New Videography Business: Pricing

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    • #91928

      Hi I’m Jordan.

      I just started my new business in videography and I was wondering what people charge for video. I know some do it hourly and others do it by a flat price. The problem with flat price is the variables. Like I offer 4K and/or HD video. Do you guys price videos differently depending on what quality you’re shooting in? What would you charge for a 2-5 minute video for social media promotional/informational videos with text/subtitles? (because its a big thing with Facebook now)
      I also am going to be in the business of filming house tours for realtors. Also 2-5 minutes (or more given the size of the house).

      I guess the TLDR version of my question is: What are the things you consider when making a quote. Do you even make a quote? Is it just simpler to have a flat price? Do you just go hourly? If so how do you keep track of hours (especially if interrupted)? Do you up the price judging on the equipment you’re using?

      Oh here’s a quick list of the equipment I have. Figure if I’m going to mention pricing I should list it the gear I have:

      Cameras: Sony A7S II
      Lenses: Sony 10-18mm Wide-Angle Zoom Lens, Sony Vario-Tessar 24-70mm.
      Sound Gear: Rode VideoMic Pro VMP with Rycote Lyre Shockmount (Single system only. Might get a boom later)
      Accessaries: Libec ALX S8 Head, Tripod, and Slider Kit. Glide Gear Geranos 3 Axis Stabilizer.


      Envirron Productions

    • #215032

      If you do weddings, then each job is pretty similar, so you can have a price list, but for general video work the real price depends on how long it will take you, and how much you can realistically get. I never, ever quote an hourly rate. I do have a rate for some clients based on (for what we get asked to do) a short day, a day or an extra long day. I don’t usually mention how short a short day is, so I can move the rope if I wish to reflect perhaps the complexity or unpleasantness.

      With SD, HD and 4K, many clients really don’t understand them. I’ve had clients ask about 4K, then mention they want it on a DVD? Shooting costs, if you have the equipment cost the same for SD as it does in 4K. If you have to hire a 4K flashy camera, then that’s extra.

      The model I use tends to be a combination of specific costs, and time based costs, making price lists impossible to manage. I usually sit down with the client, and come up with a budget area. One of my regular clients asks for a guide price – so I might say, based on our chat, around £4500. He then asks me to make sure that if he adds in extra requests, we don’t go over a ceiling of £5000 without letting him know. I then spend as much time as is needed, and if it looks like things are getting extended, I warn him and he either stops adding, or authorises the over spend.

      Edit time is often totally misunderstood by new clients to video – a days shooting they understand £X. If you then have a price per hour for editing, they just don’t get it – many of my projects mean the client is needed for the edit, and they don’t understand why they appear to be paying for me doing nothing (rendering is a great example), The client who gives you ten hours of archive material can’t understand why this might eat up 12 hours of time before you actually do anything. If the material then needs logging, this can extend to lazy times. They don’t understand why adding a title, or changing a wipe to a fade can cost hours – so I estimate the edit time, and warn them I will notify them if the estimated time starts to drift. I also charge for media. I never reuse things – so back in the tape days and now card days, are always charged for, and I keep them just in case.

      One odd thing is that DSLR users often find clients find paying higher fees consider DSLRs as not really professional, in charging terms, because they look just like they have at home (and sometimes are). DSLRs with lots of attached gadgetry justifies the higher fees.

      A long time ago, I also started to itemise free items on the invoices, so the invoice has lots of lines where the price shown is £0 – the clients see that lots of things were provided, and can if they wish Google these and get a good guide as to how much they just ‘saved’. The items I have in stock, so don’t cost me. This also makes it easier to justify a higher price, and show the “value added” they don;t have to pay for.

      My invoices then end up with stuff like this
      Long shooting days 3 £xxxx
      short shooting day 1 £xxxx
      edit days 4 £xxxxx

      then all the extras, then all the freebies

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