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How much to charge on Video Projects (Freelance)

daxalain5's picture
Last seen: 2 years 11 months ago
Joined: 09/20/2011 - 7:24pm

Hello there! I've been reading a lot of posts here on how to charge for video work but I still haven't figured out what my rates are. I am not sure if I should charge per hour, per project, half a day rate or a whole day rate. I am working for a company for almost a year now and I do their in-house stuff like ads, videos, highlights, commercials, motion graphics etc.. Now my question again is, how much should I charge potential clients if I want to do freelancing?

I a DSLR user and I have a Canon t2i, a tripod, glidetrack, Steadicam, Zoom H4n, Canon 24-70 L, 50mm, 55-250 but I don't have any lighting gear yet. I live in Reno, Nevada and I can say that there's not a lot of competition here regarding this kind of business.

Any comments/suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Thanks and have a good day!


vid-e-o-man's picture
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 02/06/2010 - 4:20am
Plus Member

 daxalain5, there have been a number of threads on this forum about this subject, some just recently. If you enter 'What should I charge?' or 'Charge for travel?' into the search box (upper right of screen), some links will direct you to previous discussions. This will give you some discussion of how working videomakers charge. Keep shooting.


EarlC's picture
Last seen: 4 months 1 week ago
Joined: 10/15/2008 - 1:15am
Plus Member Moderator

Check out THIS THREAD. It's not so much the GEAR you have, but how well you can utilize it and the final production that results. IMHO the best way to price my services and products is based on hourly rates, based on my experience and expertise, the scope of the project and/or flat fees using a formula that experience tells me how long the project will likely take times my hourly rates. While equipment does matter in factoring in my costs and other elements that generate my hourly rate, it isn't always THAT important to the client.


daxalain5's picture
Last seen: 2 years 11 months ago
Joined: 09/20/2011 - 7:24pm

@EarlC: I have been reading lots of posts for the past 3 hours and I keep seeing you provide good advice/explanations to everyone. I saw that thread earlier and I am still unsure of what to charge. I saw that you charge $70 per hour, is there any breakdown on how you came up with that number? I was thinking of coming up with a flat fee too but when I read some of the posts here going for the hourly rate is the best way to go. But anyways, any advice from you will be appreciated and I thank you again for responding! :)


daxalain5's picture
Last seen: 2 years 11 months ago
Joined: 09/20/2011 - 7:24pm

Also, I wanted to say that doing some research like calling video production companies around here will give me an idea on what/how I am going to charge. I just started doing this and I was thinking of building my connections/network first and charge not as high and not too low and adjust accordingly. It's been hard to come up with a price that I will be comfortable with based on my experience, skills, equipments etc. I am thinking of going above $60 dollars per hour (not sure if I should charge a diff rate for editing) but at the same time I want to explain the clients on how I came up with that number etc.


EarlC's picture
Last seen: 4 months 1 week ago
Joined: 10/15/2008 - 1:15am
Plus Member Moderator

daxalain, see the OTHER post, I responded to you extensively there.

Also, as I noted previously, my FLAT FEE and most everybody's is based on what their experience tells them as far as how long a project might take, then taking THAT estimated number of hours and multiplying by my hourly fee. Same rate, different approach. Also, I don't HAVE to justify to my clients HOW I came up with what I charge, I just need to think I'm worth it, be realistic about it and provide them with as fair a price as possible, TO BOTH OF US.

There IS a certain truth to "whatever the market will bear" as well.


Jack Wolcott's picture
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 01/02/2008 - 11:51pm
Plus Member

Daxalain, you might find this article -- http://www.videoccasions-nw.com/cost_analysis.html -- which I published several years ago, to be of some help.

At its core is the notion that before you can set your fee schedule you better know what your costs are.

EarlC's advice, as always, is excellent and his point that your clients don't ever need to know why you charge what you do is very well taken.

I strongly advise that you charge for everything you do by the hour and that you separate charges for shoot from those for editing. Especially in corporate work it's quite common for the client to abandon a job after it has been shot and before it has been edited, or to decide to do the editing in-house. If you're paid up front for the shoot you haven't wasted your time.

Jack


daxalain5's picture
Last seen: 2 years 11 months ago
Joined: 09/20/2011 - 7:24pm

@Jack: I saw the article that you did hours ago and even saved the link. :) Anyways, thanks for the advice and I might do that in the future when I freelance. Question tho, how much should be an in-house videographer worth if he does concert highlights, promo vids, special events vids, motion graphics? I use my own equipment and recently they gave me a 3k budget to my some of the equipments that I need. I work hourly for them but I think my job should be salaried. I have an evaluation in 2 wks and any advice from you guys would be greatly appreciated!