help in determining fees to charge

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    • #42148

      I have done a lot of videos/spots for the local community tv and school system as a community service. I have now been asked to do a 4-5 min. commercial for a local business that has a resturant, RV park and hospitality house to be shown at an RV trade show and to be mailed out to approx. 3000 on a mailing list in a DVD format (i will create the master only). The client seems to know pretty well what shots he wants and what the voice over should say. The job will include high lights of his facilities, fishing shots, panaramics of river, interviews with local fishing quides and highlights of other local attrations. The dead line is mid Feb. 2005. I do not have much of a clue what a job like this is worth. The client is not afraid to spend the money to get what he wants to make it work (he used to own a successful car dealship before moving to the area). Since this is the first job for him with the potential for more in the future I am at a quandry how to aproach this one. I am to meet with him in the next few days to discuss terms.
      Any help would be greatly appricated.

    • #177479

      Pricing is always a problem for me as well. I am a one-man show – Independent Producer. I went to the internet to look up pricing on video jobs similar to the one you mention. The average seemed to be 1,000.00 per minute of completed video. This was for corporations and of course, what is considered is the equipment you are using, High Def, min DV, DV CAm, etc. one two or more camera shoot, etc…. I would think that 4-5,000.00 for the type of job you are describing would not be too much to ask. Also, it seems that you will be authoring the DVD – That in itself is another expense detail to figure out. How complicated for simple the DVD authoring will be – for instance, how many links are involved, must it be web interactive, etc.

      Would appreciate your letting me know what you find out. Am always struggling with the same question myself as every job is different.


    • #177480

      One thing that you want to make sure of is that you don’t sell yourself short on the price. If money is not an option make sure you have charged enough to take care of the video production as well as DVD replication cost incuding labeling. I would give the client a quote only after you have sat down with the client and received all the information on what he/she wants (sometime things get left out). Then sit down by yourself and determine actual expenses for the project. Lastly after you have that information you can decide how would like to make. Your duplication of the DVD is your biggest cost. Make sure you’re not eating the cost for that but passing that cost along to the client.

    • #177481

      I know this is way late for the original question, but in case anyone else reads it…

      A great way to find out what to charge for anything, assuming you’ve never done it before as was this instance, is to call a local production company and describe to them the situation pretending that you are a potentail customer seeking a quote on price. They usually give out what is a standard pricing set for their company based on your supplied info. If you call several production houses in the area and average the given prices, you can get a pretty good idea as to what to charge. It also lets you stay competetive.

      Don’t give out your real name to them as they will recognize it later and possibly black list you. It’s nice to be able to use them for duplication and stuff sometimes, so don’t burn your bridges.

    • #177482

      List out the full retail price for all your equipment. If you use it in a production, charge 5% of that value per day. This is the typical rental charge you would pay if you rented the equipment. For me, it typically works out to about $250/day, plus my time of another $600 per day for a one-man show. Add a PA, then add another $150 and pay them $100.

      Would you rather work your tail off to make $5000 a month, or work less to make the same amount?

      I quote $100/hour for editing and scripting (for business clients), but then am willing to discount it down to no less than $75/hr if the client if I’m going to be trying something new, or things are slow.

      Remember, you will have a tendency to price too low. Only use what other people are charging “as a guide”. Don’t fall victim by letting others determine your rates. Charge for what you are capable of.

      If your pricing your rates for weddings only, then set your lowest package at $100-200 above what you are willing to do the work for. Then add a Medium package, and finally a high-end package that you’d “like” to get. When given three (3) choices, people will generally opt for the middle one.

      I hope that helps. If you want to speed up your learning process on how to set up your business, I highly recommend 2 sources: Steve Yankee at and Hal Landen’s book “Marketing with Digital Video” at Hal also has a very good course that goes along with his book – get it, read it, and read it again…then put it to work. Their stuff works, but only if you use it.

      I know these two guys only from purchasing their training materials.

      Good luck,

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