How much should i earn for freelancing

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    • #85194

      Hey guys!

      I am a videomaker and i got a very nice offer. Im just finishing my bachelors this year and after that I will have to travel arround the world making the promo videos. I need to make for over 20 countries promo video for each. A videos are for one company representing the mood/vibe over there, 3 days of shooting and then 2 days of editing. Flight tickets and accomodation is included, so the question is: how much do i want to earn for each video?
      basically, it will be a freelancing project, where i spend 2 weeks at home and then 2 weeks travelling and making 2 videos a month. I have to make an offer, and i have no clue what could i get. The company is in europe and we talk about euros. Do you guys have any clue how should i approach this and how much should i ask? :))
      Thank you very much,

      greetings from Copenhagen


    • #211930
      Space Racer

      It is very simple. Gather information on how much money you need to survive and what other companies in Europe pay for similar projects. 

      Start by figuring out how much money you need to live for the year including clothing, shoes, haircuts, taxes, rent, car, repair, insurance, vacations, food, dinners out,  bike tires, healthcare costs, professional memberships, and anything else you will need during the year. Divide that by 80 which is the average number of days that a freelancer works per year… So let's say you need 40,000 Euros to live for the year. Doing the math that means if you work 80 days a year you need to earn 500 Euros per working day to support yourself. Add 10 percent for unexpected emergencies.

      If you are supplying the cameras, lenses, and lights find out how much they will cost to fix because if you're traveling that much, equipment will need repairing, so include items for equipment rental, maintenance, and repair as well as a budget for consumables such as gaff tape, filters, gels, and bulbs.

      So you know you need to earn  550 Euros per working day just to survive.


      Now, find out how much editor/producers/cameramen earn per year at the big television station in Copenhagen. Compare the two figures and decide whether you are higher or lower than the market. Also, ask your university teachers what they think you should charge.


      Finally, be brave and try to ask them what their budget is or how much they have paid in the past for this kind of work. You can't negotiate until you know your numbers.


      But be prepared for them to offer you much less. You are just out of school, after all, so you may need to decide how much of a cut you'll take in order to get the professional experience—maybe set your bottom at DK110 per hour and pray for more.

    • #211935
      StanDan Pro

      I agree with Space Racer … my approach is to always ask them what their budget is before figuring out my numbers.  If it is a legit offer then they already know what they want to spend.  If they are unwilling to give you a number it is usually because they are simply fishing around … and many times simply needing to get multiple quotes in order to satisfy their supervisors.  


      I doubt any company wanting to do this large of a project doesn't know what they are willing to spend.  Stick with your guns and don't cave in by giving the first number.  Most often you will end up on the better side if they start the bidding.


      That being said, you also have to ask yourself how much you want the job.  When it comes to negotiating NEVER get to enthusiastic about the project (yet).  It's a game of poker … if you fawn over them then they will under cut you most of the time.  But if you play it cool (not desparate) then you will often have better negotiating power.


      Finally, I would figure out your own costs … that way you also have a number in your head.  As they say in business … the person with the most knowledge typically ends up getting the better deal.  This doesn't mean you cheat them … you just know how to turn a better profit.

    • #211950

      This sounds like an incredible opportunity, but it also sounds just a little too good to be true.  For a company to be choosing someone who has no prior experience in this type of project, it seems that they may be looking to pay a real low-ball price for the work.  Do they know that you've never done this type of work?  


      As stated above, you need to be paid appropriately for the job and hopefully they are willing to do so.  They may be hiring a "college kid" in hopes that you'll gladly take the work for very low pay.  I would price it somewhere between professional and amateur, as long as you earn enough to live on.  You will certainly have vast experience by the conclusion of the project.  Good luck!

    • #211959

      Keith may be right about hiring a college student who will accept less pay, but surely, you must have an Arri Alexa just collecting dust in your bedroom, right? Doesn't every recent film graduate?


      Be careful with this offer, unless you know the principals involved. 

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