Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › I have no clue what to charge
I’m just getting started in the whole video business. I don’t even have an official name yet. However, I am getting a LOT of requests to do various things with video. I did a wedding last weekend, which I did for dirt cheap because A. I’m new at this and B. It was for a relative.
I am wondering how much to charge for simpler things, like transfering analog to digital and burning DVDs? For the most part, this will not require a lot of creative work, just a heck of a lot of time. Someone gave me 12 VHS tapes, with at least 3 hours on each. That’s 36 hours just transferring! Not to mention any color or sound correction, which I am also just learning. How much do you charge for something like this?
Another thing I am being asked to do is make “memory” videos. Animating still pictures along with music, splicing in video, etc. I’ve made a couple of these, actually, for gifts.
I’m just at a loss. People keep asking me to do projects for them, but they want to know how much beforehand, and I have no clue what to tell them. I don’t want to go too low and shortchange myself for my time, or even make the customer think that my ability is low. But I don’t want to go high and chase away the customer. Help, please! Thanks so much!
I’d suggest you get on the ‘net and research the types of jobs you’ve been asked to do. You will likely find sites that list their charges for similar work. Then you’ll have to decide if you can afford to do the work for the same prices they charge.
If it’s duplicating, burning CDs, etc., the answer will probably be “no.” There are production houses that do that all day, every day and their volume will probably allow them to undercut you.
For pricing weddings, event coverage, etc., get on the ‘net or simply “shop” videographers in your area to see what they charge (don’t identify yourself as a competitor but as a potential customer).
For full editing and post production services, a reasonable rule of thumb is $1,000 per finished minute…or $30,000 for a 30 minute video. But that will probably take you several weeks to complete and will require a significant investment in professional quality equipment.
All of what I’ve said assumes you’re trying to make a living. If you want to do favors for friends and family, price your work as you see fit without regard to profit.