Video Business Rates???

CJ Cassidy's picture
Last seen: 6 months 1 week ago
Joined: 05/13/2017 - 1:24am

Hi everyone - im just setting up a new business and am wondering about the pricing for videos that i film, edit and finalise for corporate and business clients.

I recently completed 2 hours worth of filming and 8 hours editing for a friend who owns a music school. It's the first time he's ever commissioned somebody to do this kind of work for him and is the first time I've been booked in for a business project - so agreeing on price is a struggle.

The final product was a 2:47 video for use on his music schools website and youtube account - so basically video content for online.

It was a drum teacher performing 3 songs - shot with one camera from multiple angles over various takes, so quite alot of syncing and re-syncing in post production as each take threw up different continuity issues.

My client says he was expecting to pay around £40 as it was a sub-3 minute video. My thinking is ive put 10 hours work into this project and at £40 im essentially working for £4 an hour.

I have worked creatively in the industry on and off for around 13 years but now I'm setting my own business up im a bit lost in terms of how to gauge and price my services.

Any info or advice on the above project in particular or industry standard pricing for this kind of work on a whole would be much welcomed and appreciated.


Jack Wolcott's picture
Last seen: 17 hours 49 min ago
Joined: 01/02/2008 - 11:51pm
Plus Member

Lets address pricing first, then good business practice. You should never, ever, base price on the length of the finished product. Pricing must be based on time and cost. What are your actual costs? These should include out-of-pocket costs as well as some fraction of your annual costs -- e.g., rent, insurance, amortization of equipment expenditures, etc. Then what is your time and expertise worth? You say you have worked in the industry for 13 years: how much have you been making per hour in that capacity? You should be billing for at least that much on jobs you take on. I charge for the shoot and separately for the edit. As I have no idea beforehand how much time will be involved in either, I give the client an estimate, with the understanding that both the shoot and edit may cost more or less than estimated.

To put your situation in perspective, my company would have charged between $800 and $1000 dollars for your project, based on the time involved -- half-day charge for shooting plus the time involved in the edit.

As for business practice: never start on a job without a well-written contract. Haggling over price after the fact is a one-way exercise in disappointment and aggravation. The contract should spell out exactly what you are expected to do and how much you will be paid for doing it. It should also spell out what is expected of the client: e.g., access to the venue, promptness of client's talent, etc.


Michael Finney's picture
Last seen: 4 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 10/01/2012 - 10:14am

Hi. Everything Mr Jack Wolcott said is good thinking. However, I notice that you have mentioned UK £ so your probably working in the UK. Here things are different. People don't want to pay for anything. They don't understand, and under value the arts. Importantly you don't want to get a bad reputation with your first commission. My advice is to ask the guy how much /hour he pays him self and charge him the same hourly rate. Do this on the basis that he gives you a great recommendation and will act as a reference for your work. Make sure that YOUR contact details are at the end of the film and sneek in a transparent LOGO (watermark) at the start. Now, a garage mechanic in the UK charges £60/hr a solicitor charges £150/hr. These are charges people understand negotiate between these limits and you will be OK. Always try to sell "ADD ONs" , extras like credit lists, still take offs for parents, special close ups, additional camera set ups, 4K recording. Think like a wedding photographer. Anyway hope this helps....Michael, Birmingham ,UK.


paulears's picture
Last seen: 1 day 12 hours ago
Joined: 11/05/2006 - 8:36am

Ask your client, the drummer how much he would expect to be paid to play one three minute song all day? To be honest, as a musician he's got a damn cheek. If he is a member of the MU he should know the rates that musicians get paid to perform in videos, and really is taking the P - seriously! I can understand a consumer not understanding, but musicians are enormously money savvy.

I would write the day off and NOT give him anything at all, and if he already has it and is using it, I would tell him firmly that as no acceptable compensation has been agreed, in the absence of a contract to the contrary, the deal is off, and you do not wish to be associated with it.

Any musician he whinges to will see how he is in the wrong. Do not worry about it and move on - it was good practice, and you won't do it again.