Offered video job, and I don’t know what to do!

Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews Forums General Video and Film Discussion Offered video job, and I don’t know what to do!

Viewing 5 reply threads
  • Author
    • #51821

      Hey, my name is James Regino. A few months ago I started a project called "Just Discover Yourself". The site is about documenting individuals striving to accomplish their dreams. At one point MTV was interested in my project, but everything fell through because I didn't want to lose creative control.

      My goal has always been to get into video production, and ever since I began the project, I started to get job offers… but here's my problem… I have no idea what to charge for video work!


      The one job I'm considering is for a group of car dealerships. They want a 2 to 3 minute video on every used car they sell. The video would be shots of all the features on the car, voice over narration throughout, titles, graphics, and sound effects.

      Now, I use to work for a company taking photos of used cars for dealerships; and I was billing 18 dollars a car for 25 pictures. So I was thinking of charging 35 dollars a car for each video.


      What do you guys think? I need some major help in this department.





      (If you want to check out my website, visit


    • #204720
      Jackson Wong

      Dear James Regino,


      You've got talent spewing out your eyes, and you don't know what to charge, that's OK. You'll definitely want to try our our rate calculator, and read Mike's article, on What to Charge, Between your documentary work and commercials you're going to want to get lots of value out of your talents. The calculator really breaks down what costs are going into a video project, so give it a shot. I'm guessing that you're putting in quite a bit of work so, my gut tells me the $35 sounds good, and might need to be bumped up, but that's really dependant on what you want to do with it.


      One response I have from my observation, be careful of your logos at all times. Your KIA commercial sure rocked it though.


      I'm very happy to see you're a dog lover, and I wish you the best with the JDY project. You guys stick together!




    • #204721

      This question comes up repeatedly here on the forum.


      I'll respond to your question in two ways. First, take a look at an article I published several years ago.(  This will give you a solid foundation for figuring out what your cost of doing business is; in other words, how much it costs you to go out on a job and, by extension, how much you need to charge to cover these costs.


      Second approach, not as good as first since it doesn't really address the hidden costs of doing business: figure out how much time will be involved in your shoot.  Include your prep time — i.e., charging batteries, getting gear together, etc.; — travel time; actual time on the site shooting; editing time and finally, delivery costs such as mailing or delivering in person. Then bill based on  this.


      The one job I'm considering is for a group of car dealerships. They want a 2 to 3 minute video on every used car they sell. The video would be shots of all the features on the car, voice over narration throughout, titles, graphics, and sound effects.


      What you're describing here is a great deal of work. I'd estimate 45 minutes to an hour to shoot the car, assuming that you don't have to do any lighting, which if you're shooting interiors you're almost certainly going to need. Then you have titles, graphics and sound effects — you don't specify what any of these will be — but generating them will add at least another hour in post production, probably more, as will editing the various shot you take on site. Who's going to do the voice over? Around here VO starts at $100 per hour. So conservatively you're looking at three to four hours of work on each car, plus the cost of VO.


      My advice is to bill a job like this by the hour, not by the car. Give the client a per-car estimete but make it clear it's only an estimate. Later, once you've nailed down exactly how long it's going to take, you can negotiate a new contract based on a per-car price.


      To give you a ball-park figure regarding what to charge, our company, which is by no means high-end in the Seattle area, charges a minimum rate of $250. This give the client two hours of shooting time, at $80 per hour, and covers our prep, travel, setup and tear down costs. Additional time is billed at $80 per hour. This is a basic charge: adding an audio technician, a gaffer for lighting or a grip can increase costs $100 an hour or more, as will adding a second camera.


      We get paid for shooting when we complete the shoot. Editing is billed at $80 per hour and is to be paid when we deliver the finished DVDs. No part of the shoot, EVER, is released until final payment is received.


      In the final analysis, it becomes a question of what you think you're time and expertise is worth and how much you need to pay back your investment in equipment, supplies, insurance, etc. Since the only thing we have in life to sell is our time and expertise, I'd put a fairly high price on it.


      Good luck.



    • #204723

      Thanks guys! I'm glad I found this forum. I don't know anyone that does video work, so it's cool to be able to hear from people that have experience in what I want to do. Those articles are definitely a big help!


      Oh, and thanks for the compliments on my JDY project, Jackson! I'm hoping to travel the country one day, documenting other dreamer's stories. (It's why I was trying to win a car). I ended up being a finalist in the competition, but I didn't place. It's cool though… You win some, you lose some, right?


      Striving for awesomeness, 1 video at a time!


      – James



      PS: Jack Russells for life!!!

    • #204739

      You need to join a good tutorial for it and that can give you the best options to learn about and you will be able to go for the same as well.

    • #204757

      Perhaps it's just with us, but car dealers have been terrible payers. Even some of the long established dealers. If we can't get paid at the end of the day, then we pass on the work. There are many shooters doing these car videos. Find some out of the area who won't be competitors and pick their brains.

Viewing 5 reply threads
  • The forum ‘Video and Film Discussion’ is closed to new topics and replies.


Panasonic LUMIX GH5s w/ Leica lens

Given away to one lucky winner

Competition is open worldwide