script, and I basically just edit it together (sometimes with a little bit of flair...)

Full Shoots: "Marti's at Midday," "Loco's Deli and Pub," "Musician's Warehouse Christmas." These are $300 ads (plus travel w/ the Loco's ad)-- the cheapest price in town. It's pretty straightforward stuff -- that Loco's ad ain't gonna win any awards, y'know. The price includes script development, a two hour shooting appointment (during which I usually shoot no more than 1 hour of footage), editing, and voiceover. Basically, these are "run-n-gun" spots. I based my price on what others were charging, as well as my experience and the amount of work I'd be able to put into each ad (since I have a day job).

My first ads were graphic spots (when I had even less video experience), and even then the sales reps said that anything under $150 would be an insult. They said the same thing about charging $300 for shoots once I bought my DVC80.

If you can, try to find out what others are charging in your area for ad work. If the experience alone is worth it, you might want to consider giving this guy a good discount -- explaining to him that you are giving him a deal; a "First Client Rebate" or "Early Bird Special." Or give him a fair price and offer to meet any better deals he finds.

Hopefully this gives you an idea of what another amateur videographer in a thrifty town is doing with his commercial work, and hopefully that helps...
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