Can you review my “bugdet.”?

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    • #43400

      Hi All,
      A friend has asked me for a budget in producing a 12-15 minute video of a program for teens in healthy relationships. As is typical, the client doesn’t really know what they want, but I can make a reasonable guess based on 25 years working with this population. So, I made up the bugdet you see below. Comments, advice, adjustments, etc most welcome!
      8 hours Camera Production work @ $65/ hr = $520
      Includes equipment transport and set up for 3 hours for pre-interviews, 3 hours for post interviews and 2 hours for class.)
      8 hours Consultation Fee @ $60/hr = $480
      Includes time spent pre-production and post-production with the client. Post production includes reviewing and logging raw footage.)
      8 hours editing @ $25/hr = $200
      (Includes creating titles, ending credits, and burning DVD’s. Does NOT include music.)
      Equipment Rental & Materials = $500
      Original Music = $300

    • #182221


      You’re close to my fees for shooting, I charge $75 per hour.

      I only charge $50 per hour for consultation, but I LIKE your fee better.

      Where we REALLY differ is I rare charge less for editing than what I do for shooting/acquisition, always MORE than $25, but that could be just me. However, I suspect a number of people, like Grinner Hester, would agree that editing is every bit as fee enabled as shooting.

      And, I person think ONLY eight hours for editing might be a bit optimistic, but then there are people in the industry a LOT faster than me in the editing suite … but not many 😉

      This is my take, FWIW

    • #182222

      I think you’re under valuing your work, especially if, as you say, you’ve been around the process for 25 years.

      The most troublesome aspect of your post is the statement “As istypical, the client doesn’t really know what they want.” This sends up all sorts of red flags. I’d sure make certain that at the very least you and the client agree on a scenario and shot list before you begin shooting.

      Our day rate for a single camera shoot is $750; half day at $400. Or $250 for setup, tear down and two hours shooting and $80-100 per hour after that, depending on the nature of the shoot. If we have to add an audio tech to the shoot, which we often do, we charge $160 per hour to cover our charges, his hourly rate and the rental of his audio gear. Add a grip, gaffer or script person and we bump that up anywhere from $50-75 per hour more.

      Like Earl, we charge $50 per hour for consultation, $75 an hour if we’re creating a script for approval or working up storyboards.

      Equipment rentals and material costs are billed at actual cost plus 20%, which covers time spent in arranging for the rental and picking up and returning at completion of shoot.

      Editing is at $75 per hour, and I wouldn’t go a nickle below that. I think you’re underestimating the amount of time it will take to put this project together, too. You’re going to have several hours of recordings to deal and probably multiple takes, with which will require both video and audio editing, plus the addition of titles and subtitles and music. Finally, you’re going to have to create DVD menus and artwork and burn to disc.

      The approach that our company takes to post production costs is to give the client an estimate for editing, with the clear understanding that the actual time could be as much as 25-50% more, even more if the client begins making major changes. Not uncommonly we’ll estimate a figure — lets say 8 hours at $75/hour: $600. The client will say “O.K., but not more than $1000. Let us know when you reach $600 and we’ll see where we go from there.”

      The only thing we have in life to sell is our time and expertise. Don’t give it up cheap.

      Good luck with your project.



    • #182223

      Jack and Earl,

      THANK you both! Each of your answers is extremely helpful. Jack, I should say that the production will involve before and after interviews with young people, teenagers, so no script — ahead of time — will be needed. But however many hours of interview are recorded will have to be watched through again by the client to determine which parts are wanted.

      As for red flags, hmm, I know what you mean. It gets worse when I say that this is a friend asking for this, to put in a grant proposal. So it is not a sure thing by any means, but it does give me an interesting experience — and her request got me to sign up for this forum which I’m glad I did!

      Finally, although I said twenty-five years, my experience is really spotty, mostly on consumer grade equipment.

      Earl, I don’t know what “fee enabled” is. I thought charging less for editing made sensebecausethere is less equipment involved but what you said makes sense.

      Thanks again — I will keep you posted! And since I am working on another project as I write, I am sure I will be posting other questions.

      CU in cyberspace!


    • #182224

      Lauren, I probably should have used “as valuable” instead, sorry. And I brought up Grinner because he usually LOVES to respond to these kinds of discussions.

      As Jack and I both noted or implied, it’s the value of your time, and the skills required to edit and produce AFTER shooting are every bit as valuable as those required in acquisition. The additional expense in shooting should perhaps come from the costs involved in equipment or, as Jack notes, the hiring of audio tech, grip, gaffer or script writer, but your hourly “acquisition” rate should probably be close to, if not the same, as your editing rate … $70 to $100 per hour.

      Glad to have you here, Lauren. You’re certainly welcome to ask, participate, respond and share.

    • #182225

      Thanks, Earl. I did revise my budget to reflect both of your comments. I’ll let you know what happens….very possibly nothing will come of it, but it was fun anyway.

    • #182226

      Lauren, it never hurts to tell them what you are worth. I am just getting into the industry and people balk at my $75 an hour rate. I purchased $15,000 in gear to do this and I kind of know what I am doing so when they say their kid can do it for free; I tell them to let them do it. I also tell them you get what you pay for.

    • #182227

      yet they happily pay a plumber the same kinds of rates, and you can buy all that kit at the local DIY store?

    • #182228

      My thought on this discussion is thatthere are amateur videographersand professional videographers. The professional value their work as described above. The amateurs either don’t value their work if they are good enough or they are not good enough and theirwork has limted value. There is a category of amateurs that produce good work and choose to offer their work below professional markets prices. Generally for the benefit of a good cause.

      There are also amateur clients and professional clients. The amateur clients don’t know what they want and if they do, they don’t want to or can’t pay for it. The professional clients knowwhat they want, will work with the videographer and fully expect and are fully capable to pay for what they get. Since the original post references working for a friend as a client, I think Lauren needs to determine which category her client is. All the budgeting does not amount to much if there is no money to pay for it. I am sure all the pro’s will agree that they do not need practice with their budgeting. Any thoughts on pre-qualifying clients?

    • #204609

      My current rates:


      Shooting, $1200/full day

      Editing, $60/hour


      I'm also straight DSLR video now.

      Mostly corporate gigs.







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