How much is this video worth?

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    • #43328

      Hi everyone,

      I am new to freelancing and NYC so I am having a hard time coming up with figures to charge potential clients. I just finished a project for a friend and was hoping other professionals could take a look and be honest with what I should/could charge for something like this. Either hourly, or as a package deal. I am in desperate need of some real numbers that match my skill level and services provided!

      The project involved me taking 8 hours (10 tapes) of home videos (poorly shot/lit) and editing them into a 30 minute long montage in chronological order. This also included color correcting, adding music, cleaning up audio and adding basic titles throughout.This took me roughly 30 hours.

      She also wanted a short music video with selected clips that she could share on YouTube and Facebook. This is the link to that, so you can get an idea: This one took me about 6 hours. The longer version looked similar in style, (without the moving picture effect), and also included audio.

      If anyone has any accurate figures, ideas or honest advice I would greatly appreciate it! Keep in mind that I am in NYC, so if you live elsewhere then please let me know how the market there compares if have any idea. THANKS!!!

    • #181771

      Very cute! That was royalty-free music, wasn’t it? I can’t give you an accurate amount, that’s between you and your friend for this project. You may check newspapers, Craigslist and other online sites, to see what your peers are charging.

    • #181772
      AvatarGrinner Hester

      You’ll see freelance one man banders all over the country for a grand a day. This is what makes flat bids so easy… easy math. You just multioply by how long it’ll take ya. Speed is important when it comes to offering flat bids. It’s how you’ll get your hourly rate up to where it needs to be without running them off withtwhat they may see is too high of a rate. Tell someone 4 grand though and that’s something they can grasp if not use to purchasing video services.

    • #181773

      Thanks for the answers. I have been trying to find similar services in NYC but it is very difficult to find prices for this exact type of thing. I feel like I’ve looked everywhere, but it’s possible I missed a few things. A grand a day is what a lot of freelancers charge for small productions, but I wasn’t sure if it would be the same for just editing projects that were already shot, and for families instead of professionals.

      I do think flat rate is the best way to go, and i did end up charging 1,000 (gave my friend a 20% discount) but I wanted to make sure that wasn’t too high or too low. She was very happy with it and seemed fine with the price and has started telling her friends so I think it could possibly be the magic price! Though I wouldn’t mind charging a bit more in the future…

    • #181774

      Carolyn, you have gotten some input here, some a bit ambiguous other a bit more informative, but overall IMHO it boils down to not what others might be charging or what the industry as a whole might be billing, but what YOU determine is the hourly rate you want to target to make your business profitable, and of course what the market will bear.

      The bottom line is that different people have different notions of value, budgetary considerations and what their needs, wants or desires dictate, not always on a FACTUAL representation of dollars = product or in reverse.

      While I DO offer flat fees, and while there ARE some exceptions to my own rules for pricing based on unique circumstances of any given gig or production, I essentially base all my income generating efforts on the fact that for MY business purposes, in order to feel that I AM making a profit for the hours I put in, that I am not screwing, nor am I getting screwed by the prices I quote, my dollar value per hour has been based on $70 per hour.

      This is the formula I use when quoting hourly or flat fee jobs. I simply try to determine based on experience and/or research to the best of my ability, how much time (realistically) it will take for me to produce a given project … such as yours, for example.

      YOU put a LOT of time, effort and energy into the preparation, planning, creation and completion of that project. You gave it the hours IT needed, rather than restricting yourself to what might be “practical” or not. In your professional creative opinion you set aside practical business formulas and adapted the “whatever it takes” approach to generating the closest thing to a creative masterpiece you felt capable of. Darn the costs, in other words. And that happens a LOT with all of us creative types.

      What sinks ships is the constant and ongoing battle between practical business application and creative artistic results. It is difficult for us all, and downright impossible for ONLY practical, or ONLY creative to find a happy medium, a point of compromise where profits VS product weigh balance.

      This is likely your primary predicament. Right?

      So, factor in ALL the information you have about what it costs you to do such a product.

      How many hours you put into it and be sure to include ALL “thought” hours, planning hours, production hours, research hours, interview and consultation hours, driving time, EVERYTHING!

      How much did you spend? Backgrounds, copyright free music, but still music you had to pay for, art work, outside costs for any and all materials involved.

      There’s actually much much more such as insurance, licenses and fees, even meals you had to purchase outside coming or going from a source or fact-finding mission, and the list is sometimes infinite.

      It takes ALL this divided by (on average) a 40-hour week, to come up with “realistically” what you need, as a business, to make hourly to cover you costs. And this hasn’t even included what, if anything, you’d like to draw as a salary, or what, after salary, you’d like to generate as a profit. These are all unique and different numbers. Yikes! Right?

      Well, you do the math based on your REALITIES. I did mine, and even though there’s admittedly some “fudging” going on, I arrived at $70 per hour, or $2,800 for a 40-hour workweek. The other side of THAT coin is I NEED to make that consistently, week after week … and with today’s economy, the rocky boat of independent business operations, fluctuation of business, it is virtually impossible to guarantee THAT will occur EVERY SINGLE WEEK, without fail.

      So, what do I do on off weeks. First, I try to not panic because I know from many years in the business that on average, end of year, I WILL have acquired the needed average hourly rate. But keeping track of this allows me to UP or ADJUST my prices along the ride, to yield to bargaining pressure when NO business is coming in at all, or to take other directions that will kick off more business, generate more income or balance my bottom line. I have to do this monthly, or occasionally quarterly, to assess where I am, how I stand, and what I need to do to control the downward spiral, what I can invest in, what I need to do next to keep expansion (if that’s what I’m after) or steadily maintain my current levels of business … you get the idea.

      Find that hourly rate you need for your purposes, then use it when factoring in what it actually takes you, time-wise, to do a project such as the one you used as a sample here, figure out what you can afford to concede to creativity and the extra hours necessary to accomplish that level and leave it off the books, then quote a flat rate that comes close to what you can afford to to invest and what future clients perceive that they can afford to pay.

      Keep in mind, also, that perceived value is your friend, or your enemy. A client will ALWAYS come up with the money for something he/she wants, will always have excuses for not having the money to purchase a product or service they do not perceive as a “must have” item.

    • #181775

      Wow thanks a lot Earl! That answer was incredibly helpful. I have a lot of figuring out to do! I appreciate you taking the time to help everyone on these boards and share your knowledge!

    • #181776

       Earl that is a great and valuable post.  I find myself right now not going out and marketing my services for short commercials for the web to independent professionals and small businesses because I know right now i don’t know what my potential clients would scoff at.  I just did a 30 second event commercial for $75 and spent about 12 hours on it because I had to create from scratch and try and match up everything with the theme of the event which meant “thought” time on what backgrounds and stock design elements i had that would go well with it.  Felt like I was screwing myself and don’t want to do that again.

      I think thats part of the reason I favor doing projects that I create and set a flat charge knowing the amount of money I want to make on a per hour basis.  I never thought about taking into account the money spent on stock footage and elements.  Those definitely will be part of my cost going forward.  Thanks alot Earl.

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