Glad to be Nonlinear and Loving It
What do I charge?

I read your article on real estate video (A Different Sort of ‘Home’ Video, Videomaker, October 2000) and I must say it was well done. You gave some excellent hints and suggestions, but how much would one charge a realtor for each tape? I know of a realtor up in northern California who is paying $150 per tape. The quality and composition of these tapes was so poor, I would not have given them away, let alone sold them. I would greatly appreciate any hints on this you can offer.

George Parrish

Sonora, CA

There’s no quick and easy answer to pricing videos that you may sell, because rates will vary from place to place and realtor to realtor. A reasonable price is in the $75 to $120 range, depending upon your location. Be sensitive to the fact that realtors and home sellers do not want the burden of unreasonable fees. Also, because the goal is to sell the home as quickly as possible, you must charge a fee commensurate with the short life span of the video. You may have to low-ball yourself at first in the interest of developing a portfolio and getting some initial work. Of course, generally speaking, the less you charge for your services, the more work you’ll get. As demand rises, your prices can too. In the mean time, keep your investment low by keeping your productions simple.

–Art Aiello


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Movin’ on Up

I would just like to say that your magazine is great! I am a high school student and I have been toying with animation for a while on my very old VHS camcorder. Last year I received a capture board for my birthday, which took my interest in video even further. Ahh, the pain of configuring a video capture board, a new hard drive and a new CD burner! I franticly asked around and my uncle sent me a year’s worth of Videomaker. I was quickly engrossed in them and here I am with a subscription, a brand new Sony TRV900 camcorder and a head full to the bursting point with ideas. Thanks again.

John Waterman

Dryden, NY

Glad to be Nonlinear

I felt compelled to reply to Seirus’ letter in the October 2000 In Box. Seirus felt that linear editors were regarded as "scum," or as he put it, worse than "dinosaur scum." Well, as a former linear editor working with two S-VHS machines and a Videonics MX-1 effects processor, I went kicking and screaming into nonlinear, mainly because of price issues, and then configuration nightmares. But I’m glad I did go nonlinear, for many reasons.

It is difficult to do full-motion transition effects (i.e. dissolves) that happen in a very short duration from each other with a tape-to-tape linear setup. Even when you transfer your original footage to a new tape, trying to run the two tapes together in perfect sync and triggering the transitions perfectly to the frame is arduous and frustrating to say the least. But in the computer editing world, you simply overlap your A-roll shot over your B-roll shot on the timeline and add a transition effect. Adding music is as simple as using your CD-ROM drive and software to capture the audio data from CD to your hard drive as a .wav file and then import it to your editing program at precisely the point you select. And quality? The quality of a DV edited master tape, spit out of a computer’s hard drive, is identical to the DV original footage, provided you use a FireWire capture card.

Linear editing is certainly great for long-form, straight-cuts stuff. But, for tighter projects where a lot of things have to happen in quick succession and audio has to remain CD quality to the finished edited master, an editing computer is the only way to go.

So, unless you’re actually happy with your current limited creative flexibility, I don’t know what you’re waiting for! To deny the creative freedom that awaits you with nonlinear editing simply because of pride or refusal to learn new things is just plain ignorant.

Mike Kuhlman

Pompano Beach, FL

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