New and Clueless!

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    • #43341

      Hey guys, I am brand new to filming (4 months deep) with no schooling or prior knowledge of the industry. That said, I have been making motocross edits for my friends who race, and posting them on vimeo. I get quite a bit a praise with them and with the embedding of the video I get anywhere 3-5k+ views a week. The 2 biggest motocross media sites that focus on photos and videos have contacted me with job offers…once of them wants to hire me as an employee, and the other wants to just pay me per edit and be able to put their name on my videos. And that’s what I don’t have a clue about…charging. What would I charge a website to post my videos that I make for them? Is $50 just ridiculously low? Is $1,000 way to high?

      My edits are usually 3-4 minutes, sometimes 6ish. I generally shoot for 3-5 hours at the track then edit time is 2-3 hours…(not including rendering time)

      my vimeo page is:

      Big thanks for any feedback!


    • #181835

      $50 to $75 per hour, shooting and editing, uploading included. Actually, if it was me and I was doing “work for hire” rather than owning the footage and productions, I would charge between $100 and $200 per hour.

    • #181836

      It comes down to how you value your time…

      I am with EarlC – asking $100-$200 per hour is not unreasonable. If they baulk at your price of $100 – $200 an hour you have a position to negotiate from (a starting point to work down from) that will still allow for reasonable compensation for your efforts. If you start low in the $50-$75 (or lower range) you do two things – 1. You may send a message that devalues your work if they are paying higher rates to others for similar work; and, 2. You back yourself into a corner if you need to negotiate your price – there is nowhere to go but down and at $50 an hour that means you could end up at a point that doesn’t make good business sense.

      My suggestion would be to ask what the media sites are paying for similar work coming from other resources. That will give you a starting point for their pain point. If what they are paying is too low you need to stick to your guns and negotiate from a higher point. I have found that in many instances media sites have a rate schedulesheet outlining what they are willing to pay for whatever. You can always ask for a copy of their rate schedule. If they don’t have one then you need to determine what your time and effort is worth to you.

      Some questions to ask yourself – Do you plan to make this a full-time gig? If so, how much money do you need to survive? Do you want more business? Is this a one time shot? What am I trying to achieve? Are you selling the content to them or are they licensing content? Will you be working on their videos or supplying videos you have taken? How much money do I want to make? What should be my rate schedule going forward – based on how much money I want to make and the potential for me to gain enough work to achieve my goal?

      So spend a little time to consider where you want to go with this and what your time is worth. In my world $100 – $200 per hour in many cases is just getting started – rates of $300 – $1000 per hour is not that uncommon depending on the circumstances.

      Good luck.

    • #181837

      Wow thank you both so much for the quick and extremely helpful responses! I guess I’m going to lean towards $200 per hour range just because shooting motocross is pretty hard on the equipment with all the dust, rain, mud, and heat.

      Thanks again for the input! You both really helped me out.

    • #181838

      The points already present are pretty good, but some things are missing in my opinion.

      No one mentioned anything about the media site that offered to higher you full time. If they hire you as an employee, they should also be providing the equipment, whether they purchase it or pay for the rentals. Plus, you might get benefits and the security of ongoing employment. If you go that route, working for $200 an hour is ridiculous.

      If you’re “freelancing,” the amount a client pays also depends on the equipment you’re using. Are you traveling to moto cross races? Gotta stay in a hotel? What about your food? Each project requires a budget – how much it will it will cost just to make the project. And that does include where you sleep, eat, etc.

      After you determine the cost of just making the project, estimate how hours you will need to complete the project. Multiply that by your hourly rate and tack it onto the cost of shooting/editing the project.

    • #181839

      By the way, I recommend half-day/full-day rates instead of hourly rates if you’re going the freelance route. 0-5 hours is a half day, 5-10 hours is a full day.

    • #181840

      Thanks Rob! Yeah, the full time deal would definitely not be in the $200 hourly range. Would you recommend offering half/full day rates for the filming followed by an hourly editing rate?

      Thanks again.

    • #181841

      Average cost of freelance or independent professional video production base line is around $1k – $2.5k per minute of completed video. That’s assuming the producer owns or has access to equipment suitable for the task with minimal requirements for rental gear or hiring of higher-end talent. Believe it or not, Production is actually the least expensive segment. Post-Production costs are where the majority of expenses will accrue in any project. What the client is ultimately paying for is ‘Time and Resources’. From concept to completion, whether corporate video, indie film or wedding video they all take time to plan, secure resources/personnel and execute. The more elaborate a project, the more time and resources it will cost.

      It is standard to offer half/full day rates for production and hourly rates for post. Just remember that your post rates must be able to both compensate the editor for their labor and your company/outfit for the use of your editing facilities. Most freelancers only take into account money they will earn themselves for the work, and forget that your equipment, consumables and workspace need to be paid for too.

      Another method is to charge a fee per-minute-of-completed video combined with a flat charge for an editor based upon the expected number of hours needed to complete the project. With that method there are no ‘surprises’ for the client and you don’t have to guess because you’ll factor in a reasonable estimated time of completion when you submit your proposal.

      No matter what way you decide to go, have all this stuff worked out before you meet with a client.

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