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Ben Chancey February 27th, 2006 09:41 AM

Commercial Costs and Charges
First of all, I would like to say you guys are the best in helping me out when I am in a dilema. I have been wrestling with what to charge two potential sponsors for putting commercials together for them. We will be doing boating related commercials with multiple shots and new graphics. My first idea was to give them a break on camera work. We would only charge $250 per day plus expenses to shoot in HDV. I have not been able to come to any conclusions concerning editing costs for the commercial. I know in the past I have spent hours upon hours creating the look I want. Any ideas or help would be greatly appreciated.

Capt Ben

Rob Wilson February 27th, 2006 11:20 AM


If you are charging $250/day with your own HD gear, they are getting a GREAT DEAL. I'd say you're under charging by several orders of magnitude. Day rates for SD with your own gear (cam, lens, sticks, mic, maybe a couple of lights) typically run $500-$1000.

One way to look at what to charge for editing: If you're editing, you are not shooting! What income are you loosing while editing ($250/day???). Typically the gear costs for editing are less and since you don't travel and can start/stop at will, charged on an hourly basis.

You can always call your competitors for pricing compairison. It's always location dependent and varies greatly around the country.

Ben Chancey February 27th, 2006 06:50 PM


Thanks for the info. I am offering the deal for the videography in order to sell the editing. I feel the editing is going to take much more time than the shoot. The shoot may only take a couple of hours.

Craig Seeman February 27th, 2006 11:15 PM

Ben, you better get this in writing with the number of hours/days for editing. If you don't, there's a good chance they'll ask for the master tapes and bargain hunt for a separate edit some place else.

This means you'll have a total budget and time contraints they can live with or, at mutual agreement/change order, add more hours.

I'd ask for 1/3 on the initial agreement (or enough to cover all shooting if it's greater), 1/3 at start of shoot. At this point they've paid you 2/3 the total cost and it's far less likely they'll jump ship or, if they do, you've been paid 2/3 of the total so you haven't taken a bath on the shoot.

If you're going to give them a bargain rate on shooting (which should probably be $500+ a day even in a small market for HDV shooting) they should be willing to show (pay) for the commitment to staying with for the entire project.

I would also get final payment when the final is handed over (immediately) and not invoice them. You could give them an "evalutaion" copy with burned in time code and/or watermarked, and they'll get a "clean" copy when paid in full. You're aren't being "greedy" going this route if you're giving them a deal.

If you're setting this up so that your shot at making money is getting the full post production job you have a right to get an advance financial commitment.

Don't forget if you're shooting HDV and delivering a quality product your expenses and time are going to be high. You'll have lots of rendering time added and you may have to add a video card and HD monitor for accurate color correction . . . or downconverting first.

Are local cable/broadcast stations in Cape Coral airing HD commercials??? You'll likely be delivering Standard Def.

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