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Who wants to play Price this Job?

Home Forums General Video and Film Discussion Who wants to play Price this Job?

This topic contains 1 reply, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  kmac 8 months ago.

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  • #43394


    Hi all-

    I’m a very experienced free-lance editor with advanced skills in all versions of FCP. I have managed to earn a living at this for many years, but I have been offered a new project that is stumping me on how to price it. For some reason I am not trusting my gut and would like some input. There is no way the client will pay my rate of $100 per hour for doing this job because of it’s length. At the same time, this is a new client and I would like their business for their regular work, which are usually of considerably shorter lengths.

    So who wants to play PRICE THIS JOB? Here are the details. I’m not asking for terribly exact numbers, just a ballpark at which the majority of you would begin to think about accepting the job.

    Finished product is a 4 DVD set. TRT is projected at 7.5 hrs after content cuts. Raw footage is about 8.5 hours. Straight cuts on FCP X, minimal graphics, simple DVD menu. Small audio fixes for consistent levels and occasional coverage of jump cuts in applause.

    Video is a 3 camera shoot of a lecture with audience. The master audio track was recorded separately. There is a total of approx. 26 hours of footage plus 8+ hours audio to be edited. Client will provide content cuts after assembly edit of all the footage to arrive at the 7.5 hour finished product.. DVD of assembly edit with TC burn window will need to be provided to client for cuts.
    All the files will be provided on an external HD.
    DVD Masters will need to be created and provided to client for duplication.


  • #182168


    It’s factory work, but a whole LOT of it. Not much creative at all. Why they didn’t just live switch the thing is beyond me.

  • #182169


    Karen, do you really want this job at less than $100 an hour? What’s the point of undercutting your established fee to deal with this? Realistically you’re looking at 40+ hours to edit footage from three 8-hour video tapes and an 8 hour audio tape — $4000 to 5000. I wouldn’t do it for less than that, and I would present this to the client as an estimate, not a firm figure. With changes, window burns, DVD proofs, etc., it could well come to more. This seems especially likely if, as you say, you’re going to rough cut and then have the client make content-cut adjustments. This could take hours and hours of editing.

    Also, if you give it to the client for less than $100 an hour, how to you get back to charging full price for the next work they throw your way? I might make a concession for a non-profit but I sure wouldn’t do it for a money making business, no matter how tempting the thought of future work might be.

    If this outfit isn’t prepared to pay your going rate, I’d say they ought to be looking for another video company, one that works on the cheap.


  • #182170


    What Jack Wolcott said.

  • #182171


    Ok. You’re right. I think I needed a little scolding about it. Thanks. I just want this client REALLY bad because there are a lot of perks that accompany working with them.
    But perks don’t pay my bills. Dammit.


  • #182172


    Karen, lets think outside the box. How about approaching the company with a deal: “I normally charge $100 an hour for editing. However, I know you have continuing video needs and I’d like to become the company videographer. So I propose that for the next year, I’ll charge you $75 per hour in exchange for all of your video work and the perks that go with working with you. Lets agree to renegotiate at the end of a year.”

    This is a bit like cutting your profit margin from 40% t0 30% for a customer who wants 500 DVDs instead of 100. You still make good money on the deal plus you get the perks which seem so attractive.

    (EarlC, if you’re still on board, what do you think of this approach?)


  • #182173


    I’m with you on this one, Jack, all the way. It is important that we realize the current state of the economy plays a huge role in business and profits, or not, and that with all the wannabes on the planet, most of them in our service area back yards, if we just arbitrarily refuse to negotiate when opportunities arise, we’re not going to keep people coming back, much less coming to us in the first place.

    Your approach helps maintain a solid, professional presentation of Karen’s personal and professional sense of worth without going too low or coming across as inflexible and stubborn, hard to work with. It opens doors, IMHO, for solid negotiation and gives on both sides of the equation.

    Short answer: That’s what I’d have recommended. Done.

  • #182174


    I have a half-day, a full day, a weekly and monthly rate – all set and available to the clients. A week gets a 10% discount and a month get 15% discount. I always invoice the full rate, and on the invoice show the discount off this figure, so my daily rate always remains the same – they just get a discount off it for longer times. I do the same with equipment too, although that is different. A 5 day week is charged at the 3 day price – with no extra for a month. Works for me.

  • #182175


    Yes I would definently offer an estimate from above but be able to lower it is always good to have clients that what you for a while other than that good luck!

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